Saturday, July 5, 2008

Muslims, Natural Law, and the V.c.M.

In Section B, Article III of the V.c. Manifesto, I speak of Muslims reaping material and spiritual rewards for doing "the Christian thing," making specific reference to non-usurious banking and modest dress. I was later challenged on this, and I thought that rather than continue the dialogue in the Comments section, that I would expand on it in the context of a full post. In other words, here.

First let me establish that my position on Islam as an Orthodox Christian is that it is no more and no less than a Christian heresy. As such, there will be much that is of value (our common heritage and belief) but at no time can Islam be regarded as a source of eternal truth or a place to acquire wisdom - these are what Orthodoxy is for. It may be possible for a good Muslim to find God and thus salvation, but it is not something that I would care to bet on. I trust rather to the mercy of God and His love.

Within this context (ie. that Orthodoxy offers Truth but that heterodoxy and heresy do not), I believe that God blesses the nations and peoples of the world according to their adherence to certain basic principles. We might call this blessing Natural Law... that God has so written it into the fabric of the universe that doing the right thing ends in material and spiritual blessing (I include both because we are psychosomatic beings), but that failing to do the right thing results in personal and social disaster.

Some of this is extremely obvious. Killing the unborn results in a population unable to sustain itself, which in turn leads to the collapse of the society. Cheating my clients results in their refusal either to use my services or to recommend me, which in turn voids my business.

So what are Muslims doing right? What do I feel they will be blessed for ... what indeed is the Law undergirding their massive population growth and meteoric rise amidst the nations?
  1. Abortion. Muslims do not abort their young. Christian nations and many Christians do.
  2. Usury. Muslims take the prohibition against usury seriously. We abandoned this prohibition centuries ago, and indeed our societies are predicated upon it.
  3. Modesty. Muslims attire themselves modestly (the burka is a non-Christian interpolation). Our nations, and the vast majority of Christians do not.
  4. Homosexuality. Tolerated if not embraced by our society, practically non-existent in Muslim circles.

How this engages us ...

A. If we want to find a veil for E. to wear to Church, we search in Muslim stores. The very Muslim-looking hijab we avoid, but it is only in Muslim stores that we can find veils, let alone attractive ones.

B. Modest clothing? An internet search will reveal the following three sources: Indian, Muslim, and Mormon. Forget trying a department store.

C. Meat. It is impossible to get hamburger meat (ground beef) from the national grocery stores without finding old meat in the centre, hidden by the new. Our local Muslim butcher grinds his fresh, and the meat is the highest quality lean beef I have ever had.

[As an interesting aside, a block away from my home stands three shops next to each other: a convenience store owned and operated by an Antiochian Orthodox couple, a small grocery store owned and operated by an evangelical Filipina, and the butchery/ convenience store owned and operated by a couple North African Muslims. The Orthodox couple are rude, complain if they have to change larger bills, and cash work cheques for about a twelfth of the cheque's amount, taking advantage of the most poor. The evangelical Filipina is always surly. Meanwhile, the Muslim butchery treats its customers well, provides high quality meat, and if someone is short on money the owners wave it off ("bring it in next time," they say). How strange it is that the proprietor who best models Christ is the non-Christian. By way of consequence I never frequent my co-religionists' establishment, and rarely the Filipina's. It is the Muslim establishment that I frequent.]

D. Usury. Unfortunately, our bank does not offer interest-free (ie. Islamic or Sharia) banking. But other banks do. In a world where loan-taxes on the poor go to line the pockets of the wealthy, monetary systems that follow a Christian ethic are most attractive, even if they are Muslim monetary systems.

E. The families we see. And perhaps this is the sign and symbol of a changing social fabric as one group is blessed over another... Our parks and playgrounds are full of Muslim families - mom, dad, and numerous children, playing and eating together. The white Anglo-Saxon types are nowhere to be seen. Couples biking together perhaps, but the next generation? Taken care of by the Muslims.

- V.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Two Moments

A Moment in a Cemetery

Some time ago, not too long after Pascha, I and several others were working together to give our parish cemetery its annual spring cleaning when an older parishioner remarked in scandalized tones that another Orthodox cemetery in town had just interred the cremated remains of someone ... and with the approval of the bishop no less! When I made note that cremation was just as scandalous and unOrthodox as embalming, another practice that crops up in Orthodox circles, I was gently rebuked. Embalming, I was told, is okay ... it is only cremation which is not.


When I had gone apart with a friend, I began a mini-rant on the heterodoxy of embalming. Until I noticed that he wasn't with me, wasn't in agreement. He showed only the mild patience of an older dog for the excitable yipping of a puppy as he discovers his own tail.

Which was discomfiting. I care about things and that strongly. I care about clean water and clean food, I care about traditional social mores, I care about children and family. And I care about Orthodoxy.

It is bewildering to call a brother or a sister "brother" and "sister" in confidence that they hold to the same beliefs, only to discover that the same brother and sister are not aggressively guarding these self-same beliefs from the predations of the Enemy. In fact, they do not care, and from the vantage-point of their apathy find articulated belief alarming.

A Moment in a Mass Grave

Just in time for the 141st anniversary of the formation of the Dominion of Canada, the news media has informed us that Henry Morgentaler is being awarded the Order of Canada. And I have to say that I am just sick over it. No doubt this event is being widely panned throughout the blogosphere and my small contribution therefore redundant in the extreme, but I cannot be silent.

For those not in the know, Dr. Morgentaler was a G.P. who gave up his practice to set up and run Canada's first abortion clinic. Who, when he was arrested, took the case through the courts and through appeals until it reached the Supreme Court and the prohibition against abortion in Canada was struck down. Who, to this day operates an abortion clinic within a block of Parliament Hill and remains the Canadian abortion activist and so an icon of death, a Canadian Kevorkian for the unborn.

Morgentaler, a Polish Jew who emigrated to Canada after the end of World War II, is a man who survived one holocaust at the hands of the Nazis only to import another holocaust into this country. Although a victim of prejudice-spawned mass murder of a minority group, Morgentaler has seen fit to champion a feminist-spawned mass murder of our minors in utero.

Something terrible has happened to this nation that not only is abortion allowed, but its apostle honoured.

They say that fully a third of my generation was aborted. I don't know how true the numbers are, but I do know that Canada is a wasteland - a mass grave - inhabited by the dead whose blood calls out to heaven. Against this society, against their infanticidal mothers, against the "doctors", against Morgentaler.

Lord have mercy.

- V.