Addresses of Orthodox Congresspeople

I finally sorted out the best methods for contact Congresspeople as a non-constituent.

The Congressional email system is specifically designed to filter out non-constituents. All snail mail to Congressional offices goes through the irradiation process. The processing time varies, though someone in Zack Space’s office told me the got a letter today that was postmarked November 12. However Melissa Bean’s office and Olympia Snowe’s website recommended sending mail to the district office. I have included what appears to be the best correspondence addresss for each.

Here are the addresses for the Orthodox Congresspeople who promote the killing of the unborn:

Sen. Olympia Snowe
Edmund S. Muskie Federal Building
40 Western Avenue
Room 408C
Augusta, ME 04330
Phone: (207) 622-8292
Fax: (207) 622-7295

Rep. Melissa Bean
1701 E. Woodfield Road
Suite 200
Schaumburg, IL 60173
Phone: 847-517-2927
Fax: 847-517-2931

Rep. Zack Space
315 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-6265
Fax: (202) 225-3394

Rep. John Sarbanes
426 Cannon HOB
Washington DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4016
Fax: (202) 225-9219

Rep. Dina Titus
319 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3252

Making Contact

In following up my own responsibility to do the things I urged all Orthodox Christians to do in the previous blog post, namely, to write to all Orthodox Congresspersons who support the culture of death and reject the teaching of the Orthodox Church and to their respective bishops, I have come across an interesting stumbling block. Congresscreatures can be tricksy when trying to reach them by correspondence.

Some prefer email and others prefer postal mail. At least some will only get postal mail in their Washington office after it has been through a month-long irradiation process. Senator Snowe states this on her website. Others block email from non-constituents.

In terms of reaching them, it would certainly be most effective for them to hear from Orthodox Christians who also happen to be constituents. However, because they claim to be members of the Orthodox Church, they represent Orthodoxy in Congress whether they like it or not, and the best attempt should be made to remind them of that fact.

I’m going to have to do a little research tomorrow find out the most effect ways to correspond with each. On the other hand, the addresses for the respective hierarchs are more straightforward and as far as I know they don’t send their post to Ohio for irradiation. Though the addresses are easy enough to find on the internet, for your convenience I have included them below:

With regard to Senator Olympia Snowe and Rep. Niki Tsongas:
Metropolitan Methodius
Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston
162 Goddard Avenue
Brookline, MA 02445
Tel: (617) 277-4742
Fax (617) 739-9229
email: metropolis@boston.goarch.org

With regard to Rep. John Sarbanes:
Metropolitan Evangelos
Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey
215 East Grove Street
Westfield, NJ 07090-1656
Tel: (908) 301-0500
Fax: (908) 301-1397
email: metropolis@nj.goarch.org

With regard to Rep. Zack Space:
Metropolitan Nicholas
Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Detroit
2560 Crooks Road
Troy, MI 48084
Tel: (248) 823-2400
Fax: (248) 823-2401
Email: office@detroit.goarch.org

With regard to Rep. Dina Titus:
Metropolitan Gerasimos
Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco
245 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Tel.: (415) 753-3075
Fax: (415) 753-1165
Email: metropolis@sanfran.goarch.org

With regard to Rep. Melissa Bean
Bishop Longin
Serbian Orthodox Diocese of New Gracanica – Midwestern America
P. O. Box 371
Grayslake, IL 60030
Tel: (847) 223-4300
Email: eparhija@newgracanica.com

Hypocrisy, Caricature, and Abuse: How Treating Nick Griffin Badly Failed, Badly

I haven’t gotten much response in the past when I said anything about the British National Party, but lack of response has never stopped me before.  Considering that the BNP has been the only topic in the news media for the last few days, I thought I’d add my tuppence.

The national news papers on Friday all carried giant headlines about Nick Griffin’s appearance on the BBC current affairs panel show Question Time. It was a huge, big, giant deal when the BBC invited the leader of the BNP as one of the panellists. It was in line with the BBC policy of including parties that have reached the electoral threshold of 5% and have leaders elected on a national level. Griffin is now one of the Euro MPs for Northwest England.

The show was stage managed so that rather than talking about the issues of the week, everything was about Griffin and the BNP. It was a set-up job, really. Half the debate, both before and after, was whether this was a good thing or bad thing for the BNP. No one wanted to give them time to air their views, but everyone wanted to get have a chance to get in a shot at them. Every panelist and every audience member given air time went to extraordinary lengths to declare their revulsion toward Griffin and the BNP. The papers Friday then took every possible sound bite out of context and ripped into Griffin and the BNP again.

Now let me state clearly that I do not support the BNP. But neither do I support hatchet jobs justified because the policies of the BNP are so repugnant to so many. I wish I could say it has amazed me, but it is really what can be expected from what passes for British journalism these days.

For example, Griffin claims to have changed views he’s held in the past. No one believes him. He was a member of the neo-Nazi National Front when he was in and just out of Cambridge and when it comes to neo-Nazis, the leopard never changes his spots. The Nazis, after all, killed millions of Jews, which makes them evil.

At the same time many members of the Labour Party were part of neo-Communist groups such as Militant, but that’s apparently okay. The Communists killed millions of Jews, Christians, and all sorts – millions upon millions more than the Nazis ever could have and over many more years – but being a former – or still borderline – Marxist is perfectly okay. No one gets the hypocrisy.

Justice Secretary Jack Straw was on the Question Time panel. No one brought up (or would have even cared) that when he was elected chair of the Leeds University Labour Society, he had the name changed to elected chair of the Leeds University Socialist Society and withdrew support from the Labour Party for not being left-wing enough. No one brought up (or would have even cared ) that when he was elected president of Leeds University Union, it was with the support of the Communist Society.

The biggest headlines I saw as I walked by news stands in the aftermath of Question Time were about Griffin’s support for the KKK. He was questioned by David Dimbleby about having appeared at a public gathering with David Duke and the KKK and before his answer was cut off, he said that it was a non-violent KKK group. Neither Chicago-born panelist Bonnie Greer nor the tabloids were having any of it, though even the (former?) Communist David Aaronovitch in The Times acknowledged that it was true. But the caricature of KKK sells more newspapers than trying to explain the complexities of racist politics in American history, so even suggesting that there are racists who are not going around lynching every black man in sight is tantamount to showing support for them.

When Griffin attempted to explain any of his views, he was excoriated as being a weasel and a liar. Either he accepted the facile comments that were thrown at him from audience and panelists alike and admitted that he was the vile person they insisted he was, or he rejected their accusations and thus proved he was the vile person they insisted he was. It was a lose-lose situation.

Not everyone bought the dinner of bile and vitriol being served up. There were about 300 complaints to the BBC about the programme. about 75% were complaining about the way Griffin was treated. But the telling indicator was the YouGov poll taken hours after Question Time. It showed that 22% of voters would consider voting BNP. This is not because the BBC agreed to have Griffin on the panel. It is because everyone on the panel made it the Nick Griffin Show and neither they nor the audience, nor David Dimbleby for all his protestations to the contrary, could restrain themselves. They gave the BNP the credibility it gained.

Mythbusting: Who Were the First Congressmen?

Because I was recently reminded of the popular idea amongst those favouring Congressional term limits and the ideal citizen legislator that the original intent was for yeoman farmers to serve a single term and return to his land, I decided to do a little bit of research.

Looking at the members of the House of Representatives in the First Congress (1789-91), I compiled information about how many terms they served, what their occupations were outside of politics, and what political offices they held prior and subsequent to their service in the House. The results were quite surprising.

The House of Representatives of the First Congress of the United States was comprised of 66 members. There were 65 seats, but one member, Theodorick Bland of Virginia, died in office and was replaced by William Giles. In calculating the average number of terms, I have used Giles. The average number of terms served in the House was 2.72.

However, of the 66, only two (George Gale of MD and Giles of VA) held no previous political office, though Gale was a member of his state’s convention to ratify the US Constitution. Of the rest, 48 had previously served in their state’s legislature and 29 had served in the Continental Congress. Only 13 ended their public service with their stint in the House of Representatives and only three of these were single term Congressmen. Seventeen served in the US Senate, including 4 of the 18 who only served one term in the House. Balancing out the 18 single-termers are 18 who served four or more terms.

Twelve held executive branch appointments after leaving Congress, including Thomas Tucker who served as Treasurer of the United States for 27 years,  John Steele, who was Comptroller of the US Treasury and Elias Boudinot who became director of the US Mint.

Others were elected to executive office in their home states, including seven governors and two lieutenant governors. Thirteen served as judges after leaving Congress, six on the supreme courts of their states and four as federal judges.

So how many were farmers? Of the 11 with agricultural interests, eight owned plantations. Only three could be referred to as lesser farmers. Of those three, only one, William Floyd of NY, was just a farmer. George Mathews of GA was also a merchant and Joshua Seney of MD was also a lawyer.

A lawyer? Surely there weren’t lawyers in Congress back in this golden era! Well, only 29 of them in the first House of Representatives. That’s 44% of the membership. Yes, almost half. The next closest occupation represented amongst the Representatives are the thirteen with mercantile interests. Five were clergymen and five were teachers (this includes William Baldwin of GA, who had been both).

There seems to be little evidence from the First Congress that members were expected to be yeoman farmers who spent a few weeks in Washington during a single two-year term and then went back to the land. For the most part they were lawyers and rich merchants who spent a significant part of their lives engaged in the business of government.

Episcopal Priestess Finally Defrocked for Being a Muslim

It appears that at least one Episcopal bishop has decided that a priest or priestess cannot be a Muslim.  It took her two years to defrock the priestess, but she finally acted. Bishopette Geralyn Wolf of the Diocese of Rhode Island found out in June of 2007 that Ann Holmes Redding had declared the Shahadah – that Allah is the one non-trinitarian God that Muhammad is his messenger.

Wolf has now defrocked Redding. Redding now lives in Seattle, but she never moved her canonical residence, giving Wolf jurisdiction, though her decision was backed by the Greg Rickel, bishop of Olympia.

Admittedly it takes a lot for the Episcopal Church to surprise me, but how did this take nearly two years? It is baffling enough that Ms Redding believes the two religions are compatible and feels compelled to practice both. How does someone believe in Tawhid – a doctrine created specifically to deny the Trinity- and the eternal Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?

How can someone recite the Shahadah and the Creed?  While it is certainly possible to say that Islam and Christianity share some ideas in common, as do Judaism and Christianity and Sikhism and Christianity, etc., at their core they are incompatible. The Qur’an denies that Jesus is God.

Says a lot for I Timothy 2:12-14.

Memory Eternal

I was very sad to learn tonight that a young woman raised in my parents’ church passed away very unexpectedly – and from an as of yet undetermined cause. She was a US Marine who had recently returned from deployment to Afghanistan and had been married less than a year.

Please pray for Diane, her the husband, parents, and brother. May her memory be eternal.

Pray for my father as he has a hard time doing funerals, but with the exhaustion and side-effects of recently completed chemo, this will be doubly difficult.

The Swinging Vicar Responds

After lots of traffic to my post about the Swinging Vicar, it is only fair that I provide a link to the Mail of Sunday article giving her side of the story.

She claims that she’s never had sex outside of her marriage, but,

Despite everything, she insists that she could never rule out the idea of ‘swinging’. ‘I wouldn’t break up with Mick if he had sex with someone else,’ she says. ‘But it would be in a swinging context. I certainly wouldn’t have an affair. Sex, as long as it’s not harmful or abusive, can be a wonderful thing.

So she isn’t exactly a traditionalist.