Tofu Tidbits* 11/25/11

  1. Values voting.
  2. The logic of the left.
  3. Akathist of Thanksgiving
  4. Plus ça change….

* Temporarily renamed in honor of the Nativity Fast, about which Mystagogy has some more information.

1

Gail Collins and David Brooks of the New York Times decided yesterday to abandon the contentious field of politics and chat about religion … as it relates to the politics of the GOP presidential marathon, of course.

Amid some moderately serious points, this playful exchange:

Gail: Did I ever mention that the Texas state constitution prohibits anybody who doesn’t believe in God from holding elective office? Just saying.

David: I agree with that law. Faking piety is a value that has always held this country together.

And I do appreciate that Brooks didn’t let Collins get away with a cheap zinger at Rick Santorum on “higher law.”

2

I have railed at the Obama Administration’s execrable record on freedom of religion and conscience in this country, but don’t take my word for it. E.J. Dionne – liberal, Catholic, inclined to support Obama – lays out, albeit with less bombast than I, the clumsy-at-best course the Administration has walked. He also provides a factoid to prove that the Administration isn’t really anti-Catholic.

He ends with a call for “advocates of reproductive rights” to “lower the rhetorical temperature” lest they “strengthen the most conservative forces inside the Catholic Church.” He sure knows his audience: they’re deaf to the principle of religious freedom, but they might be swayed by prudential arguments about not moving too fast in their “progressive” quest for a world freed of the Catholic wing of the Catholic Church.

3

“Thanksgiving” is not an Orthodox feast, though some Bishops in the U.S. give dispensation from the Nativity Fast for its observance.

On the other hand, thanksgiving is a constant in Orthodox life. Eucharist is thanksgiving. But a special service full of thanksgiving was written around 1934 in the Soviet Union, and at least a link to it seemed appropriate as I ran  across it (HT Silouanthompson.net) yesterday.

So here it is. I wish I knew of a stream I could link to, but here’s a recording I can vouch for.

4

The nobility of this country would have slept through the Sermon on the Mount, but you’ll labor like scholars over the pedigree of a bulldog.

(Thomas More, to the Duke of Norfolk, in A Man for All Seasons)

In any state that was half good, you would be raised up high, not here for what you’ve done already.
-All right.
It’s not your fault the state’s three-quarters bad.
-No.
If you elect to suffer for it, you elect to be a hero.
-That’s very neat. But look now. If we lived in a state where virtue was profitable common sense would make us saintly. But since we see that avarice, anger, pride and stupidity commonly profit far beyond charity, modesty, justice and thought perhaps we must stand fast a little even at the risk of being heroes.

(Colloquy in the Tower between More and his daughter, Margaret)

I die His Majesty’s good servant but God’s first.

(More at his execution)

Man, I can’t believe how long it’s been since I watched this!

Plus ça change, plus c’est le même chose.

Of course, nobody could ever get in trouble in America for opposing legal jackassery in contravention of higher law.

* * * * *

Bon appetit!

Having become tedious even to myself, I’m Tweeting more, blogging less. View this in a browser instead of an RSS feeder to see Tweets at upper right.

I also have some succinct standing advice on recurring themes. Maybe if I link to it, I’ll blog less obsessively about it.