The King's Singers
Enjoying their tolerance
36 minutes ago
On October 3, 1993 a group of US Rangers and Special Operations soldiers set out on a mission into the heart of the Bakara market in Mogadishu. What started as a mission that should have lasted 30 minutes turned into a battle for their lives. Known by these men as the Battle of the Black Sea and later portrayed in the motion picture Black Hawk Down, here is the untold story of that battle. Coming soon in a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack and streaming from the Panteao website.Featuring Paul Howe. Pic of the box cover here.
And, to be perfectly frank, I could never stand to watch Charlie Brown's Christmas and I do not like Vince Guaraldi's music. Two thousand years of art, literature, and music, and people are still watching Peanuts? Schulz is often praised for the Christian themes in his comics, but he was an ex-Christian and a self-described secular humanist. In my view, he was a board member of that sinister Northeastern syndicate.
I hate all Christmas specials, especially the Grinch who did not so much steal as profane Christmas with Seussian inanity. I did get a bang out of the Andy Williams specials for which he hired actors to play his family, while his wife was doing life for murdering her faithless lover the Croat-American skier Spider Sabich. "Ain't that America?"
I am also sick to death of the anti-Christian Charles Dickens' rewrite of Christ's Nativity as a a softcore Marxist parable without Christ or angels but with a new pantheon of bogus deities--the deeply offensive Ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. How dare such a man pen such a line as "God bless us, everyone." The nasty hypocrite should have been on his knees praying to escape the fires of Hell.
With the blessings of His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP of North America and His Eminence, Metropolitan ELIAS of Beirut, and thorught the generosity of The Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch (the charitable arm of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America), 12 members of the St. Romanos the Melodist Choir of the Archdiocese of Beirut, Lebanon toured the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America in mid-September, 2012. Under the direction of their leader, Father Romanos Joubran, Dean of St. George Orhtodox Cathedral of Beirut, Lebanon and instructor of Byzantine Music, the choir spent two weeks performing concerts and singing at liturgical services from the Midwest to the East Coast. The tour culminated on Sunday, September 22, 2012 in an historic concert attended by more than 450 people at the Mother Cathedral of the Archdiocese, St. Nicholas Cathedral of Brooklyn, NY. With the additional blessings of His Eminence, Archbishop DEMETRIOS of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the Archdiocesan Byzantine Choir of the GOA, under the direction of Dr. Demetrios Kehagias, made a special guest appearance and added to the beauty of the evening. This 2-CD digitally mastered set of hymns in Arabic and Greek consistst of th esets performed by the Beirut Choir and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Choir as well as the combined set where they performed together. In addition, there are two tracks from the Divine Liturgy that the Beirut choir chanted the following day in the Cathedral and a few bonus selections from their concert in Boston, MA that were not include in the Brooklyn concert due to time constraints. We hope you enjoy the beauty of this ancient and sacred music.
Each 2-CD set is $20.00 plus $5.00 shipping for each of the first two CD's and $2.00 for each CD after that. Quantity discounts of 10 or more are available.
Catholics affirm that the state has the authority, within limits, to recognize marriage and to protect people who enter into it; to recognize the sanctity of life, and to do no harm to it; to recognize the dignity of the human person, and therefore ensure an economy in which every person can flourish according to their capacities without being debilitated by poverty. Yet currently, the Catholic is being asked to divide her affirmations and denials more or less equally between political parties that may or may not finally represent these concerns at all. It is like asking King Solomon, or a mother, to tear a child in half.
That means that we are beyond the Churchillian “least bad” problem in choosing between parties. The political culture we inhabit has exceeded that problem. Ours is not only a polarized politics, it is also an excessive politics. It dominates every aspect of life. Political campaigns have learned to carefully cultivate every existing identity for itself, and only for itself. It has come to take over every aspect of life so there is no place where presidential politics is absent. I think this excessiveness is an enduring aspect of every politics that detaches itself from natural limits, that consistently refuses to allow space to that which is not politics, that refuses to admit that there is anything prior to politics, that habitually ignores anything which supersedes politics, and which denies anything which is not reducible to politics.
All of this makes my post-election reflections sound like a plea for resistance to political instrumentalism. It is that, but it is also simply a plea for contemplation on those things which are not political, but are nevertheless important to political community. The popular motto of the Catholic resistance movement during WWII, “France be careful not to lose your soul” is worth recalling to this end. A generation earlier, Charles Péguy, the atheist socialist convert to Catholicism, sought to remind France to attend those things which were preludes to politics: metaphysics, narratives, language, family, friendship and contemplation upon the causes, effects, and ends of our most cherished commitments – our loves and our liberties (to recall St. Augustine). In our post-election reflections, Christians should be the ones asking the really substantial questions, not the ones asked at our very insubstantial presidential debates – but the questions we would want our children to ask: questions about existence, such as why there is something rather than nothing; about justice, and to whom it is owed; about truth, and making ourselves truthful; about the nature of goodness and how we can be formed in accordance with it. Questions like these are pre-political, but they matter for politics too. If these sorts of question whither, we will get the politics we deserve. Amongst ourselves as well as with others, we must be asking what it means to be a Christian in our excessive, polarized, political order.
At its best, true Christianity has always resisted being instrumentalized by politics – it has always affirmed the legitimate authority of the state, but it has also helped the state to flourish precisely by pointing out its limits, and its disorder. Sometimes it has done so with martyrs, but usually with a different kind of Christian witness — one which entails discursive reasoning as well as contemplation and prayer, marked by both seriousness and joyfulness about things other than politics but which nevertheless matter for the political health of the places that God has entrusted to us.