“Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them,

and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

But it shall not be so among you:

but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto,

but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28, KJV)

The word the Athenians used for their Assembly was Ekklesia, the same word used in the New Testament for Church
(and it is the greatest philological irony in all of Western history that this word,
which connoted equal participation in all deliberation by all members,
came to designate a kind of self-perpetuating, self-protective Spartan gerousia -
which would have seemed patent nonsense to Greek-speaking Christians of New Testament times,
who believed themselves to be equal members of their Assembly.)

- Thomas Cahill, Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Thoughts on Selective Compassion

It is interesting that our Metropolitan chose to send us a plea for assistance for an ailing deacon in Waco, Texas who is seriously ill and in need of assistance. The deacon, also a professor at Baylor University, is in fact ill, is undergoing procedures that his insurance may not cover, and is, in fact, deserving of our compassion and concern - no question about it. And we should all help to the degree we can.

However, the concern, admirable though it may be, is highly selective. Our Metropolitan is not interested at all in the fate of other clergy throughout his Metropolis, throughout other Metropolises, throughout this country, throughout all Orthodox jurisdictions, who for one reason or another are not assigned to parishes. As such, they, and by extension their families if they are married, are not receiving regular salaries, do not have pensions, and most ominiously in this day and age, do not have insurance. Some are even forced to live on welfare and food stamps, are taking menial jobs to support themselves and their loved ones, and are suffering from the effects of poverty and illnesses for which they cannot afford any treatment at all.

We at TOCB have been made aware of several such instances throughout this country, and in this Metropolis. So while we should sincerely feel compassion for Deacon Daniel and his family, and we should help them, let us also remember the others whom the Metropolitan failed to mention and who live in misery and illness anonymously, in part due to his and others' indifference to their fate.

For more information please visit the following Web site: Concerned Orthodox Christian Alliance (http://www.concernedorthodox.org/).

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