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Albemarle Tradewinds January 2016 Final5

January 2016


ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY SANTA CLAUS AND THE FIST OF ORTHODOXY Little known to most Americans is the man we so closely associate with Christmas, Sinterklaas or Sint-Nicolaas in the original Dutch—Santa Claus to us—in fact the historical St. Nicholas of Myra. Sadly, St. Nicholas’s significance and holy life have been obfuscated in this country in the service of Consumerism. Rendered here “a right jolly old elf,” red-suited and rotund, swilling Coca-Cola and Ho-Ho-Ho-ing down our chimneys, few, indeed, can speak knowledgably of this man’s importance to Christian theology, of the devotion rightly accorded him in the East, or of the miracles associated with him. While many details of his life cannot be definitively established, Nicholas was certainly an historical bishop of ascetical life, vast generosity, and courage; and the veneration of his saintly life began very soon after his death. Nicholas was born about the year 270 AD in Asia Minor (now Turkey), in the port city of Patara. At that time, Asia Minor was still culturally and ethnically Greek, and politically part of the Roman diocese of Asia. Nicholas was orphaned at an early age and was raised by an uncle (of the same name), who was bishop of Patara. When Nicholas came of age, his uncle tonsured him a reader and later a priest. Nicholas was imprisoned during the Diocletian persecutions; he was released upon the accession of the Emperor Constantine. From 312-315, Nicholas resided in the Holy Land, in a monastery that had been established by a group of monks from Anatolia, in some caves on the mountain overlooking Bethlehem. An Orthodox church is now located on the site of his cave. While in the Holy Land, Nicholas went as a pilgrim to Bethlehem, Golgotha, and the Holy Sepulcher. A text written in his hand is still in possession of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem. Saint Nicholas Saves Three Innocents from Death (oil painting by Ilya Repin, 1888, State Russian Museum). In 317, soon after his return to Asia Minor, Nicholas was consecrated bishop of Myra. A staunch opponent of the heretical teachings of Arius, a bishop of Egypt, Nicholas is said to have attended, along with many other bishops, the First Ecumenical Council, held in the city of Nicea in 325. The principal purpose of the council was to consider the teachings of Arius, which were at that time dividing Christianity and the Empire. It is out of an incident said to have occurred at this council that the unofficial title, “Fist of Orthodoxy,” rests upon Nicholas. Acutely distressed at the grave risk to souls posed by Arius’s novel Christology, the quick-hearted Nicholas, in a moment of anguish, punched Arius in the face, knocking him to the ground. For this act Nicholas was, for a time, divested of his bishopric; though that was later restored. The council rejected the teachings of Arius. The other great achievement of this council was the articulation of the fundamental Christian beliefs, in what is now called the Nicene Creed. The Nicene Creed is, since that time, recited in all Orthodox Divine Liturgies. NEXT MONTH: WEEPING BONES, HERESIES, AND THE MEANING OF THE INCARNATION All chapters copyright © 2015 by author Nick Martone, c/o St. George’s Church P.O. Box 38, Edenton, NC. Inquiries to: St. George’s Orthodox Church, Edenton, NC. Telephone 482-2006 8 Albemarle Tradewinds December 2015

Virginia and Concealed Carry By: Joe Forbes By now, most of you have heard of the decision by the Attorney General and Governor of Virginia to no longer extend reciprocity to concealed carry permit holders from 25 states, including North Carolina. Effective February 1, NC permits will be invalid there, and we will have to conduct ourselves as if we have no permit. The purpose of this article is not to discuss the politics behind the decision, but rather what we can do to protect ourselves while visiting Virginia, and not run afoul of the law until that law is (hopefully) changed. The Virginia Citizens Defense League is offering several ideas: Open Carry, Carry Within a Vehicle In a “Container”, and Obtaining a Permit Recognized in Virginia. I’m not a fan of open carry. Yes, it may be lawful. Yes, it may be exercising your right. But it’s also advertising that you are armed. In our part of the country, seeing a gun on the hip of someone other than a uniformed police officer while in a store, etc is an unusual sight. I confess that even I step back and perform a quick assessment of the carrier whenever I turn the corner in the grocery store and unexpectedly confront a pistol on someone’s hip. Even worse, there are lots of people who react downright negatively at the sight of a weapon. It only takes one Nervous Nellie to overreact and call the police. Then, you get to play 50 questions with a cop who doesn’t know you, doesn’t know your intentions, and may or may not like the idea of you having a weapon. Also, what if you inadvertently walk into a place where guns are prohibited? You have just convicted yourself. In Virginia, you can carry a loaded gun within the passenger area of a vehicle, as long as it is within a “container”. It does not have to be a locked container. What constitutes a container? The glove compartment, the center console, etc. Anything with a lid and a latch. A Virginia attorney tells me that a purse does NOT qualify. If you are stopped by the police, the best policy would be to calmly tell the officer that you have a weapon and where it is without removing your hands from the steering wheel. But once you leave the vehicle, you can no longer conceal it. (WARNING: North Carolina has no such provision in the law. If you don’t have a ccw permit in NC, you cannot legally carry a gun, loaded or unloaded, within the passenger compartment in such a container, as the weapon is “on or about” your person.) The last option is to obtain a permit recognized in Virginia. Virginia and several other states issue non-resident ccw permits. You can start the Va process online. You can obtain a Utah permit (still recognized by Va) at any gun show in the Tidewater area--look for the trailer. The VCDL recommends that you obtain the Utah permit, as it is widely recognized by other states, and is not subject to having its reciprocity denied in retaliation for Virginia’s ill-conceived revocation. We are located in downtown Elizabeth City. Our mission is to make using tobacco a thing of the past! Come by The Vapor Station every Saturday to receive 10% off Seduce Juice when you mention this ad. Incidentally, I don’t support the proposed retaliatory boycott of Virginia businesses. The business owners likely had nothing to do with the decision. But they need to know that the decision is hurting them. I regularly go to Tidewater for the wide variety of restaurants. In Ghent or downtown Norfolk, it is not unusual to have to park 1-2 blocks away. If I don’t go to a place because I don’t feel safe after dark without being armed, I intend to respectfully let the owner know that Virginia’s decision to disarm me is taking money out of his pocket. If that owner gets just 10 such letters a month, every month, it will get his attention, and he will be on the phone to his representative. Albemarle Tradewinds December 2015 9