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July 2015 Final Web

July 2015

Orthodox Christianity

Orthodox Christianity All chapters copyright © 2014 by author N. M., c/o St. George’s Church GREEK ORTHODOX by John Betjeman Inquiries to St. George’s Orthodox Church, Edenton, NC. Telephone 482-2006 To the Reverend T. P. Symonds What did I see when first I went to Greece? Shades of the Sixth across the Peloponnese. Though clear the clean-cut Doric temple shone Still droned the voice of Mr Gidney on; “That hoti? Can we take its meaning here Wholly as interrogative?” Edward Lear, Show me the Greece of wrinkled olive boughs Above red earth; thin goats, instead of cows, Each with its bell; the shallow terraced soil; The stone-built wayside shrine; the yellow oil; The tiled and cross-shaped church, who knows how old Its ashlar walls of honey-coloured gold? Three centuries or ten? Of course, there’ll be The long meander off to find the key. The domed interior swallows up the day. Here, where to light a candle is to pray, The candle flame shows up the almond eyes Of local saints who view with no surprise Their martyrdoms depicted upon walls On which the filtered daylight faintly falls. The flame shows up the cracked paint– sea-green blue And red and gold, with grained wood showing through– Of much-kissed ikons, dating from, perhaps, The fourteenth century. There across the apse, Ikon- and oleograph-adorned, is seen The semblance of an English chancel screen. “With oleographs?” you say. “Oh, what a pity! Surely the diocese has some committee Advising it on taste?” It is not so. Thus vigorously does the old tree grow, By persecution pruned, watered with blood, Its living roots deep in pre-Christian mud, It needs no bureaucratical protection. It is its own perpetual resurrection. Or take the galleon metaphor– it rides Serenely over controversial tides Triumphant to the Port of Heaven, its home, With one sail missing– that’s the Pope’s in Rome. Vicar, I hope it will not be a shock To find this village has no ‘eight o’clock’. Those bells you heard at eight were being rung For matins of a sort but matins sung. Soon will another set of bells begin And all the villagers come crowding in. The painted boats rock empty by the quay Feet crunch on gravel, faintly beats the sea. From the domed church, as from the sky, look down The Pantocrator’s searching eyes of brown, With one serene all-comprehending stare The AT reaches 60k readers each month in printed and social media Ken and learn how. On farmer, fisherman and millionaire 8 Albemarle Tradewinds July 2015

Question of the Month Should the Confederate flag be banned? No other clause of our Constitution has been the subject of such intense, protracted, and downright painful dissection and examination as has the Second Amendment. The natural tendency is to first do so using modern grammar and rules for sentence structure, which has led to some absurd interpretations. Among the scholarly commentators on the subject, there tend to be three generally accepted methods of deciphering its meaning. The first is “nominative absolute”, in which the first clause is justification for the thought contained in the second. Using this model, the first phrase, “A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a Free State” is a pre-condition for the second phrase. This implies that the first clause is the only possible justification for the second. This is the interpretation by those using modern sentence structure, and is the view adopted by those who contend that the Second Amendment protects only the right of the States to have an organized militia, and does not protect an individual right. The flaw in using this method is that A) it assumes that the framers intended to use only a sentence structure popular today, B) It construes the amendment in a vacuum, separated from the rest of the document, and C) It ignores the history previously discussed that gave birth to it. The second method construes the first phrase as a prefatory clause followed by an operative clause. The first phrase is merely an example of why the second phrase is meant. There could be other reasons for it. For example: “A fast boat being necessary to towing water skiers, the right of the people to own speedboats shall not be infringed.” There clearly are other perfectly valid reasons to own a speedboat. This is the interpretation adopted by the Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller. There are other legitimate reasons for the people to be armed, and the right of the people to have arms is not dependent upon membership in a militia. The third method holds that the first clause is explanatory only, and that it bears no relation to the second in terms of being a pre-condition or an example. Therefore the second clause stands on its own and protects the right of the people to bear arms and not just those in an organized “well regulated” militia. This is the least popular view among commentators. All three styles of writing and interpretation were popular at the time of the writing of the Constitution. The second and third styles have fallen into disuse in modern times, which has beguiled the unwary into assuming that the first is the only method of interpretation. The Second Amendment is the only amendment which contains either a prefatory or explanatory clause (depending upon one’s interpretation), which contributes to the confusion. It is a settled legal principle of interpretation to read a potentially ambiguous clause “in pari materia”, or along with the other material on the same subject by the same body, so as to discern the intentions of the enactors of those laws. A corollary is that the law-making body did not intend to contradict itself, so the clauses should be reconciled so as to not do violence to each other’s meaning. When read in pari materia with the Ninth Amendment, the meaning of the Second becomes much clearer. The Ninth Amendment states, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be constructed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”. Previous installments of this article have already established by historical reference that the right to bear arms was an individual English right that preceded the Constitution by centuries. The Second Amendment does not use language which shows a clear intent to limit or restrict those rights to only those in the militia. To say that it does creates a contradiction in what the framers meant. The Second Amendment in no way limits those individual rights, but instead merely gives a guarantee of when they will not be infringed. The Constitution does not create rights. It merely restates and protects them. Given the history of oppression endured by the framers and their forefathers, they felt it was necessary to set forth a specific protection of the right to bear arms; not limit it. Email your thoughts to and we will publish the most interesting ones in our next issue! Last Month’s Question: Should govenor McCrory have vetoed the religious objection bill on gay marriage? Governor McCroy’s decision to veto the religious objection bill is his decision to prioritize the law of man over of the law of God. Upholding the constitution should not require anyone to choose between their God and country and that is exactly what the gay marriage laws have done. However, the problem is NOT the LGBT community. The problem is within the understanding of our own constitutional laws, the ones that separate church from state. If we truly had a “Separation of Church & State”, then this would not be an issue today and here’s why… Marriage is a religious ceremony which should NOT be defined by anyone other than the leaders of that religious community. Why should “we the people” give our government the audacious right to define what is individually sacred? We do not pay for a license to take communion nor register for a permit before baptism, why then should we have to ask our government for permission to hold a religious ceremony of matrimony? The problem is not the definition of marriage, for that has always differed amongst various cultures and religions. The problem is that we have allowed the government to interfere with a very sacred and intimate part of our lives. -Libertarian & States Rights Advocate- Albemarle Tradewinds July 2015 9