Saturday, April 30, 2011

This Day in Willow Glen

I have been enjoying being able to hear again.  Yes, I can hear in one of my ears!  It has been this way since Pascha.  Holy Week was so dim for me but now I hear. I am happy.

Today, Bright Saturday, Anselm Samuel, Basil Wenceslas, and I went downtown.  The people my little neighborhood of Willow Glen call it "downtown", which I think is funny, since San Jose, wherein Willow Glen is located, has a downtown with skyscrapers, hotels, and museums, the RC Cathedral, theaters, etc.  It is about a 1/3 mile length of Licoln Avenue stretching from the bridge over Los Gatos Creek at the north end (where we live) to Willow Glen Elementary School at the shouth end.

We set out, the three of us, by different modes.  I was on foot.  Basil was on his scooter.  Anselm was on his bicycle.  This last I want to talk about a bit.  Anselm rode his bicylce on the street (it is four lanes wide and has much traffic), in the traffic, changing lanes, giving hand signals.  I told him, "you have the right to be on that road.  That is the law.  Just obey the traffic laws and don'to not let the cars intimidate you."  At one point, when a woman passed him and yelled, "Shouldn't you be on the side walk?" he just ignored her and went about his business.  He was afraid of all the cars, he said, but he did what needed to be done.  I am proud of him.

The first place we went was the Bagel store.  I thought it would be wonderful to taste cream cheese on a bagel again, for the first time since before Lent, but I was wrong.  You see, I've been eating paskha on kulich all week.  Cream cheese on a bagel just can't compare.  But it was nice just the same. The boys and I read the paper while eating our bagels.  Anslem read the comics aloud to Basil while I read about the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton that happened yesterday.  At one point one of my Cub Scouts came in.  It was his first time to see me outside of a Cub Scout activity.  He just kept looking at my clothes, like he never thought I might wear something other than a uniform.

When we finished the bagels we went up the street to a toy store named Treehouse in the Glen, to buy some more marbles and chalk.  We played some games while we were there.  Basil beat me at this crazy version of Tic Tac Toe in which you can capture your oponents squares.  It wouldn't have been so bad, but he beat me four times!

After that we went to Basil's favorite store, the Willow Glen Collective.  Its a really neat little shop.  You can buy plates stamped "Made in Occupied Japan", carnival glass, old tobacco tins, bakelite jewelry, art decco lamps...   It's really like a little museum and the stock turns over all the time so there is always new stuff to see.  Today they had in an old apothacary balance.  The boys had a lot of fun with that.  And I think I found a Mother's Day present for my wife!

The next place we stopped was the elementary school.  We drew a chalk circle and played marbles.  We played several games.  Anselm won them all.  Then the boys raced around the school yard on their vehicles for a little while before we left to go home.

We stopped at Starbucks and got iced tea, since it is a warmish day, maybe in the mid-70s.  Well, I got iced tea.  The boys just wanted water.  Then we went a couple of doors down to Hicklebee's, the best childrens bookstore I've ever seen.  We looked around there for a while, but I didn't buy anything.  We have many books at home still that have yet tobe read.

We came home after that, and Anselm oiled his bike chain while Basil rode his scooter for a while longer.  While Basil was riding up and down our street he met our neighber, the one with thelemon tree. He came home with two lemons and I made them into lemonade for him and Anselm.  The key to lemonade is having twice the volume of simple syrup as lemon juice.  I think most people don't like home made lemonade becuse they have more lemon juice than simple syrup.

While I am writing this the boys are eating a late lunch of Manhattan clam chowder and french bread.  Well, Basil isn't.  He says he hates it and wants me to make New England clam chowder instead.  Well, he can go hungry.  I'm not a short order cook.  I'll try to make something he likes for supper.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ron Paul: The New Ronald Reagan?

In 1976 Ronald Reagan ran for President of the United States but lost the Republican nomination to Gerald Ford.  Ford was one of the nicest men to ever serve as President.  He was an Eagle Scout, a war hero who charged below decks to fight a fire after the order to abandon ship had been given, a boxer and a football player, and nobody didn't like him.  (Very impressivley, he's one of three U.S. Presidents about whom there has never even been a roumor of adultery.)

After a hard fought campaign for the nomination of the Republican Party, in a geasture of peacemaking and friendship that I think was genuine, Ford invited his opponent for the nomination to speak to the Convention.  In just a few words, Ronald Reagan pointed out that the future of humanity depended on what that Convention did, and on who America chose to be President.  And the feeling in the auditorium, according to people who were there, even the supporters of Gerald Ford who had worked so hard to defeat Ronald Reagan, knew they had just nominated the wrong man.

Gerald Ford lost the general election and Jimmy Carter presided over a national malaise that lasted until 1981 when Ronald Reagan finally moved into the White House.  Ronald Reagan, who summarized his position on the global communist conspiracy with the words "We win.  They lose." was able to cut through all the verbage politicians like to hide behind.  He identified the Soviet Union as an evil empire.  While in office he wrote and published a book on the national sin of legalized abortion.  He saw threats to life and liberty, and he drew a line in the sand.

But line drawers are not often liked.  They are often hated by people who just want to go along and get along.  But sometimes, after sounding the warning, after staying on message year after year, of not getting distracted, even in the face of electoral defeat a line drawer is elected.  Ronald Reagan was one of those men. Ron Paul is such a man.

Ron Paul, is not a lawyer, which means he is not professionally trained to be mealy-mouthed.  His position on communism in America is known.  He says it is wrong.  His position on abortion is known.  He says it is wrong.  His position on the hubris of elected officials is known.  His postion on fiscal irresponsibility is known.  His position on oppressive taxation is known.  His positions on the federal leviathan, on internationalism, on war for money, and on fiat currecny are known.  He says they are wrong.  He won't have to appoint a commission a month like President Obama does before he can say what he thinks is right.  Why?  Because he is 76 years old and has spent his life doing what is right.

And, like Ronaldus Magnus, he has run for President and lost.  He lost but didn't give up.  In fact, he lost twice but did not give up.  And each time he ran the message of small government, human dignity, fiscal restraint, and individual responsibility become more popular.   Ronald Reagan, an actor from California saved America from malaise in 1981.  It is possible that Ron Paul, an obstetrician from Texas can pull America back from the brink of oblivion in 2013.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Vespers and Matins

I still don't understand why we shift the times on all the services for Holy Week, but it was very conventient for us this year.  Yesterday, Great and Holy Friday, were able to get to Vespers of the Deposition at St. Nicholas Church in Saratoga at 3 p.m. and then drive to San Francisco for Matins of Burial at 7 p.m. at Holy Trinity Cathedral.

This was my first time to go to Vespers on Holy Friday.  It was surprising to see the priest and deacon take the Icon of Jesus down from the cross and wrap it in a shroud.   Sometimes, I think the troparion for this day, "The Noble Joseph" about Joseph of Arimathea burying Jesus is the most beautiful song in the Church.

The noble Joseph, when he had taken down Thy most pure body from the Tree,
wrapped it in fine linen and anointed it with spices, and placed it in a new tomb.

He loved God, and took care of his body, even when it looked like God was dead.  That is faith.  (You can here a sample of the music here.)

Summary of Fr. Basil's homily:  Though Jesus was resting inthe grave on this Most Blessed Sabbath, it was a very active rest. Jesus went to hades and searched out our first Adam and Eve.  Even when the situation looks hopeless, He never gives up on us.

We met our friend Alison at St. Nicholas and gave her a ride up to San Francisco.  I sat in the back seat with the boys, while she and Athanasia sat in the front and talked on the way up.  I couldn't hear most of what they were talking about so I just sat in the back seat thinking about the service we had just expereinced.

When we got to HTC Bishop Benjamin, Archpriest John, Deacon Brendan, and all the choir and altar servers were in the kitchen.  The bishop had made a pot of beans and baked bread for all of them to eat between services.  (He is a very thoughtful pastor.)  We had about 1/2 hour to visit with everyone before the start of Matins.   It was really nice to see old friends again.

I stood by the choir so I could hear the singing of the 118th/119th Psalm, a Psalm that we cant at all funerals.  Because this is Jesus funeral, and because we are Orthodox think the Psalm isn't long enough even though it is the longest Psalm in the Bible, we add extra verses to it.  In between verses of the Psalm we stitch in other verses called praises.  It goes like this:

Verse 1 . Blessed are the blameless in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.
In the tomb they laid you,
you, O Christ, who are Life;
in amazement angel armies lift up their song
as they glorify your self-abasement, Lord.
Verse 2. Blessed are those who search out his testimonies, they will seek for him with their whole heart.
Life, how can you perish,
or how dwell in a tomb?
Yet the royal hall of Death you now bring to nought,
and from Hades’ realm you raise the dead again.
Verse 3. For the workers of iniquity have not walked in his ways.
Now we magnify you, 
O Lord Jesu, our King,
we pay honour to your Passion and burial
for from foul corruption you saved us through them.

But as the Psalm progresses the prases grow shorter...

Verse 174. I long for Thy salvation, 0 Lord, Thy law is my delight.

The mind is affrighted at Thy dread and strange burial.

Vesrse 175. Let me live, that I may praise Thee, and let Thy ordinances help me.

The women with spices came early at dawn to anoint Thee.

Verse 176. I have gone astray like a lost sheep, seek Thy servant, for I do not forget Thy commandments.

By Thy resurrection grant peace to the Church and salvation to Thy people!

I don't know how it is sung by other parsihes, but at Holy Trinity Cathedral the tune for the prasies is dfferent from the tune for the Pslam verses and it is sung at lightning speed.  It can be overwhelming.  I, because of my poor hearing was only able to understand a little of what was being sung.

Singing the Praises was, next to Bishop Benjamin's short homily at the end, my favorite part of the service.

Oh, Wait!  How can I say that?  There was the Canon.  I won't relate the whole thing here because most of you already know it and will hear it again tonight, just before the Paschal Liturgy begins but WOW! what an ending?!

Let the creation rejoice excedingly, let all those born on earth be glad: 
     for hell, the enemy, has been despoiled.  
Ye women, come to me and meet me with sweet spices: 
    for I am delivering Adam and Eve with all their offspring, and on the third day I shall rise again. (The last little bit of the Ninth Ode of the Canon for Holy Saturday).

I know, I'm silly, and on Pascha I'll say the Paschal Canon is my favorite, but the few lines of the Canon for Holy Saturday I was able to hear (You might have read that I've lost quite a bit of my ability to hear.) were amazingly beautiful and right now that Canon is my favorite.

Then there was the procession.  That is Basil Wenceslas' favorite part of any service.  I don't really understand what a lot of processions are for.  I guess, the one on Pascha is in rememberance of the Myrrh Bearing women, but I don't really know.  I should look it up.

Except for a little bit of the Gospel I couldn't understand any of the Bible readings.  

Today we didn't go to liturgy.  The boys, Anselm and Basil are at a Giants game with their uncle and aunt. (I think it's hat day.)   Athanasia is making kulich. It's on the second rise right now.  I got some carrots a dill in the CSA box.  I think I'll pickle them before I have to get ready to go to Paschal Matins and Liturgy tonight.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Biggest Christmas Ever: Chapter 1 (draft 1)

You might want to read the Prologue before you read what is below.

Chapter 1
In which a decision is made.

 All Spring and into the Summer Claudia had been reading Christmas books.  Max and Leslie liked to had teased her about how she had become a library nerd, bringing home arm loads of books that hadn't been checked out by anyone in years and years, but she just went into her hiding place in the rafters of the garage and read.  Then one evening in the middle of July, at the dinner table Claudia, trying hard to sound casaul and not as nervous as she really was,said  "Hey, this year let's have a more Traditional Christmas."

“A more traditional Christmas?”, their mother asked with her eyebrows raised?

“Yeah, with caroling and a real Christmas dinner, and 12 days, and church…

“A real Christmas dinner?”, querried Ben, who’s favorite food was fried chicken.

“12 Days!” Interjected Dad who hated taking time off from work.

“Church?” questioned Mom who always made fun of people who went to church.

“Um…yeah", Claudia answered hesitantly.  "I think it would be good to do it at least once in our life – to have a full Advent and Christmas experience." 

Dad said, “No, Claudia, that won’t work.  If we do a traditional Christmas your Uncle Raul and Aunt Piper can’t be with us because they always go to his parent’s house for December 25.”

Claudia took a deep breath.  She had never argued with her father before, but this was so important to her that she decided to press on. “But that’s okay, Dad, because if we do Christmas like this there are lots and lots of days to get together with people.  We’ll probably see Uncle Raul and Aunt Piper more this year because we do it the traditional way than if we do it the way we always do.”

“And that’s a good thing?” Said Ben sarcastically.

“Yes, it is,” said said Mom, who couldn't stand her children being sarcastic.

Up to this point Max had sat silently, eating his spaghetti listening to Claudia talk about Christmas.  He hadn’t thought about Christmas in months, and he wasn’t too excited about talking about it in the middle of summer.  After dinner there would be two more hours of light and he wanted to go play basketball with his friends.  But as they kept talking he began to get more excited about the prospect of a big huge Christmas that lasted for twelve days.  And he said, “I think we should do it.  It will be like the Christmases we see on TV or in books. And besides, I like singing.  And Bill from school said he and his family went caroling and people gave them hot chocolate and apple cider.”

“We are not caroling,” said Ben who hated being seen in public with anyone from his family.

Claudia was thrilled by Max’s support and began to think Mom and Dad might go for it.  But then Mom said, “What do you think, Honey?” and Claudia knew it was all but settled.  She only ever asked that question when she wanted Dad to do something she wanted.

“I think it will be expensive and time consuming”, Said Dad, resigned to the idea. “And besides that, how are we going to do Christmas for Twelve Days, when all the presents are opened on one morning.

Claudia, jupmped up and ran around the table to hug her Dad, “You’ll see.  There will be so much to do you’ll think 52 days isn’t enough to hold it all!”

Leslie,  Max’s twin sister, who had been listening but was too hungry after Softball practice to interrupt eating to talk, was shocked by that, “Fifty-two days?  I thought we were talking about twelve!”

Max answered, “I think the Advent thing she mentioned is before the Twelve Days of Christmas.  Is that right?”

“That’s Right!, answered Claudia excitedly. “You’ll see, doing it the old fashioned way will be amazing fun! First there are forty days of Advent, then 12 days of Christmas.” 

“Why don’t we just do the Christmas part this year and leave off the Advent part?  You know, just see how it goes this year, and if we like it we can add Advent next year.  Just ease into it”, Ben suggested reasonably.

“That makes sense to me”, Max agreed.

“We could do that, but part of Advent is getting ready for Christmas.  And if we wait till next year, Ben will be in college.  He won’t even be here.  I really really want all of us to do this together, just one time.  Please”, Claudia begged her Dad.

Dad was silent for a minute.  Took the last bight of his last meatball, swallowed it and said, “Okay.  All 52 days.  We’ll do it.  Just this one time.”

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Four Weddings and a Funeral

Do you remember that movie from about 20 years ago, the one with Hugh Grant and that heartbreaking poem?  Well, this has almost nothing to do with that.  (You should watch these in order.)

Come Forth!

One of the best wedding homilies I've heard.

Sad because it's real.

Hillarious because it's just pretend.

When I lived in S.F. I heard them lead funeral processions past my window all the time.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Catching up

The last few months have been hard.  I've been sick.  I haven't sold much at work since Christmas. And worst of all, my hearing has gotten so bad from the illness (Doctors think it was just exhaustion and flu) that haven't been able to work much at all in March and April.  My job is 100% telephone dependent, and if I can't hear I can't work.

Needless to say, I am worried about money.  Probably going to have to crack open the IRA.  Athanasia is looking at the budget tomorrow and will let me know if I need to call the broker. Thankfully, the value of the IRA has grown dramatically in the last two years (oil and silver ETFs, and undervalued stocks.  I'm long on National Grid, if you are interested.), so there is money to take out.  Too bad about the early withdrawl penalties.

I don't know if I mentioned that I dropped out of grad school.  I did.  I was just spread too thin.  Between illness, work, Cub Scouts (more on that below), the kids school.  I feel kind of bad about it since I had finished half the program and had an A average.  But as I said, I was spread too thin.

Last week Anselm and I, and the rest of the Cub Scout Pack spent the night on the retired air craft carrier, the U.S.S. Hornet, known the the Imperial Japanese Navy as the Gray Ghost. It was an amazing time.  One of the engine crew from the 1960s was a docent.  He and Alnselm hit it off and Anselm got the tour to end all tours of the engine room.  It was really neat.  The old chief and my son were crawling through tight spaces, looking at ball bearings the size of pumpkins, turning wheels, talking to each other through those horn things.  The kids were kept busy busy busy.  Just before lights out one of the docents told ghost stories.  Some people think the ship is haunted and this crew member told what he saw and what others have told him.  When it was over I asked Anselm, "Are you scared?"  With utter contempt for the idea he said, "of dead people?"  It was as though I had asked him the stupidist question ever.

Anslem has been working up a storm to get Cub Scout stuff done before summer.  He has officially completed all the requirements for bear rank and will be promoted tomorrow night at the Pack meeting.  He completed all the training through the Red Cross to earn the Boy Scouts of America Emergency Preparedness Pin, too.  At first I didn't know it was that big of a deal.  But Athanasia, who is a Red Cross emergency responder, went though the Basic Aid Training with him and told me that the pin is a license from the Red Cross to assist in disaster and emergency relief.  I'll have to buy him a hard had and a good flash light now.  He'll recieve that pin tomorrow night, too.

Today after Church, Anselm and his mother made paper mache masks.  It was the 50th and final elective activity he had to do to earn all the Arrow Points he said he wanted to earn.  Last year he earned 1 gold and 3 silver.  He said he wanted one more this year, so he has been busy doing wood crafts (he made his own tool box), looking up information on planets and giving reports on them, collecting coins, learing about maps, and a whole buch of other things.  So, with todays paper mache mask making he met his personal goal.

We visted the Sacramento Valley a few days ago.  My wife was interviewd for a position at the University of California, Davis.  She doesn't think she'll get the job because they have a strong internal candidate but it was a fun little trip.  We listend to Kenneth Brannagh's ex-wife reading Nanny McPhee all the way there and back.  The family was very kind and played it VERY loud so I could hear it too.  While Athanasia was at her 5 hour long interview the boys and I investigated the little town of Davis.  We spent a couple of hours at Central Park, where I took a nap on a bench and the boys played with some other kids.

The park has a really neat garden.  It is designed to inspire the local population into doing one of several kinds of gardens.  My fave part, and the boys favorite part, too, was the section devoted to plants that attract beneficial insects.  It was buzzing with lady bugs, bumble bees, honey bees, praying mantises, etc.  One thing I thought was especially neat is that the gardeners left one aphid infested fava bean plant right in the middle of the garden.  I asked one f them about it and she said, "have you ever tried to keep lady bugs in a garden when there are no aphds for them to eat?"  Well, I had.  So I knew exactly what she was talking about.  She said that one plant keeps so many lady bugs in the garden that aphids can't get a start on any other plants.  I looked and she was telling the truth.  The infested plant was covered in black aphids (being gobbled up by voracious lady bugs) but I didn't see one aphid on any other plants, not even the plants nearest the infested plant had aphids.

Another neat part of the garden was full of plants that attract bees and humming birds.  I think that might have been my favorite part of the garden (I love bees and humming birds) but for the littlest part of the garden where all of the grain crops grown in the Valley had been planted.  Corn, several varieties of wheat, rice, oats, and rye all growing together in a multi-colored plot of grouned no more than 25 feet square.  It was beautiful.

Since I've lost my hearing and don't know when or if I'll get it back (I see a ear specialist on Tuesday, and will recive the mystery of Holy Unction on Wednsday, so who knows?)  I've been applying for jobs that don't require hearing as much as my current job.  Lots of them are out there: Material handler, tool room clerk, copywriter, etc.  Later this week I'll apply to become an apprentice electrician.  I'm looking at a machinist training program, too.

Basil is pretty excited about something.  The Pack meeting this week will be the last time he wears his "Little Scout Buddy" shirt and hat.  Then, at the May Pack meeting he will wear a real Cub Scout uniform.  It is almost all he can talk about.  He asked me, "When i get my uniform can I start earning beltloops like Anslem?"  I said, "Yep.  In fact, would you like to earn one right now?"  And we spent a couple of hours with the chess board.  By the time we were though he had completed all the requirements for the chess Belt Loop.  He was very happy and excited.  I just can't believe how fast my little boys are growing up.

Yesterday, Lazarus Saturday, we went up to San Francisco and ate caviar with my God daughters and their parents.  It is an anual tradition and much much fun.  Of course, we also drank ENORMOUS AMOUNTS of champagne and vodka.  Hours with them seem like mere minutes.  It was a welcome respite from the challenges of life and Lent.  Today, Palm Sunday, Athanasia did not wake me up for church.  She thought she was being nice, assuming I would have a hangover, but I didn't.  I think I woke up just as she and the boys were driving off to the service.  I was sad to miss Palm Sunday, but as it turns out, I probabaly would not have enjoyed it had I gone.  What do I mean?  Well, tonight I went to Bridegroom Matins but could hear nothing.  If it hadn't been for people crossing themselves I don't think I would have recognized the "Glory to the...".  I stuck around for a little while, but I couldn't hear anything and I became to distracted by worry for my hearing. So I  just came home.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

The Double-Breasted Jacket

The allure of the double-breasted jacket is that it has always had an unaccountable dash and romantic aura about it. It possesses an undeniable jauntiness, which is the reason dandies have always favoured it. Victoria's consort, Prince Albert, gave his interest and his name to a version: a short-waisted, double-breasted frock coat that he was particularly fond of wearing (although it must be admitted that Albert, clothes-horse that he was, was fond of wearing everything from bright tweed knickers to suits of armour). And the Edwardian dandies--Max Beerbohm, Oscar Wilde, and of course Edward VII himself--were addicted to their double-breasted velvet smoking jackets, broadcloth morning suits, worsted barathea frock coats, and even boldly checked double-breasted tweed lounge suits--often worn with matching tweed spats and golf cap.

However, the great age of the double-breasted suit did not arrive until the 1930s, when the sartorially resplendent likes of the then Prince of Wales, Louis Mountbatten, Fred Astaire, Douglas Fairbanks, Cary Grant, and Jimmy Walker took it as their uniform. Whether in sporty brown glenurquhart plaid, chalk-striped oxford-grey flannel, or the dressier navy worsted, the double-breasted suit with its long-roll, low-buttoned peak lapels, full shoulder and chest, and bladed back made every man an elegant boulevardier. The English-cut double-breasted "blade" suit, perhaps better than any other masculine garment, defined the years between the wars.

- G. Bruce Boyer, Elegance (1985)

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Hair cuts and roly-poly bugs

Basil (age 5), Anselm (age 9) and I are, more or less, deaf from the illnesses of the the past few months.  The doctors say our hearing will return to normal in a few weeks or months, but for the time being, "WHAT?" is oft heard in our house.  All the neighbors must hate us for yelling at each other when we talk.

Today the boys and I walked up the the barbershop and they each got haircuts.  At first, after consulting the "Official Hair Styles for Men and Boys" they both wanted the "Flat top with fenders".  But at the last oment they went with the "Professional".  They both look like a million bucks.

We walked by the dry cleaner and I picked up my clothes.  And then we walked home.  It's nice to live within walking distance of places we like to go.  Just a few days ago we walked to the ice cream parlor for rainbow sherbet.  I hadn't tasted rainbow sherbet for many years.  In fact, I remember the last place I had it before this week..  It was at Swensen's in Sonora.  I was with my parents.  I was 9.  34 years later rainbow sherbet tastes the same as it did then, which is not at all like a rainbow.

Anselm built a tool box out of wood today.  He joined the pieces together with hot glue and nails.  He painted it black and says as soon as the black paint is dry he'll paint his name on it in red.  It is a project for Cub Scouts.  While Anselm was doing that Basil was collecting roly-poly bugs.  Then the two of them built a house for the roly-poly bugs out of moss and twigs.  Basil calls them his pets.

The Patriarch of Constantinople and Abortion

There are two U.S. Senators who like to say they are Orthodox Christians.  One of them was even honored by the Patriarch of Constantinople.  Yet both of them are pro-aborts.  Their public statements and their voting records do not comport with the teaching of the Church Fathers, to wit:
Letter to Diognetus(describing Christians) "They marry, as do all others; they beget children but they do not destroy their offspring".
The Didache"You shall not slay the child by abortions."
Letter of St. Barnabus"You shall not destroy your conceptions before they are brought forth; nor kill them after they are born."
Letter of St. Clement"Those who use abortifacients commit homicide."
From St. Basil the Great"The woman who purposely destroys her unborn child is guilty of murder. The hair-splitting difference between formed and unformed makes no difference to us."
From St. Augustine"Sometimes their sadistic licentiousness goes so far that they procure poison to produce infertility, and when this is of no avail, they find one means or another to destroy the unborn and flush it from the mother’s womb. For they desire to see their offspring perish before it is alive or, if it has already been granted life, they seek to kill it within the mother’s body before it is born."
From St. John Chrysostom"Why do you sow where the field is eager to destroy the fruit? Where there are medicines of sterility? Where there is murder before birth? You do not even let a harlot remain only a harlot, but you make her a murderess as well. Indeed, it is something worse than murder and I do not know what to call it; for she does not kill what is formed but prevents its formation. What then? Do you condemn the gifts of God, and fight with His laws? What is a curse you seek as though it were a blessing. Do you make the anteroom of slaughter? Do you teach the women who are given to you for a procreation of offspring to perpetuate killing?"

So how do these two Orthodox Christian Senators flout the Tradition of the Church? I don't think I fault them as much as I fault their bishops, especially the Patriarch of Constantinople who seems to care more about a tree being cut down than about a child being killed.  Has ever writien an encyclical that can be thought of defending the unborn from abortion?  If he has there is no link to it on his website.  But he did write a book.  In that book he says:

"I also encounter many and diverse issues related to the sanctity of life from birth through death. Those issues range from sensitive matters of sexuality to highly controversial questions like the death penalty. In all such social and moral issues, it is not one or another position that the Orthodox Church seeks to promote in a defensive spirit. Indeed, we would normally refrain from expounding a single rigidly defined dogma on social and moral challenges. Rather, it is the sacredness of the human person, created in the image and likeness of God, that the Church at all times seeks to underline."

Wow.  He actually said that in moral issues the Orthodox Church doesn't take one or another position.   Can you believe that?  Well, thank God we do not depend on the bishops to lead us to Heaven, for if we followed Patriarch Bartholomew, the most senior of all the bishops, we might not make it.  Rather, we follow the Holy Spirit who has spoken though the mouths and pens of His Saints.  He has told us what position to promote: The positian that abortion is wrong. Always.  What part of "You shall not slay the child by abortions"  does the Patriarch not understand?  Does he really think there is room for equivication in there?  Is the language too difficult for him?  Does he need a dictionary?

And in the July 20, 1990 San Francisco Chronicle he is reported as having said this...

"We are not allowed to enter the bedrooms of the Christian couples. We cannot generalize. There are many reasons for a couple to go toward abortion."

No.  That is wrong.  That is not the Gospel.  It is Satan.

He should repent or be deposed.