Forbidden Observances


“Merry Christmas” has become the rallying cry of the jingoism of the (t)Rump pseudo-nationalistic ideology. However, Christmas has not always been popular even among Christians. In 1647, the Puritan-led English Parliament banned the celebration of Christmas, replacing it with a day of fasting and considering it “a popish festival with no biblical justification”, and “a time of wasteful and immoral behavior.” On May 11, 1659, the Massachusetts Bay Colony legislature officially banned Christmas and gave anyone found celebrating it a fine of five shillings

“For preventing disorders arising in several places within this jurisdiction, by reason of some still observing such festivals as were superstitiously kept in other countries, to the great dishonor of God & offense of others, it is therefore ordered … that whosoever shall be found observing any such day as Christmas or the like, either by for-bearing of labor, feasting, or any other way, upon any such account as aforesaid, every such person so offending shall pay for every such offense five shillings, as a fine to the county.”

Cotton Mather, New England’s most influential religious leader, told his flock in 1712 that “the feast of Christ’s nativity is spent in reveling, dicing, carding, masking, and in all licentious liberty…by mad mirth, by long eating, by hard drinking, by lewd gaming, by rude reveling!”

Most Western churches mark Dec. 25 for the liturgical celebration of Christ’s birth though the date is historically unreliable and most likely inaccurate. Many Eastern Orthodox churches mark the incarnation on Epiphany typically the first Sunday in January. Some, who are in the Puritan tradition make no big deal about it. Roman 14:5 tells us “one person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind.” That seems like a wise policy that spares making “much ado about nothing.” Sadly, Trump’s hijacking and distortion of the day to celebrate the wonder of the incarnation is far more damaging than any supposed “war on Christmas.” Slogans may pump up the crowds but it’s not the faith the church has confessed in the words “for us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.”

So then, either way, have a Merry Christmas, an incredible Incarnation, an effulgent Epiphany, and Happy Hanukkah or for any neo-pagans, a Super Saturnalia!


“what a crowd…what a turnout”


“make us gods…”



“friends, Romans, countrymen…”



“blessed are the poor in spirit…”

“government of the people, by the people, for the people…”



“we shall never surrender…”




“the nation is no longer willing to be sucked dry by these parasites…”


mlk“I have a dream…”




“used campaign hats for sale…”

ISIS? Nothing new…


Ignatius Maloyan was an Armenian Catholic Archbishop who was trained in Lebanon, served in Egypt and the Mardin province of the Ottoman Empire. In the summer of 1915, the Vali of Diyarbekir, Reşit Bey, commenced the Armenian Genocide in Mardin. Arrested and In court, the chief of the police Mamdooh Bek ordered bishop Maloyan to convert to Islam; the bishop declined, and was beaten, tortured, chained, and imprisoned.

On 10 June 1915, Ignatius and over 400 other Christians, including fourteen priests, were force marched into the desert. When they stopped, bishop Ignatius celebrated an impromptu liturgy with scraps of bread.  100 of their number were taken by Turkish troops to nearby caves and murdered.

As he watched his priests and faithful massacred in front of him, Mahmdouh Bey, offered to spare the Archbishop’s life if he would convert to Islam. Archbishop Maloyan first vowed loyalty to the Sultan in all purely civil matters, but added, “I’ve told you I shall live and die for the sake of my faith and religion. I take pride in the Cross of my God and Lord.” This enraged Mahmdouh Bey, who ordered the column to depart for a valley about four hours’ distance from Diyarbekir. There, on June 10/11, the remaining 200 deportees were killed and Maloyan was personally executed by Mahmdouh Bey. The local population stripped the clothes from the bodies of the victims, which remained untouched for five hours until they were all collected, doused with petrol, and burned.

In this corner of the world, people of all faiths still suffer from hatred and cruelty.

Hear the prayers of those who abide with you in dangerous times and in dark valleys,

and who die with your name on their lips.

Draw them quickly to your side where they might know eternal peace.


Christos Anesti!


How does Christ’s resurrection benefit us?

First, by his resurrection he has overcome death, so that he could make us share in the righteousness which he had obtained for us by his death.

Second, by his power we too are raised up to a new life.

Third, Christ’s resurrection is to us a sure pledge of our glorious resurrection.

Heidelberg Catechism, 45

There was a time when faith marched together…


“Courage is an inner resolution to go forward despite obstacles; Cowardice is submissive surrender to circumstances. Courage breeds creativity; Cowardice represses fear and is mastered by it. Cowardice asks the question, is it safe? Expediency asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? But conscience ask the question, is it right? And there comes a time when we must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

An Advent Poem


In the darkest night, in the deepest pain, when all seems lost, no hope is found,

God is with us, Emmanuel.

Eternal light, shines forth bright, scatters the darkness around our hearts;

Fills with peace, the space within, his love reaches where none else may.

In midnight field, in nighttime fear, his presence guards our way; 

Not alone, not alone, joined with thousands unseen, joyful song rise again.

In the darkest night, in the deepest pain, when all seems lost, no hope is found,

God is with us, Emmanuel.

The Nightmare Before Christmas…

donald-the-clown (1).jpg

Now that the Electoral College has secured the millennial reign of Comrade Drumpf, he joins the illustrious ranks of those who lost the popular vote –

1824: John Quincy Adams

1876: Rutherford B. Hayes

1888: Benjamin Harrison

2000: George W. Bush

2016: Donald Trump

Comrade Trumpsky lost by around 2, 864,974  million votes.

Its also fitting to recall what Republicans had to say about the Comrade Elect during the election:

  • The most “vulgar person to ever aspire to the presidency.” (M. Rubio)
  • “Utterly amoral.”
  • “This man is a pathological liar. He doesn’t know the difference between truth and lies. He lies practically every word that comes out of his mouth.”
  • “A narcissist at a level that I don’t think this country has ever seen.”
  • “A serial philanderer.” (T. Cruz)
  • “Showtime is over. We are not electing an entertainer-in-chief. Showmanship is fun, but it is not the kind of leadership that will truly change America.”  (C.Christie)

As Will Rogers said, “A fool & his money are soon elected.”

Way to go America.

“…in the long run it is character that counts. “


“For the very reason that in material well-being we have thus abounded, we owe it to the Almighty to show equal progress in moral and spiritual things. With a nation, as with the individuals who make up a nation, material well-being is an indispensable foundation. But the foundation avails nothing by itself. That life is wasted, and worse than wasted, which is spent in piling, heap upon heap, those things which minister merely to the pleasure of the body and to the power that rests only on wealth. Upon material well-being as a foundation must be raised the structure of the lofty life of the spirit, if this Nation is properly to fulfill its great mission and to accomplish all that we so ardently hope and desire. The things of the body are good; the things of the intellect better; the best of all are the things of the soul; for, in the nation as in the individual, in the long run it is character that counts. Let us, therefore, as a people set our faces resolutely against evil, and with broad charity, with kindliness and good-will toward all men, but with unflinching determination to smite down wrong, strive with all the strength that is given us for righteousness in public and in private life.

Now, Therefore, I, Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States, do set apart Thursday, the 26th day of November, next, as a day of general thanksgiving and prayer, and on that day I recommend that the people shall cease from their daily work, and, in their homes or in their churches, meet devoutly to thank the Almighty for the many and great blessings they have received in the past, and to pray that they may be given the strength so to order their lives as to deserve a continuation of these blessings in the future.”

Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States – Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1908

Welcome to the Kakistocracy!

Kakistocracy – (n) – government by the least qualified, most unprincipled citizens, most stupid members
Greek kakistos, worst, superlative of kakos, bad

good news.jpg

    The good news is Billary Inc. lost. The bad news is Trump Inc. won. As George Will has written the 2016 election turned out with a “loser who deserved to lose and a winner who did not deserve to win.” I guess it wasn’t so rigged as Donald thought.
Now we’re expected to let bygones be bygones, sing “Kum ba Yah,” have a group hug and jump in line & goose step with Boss Trump.

Not so fast.
Losing the popular vote with 60,350,241 to 60,981,118 does not a mandate make.

I’m a 50+ year old White male, with 1 wife, 2 cats, 3 kids and 4 guns. Theologically, doctrinally, ecclessiastically I am “evangelical” (euanggelion – good news). But faced with 2 equally miserable choices, candidates who were both morally-challenged, ethically-challenged, and character-challenged, I voted for neither one. There’s little difference between going off a cliff at 35 MPH or 135 MPH except the speed of your own demise. I refused to support either party that has led us to this kakistocracy.


Evangelical supporters say Donald has changed. I’m looking for proof. Genuine change is made up of genuine repentance, contrition and restitution, none of which have been evident in Donald’s behavior or statements since winning. Moral character used to matter to evangelicals – I guess that’s optional now if it’s an election year!
I’m still waiting for his tax returns. I’m waiting for him to apologize to John McCain & the Khan family. I’m waiting for him to ‘fess up about his assault of women.
Guess I’ll be waiting a long time.


What would happen if voters for the defeated party acted like Republicans did when they lost to President Obama? Like John Boehner, offering his plans for the President’s agenda: “We’re going to do everything — and I mean everything we can do — to kill it, stop it, slow it down, whatever we can.” Or the Trumpster himself who called the 2012 election a “total sham and a travesty…. We are not a democracy!” Or like countless bloggers since 2008 have suggested the president’s assassination by putting his face on targets, threatened divine punishment or prayed for his demise and death?
But that would be unseemly.

The Donald has made some big promises. I doubt Trump will be the savior people expect him to be.If he doesn’t follow through those that voted for him may turn on him quickly and viciously.
Peter Hitchens wrote – “Maybe Mr. Trump will turn out to have been kidding us. Maybe he will surround himself with advisers of brilliance and subtlety, who will prove to have mastered the problems of reintroducing protection in a world governed by open borders and increasingly dominated by China. Maybe all that stuff about jailing his opponent was just talk. Maybe, despite all those years of, er, locker-room behavior Mr. Trump will turn out after all to be a Christian gentleman in office upholding the ancient virtues. I do hope so. But forgive me if I decline to be optimistic.”

r genn
I wonder if Donald will survive 4 years without impeachment – it will be due either to his propensity for outrageous behavior, trying to run the executive office like “The Apprentice” instead of as the executive leader of a nation or worse – his thin-skin and low tolerance for critics and opposition point to darker authoritarian possibilities.
I hope I’m wrong . I will pray for our nation. I will pray he genuinely experiences converting grace that is abundant in the fruit of repentance.
I pray the damage from this fiasco will be minimal.


Italians at Sea…


Since according to official Intolerista dogma, it’s no longer ideologically correct to recognize Christopher Columbus Day, here’s to some daring adventurers from Italy that set out in search of far-away lands even if they didn’t always find what they were looking for…

Giovanni Caboto

Odorico Mattiussi 

Giovanni da Verrazzano

Marco Polo

Amerigo Vespucci

and of course Giovanni Mazzarella & Francesco D’Allessandro with out whom yours truly would not be here today.