kathrynjudson

Archive for February, 2009|Monthly archive page

European Court of Human Rights comes down…

In Uncategorized on February 11, 2009 at 6:17 pm

… on the side of religious freedom in Bulgaria. (Should I have warned you to sit down before reading that?)

The ADF press release linked above reads:

STRASBOURG, France — A dissenting synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church that had its legal personality stripped and its property seized by the socialist government of Bulgaria has won a decisive victory at the European Court of Human Rights. Alliance Defense Fund allied attorney Latcho Popov argued that the Bulgarian government violated the European Convention of Human Rights in its treatment of the synod.

“The church should remain free of government coercion and control,” said ADF Legal Counsel Roger Kiska, who performed most of the work on the case while serving at the European Centre for Law and Justice before recently joining ADF. “The Bulgarian government vastly overstepped its bounds in stripping the synod of its legal identity, seizing its property, and handing it over to a synod of which the government approves. We are pleased with the ruling of the ECHR, which respects the alternative synod’s freedom and independence.”|

“This victory is crucial for the American church as well,” explained ADF Chief Counsel Benjamin Bull. “Bad precedents set in other parts of the world too often find their way here. A positive decision this significant underscores the vital importance of the church operating independently of state coercion and control. When the church is not free and independent, uncompromised teaching is replaced by whatever ‘politically correct’ messages the government wants.”

Kiska explained that many governments throughout history have used the church to gain power by suppressing the free exercise of denominations that compete with a state-sanctioned church that provides very little, if any, criticism of the government.

More than 80 percent of Bulgarians identify themselves as Bulgarian Orthodox. Fifteen years ago, about 40 percent dissented from the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and its leader Patriarch Maxim, arguing that he was not validly elected under BOC canon law and that he was aligned too closely with the communist regime. They elected there [sic] own leadership and built a number of their own churches.

Five years ago, the new socialist-dominated government passed a law on religions that effectively stripped the dissenting synod of their legal personality and access to the legal system. The Bulgarian chief prosecutor issued a warrant demanding that all the synod’s properties be confiscated. In one evening, more than 100 churches were confiscated. They were kept under police control and eventually given to the state-approved Synod of Maxim.

Popov, director of the Rule of Law Institute, then filed an application to the ECHR on behalf of the dissenting synod, and the court ruled strongly in favor of the church’s religious freedom. Settlement negotiations in light of the court’s ruling are currently in progress.

Ex-liberal pacifist gets a gun

In Uncategorized on February 7, 2009 at 5:54 pm

Barbara Curtis has an encore presentation of an article she wrote back in 2000, when threats against gun ownership prompted her to get a gun.

“Life: Imagine the Potential” video

In Uncategorized on February 7, 2009 at 3:48 pm

The folks at CatholicVote.com have my thanks for making this ad.

As of post time, it’s had 1,447,445 views at YouTube.

hat tip: The CatholicVote.com blog

(Cross-posted at Ladies for Life and Suitable For Mixed Company.)

Partisan press? Really?

In Uncategorized on February 7, 2009 at 2:42 pm

Look. There have been all sorts of national leaders throughout history, but none of them perfect. Some good administrators were clumsy, or crude, or lousy public speakers, or otherwise annoying or easy to caricature. I wish we’d, as a culture, get over the idea that our elected officials must do double duty as leading-men-of-classy-films-without-the-benefit-of-retakes. Being a member of the loyal opposition, I don’t care if Mr. Obama sometimes falters in a speech, or now and then takes a wrong turn heading to his office. I do mind if the press blames his distracted behavior on the Republicans, for not agreeing with him.

Uhm. He’s a grown man. He’s been in politics for a while. He’s been in the very mean politics of Chicago, for pity’s sake. Treating him like a kid whose parents just sent him to a new school where he doesn’t have friends yet just doesn’t strike me as all that useful. Telling, yes. Useful, no.

Back in the saddle (almost)

In Uncategorized on February 5, 2009 at 4:15 pm

My computer crashed back there in December, so I took an unscheduled blog break. Since we don’t have television, I wasn’t even getting slanted news for much of that time, so I am coming back refreshed – I did need a break, more than I knew – but broadly ignorant of current events, except for what I got second-hand from people who were following the news. I plan to spend more time reading than blogging for a bit, while I get back up to speed, but I hope to be back soon to adding my two bits on a regular basis, now that the computer is off the repair bench.