Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

President Obama Visited Damaged Malankara Orthodox Church on Staten Island: “He Spoke to Us as If He Knew Us for a Long Time”

This is the damage to the present building of the parish… there’s a link below for the parish… click on it, and there are directions on how you can contribute to them. Send ‘em a fin or two… repairs ain’t cheap and money doesn’t grow on trees.

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When US President Barack Obama visited Staten Island on 15 November, the New York City borough devastated by Hurricane Sandy, he met with members of St George Malankara Orthodox Church, which suffered moderate damage. Sunny Konniyoor, a member of the church, told India Abroad, “We didn’t expect to meet the President. We stood near the church, hoping to see the President going that way. Instead of driving through, Obama walked in the New Dorp Beach neighbourhood, inspecting damage and interacting with residents. Only those who live in the area can remain there. Konniyoor said, “Since we’re members of the church, the Secret Service allowed us to stand near the church”.

When the President saw the group, which included Vicar Fr Alex Joy, Dr Skaria Oommen, Konniyoor, and his son Martin, he walked towards them. Martin, an accountant, congratulated Obama on his election victory. The president inquired about his work. The team described to the President the extent of damage to the church, which was the first Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church building in North America. The church didn’t have flood insurance. They didn’t expect much help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Konniyoor, an Obama supporter, said, “He spoke to us as if he knew us for a long time”.

The President suggested they take a photograph. A state lawmaker took a camera from Martin and clicked a photograph. New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, US Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and several top officials accompanied Obama. After walking down a block that had been all-but-demolished in the storm, Obama said, “We’re reminded that we’re bound together and have to look out for each other. We’re going to have to put some of the turf battles aside. We’re going to have to make sure everybody’s focused on doing the job, as opposed to worrying about who’s getting the credit, or, who’s getting the contracts, and all that stuff that sometimes goes into the rebuilding process”. Of 43 deaths attributed to the storm in New York City, 23 were on Staten Island.

29 November 2012 (IST)

Rediff News

http://www.rediff.com/news/report/he-spoke-to-us-as-if-he-knew-us-for-a-long-time/20121129.htm

Editor’s Note:

You hear much bloody noise from Paffhausen, Dahulich, Reardon, Freddie M-G, Dreher, and Mattingly about how the Church is allied to “conservative” rightwing politics. Nothing could be further from the truth. The majority of real ethnic Orthodox (and converts in real parishes, as opposed to konvertsy conventicles) voted for the President. Don’t forget, ethnic Orthodox votes put the President over the top in the Valley. Real Orthodox came home… as for the loudmouthed konvertsy, they lie… there’s no kinder way of expressing it. St Aleksei Toth blessed the Wobblies… not the greedy bosses. HH blessed Hugo Chávez Frías… not the warmongering Republican Party.

Get with the programme…

BMD

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