A religious leader from Michigan… Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Nicholas Pissaris of Detroit… is to deliver the opening invocation tonight at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte NC. Metropolitan Nicholas, 59, told the Free Press after landing in Charlotte today, “It’s an honour. It’s a unique privilege… to me, this is part of the American dream”. Nicholas, who heads the Greek Orthodox diocese in Michigan, said he’s politically independent and supports bringing people together. Scheduled for 17.00 EDT (14.00 PDT 22.00 UTC 01.00 5 September MSK 07.00 5 September EADT), he noted that his invocation tonight will be for all backgrounds, regions and faiths, not just Orthodox Christians, saying, “Coming from a Greek background, I learned (from the ancient Greeks) that man is a political animal. Good politics brings people together. Bad politics is divisive. We have to bring people together. I’m here to offer a prayer on behalf of everyone, not just Orthodox”.
The national head of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Archbishop Dimitrios Trakatellis, was initially asked to deliver the invocation at the Democratic convention. However, he turned it down in order to be fair because he had also been asked to deliver an invocation at the Republican National Convention last week. Dimitrios had a meeting in Turkey at the same time of the GOP convention and so was unable to make it. In his place, Metropolitan Methodios Tournas of Boston spoke at the Republican convention. After consulting with Democratic leaders, Dimitrios decided to name the head of the Greek Orthodox Church in Detroit to speak in his place. Metropolitan Nicholas observed, “It had to be someone of equal rank” to the Boston metropolitan. At the Republican convention, Catholic, Evangelical, and Sikh leaders delivered invocations and benedictions. Religion was a contentious issue during the presidential campaign this year. Nevertheless, Metropolitan Nicholas said his talk wouldn’t take political sides, stating, “I’m not here to enter a political fray. I’m here to ask God to be present to help us do what is noble and just”.
4 September 2012
Detroit Free Press
One of the things that bothers me about the rightwing konvertsy is their obsession with the anti-abortion question to the exclusion of all else. As a friend of mine put it:
If the GOP is so pro-life, why does it eviscerate all social programmes that offer a woman the ability to choose life over abortion? Why do they oppose the Living Wage, which has greatly reduced “welfare dynasties” in Europe by actually and justly rewarding hard and menial work?
I agree wholeheartedly with the above. It’s why I’m voting for the Democratic ticket this November. There are three reasons:
- The Republican programme is objectively evil. The ideology of the New GOP is based on greed and an atavistic Social Darwinism that’s utterly at odds with our professions as Christians. In addition, the Republican ideology of perpetual warfare in foreign parts and torture of “suspected terrorists” at foreign black sites is odious and without defence.
- Mittens is a liar and coward. Mr Romney refused to serve in the forces in a time of war… he hid in France as a Mormon “missionary” using a bogus “clergy deferment”. Besides that, he remains a Mormon “bishop”, which goes against the separation of Church and State. To top it all, he hides his money in overseas tax havens, increasing the tax burden on the rest of us. Mittens refused to serve… Mittens refuses to resign as a Mormon “bishop”… Mittens hides his money in foreign tax shelters… Mittens refuses to divulge his tax records… we should refuse to vote for such an amoral and self-centred creep.
- The Republicans advocate “class warfare” against all wage-earning people. To be blunt, the slack in Treasury revenue caused by overgenerous tax cuts to the Affluent Effluent has to be paid for by someone. That someone is us. Since 1981, so-called “conservatives” have waged “class war” whilst accusing the Left of doing so… the richest Five Percent have 275 percent of their real adjusted 1980 income… the “rest of us” have 85 percent of our 1980 income in real terms. THAT’S “class warfare” of the most blatant and toxic sort.
There are rightwing konvertsy in the Church who want to ally us with the warmongering Republican anti-life crowd… I’ll say this, “I’ll see you on the other side of the barricades. I’ll use all of my God-given talents to fight you and your wicked ideology”.
God do help us all.