Image via WikipediaJohn Couretas at the American Orthodox Institute blog (a most excellent blog, might I add--do take a look at it!) raises the question of Orthodox Christian witness in the political realm:
When a recent coffee hour conversation turned, unexpectedly, to politics and what if anything the Church has to say about public issues and then all of the “God talk” in the current presidential contest, a friend said, “Oh, that’s politics. The Orthodox Church shouldn’t get involved in politics. Nothing good can come of it.”
Well, yes and no.He continues by explaining that "If we’re talking about partisan politics then yes, of course, the Church must stay out of it. The Church was not founded to endorse candidates for office or advance a political ideology. But if we’re talking about the political dimensions of important moral issues, then yes, of course, the Church may quite properly speak to these."While I agree with the basic thrust behind his comments, I think the example he offers, the 2003 "Statement on Moral Crisis on Our Nation" issued by Standing Conference Orthodox Bishops of America is an unfortunate one.I read the statement by SCOBA, both when it came out and again in response to the post on AOI. Both the first time and now again, I found it lacking in how well in responded to the actual argument made by the proponents of same sex marriage.Yes certainly, "Moral Crisis," accurately summarized the Orthodox understanding of marriage but it fails to address the central question: Should the state sanction same sex marriages or not? As written the statement is not even clear as to the answer to this most fundamental question.