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England's Royal Family converting to Orthodoxy?

Orthodoc

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[I recently read that Prince Phillip had converted to Orthodoxy and that Prince Charles is now a catechumen!

Does anybody know anything further about this?]

Prince Phillip was baptised and raised Ogreek Orthodox. In fact, his mother became a Greek Orthodox nun. There was even an Orthodox Chapel set up for her in Buckinham palace.

Prince Phillip visits te EP on occassion. So does prince Charles wh recently visited both the EP and Mount Athos.

Regarding the reumors of Prince Phillip returning to the Orthodox Church, and Prince Charles converting, I'm not sure sure that will happen. Don't forget that their wife and mother is officially the head of the Church of England.

Many Orthodox noticed that Prince Charles Crossed himself as an Orthodox would during the funeral of Diana Also, an Orthodox Hymn was played as they were bring the csket out of the church.

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Nik,

While I'm not privy to Prince Charles' situation (though it wouldn't shock me, given what I've read about him; besides his over-publicized personal failings, I mean), I was aware that Prince Phillip has been something of a tenuous revert for some time (I read somewhere that he's even paid semi-regular visits to a small ROCOR Church in London... I forget which one, it was on their website if memory serves, as an aside).

As for the issue of it being difficult for Prince Philip to officially return to Orthodoxy, this is not as hard a thing a some may think. Keep in mind, that the only law in England is that the royals cannot be Roman Catholics (a carry over from the unfortunate blood shed and civil strife that followed England's separation from Rome). Strictly speaking, Prince Philip could become a Buddhist or a Hare Krishna without it being an issue (as far as the books are concerened; though I think royal decorum would have a problem with dancing around in saffron robes while chanting a hindu deity's name).

I've long believed that for the Anglo-Celtic people, there is a special plan. Whether it will be these royals, or a future King who will return England to the Church of Christ, I do think it will happen eventually (though perhaps only after great calamnities).

Seraphim
 

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However objectively wrong he may have been about some things, I like Prince Charles and think he is very intelligent. Some small examples: he's right about modern architecture and I think he may be a royal patron of the Prayer Book Society. (Except for its protestantized communion service and most of the Thirty-Nine Articles, I think the Prayer Book is wonderful - I use it for the psalms, following the order given for Morning and Evening Prayer, and canticles.)

As for his father, I too have read occasionally that he has reverted to Greek Orthodoxy. (And yes, AFAIK according to British law he can if he wants to.) I have no idea if that's true and if it is I'd be surprised. I thought his theological views were fashionably vague and liberal like many WASPs even though culturally he is a secular conservative. His mother was a German convert to it and became a kind of nun later in life, and of course as a prince of Greece he was baptized into it. (He is not an ethnic Greek, as his Viking looks show - his family was a branch of the Danish royal family.) But AFAIK he never practised it: he has lived in Britain since his boyhood. So my guess is functionally he has been an indifferent Protestant all this time, even before he voluntarily was received into the Church of England before marrying then-Princess Elizabeth.
 

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Serge said:
I like Prince Charles and think he is very intelligent.
Got to disagree with you here, Serge. I've always thought of Charles as being a bit 'dim.' This is the man who talked to animals and sat in the triangle if I remember correctly. Besides they're so inbred that it's unlikely he's that smart. He was always a mediocre student. Besides, he was a monster to his wife. His indifference towards her drove her to her early death. He may have been forced to marry her even though he didn't love her and Diana may have been naive to believe that he loved her but that's no excuse for the way he treated her. As for the rumor about Orthodoxy, I've read similar things about how Charles met with the pope and secretly considered conversion to Roman Catholicism.
 

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I never said he was perfect.

He was always a mediocre student.
That’s often the upper-class way - they don’t have to be brilliant at anything because they can live off a huge unearned fortune. Plus constitutional monarchs are largely ceremonial anyway. However, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York had careers as naval officers (like their father), which counts for something - line officers in warships, not staff either.

The Queen, I understand, gets a box every day with the proceedings of the government and she reads everything in it - she really works at it, even though it may be argued she doesn’t have to as a figurehead. My understanding is she is sharp enough to rule Britain for real. (I think in theory the sovereign can sack the government, but it would cause a constitutional crisis.)

I agree that Diana, Princess of Wales was horribly used by the Hanover-Windsors.
 

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Jennifer said:
Serge said:
I like Prince Charles and think he is very intelligent.
Got
, I've read similar things about how Charles met with the pope and secretly considered conversion to Roman Catholicism.

He attended a private Mass in Rome celebrated by the Pope several years ago. This got the Ian Paisley types up in arms and I believe Buckingham Palace had to issue a statement explaining that HRH Charles was still an Anglican and Mummy had to have a talk with him :)


Peace,
Brian
 

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Hopefully he is interested in Orthodoxy. Dare we even hope that William also convert to Orthodoxy? If he did, it would seem that the future of an Orhtodox Monarchy in England would be fairly secure.

I actually believe William could do whatever he wanted (even become hardline Traditionalist RC) and still be crowned king when his time comes. The Laws are there, but the British peoples feelings about Diana have been transferred to William. The feeling I get is, that its William or the whole monarchy goes kapput. Let us hope that day never comes.

As for the Queen and Catholicism or Orthodoxy, I find it hardly unlikely that she will ever leave the Church of England, unless its for a lower church evangelical Church. I remember reading of an Anglican clergyman who was assigned to be the royal chaplain. He asked if he could wear a chasuble to say the Liturgy, and he was told "Only if the queen isn't present."

But we should still pray for "the new Jerusalem to be set up on English soil".

Joe Zollars

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Jennifer,

Oh boy, something else to disagree with you about! Yay. :) (just teasing)

Seriously though, I do have a difference of opinion with you on the person of Prince Charles. While I'm not thrilled with the House of Windsor in general, I am content to say I am a subject of his mother as well (being a Canadian citizen.)

I've always thought of Charles as being a bit 'dim.' This is the man who talked to animals and sat in the triangle if I remember correctly.
Call me nutty, but I talk to my dog. If anything (having come to know something of the man, apart from tabloid splatters and tacky stereotypes of the royals being nothing more than inbred wasps), he strikes me as someone who was always a bit whistful, and perhaps even something of a prankster. He certainly seems to have a sense of humour.

Besides, he was a monster to his wife. His indifference towards her drove her to her early death. He may have been forced to marry her even though he didn't love her and Diana may have been naive to believe that he loved her but that's no excuse for the way he treated her.
Couldn't be you're confusing his marital difficulties with how intelligent or otherwise kind/interesting a person he may be.

As for the marriage, from what I know there was enough blame to go around. Unfortunately, because Charles was/is not a beautiful, mesmerizing young woman with a soft voice and an almost angelic air to him, he will never get the sympathy or even handedness that any assessment of him deserves. While it is shameful that he committed adultery, his wife was also an adulteress, and by no means an angel. Even her charity work (as good as it was) was over-rated (for example, considering it was only a fraction of the efforts the less comely, and less media savvy Princess Maragret did over the years).

In the end, I think Diana was extremely niave, and was in the end, not willing to "tow the line", and make the personal sacrifices that come with being nobility/royalty.

With that said, she also had a good side (like most sane, normal people do), and did do a lot of wonderful charity work. However, balance is necessary (the whole "St.Diana" mythos being quite frankly, absurd.)

Seraphim
 

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Seraphim Reeves said:
Couldn't be you're confusing his marital difficulties with how intelligent or otherwise kind/interesting a person he may be.

As for the marriage, from what I know there was enough blame to go around. Unfortunately, because Charles was/is not a beautiful, mesmerizing young woman with a soft voice and an almost angelic air to him, he will never get the sympathy or even handedness that any assessment of him deserves. While it is shameful that he committed adultery, his wife was also an adulteress, and by no means an angel. Even her charity work (as good as it was) was over-rated (for example, considering it was only a fraction of the efforts the less comely, and less media savvy Princess Maragret did over the years).

In the end, I think Diana was extremely niave, and was in the end, not willing to "tow the line", and make the personal sacrifices that come with being nobility/royalty.

With that said, she also had a good side (like most sane, normal people do), and did do a lot of wonderful charity work. However, balance is necessary (the whole "St.Diana" mythos being quite frankly, absurd.)

Seraphim
He wasn't kind to his wife and I think that unkindness caused a lot of her psychological problems. Of course she was naive. She believed he loved her. If she'd been of an earlier generation she probably would not have been so naive, of course, but how can we blame an extremely young woman for believing in fairy tales? I think Diana was an extremely troubled woman who probably only needed someone to care about her and unfortunately she was surrounded by people who didn't care about her. And to make things worse Charles was jealous of her popularity and did not understand how deeply troubled she was and was unnecessarily cruel to her. The public remarks about her bulemia are inexcusable IMHO. Of course it was a loveless marriage that he was forced into and he blamed the wrong person. BTW, as much as Diana was unwilling to 'tow the line', Charles was too. He rubbed his infidelity in her face. He was cruel to her. He wouldn't/couldn't play the good husband to her.

I think the unhappy marriage of the Winsors demonstrates how devasting infidelity can be in this 'do what you feel like' society. Charles did what he felt like doing (continued his long time affair) and destroyed his wife. Granted she was unstable to begin with but his affair pushed her over the edge.

As someone who grew up on the Princess Di story, I've always had a soft spot for her. I was about 11 she married Charles and I thought it was the most romantic, exciting thing I'd ever seen. She was a fascinating person in the a soap opera heroine kind of a way and even Agnes Nixon (famous creator of All My Children) couldn't have come up with a better ending. It was all so tragic from beginning to end.

BTW, a relative of Diana's is being considered for sainthood by Rome. A Spencer younger son/Anglican cleric in the early 19th century converted to Catholicism and became a priest. Apparently he was quite holy and ministered to the poor of London.
 

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I hope they don't want to form a Western Rite! ;D
 

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Jennifer, please be careful about what you say about people. I have some very good friends who I am close to, yet I could not presume to really know all the in's and out's of their married life. You speak like you are an authority on the intimate personal details of Charles and Diana's married life but unless you were a close personal friend of the couple, I doubt that you really know terribly much of what went on behind the scenes.
 
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Jennifer said:
BTW, a relative of Diana's is being considered for sainthood by Rome. A Spencer younger son/Anglican cleric in the early 19th century converted to Catholicism and became a priest. Apparently he was quite holy and ministered to the poor of London.
Yes, this is the Honourable George Spencer , born in 1799 son of the second Earl Spencer, who became Father Ignatius C.P. when he entered the Passionist Order in 1847. He had entered the Anglican ministry in 1824 but converted to Catholicism in 1830. Here's a quote about him from a booklet published by the Catholic Truth Society referring to the gallery of Victorian paintings at the Passionist Monastery on the Coelian Hill in Rome:

'One of these pictures stands out. The subject is not Italian, like so many others on that dark wall. Although he is clothed in the black habit and cloak of a Passionist, this man is definitely English. His features are aristocratic and there is the touch of mildly eccentric character in his eyes. In fact he looks very much like the late British Prime Minister, Winston Spencer Churchill' (Ignatius Spencer Apostle of Christian Unity by Jerome Vereb C.P., CTS, 1992).

The booklet is illustrated by a colour picture of a stained glass window commemorating Fr Ignatius and I can indeed confirm that there is a distinct look of Winston Churchill about him as well as the fairness of Diana.

As Father Ignatius he was a companion of Blessed Dominic Barberi who brought the Passionists to England and worked among the poor. Barberi was the man who received John Henry Newman into the church. At that time anyone wearing monastic dress was liable to attack in the streets. Spencer's life, like that of many early Passionists, was one of heroic struggle and sacrifice, the monastic rule of the Passionists was extremely strict and broke the health of many. On October 1, 1864 he was walking to a pastoral visit when he suffered a heart attack and died, as he wanted, alone and peniless in a ditch. He's buried beside Blessed Dominic and is today hailed as pioneer of ecumenism between Anglicans and R Catholics in Britain. There is an academic study of his life called Ignatius Spencer Passionist (1799-1864) by Jozef Vaden Bussche (Leuven University Press, 1991).

The process of canonization for Father Ignatius was begun in 1992 , I don't know which stage it's at but for me he is a much worthier candidate than some who have been canonized in the fast lane recently!

Brigid



 

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prodromos said:
Jennifer, please be careful about what you say about people. I have some very good friends who I am close to, yet I could not presume to really know all the in's and out's of their married life. You speak like you are an authority on the intimate personal details of Charles and Diana's married life but unless you were a close personal friend of the couple, I doubt that you really know terribly much of what went on behind the scenes.
Oh give me a break! What went on behind closed doors is a pretty well known story here. We're all "authories" on the intimate details of their marriage. Everyone knows he had an affair. Everyone knows his affair devastated his wife. Everyone knows his wife had bulemia. He made public comments about her bulemia.

 

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I talk to dogs too.

He's buried beside Blessed Dominic and is today hailed as pioneer of ecumenism between Anglicans and R Catholics in Britain
Thanks for the info about Fr Ignatius, CP — I never knew about him before. But how could he be seen as ecumenical? Like Newman he rejected a false church. (But Fr I's conversion pre-dates the Oxford Movement/Anglo-Catholicism.) Sincere but misguided ecumenists in this scene included Viscount Halifax, who thought corporate reunion of the Church of England with the Catholic Church was possible.

From the apostolic point of view, the only ecumenism to Anglicans is 'you come in'-ism. (This from somebody who uses the Prayer Book, lest anyone think I'm a bigot or ignorant about Anglicanism.)

I think the current Earl Spencer (Diana's brother) is Catholic too, a convert.
 

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probably he is. If he isn't he is at least angloCatholic.

I say this because there is an ancient Catholic custom of making the sign of the cross and saying the Requiem when a casket passes by or you go by a cemetary. At the late Princess Diana's funeral, the Earl of Spencer used this custome as the casket passed by before coming in behind it to follow the casket into Westminster Cathedral. None of the others did this.

Joe Zollars
 

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I am sure that Earl Spencer is a Catholic.

And I agree that Prince Charles, for all his faults, gets treated unfairly simply partly because he wasn't as physically attractive as his ex-wife, which was part of the reason for the now-waning 'St Diana' hysteria.

Who was better qualified to decide what form of mourning was appropriate for HM the Queen — the sobbing masses who never even met the Princess of Wales, or the Queen herself, who actually had known Diana Spencer since the latter was a little girl?

For all their faults, I don't want to see the royals lose all their reserve and privacy and be reduced to americanized, 'Oprah'-fied, let-it-all-hang-out self-disclosure on TV with tears and hugs all round.

Taken to an extreme this English reserve can become real coldness, but fundamentally it safeguards the liberty of everyman, whose home - and heart, and conscience - is his castle.
 
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Serge said:
I talk to dogs too.


Thanks for the info about Fr Ignatius, CP — I never knew about him before. But how could he be seen as ecumenical? Like Newman he rejected a false church. (But Fr I's conversion pre-dates the Oxford Movement/Anglo-Catholicism.) Sincere but misguided ecumenists in this scene included Viscount Halifax, who thought corporate reunion of the Church of England with the Catholic Church was possible.
Father Spencer's doubts about the C of E according to my book centred on 2 issues: I'll quote

'Shortly after his ordination as an Anglican priest, George Spencer found himself plagued by doubts about his faith which really came from 2 sources. First, his education was highly scriptural. Yet his position in the C of E compelled him to enunciate doctrines which were not clarified by the Bible. .. the other source of his difficulties was his evangelical piety with its virtue of "seriousness". He lived two lives. Externally he was socially involved and filled with mirth. Interiorly he felt solitude like a knife's edge and was moved to contemplate his destiny as a man and his vocation as a minister of the Gospel. Shortly after his ordination, he began to read the Fathers of the Church. While on holiday in the Isle of Wight he read Chrysostom's homilieson the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. For the first time the reality of the distinction between Protestant thought and Catholic doctrine dawned upon him and he felt confused'.

I know this quote raises as many questions as it answers, but the upshot of it was that another Anglican friend told Spencer to start thinking about the Church as a whole rather than the Scriptures in a narrow way. He was then put in touch with a Catholic priest and 5 years on converted, much to the embarrassment of his family who asked if he could decamp physically to Rome as well until the gossip died down!

As far as ecumenism goes, Spencer in 1838 devised a plan to initiate a movement of prayer for Christian unity. The following year he preached in Manchester on the subject "The Great Importance of a Reunion Between the Catholics and Protestants of England and the Method of Effecting It" (I would be keen to read the entire text of that one!). He doesn't seem to have pulled any punches though as his motto was "unity in the truth" and he told Protestants up front that they were in error. It was a real crusade with him and he eventually established 'The Association of Prayers and Good Works for the Conversion of Those Separated from the Holy Catholic Church'. He also preached this unity crusade in continental Europe.

I admire him, Serge, for his willingness to follow where truth led him and for his giving up what could have been a very comfortable life as an aristocrat and parson of the established Church. In addition to the asceticism of their rule, Early Passionists were frequently insulted and assaulted on the streets of British cities. I will rejoice if Ignatius Spencer is formally declared a saint by the Church he sacrificed so much to join.

Brigid
 

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Thanks for the biographical information, Brigid. He sounds like a saint.

And his ecumenism with no punches pulled reminds me of the beginnings of the Society of the Atonement here in the States. Fr Paul James Francis Wattson was an Episcopal clergyman in New York who started a Franciscan order whose goal was frankly to convert other Episcopalians and win them for the Pope. When instead the Episcopal Church went the other way and voted in 1908 to allow other Protestant ministers to preach in Episcopal churches, Fr Paul and his followers saw that as false ecumenism and logically entered the Catholic Church the next year (as did all the clergy and much of the congregation of a church in Philadelphia). The SA also did charitable work such as set up a shelter for homeless men.
 
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Dear Friends in Christ,

The tabloid image of HRH, the Prince of Wales as a cad married to a naive fairly-tale princess is a blight on the integrity of the Royal Family. His sins are truly tragic but if Charles has indeed become a catechumen, I for one rejoice. By the mercy of God, Charles will be able to go to confession and receive the healing of that Mystery. It is more important that he puts himself right with God, if not with the secular press.

I shall pray for him, hoping that he will convert (if he hasn't already) to Holy Orthodoxy and thus provide us with an Orthodox monarch, who by God's grace has repented and become a new person. As for HRH's intelligence I was very impressed at his command of Welsh at his inception as Prince of Wales. I have never met Charles, but I hope to someday.

May God bless the Prince of Wales!

Yours in Christ,
Fr Serafim
 
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Father Serafim said:
The tabloid image of HRH, the Prince of Wales as a cad married to a naive fairly-tale princess is a blight on the integrity of the Royal Family.
Yes Father, I agree with you absolutely about that one. Diana was very good at giving it out as well as receiving it, I watched the infamous Panorama interview on British TV at the time and she manipulated the audience like a consummate professional. Her mother, btw, has converted to Catholicism, the last high-profile Royal convert being the Duchess of Kent (the woman who presents the trophies on finals day at the Wimbledon tennis championships) about 10 years ago.

However, I remain sceptical about all of this Prince Charles as a catechumen speculation, it was not so long ago that he was telling us he intended to become defender of faiths (plural) rather than the traditional defender of the faith. (I won't bore everyone by rehearsing all the old chestnuts about this title).

There is a real debate about the future of the monarchy and the established church going on in Britain at the moment. The new Archbishop of Canterbury elect, Rowan Williams, is known to favour disestablishment. He is a Welshman and his own branch of the Anglican church was disestablished in the 1920's.

How would all you Orthodox across the pond feel about having a King again? Can one be both Orthodox and a republican? ???

Brigid
 

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Brigid of Kildare said:
Father Serafim said:
The tabloid image of HRH, the Prince of Wales as a cad married to a naive fairly-tale princess is a blight on the integrity of the Royal Family.

How would all you Orthodox across the pond feel about having a King again? Can one be both Orthodox and a republican? ???

Brigid

Indeed you can! As long as it is with a small r!!! :)

But I personally favour (notice the proper spelling), a Constitutional Monarchy with a social democratic government as in Sweden, Norway etc. Good combination of history and tradition and progressive change
 
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Norway and Sweden as good examples? Well, if you like socialism, I guess. However, their monarchies don't make up for their extremely paternalisitc, secular societies. I'll take my guns and SUVs any day over any dessicated European country, even if has a monarchy.

Economan
 

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amen economan amen. Although I personally am not a fan of SUV's, I like Ford Pickups better, but perhaps that's just my southern Heritage, but I do agree with you 100% as regards the governments of Sweden and Norway and I personally love being a gun owner and card carrying member of NRA.

Joe Zollars
 

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I hate SUVs, Soccer moms, and Mcdonalds.

Why would anyone want to drive a car that gets 6 miles to the gallon?
 

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I hate SUVs
Unnecessary for most people and a top-heavy safety hazard.

, Soccer moms,
Proabortion types who put Clinton in the White House - twice.

SUV + bourgeois, peer-pressure liberal, nouveau-riche soccer mom + cell phones is something I really hate. Every time I see one of those people yakking away while driving I want a cop car to materialize, pull her over, confiscate the thing and give her a whopping ticket.

and Mcdonalds.
Can't go near the stuff or my gut definitely will have something to say.

Why would anyone want to drive a car that gets 6 miles to the gallon?
Exactly.
 

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When you have three kids of your own and are in a carpool with two other families, you'll quickly understand why someone wants a car that gets 6 miles to a gallon. :)

But we digress :p
 

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Serge said:
I
SUV + bourgeois, peer-pressure liberal, nouveau-riche soccer mom + cell phones is something I really hate. Every time I see one of those people yakking away while driving I want a cop car to materialize, pull her over, confiscate the thing and give her a whopping ticket.

How about bourgeois, cell phone-owning, gated community- living right-wing soccer moms? ;D

They DO exist!!!!!
 

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How about bourgeois, cell phone-owning, gated community- living right-wing soccer moms?
If they're talking on cell phones while driving I'd want the same thing to happen.

Regarding whatever you mean by 'right wing', many Americans today think supporting war with Iraq is 'conservative', just like Americans in the '80s thought a conservative was somebody who plays the stock market.

I'll concede to you that secular conservatism and the faith are different things. Just like liberality (charity, a Christian virtue) and liberalism are different things.
 

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Supporting war on Iraq IS conservative if you want to "conserve" your life against chemical and biological attacks on us! ;)

In Christ,

anastasios
 
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