The Brexit/Trump effect |

Source: The Brexit/Trump effect |

The British Prime Minister Delivers Her Brexit Speech
Prime Minister Theresa May delivers her Brexit speech of 17 January 2017.

I have neither posted on this blog regarding the Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, nor updated the Brexit situation recently – let this stand for both!

On Brexit:

Last June’s Brexit vote to leave the EU triggered unstoppable rage amongst those who wanted Britain to remain. For months they issued bloodcurdling warnings about “hard Brexit” – leaving the EU’s single market which they claimed would produce an economic apocalypse. Yet this week the prime minister, Theresa May, suddenly came out for precisely that.

Remaining in the single market, she said, was simply incompatible with leaving the EU. And she issued a not-so-veiled threat that if the EU tried to punish Britain for leaving, the UK would block EU access to its economic supply chains, the City of London financial center and even British intelligence.

This speech provoked apoplexy among both Remainers and European leaders, who furiously denounced what they claimed were unwarranted and destructive threats. But for months the EU has been threatening Britain that it will punish it severely for Brexit. All Mrs. May has now done is state that Britain will defend itself against such aggression.

There is a great difference between making a threat and defending yourself against an aggressor who is threatening you. The first is reprehensible, the second essential. Mrs. May’s threat to hit back hard was intended as a deterrent to defend her country’s interests.

On President Trump:

The incoming president has been subjected to an unprecedented campaign of vilification. His remarks, which have sometimes been truly off-color and often inconsistent, have nevertheless been twisted to turn him from someone about whom one might reasonably have anxieties into a monster.

This onslaught culminated in BuzzFeed’s dossier of character assassination against him, which it published even though its editor-in-chief Ben Smith admitted that it “contained errors” and there was “serious reason to doubt the allegations.”

At his first press conference Mr. Trump denounced CNN, which had run with the dossier, for producing “fake news” – the very charge leveled by the Left against his own supporters. Since publishing this dossier was clearly a journalistic travesty, Mr. Trump turned the Left’s weapon into a boomerang and thus rendered it worse than useless.

Among the media and anti-Trump commentators, this provoked outrage. There was no acknowledgment of the wholesale breach of journalistic ethics by a hostile and biased media. Instead, Mr. Trump was said to be riding roughshod over democracy. But he was just fighting back against the media’s abuse of its power. This was in fact a moral response. People doing bad things need to be held to account in order to stop them doing more bad things.

The distinction between aggression and self-defense, however, is simply not understood by the post-moral Left. But Mr. Trump’s strategy of hitting back very hard against aggression suggests a crucial change for the better in the way America will deal with the world.

‘Nuff said.

William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1645 | For All the Saints

Elevated to the see of Canterbury in 1633, William Laud had already been King Charles’ principal ecclesiastical adviser for several years…

Source: William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1645 | For All the Saints

“Laud’s reputation remains controversial to this day. Honored as a martyr and condemned as an intolerant bigot, he was compassionate in his defense of the rights of the common people against the landowners. He was honest, devout, loyal to the king and to the rights and privileges of the Church of England. He tried to reform and protect the Church in accordance with his convictions – though these attempts at reform were marred by his treatment of those who strenuously disagreed with him theologically and liturgically. In many ways he was out of step with the views of the majority of his countrymen, especially in his espousal of royal Stuart views of the ‘Divine Rights of Kings.’ The historian Nicholas Tyacke rates Laud as one of the greatest of the Archbishops of Canterbury, not giving him complete approval, but recognizing that his contribution to the future of the English Church was of major importance.”

Putin congratulates Russians on Christmas

The Russian president noted the huge and unique role of the Russian Orthodox Church and other Christian denominations in reviving high moral values and preserving rich historic and cultural heritage

Source: TASS: Society & Culture – Putin congratulates Russians on Christmas

Wishing all our Eastern Orthodox Christian brothers and sisters, in Russia and elsewhere, a holy and blessed Feast of the Nativity!

And may I also express my fervent wish that the political and other elites of the Western world – in both Europe and America – placed a similarly high priority of “reviving high moral values and preserving rich historic and cultural heritage.”

In Pictures: Orthodox Christmas celebrations

In Pictures: Orthodox Christmas celebrations

Source: In Pictures: Orthodox Christmas celebrations

For us in the West, using the Gregorian calendar, today is the Feast of the Epiphany; but for our Eastern Orthodox Christian friends – in Russia and elsewhere – who still use the Julian reckoning, today is Christmas Eve! Wishing all of them blessings on this Feast of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Rejoice! Christ, our Saviour, is born!

The Epiphany of Our Lord | For All the Saints

The name of this Feast of our Lord – “Epiphany” – is derived from a Greek word meaning manifestation or appearing.

Source: The Epiphany of Our Lord | For All the Saints

Historically, Anglican Prayer Books have interpreted the name with a subtitle, “The Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles.” The last phrase is, of course, a reference to the narrative of the Wise Men, the Magi, who appeared in Judaea from the East in order to worship the newborn King of the Jews.

This visit, probably by Persian Magi, is responsible for the Feast of the Epiphany being the culmination and conclusion of the Birth Narrative of Jesus, and thereby also of the season of Christmastide. Also known, in some traditions, as the “Three Sacred Kings,” these mysterious visitors from the East are often named as Caspar (or Gaspar), Balthazar, and Melchior, although those names do not appear in the canonical Scriptures, and are reported as having brought symbolically significant, as well as valuable, gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

This is how they are often described (“All About the Wise Men”):

Gaspar (or Caspar), who has brown hair and a brown beard (or no beard at all), wears a green cloak and a gold crown with green jewels on it. He is sometimes identified as the King of Sheba. Gaspar represents the Frankincense brought to Jesus.

Melchior, who has long white hair and a white beard and wears a gold cloak, is said represent the King of Arabia. Melchior represents the Gold brought to Jesus.

Balthazar, who has black skin and a black beard (or no beard!) and wears a purple cloak; he is said to be the King of Tarsish and Egypt. Balthazar represents the gift of Myrrh that was brought to Jesus.

These three sacred “Kings” or Magi are often given Oriental, Caucasian, and African features, and thus collectively represent all the peoples of the world. The gifts also have symbolic meaning, as explained in the song, “We Three Kings (of Orient Are)”:

“Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain, gold I bring to crown him again: King forever, ceasing never, over us all to reign!”

“Frankincense to offer have I: incense owns a Deity nigh. Prayer and praising, all men raising, worship him: God most high!”

“Myrrh I bring, its bitter perfume breathes a life of gathering gloom: suffering, sighing, bleeding, dying, sealed in a stone-cold tomb!”

Later in the song, these mystic significances are once again reinforced:

“Glorious now behold Him arise: King and God and Sacrifice.
Alleluia, alleluia! Earth to heav’n replies.”

But there are also two other occurrences which have traditionally been linked to this Feast, through the concept of Christ being made manifest to the Gentiles (“Peoples” or “Nations”): the Wedding at Cana, in which he turned the water into wine, and his Baptism in the River Jordan by John the Baptist, when the Holy Spirit descended upon him like a dove, and his Father’s voice boomed from Heaven, “This is my beloved Son: listen to him!”

A feast of many facets, and much significance.

The Queen is still working & receiving government red boxes despite illness – Royal Central

The Queen is continuing to carry out her duties indoors at Sandringham, despite suffering from illness. Embed from Getty Images According to a source, the Queen is “up and about” and is receiving her daily red boxes with ministerial correspondence enclosed.

Contained within the red boxes are policy papers, cabinet documents, telegrams and other important documents that have been sent to her by the government. This highlights how hard Her Majesty works every day for a 90-year-old.

Source: The Queen is still working & receiving government red boxes despite illness – Royal Central

Her Majesty is a most remarkable woman! Indomitable. I hope and pray that her recovery continues apace, until she is completely well! May it be soon.