Re read my post again. I said america is a predominatly western european -anglo saxon culture.
So this is the orign of the cultures present; this doesn't mean there is a uniform culture throughout these united States. French, Scottish, and Irish cultures are all Celtic...does this mean that they should all be identified as one culture? Or to directly extend the argument you seem to be making, England and Australia are also 'predominately western european -anglo saxon cultures', so should they be regarded as the same culture of these united States?
My question, however, was more along the lines of what 'American cultural' elements (other than Language) need to be integrated into the Church? And, thus far, I really have not received a direct answer. Please give me specifics and how, other than in matters of language, is the Church failing you on a cultural level.
This is particularly true throughout the "red states". You can bash on it all you want, but it is the reality of the situation.
Well, first of all, the red states and blue states are roughly equal in population, with the blue states having slightly more people I believe; so to say that something that a 'red state' culture defines American culture is absurd. But I won't belabour this point too much because I believe the distinction beween a 'red state' culture and a 'blue state' culture is inherenty flawed. This should be clear to anyone who realizes that the 'red state' Indiana has far more in common with the 'blue states' Michigan, Illinois, Wisconson, etc. than it does with other 'red states' such as Lousiana, Idaho, or South Carolina. Or that the 'blue state' Oregon has far more in common with the 'red state' Idaho than it does with fellow 'blue states' New York and New Jersey.
The cultural divides in this country are reigonal, not political. A california liberal is not a 'liberal' for the same reason that a New York liberal is a 'liberal'; and a Montana conservative is a 'conservative' for very different reasons than a Georgia 'conservative'. And each of these people are culturally closer to those of the opposite political persuasion in their own reigon than they are to those of the same political party in other reigons. From a cultural perspective, 'red state' 'blue state' is a false dichotomy.
As I said in my prior post, any highly populated place has a diverse populus. This is true of almost any place throughout the whole world. I explained in detail about this in my prior post.
And a diverse populace leads to different cultures; the fact that they are citizens of the same country does not mean they have the same culture...unless you want to start arguing that the cultures of Quebec and British Columbia are one and the same. Perhaps they should also have to speak the same language...being in the same country and all.
The U.S is an English speaking country, it is the official language.
Well, technically we don't have an 'official language', but that is another discussion for another day.
This should be the language of the mission parashes.
Ok, I can see your argument here, I disagree with it but at least it makes sense to me. What I still don't understand is how you want to change the Church, other than in matters of linguistics, to become more 'american.'
I guess for you the grass is greener on the other side. I am proud of my american heritage.
As am I, and that is why I have a profound respect for the founding ideals of this country, and for my ancestors who fought for these ideals...both in the Revolution and in the War Between the States. And this pride in my heritage is exactly the reason why I have mixed feelings for this country. My forefathers helped establish it, believing in the ideal of self-determination, and they also resisted the same when the union threatened that same right. Or would you have me be ashamed of my heritage and dismiss the sacrifice of my ancestors who fought for the rights of their states and self-determination.
As different as various regions can be, there are sitll common denominators. If a person from Springfield MO, Boston MA, Los Angeles CA, and Dallas TX were all living in a community in Greece, Russia, or just about anywhere else, you can be assured they would all know each other and affiliate with each other.
And Greeks and Russians do the same here in these united States...but here you are decrying them for this; arn't we being a tad bit hypocritical? But with that said, I would argue that this is only for linguistic reasons, if there were a large number of midwesterners, new englanders, and westerners in another country, they would tend to gather with their like kind. As is the case with the Greeks who came to this country, in areas with a large Greek population you see communities form around Greeks from similar areas, Cypriots in one place, those from the North in another, Athenians in yet a third.
Of course, if you remove the linguistic element, I dont know that what you say above is true. If I was in Australia, for example, I think I would be far more likely to affiliate with someone from the area before I affiliated with a 'typical' Bostonian.
As Elder Cleopa says, you need to have the loving heart of a mother towards everyone. You must look for the good in all people. We are all "vile" to one degree or another, you must have love.
And in some cases we're all better off if we keep to ourselves.
Do you not believe that there is an american culture?? How do you define culture?? As I said earlier, I explained it in my prior post, and will refer you to it. Do you deny culture exists?
I do not deny that reigonal cultures exist, wherever there are people there is culture, I merely deny that a common, unified, American culture exists. As to how I would define culture, I believe that is a book unto itself, but in brief it is a common understanding of the world and one's interaction with it. This would extend from certain significant philosophies, such as individualism vs. collectivism, to far more accidental elements such as food and clothing.
I am sorry for your negative experiences of being an American. I would still encourage you to look at all with love. I sense a slight hostility in your tone towards America. If this is an emotional issue for you, then I don't know if you can be reasoned with. You might have to work it out on your own.
Oh, it's not really an emotional issue; sure there are emotions attached with experiences, as is always the case, but my like or dislike of any reigon or peoples throughout these united States is not so intense as to preclude rational discussion; it's not like talking to me about the Mohammedans, where I just want to see their destruction, no if's and's or but's about it.
But quite frankly, I dont think I expressed any negative experiences of being an American, my experiences with my culture are quite good and positive. It is only in interacting with foreign cultures, such as that of the New Englanders, where I have had negative experiences. Of course, the common consensus amongst many us from other reigons at the seminary was that New England wasn't really part of the United States. The main point is that there are different cultures in different reigons, and when I go elsewhere I am aware that they are different than me, their worldview is different than mine, they grew up in a different cultural context. Now if I go to Idaho (where I did my undergraduate) or Colorado (where my grandfather lives) I dont experience this difference, but that is because they are westerners, they are culturally the same people; this is simply not true of Southerners (whose culture I love dearly) or of New Englanders (of whose culture I am not so fond), they are different peoples, with different customs and different cultures.
As far as most integrating american culture into the church, I propose we do it the same way all the other cultures have done. There are slight variations on vestments, feasts, ect... The slavic countries do it one way, the latins (romanians) do it another, the greeks another,.... the "T"raditions cannot change but the "t"raditions can change.
So how do you suggest we change our vestments to be more 'American'? What feasts should we add? (Thanksgiving, perhaps, but as it falls in the middle of the fast of the Nativity, I doubt most people would like the technicalities of adding it as a fast, it would mean that we would eat fish, not turkey...most people (both ethnic and American) are probably happier with the status quo, where we just kinda ignore the fast (assuming we're fasting in the first place, which isn't a big issue in the more ethnic communities) on that particular day.) Are you suggesting we remove feasts? Because I think that's a really bad idea...I love feasts, the more the merrier.
Basically I'm asking for specifics. Other than the language issue, what's wrong? What needs to change? And why?
America can organically incorperate their own traditions over time on a whole range of things while being equally Orthodox. I would expect that we would use an ecclectic approach. The average churches, unless there is a need, should be in english. This is not unreasonable. If there is a predominantly hispanic community in a border state, then let the liturgy be in spanish.
What traditions do we need to incorporate into the Church? You can't expect everyone to change to fit your ideal if you can't even tell us what this ideal is.
I am all for North America having it's own autonimous church. The Mexicans should have their culture and customs and the canadians theirs. This is reasonable.
Is this what you want? A church government based on American culture and ethnicity? That's called phyletism, geography is the only factor that should be taken into account in matters of Ecclesiastical jurisdiction.
As for the average joe american, who can blame him for not wanting to go to a church that is in another language. This is natural for all humans. Thank God there are great Orthodox parashes and Mission parishes which clear the ethnic hurdles for the average joe. This is the future of Orthodoxy in the U.S.
It's not natural for me, and I know many other people who would side with me on this one...so apparently it's not natural for all
humans. It's really just a matter of personal preference. I personally hate going to liturgies in English, it just doesn't sound right. But again, this is just personal preference.