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Author Topic: Ethnicity and the Church  (Read 22113 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: May 17, 2007, 10:10:57 PM »

Orthodoxy is just as much for the Americans as it is for the chineese, and the Greeks, and the Arabs. It is for the human race.
Why do you seperate "Americans" as though they are a different ethnicity? Aren't Greek citizens of the USA "Americans"? Aren't Arab citizens of the USA "Americans"? Aren't Chinese citizens of the USA "Americans"?
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2007, 10:16:36 PM »

Why do you seperate "Americans" as though they are a different ethnicity? Aren't Greek citizens of the USA "Americans"? Aren't Arab citizens of the USA "Americans"? Aren't Chinese citizens of the USA "Americans"?

They might be American citizens, but that isn't the same as Americans. American is an ethnicity - if you check the US census, you'll see that Americans predominate in Kentucky and Tennessee. Its another way of saying 'old American', 'Anglo-Celtic' or 'Anglo'. Hence the oddity of hyphenated Americans: Chinese-Americans, Greek-Americans, Arab-Americans. But, most of us Americans aren't hyphenated (and, some want to hyphenate us, but steal terms from others - like British-American or Anglo-American, which refers to recent immigrants from England.)
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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2007, 10:19:40 PM »

They might be American citizens, but that isn't the same as Americans. American is an ethnicity - if you check the US census, you'll see that Americans predominate in Kentucky and Tennessee. Its another way of saying 'old American', 'Anglo-Celtic' or 'Anglo'. Hence the oddity of hyphenated Americans: Chinese-Americans, Greek-Americans, Arab-Americans. But, most of us Americans aren't hyphenated (and, some want to hyphenate us, but steal terms from others - like British-American or Anglo-American, which refers to recent immigrants from England.)
Thanks for clearing that up. Now I understand that the insistence on an "American Orthodox Church" is a desire for an Ethnic American Church.
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2007, 11:01:36 PM »

Thanks for clearing that up. Now I understand that the insistence on an "American Orthodox Church" is a desire for an Ethnic American Church.

No, it isn't. It is a desire for the whole country to be evangelized, rather than to try to make a minority rule over the rest as an elite, or to keep the light hidden in an ethnic ghetto. You'll never understand as long as you insist on a politically correct view of the issue. The real issue seems rather to be Anglophobia, and plain, old hatred of Americans. America is a territory - an American Orthodox Church would be the Church on that territory. It would include the majority (Americans) as well as minorities (Hispanics, Greeks, Slavs, etc.) It wouldn't be an ethnic church, as it wouldn't be exclusive - as the 'Hellenic Orthodox Church'es are. It wouldn't be ethnic, as it would be polyglot (mostly English, Spanish, French, German or other languages where needed.)
« Last Edit: May 18, 2007, 12:19:22 AM by ozgeorge » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2007, 11:04:23 PM »

No, it isn't. It is a desire for the whole country to be evangelized, rather than to try to make a minority rule over the rest as an elite, or to keep the light hidden in an ethnic ghetto. You'll never understand as long as you insist on a politically correct view of the issue. The real issue seems rather to be Anglophobia, and plain, old hatred of Americans. America is a territory - an American Orthodox Church would be the Church on that territory. It would include the majority (Americans) as well as minorities (Hispanics, Greeks, Slavs, etc.) It wouldn't be an ethnic church, as it wouldn't be exclusive - as the 'Hellenic Orthodox Church'es are. It wouldn't be ethnic, as it would be polyglot (mostly English, Spanish, French, German or other languages where needed.)
Well then, shouldn't you call it the "Church of the USA" rather than the "American Church" since "American" means an ethnicity according to yourself?
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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2007, 11:20:20 PM »

They might be American citizens, but that isn't the same as Americans. American is an ethnicity - if you check the US census, you'll see that Americans predominate in Kentucky and Tennessee. Its another way of saying 'old American', 'Anglo-Celtic' or 'Anglo'. Hence the oddity of hyphenated Americans: Chinese-Americans, Greek-Americans, Arab-Americans. But, most of us Americans aren't hyphenated (and, some want to hyphenate us, but steal terms from others - like British-American or Anglo-American, which refers to recent immigrants from England.)

Those who list 'American' as their ethnicity are simply people who are ignorant of their family history (and most of whom are Scots-Irish). Most of my family were in the colonies prior to the Revolution, the last immigrant in my family line is a German preacher, who is seven generations removed from me, I can rightly claim to be as 'American' as almost any person of European descent. Yet, while my nationality and heritage are both American, that is by no means ethnicity...ethnically I am Scots-Irish and German. Those who are ethnically American have roots on this continent far older than mine, which date a mere 350 years. The ethnic Americans are the ones we killed and took this land from, and for someone of European descent to call themselves ethnically American is to steal a term from those who it actually describes.
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2007, 11:25:09 PM »

Interesting. Now we have two people whom Aristibule would say are "unhyphenated Americans": GiC and himself. Yet GiC does not claim the ethnicity "American" while Aristibule does. Hmmmm.
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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2007, 11:34:20 PM »

Well then, shouldn't you call it the "Church of the USA" rather than the "American Church" since "American" means an ethnicity according to yourself?

Actually? I'm kind of for the old title we had in the 1930s - The Orthodox Catholic Church of America. The title of "American" would be kind of limiting, "in America" could be claimed by anyone without being "of America". Best to have the focus on Orthodox and Catholic (not to be confused with Orthodox Protestantism or Orthodox Judaism." As for 'according to yourself' - no, its not 'according to myself'. It is accepted usage (except outside of PC political circles), a category within the US Census see: http://www.census.gov/population/www/ancestry.html American has been used in that sense for hundreds of years: it is a civilization, a culture that comes out of Britain.

Which is all besides the point - you aren't American, so why should you care? You don't love us, or our people, from what I can tell. Our point is that the Church should be *Orthodox*, and it should be local - and that it is an abuse to try to make the EP out into another Infallible Pope with Universal Juridiction, and other ideas that Constantinople refused to Old Rome. We also affirm that if it is to be the Church *here*, it has to be *of here* - not Hellenic, or Russian, or some sort of PC multiculturalist experiment. It will have to be American - of our civilization, open to all who accept the teaching and authority of the Church, and within the diversity of American culture (which, being American is like being 'Byzantine' or Roman - Roum weren't Hellenes, but of many peoples - but they all owned East Roman culture, and language.)

GiC:
Whatever. I'm Muskogee Creek of the Perrymans, Texas Cherokee, and Iroquois. I grew up on the Cherokee and Muskogee Creek Nation lands. PC crap about that is for New Agers. I'm from the first Scottish family in America, at James Island and Jamestown, and Bath, NC was built on our creek (the foundation of NC.) We've got blood from all the historical peoples that came into our American society in the South and West over the past few hundred years. We pioneered Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma Territory, New Mexico, and settled California. Those who list "American" aren't ignorant - they know the truth: they've been here since the beginnings of this country - they were founders, pioneers. So, BS about 'stealing terms' - the Native folk never called this America (in fact, the Cherokee term is Elohi.) But, I'll remind you - you go by 'greek', and talk 'greek'. Not me. I don't have any Greek ancestors (in fact, my few Byzantine ancestors weren't Greek - but in fact  of Armenian descent, IIRC. Basil II, Romanos II, Constantine VII, Leo VI?)
« Last Edit: May 18, 2007, 12:20:44 AM by ozgeorge » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2007, 11:39:50 PM »

you aren't American, so why should you care? You don't love us, or our people, from what I can tell.
I'm not sure what gave you the idea that I don't love people in the USA. Perhaps you could point out what I might have said which gave you that impression.
No, I am not American. I am an Orthodox Christian, so in fact, I have a much closer bond to you than mere ethnicity. We are united in the Blood of Christ rather than ethnic ties.....I suppose the question is: Which bond do you consider to be stronger?
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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2007, 11:46:04 PM »

Interesting. Now we have two people whom Aristibule would say are "unhyphenated Americans": GiC and himself. Yet GiC does not claim the ethnicity "American" while Aristibule does. Hmmmm.

When I think about what it means to be American Orthodox, I think specifically of those men we label "American" Saints: Ss. Innocent and Herman of Alaska (ethnically Russian), St. Raphael of Brooklyn (ethnically Syrian(?)), St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco (ethnically Russian).  We don't call them American because of their ethnicities; rather, we call them American because they served the Church on the North American continent.  Probably the only Saint whom we could consider American by ethnicity is my patron saint, Peter the Aleut.  For the most part, the label "American" refers to this continent.  As such, the only ethnicities we could consider truly American are those that developed organically on American soil, those of the Native Americans, such as St. Peter.  Most of the ethnicities we see here were actually imported from somewhere else (Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, etc.) and cannot be considered truly American.  I guess maybe after several centuries of intermarriage between the races produces a new ethnicity of mutts and mongrels like myself would we be able to speak of another truly American ethnicity.
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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2007, 11:47:50 PM »

The impression comes from everything you say about Americans - and trying to belittle, denegrate, or deny us. GiC isn't a good example - he's what locally would be called a 'scalawag'. He has a heritage, but he's traded it for someone elses (yours.) He's right about what he says - he comes *from* us, but he's not us anymore.

I already answered your question about bonds: "Best to have the focus on Orthodox and Catholic ..."
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« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2007, 11:55:09 PM »

The impression comes from everything you say about Americans - and trying to belittle, denegrate, or deny us.
Feelings aren't facts, Aristibule.

GiC isn't a good example - he's what locally would be called a 'scalawag'. He has a heritage, but he's traded it for someone elses (yours.) He's right about what he says - he comes *from* us, but he's not us anymore.
Oh dear. You're gonna have to get yourself out of this one.
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« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2007, 12:03:46 AM »

Ss. Innocent and Herman of Alaska (ethnically Russian), St. Raphael of Brooklyn (ethnically Syrian(?)), St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco (ethnically Russian). 
If I understand Aristibule's explanation correctly, these are Russian and Syrian Saints. There are no American Saints yet. And despite the fact that St. Peter the Aleuts ancestors were in North America for centuries before Aristibule's, Aristibule is American while St. Peter is not.
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« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2007, 12:27:51 AM »

THE FOLLOWING POST IS BY GREEKISCHRISTIAN AND HAS BEEN TRANSFERRED FROM THE PREVIOUS THREAD
Quote from: greekischristian
Whatever. I'm Muskogee Creek of the Perrymans, Texas Cherokee, and Iroquois. I grew up on the Cherokee and Muskogee Creek Nation lands. PC crap about that is for New Agers.

You seem to be going out of the way to define your position in opposition to political correctness. You may have better claim to being ethnically 'American' than most, but that ethnicity comes from being related to the Native peoples. Now, with that said, I am hardly politically correct, I am simply proud of my Ethnic heritage. I believe that our settling, conquest, and advancement of this land demonstrates the superiority of our European society, and that's why I'm proud of being of European.

Quote
I'm from the first Scottish family in America, at James Island and Jamestown, and Bath, NC was built on our creek (the foundation of NC.) We've got blood from all the historical peoples that came into our American society in the South and West over the past few hundred years. We pioneered Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma Territory, New Mexico, and settled California. Those who list "American" aren't ignorant - they know the truth: they've been here since the beginnings of this country - they were founders, pioneers.

Well, my ancestors wern't the 'founders', we were all of the lower classes, but we were certainly the pioneers. But they've only been on this continent for 350 years...hardly enough to be ethnically American. By your reasoning I could buy a condo on Maui and claim to be ethnically Hawaiian.

Quote
So, BS about 'stealing terms' - the Native folk never called this America (in fact, the Cherokee term is Elohi.)

Actually you started that BS...I was just carrying it to the logical conclusion.

Quote
But, I'll remind you - you go by 'greek', and talk 'greek'. Not me. I don't have any Greek ancestors (in fact, my few Byzantine ancestors weren't Greek - but in fact  of Armenian descent, IIRC. Basil II, Romanos II, Constantine VII, Leo VI?)

I'm not Greek either and have never claimed to be Greek. The purpose of my screenname is simply to state that Christianity and Hellenism are inseparably linked, there cannot be one without the other.

The impression comes from everything you say about Americans - and trying to belittle, denegrate, or deny us. GiC isn't a good example - he's what locally would be called a 'scalawag'. He has a heritage, but he's traded it for someone elses (yours.) He's right about what he says - he comes *from* us, but he's not us anymore.

Ahhh, I don't have your official rubber stamp of approval to be a true blue American...is this supposed to concern me? As far as being a scalawag, if that word is an element of your local culture, it would seem that you are the scalawag or traitor. You deny and belittle the sacrifice of our ancestors who opposed the Yankee occupation of Southern land and the destruction of Southern culture by identifying both ethnically and culturally with the occupying state. Sympathizing and collaborating with yankee culture and the yankee state is the definition of a scalawag.
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« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2007, 12:31:22 AM »

THE FOLLOWING POST IS BY GREEKISCHRISTIAN AND HAS BEEN TRANSFERRED FROM THE PREVIOUS THREAD

Trying to take my posts to up your post count quicker...like you did with time online? Wink
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« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2007, 12:32:23 AM »

Trying to take my posts to up your post count quicker...like you did with time online? Wink
LOL Cheesy
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« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2007, 12:34:23 AM »

I'll pm you any further responses of mine to this thread and you can post them for me to rack up your post count.
Whoops, forgot about this one! Cheesy
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« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2007, 12:42:50 AM »

LOL...though this isn't as bad of stats padding as the 'Random Posts' thread was at one point. Grin
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« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2007, 12:57:35 AM »

Wow, some people's families have been in the New World for a while.   Tongue  I am 2nd generation (both sides came over after the Great War) Friulian/Provençal .  I do find people combine ethnicity and nationality far too much over here, especially those of mixed UK ethnic roots.  I was even being nice by not using a 'caker' jab.   Cheesy

Needless to say, though this is rare, I agree with GiC on this one.  Is it because I am some PC nut who must remind everyone of the plight of the Native Americans?  Nope, I am just proud of my roots from the European continent and would never want to mask over the roots of my family.
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« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2007, 06:34:55 AM »

I am 2nd generation (both sides came over after the Great War) Friulian/Provençal .
Goodness! Do you mean to say that not everyone converting to Orthodoxy from Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism and Protestantism in the US is Anglo-saxon? Wink
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« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2007, 11:39:27 AM »

Goodness! Do you mean to say that not everyone converting to Orthodoxy from Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism and Protestantism in the US is Anglo-saxon? Wink

 Shocked  Imagine that!   Tongue  Since I want to fit in, can I have Liturgy in the Friulian language?  All 600k -700k of us world-wide.   Cheesy Wink
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« Reply #21 on: May 19, 2007, 12:26:23 AM »

Quote
[/Actually? I'm kind of for the old title we had in the 1930s - The Orthodox Catholic Church of America. The title of "American" would be kind of limiting, "in America" could be claimed by anyone without being "of America". Best to have the focus on Orthodox and Catholic (not to be confused with Orthodox Protestantism or Orthodox Judaism." As for 'according to yourself' - no, its not 'according to myself'. It is accepted usage (except outside of PC political circles), a category within the US Census see: http://www.census.gov/population/www/ancestry.html American has been used in that sense for hundreds of years: it is a civilization, a culture that comes out of Britain.

Which is all besides the point - you aren't American, so why should you care? You don't love us, or our people, from what I can tell. Our point is that the Church should be *Orthodox*, and it should be local - and that it is an abuse to try to make the EP out into another Infallible Pope with Universal Juridiction, and other ideas that Constantinople refused to Old Rome. We also affirm that if it is to be the Church *here*, it has to be *of here* - not Hellenic, or Russian, or some sort of PC multiculturalist experiment. It will have to be American - of our civilization, open to all who accept the teaching and authority of the Church, and within the diversity of American culture (which, being American is like being 'Byzantine' or Roman - Roum weren't Hellenes, but of many peoples - but they all owned East Roman culture, and language.)

GiC:
Whatever. I'm Muskogee Creek of the Perrymans, Texas Cherokee, and Iroquois. I grew up on the Cherokee and Muskogee Creek Nation lands. PC crap about that is for New Agers. I'm from the first Scottish family in America, at James Island and Jamestown, and Bath, NC was built on our creek (the foundation of NC.) We've got blood from all the historical peoples that came into our American society in the South and West over the past few hundred years. We pioneered Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma Territory, New Mexico, and settled California. Those who list "American" aren't ignorant - they know the truth: they've been here since the beginnings of this country - they were founders, pioneers. So, BS about 'stealing terms' - the Native folk never called this America (in fact, the Cherokee term is Elohi.) But, I'll remind you - you go by 'greek', and talk 'greek'. Not me. I don't have any Greek ancestors (in fact, my few Byzantine ancestors weren't Greek - but in fact  of Armenian descent, IIRC. Basil II, Romanos II, Constantine VII, Leo VI?) quote]


Aristibule you make an excellent point. I agree with you about the name of the church. I always thought the Orthodox Catholic church of America was the best sounding least confusing name the church could have. You are also correct in your assesment of the term American. It is primarily Anglo-Celtic-Saxon culture that comes to mind of most people. To think otherwise is like living in a fairytale world. It would be like saying, "Mexico is not a culture, there are greeks and russians who live over there who don't identify themselves as mexican, spanish or mayan; therefore, there is no such thing as mexican. They are decendents of the spanish and there were mayans and other natives there before them." Everyone knows the truth thought. This is where common sense comes into play.


Quote
When I think about what it means to be American Orthodox, I think specifically of those men we label "American" Saints: Ss. Innocent and Herman of Alaska (ethnically Russian), St. Raphael of Brooklyn (ethnically Syrian(?)), St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco (ethnically Russian).  We don't call them American because of their ethnicities; rather, we call them American because they served the Church on the North American continent.  Probably the only Saint whom we could consider American by ethnicity is my patron saint, Peter the Aleut.  For the most part, the label "American" refers to this continent.  As such, the only ethnicities we could consider truly American are those that developed organically on American soil, those of the Native Americans, such as St. Peter.  Most of the ethnicities we see here were actually imported from somewhere else (Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, etc.) and cannot be considered truly American.  I guess maybe after several centuries of intermarriage between the races produces a new ethnicity of mutts and mongrels like myself would we be able to speak of another truly American ethnicity.

Very good post Peter, I agree with you 100%.


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The impression comes from everything you say about Americans - and trying to belittle, denegrate, or deny us. GiC isn't a good example - he's what locally would be called a 'scalawag'. He has a heritage, but he's traded it for someone elses (yours.) He's right about what he says - he comes *from* us, but he's not us anymore.


Ha ha ha. A wannabe Greek.


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« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2007, 12:33:07 AM »

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Thanks for clearing that up. Now I understand that the insistence on an "American Orthodox Church" is a desire for an Ethnic American Church.


Not one person on this board has even come close to stating they want an "ethnic" american church and you know it. We want all the Orthodox in America to be united. We want to get rid of the ethnic gettos. I would suggest re reading the posts of those in favor of an American church.
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« Reply #23 on: May 19, 2007, 12:46:31 AM »

Not one person on this board has even come close to stating they want an "ethnic" american church and you know it. We want all the Orthodox in America to be united. We want to get rid of the ethnic gettos. I would suggest re reading the posts of those in favor of an American church.

You are also correct in your assesment of the term American. It is primarily Anglo-Celtic-Saxon culture that comes to mind of most people. To think otherwise is like living in a fairytale world.

The fact that you could write these two statements in two consecutive posts indicates to me the paucity of your awareness of what you are saying.
Here's some ancient Greek wisdom for you: "Know Thyself" Smiley
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« Reply #24 on: May 19, 2007, 02:11:52 AM »

Well then, shouldn't you call it the "Church of the USA" rather than the "American Church" since "American" means an ethnicity according to yourself?
Meeza thinkin' you'za readin' too much of your own preconceived notions into other persons' posts.
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« Reply #25 on: May 19, 2007, 02:19:08 AM »

Meeza thinkin' you'za readin' too much of your own preconceived notions into other persons' posts.
I'm open to that possibility, provided you can give an altaernative explanation of the following exchange:

Why do you seperate "Americans" as though they are a different ethnicity? Aren't Greek citizens of the USA "Americans"? Aren't Arab citizens of the USA "Americans"? Aren't Chinese citizens of the USA "Americans"?
They might be American citizens, but that isn't the same as Americans. American is an ethnicity - if you check the US census, you'll see that Americans predominate in Kentucky and Tennessee. Its another way of saying 'old American', 'Anglo-Celtic' or 'Anglo'. Hence the oddity of hyphenated Americans: Chinese-Americans, Greek-Americans, Arab-Americans. But, most of us Americans aren't hyphenated (and, some want to hyphenate us, but steal terms from others - like British-American or Anglo-American, which refers to recent immigrants from England.)
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« Reply #26 on: May 19, 2007, 02:28:01 AM »

I'm open to that possibility, provided you can give an altaernative explanation of the following exchange:
Quote
They might be American citizens, but that isn't the same as Americans. American is an ethnicity - if you check the US census, you'll see that Americans predominate in Kentucky and Tennessee. Its another way of saying 'old American', 'Anglo-Celtic' or 'Anglo'. Hence the oddity of hyphenated Americans: Chinese-Americans, Greek-Americans, Arab-Americans. But, most of us Americans aren't hyphenated (and, some want to hyphenate us, but steal terms from others - like British-American or Anglo-American, which refers to recent immigrants from England.)


What I'm talking about is your insistence that some or all of us who desire an American church want a church that is ethnically American.  I see what you see, that some such as Aristibule very clearly think of "American" as an ethnicity, but I don't draw from this the conclusion that such posters want a church that is ethnically American.  This conclusion appears to be merely the product of how you read these posts.
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« Reply #27 on: May 19, 2007, 02:29:58 AM »

(copied from another thread for which this post is appropriate)

I've been reading and thinking a bit about what role ethnic culture should play in the American Orthodox Church.  I do agree that we should work and pray toward the breaking down of ethnic barriers that currently separate Orthodox parishes one from another, but this does not mean that we should consider ethnicity unimportant and strive to create some ethnically "American" church that is as shallow as our "American" culture.  Just how much of the Gospel is preserved and put into practice in the very deep cultures of the Old World peoples!  We're talking centuries of cultural enfleshment of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and through some very difficult times of persecution.  These ethnic cultures have become so tightly intertwined with their life in Christ that you cannot separate their Orthodoxy from their culture without destroying both.  If anything as we strive to build a Church that truly brings Christ to all in America, we must strive even harder to preserve the ethnic cultures of the various peoples who brought Orthodoxy to North America.
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« Reply #28 on: May 19, 2007, 02:39:02 AM »



What I'm talking about is your insistence that some or all of us who desire an American church want a church that is ethnically American.  I see what you see, that some such as Aristibule very clearly think of "American" as an ethnicity, but I don't draw from this the conclusion that such posters want a church that is ethnically American.  This conclusion appears to be merely the product of how you read these posts.

It might be a battle of semantics, but for someone to draw out that Americans are either "American" (Anglo) or hyphenated-Americans, and then want an "American Orthodox Church", makes it appear along ethnic lines.  While a Church "of America" or "in America" sounds much more territory based.  For example, the Chiesa Ortodossa in Italia, though uncanonical is the Orthodox Church in Italy, if they were to name it the Italian Orthodox Church, it would isolate the the Romanian, Ukrainian, Serbian, Greek, etc Orthodox members from the ethnically Italian (though, I am not sure that even has much meaning, but hey, I'm a regionalist  Cool).
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« Reply #29 on: May 19, 2007, 02:40:07 AM »

If anything as we strive to build a Church that truly brings Christ to all in America, we must strive even harder to preserve the ethnic cultures of the various peoples who brought Orthodoxy to North America.

I agree with this 100%.   Smiley  Though, we must understand ethnic culture will include language as well as other customs and traditions.
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« Reply #30 on: May 19, 2007, 02:44:16 AM »

It might be a battle of semantics, but for someone to draw out that Americans are either "American" (Anglo) or hyphenated-Americans, and then want an "American Orthodox Church", makes it appear along ethnic lines.  While a Church "of America" or "in America" sounds much more territory based.  For example, the Chiesa Ortodossa in Italia, though uncanonical is the Orthodox Church in Italy, if they were to name it the Italian Orthodox Church, it would isolate the the Romanian, Ukrainian, Serbian, Greek, etc Orthodox members from the ethnically Italian (though, I am not sure that even has much meaning, but hey, I'm a regionalist  Cool).
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« Reply #31 on: May 19, 2007, 02:51:33 AM »

I agree with this 100%.   Smiley  Though, we must understand ethnic culture will include language as well as other customs and traditions.
Very true, and I don't think we should squelch these in favor of a church that ministers to those of other ethnicities.
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« Reply #32 on: May 19, 2007, 03:32:07 AM »

Very true, and I don't think we should squelch these in favor of a church that ministers to those of other ethnicities.

Agreed, that is why when some speak of an "American Church" it worries me.  Languages, customs, traditions and cultures all must be taken into account. 

As Aristibule mentioned before, the Church would be polyglot.  Sure, that is great, but that doesn't address unique customs and traditions that must also be preserved as well.
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« Reply #33 on: May 19, 2007, 04:39:53 AM »

Agreed, that is why when some speak of an "American Church" it worries me.  Languages, customs, traditions and cultures all must be taken into account. 

As Aristibule mentioned before, the Church would be polyglot.  Sure, that is great, but that doesn't address unique customs and traditions that must also be preserved as well.

That's the wonderful thing about the Church here in America. Yes, everyone has their reason why it's doing everything wrong and how it needs to be changed; but the fact of the matter is that it's naturally developing in the manner that is the most beneficial to the faithful. This seemingly imperfect struggling along is how the Church has always functioned, grown, and survived. The Church in America is what the Church should be, an organic entity that grows and develops as needed, independent of the opinions of a few idealists on both sides.
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« Reply #34 on: May 19, 2007, 09:21:34 AM »

That's the wonderful thing about the Church here in America. Yes, everyone has their reason why it's doing everything wrong and how it needs to be changed; but the fact of the matter is that it's naturally developing in the manner that is the most beneficial to the faithful. This seemingly imperfect struggling along is how the Church has always functioned, grown, and survived. The Church in America is what the Church should be, an organic entity that grows and develops as needed, independent of the opinions of a few idealists on both sides.

OMG, I agree with you again! Are you mellowing??? Grin

Although I have the idealist tendencies as well, as evidenced in other posts of mine elsewhere.
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« Reply #35 on: May 19, 2007, 09:42:49 AM »

One other thing, maybe we could continue this discussion without recourse to the word "American" which seems to mean something different to each one posting.

I think there seems to be some agreement in this discussion and the the previous one about an "American" (oops) Orthodox Church, that some creative tension between preserving the ethnic cultures that brought Orthodoxy to these shores and making Orthodoxy more adaptable to and friendly to mainstream culture for evangelistic purposes is held by most. How that gets worked out and where the balance is, we all seem to differ on. (Just like in the other post, which old world hierach an united Orthodox here should fall under, seems to be a lively matter of debate). So I don't think we are as far apart as everyone would seem to appear and there is some wrangling over semantics and nitpicking (ozgeorge   Wink  ), which at least adds to the debate and makes for interesting reading!

Finally, when I was first exploring Orthodoxy, I visited a Greek, Antiochian (mostly ethnic) and a Russian church. I gravitated toward the Russian because the harmonies sounded more familiar to my Presbyterian ears and there was a less ethnic aspect and the parish offered fewer cultural hurdles for me to clear (at least in my estimation at the time) in order to discover the Orthodox faith. Now that I already am Orthodox I can go to the other jurisdictions (including Russian parishes using slavonic) with more confidence and familiarity and fully participate in the liturgy or vesper and enjoy it more (I especially admire the quarter tones in the singing of the chanter at the Antiochian parish; quite different from our Western half tone based music; my nephew, however, who is un-churched and married a Maronite Catholic, makes wierd noises describing the chanting at her church and it is so far removed from his experience that I don't think he would ever find a home there).

If we can create a Church here in this part of the world that strikes a healthy balance that is what I think we all hope for.



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« Reply #36 on: May 19, 2007, 03:48:55 PM »

One other thing, maybe we could continue this discussion without recourse to the word "American" which seems to mean something different to each one posting.

And I think that our different interpretations of the term 'American' come from different cultural experiences from living in different parts of the country.

Quote
I think there seems to be some agreement in this discussion and the the previous one about an "American" (oops) Orthodox Church, that some creative tension between preserving the ethnic cultures that brought Orthodoxy to these shores and making Orthodoxy more adaptable to and friendly to mainstream culture for evangelistic purposes is held by most.

I would, essentially agree with this, with one additional nuance. It must be recognized that this 'mainstream' culture is not homogeneous across this vast land. Some fear that the Oecumenical Throne would impose Greek culture and stifle other cultural expressions, but from my experience at least, I do not view this as a threat I have seen the diversity that is allowed within the various Churches under Constantinople, from the Russians in France to Carpatho Russians in America. However, what I do worry about is an imposition of New England or even Southern (though this is far less likely) cultural norms on the rest of the United State. And this I have observed, specifically under Archbishop Iakovos in the GOA, to this day most of our Bishops have at least some connection to the Northeast (even many of those born in Greece have connections to the Northeastern United States). With this has come this foreign cultural influence, a New England cultural influence, on the Church in several regions of the United States.

This is one of the reasons I view the recent change in the hierarchical structure of the GOA to be a wonderful thing, no longer (in theory at least) are our Bishops subject to synod dominated by Northeastern personalities, rather they are under the far more diverse synod of the Great Church of Christ, which has a proven tract record in diversity and toleration of other cultural expressions. I fearan American Church could simply magnify regional cultural dominance, actually threatening rather than helping the local regional culture expressions in the Church. We may share several similar concerns, the difference is in who we view as the primary threat.
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« Reply #37 on: May 19, 2007, 06:46:49 PM »

they are under the far more diverse synod of the Great Church of Christ, which has a proven tract record in diversity and toleration of other cultural expressions. I fearan American Church could simply magnify regional cultural dominance, actually threatening rather than helping the local regional culture expressions in the Church.
Blessed reasoning.  Save your self.
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« Reply #38 on: May 23, 2007, 12:37:53 AM »

Feelings aren't facts, Aristibule.
 Oh dear. You're gonna have to get yourself out of this one.

I didn't say feelings - I said impressions. My impressions are based on your interpretation of everything as being some 'phyletist' attack against Greek hegemony (of the sort GiC calls for.)

As for 'get yourself [sic] out of this one.' - I can stand by it. GiC's little rant:

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As far as being a scalawag, if that word is an element of your local culture, it would seem that you are the scalawag or traitor. You deny and belittle the sacrifice of our ancestors who opposed the Yankee occupation of Southern land and the destruction of Southern culture by identifying both ethnically and culturally with the occupying state. Sympathizing and collaborating with yankee culture and the yankee state is the definition of a scalawag.

Liar, liar. I never identified myself with the occupiers - Confederates are Americans. Note: Confederate States of AMERICA. That is, to the America that stayed true to Constitution and freedom. So, I stand where I am - in union both with the Church universal, and with the land and people of my birth. Hellenization of America calls for the term scalawag. So, I'm no denier or 'belittler' - I'm the one keeping true. I say this, as I note you use our symbols - but you speak against us. But, I'm quite done with you.

And yes, ozgeorge - I do see that you lack love towards our people. First and foremost, that you believe only the evil of us. IE, America as all 'Britney Spears, McDonalds and secularism'. Secondly, that you take offense to any critique of ethnic-focused Orthodoxy in the West as some betrayal of Orthodoxy. The fundamental propositions that are not being dealt with are:

1) Salvation is for all men. It isn't just for Greeks (with some economia for a few Slavs.) Hellenocentrism is hiding the Light of Christ under a bushel. It is not in fulfillment of the Great Commission. Where one local church fails in this, another may be obedient (and for that, we converts give thanks to God.)

2) Orthodoxy exists outside of Hellas and its diaspora. Russian Orthodoxy is as Orthodox as Greek Orthodoxy (then again : "There are two pieties: false piety, and Russian piety.") So is Arab Orthodoxy, Romanian Orthodoxy, Serbian Orthodoxy. So is Western Orthodoxy - Australian Orthodox, Canadian Orthodox, American Orthodox, English Orthodox...

3) The West is not pagan, but Christian. Nor is the West secular. Secularism is in fact in opposition to the West - its major target has been the destruction of the culture and memory of Western Civilization: Christendom. Christendom is the West, not the secularism, no more than a cancer patient *is* his cancer. A patient may be saved by surgery, rather than by replacement by another - and that is up to the Great Physician.
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« Reply #39 on: May 23, 2007, 03:29:41 AM »

I didn't say feelings - I said impressions. My impressions are based on your interpretation of everything as being some 'phyletist' attack against Greek hegemony (of the sort GiC calls for.)

Maybe I missed something along the way, but where do you get the impression that Ozgeorge is such a Hellenophile that he sees your apparent desire for an ethnically American church as a "phyletist attack against Greek hegemony"?  I know he's identified himself with the EP's jurisdiction in Australia, and I am aware of one post where he called the desire for an American Orthodoxy "phyletist", but I just don't see where he speaks specifically of the supremacy of a Hellenist practice of Orthodoxy.  Can you refer me to the specific posts where Ozgeorge lays out such Hellenism?
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« Reply #40 on: May 23, 2007, 05:35:58 AM »

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The West is not pagan, but Christian. Nor is the West secular.

It is funny how reality gets lost in all of this.  Abortion rates and the non-practicing of religion are incredibly high in traditionally Orthodox countries compared to the US and even Western Europe.  In many ways the Christian ethos is much stronger in the American heartland than in any Orthodox country.  So it is a bit odd when we are being lectured about how Orthodoxy is so perfectly expressed by culture X when things like abortion, pornography, prostitution, crime and such are out of control in country X (not to mentioned that weekly church attendance is 1-5% in most country Xs).
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« Reply #41 on: May 23, 2007, 07:38:35 AM »

I didn't say feelings - I said impressions. My impressions are based on your interpretation of everything as being some 'phyletist' attack against Greek hegemony (of the sort GiC calls for.)
Really? How can your impressions be based on my interpretation of anything?

As for this and the rest of your post, you're dibbling phyletist nonsense. "Our people" are the Church, not our ethnicities. Like GiC, I'm done with you.
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« Reply #42 on: May 23, 2007, 02:24:28 PM »

Dear friends,

I think this issue is serious and difficult. Right now, I am worshipping at a parish that belongs to the Autonomous Orthodox Metropolia in Western Europe and the Americas, or Milan Synod. In my parish, indeed, all people except my wife and myself are converts from Anglo-Catholicism and trace their origins back to either English or Scottish ethnicity. Of course, all services are in English, and there is almost nothing "ethnic" in them (except that numerous names of old English or Celtic saints are being mentioned - something that you would not hear in a Ukrainian or Russian or Bulgarian or Greek Orthodox church). Even though I am a first generation immigrant from Ukraine and clearly a Ukrainian, I, actually, do not mind that. To me, church is not a social club and not a place for cultural development. It's Church. I am not there to celebrate my Ukrainian identity or to keep in touch with my authentic Ukrainian culture - I am there to worship, to participate in the "leitourgia" together with other human beings, who are of whatever ethnic or cultural or linguistic identity.

On the other hand, at home, I always pray in my native language, in Ukrainian. I cannot imagine for one split second that I will be standing or kneeling in front of Holy Icons and speak or whisper in English. To me, that would be... sorry for a strong term, perverted, un-natural. And, honestly, when I am participating in the "leitourgia" at church, and repeat words and sentences in English, every now and then I do feel like I am missing something. I do miss a priest and a deacon saying and chanting in Ukrainian...

How will it be for my daughter, if she ever becomes Orthodox? I do not know. She came to the US when she was only six years old. Right now, she is a Ph.D. student at Harvard and, of course, her English is very rich and she uses it like a person would use this person's first, native language. Yet, at home, with us parents, she is Ukrainian, and when it is about some very basic things like spiritual convictions, faith, - her language, I believe, is Ukrainian. If she ever becomes Orthodox and comes to an Orthodox church where everything is in English, will she be able to experience the "leitourgia" fully? I don't know... Her chidren, most likely, will be, but is it good? I don't know...

I have some friends who are second and third generation Ukrainians and who very strongly oppose the idea of creating an "All-American" Orthodox Church. They are staunch, enthusiastic supporters of preserving their own Ukrainian churches. They say that "anglos" simply lost ANY ethnicity, the mere idea, the mere basic notion of ethnicity, having actually dissolved in an artificial "plastic" surrogate pseudo-"culture" of the contemporary North America. And they don't want to sink in this ocean of "un-ethnicity" at all.

Again, tough issue and I don't have any answers. Smiley

George

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« Reply #43 on: May 24, 2007, 01:21:40 PM »

George,

My wife came from Slovakia when she was 6 and she doesn't pray in Slovak; only English. But she understand what you say because when we go to our Greek parish, she does not feel the same understanding as when we do services in English. So since Ukrainian is your native language, it is understandable what you say.

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« Reply #44 on: May 24, 2007, 05:15:41 PM »

I have some friends who are second and third generation Ukrainians and who very strongly oppose the idea of creating an "All-American" Orthodox Church. They are staunch, enthusiastic supporters of preserving their own Ukrainian churches. They say that "anglos" simply lost ANY ethnicity, the mere idea, the mere basic notion of ethnicity, having actually dissolved in an artificial "plastic" surrogate pseudo-"culture" of the contemporary North America. And they don't want to sink in this ocean of "un-ethnicity" at all.

Well, from my point of view perhaps they do not 'connect' or understand "American culture", meaning no disrespect to you or your friends, George.  This country and North America (including as it does Canada and Mexico) does not have just one culture and it's not 'plastic' surrogate or "pseudo" imho.  Montana (where I'm from and my heart's home as it were) is different from Maryland where I live now or Philadelphia where I once lived.  There may be an overlaying percieved "culture" that is put out by tv or other media, but that is not the same as what most people really *live* in.  And I don't think that "anglo" is accurate or fair.  Out in Montana there is the culture of the Blackfeet and the Crow and the Flathead/Salish and other tribes.  There is the culture of the ranchers and farmers and that of the miners in the mountains (fyi home of the oldest EO parish that came with miners long ago: the Serbian EO in Butte).  In Maryland there's the overlay but Baltimore is different from western Maryland and it's people in the little towns and the Eastern Shore is different some ways from both. 

I apologize for rabbiting on.  But North America has a rich variety of folkways and cultural customs.

Respectfully,

Ebor
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« Reply #45 on: May 24, 2007, 05:31:30 PM »

Dear Ebor,

Yes, of course, I understand that the USA is not all that homogenous and "plastic." I lived in Southern California for a year, then in Seattle for about seven years, and then in east-central Mississippi. Cultural differences between the urban West Coast and the rural (or "small-town") deep South are obvious and striking. People often ask my wife and me, did you guys experience a culture shock when you moved from Ukraine to the USA? We laugh and say, well, perhaps we experienced a harder culture shock when we moved from Seattle to Starkville, MS. Smiley

But that's not quite the same as ETHNIC differences. A Mississippi "redneck" (no disrespect implied!) whose last name happens to be Polansky or Budreikis is EXACTLY the same as a Mississippi redneck whose last name is Jones or O'Donnell. On the other hand, a Seattle yuppie whose last name is Jones is as different from a Mississippi redneck whose last name is Jones as a Seattle yuppie whose last name is Kowalski is different from a Mississippi redneck whose last name is Kowalski...

Good talking to you guys, very educational. Very respectfully yours,

Heorhij-George Smiley
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« Reply #46 on: May 24, 2007, 06:12:46 PM »

But that's not quite the same as ETHNIC differences. A Mississippi "redneck" (no disrespect implied!) whose last name happens to be Polansky or Budreikis is EXACTLY the same as a Mississippi redneck whose last name is Jones or O'Donnell.

Again, I mean no disrespect but I would disagree with you on this to the extent that no one Human Being is "exactly the same" as another person even if they live in the same state and share the same socio-economic strata.  Individuals and families have their own behaviours and customs that may be rooted in their past and are not necessarily shared by others that may seem to be "like" them.  There are some people whom others might term "rednecks" who  may have have some very different aspects then their neighbors.  Wendell Berry is a farmer in Kentucky.  I would hazard a guess that seeing him in his fields would give the impression that he was perhaps a "redneck".  But along with that life he is a renowned writer of fiction, non-fiction and poetry and has at times taught at the university level.  But he is part of the Kentucky rural culture too.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry is an overview page with links.

Florence King relates in one of her memoirs of a plumber coming to work on her pipes.  To look at him you might consider him a "redneck".  But Miss King (who is also Southern) was playing a record of music from iirc "Tristan and Isolde".  The man said "Ain't that the purdiest thing!" and asked what it was.  He noted the information and went out to buy it as well as other Wagner works.  He was not exactly like the next plumber.


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On the other hand, a Seattle yuppie whose last name is Jones is as different from a Mississippi redneck whose last name is Jones as a Seattle yuppie whose last name is Kowalski is different from a Mississippi redneck whose last name is Kowalski...

I don't know....maybe both Kowalskis have a fondness for Kielbasa that has come down to them from their family customs.  Maybe they both have an old grandmother who speaks Polish. Same with the Joneses.  They may be totally different, or they could be brothers/sisters or cousins. My own father came from dirt-farm stock in Virginia, he joined the Army Air Corps, went to England and France, took over-seas classes from U of Maryland.  Learned to love classical music and is a voracious reader who has lived in Montana for over 50 years. But he has kin with the same name in Va. and has some things in common with them and some things that are totally different.


On my neighborhood we have familes from Cameroon, Pakistan/British Columbia, Pennsylvania, California, (the Australian friends moved back to that country) Korea and more.  There is the 'overlay' of culture and then the variations and individual customs and cultural things. 

Sincerely,

Ebor
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« Reply #47 on: May 25, 2007, 11:04:22 AM »

Dear Ebor,

Well, you made good points and I, essentially, agree (although I did not, honestly, mean to imply anything bad or low or un-cultured by using the term "redneck"). Yet, I think you wil agree, too, that "old country" ethnicities seem to disappear in the US. I had a friend, a young woman from rural north-central Louisiana whose last name was Sanchez and whose mother's last name was something like Broussard. She used to say that she was "half-Spanish and half-French." That made me smile ironically. There was nothing, absolutely, truly nothing Spanish or French in her. She spoke exactly like small town northern or central Louisiana folks speak; she had zero idea about the Spanish or the French language or customs or history, and I am not sure she would be even able to show Spain or France on the map. Now, this latte part can be, certainly, corrected by education; but still, nothing in the world could make her belong to the SAME PEOPLE with the Spanish people from Spain, or the French people from France. And this is what my Ukrainian friends, whom I mentioned earler, want to prevent in themselves and in their children (probably in vain).

I enjoy our conversation and please forgive me if I sounded arogant or disrespectful in any way. Since we seem to have somewhat deviated from the topic of this thread, maybe we might continue this conversation privately? (My e-mail address is in my profile). Thank you!

In His peace,

George
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« Reply #48 on: May 25, 2007, 02:09:35 PM »

Maybe I missed something along the way, but where do you get the impression that Ozgeorge is such a Hellenophile that he sees your apparent desire for an ethnically American church as a "phyletist attack against Greek hegemony"? 

Simple - in his reactions. No matter what I write, he has reacted as such and called my posts something they were not: phyletism, etc. It is definitely Hellenophilia and anti-Westernism, yet again. (Which, in this case - I'm ready to take my case up to whomever moderates the moderators.)

Other folk understand what I'm talking about though: that Orthodoxy is what matters, that 'Greek' or any other ethnicity is not the same as Orthodoxy, that all men must be reached where they are at.
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« Reply #49 on: May 25, 2007, 02:58:39 PM »

Simple - in his reactions. No matter what I write, he has reacted as such and called my posts something they were not: phyletism, etc. It is definitely Hellenophilia and anti-Westernism, yet again. (Which, in this case - I'm ready to take my case up to whomever moderates the moderators.)

Other folk understand what I'm talking about though: that Orthodoxy is what matters, that 'Greek' or any other ethnicity is not the same as Orthodoxy, that all men must be reached where they are at.

You're, of course, welcome to your opinions. But no one is required to agree with you. You come across as quite alarmist and radical on this issue, presenting this mythical 'American culture' which sounds to me like an excuse to destroy regional cultures. I for one am glad that the Greek Church, at least, is doing what it can to maintain the status quo. If you dont like it, then you can go to Church elsewhere.
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« Reply #50 on: May 25, 2007, 05:18:22 PM »

If you dont like it, then you can go to Church elsewhere.

Sometimes that's not possible, e.g., there is only one Orthodox Church close by.

Your comment came across as rude.  The attitude conveyed in it (my ethnicity or the highway) is exactly what can become a hindrance to non-"my ethinicity" people interested in Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #51 on: May 25, 2007, 05:35:48 PM »

I am not a big fan of church hopping.  If you don't like something...fix it.  Its easy to leave and go somewhere that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside.  its a lot harder to work with people and try to make things better. 

I do understand though...we all need spiritual nourishment.  If we arn't getting it in our parish we do need to get it somewhere...

In the end we all need to fall under the Serbian church.  Where else after a full day of church and personal and political and theological debate can you go to the basement of the church and have a drink?   Wink Grin
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« Reply #52 on: May 25, 2007, 05:39:02 PM »

In the end we all need to fall under the Serbian church.

LoL!  You sound like my fiancee's mother.   Cheesy Wink
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« Reply #53 on: May 25, 2007, 06:29:14 PM »

In the end we all need to fall under the Serbian church.  Where else after a full day of church and personal and political and theological debate can you go to the basement of the church and have a drink?   Wink Grin

Now you my friend have made, by far, the best argument yet for unification under a hierarchy other than the Oecumenical Throne. If more people thought like that I'm sure the Church in America would already be unified Wink
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« Reply #54 on: May 25, 2007, 06:33:57 PM »

Where else after a full day of church and personal and political and theological debate can you go to the basement of the church and have a drink?   Wink Grin

One day I will get to experience this.   Grin
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« Reply #55 on: May 25, 2007, 07:59:32 PM »

Simple - in his reactions. No matter what I write, he has reacted as such and called my posts something they were not: phyletism, etc. It is definitely Hellenophilia and anti-Westernism, yet again. (Which, in this case - I'm ready to take my case up to whomever moderates the moderators.)

The People to contact if you wish to lodge a complaint against me as a moderator are Cleveland and Fr. Chris.

George
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« Reply #56 on: May 25, 2007, 10:18:47 PM »

Simple - in his reactions. No matter what I write, he has reacted as such and called my posts something they were not: phyletism, etc. It is definitely Hellenophilia and anti-Westernism, yet again. (Which, in this case - I'm ready to take my case up to whomever moderates the moderators.)

Aristibule,

All you're doing is continuing to spout your own emotional reactions to what Ozgeorge has posted, but this is not what I asked for.  Since your response to me seems to indicate that you only read the first half of the post you quoted, I will repeat the second half of my post.

I know he's identified himself with the EP's jurisdiction in Australia, and I am aware of one post where he called the desire for an American Orthodoxy "phyletist", but I just don't see where he speaks specifically of the supremacy of a Hellenist practice of Orthodoxy.  Can you refer me to the specific posts where Ozgeorge lays out such Hellenism?

I do not want you to merely continue your tirade against Ozgeorge.  I want to see concrete evidence of Ozgeorge's Hellenophilia from his own posts.  If you're going to level such allegations of improper conduct against Ozgeorge, you at least owe us concrete evidence to give substance to your claim.  Until you can give us that, I advise you to calm down and stop complaining.
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« Reply #57 on: May 26, 2007, 11:29:16 AM »

You're, of course, welcome to your opinions. But no one is required to agree with you. You come across as quite alarmist and radical on this issue, presenting this mythical 'American culture' which sounds to me like an excuse to destroy regional cultures. I for one am glad that the Greek Church, at least, is doing what it can to maintain the status quo. If you dont like it, then you can go to Church elsewhere.

Mythical American culture?  Would you care to elaborate? 

So you think that the idea of an American Culture is a myth, so therefore America has no culture per say? 

I personally have not been able to identify an American culture...but I have heard many people argue that there IS one...I just don't remember their argument. 

In the end does the culture really have to be a part of the church?  Or can/does the church make the culture? 

We can all say that we are "orthodox" and that culture shouldn't permiate our religious standing, but if we think that we can seperate "orthodox" from a cultural "mindset" or way of being, then we are kidding ourselves. 

I have met some "hard-core" "converts" who are staunch anti-ethnics.  But they still identify themselves with a certain culture or way of being.  Certain rituals and holidays that they follow.  Yet they say that we need to put our faith before our ethnicity.  Does not ethnicity mean culture in the world today? 

Maybe i'm extrapulating too much...?
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« Reply #58 on: May 26, 2007, 02:12:43 PM »

Dear Ebor,

Well, you made good points and I, essentially, agree (although I did not, honestly, mean to imply anything bad or low or un-cultured by using the term "redneck"). Yet, I think you wil agree, too, that "old country" ethnicities seem to disappear in the US.

Well, one might consider that the situation in the US in the last 2 centuries is rather different then alot of places and times.  Here is an idea for consideration:  A person from the US or Japan or Argentina or some other country moves to the Ukraine.  They settle there and have a family. There aren't many others from their original country there, and they have to adapt their eating and clothing and other aspects of life to what is available.  The children grow up and speak Ukrainian and some of their parent's language, but they might only have Ukrainians to marry.  The grandchildren may learn a little English or Japanese or what have you from Gramma or Grandad, but the rest of their family and friends speak Ukrainian.  How long before the American/Japanese/etc "ethnicity" is gone except possibly for a few customs.  Does that ethnicity disappear into Ukrainian life?   Smiley 

I would submit that this is a common mode of how humans live.  Japanese people moved to Hawaii and California to find work over a century ago.  Their descendents adapted more and more to American life as the years passed because that was the society in which they lived.  There was the horrible incident during WWII of the Internment Camps for people who were only of Japanese ancestry, and had no link at all to that country.  That was a blot and a shame on US history.  But human beings adapt to their living situations.

Quote
I had a friend, a young woman from rural north-central Louisiana whose last name was Sanchez and whose mother's last name was something like Broussard. She used to say that she was "half-Spanish and half-French." That made me smile ironically. There was nothing, absolutely, truly nothing Spanish or French in her.

This seems to me to be a possible confusing of "ethnicity" with ancestry, meaning no disrespect. 

Quote
...still, nothing in the world could make her belong to the SAME PEOPLE with the Spanish people from Spain, or the French people from France.

Nothing?  Could she have some features that look "Spanish" or "French"? I suspect that my pale blue-gray eyes and general colouring would not look *too* out of place in Scotland where a good number of my ancestors came from.  Smiley
I'm not trying to be difficult here, and I apologize if it seems that way.

Quote
And this is what my Ukrainian friends, whom I mentioned earler, want to prevent in themselves and in their children (probably in vain).

Humans want to preserve the ways, the customs, the beliefs that they know.  Near me is a Ukrainian Orthodox Church.  Some years ago it had almost no young people because of like what I described above.  The people born here spoke English.  Services and Sermons in Ukrainian meant nothing to them.  The older people remembered the "old country" but the children had never known it.  One young man from there came to our parish for a while (Episcopalian) with his wife.  Eventually there was an Antiochian O parish that has services in English and they started trying that.  Now he is a priest in the Ukrainian Othodox Church in a parish with English services as far as I know and most of the people there are not of Ukrainian ancestry.  How "Ukrainian" are they?   Smiley

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I enjoy our conversation and please forgive me if I sounded arogant or disrespectful in any way. Since we seem to have somewhat deviated from the topic of this thread, maybe we might continue this conversation privately? (My e-mail address is in my profile). Thank you!

You didn't sound arrogant or disrespectful at all.  I hope that I don't come across that way either.  I wanted to offer some other ideas, some countering examples, that sort of thing.  We can always start a new thread, if you wish.  That's par for the course here, at times.    Cheesy  One thing to remember is that as a public forum, there could be many many people reading this, including "lurkers" that is people who don't join in but just read.  Sometimes one can learn interesting things without joining in.

Ebor
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« Reply #59 on: May 26, 2007, 02:18:05 PM »

One thing to remember is that as a public forum, there could be many many people reading this, including "lurkers" that is people who don't join in but just read.  Sometimes one can learn interesting things without joining in.

Ebor
Quite often those "lurkers" can be regular members who can't log on to join the conversation until much later.
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« Reply #60 on: May 26, 2007, 02:25:44 PM »

We can all say that we are "orthodox" and that culture shouldn't permiate our religious standing, but if we think that we can seperate "orthodox" from a cultural "mindset" or way of being, then we are kidding ourselves. 

I have met some "hard-core" "converts" who are staunch anti-ethnics.  But they still identify themselves with a certain culture or way of being.  Certain rituals and holidays that they follow.  Yet they say that we need to put our faith before our ethnicity.  Does not ethnicity mean culture in the world today? 

Maybe i'm extrapulating too much...?

Oh I have met these "hard-core" anti-ethnic "converts" as well, and I seem to be their worst enemy.   Tongue  I am converting, I am not from a 'traditionally Orthodox nation', but am pro-ethnic and traditions.  They will always say "You went to a Roman Catholic Church.  It isn't ethnic!  You must agree with us?!  It would be better to cut back the ethnic nature".  Pft, I went to either a parish that said the Tridentine Mass and the majority of the people were Southern European, or to a parish that was majority Italian and most of the Masses were celebrated in Italian.  That is probably why the Churches from the Balkans feel so homey and normal, it feels like being around my own family (everyone being a character  Tongue).   Cheesy  Therefore I agree completely with you, 'if we think that we can seperate "orthodox" from a cultural "mindset" or way of being, then we are kidding ourselves'.   Wink
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« Reply #61 on: May 26, 2007, 07:17:47 PM »

Mythical American culture?  Would you care to elaborate? 

So you think that the idea of an American Culture is a myth, so therefore America has no culture per say? 

I personally have not been able to identify an American culture...but I have heard many people argue that there IS one...I just don't remember their argument. 

I think the myth is that there is only one American culture.
A multicultural society cannot simultaneously be a monoculture. I think that there are shared values and these are expressed in the Constitution and Laws of the US, but one can hardly say that there is even aggreement over this among US citizens (eg Pro-choice vs. Pro Life).
As soon as people say that the US has "a" culture and start equating that culture with WASP culture they've created a mythical American culture.
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« Reply #62 on: May 26, 2007, 07:28:21 PM »

Or can/does the church make the culture? 
Absolutely.
I think people often look at what they call "ethnic Churches", and fail to see that in fact the elements of "ethnic culture"  have been shaped over centuries by the presence of the Church. This is true even of language. For example, there are now words in the Greek language which would not exist had it not been for the Church ("Theotokos", "homoousios", "Theanthropos" etc.)
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« Reply #63 on: May 26, 2007, 08:42:57 PM »

Mythical American culture?  Would you care to elaborate? 

So you think that the idea of an American Culture is a myth, so therefore America has no culture per say? 

I personally have not been able to identify an American culture...but I have heard many people argue that there IS one...I just don't remember their argument. 

I think the myth is that there is only one American culture.
A multicultural society cannot simultaneously be a monoculture. I think that there are shared values and these are expressed in the Constitution and Laws of the US, but one can hardly say that there is even aggreement over this among US citizens (eg Pro-choice vs. Pro Life).
As soon as people say that the US has "a" culture and start equating that culture with WASP culture they've created a mythical American culture.

Exactly as George is saying. I deny that there is some 'American culture', though I do not deny that there are American culture"s". It is the suggestion that there is a monolithic American culture, that my culture as a westerner is some how the same as New England culture, that I both reject and take offence to. The notion of a single American culture is absurd, as is the concept of some universal American Church. We are better served being under semi-independent metropolitans, all under the Oecumenical Throne which is not attempting to force a culture on us, than we would be under some East Coast Bishop who has no regard or respect for the several diverse American cultures.
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« Reply #64 on: May 26, 2007, 09:48:19 PM »

Absolutely.
I think people often look at what they call "ethnic Churches", and fail to see that in fact the elements of "ethnic culture"  have been shaped over centuries by the presence of the Church. This is true even of language. For example, there are now words in the Greek language which would not exist had it not been for the Church ("Theotokos", "homoousios", "Theanthropos" etc.)

George,

I will guess that Orthodoxy will shape the various regional cultures of North America given the opportunity. And there will be North American expressions of some ethnic traditions that are probably evolving now. The Russians adapted various Greek customs and made them there own. It will happen here too. Tithing (while Biblical) seems to be a tradition ingrained in many Protestant churches. As more tithing Protestants become Orthodox we will probably see tithing become a North American Orthodox tradition. Tithing has already become an official guideline in the Antiochian Archdiocese. Also, many former Protestants bring with them a sense of mission and service to the poor. These services, while also biblical, are a part of their church culture. Here again we see these customs becoming a part of a North American Orthodox tradition. Fr. Kevin Scherer of the Antiochian Archdiocese started OYO (Orthodox Youth Outreach). This ministry takes Orthodox teens into the inner city to serve the homeless. At the last SCOBA meeting Fr. Kevin asked the bishops if this Antiochian ministry could become an official ministry of SCOBA.
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« Reply #65 on: May 26, 2007, 10:26:20 PM »

I will guess that Orthodoxy will shape the various regional cultures of North America given the opportunity.
Absolutely.
But as you say, it must be "given the opportunity". All cultures, whether Arabic, Anglo, Celtic, Serbian, Greek, Russian, Creole, etc must be submitted and subordinated to the Church, and not imposed on her, so that the Church can continue her mission of sanctifying the Cosmos.

All that is good and true in any culture belongs to the Church. It is ours already. This is why, for example, many ancient Orthodox Churches include Icons of pagan thinkers like Socrates, Pythagoras, the Sybils etc in their Narthex. What is true in their teaching belongs to the Church. Similarly, what is true and good in the various North American cultures also belongs to the Church.
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« Reply #66 on: May 27, 2007, 12:28:14 AM »

Despite regional differences and ethnic origins there IS something AMERICAN about America.

To say there is no American culture because of regional differences is like saying there is no Russian culture because people from St. Petersburg are different than people from Moscow and both are different from people living in siberia.

I would think that people living in the coastal areas of Greece are different than those in the central part of the country.

Sicilians are different than mainland Italians and both are different than northern (Alpine) Italians.

Alot of countries have regional differces that have distinct LOCAL cultures, but nonetheless these folks still partake of and identify with the natural culture. Same in the USA.

The fact is that alot of the ethnic churches in the US are becoming third and fourth generation and over time they will be simply American parishes inhabited by a majority of people with Greek last names, or eastern European last names (Slovakian, Ukranian, Carpatho-Russian, Russian) or Arab names or Serbian names. But whatever AMERICAN is, it is something distinct (and more than simply our materialistic, consumer-driven pop culture) and the children of people who come here become Americans and not just naturalized citizens.

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« Reply #67 on: May 27, 2007, 12:36:18 AM »

Despite regional differences and ethnic origins there IS something AMERICAN about America.

To say there is no American culture because of regional differences is like saying there is no Russian culture because people from St. Petersburg are different than people from Moscow and both are different from people living in siberia.

I would think that people living in the coastal areas of Greece are different than those in the central part of the country.

Sicilians are different than mainland Italians and both are different than northern (Alpine) Italians.

Alot of countries have regional differces that have distinct LOCAL cultures, but nonetheless these folks still partake of and identify with the natural culture. Same in the USA.

The fact is that alot of the ethnic churches in the US are becoming third and fourth generation and over time they will be simply American parishes inhabited by a majority of people with Greek last names, or eastern European last names (Slovakian, Ukranian, Carpatho-Russian, Russian) or Arab names or Serbian names. But whatever AMERICAN is, it is something distinct (and more than simply our materialistic, consumer-driven pop culture) and the children of people who come here become Americans and not just naturalized citizens.



Dear Brother Aidan,

You know...there really are differences even among Arab Orthodox Christians in the celebration of their customs. They may all celebrate the Divine Liturgy in Arabic but they know if a custom is Palestinian in origin or Syrian in origin. There are even differences in chanting styles depending on what country or locale the chanter is from. The middle east is a much smaller area than America. I would imagine the Greeks and Russians also have very distinct regional differences in customs too.
Does it really matter? Maybe I don't understand what the problem is so please feel free to enlighten me.  Smiley
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« Reply #68 on: May 27, 2007, 01:26:54 AM »

I can accept Antiochian services which are quaarter russian, quarter byzantine, and quarter spur-of-the-moment, as well as other durisdictions, but living in Canada, I could never see myself going to a non-ethnic church. I've never been part of a non-ethnic orthodox church before. Theres a new WR church/monastery opening up soon and its going to be itneresting to see how much seems foreign and familiar. Then again I've been to catholic (traditional and novus ordo) masses so its not liek a complete shock.

But honestly if you wanna convert this continent, WR is the way to go....that is if your looking to convert the average Anglo-Saxon, Hispanic, Southern European, or traditionally minded African American.
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« Reply #69 on: May 27, 2007, 01:28:36 AM »

I think the myth is that there is only one American culture.
A multicultural society cannot simultaneously be a monoculture. I think that there are shared values and these are expressed in the Constitution and Laws of the US, but one can hardly say that there is even aggreement over this among US citizens (eg Pro-choice vs. Pro Life).
As soon as people say that the US has "a" culture and start equating that culture with WASP culture they've created a mythical American culture.

Straw man - no one said as much. It isn't a monoculture (as I've pointed out, read David Hackett Fischer's 'Albion's Seed'.) It isn't a multicultural society either: many cultures think nothing of an adult male having sexual relations with teenage girls (ie, Mexico.) In America, however, the culture calls that pedophilia - and it is a crime in *every* jurisdiction. The argument of 'that's just my culture, man' won't get one out of the charge. (Yet, the Leftists want us to become 'multi-culturalist' which means the same as 'anything goes'.)

Also, controversy over issues such as an abortion is not illustrative of diversity so much as it is of a culture war: the conservative adherence to the values of Christendom, and a Radical post-Enlightenment attack on those values.

The argument here continues while the trolls argue past us... it isn't for our lack of ability to communicate, but only because they want to see evil in us.
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« Reply #70 on: May 27, 2007, 01:34:59 AM »

us...

Who is "us"?
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« Reply #71 on: May 27, 2007, 01:37:09 AM »

the trolls

Who are "the trolls"?
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« Reply #72 on: May 27, 2007, 01:43:06 AM »

(Yet, the Leftists want us to become 'multi-culturalist' which means the same as 'anything goes'.)
Also, controversy over issues such as an abortion is not illustrative of diversity so much as it is of a culture war: the conservative adherence to the values of Christendom, and a Radical post-Enlightenment attack on those values.

Please to do not discuss American Politics in the Free For All Forum.
You are free to discuss such matters in the Private Politics Forum.
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« Reply #73 on: May 27, 2007, 01:46:40 AM »

Who is "us"?

Everyone on this thread who disagrees with those postulating that we all need to become Hellenes and/or that America means 'anything goes' and thus as utterly incompatible with Orthodoxy.

Who are "the trolls"?

Those who continue to make false accusations about the rest of us Orthodox being 'phyletist' for resisting phyletism, neo-papism, and ethnic elitism.
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« Reply #74 on: May 27, 2007, 01:53:09 AM »

those postulating that we all need to become Hellenes and/or that America means 'anything goes'
And who are they? I want you to give me specific names and quotes from them which show clearly that they want everyone to become an Hellene or that the policy of "anything goes" should be adopted in America. And if you can't provide these, then I suggest you eat humble pie, and apologise for wasting our time and diverting this thread. Put up or shut up.
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« Reply #75 on: May 27, 2007, 01:55:50 AM »

Everyone on this thread who disagrees with those postulating that we all need to become Hellenes and/or that America means 'anything goes' and thus as utterly incompatible with Orthodoxy.

Those who continue to make false accusations about the rest of us Orthodox being 'phyletist' for resisting phyletism, neo-papism, and ethnic elitism.

You pinned these allegations specifically on Ozgeorge a few days ago, and I asked for evidence to substantiate your case.  Would you care to provide this evidence?
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« Reply #76 on: May 27, 2007, 02:04:56 AM »

I already did, and you know it - in every post I reported to the moderator (yourself). And, as in recent pms. (PetertheAleut, I suggest going back to the thread on Anselm where much of the issue started - not only the anti-Westernism, but anti-Americanism, making political postings about what America is, etc.)

As the most recent example, the purely political posting:

Quote
I think the myth is that there is only one American culture.
A multicultural society cannot simultaneously be a monoculture. I think that there are shared values and these are expressed in the Constitution and Laws of the US, but one can hardly say that there is even aggreement over this among US citizens (eg Pro-choice vs. Pro Life).
As soon as people say that the US has "a" culture and start equating that culture with WASP culture they've created a mythical American culture.

So - put up or shut up - you claim to be a Christian, but continue to lie and accuse falsely? That isn't Christian works.
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« Reply #77 on: May 27, 2007, 02:09:12 AM »

I think the myth is that there is only one American culture.
A multicultural society cannot simultaneously be a monoculture. I think that there are shared values and these are expressed in the Constitution and Laws of the US, but one can hardly say that there is even aggreement over this among US citizens (eg Pro-choice vs. Pro Life).  As soon as people say that the US has "a" culture and start equating that culture with WASP culture they've created a mythical American culture.

Aristibule,

I don't see anything at all political in this post.
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« Reply #78 on: May 27, 2007, 02:15:45 AM »

in every post I reported to the moderator (yourself).
Aristibule,
Just to let you know, because of the coding problems, the "report to moderator" function isn't working properly, so I haven't received any notifications. This is why I'm keeping a closer eye on the Free For All forum at present. Any notifications you sent would have been received by Salpy (The Oriental Orthodox Discussion moderator).
Never assume. Wink

As the most recent example, the purely political posting
Could you explain how this is a "purely political" post and not a sociological comment?
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« Reply #79 on: May 27, 2007, 02:22:02 AM »

 
I don't see anything at all political in this post.

You don't? I do - though the first part of the sentence I agree with, it is absolutely political.

 
Quote
I think that there are shared values and these are expressed in the Constitution and Laws of the US, but one can hardly say that there is even aggreement over this among US citizens (eg Pro-choice vs. Pro Life).


My own post is in reply, as that interpretation of America that is being offered is an ideological one proper to an American political party. Calling America multicultural is also purely a political ideological idea, having nothing to do with actual American life, and only anything to do with partisan politics. (As I already noted in a pm.) We don't have multiple law systems (rather, much that is culturally 'okay' in most other societies is illegal and abnormal in American society - as the pedophila I mentioned earlier, okay in many cultures, but not in America - an example from my own work in law enforcement.)

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« Reply #80 on: May 27, 2007, 02:32:35 AM »

Aristibule,
Please stop wasting our time and diverting this thread.
I repeat:
And who are they? I want you to give me specific names and quotes from them which show clearly that they want everyone to become an Hellene or that the policy of "anything goes" should be adopted in America. And if you can't provide these, then I suggest you eat humble pie, and apologise for wasting our time and diverting this thread. Put up or shut up.
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« Reply #81 on: May 27, 2007, 03:04:39 AM »

(PetertheAleut, I suggest going back to the thread on Anselm where much of the issue started - not only the anti-Westernism, but anti-Americanism, making political postings about what America is, etc.)

Aristibule,

Seeing how this issue has temporarily sidetracked this thread, I'm going to make this my last post on this conflict you have with Ozgeorge.  I went back and re-read all of your and George's posts on the "Penal Satisfaction" thread (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11389.0.html), and I just don't see what you see.  I do see, however, that your first post on the thread was quite combative in tone (thus provoking equally combative responses)...

What an insane thread. Not only for all the convert bashing but also for the anti-Westernism. Anselm isn't the West - he represents a certain school of thought within 11th c. French speaking Latin literate Norman England. He isn't representative of Humanity, Christianity, the West, England, Western Rite, people from Canterbury, or humans alive in the 11th c. His theology is not (and never has been) universally accepted in 'the West' as the norm. Sure - some may say so, but only to serve their purposes (ie, to say all Westerners should belong to their sect, or to place suspicion upon all Westerners.) So how long must we tolerate such evil words about Orthodox Christians (converts all, and many Westerners)?

...and I do see that you maintained this antagonistic posture for some time on the thread.  I don't doubt that you felt as if you and your WRO tradition were being attacked, but I don't think Ozgeorge or anyone guilty of intending to attack you or the Western Rite Orthodox.  I merely see you being overly defensive.

Let's go back to what I think best summarizes Ozgeorge's position toward you and toward the West in general.
Please feel free to accuse me of something openly rather than make "general" comments.
Now let me say something openly to you:
Whether you like it or not, East and West are in Schism- and not just any schism, but one which has come to be called "The Great Schism". Nowhere have I suggested that the Church prior to the Great Schism was not one. Nowhere have I suggested that when the Church was one that Orthodoxy was not maintained in the West. But the reality is (much as you seem to wish to deny it) is that the Church is no longer One in East and West.
So despite your snide comments, and despite your's and aristibule's attempts to rest your arguments on the fact that the Western part of the Church was once Orthodox (which no one is arguing, so I fail to see your point in setting up a straw man about it- unless of course, you don't have a better point, which I suspect may be the case), and despite the futile attempts to suggest that the East did not maintain Orthodoxy as "evidenced" by the Nestorians and other heresies which were anathemised and have schismed from the Orthodox Church (which if you think about it about it, makes about as much sense as stating that the existence of Lutheranism "proves" the unorthodoxy of the Roman Catholic Church).......Despite all this, and despite the attempts to suggest that my belief that the Orthodox Church is the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is phyletism simply because, post schism, this Church existed only in the "East" (which includes more countries than any of us will probably ever visit in our lifetime, so to suggest that it is "phyletism" which literally means "tribalism" is laughable)....despite all this rudeness, false accusation, misrepresentation, these moot points...not once have I ever said anything "anti-convert" or even "anti-west", I simply pointed out the differences, and stated my belief that the Orthodox Church is the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church- and I've said before, that if you disagree with me, that's fine, I respect that. But don't you ever dare to suggest that my belief is based solely on a form of "phyletism".

I personally don't see anything in the above, nor have I ever seen anything in Ozgeorge's posts openly advancing a Hellenist agenda or accusing a specific poster of phyletism.  I have seen in him, rather, a great desire to defend Orthodoxy as he understands it.  I don't say any of this because Ozgeorge and I are friendly with each other--we're neither friendly with nor hostile toward each other (the same goes for my online relations with you)--nor do I say any of this just to support a moderator out of my personal respect for all in authority.  I speak only in complete honesty and impartiality regarding what I have seen.

- Peter
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« Reply #82 on: May 27, 2007, 01:52:01 PM »

Dear Brother Aidan,

You know...there really are differences even among Arab Orthodox Christians in the celebration of their customs. They may all celebrate the Divine Liturgy in Arabic but they know if a custom is Palestinian in origin or Syrian in origin. There are even differences in chanting styles depending on what country or locale the chanter is from. The middle east is a much smaller area than America. I would imagine the Greeks and Russians also have very distinct regional differences in customs too.
Does it really matter? Maybe I don't understand what the problem is so please feel free to enlighten me.  Smiley

Tamara, we are in agreement here. Even though there are little regional differences among Arab Orthodox, there is enough in common to comprise an "Arab Orthodoxy" or Arab Orthoxdox culture. The same with an overall Greek culture despite geographical or regional differences, Same with Russian, etc.

My point was that, despite the size of the USA, depite regional and geographic differences, despite the ethnic melting pot, there is nonetheless a distinguishable "American" culture (that is more than the trivial pop or consumer culture). The children of immigrants become "Americans." As amply demonstrated by this thread, it's not easy to pin down what it is and it has many nuances, but distinct from Canadians, Mexicans and especially Europeans (yes, even western Europeans) there is an American culture. you might not be able to describe it but you know it when you see it.

And you may be able to subdivide it and talk of a west coast culture, a southern culture (which is many cultures, new south/old south/ coastal south/ appalachian south, the carolinas/the deep south, etc.) new england culture, east coast culture (NYC, Philly, etc.) mid-west, and so on and so forth, there is still something distinctly AMERICAN about all these sub-cultures.

Immigrants assimilate into the over all American culture as well as one or more of the regional sub-cultures. Or at least their children do.
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« Reply #83 on: May 27, 2007, 02:05:24 PM »

Immigrants assimilate into the over all American culture as well as one or more of the regional sub-cultures. Or at least their children do.
I'm not sure whether we can call this "the overall American culture" Brother Aiden, or whether it is more correctly called American "nationhood" or "nationality", especially when we speak of a diversity of cultures existing within it.
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« Reply #84 on: May 27, 2007, 02:14:34 PM »

My own post is in reply, as that interpretation of America that is being offered is an ideological one proper to an American political party. Calling America multicultural is also purely a political ideological idea, having nothing to do with actual American life, and only anything to do with partisan politics. (As I already noted in a pm.) We don't have multiple law systems (rather, much that is culturally 'okay' in most other societies is illegal and abnormal in American society - as the pedophila I mentioned earlier, okay in many cultures, but not in America - an example from my own work in law enforcement.)

A commentary on sociology is not political as it can be contested on objective scientific, rather than merely ideological, grounds. Yes, some have sought to politicize scientific issues, in this case the science of sociology in other cases science of biology or medicine, but the core issues are inherently academic and can be approached from a scientific perspective. George has simply made sociological and cultural observations, he has not taken political positions.

Oh, and we do have multiple legal systems, or did you not know that each state has its own legislature with broad authority to pass laws relative only to that particular state. We even have one state whose legal system is based on the Napoleonic Code and a system of Civil Law, which is quite different from the Common Law of the federal government. And even as far as your example of sex with a minor goes, age of consent is also subject to state law and does vary from state to state ( http://www.webistry.net/jan/consent.html ).

To say that there is no single American culture, but rather there are dominate regional cultures with influential subcultures (African Americans in the South, Mexican Americans in the Southwest, the French Creoles in Louisiana (are they a minority there yet?)). And many of these cultural differences are seen in or enforced through state legislation.

Furthermore, to suggest that these United States are not multi cultural is absurd, it is to deny that the Germans or Scots-Irish had any cultural influence on culture, to say nothing of other influential imigrant groups such as the French (Louisiana), African Americans, Irish, Italians, Mexicans, etc. It is also to deny that any remnant of Native American culture found its way into modern American culture, which is simply not true, Native American culture has been quite influential in the forming of western culture along with pre-mexican spanish culture (the origin of the Rodeo, for example). Our culture is a hodge podge of various cultural elements from around Europe and the Americas, with notible African and a handful of minor Asiatic influences; it is a 'melting pot' in the truest sense, all these cultures went in and a new compound entirely came out, made from the old cultures but hardly resembling them. Of course, what went into the melting pot, and accordingly what came out, differed according to the history and experiences of each region.

The only region that I believe can be said to have formed much of its own culture (beyond what would be expected from any cultural evolution) is the west, and this distinct culture came from the pioneer spirit of it's settlers and the ideals of rugged individualism and egalitarianism on which it was founded (not that there was a huge choice in the matter, the only well established peoples in the west were the Native Populations and Spanish landowners, and we wern't about to give them a privlidged position in society, so meritocracy became the order of the day).
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« Reply #85 on: May 28, 2007, 10:54:37 AM »

Whether there is ever institutional/organizational union of jurisdictions, I hope that in our life we will see an "American Orthodoxy" emerge that will reflect the many sub-cultures of the US. So that we won't be talking about Greeks, Russians, Serbs and Arabs, but west coast Orthodox and New England Orthodox and Southern Orthodox and heartland (mid-west) Orthodox, etc.

Where only parishes established for recent immigrants will be ethnic and where any American who walks into the church will see the beauty of the liturgy and not see the ecclesiastical equivalent of the Ukranian Club.   Where "ethnic" food festivals, reflecting the heritage (nor excusive ethnicity) of the parish will be used evangelistically to bring people in (to "come and see") rather than assert its difference in the community and keep them out.

Where Orthodox schools are common and supported cross-jurisdictionally, where all Orthodox parishes in an area join resources for helping the hungry or the homeless or nursing home or prison ministries. And especially youth ministry to keep young people IN the Orthodox Church (rather than grow up to be like the rest of the society that doesn't attend church at all).

Where priests don't have to work "day" jobs because the level of giving in the parish supports a priest and where for the sake of mission in declining neighborhoods, wealthier parishes help support the priest's salary in poorer parishes even if from another jurisdiction, so that the priest can serve his flock and perform all of the services.

When we get to that point, then institutional unification will occur organically and it likely won't matter under which jurisdiction.

Whether that should institute an anonymous American patriarch, or one under one of the old world patriarchs probably is immaterial at this point. Personally I am not sure such a hierarch could come from American soil. I don't know if it is possible to develop sufficient holiness and especially for an American, the humility and conciliarity to be an autonomous hierarch of a national Church. Perhaps a well-travelled, old world missionary type bishop with lots of cross-cultural experience would best serve here.
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« Reply #86 on: May 28, 2007, 12:12:41 PM »

Whether there is ever institutional/organizational union of jurisdictions, I hope that in our life we will see an "American Orthodoxy" emerge that will reflect the many sub-cultures of the US. So that we won't be talking about Greeks, Russians, Serbs and Arabs, but west coast Orthodox and New England Orthodox and Southern Orthodox and heartland (mid-west) Orthodox, etc.

I think we are already seeing a union between the jurisdictions. Some jurisdicitions will not survive. The ones that do will find more reasons to work together. Those who are new to Orthodox in all jurisdictions may help to bring us together sooner because they don't see ethnicity as a reason to stay separated.

Quote
Where only parishes established for recent immigrants will be ethnic and where any American who walks into the church will see the beauty of the liturgy and not see the ecclesiastical equivalent of the Ukranian Club.   Where "ethnic" food festivals, reflecting the heritage (nor excusive ethnicity) of the parish will be used evangelistically to bring people in (to "come and see") rather than assert its difference in the community and keep them out.

My parish is under the Antiochian archdiocese but it is not an Arab club. These parishes are already in existence and will continue to grow and multiply.

Quote
Where Orthodox schools are common and supported cross-jurisdictionally, where all Orthodox parishes in an area join resources for helping the hungry or the homeless or nursing home or prison ministries. And especially youth ministry to keep young people IN the Orthodox Church (rather than grow up to be like the rest of the society that doesn't attend church at all).

Amen!

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Where priests don't have to work "day" jobs because the level of giving in the parish supports a priest and where for the sake of mission in declining neighborhoods, wealthier parishes help support the priest's salary in poorer parishes even if from another jurisdiction, so that the priest can serve his flock and perform all of the services.
Amen!

Quote
When we get to that point, then institutional unification will occur organically and it likely won't matter under which jurisdiction.

I think it will happen quicker than people think.

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Whether that should institute an anonymous American patriarch, or one under one of the old world patriarchs probably is immaterial at this point. Personally I am not sure such a hierarch could come from American soil. I don't know if it is possible to develop sufficient holiness and especially for an American, the humility and conciliarity to be an autonomous hierarch of a national Church. Perhaps a well-travelled, old world missionary type bishop with lots of cross-cultural experience would best serve here.

I think holiness is not restricted by borders. Look at the late missionary, Lynnette Hoppe. Some seem to feel she was blessed.
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« Reply #87 on: May 28, 2007, 06:19:48 PM »

I hope that in our life we will see an "American Orthodoxy" emerge that will reflect the many sub-cultures of the US. So that we won't be talking about Greeks, Russians, Serbs and Arabs, but west coast Orthodox and New England Orthodox and Southern Orthodox and heartland (mid-west) Orthodox, etc.
I think it may be a mistake to simply divide the Church in America along different cultural lines to the current divisions. The Church of Greece covers many different regions of Greece with different cultures and "flavour", but the two points of unity are the Eucharist and National Identity. Athens has a very different culture to Ioannia on the West Coast and Florina in the North is different again; but there is no sense of "Florinan Orthodox" or "Ioanninan Orthodox" or "Athenian Orthodox". The common point is the National identity, not the regional identity.
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« Reply #88 on: May 28, 2007, 08:43:03 PM »

George,
I agree with you about the regional differences in Greece (and anywhere, really) with nonetheless a single national identity. That's what I was trying to say in one of my earlier posts.

But I would guess that there are nuances to the liturgy and parish life in general, that although being distinctly Greek Orthodox, nonetheless are peculiar to each of those regions you mention in Greece.

And that is a good thing because those parishes can better serve the commuities or regions they exist in which is why they have these nuances.

And that's what I mean by west coast, heartland etc. Nuances based on common experience and mission within that region and it communities, yet partaking of a more general commonality that would be unmistakably American Orthodox.
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« Reply #89 on: May 28, 2007, 10:34:22 PM »

yet partaking of a more general commonality that would be unmistakably American Orthodox.


Yah good luck with that. 

Isn't that what this conversation is about?  What is 'American' ??
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« Reply #90 on: May 28, 2007, 11:39:47 PM »

Serb
read my post one or two ones back where I posit that although there are many regional uninquenesses, there is still something, ah, AMERICAN about America.

It's kind of like telling the funny story no one laughs at and you say, "well, you had to be there,"
There is SOMETHING about being American. You know it when you see it (and as I said above, the children of immigrants become Americans, not just naturalized citizens like their parents).

Just ask any Canadian. They can see it and can tell an American from a mile away, whether it be west or east coast, new englander, southerner, midwesterner, etc. And Canadians perceive themselves as being different than Americans (and it's not just because they sing O Canada rather then the Star Spangled Banner).
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« Reply #91 on: May 29, 2007, 09:45:16 AM »

Forgive me BrotherAidan, maybe its because i'm a thick-headed Serb, but I just don't see anything that's catching my attention. 

Let me see if I have your theory correctly, as this may be where my confusion lies. 

You are saying that even in regional areas such as the West Coast there is still something uniquely "American" about the people there, even though they are different than people in any other area of the country.  Is this correct? 

I agree with you.  There is something American about fresh off the boat immigrants too.  A sense of purpose, freedom and striving to be better.  Is this what America is?  I think that it is, but do people realize this is what it is? 

Ultimately my question to your theory is...so what?  It still doesn't answer the question of what is AMERICAN? 

I do like your semi-answer to this about how when you see it you will know it.  But I'm sorry to say, that just doesn't cut it for me...and I don't think it will for other people. 

Let me know where I went wrong my friend...
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« Reply #92 on: May 29, 2007, 09:53:42 AM »

Quite often those "lurkers" can be regular members who can't log on to join the conversation until much later.

Yes, there is that, too, Peter. and starting a new thread, if the conversation has taken a swerve has been done here many times so that people can still follow things.

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« Reply #93 on: May 29, 2007, 11:23:37 AM »

Serb
read my post one or two ones back where I posit that although there are many regional uninquenesses, there is still something, ah, AMERICAN about America.

It's kind of like telling the funny story no one laughs at and you say, "well, you had to be there,"
There is SOMETHING about being American. You know it when you see it (and as I said above, the children of immigrants become Americans, not just naturalized citizens like their parents).

Just ask any Canadian. They can see it and can tell an American from a mile away, whether it be west or east coast, new englander, southerner, midwesterner, etc. And Canadians perceive themselves as being different than Americans (and it's not just because they sing O Canada rather then the Star Spangled Banner).

I agree with you. Americans are pretty easy to spot when you travel abroad. I don't think it matters if one can describe what it is in words. There are churches now which are Orthodox but are not ethnic clubs so whether one can describe what those differences are or not it is happening as we speak and these parishes will continue to grow and multiply.
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« Reply #94 on: May 29, 2007, 11:31:31 AM »

Americans are pretty easy to spot when you travel abroad.
Perhaps to other Americans, but from my own life and travels, I've noticed that Australians in Australia, Greeks in Greece, Italians in Italy, Scots in Scotland, Nepalese in Nepal and the French in France cannot tell the difference between a Canadian and an American unless the Canadian speaks French. They just assume they are both American until they're told otherwise.
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« Reply #95 on: May 29, 2007, 11:45:20 AM »

Perhaps to other Americans, but from my own life and travels, I've noticed that Australians in Australia, Greeks in Greece, Italians in Italy, Scots in Scotland, Nepalese in Nepal and the French in France cannot tell the difference between a Canadian and an American unless the Canadian speaks French. They just assume they are both American until they're told otherwise.

Well, the Europeans I have met have told me that our haircuts, shoes, clothing and perpetual smiling give us away.  Wink
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« Reply #96 on: May 29, 2007, 11:49:41 AM »

Well, the Europeans I have met have told me that our haircuts, shoes, clothing and perpetual smiling give us away.  Wink
Are you saying Canadians are unfashionable and brooding? Wink
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« Reply #97 on: May 29, 2007, 11:53:29 AM »

Are you saying Canadians are unfashionable and brooding? Wink

No...but the Europeans were actually mocking our style and happy-go-lucky demeanor...hee, hee...these Europeans believed they were the styling ones with their designer clothing, cool haircuts and angst...LOL!
My nickname used to be Pollyanna with this group....hee, hee...

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« Reply #98 on: May 29, 2007, 01:12:27 PM »

I am proud to be American. I am proud to be Greek.  I am proud to be Russian.  I am proud to be Serbian.  I am not proud to be American. I not proud to be Greek etc.....  Sorry couldn't get Tucholsky's poem out of my mind.  Maybe it's just  to be who you are, warts and all.  I personally like the blend of cultures within Orthodox communities.  I don't think i would care for a Prussian-type Orthodoxy where you know what is expected according to defined rules.   Yeah I know it's anarchy I'm promoting.  But I like the mix of strange, pious and hospitable personalities.
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« Reply #99 on: May 29, 2007, 01:19:42 PM »

I am not "proud" at all to be Ukrainian, I just am Ukrainian. Smiley

I am not an American though, and I am not a Ukrainian-American or an American Ukrainian. I reside in the US, but that's about it....

My daughter says that she is a Martian. Smiley In Ukraine, everyone takes her as an American and she hates it. In the USA, everyone takes her as an American, too, and she hates it. In our family, we parents tend to assume that she is Ukrainian like us, and she hates it...  Huh
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« Reply #100 on: May 29, 2007, 01:44:33 PM »

I wouldn't say I am proud to be an American. I would say I am thankful to be one. Thankful there was a country my Syrian grandparents could escape to from the oppression of the Turks to live fruitful lives. Thankful there is a country where I have freedom to walk down the street without having to wear a hijab or niqab in order to survive.
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« Reply #101 on: May 29, 2007, 01:55:28 PM »

I wouldn't say I am proud to be an American. I would say I am thankful to be one. Thankful there was a country my Syrian grandparents could escape to from the oppression of the Turks to live fruitful lives. Thankful there is a country where I have freedom to walk down the street without having to wear a hijab or niqab in order to survive.


I should probably be thankful to America, too, because I could continue my career of a scientist here, while in the disintegrating USSR of the early 1990-s it became next to impossible, and it is impossible now... but then, it was not because of humanitarian or philantropic reasons that I was appointed postdoc here, and given my H-1 visa, and then green card... sorry, just cannot find any heroic-sentimental-whatever feelings in my soul. Have heard a lot, "why don't you just get out of here..."
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« Reply #102 on: May 29, 2007, 06:47:42 PM »

I should probably be thankful to America, too, because I could continue my career of a scientist here, while in the disintegrating USSR of the early 1990-s it became next to impossible, and it is impossible now... but then, it was not because of humanitarian or philantropic reasons that I was appointed postdoc here, and given my H-1 visa, and then green card... sorry, just cannot find any heroic-sentimental-whatever feelings in my soul. Have heard a lot, "why don't you just get out of here..."

You know...I have a lot of reasons to be mad at America.  they did blow my country to bits and almost destroyed my home city in Serbia. 

But you know what...instead of getting mad, which is easy, I try to be an actavist and create knowledge as opposed to ignorance. 

In the end, we do live here and we have to make the best of it.  The sooner we can take that responsability and make that decision (?) the sooner we can move on and create a better America...whatever our definition is...
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« Reply #103 on: May 29, 2007, 07:25:22 PM »

I'm thankful to be Canadian, since it could be worse...  I could be American.   Cheesy Tongue
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« Reply #104 on: May 29, 2007, 08:27:19 PM »

OH BUDDY.....  that's all i got for ya.   Tongue
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« Reply #105 on: May 29, 2007, 08:41:52 PM »

I'm thankful to be Canadian, since it could be worse...  I could be American.   Cheesy Tongue
Well, according to the OCA Liturgy Book, as a Canadian, you aren't American.  We commemorate our Metropolitan as "Metropolitan of all America and Canada"!
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« Reply #106 on: May 29, 2007, 08:44:35 PM »

OH BUDDY.....  that's all i got for ya.   Tongue

LOL!!!   Grin
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« Reply #107 on: May 29, 2007, 10:52:51 PM »

Perhaps to other Americans, but from my own life and travels, I've noticed that Australians in Australia, Greeks in Greece, Italians in Italy, Scots in Scotland, Nepalese in Nepal and the French in France cannot tell the difference between a Canadian and an American unless the Canadian speaks French. They just assume they are both American until they're told otherwise.

Ouch! (I say that for my Canadian friends who would be VERY disillusioned to hear that! Grin
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« Reply #108 on: May 29, 2007, 10:55:33 PM »


I do like your semi-answer to this about how when you see it you will know it.  But I'm sorry to say, that just doesn't cut it for me...and I don't think it will for other people. 

Let me know where I went wrong my friend...

I can't explain it so I will have to be very "post-modern" and say its just something I feel and sense.  Angry
Sorry!
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« Reply #109 on: May 29, 2007, 10:59:40 PM »

In Ukraine, everyone takes her as an American and she hates it. In the USA, everyone takes her as an American, too, and she hates it. In our family, we parents tend to assume that she is Ukrainian like us, and she hates it...  Huh

Sounds like a normal kid!  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #110 on: May 30, 2007, 12:28:16 AM »

I'm American by birth,and southern by the grace of God!
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« Reply #111 on: May 30, 2007, 12:37:28 AM »

I'm American by birth,and southern by the grace of God!

 Well said, OB!
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« Reply #112 on: May 30, 2007, 08:31:59 AM »

OB, I can do you one better than that.

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« Reply #113 on: May 30, 2007, 08:50:37 AM »

You know...I have a lot of reasons to be mad at America.  they did blow my country to bits and almost destroyed my home city in Serbia. 

But you know what...instead of getting mad, which is easy, I try to be an actavist and create knowledge as opposed to ignorance. 

In the end, we do live here and we have to make the best of it.  The sooner we can take that responsability and make that decision (?) the sooner we can move on and create a better America...whatever our definition is...

Yes, dear Serb, I agree... Actually, I am not really "mad" at America. At one point, I was just unpleasantly surprised by the reaction of some second and third generation Ukrainian immigrants who manifested something very close to hate toward me, when I did not display enough admiration of the USA, being, instead, critical and ironic. These people (or their parents or grandparents) came to the US as war-time refugees, and they quite literally owe their life to this country (or so they think). So, when the American anthem is played, they quite sincerely put their hands on their hearts and sing along, and they salute the American flag, etc. I, on the other hand, just cannot do that, I just honestly do not have the same genuine feelings towards the USA. My attitude to the USA is sort of practical and, maybe, even cynical.
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« Reply #114 on: May 30, 2007, 09:49:07 AM »

Then why live here if the U.S is so horrible???
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« Reply #115 on: May 30, 2007, 10:06:37 AM »

Some people have no where else to live. 

I think ultimately the problem is that we need to come up with solutions instead of dwelling on the problems. 

Anyone can stay mad and show their anger.  It takes a unique and courageous person to take that step forward, away from their past, and go towards a goal.  That goal might be retribution, but its a lot better than complacent anger...in my opinion. 

I have met so many Serbian people who are mad just to be mad.  This doesn't sit well with me.  So I tell them, if you're mad, go and do something about it.  Oh no...they can't do that.  You know why?  Because being mad is easy.  Doing something about it takes effort and making the place you're in a better place.  We would rather be lazy though...and mad... Wink

p.s.  Heorhij, I hope that you do not mistake any of this as directed towards you.  This is a general theory I outlined, with more specifics being directed towards my experiences with Serbs, than with anything else. 
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« Reply #116 on: May 30, 2007, 10:43:15 AM »

Then why live here if the U.S is so horrible???

My ancestors tried to leave at one point...along with the citizens of several other states. Your yankee government was not quite so fond of the idea and took it upon themselves to murder hundreds of thousands of these peace loving folk and destroy the livelihood of untold millions more. Then there was another group, the Native Population, you know the people who were here first, they never wanted to live in the US in the first place, not that they were given much choice in the matter.

It seems to me that the solution is to get rid of the Yankee government rather than to force those who live here out. The land's great, for the most part (or should I say in most regions) the people are great, it's the oppressive government that's taken it over that's the problem.

There's far too many problems with the history and societies of the interactions of the various american peoples and several sovereign states for this 'love it or leave it' mentality...many simply reject your assumption that somehow the Yankee government is entited to this land.
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« Reply #117 on: May 30, 2007, 10:51:17 AM »

OB, I can do you one better than that.


Better?  Ick.  Austin is probably the only place I could tolerate on a medium to long term basis. Tongue
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« Reply #118 on: May 30, 2007, 11:02:44 AM »


When the "State" or the "Nation" is treated as though it has a life of it's own separate to the people who actually comprise it, and that this "Nation-as separate-entity" is somehow infallible and pure, I start to get worried. And not simply because it is a reification fallacy to talk of the "Nation" as a separate entity to the population; but because the "nationalism" attached to it is nothing short of idolatry.
If we claim the title "Christian", it means we place nothing above Christ, and our values are His values, and one of the key values Christ taught us is: "Love thy neighbour". When Christians become nationalists in the worst sense of the word, they suddenly have an "excuse" not to love their neighbour. In the worst scenarios, this "Nation-as-separate-entity" becomes something which needs to be defended against the very people who comprise the nation, and we saw this with Soviet Socialism in the USSR as well as National Socialism in Germany and many other parts of Europe. Entire parts of the nation, millions of people, are expelled, tortured and killed in defence of this ideal of the Nation-as-separate-entity.
If our neighbour is in pain, if someone has been left behind by the system or has fallen through the cracks, or has been hurt by members of the nation, should our response as Christians be "why don't you go somewhere else then?"
I'm an Australian, and I think Australia is a beautiful landscape, and a wonderful people. But I also hold that there are some things wrong in Australia at a National level, and I have been openly critical of them. As a result, I have been called "un-Australian" and have even been spat at in the face during a quiet protest vigil. I just continued to pray as the tears welled up in my eyes and the spittle rolled down my face. I remember the bewilderment and the horrible feeling of isolation, and asking why anyone, but particularly a fellow countryman, would hate me so much. Then one of my fellow protesters, a Roman Catholic Nun wearing a veil, came over to me, took out her handkerchief and wiped the spittle from my face, stood beside me and took out a rosary and began to silently pray also. It was one of the most human moments I've ever experienced.
When the "Nation-as-separate-identity" becomes an idol, then anything becomes acceptable in it's "defence", and spitting in the face of your fellow countrymen is the least of it. As with any idolatry, we forget the Living God, and when we forget God, we forget our own humanity, and people become expendable objects.
Christianity began with people who chose to be tortured and executed rather than submit to the State when their conscience would not allow them to. We dishonour their memory if we say that a Christian should now choose the State over their own conscience.
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« Reply #119 on: May 30, 2007, 11:11:45 AM »

it's the oppressive government that's taken it over that's the problem.

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You know better than this.
Please take it to the Politics Form.

George

 
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« Reply #120 on: May 30, 2007, 11:47:40 AM »

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Please take it to the Politics Form.

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ME? Never... Grin

Though in fact I was merely presenting the complementary political position to the 'love it or leave it' party line. I rarely start the fight, but I'm always more than happy to get my hands dirty and finish it Wink
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« Reply #121 on: May 30, 2007, 12:21:40 PM »

Though in fact I was merely presenting the complementary political position to the 'love it or leave it' party line.
And if you read my last post, I also opposed the "love it or leave it" position, however I did so without politicizing the issue, and thus, not only remained within the forum guidelines, but also made my message acceptable to people of any political persuasion and difficult to rebut or refute from a Christian viewpoint.
Let me know if you need some more pointers on the art of rhetoric. Cheesy
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« Reply #122 on: May 30, 2007, 12:35:39 PM »

And if you read my last post, I also opposed the "love it or leave it" position, however I did so without politicizing the issue, and thus, not only remained within the forum guidelines, but also made my message acceptable to people of any political persuasion and difficult to rebut or refute from a Christian viewpoint.
Let me know if you need some more pointers on the art of rhetoric. Cheesy

Hey, that's not fair...you had a better story than I did.

Plus, I do get a few points because my post was more offensive than yours...don't forget my sig line, it is my theme for the time being. Wink
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« Reply #123 on: May 30, 2007, 12:50:49 PM »

Then why live here if the U.S is so horrible???

Dear Bagpiper, are you asking me? Well, my life in the US is actually wonderful, not horrible at all, by any stretch...  I worked in science for a number of years, doing what I like to do, learning a lot, publishing papers, going to conferences. Then I became a university science teacher, and again, I love doing what I do, I enjoy every minute of my life. Materially, my family and I are not rich, but we get by and we do not have to depend on anybody financially, and we help a number of our relatives in Ukraine. My daughter graduated summa cum laude from Tulane and is now a Ph.D. student at Harvard. I believe I am tremendously blessed, far more blessed than I deserve.

The point is, though - and that's what drives some people crazy about me - that I do not have any feelings of special gratitude to the United States of America for all that. The US government admitted me to the US soil because my cheap scientific labor was *requested* here. I believe it's "economy, stupid," and not any special love and care for which I must be grateful. I am really, really grateful to my parents for instilling in me the love for education, science, learning, and I am grateful to my teachers in the former USSR. But it would be hypocritical on my part if I say that I am similarly grateful to the *country* where I currently reside.
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« Reply #124 on: May 30, 2007, 09:28:36 PM »

I am married to a Romanian and have had extensive dealings with the Romanian community as well as the russian community and many other eastern european people over the years. In my experience, many of them come to America and enjoy the freedom, economic assistance, and opportunity that is offered in this country, yet act as though they hate America. Many of these people are patriotic, yet some are simply anti-american. I don't understand it. Yes, all governments have their share of problems. This doesn't mean that the whole country is bad. Much of the rehtoric I have heard from these anti-american immagrants over the years have been from individuals who have recieved much finiancial aid from the government in various forms, and have prospered greatly in the U.S. It baffles my mind while these people are so hostile. Many of these folks would never have such a wonderful life back in the motherland. I have even heard with my own ears some of them say america deserved 9/11.

It is not unorthodox to be patriotic. The church comes first, but many of the saints and elders I have read have taught the people to love their land. I would encourage you all to read what Elder Cleopa of Romania has to say on the subject.
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« Reply #125 on: May 31, 2007, 09:19:59 AM »

Greetings Orthodox Bagpiper,

I have never been "anti-American," in that I have never said or thought for a moment that America as a country is "bad." As a child, I fell in love with Mark Twain, Fenimore Cooper, Ray Bradbury and other wonderful American writers, and I am still in love with the great American literature. Hemingway, Faulkner, and Salinger are among my most beloved authors, their books are always with me wherever I go. Edwin Arlington Robinson is one of my top favorite poets of the world, on par with Reiner Maria Rilke, Guillaume Apolinaire, and Boris Pasternak. Bob Dylan and Arlo Guthrie are among my top favorite "bards" - ballad/song performers and poets - on par with Valeriy Marenych, Vladimir Vysotskiy and Bulat Okudzhava.

As for being "patriotic..." You see, I just don't know. I live in the USA, I like it a lot, but it's still not MY country. I cannot make myself perceive it as "mine." I don't feel good about it - it's strange, awkward, not quite "moral" to live in a country and to be a "non-citizen" (not just in the official paperwork sense). Maybe I really should be more like Serb - more of a local "activist." I just don't know. Pray for me.
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« Reply #126 on: May 31, 2007, 10:51:36 AM »


As for being "patriotic..." You see, I just don't know. I live in the USA, I like it a lot, but it's still not MY country. I cannot make myself perceive it as "mine." I don't feel good about it - it's strange, awkward, not quite "moral" to live in a country and to be a "non-citizen" (not just in the official paperwork sense). Maybe I really should be more like Serb - more of a local "activist." I just don't know. Pray for me.

Definitely do NOT be more like me...haha.   Wink Wink

Don't worry my friend, I actually feel the same way you do.  I can't bring myself to be patriotic.  When they play the National Anthem, i'll stand and put my hand over my heart.  But I think that kind of respect should be payed to any country you appreciate or respect. 

I did the whole "activist" think because it was either that or be something verging on crazy, and that wasn't really a good way to go. 

You know...one time I sat in an airplane that had a WWII vet in the back seats.  Several people heard him talking about it, and after the plane landed they all went up to him and said "thank you for what you've done for our country" or something along those lines. 

I would have personally never thought to do that, because I don't identify with this country.  I thought that it was a nice touch and perfectly good for them to do.  I just couldn't ever see myself thinking that way. 
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« Reply #127 on: May 31, 2007, 09:23:16 PM »

I don't identify with this country. 
I think a big factor is where we consider "home" to be.
I've travelled to many countries, but nowhere is "home" for me unless I can see the Southern Cross in the night sky while being surrounded by gum trees and standing on rocky dirt while hand feeding a wallaby or a sulphur-crested cockatoo. Even when I now travel to the urban nightmare called "Sydney" for longer than a few days, I find myself looking for patches of stoney ground and sandstone with a creek or water hole surrounded by gum trees, because that's what home looks like here in the Blue Mountains.
Ethnically I'm Greek, but Greece is not my home, my home is Australia, the land of my birth, and what's more, my home is a particular part of Australia. My Father was also Greek, but he never once set foot in Greece (he was born in Egypt), so Greece wasn't his home either. Greece was my mother's home, but it wasn't her Parents home, since they fled there after being driven out of their home in Asia Minor. So in terms of "home", my Father was Egyptian, my mother was Greek, her parents were Pontians and I'm an Australian. The only thing we all have in common is that we are all Orthodox Christians, that is, the Church is our common "home".
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« Reply #128 on: May 31, 2007, 10:31:45 PM »

 I have dual Citizenship. Greece and in the USA. I love both places for different reasons. I have no problem calling myself an American. I love hamburgers and hotdogs on fast free days, even if they are really German. Grin
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« Reply #129 on: June 01, 2007, 04:44:34 AM »

I think a big factor is where we consider "home" to be.
I've travelled to many countries, but nowhere is "home" for me unless I can see the Southern Cross in the night sky while being surrounded by gum trees and standing on rocky dirt while hand feeding a wallaby or a sulphur-crested cockatoo. Even when I now travel to the urban nightmare called "Sydney" for longer than a few days, I find myself looking for patches of stoney ground and sandstone with a creek or water hole surrounded by gum trees, because that's what home looks like here in the Blue Mountains.
Ethnically I'm Greek, but Greece is not my home, my home is Australia, the land of my birth, and what's more, my home is a particular part of Australia. My Father was also Greek, but he never once set foot in Greece (he was born in Egypt), so Greece wasn't his home either. Greece was my mother's home, but it wasn't her Parents home, since they fled there after being driven out of their home in Asia Minor. So in terms of "home", my Father was Egyptian, my mother was Greek, her parents were Pontians and I'm an Australian. The only thing we all have in common is that we are all Orthodox Christians, that is, the Church is our common "home".

This I agree with entirely. I don't recognise what OrthodoxBagpiper says (though I'm in the UK, which might explain it) and I am also married to a Romanian. My whole parish is (almost) Romanian also. They aren't anti-British, though there are inevitably things about Britain they dislike, but nor do they feel to be at home here, even those who have been here for many years.

Unlike you, George, I don't feel at home where I live. I never have done. I don't feel British because I was never allowed to - it was always made clear to me throughout my childhood that I wasn't and would never be so and that, whilst imposed on me from outside, has inevitably left its mark. I think things have changed for the better in the years since. Xenophobia seems less than it was and I don't see the Poles and former Yugoslavs at my son's school being treated in the way I was, nor do I see them having to put up with watching their mothers being insulted and told to go home by their fellow pupils - something which was a common occurrence in my upbringing. With any luck my children will feel at home here, but it will never be home for me.

Of course, this means that I cannot be patriotic - not here. I am proud of my roots but they are so mixed as to not really evoke any particular patriotism. There is, though, one place where I can imagine being patriotic - Romania. Unlike Britain, I was always made to feel at home there. You could say that I was welcomed with open arms. Culturally it is closer to that of my roots as well, and then, of course there is the Church, which as you so rightfully say is our common home. If and when (we intend to retire there if we cannot emigrate sooner) I finally find myself settled in Romania, I'm sure that I will start to feel the first shoots of patriotism for my adoptive home, but until then my only country, really, is the Church.

James
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« Reply #130 on: June 01, 2007, 07:34:03 AM »

of course there is the Church, which as you so rightfully say is our common home.

And the Church is our common ethnicity also. The term "ethnic group" simply means a group of people who identify with each other, share something in common and are recognised as a distinct group.  Unfortunately, the word "ethnic" has come into misuse through xenophobia (and I still see it misused on this forum). When the search function comes back, do a search for the term "ethnic Churches" and you'll see what I mean. Everyone has an ethnicity, so there can be no such thing as a "non-ethnic" person or Church. The Church itself is an ethnicity. The opposite of "ethnicity" is "autism".

In the Scriptures, St. Peter says of the Church:
"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation (Gk: "ethnos"), a particular people; that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy." (1 Peter 2:9-10)

The Church is a "generation", a "nation", a "people".

And this sense that we Orthodox Christians are one ethnicity was even set in law when St. Constantine the Great bestowed on all his Christian subjects throughout his empire the title of "Roman" (Gk: "Romios" Arabic: "Rum"). Even today, if someone wanted to ask me in Greek if my Romanian friend James who lives in the UK is an Orthodox Christian, they would ask me "Enai Romios?", that is, "Is he a Roman?".

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« Reply #131 on: June 01, 2007, 07:46:20 AM »

And the Church is our common ethnicity also. The word "ethnic" simply means a group of people who identify with each other, share something in common and are recognised as a distinct group.

In the Scriptures, St. Peter says of the Church:
"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation (Gk: "ethnos"), a particular people; that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy." (1 Peter 2:9-10)

And this sense that we Orthodox Christians are one ethnicity was even set in law when St. Constantine the Great bestowed on all his Christian subjects throughout his empire the title of "Roman" (Gk: "Romios" Arabic: "Rum"). Even today, if someone wanted to ask me in Greek if my Romanian friend James who lives in the UK is an Orthodox Christian, they would ask me "Enai Romios?", that is, "Is he a Roman?".



I agree (and it is very interesting to see the Greek). I am certainly Orthodox first, adoptive Romanian second, a Yorkshireman third (it may not feel like home as such, but most people from round here are Yorkshire first and English second and that's rubbed off to a degree), and British as a dim and distant fourth. In fact, I'd say it's more of a legal fiction than anything else.

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« Reply #132 on: June 01, 2007, 10:12:29 AM »

As for being "patriotic..." You see, I just don't know. I live in the USA, I like it a lot, but it's still not MY country. I cannot make myself perceive it as "mine." I don't feel good about it - it's strange, awkward, not quite "moral" to live in a country and to be a "non-citizen" (not just in the official paperwork sense).

I understand very well what you mean, George.  There is the place that one has known that has a deep spot in one's heart/mind that is sometimes not where one has to live.  It's not something that can be turned on like a light switch or just forced on one.  I've lived in the East (coast of the US) for a bit over 30 years.  But it's not "home", not the place that is my root like Montana is.  Pennsylvania and Maryland are ok, but there's not the same deep feeling of "place" as it were. 

I don't quite follow how your situation wouldn't be quite "moral" to use your word.  Your life is what it is and you make the best of what you can.  If it's a case of other people saying that you have to feel/believe just the same as they do (the 2nd/3rd generation Ukrainians you mentioned) that's not really reasonable. It's a useful thing to learn that "not every person has to act/think/believe/agree with me."  Smiley I'm sorry that you've had some unpleasent experiences with such.

Ebor
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« Reply #133 on: June 01, 2007, 11:24:33 AM »

George,

I also totally agree with you about the whole 'home' thing.  I feel like i'm living some kind of parallel life here in the US.  I feel like a completely different person in Serbia. 

Its like the air is different or something. 

Ultimately though, I think this gives us a unique opportunity.  No prophet is recieved in his own home.  So since we don't feel at home in the US (me and others) we should be prophets here and work extra hard. 

Eh...just an idea. 
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« Reply #134 on: June 01, 2007, 12:23:46 PM »

George,

I also totally agree with you about the whole 'home' thing.  I feel like i'm living some kind of parallel life here in the US.  I feel like a completely different person in Serbia. 

Its like the air is different or something. 

Ultimately though, I think this gives us a unique opportunity.  No prophet is recieved in his own home.  So since we don't feel at home in the US (me and others) we should be prophets here and work extra hard. 

Eh...just an idea. 

With all those Yugo's still putting around, I can imagine what the air must be like.   Wink  Tongue

I agree though completely with your prophet statement though.
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« Reply #135 on: June 01, 2007, 12:56:26 PM »

I understand very well what you mean, George.  There is the place that one has known that has a deep spot in one's heart/mind that is sometimes not where one has to live.  It's not something that can be turned on like a light switch or just forced on one.  I've lived in the East (coast of the US) for a bit over 30 years.  But it's not "home", not the place that is my root like Montana is.  Pennsylvania and Maryland are ok, but there's not the same deep feeling of "place" as it were. 

So why continue to torture yourself over there on the east coast? Personally it took about 5 months before I just had to come back west, Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania are nice enough places and I'm sure I'll be back to visit at some point, but certainly not places to live. Montana is an infinitely greater place, more open spaces, better people, more freedom...I could live in Montana, but not Maryland.
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« Reply #136 on: June 01, 2007, 05:47:22 PM »

So why continue to torture yourself over there on the east coast? Personally it took about 5 months before I just had to come back west, Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania are nice enough places and I'm sure I'll be back to visit at some point, but certainly not places to live. Montana is an infinitely greater place, more open spaces, better people, more freedom...I could live in Montana, but not Maryland.

What? You've left Maryland?  We never got a chance to meet in person.  Well, rats.  Wink  Where are you now, if one may ask?

In answer to your question, a lot of Montanans leave the state  when they become adults because there aren't always lots of jobs available. Some leave, like a cousin in law to go for education that isn't available there; he just graduated from Medical School in, I think it was, West Virginia because there are no such schools in Montana.  He's planning to go back since there's always a need for doctors and nurses.  We have some good universities, but they may not cover everything.   I left to get an education and eventually moved to Maryland for a job.  I  met and married a Marylander (who does like Montana, which is good) and had children here.

During the last election, my mother met Jon Tester running for the Senate.  In conversation he asked her if she had children and if any of them lived in Montana. She told him that all three had left for employment.  He agreed that things need to be done to have more jobs (such as tech since we *do* have computers in Montana  Grin ) come to the state. 

To be fair, there are people who couldn't live in Montana, who prefer cities or coastal areas or things like that.  To quote the old Irish proverb "If we all liked the same thing, there wouldn't be enough to go around.  Smiley

Ebor

P.S.  And just to remind you, there are only 6-7 EO churchs or missions in the entire state and the one that I know for sure is Greek (in Great Falls) hasn't had a priest in years unfortunately. So if you do decide to move there, think of where you want to settle.  Smiley
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« Reply #137 on: June 01, 2007, 06:03:56 PM »

Ebor, my former postdoctoral mentor (E.) was a Montanan who, after obtaining his Ph.D. from the U. of Montana, went to do his postdoctoral studies at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School.

He said that when he just arrived to Dallas and tried to buy a coke in a convenience store, the store owner asked him, "Daat?"

It took E. a good number of minutes to find out, eventually, that the owner was asking, "daat or rig'lar?"

E. said to himself, "wow, English... I thought that's the only language that I master, but now I guess I was wrong..." Smiley Smiley Smiley
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« Reply #138 on: June 01, 2007, 06:17:25 PM »

 Cheesy Grin  Cheesy

That's a good one, George.  And I can understand that as a roommate in college was from Dennison Texas after a few years in Florida so I know something of Texan pronunciation, though now that I think about it, "daat" sounds more Southern (my father is from Virginia. But in nearly 50 years in Montana he's managed to lose most of his southern pronunciations.)

Ebor
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« Reply #139 on: June 01, 2007, 07:41:21 PM »

What? You've left Maryland?  We never got a chance to meet in person.  Well, rats.  Wink  Where are you now, if one may ask?

It's too bad we never had a chance to meet up...but I wasn't there for long. I'm back in California, in a relatively small town in the far north of the state. It's a nice place, great people...though I wish we didn't have the political influence of the cities. (We're working on that www.jeffersonstate.com/ Wink )

Quote
In answer to your question, a lot of Montanans leave the state  when they become adults because there aren't always lots of jobs available. Some leave, like a cousin in law to go for education that isn't available there; he just graduated from Medical School in, I think it was, West Virginia because there are no such schools in Montana.  He's planning to go back since there's always a need for doctors and nurses.  We have some good universities, but they may not cover everything.   I left to get an education and eventually moved to Maryland for a job.  I  met and married a Marylander (who does like Montana, which is good) and had children here.

I can sympathize at least, that's one of the reasons I took the Job in Maryland, there simply arn't any jobs where I come from, yeah I could have went down to Sacramento, San Francisco, or L.A....but no thanks, I'm not too fond of any of those cities. Fortunately, I was able to get myself a job as a Materials Engineer and moved back...I design asphalt and they use that pretty much everywhere (even Montana...last I checked Wink)

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During the last election, my mother met Jon Tester running for the Senate.  In conversation he asked her if she had children and if any of them lived in Montana. She told him that all three had left for employment.  He agreed that things need to be done to have more jobs (such as tech since we *do* have computers in Montana  Grin ) come to the state. 

I almost went to the University of Montana in Missoula, but decided against it because they didn't have a well developed physics department and I was thinking of majoring in physics at the time, so I went to the University of Idaho (In the end, the only class I took that I probably couldn't have had I went to Montana was a class in General Relativity, but I quite enjoyed my time in Idaho). But I love Missoula and area to the North.

Quote
To be fair, there are people who couldn't live in Montana, who prefer cities or coastal areas or things like that.  To quote the old Irish proverb "If we all liked the same thing, there wouldn't be enough to go around.  Smiley

Well, some folk just arn't right in the head. Wink I don't know that I'll ever have a chance to live in Montana (I do have some family there, but they live out in Lewiston...which isn't my favourite part of the state). I'm much more likely to end up in Wyoming or Colorado (I have more family that lives in Northern Colorado on the Western Slope or in Southern Wyoming)...but there's still the problem of getting a job, even as a Construction Materials Engineer the region I would like to move doesn't even have an interstate, so while there is construction it's not exactly booming.

Quote
P.S.  And just to remind you, there are only 6-7 EO churchs or missions in the entire state and the one that I know for sure is Greek (in Great Falls) hasn't had a priest in years unfortunately. So if you do decide to move there, think of where you want to settle.  Smiley

Sounds like a better situation than where I'm from. Of course, for better or for worse, religion isn't so significant part of my life at this point as to dictate where I move. If I wanted to go to church on a regular basis I would have no problem going to an Episcopal or even Latin Church on a regular basis, and traveling a few hundred miles on major feat days if I wished to commune.
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« Reply #140 on: June 07, 2007, 10:59:15 AM »

It's too bad we never had a chance to meet up...but I wasn't there for long. I'm back in California, in a relatively small town in the far north of the state. It's a nice place, great people...though I wish we didn't have the political influence of the cities. (We're working on that www.jeffersonstate.com/ Wink )

Thanks for the link.  Interesting.  Smiley

Quote
Fortunately, I was able to get myself a job as a Materials Engineer and moved back...I design asphalt and they use that pretty much everywhere (even Montana...last I checked Wink)

Oh yes, some of the roads use that new fangled stuff instead of just leaving it to gravel or dirt. Cheesy  We even have the electric light and the buffalo stampedes stop at the red lights now.  GO seminary to Materiels Engineer... the mind reels.  Wink

Quote
I almost went to the University of Montana in Missoula, but decided against it because they didn't have a well developed physics department and I was thinking of majoring in physics at the time, so I went to the University of Idaho (In the end, the only class I took that I probably couldn't have had I went to Montana was a class in General Relativity, but I quite enjoyed my time in Idaho). But I love Missoula and area to the North.

Huh.  Small world  Smiley  I agree that it's some pretty country in the Montana Rockies... but I like the high plains and the little mountain groups too.

Quote
Well, some folk just arn't right in the head. Wink I don't know that I'll ever have a chance to live in Montana (I do have some family there, but they live out in Lewiston...which isn't my favourite part of the state).

Errrmm, I think you still have some Idaho in mind.  Southeast of my home town is "LewistoWN" Montana and it has mountains around it and plains.  But we don't have to like the same thing.

Quote
Sounds like a better situation than where I'm from. Of course, for better or for worse, religion isn't so significant part of my life at this point as to dictate where I move.

Ah.  Well, Best of luck where ever you are.


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« Reply #141 on: June 07, 2007, 11:44:30 AM »

It's too bad we never had a chance to meet up...but I wasn't there for long. I'm back in California, in a relatively small town in the far north of the state. It's a nice place, great people...though I wish we didn't have the political influence of the cities. (We're working on that www.jeffersonstate.com/ Wink )


And so what IS this small town exactly?
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« Reply #142 on: June 09, 2007, 10:23:34 PM »

You guys must be thinking of Northern VA up near DC.  That ain't Virginia!  We can get as rural as you can imagine here, and I can't believe I am saying this, it's a good place to raise kids.  As long as you are several hours away from the DC crowd.  As a transplant from the middle of nowhere N. CA, I thought I would never vouch for this state.  However, if we have trouble finding a parish I can't imagine you would have much better luck in those "wide open spaces".    I would love to move back out west, but dh isn't willing to trade gnats for scorpions-which he thinks are everywhere past the Mason Dixon.  I don't know how ya'll live in the middle without much access to a beach!!
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« Reply #143 on: August 02, 2007, 04:13:13 PM »

The following 8 posts (including this one) were split off from another thread and merged with this one.
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Elisha,

I see that if MP was OCA then his speech could have been better. However, MP is Antiochian and his speech was not bad..... Grin Grin
Maybe...but there are several OCA bishops that I don't have the highest opinion of either.

Is it possible that you do  not favour Arabic bishops Grin Wink?

I think cultural differences between Arabs and non-Arabs are a challenge for them which rubs us white people the wrong way.  I have never heard anything remotely negative about +BASIL Essey though (and I'm guessing he IS Arabic).
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« Reply #144 on: August 02, 2007, 04:22:04 PM »

 Undecided White people?Huh
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« Reply #145 on: August 02, 2007, 04:40:34 PM »

Elisha,

I do not have to make an argument with you anymore.  What did the Arabic Bishops do against you? Another point, you are referring to yourself as  "white" and others not, why? If you want to disagree with someone then it is ok. However, you do not disagree with someone just because he/she looks Arabic,White, Brown, etc...

Again, you need to be open minded and free from this prejudice feelings that is in you. Grin



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« Reply #146 on: August 02, 2007, 05:38:35 PM »

LOL - Arabs are 'White people' (by almost every definition of the idea of 'White'.) Lebanese especially, and culturally they have so much in common with European culture due to constant contact for centuries. Truth is - Arabs are often more culturally transparent to this Anglo-Celt (with good parts of Jewish and Native American), than are most Slavs or Greeks. Only Romanians seem more 'Western' (and, possibly Armenians and Georgians - but only in that they are mountain folk, and for Appalachian/Ozark culture, strangely aren't all that foreign.)

You want to see a White redneck? Take a trip back to Tulsa - there are some Naifehs, Rahals, Bayouths, Barketts and other locals who are so Oklahoman that if one didn't know their names were Arab, you couldn't tell them from the rest of the populace (Anglo or Native.) They talk Southern, cook Southern, fish and hunt Southern, drive Southern, vote Southern - and some of them are fairer than my Scottish Rite Freemason Yellow Dog Democrat White Southern grandfathers. Same goes for Rahals and Salibas down here in the Wiregrass (even more so, as most of them are Methodists now - there was no Orthodox churches for them to go to.) And yes, His Grace Bishop Basil is Arab - American born, Pennsylvania raised.

It is only the Arab language and culture that is foreign - and it isn't all that present in the Antiochian Archdiocese (you really have to go north, or to Canada, to find it all that 'Arab' - it sure isn't in most parts of the country.) I take my grandmother Lebanese food sometimes - she thinks it is German food! (I don't disabuse her of the notion.) The only other thing I'd say is foreign is the rite itself (Byzantine) and the church politics (very mafia-like, which should be familiar to anyone with Mediterranean connections.)

And - if we're going to get into the 'White' thing : there is no 'White' Orthodox church. Slavs weren't (and still aren't) considered 'White' by American society, nor are Romanians, Greeks, etc. Latins (Italians, Spaniards, Portuguese, even French) themselves are 'in' or 'out' depend on whose doing the talking. Typically, you have to be German or Celt to be 'White' (and even then, Irish and Germans weren't 'White' a century and a half ago - remember the old American ditty "Dirty dirty Deutsche, aint worth much, but a d***ed sight better than the Irish"?) Us Western Orthodox (all happily with our bishops - Arab, Russian, Romanian, or what) aren't even all that 'White'.
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« Reply #147 on: August 02, 2007, 05:47:32 PM »

Aristibule,

Thanks for your informative and detailed reply.
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« Reply #148 on: August 02, 2007, 06:40:34 PM »


It is only the Arab language and culture that is foreign - and it isn't all that present in the Antiochian Archdiocese (you really have to go north, or to Canada, to find it all that 'Arab' - it sure isn't in most parts of the country.) I take my grandmother Lebanese food sometimes - she thinks it is German food! (I don't disabuse her of the notion.) The only other thing I'd say is foreign is the rite itself (Byzantine) and the church politics (very mafia-like, which should be familiar to anyone with Mediterranean connections.)



We have many Arab immigrants in California too which has infused a middle eastern Orthodox culture back into some of our parishes. The variety of immigrant parishes and parishes started by those who are new to Orthodoxy in our archdiocese has been very enriching. On the one hand, we have devout immigrants reintroducing many customs (ie:Antiochian Byzantine chanting, feast day food specialty items) that were lost over the years. And on the other side of the coin we have been injected with the enthusiasm for evangelism and service to the poor by those who are new to Orthodoxy. It is the best of both worlds and it is very exciting!

I was on the parish council of the church I grew up in and I don't think I would characterize the politics in that parish as mafia-like. The word 'mafia' tends to denote physical violence as a way of doing business. Most of the Arabs I have known are peace loving. But they can be clannish and some are parochial. Sometimes they have trouble having a greater vision for the church.  I think most Arabs view the large successful Greek parishes as a model to emulate but I don't think they realize  how quickly the faith would spread if they instead followed the small, neighborhood parish model like the one I belong to now.
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« Reply #149 on: August 02, 2007, 06:57:04 PM »

For my final reply I'll just post these responses:

I don't know if he's a minority per se, but I know he hasn't been put off by his Christian brethren.  I know for one that Metropolitan +MAXIMOS liked interacting with his fellow hierarchs (and is particularly close to +NICHOLAS of the Carpatho-Rus), but he was furious when Metro +PHILIP wanted to put yet another bishop in Pittsburgh (it was largely due to his protest that the Antiochian see was officially put in Oakland, then in WV).  From his perspective (which I heard firsthand), it was hypocritical of +PHILIP (who talks about unity nonstop, and has a tendency of being accusatory towards his brethren) to speak of a need for greater unity while trying to exacerbate the problem of overlapping diocese.

When some of the other bishops do things like this, it definitely sends the signal to bishops like mine that they're double-speaking (or power hungry).

The above and what I have heard from others are my evidence.  Since I am not under one of these Antiochian bishops, I'm not affected and this is a non-issue for me personally.  I'm only stating what others have said, from what I've heard from others and the behavior I have witnessed from the brief times I've seen +JOSEPH.

Truth is - Arabs are often more culturally transparent to this Anglo-Celt (with good parts of Jewish and Native American), than are most Slavs or Greeks.

...

It is only the Arab language and culture that is foreign - and it isn't all that present in the Antiochian Archdiocese (you really have to go north, or to Canada, to find it all that 'Arab' - it sure isn't in most parts of the country.)

Yes, this is the issue - it is TOO transparent for those that of White Anglo-European ancestry.  They are used to people speaking soft-toned, tactfully and eloquently.  And yes, I would argue that Slavs can be to abrasive as well...as I have witnessed by Slavic practices that have rubbed off on my own choir director and that have caused problems among those in my choir.

While the below was written about Orthodox in the South (as in those Southern states), I believe it applies to all those of Anlgo-European "WHITE" ancestry.  Aristibule, thank you for your elegant academic but completely meaningless diatribe to the point I've been trying to make.  I let these others make them for me since they are much better at it than me.

Quote from: Fr. Joseph Honeycutt
Arabs, Russians, and other cultures are accustomed to hubris and other blustering within daily discourse. In the South, we expect it of politicians. We discourage it in decent folks. Integrity, in the South, is expected of church leaders. Having found the True Faith we’re confused by contradictory words and actions which often emanate from the various jurisdictional hierarchs.

When I first became Orthodox in the Antiochian jurisdiction, someone suggested that I read a book entitled "The Arab Mind" to get a sense of my newly adopted church culture. The book claimed that, in Arabic, the root word for eloquence and exaggeration is the same. An Arab may exaggerate to show machismo. For instance, a man may shout across a street corner to another "I hate you." The other man replies, "I not only hate you, I’m going to kill you!" The man retorts "I’m going to kill you and your family!" Etc. These same men may later be found sharing a friendly meal together. Words fail me in describing how this same dialogue might have ended in the South. Put it this way, funeral processions still stall traffic in these parts.

Contrary to outsiders’ perceptions, Southerners do not put on airs. Though we may be hospitable, friendly, and civil, what you see is what you get. If we share openly with you, it means we trust you. Once you break that trust, it may be irreparable. All are welcomed here. Yet, we are easily offended. If offended, the offending party will be cut off till reparation. Our people-pleasing nature lends itself to over-sensitivity. It just comes with the territory. In the South, admiration comes easy, respect is earned over time.

Like all those outside Paradise, Southerners gossip. In a region where being idle is considered a virtue, idle talk ain’t far behind! I don’t mean the kind of vindictive gossip popularized by Soap Operas and other media. (Though we have that too.) Rather, Southerners carry on conversations in a way that others might view as gossiping. And, God help us, at times it is. Yet, often this is a manner of couching subjects within an engaging tale. It’s the way we talk around here.

Southerners are self-effacing. We can take criticism if it’s properly couched in civility and/or humour. For us, if direct confrontation is necessary, things have already gone too far! Sometimes our neighbors to the North skip all the niceties and cut right to the chase. (Northern aggression continues.) And, since all the Orthodox jurisdictions hail from a different culture with the "home offices" up North, this element of cultural war persists within church dynamics. Brutal honesty is not only unwelcome but most often rejected in the South.

Before attending my first gathering of Clergy and Church Wardens in the Russian Church, I was asked about the nature and agenda of the meeting. I said, "Well, they’ll probably argue and yell at each other for a few hours and then we’ll have lunch. After lunch, they’ll argue and yell some more then we’ll kiss each other goodbye and go home." I’m no prophet, but boy was I ever on the mark with that prediction! In such a setting you can recognize the Southerner -- he’s the one with his mouth shut. If asked, were he honest, he’d say "I think you all are crazy." But, "don’t ask, don’t tell" has always been policy where I’m from. Being slightly dishonest in the name of civility is considered a virtue.

You yell at a Southerner and it may have eternal consequences. When we speak, all that’s required of you is to listen politely until it’s your turn. We don’t take kindly yelling, interruption, jeering, or public ridicule. We may not break bread with you until there’s resolution. You don’t have to agree, mind you. But, you must behave in such a way that assures civil discussion and debate. It may be that we take things personally. But, we operate on the assumption that you do to. Therefore, quite selfishly, the Golden Rule applies no matter what your rank or station.

http://southern-orthodoxy.blogspot.com/2004_05_01_archive.html
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« Reply #150 on: August 02, 2007, 07:04:57 PM »

I was on the parish council of the church I grew up in and I don't think I would characterize the politics in that parish as mafia-like. The word 'mafia' tends to denote physical violence as a way of doing business. Most of the Arabs I have known are peace loving. But they can be clannish and some are parochial. Sometimes they have trouble having a greater vision for the church.

Tamara,
According to Wiki, you're not on the mark here - violence it only part of it.  Your latter sentence above is closer to how the word is (maybe improperly) thrown around in common parlance.

"Some observers have seen "mafia" as a set of attributes deeply rooted in popular culture, as a "way of being", as illustrated in the definition by the Sicilian ethnographer, Giuseppe Pitrè, at the end of the 19th century: "Mafia is the consciousness of one's own worth, the exaggerated concept of individual force as the sole arbiter of every conflict, of every clash of interests or ideas."[3]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mafia
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« Reply #151 on: August 03, 2007, 12:35:43 AM »

Tamara,
According to Wiki, you're not on the mark here - violence it only part of it.  Your latter sentence above is closer to how the word is (maybe improperly) thrown around in common parlance.

"Some observers have seen "mafia" as a set of attributes deeply rooted in popular culture, as a "way of being", as illustrated in the definition by the Sicilian ethnographer, Giuseppe Pitrè, at the end of the 19th century: "Mafia is the consciousness of one's own worth, the exaggerated concept of individual force as the sole arbiter of every conflict, of every clash of interests or ideas."[3]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mafia

But in American culture when one hears the word, 'mafia,' the first associations that come into most American's minds are violence and criminals. Those other meanings listed in wikipedia are secondary and many of them are not associated with what Americans think about the mafia. I would not describe Arabs as mafioso-like. I take it as an insult to the many devout Arabs I have met to characterize them in that way. In my experience most of them are peace-loving with a few hot heads showing up every now and then (hotheads can be found in every culture. My usually well-mannered, ex-piskie husband is of English/Scottish descent and his temper levels surpass any Arab I have known. Keep in mind there is no Arab (Christian) mafia. There are however Russian, Albanian, Bulgarian, and Romanian mafias.
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« Reply #152 on: August 03, 2007, 01:30:08 AM »

Similar to the Spanish "pondonor" - point of honor- from which that whole machismo-thing comes?
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« Reply #153 on: August 03, 2007, 08:43:23 AM »

Which illustrates the point - make the anthropological observation that Arab culture (and church) shares in something one finds in every Mediterranean culture: mafia behavior, and get a mafia reaction. Wink My grandfather had an extensive library when he passed away - among those volumes was a sociological/anthropological study of Middle Eastern civilization (he worked for a part of the government for whom that mattered.) In that book, there was a description of some fundamentals of Arab civilization. Machismo was one of those, as was the importance of eloquence, of the ability to do physical violence (even if it is only ever threatened), the importance of appearance, the centrality of family and rule by a tribal patriarch, etc. All of these apply to mafia like societies. It includes ways of doing business that can lack openness, etc. For that matter, the Roman curia is mafia like (something that has been noted by Catholic commentators for half a century.) It really doesn't matter what a popular view might be (which can vary widely - if folk haven't noticed, the mafia are popular folk heroes - for reasons I don't understand.) For that matter - an educated Antiochian subdeacon I know, who spends time each year in Lebanon and Syria, is quite proud of the mafia connections in his culture. He pointed out that they get things done on both sides of the pond, and are involved with the church here in America. The point being, there are Lebanese who fully understand what some of us mean when we say that Antiochian (or Greek, or Roman Catholic) churches are run like mafia - ie, like Mediterranean families/clans/tribes. ... and yes, Virginia, there is violence at Antiochian parish council meetings. I've heard the stories (and for what its worth, I always side with the priest. Wink )

Elisha - Thanks for quoting Fr. Joseph Honeycutt. Since you missed the meaning, the meaning was that I think you're going a bit extreme on the 'WHITE' thing. It could be taken as racist - and that really has no place in Orthodoxy (the point being, again, there is no 'WHITE' Orthodox Church.) His article is right, of course, but you should note that Fr. Joseph Honeycutt is Byzantine rite in an Arab parish, with an Arab bishop. It isn't as if he is throwing stones - like myself, he is simply trying to create understanding. And, by the way - my response was not 'academic' - it is and was practical.

Aristibule, thank you for your elegant academic but completely meaningless diatribe to the point I've been trying to make.
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« Reply #154 on: August 03, 2007, 09:13:26 AM »

Aristibule, thank you for your elegant academic but completely meaningless diatribe to the point I've been trying to make.

Er....I'm confused. Is this an example of extreme self-effacing?
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« Reply #155 on: August 03, 2007, 09:24:13 AM »

I thought it was a verbal slap. Wink

Seriously though, I don't think Fr. Joseph's article applies to all Americans. It illustrates many of the same problems I've encountered while living in Northern states (though, not the exact same problems - just conflicts with the same elements of Southern culture.)

I did find something interesting:

http://www.carnivalarabia.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=5122 - an Arabic analysis of 'The Godfather'

and this from SicilianCulture.com:

Quote
Henner Hess, in Mafia & Mafiosi: Origin, Power and Myth. Trans. Ewald Osers.

New York: NYUP, 1998, cites the same sources as Schiavo, and expands on his definitions. For him the word also has connotations of "boldness, ambition, arrogance" (1, Sciascia 1964). And, "A mafioso is simply a courageous, brave fellow who won't stand any nonsense from anyone" (1, Pitré 1889). He says that some believe that the word derives from the Arabic, "either from mahias, meaning a bold man or a braggart, or from Ma afir, the name of the Saracen tribe that ruled Palermo. A third theory of Arab origin relates mafia to maha, a quarry or a cave in a rock. The mafie, the tuff caves in the Marsala region, served the persecuted Saracens as hiding places and later provided hide-outs for other fugitives" (2, Lestingi 1884). Hess states that Giuseppe Loschiavo (not to be confused with Giovanni Schiavo) writes that before Garibaldi's landing, "the rebellious Sicilians had hidden out in the mafie near Marsala and had therefore subsequently, during their successful advance on Palermo, been called mafiosi, the people from the mafie" (2, Loschiavo 1964).

ie, it is an Arabic idea of 'refuge' that is the origins of Mafia as an idea, but the whole system of Mafia is simply the traditional Arabic tribal way.
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« Reply #156 on: August 03, 2007, 09:43:23 AM »

Yes, I can see that. As most Greek-Americans I tend to look through Hellenized lens and concentrate on the Greek colonies in eastern Sicily, and ignore the Phoenician/Carthaginian influence in the rest of the island, and the Arab domination later throughout the area. So to the Arab influence in Spanish Andalusia. There seems to be a reasonable hypothesis here.
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« Reply #157 on: August 03, 2007, 10:15:55 AM »

Well, it isn't just a hypothesis. If you look at it from collective experiences of converts: we see behavior that we've only ever seen in 'mafia movies' (or recognize from relatives' experience with discredited organizations), we have ethnic Orthodox (Russian, Greek, Serbian, Arab) telling us that they are mafia or can get help of the mafia, and that the bishops are/can as well, and clergy in those jurisdictions who often joke about mafia-like environment or actions. That's all besides the academic study of mafias (self-defense organisations for minorities), or even worse - events being investigated by various governments for mafia-like activity. A fair number of us have friends, family, and former coreligionists who have told us that they would *never* become Orthodox because of what they've seen with the scandals with the OCA, Greeks, Antiochians, Russians, etc. (And, Elisha didn't quote that whole article - it does relate on a tangent as to how Orthodoxy could and should handle the South.) Having one or two folk protesting that there is 'nothing mafia' is meaningless then - we're thinking (though not always saying it): "go tell it to your cousin over at X parish, he's bragging about mafia."

Part of this is about what many of us don't think ethnic Orthodox ever realize: that we converts also have the importance of family, friendship, and except for those who take Orthodoxy as a cult - aren't going to just give up on all the relationships we've had. Part of that as well is the convert's hope - that he'll see his family and friends converted (even, god willing, his home church, diocese/district, or denomination!) As such, dysfunctional behavior, or even just behavior outside of the context of our culture, can often become a serious stumbling block. It's hard to talk your drowning parents out of the water when it looks like some of the people in the boat are ready to eat them ... they'll take their chances treading water, in that case (and many of us have been told just as much.)

Not that we don't have the same things in our own culture - the South had its mafia as well, just much reduced as action was taken against it by everything from the Federal government, to local churches, til most of them don't have that much influence as they used to (hint - it had something to do with white robes.)
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« Reply #158 on: August 03, 2007, 12:27:29 PM »

Elisha - Thanks for quoting Fr. Joseph Honeycutt. Since you missed the meaning, the meaning was that I think you're going a bit extreme on the 'WHITE' thing. It could be taken as racist - and that really has no place in Orthodoxy (the point being, again, there is no 'WHITE' Orthodox Church.) His article is right, of course, but you should note that Fr. Joseph Honeycutt is Byzantine rite in an Arab parish, with an Arab bishop. It isn't as if he is throwing stones - like myself, he is simply trying to create understanding. And, by the way - my response was not 'academic' - it is and was practical.

Aristibule, thank you for your elegant academic but completely meaningless diatribe to the point I've been trying to make.
No, I think you missed the meaning...or did not even read what I quoted...or did not even try to understand.  I am also well aware that Fr. Joseph is an Antiochian priest.

And I reiterate my point about your academic and meaningless diatribe.  It was not intended to be racist, had nothing to do with racism and you know it.  There's no point in me continuing this if you're not going to even pretend to understand.  Auf Wiedersehen.

(And, Elisha didn't quote that whole article - it does relate on a tangent as to how Orthodoxy could and should handle the South.)
Bandwidth my dear, bandwidth...
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« Reply #159 on: August 03, 2007, 12:30:47 PM »

Well, it isn't just a hypothesis. If you look at it from collective experiences of converts: we see behavior that we've only ever seen in 'mafia movies' (or recognize from relatives' experience with discredited organizations), we have ethnic Orthodox (Russian, Greek, Serbian, Arab) telling us that they are mafia or can get help of the mafia, and that the bishops are/can as well, and clergy in those jurisdictions who often joke about mafia-like environment or actions. That's all besides the academic study of mafias (self-defense organisations for minorities), or even worse - events being investigated by various governments for mafia-like activity. A fair number of us have friends, family, and former coreligionists who have told us that they would *never* become Orthodox because of what they've seen with the scandals with the OCA, Greeks, Antiochians, Russians, etc. (And, Elisha didn't quote that whole article - it does relate on a tangent as to how Orthodoxy could and should handle the South.) Having one or two folk protesting that there is 'nothing mafia' is meaningless then - we're thinking (though not always saying it): "go tell it to your cousin over at X parish, he's bragging about mafia."

Part of this is about what many of us don't think ethnic Orthodox ever realize: that we converts also have the importance of family, friendship, and except for those who take Orthodoxy as a cult - aren't going to just give up on all the relationships we've had. Part of that as well is the convert's hope - that he'll see his family and friends converted (even, god willing, his home church, diocese/district, or denomination!) As such, dysfunctional behavior, or even just behavior outside of the context of our culture, can often become a serious stumbling block. It's hard to talk your drowning parents out of the water when it looks like some of the people in the boat are ready to eat them ... they'll take their chances treading water, in that case (and many of us have been told just as much.)

Not that we don't have the same things in our own culture - the South had its mafia as well, just much reduced as action was taken against it by everything from the Federal government, to local churches, til most of them don't have that much influence as they used to (hint - it had something to do with white robes.)

You have made so many sweeping generalizations I don't know where to begin. But I disagree with many of the things you have written. The Antiochians and Greeks have never had any financial scandals (and there are no associations or rumors of associations of criminal gangs with either archdiocese). The OCA could possibly have ties to the Russian mafia (a non-Mediterarrean culture) but I have not heard any rumors in that regard. And lets be honest, we have all read about financial scandals being reported in the news among all churches (Catholic and Protestant alike) so this would be a very poor reason to choose not to become Orthodox.  While growing up I have never heard any Arab make claims about getting help from the mafia and I have lived in the culture longer than you have had experience with it. There can be clannish behavior but I have never witnessed any violence at parish council meetings, conferences, haflis, festivals etc. over the years. The only time I was nervous was when a group of muslim men showed up at our church festival but even then there were no scuffles, acts of drunkeness or violence. The only problems were parking issues.
Another point you have ignored is clannish behavior can be found in many ethnic groups, including Asians, African, Irish, Germans etc.  Criminal gangs and crime families can also be found in all cultures (Russian, Asian, Irish, Nazi, Aryan Nation, Skinheads).

So please stop with all of the sweeping generalizations. I could easily do the same thing when describing the WASP culture but I prefer to let each individual speak for themselves regardless of their background. We must stop making polarizing comments about the various cultures within Orthodoxy and learn to accept one another. Clannish behavior is the support network for many immigrant families who would be isolated in a strange culture when they first arrive. Most all ethnic groups who arrived here stayed together for the first two to three generations including the Germans, Irish, Italians, etc. But over time all groups eventually assimilate through marriage. When I wrote a paper in college on Lebanese and Syrian immigration to America it was noted in the reference material how quickly these two groups of people assimilated into the American mainstream. Perhaps this is the reason the evangelicals found a home within our archdiocese. We are very accepting of other people because we are not ethnocentric.


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« Reply #160 on: August 03, 2007, 12:52:22 PM »

No financial scandals among the Greeks? Most likely because for something to be scandalous, it must be made known.
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« Reply #161 on: August 03, 2007, 04:03:59 PM »

No financial scandals among the Greeks? Most likely because for something to be scandalous, it must be made known.

I have only read the Greek Archdiocese is over budget due to expanded ministry work but I never read of any stories about money being diverted from charity to pay for homes of clergy members or cash disappearing from accounts without receipts. I am sure the Greek OCL members would write articles if they heard of any financial misdoings in the archdiocese or it would show up in the National Herald. Someone at the highest level in the GOA constantly leaks information to the National Herald after synod meetings.

It is ironic that Aristibule makes claims about how mafioso Arab Christians are when the largest, most terrifying group of gangsters to come on the scene in the last twenty years are the Russians. Many of them are Russian Jews who immigrated from Russia to Israel. One of the most well-known is a man nick-named 'Tarzan.' The NYPD said the Russian Mafia make the Italian Mafia look genteel. The Italian Mafia might kill one informant but the Russian Mafia would kill the informant and his entire family.
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« Reply #162 on: August 03, 2007, 04:29:46 PM »

The NYPD said the Russian Mafia make the Italian Mafia look genteel. The Italian Mafia might kill one informant but the Russian Mafia would kill the informant and his entire family.

I'm no expert on the topic, but I believe it is a commonly accepted that the russian mafia has slipped down the ladder...behind the italian, albanian, triad and yakuza mafias?
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« Reply #163 on: August 03, 2007, 04:34:48 PM »

Surely you don't think all the GOAA budget overruns are from missionary work or even legal defense of those OCL miscreant inspired lawsuits. Greeks are just better at dirty laundry spin, except the whole Jerusalem Patriarchate debacle, continuing as it is.

You've more confidence in OCL and their ilk at the National Herald than I do, but even they know some bounds of propriety.

I'm well familiar with the whole Russian Mafya thing, both their Israeli connections and Florida presence- very little to do with Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #164 on: August 03, 2007, 05:37:52 PM »

Someone at the highest level in the GOA constantly leaks information to the National Herald after synod meetings.


It makes me wonder what Method is used to leak information to the National Herald. 

Perhaps more than one method is used to spread their alternate gospel (Evangelismos in the Greek, of course)

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« Reply #165 on: August 03, 2007, 06:11:01 PM »

Why do you seperate "Americans" as though they are a different ethnicity? Aren't Greek citizens of the USA "Americans"? Aren't Arab citizens of the USA "Americans"? Aren't Chinese citizens of the USA "Americans"?

What about African citizens of the USA? Are we Amercan?

The truth is no.

There is a seperation when it comes to us (it always has been). I guess that why you did not use Africans in your scenario.

I am an Ethiopian (Ethiopians are black people; African) and at the same time African Americans and their whole history is mine also. To educated Africans on the continent we all feel that all our history is one history. Unlike for example Irish history vs Greek history. WE are all simply Africans.

African people in America did not get their citizenship until about 50 years ago; although we have been there since before the begining of America.

We were brought to the land of Americas future by brute force by mobsters, killers and theives...Godless people... possing as christians.

Christians with no priests, no bishops, no liturgy, no church...'no nothing'. Just the rantings of the lost and sorriful like Luther and his type.

They are happily referred to as "colonists"; these were pirates, dead poeple. Roaming the world in rat infested disease ridden boats continent by continent with bulging eyes; looking for what they did not have at home; wealth, land, clean cloths and a descent meal.

The weirdos that were on these death ships must have been a sight to see. I do not think that these "people" were ever truely...really depicted in all their murderous splendor in any period film made to date by anybody anywhere.

I will try to make a point....

Ethnicity and the church was reallly a big aspect of Americas star spangled history of oppression, slavery, human slaughter and greed. This built the country.

Africans were NOT allowed to be "christian". According to these "people" 'they' are not in Gods plan of salvation. To these "people" Africans were animals. They lied to themsleves long enough until they believed this as truth. Even today you would be shocked at the silly things people believe about Africans (and themsleves as white people) which are the product of that period of utter stupidity.

Anyway America went forward on these dead ideas which have no place in God and all the while singing "God bless America"..yahda, yahda.....

For those who do not know an "American citizen" has ALL the rights and previledges as provided for in the bill of right and the constittution as it was established by the 'founding fathers'.

This goes WITHOUT any need for the 'civil rights' acts of 1957, and the 'voting rights acts' a few years later which is an 'act' of congress which must be 'acted' on periodically to re-establish it. GW Bush signed the most recent reinactment of the civil rights acts 2 years ago. I think W gave Africans in America another 25 years to live like Americans

These acts are for Africans living in America. The constitution and the bill of rights stand alone DOES NOT EVEN NOW PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF AFRICANS IN AMERICA. The constitution and the bill of rights are for white people. Even a person (white) who migrates to the USA and becomes an American after a few years has more TRUE constitutional protection than an African who has been here from day 1.

I am thankful that my parents were bolth educated people and were still well connected with their African heritage. I have a real idenity outisde of simply (African Ameircan) with a red, black, and green flag that flies over no country but the America of slavery and degradation. (African Americans) still do not have (and many never heard of the Church) of course they believe they have "the church" as. Many are truely faithful to Christ even.

Among the Africans in America (African Americans as people say) are Americas first and only Christian Martyrs.

These were people from along time ago 250 years ago to 75 years ago that lost their lives for saying the word Jesus and was caught. Their are those that were beaten to death for being caught praying to Christ. Even worse are those who had their eyes, either burned out, goawged out, or pierced through and later shot dead for being found reading a bible.....These are Americas first and only martyrs for Christ and to this day no one even recognise that they existed. To me they are Saints. May God bless their souls...Amen

The American citizens hated, hated, hated any act from Africans that gave or could possibly provide any enlightenment. Being caught reading would be blindness for certain; being caught reading the bible was certain death as well.

Ethinicty and the church I think for this thread did not mean what I am talking about. But I wanted to share what I felt. I always tell people that the true Holy Apostolic Church had no part in the worldwide campaigne for weath, dominance and power which we see the results of today. The descendants of these people continues with the Godlessness and greed causing to date two wars with each other...a fight that scaled the globe due the land holdings they had  amassed over the 400 + years (which is still today other peoples property being coveted)effectively causing by description only two world wars. Actually they were at war with each other and dragged in those who they dominated.

RC had its hands in the matter however (the European slave trade); even supported the European slave trade in Africa which was a global interprize which created the largest forced migration of human beings on earth ever. The Atlantic Ocean is the largest grave site on earth with Africans holding about 80% of the spots mostly from being thrown over board alive. These numbers are staggering. The conditions of this matter are perplexing.



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« Reply #166 on: August 03, 2007, 09:16:27 PM »

What about African citizens of the USA? Are we Amercan?

The truth is no.

There is a seperation when it comes to us (it always has been). I guess that why you did not use Africans in your scenario.

I am an Ethiopian (Ethiopians are black people; African) and at the same time African Americans and their whole history is mine also. To educated Africans on the continent we all feel that all our history is one history. Unlike for example Irish history vs Greek history. WE are all simply Africans.

I find this very interesting to hear come from someone who is a recent immigrant from Africa. In both school and at church I have many dealings with recent immigrants from Africa (Kenya, Ethiopia, Erietria(sp?), and Sudan) and one thing they all have in common is they make a clear distinction between themselves and those who are called "African-Americans." There is a feeling that is portrayed that they have more in common with Caucasians then with "Blacks."

African people in America did not get their citizenship until about 50 years ago; although we have been there since before the begining of America...

These acts are for Africans living in America. The constitution and the bill of rights stand alone DOES NOT EVEN NOW PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF AFRICANS IN AMERICA. The constitution and the bill of rights are for white people. Even a person (white) who migrates to the USA and becomes an American after a few years has more TRUE constitutional protection than an African who has been here from day 1.
A couple of historical points to bring up in regards to Constitutional Law that I don't feel are accurate in your post. First most of what you say are very valid points but you are concentrating on only one part of the African population that existed in the United States.

There are two parts of the U.S. Constitution that need to be examined to support your claim.
First from Article 1 Section 2
Quote
Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.
First you would find Africans in both the italicized and bold groups. The differences is that those Africans that fall in the italicized group may have been granted citizenship by their state of residence which brings me to the next section which should be examined. It is those Africans that fall in the bold group that I think your arguments apply to the most.
Article IV Section 2
Quote
The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

So when this is put into context of historical circumstances we can see that not all Africans are the same in the eyes of the Constitution. Citizenship, by the right of the original framing of the Constitution, rest with the States so that in such those Africans that were of free stock and linage could be afforded citizenship if the state wished to grant it. This was later changed by the 14th Amendment that was ratified in 1898 (albeit some argue that it was passed in an unconstitutional way) which gives the right to determine citizenship to the Federal Government and bolstered both the 13th and 15th Amendments.

Perhaps the best case from Constitutional Law is the "The United States, Appellants v. The Libellants and Claimants of the schooner Amistad, her tackle, apparel, and furniture, together with her cargo, and the Africans mentioned and described in the several libels and claims, Appellees" that upheld that the "Africans" aboard were free men and not slaves and therefore had rights in a 7-1 decision.

And even the "Dred Scott v. John F. A. Sandford" decision gives us a case to see how the Constitution could afford citizenship to Africans. Mr. Scott lost his bid for freedom since he was deemed to be property and held no property of his own. While this is disgusting to us today that such a ruling could exist it was the right ruling of what the Constitution held until the 13th Amendment.

To generalize all Americans as being hateful and bigoted towards Africans since the inception of the Country is not fair to those who truly felt that all men are created equal. There were slave owners who treated their slaves with fairness and encouraged them to practice Christianity just as their were those who fit the bill you described.

I only say all of this is because we can not move forward with healing until we put all the hate and bigotry behind us. This goes for all people, Arab, Greek, African, Slavic, Irish, German, British,  or whatever you are. Once we are baptized into Christ we are of Christ and no longer anything else.
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« Reply #167 on: August 03, 2007, 09:34:44 PM »

It makes me wonder what Method is used to leak information to the National Herald.

Perhaps more than one method is used to spread their alternate gospel (Evangelismos in the Greek, of course)

 Wink

 Wink Wink Wink
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« Reply #168 on: August 04, 2007, 12:15:37 AM »

arimethea

Thanks for your reply.

Let me say this: If all Africans are not free to exist as natural Americans than 'we' are not citizens. That song goes..." with liberty and justice for all". That seems to negate special concerns or special rules for some. This song is clearly saying ALL or nothing.

Thats my point.

Regarding the caucasian wannabees that run in your circle. I have a few like them in my own family. My own grand mother for one had this attitude (God rest her soul). We (those like me) have a way of dealing with them. We know that white people really, really, like these kinds of blacks. This also exist among what you call "African Americans". For example the so-called Creole of New Orleans woud rather drop dead than be called an African American not to mention marrying one. This is pandemic across the black world.

Guess who started this mess?

The HIM Emporer Haili Sellassie (God rest his soul) was an Ethiopian like myself who spent great energy fighting white people who were trying to seperate him from his people in America #1 and in Africa. He accomplished what he wanted and built a bridge for African Americans to cross on and find their true identity as African people albeit from an Ethiopian vantage point. To him (and me) we are all Ethiopians. HIM even set aside land for African Americans to live on welcoming them with open arms. This is still going on now.

Who do you wnat to listen to the wannabees or us. It is still more of us then them.

I could fill volumes.

Cheik Ante Diop Phd an Kenyan Egyptologist wrote about the ravages of western influence on the 'uneducated of self'.

These peole you speak of are my people and I love them. They need help.

Some get help the hard way. Like the Ethiopian who was beaten and shot to death by a skin head in middle America about 12 years ago. This Ethiopian lived among almost all whites with joy and a sense of 'they like me'. He was an honorary white person. The skin head did not buy it. This dead soul killed that man because to him black is black.

You will always find these types (the wannabees). Please feel free to go along with them and treat them as such; They will bend over backward to try and be with you. Just remember these are really black people no different from African Americans.

As for this term "caucasian".

I can not see how people today could except this term invented by a proponent of the "master race" theory. The man who create the term was a bigot and a psuedo-scientist.

There is no such thing as a real "race" called caucasian. At lease not biologcally, or historically. Culture today dictates that a caucasian is white person thats it.



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« Reply #169 on: August 04, 2007, 12:47:01 AM »

Who do you wnat to listen to the wannabees or us. It is still more of us then them.

The whole problem is the us or them mentality. We as Christians can no longer look in those terms, we must use only the US, there can no longer be a them since everyone is our neighbor and our brother and sister.
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« Reply #170 on: August 04, 2007, 12:52:12 AM »

Are there going to be Africans in the Kingdom of Heaven?  Are there going to be whites in the Kingdom of Heaven?  No, for the Kingdom of Heaven will be populated only by followers of Christ, regardless of what race they may be in this life.  Cultural heritage is important, but let us not use it to divide disciples of Christ against each other.
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« Reply #171 on: August 04, 2007, 09:36:52 AM »

Elisha - I did indeed read you, and read you well: what it really comes down to is that you assume the OCA is more 'white' or a better fit for Americans. As a 'White' American, I do not find that to be true - at the most, I'd call the 'Americaness' of the OCA at best a parody - at the least, hostile. Fare thee well.

Tamara...

When I mentioned scandals, it wasn't specified as *financial scandals*. So, yes, there have been scandals in every jurisdiction. The fact of mafia behavior is not about money - it has to do with a way of conducting affairs that relies more often upon subjective judgement, associative thought, and especially relationships - rather than analytical thought (a major difference with Western culture and *every* Orthodox culture.) Neither did I 'ignore' clannish behavior amongst other populations - it just is not pertinent to the existence of mafia or mafia-like behavior in Orthodoxy. Especially because the existence of mafia and mafia-like behavior is *not* the norm in the churches most of us converts grew up in.

No irony either - I've mentioned the Russians as well. There is Russian mafia, Armenian mafia, Greek mafia, and yes - Lebanese mafia (especially heavy in Detroit.) Also, I made no 'sweeping generalizations' but rather some observations of specific claims by some Orthodox in America (including Lebanese.) I can understand that you might not be aware of it, but again - I've got Antiochian Orthodox who claim they and their family *are* Lebanese mafia? Whom should I believe? The anonymous internet personality who denies and attacks nearly every post I make? Or the Lebanese I've spent years with as Orthodox, and grew up around before that? You have an issue with it - go talk to the Lebanese Orthodox who are in the mafia.

Lastly: I MAKE NO POLARISING COMMENTS. I don't attack - I expose internally (not externally). Any comment I make is with the singular purpose of CORPORATE REPENTANCE, and with the hope it will instigate action - say, cleaning up (either way, it does seem to get action - I'm guessing a few would like to stone me right now.) If you haven't noticed - my posts are about MY Church - not about You, or any Other (individual or groups) - about ME and MINE inclusive (and, you are MY sister, get it? Every Liturgy you share table with me, as do all other imperfect Orthodox - including those who are mafia, behave like mafia, or act as a cult!) Your posts on the contrary seem to be mostly about ME, and trying to shift blame to what you perceive might be my group (Russians? LOL - I publically chewed out the last Greek that called me a Russian. WASP? Get real - I was taught from birth to think of them as my oppressors. I do see what that is though - a lashing out. The more I recognize it, because I used to do it myself - which is why I have been defending against anti-Arab sentiment on this thread, and don't particularly care either for the anti-American/anti-European sentiment that has cropped up again in the last few posts.)

And, again and again, if you haven't got it (what both parties are 'reacting' against): neither OCA nor Antioch, nor any jurisdiction (ROCOR even) is perfect, superior, or even doing half the job they should be as regards holy charity towards Western Christians and evangelism.

It does illustrate for outsiders that I send to read posts here, that cult behavior also exists in Orthodoxy - to define that (before you make the claim that I'm anti-Orthodox), a cult:
1) will be defended by its members as without problems
2) will never question its leaders
3) displays hostility to outsiders
4) practices clique maintenance in ostracizing members who question or draw attention
and many others (thought this thread isn't about cults)
However, it is concerning, and since I deal with a large number of inquirers (and we try to place them in the Church) - it is worrying that one could send someone to a parish during a personal crisis, where they might fall prey to local cult indoctrination. It isn't for nothing that Patriarch Aleksy II had to write against cults within the Church...

As I should add:

Your weaker brother, the incredible credulous convert...
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« Reply #172 on: August 04, 2007, 06:20:50 PM »

Arisituble,

First let me introduce myself so I will no longer be an anonymous poster. Maybe my full disclosure of who I am will encourage you to disclose who you are because as far as I am concerned you are an anonymous poster whose credibility is questionable for me.
My full name is Tamara Hanna (maiden) Northway.
I belong to St. Stephen's parish in Campbell, CA. I grew up at Orthodox Church of the Redeemer in Los Altos Hills, CA.(both Antiochian)
My father and mother grew up outside of Pittsburgh, PA. My father had many friends in the Arab community in Pittsburgh and while he did mention a certain group of hillbillly Lebanese (maronite) ending up in jail quite often while he was a youth he never mentioned anything about an Arab mafia. The first church I attended was St. George in Washington DC. My godparents still belong to this parish. My godfather was one of Archbishop ANTHONY's (Bashir) original SOYO leaders. He was also on the board of trustees for the archdiocese during the 1980s. He knows many within the archdiocese (clergy and laity) and while he did mention problems we faced he never mentioned a mafia problem within our archdiocese or that any members of our archdiocese belonged to a mafia. He worked for the government in an agency that was responsible for our national security so he ought to know.
As a teen, I was active in SOYO and travelled to many of our parishes on the west coast for meetings and conferences. In all that time I never once encountered any Lebanese clergyman or laymen who admitted to being a member of any type of mafia. Most of the Lebanese Orthodox I have been acquainted with over the years have been successful professionals (lawyers, doctors, engineers, one very kind soft-spoken man is a professor at Stanford, etc.). None of them have been criminals. All have them have been dedicated, devout Orthodox Christians who are very hospitable to non-Arabs who visit the church.

While I will admit our archdiocese is far from perfect, I think our bishops and the board of trustees run a tight ship. I have never heard of any scandals except for the Ben Lomond affair. Keep in mind that no jurisdiction will ever be perfect even when all of the 'mafioso-Arabs,' as you describe them, are dead an gone. Humanity is imperfect and there will always be problems no matter what, even when all of the jurisdictions unify and become one church in America. Your belief that by identifying problems in our jurisdiction on a forum board will somehow change the way Arabs relate to one another and others is a little far-fetched. The only thing we have the ability to change is our own behavior. Which is why I don't even pretend that I have the power to change the hot-headed temperment of my husband, let alone change the behavior of an entire ethnic group. Look within yourself and try not pass judgement on others.

your realistic sister in Christ, Tamara

 
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« Reply #173 on: August 04, 2007, 06:50:35 PM »

I've yet to see how the last exchange here relates to the Church.

Let's keep this civil at the least, please. I don't believe in heavy moderation in this particular board and do not want to don my 'mod hat'.
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« Reply #174 on: August 04, 2007, 11:56:28 PM »

Tamara, it is Aristibule - and it is well known that it is indeed my name, and not a screen name - I've never been anonymous on the net. His Grace Bishop BASIL knows me by that name, as do many Antiochian clergy and laity. Antiochian parishes where they know me (or at least, some know me) include: St. Antony's Tulsa OK, St. Elijah's OKC OK, Holy Apostles Norman OK, St James Stillwater OK, St. George Cathedral Wichita KS, St. Michael's Dothan AL, St. George's Richmond Hills ONT. Not a few in the AWRV know me as well. I'm sure you could find folk to 'give you dirt' if that is what you are after. If you've paid attention - you'll know who I am, I've covered them before. In fact, many other posters here know - many know me in person. I'm not going to go through an autobiography, as that isn't the question. Some things I won't disclose - I do work in law enforcement, but I will not disclose where I work or what exactly I do for professional reasons.

Again and again, it isn't about 'Arab mafia' in churches either (though, as I've said, that does exist - ask around at St. Antony's in Tulsa, OK - where I believe Elisha has also been? Go to Detroit!) The original claim is that 'mafia like' behavior exists in many Orthodox jurisdictions, including the Antiochian. Your reaction, however, is based on a skewed perception of what mafia means - and your personal experience has *nothing* to do with the validity or invalidity of such a social process in that part of the Church. It is the same way that Southerners can participate in aspects of their culture, and have no clue about its origins, implications, etc. - because one doesn't 'learn it out of a book' (except a few of us that get to 'step outside' and see the 'Big Picture'.) Mafia behavior does not mean participating in criminal activity - get it? It does mean a way of doing things that is a minority self-defense mechanism, with many shared characteristics across Mediterranean cultures (una faza, una raza), and that it causes plenty of cross-cultural stress (which, I believe, is what Elisha was trying to say with Fr. Joseph Honeycutt's article - which is true, as I fit the bill with his description.) BTW - you said 'mafioso Arabs', I never did.

As for scandals - the affair surrounding the former Bishop of the Midwest was also a scandal. If you aren't aware of it, however, I see no reason to make you aware of it - only that there are scandals more than you know. (Scandals, of course, are anything that causes controversy, that is - any actions or words which are the occasion for others to sin - the Antiochian Archdiocese is no stranger to controversy, and I'm sure folk in other jurisdictions would be more than glad to talk about that. My point, however, was never specifically about the Antiochian Archdiocese, but about all of the jurisdictions.) And yes - every little bit helps, even on a forum - you have no idea the folk who might read a forum (yes, even bishops). And yes, one can change people - at the worst it is called 'social engineering' or 'applie anthropology' - and you've engaged in it as well, everytime you have written an argumentative post. As for looking in myself - I do, on every post, and every post *has* been about myself. None of it, however, is about passing judgment on others (though, I fear, you have judged me - hence the need for my responses to your misperceptions about everything I write about.)

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« Reply #175 on: August 05, 2007, 01:35:25 AM »

Elisha - I did indeed read you, and read you well: what it really comes down to is that you assume the OCA is more 'white' or a better fit for Americans. As a 'White' American, I do not find that to be true - at the most, I'd call the 'Americaness' of the OCA at best a parody - at the least, hostile. Fare thee well.
Nah, I don't assume anything....but maybe the OCA-DOW is the best for 'White' Amercians. Wink

...St. Antony's in Tulsa, OK - where I believe Elisha has also been?
Uhhhh.....nope.  Never been to Oklahoma...but I have corresponded on the internet with another skydiver who goes to that parish.  He spotted me on a skydiving message board (where I go by the same name - it's my middle name, so I'm not really hiding anything either) just because I

It does mean a way of doing things that is a minority self-defense mechanism, with many shared characteristics across Mediterranean cultures (una faza, una raza), and that it causes plenty of cross-cultural stress (which, I believe, is what Elisha was trying to say with Fr. Joseph Honeycutt's article - which is true, as I fit the bill with his description.) BTW - you said 'mafioso Arabs', I never did.
Yup - this is correct.

As for scandals - the affair surrounding the former Bishop of the Midwest was also a scandal. If you aren't aware of it, however, I see no reason to make you aware of it - only that there are scandals more than you know.
Yup - no reason.  But I would like to add that +PHILLIP handled this QUITE well.  I don't know if I've seen a better and more immediate response to an incident of this nature from any other American hierarch.
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« Reply #176 on: August 05, 2007, 01:50:46 AM »

Elisha,

Is Jesus White or Black?
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« Reply #177 on: August 05, 2007, 02:28:10 AM »

Elisha,

Is Jesus White or Black?

Objection:  relevance?

Here's my answer then:  +NIKITAS of the Diocese of Hong Kong and Southeast Asia would be the best fit for "White Americans".
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« Reply #178 on: August 05, 2007, 03:19:36 AM »

Elisha,

I got your message.... I am sad to hear this from you.....

You are still Protestant in your thoughts.  The Orthodox spirit is to love and accept every one:D.






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« Reply #179 on: August 05, 2007, 04:09:13 AM »

Elisha,

Is Jesus White or Black?
Answer:
Jesus was a Sabra Hebrew. If one doesn't know what He looked like one can refer to the old icons depicting Him and the Theotokos with very dark faces. My mother even has a Russian one (been in family since 1865) that doesn't have the Latinized style.

Don't worry, kelfar, anyone who feels ethnically challenged in this regard will be welcomed in the Greek Orthodox churches.
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« Reply #180 on: August 05, 2007, 05:30:39 AM »

Aristibule,
You may have provided your definitions of 'mafia' and 'cult-like' behavior, but those words in general use conjure up highly charged negative, mostly violent images to most folks. Perhaps you can find some other terms with which to express your opinions.  Two Antiochians going at it like this..tsk, tsk...
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« Reply #181 on: August 05, 2007, 10:07:06 AM »

Two Antiochians going at it like this..tsk, tsk...
Actually, I don't think they are two Antiochians. I think Aristibule is in ROCOR.
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« Reply #182 on: August 05, 2007, 03:30:12 PM »

Actually, I don't think they are two Antiochians. I think Aristibule is in ROCOR.

Ah, that explains something, methinks.
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« Reply #183 on: August 05, 2007, 04:33:54 PM »

Among the Africans in America (African Americans as people say) are Americas first and only Christian Martyrs.

These were people from along time ago 250 years ago to 75 years ago that lost their lives for saying the word Jesus and was caught. Their are those that were beaten to death for being caught praying to Christ. Even worse are those who had their eyes, either burned out, goawged out, or pierced through and later shot dead for being found reading a bible.....These are Americas first and only martyrs for Christ and to this day no one even recognise that they existed. To me they are Saints. May God bless their souls...Amen

Greetings Fr Dcn Amde,
Thank you for entering into this thread.  I find it fascinating and more than a little troubling that even today, a discussion of "Ethnicity" by Orthodox Americans takes 3 months before the deep, unhealed wound of our colonialist slavetrading system is even mentioned.  The prosperity of this nation could not have occured without this human travesty.  The social effects of it are with us today.  Yet people seem to be blind to it and comfort themselves with a fantasy that everything's ok!  And on top of that, the influx of converts running from crumbling western christian churches, many whose history is tied in with the enslavers, among other things are concerned with making sure that the music of the church is pleasing to their "white" aesthetic!  Wow.

In response to your quote above, I want to direct you towards this Serbian Orthodox site so you know that you are not the only one who recognizes the sainthood of the enslaved Ethiopians taken to America against their will:
http://www.stmaryofegypt.net/aapb.shtml

I hope you find that article and other information on that site encouraging.

I often wonder why the Ethiopian Orthodox Church does not take a more active role in healing the wounds and helping to restore the African roots identity of "black" americans and the worldwide diaspora.  Perhaps it is and I dont see it from my limited perspective.  Why is it that a church that is the largest, or perhaps the 2nd largest orthodox church next to the Russians has only one active person on this forum?  Please dont take my question as criticism and judgement, I am curious.  I know that the nation of Ethiopia suffers greatly from poverty and AIDS.  So my best guess is that Ethiopians have bigger issues to tackle than religious and cultural education - both of which are luxuries.

Also, I should mention that I really don't understand what "race" is anymore.  The more I read about the history of man, I have come to see the concept of "race" as an invention of groups of men who's underlying purpose was to at best separate people from one another and at worst, to justify domination of other groups of men.  I see one human race that through family migrations over history has resulted in a variety of features.  But there is only one race of "human beings".  The "white" man is in the loins of the "black" man and vice versa.

Love in Christ
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« Reply #184 on: August 05, 2007, 04:57:06 PM »

Aristibule,
You may have provided your definitions of 'mafia' and 'cult-like' behavior, but those words in general use conjure up highly charged negative, mostly violent images to most folks. Perhaps you can find some other terms with which to express your opinions.  Two Antiochians going at it like this..tsk, tsk...
Actually, he provided very COMMON definitions used colloquially and explained them well.

If I'm at the office, take candy from another department's candy dish and then refer to myself in front of another coworker as a sugar whore.  Does that mean I frequently engage in sex with random people?  NO!  It means I have those aspects of a whore - desiring something unapproved of or in a degrading manner something that I can't control myself in taking.

It's not Aristibule's fault that Tamara can't disassociate her precise definition of the term and it think about it in a more general sense per my example above.

Actually, I don't think they are two Antiochians. I think Aristibule is in ROCOR.

I thougth Arisibule was AWRV (Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate)?  I could be wrong.
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« Reply #185 on: August 05, 2007, 04:59:34 PM »

Elisha,

I got your message.... I am sad to hear this from you.....

You are still Protestant in your thoughts.  The Orthodox spirit is to love and accept every one:D.
No, I don't think you did get my message because I don't think you understand it.

I can love and accept everyone but also disapprove of the method that those I love go about their ways.
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« Reply #186 on: August 05, 2007, 08:17:39 PM »

Actually, he provided very COMMON definitions used colloquially and explained them well.

 {Irrelevant example removed}

It's not Aristibule's fault that Tamara can't disassociate her precise definition of the term and it think about it in a more general sense per my example above.


You know, Elisha, old buddy, that's now two things we disagree over in this thread. I guess I can use the term "White Mafia" from now on and everyone will know exactly what I mean? Frankly, I could have earlier given into temptation and asserted that WRO is merely a device to make Orthodoxy palpable for the ACCC= the Anglo Country Club Cult- but I still won't do that as I would malign too many good people whom I do not know and might not, probably not, be correct.
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« Reply #187 on: August 05, 2007, 08:30:50 PM »

Tamara, it is Aristibule - and it is well known that it is indeed my name, and not a screen name - I've never been anonymous on the net. His Grace Bishop BASIL knows me by that name, as do many Antiochian clergy and laity. Antiochian parishes where they know me (or at least, some know me) include: St. Antony's Tulsa OK, St. Elijah's OKC OK, Holy Apostles Norman OK, St James Stillwater OK, St. George Cathedral Wichita KS, St. Michael's Dothan AL, St. George's Richmond Hills ONT. Not a few in the AWRV know me as well. I'm sure you could find folk to 'give you dirt' if that is what you are after. If you've paid attention - you'll know who I am, I've covered them before. In fact, many other posters here know - many know me in person. I'm not going to go through an autobiography, as that isn't the question. Some things I won't disclose - I do work in law enforcement, but I will not disclose where I work or what exactly I do for professional reasons.

I wasn't looking for dirt on you. You accused me of being anonymous so I wanted to be upfront about who I am and I wanted you to know what churches I have been affliated with so you could see I am not trying to hide anything. I don't have anything to fear. But it seems you still do because you assume 'Aristibule' is so well known there should be no question about who you are. I googled your name and discovered you are using your middle name as your moniker.

You were the one who brought up the point about a Lebanese Mafia in Detroit so you weren't just using the word as a euphemism. You believe there is a real mafia because of what one archdeacon shared with you.  Just read what you wrote below:

Quote
Again and again, it isn't about 'Arab mafia' in churches either (though, as I've said, that does exist - ask around at St. Antony's in Tulsa, OK - where I believe Elisha has also been? Go to Detroit!) The original claim is that 'mafia like' behavior exists in many Orthodox jurisdictions, including the Antiochian. Your reaction, however, is based on a skewed perception of what mafia means - and your personal experience has *nothing* to do with the validity or invalidity of such a social process in that part of the Church. It is the same way that Southerners can participate in aspects of their culture, and have no clue about its origins, implications, etc. - because one doesn't 'learn it out of a book' (except a few of us that get to 'step outside' and see the 'Big Picture'.) Mafia behavior does not mean participating in criminal activity - get it? It does mean a way of doing things that is a minority self-defense mechanism, with many shared characteristics across Mediterranean cultures (una faza, una raza), and that it causes plenty of cross-cultural stress (which, I believe, is what Elisha was trying to say with Fr. Joseph Honeycutt's article - which is true, as I fit the bill with his description.) BTW - you said 'mafioso Arabs', I never did.

And whether you want to admit to it or not....if you asked the average American what words they associate with the word mafia, the first words most would come up with would be criminals, hit man, gangsters. Even using the word as a descriptive leaves one with the sense that there isn't something quite legitimate with the way the ethnic Orthodox do business. I would agree that ethnic Orthodox people do not always do things the same way a western Orthodox Christian may do things but what you are suggesting is that the ethnic way is inferior to the way western Christians operate. In other words, if the ethnic Orthodox do not change their way of relating to one another to suit your ideas of what is proper then they are failing according to western notions of how to do things. Your opinions are subjective according to your own western cultural bias.

And when you wrote this paragraph it finally became clear to me how you view ethnic Orthodox:

Quote
Part of this is about what many of us don't think ethnic Orthodox ever realize: that we converts also have the importance of family, friendship, and except for those who take Orthodoxy as a cult - aren't going to just give up on all the relationships we've had. Part of that as well is the convert's hope - that he'll see his family and friends converted (even, god willing, his home church, diocese/district, or denomination!) As such, dysfunctional behavior, or even just behavior outside of the context of our culture, can often become a serious stumbling block. It's hard to talk your drowning parents out of the water when it looks like some of the people in the boat are ready to eat them ... they'll take their chances treading water, in that case (and many of us have been told just as much.)

Don't you share the eucharistic cup with these people who look like they could eat you? Wow! Believe me there is dysfunctional behavior all around and not just among the ethnic Orthodox. Don't you see how this statement of your's could be seen as racist or xenophobic when viewed from an ethnic Orthodox perspective?

Quote
As for scandals - the affair surrounding the former Bishop of the Midwest was also a scandal. If you aren't aware of it, however, I see no reason to make you aware of it - only that there are scandals more than you know. (Scandals, of course, are anything that causes controversy, that is - any actions or words which are the occasion for others to sin - the Antiochian Archdiocese is no stranger to controversy, and I'm sure folk in other jurisdictions would be more than glad to talk about that. My point, however, was never specifically about the Antiochian Archdiocese, but about all of the jurisdictions.) And yes - every little bit helps, even on a forum - you have no idea the folk who might read a forum (yes, even bishops). And yes, one can change people - at the worst it is called 'social engineering' or 'applie anthropology' - and you've engaged in it as well, everytime you have written an argumentative post. As for looking in myself - I do, on every post, and every post *has* been about myself. None of it, however, is about passing judgment on others (though, I fear, you have judged me - hence the need for my responses to your misperceptions about everything I write about.)

I was aware of this scandal but Met. PHILIP handled it very quickly and he did a great job of taking the bishop out of office and making him deal with the consequences of his crime. Every church, regardless of the denomination has had scandals with sexual predators. My point is all types of scandals can be found in ALL churches not because of dysfunctional ethnicity as you seem to imply but because of fallen human nature. In other words, these scandals are not unique to Orthodoxy. Anyone who keeps up with the latest news knows this to be true.
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« Reply #188 on: August 05, 2007, 09:34:00 PM »

Elisha, et al - no, I'm not AWRV... though I support their work, and commune in their parishes. Yes, I am in ROCOR's Western Rite. Am I Antiochian? Yes - still in good standing, commune there, sometimes protopsaltai, still get Al Kalimat/The WORD - it is where I was chrismated (under direction from my spiritual father in ROCOR WRITE.) For that matter - I've found out that my name is on lists of five different jurisdictions as 'members' of missions or parishes. (You know how we Orthodox like to talk.) So, yes - Antiochian, yes ROCOR, yes Western Rite, but no - not AWRV.

Aristokles - thanks for holding back the temptation to make such a statement. Things are only funny if there is truth to them, and there is *No Truth* whatsover in an idea like 'ACCC'. For that matter - I've never even been in a country club (though I've applied to work at a few - and never got called back, of course.)

Tamara
You accused me of being anonymous so I wanted to be upfront about who I am and I wanted you to know what churches I have been affliated with so you could see I am not trying to hide anything. ... I googled your name and discovered you are using your middle name as your moniker.

Actually, I'd suggest you remove your personal information if at all possible from the web - again, I work in Law Enforcement. Yes, I use my baptismal name as a middle name when I sign in full, but I also normally go by that 'Middle Name'. And yes, I'm about the only person in the English speaking world who goes by that name - it has never been 'anonymous'. My own comments about your anonymity were not to prompt 'disclosure' on your part, but to illustrate that I find your protests to be naive. I personally know (and am friends with) the Lebanese Orthodox who claim both mafia connections, and admit to mafia-like behavior. They know me - again, I don't know you in person. Part of that was also to illustrate that you've made a habit out of reacting to my posts rather than responding to them.

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You were the one who brought up the point about a Lebanese Mafia in Detroit so you weren't just using the word as a euphemism.

And again - you are confusing two separate arguments: that there are Lebanese Orthodox mafia, and (the quite seperate issue) that the Antiochian Archdiocese, like some/many other Orthodox and Catholic jurisdictions, operates much like a mafia.

 You believe there is a real mafia because of what one archdeacon shared with you.  Just read what you wrote below:

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And whether you want to admit to it or not....if you asked the average American what words they associate with the word mafia, the first words most would come up with would be criminals, hit man, gangsters.

No - that's all your personal interpretation. Most converts actually like the romanticism and exoticism that 'mafia' entails - its why the 'I've got family in the mafia' thing is so common. It helps people feel special, part of something, etc.

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And when you wrote this paragraph it finally became clear to me how you view ethnic Orthodox:

No - I was describing the situation from other peoples perspective. You have illustrated, however, that you will attempt to attribute evil to me no matter what I do write. So, you're just flat wrong.


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I was aware of this scandal but Met. PHILIP handled it very quickly and he did a great job of taking the bishop out of office and making him deal with the consequences of his crime. Every church, regardless of the denomination has had scandals with sexual predators. My point is all types of scandals can be found in ALL churches not because of dysfunctional ethnicity as you seem to imply but because of fallen human nature. In other words, these scandals are not unique to Orthodoxy. Anyone who keeps up with the latest news knows this to be true.

I agree with all of the above, because - I wrote it first elsewhere. Again - you are transfering your 'boogeyman' onto me in an attempt to demonize me, which is absurd - because you believe *exactly* the same as I do (with one exception, it seems, I don't discount one jurisdiction or ethnic group from fallability.) That - and the wrong way to handle scandals (and invite them) is to pretend they won't happen again.
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« Reply #189 on: August 05, 2007, 09:37:00 PM »

Ah, that explains something, methinks.

It explains why some folk look for labels, and try to 'pin down' laymen as 'property' of 'jurisdictions' - so one can discount them for being 'Antiochian', 'ROCOR', 'OCA, 'Greek'. IOW - it explains *nothing*. I, like many others, am a faithful Orthodox Christian - jurisdictions rise and fall (and, good riddance to the idea of 'jurisdictions' when that day comes.)
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« Reply #190 on: August 05, 2007, 09:42:18 PM »

Nice defense.
BTW, in my experience, anyone claiming to be in the mafia most definitely is not.
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« Reply #191 on: August 05, 2007, 09:52:32 PM »

Ah, I missed that post...

Nah, I don't assume anything....but maybe the OCA-DOW is the best for 'White' Amercians. Wink

Yes, which I've heard before - in my experience, however, I've not found the OCA to be best, welcoming, or all-that American (even in DOW or DOS). Sure, it works for some folk - but I take issue with those who want to make OCA (or any other group) a 'one size fits all' solution, and wipe out every other tradition for their own.

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Uhhhh.....nope.  Never been to Oklahoma..

Ah - apologies then, I've conflated you with another Elisha who is also OCA-DOW, converted at ORU years ago through St. Antony's, and tends to be very critical of the Antiochians.)

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(where I go by the same name - it's my middle name, so I'm not really hiding anything either)

Yes - since I do the same, I assumed with you it was also your proper name (hence my thinking that you were also the other Elisha). Same as many other participants here, and elsewhere. I've always gone by my baptismal name since reception into Orthodoxy, and used it publicly for both work and leisure on the net. Its so much easier - as I don't think I could remember a fake moniker, or find one that would be appropriate. There is, of course, a French teenager into anime that goes by Aristobule - some, however, can't tell the difference between an 'o' and an 'i'.

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Yup - no reason.  But I would like to add that +PHILLIP handled this QUITE well.  I don't know if I've seen a better and more immediate response to an incident of this nature from any other American hierarch.

Yes, and I've always maintained the same. Some people are blessed to have the bishops they have - some aren't (I've been both at various times.) Though, I don't always agree with the 'personality cults' that some have for their own bishops (such as say, DOW. Wink )

Aristokles:
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BTW, in my experience, anyone claiming to be in the mafia most definitely is not.

Yes, it might be true - and maybe I'm credulous (as I wrote before) for believing some who have told me such or similar things. Then again - sometimes they are... in my experience (I take seriously claims about being connected to gangs, mafia, etc. )
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« Reply #192 on: August 05, 2007, 10:05:08 PM »