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Author Topic: Ethnicity and the Church  (Read 20473 times) Average Rating: 0
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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.

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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.

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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!

Quote
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.

Quote
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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