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Author Topic: Ethnicity and the Church  (Read 22727 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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