What you did was decide that because I must have had a bad experience with Greeks somewhere (an accusation nowhere substantiated), my argument had no merit. That's a logical fallacy; even if I did have some sort of bitterness towards Greeks, that would neither detract from nor support my argument. My argument stands on its merits, regardless of biases one way or the other.
This is not true. What I said was that your harsh tone and sweeping generalizations and borderline ad hominems spoke to bitterness. It had and has nothing to do with your argument. Again, it was not an insult. And again, I'm sorry you took it that way.
Well, since you apparently think that those positions are relevant, please explain how your personal experiences regarding cultural education respond to my argument that the role of the Church does not include cultural education, and, assuming it does, that such education is not a major obstacle to unification of the various American jurisdictions.
As I have said before, the GOA is still made up largely of immigrants, for whom the Church is the center of life, the center of community, the center of fellowship, the center of everything. This is why you often have large groups of Greeks living around the Church. The Church was where they went as soon as they got off the boat (so to speak) to find community, jobs, life. As such, especially in absence of another organization willing and able to function in an educational way, it was, historically, the logical place to go for such education, as it was the place to find a community of Greeks. Now those programs have been centralized and organized THROUGH the church (if you'll note, the directors of the Greek Education department, as specified by the GOA website, are NOT priests), in order that all of those communities (who so desire-- none are forced to participate) may have access to educational materials. The GOA does nothing more than facilitate those education programs. They do not force them. If they did, then I would CERTAINLY have a problem with that. Even at HCHC, the GOA's school, learning Greek (both modern and liturgical) is OPTIONAL for anyone not seeking a Master's of Divinity or Bachelor's of Religios Studies(and the only reason modern Greek is required for those programs, as I understand, is because of those large immigrant populations that still have a large group of non-English speakers). Thus, by the GOA, these programs are treated as extra curricular, so to speak. I also stated that I agree with Cleveland, in that it would be better for AHEPA, or some similar organization, to take over that role. My particular anecdote was simply an example to show that that is not always possible.
As to it being an obstacle of unity, as I also said before (and so did Cleveland), no parish is forced to participate. No child is forced to participate. And I see no problem whatsoever with a department that would teach any and all cultures desired by the members of the churches. If unity were to be realized, there could be programs for Russian language and culture to be taught in the churches of ROCOR and OCA tradition (if they chose to participate in such programs), Albanian language and culture in Albanian churches, Bulgarian, Serbian, Romanian, etc. And if a Greek parish chose to bring in a Russian program, all the better! I'd love to see a department that fosters education of all these traditions in any parish that wishes to participate, be they Russian, Greek, Spanish, Chinese (as we now have churches in these traditions as well), whatever a parish desires! Further, there is a Spanish speaking GOA parish in Florida (where +ALEXIOS fully encourages the usage of Spanish and the maintenance of Latino cultures), there are Archdioceses in South America, Asia, etc. all under the Patriarchate. They are from the "Greek" tradition (and here I mean Byzantine, and in a liturgical way, not as in ethnic modern Greece), but retain their own cultures and languages. Why can this not happen in the US? I also like to think of the example of the Agapi vespers on Pascha. My home parish of 35 families routinely has upwards of 12 languages for the Gospel. At the seminary last year (HCHC) there were 23 languages (not including English and Greek). These are examples of the GOA stepping out, in my opinion. I have never heard a peep of a complaint in either place about the useage of other languages.
I have yet to encounter an RC school teaching its students Irish, Italian, or Mexican culture, a Lutheran one teaching German culture, or a Protestant one teaching culture period (since rednecks don't have culture ).
I have seen RC schools that teach culture, and they certainly do teach the languages. My mother attended Catholic school in a highly Italian neighborhood, and her school taugh both Italian language and culture. It was only natural considering the make-up of both the school and neighborhood. Heck, don't public schools teach these things? Of course! I remember plenty of long units on English culture, Asian cultures, Indian culture, and even Byzantium (a rather long and, frankly, abrasive unit in 9th grade). And of course they teach the languages. My high school (in Georgia-- talk about rednecks
) taught Latin, German, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, and French. And, believe it or not, as the school was in the middle of the projects, they had an ESL class for kids who had terrible grammer (who basically spoke ebonics).
Show me a Greek parochial school teaching its students mathematics, science, and literature, and I'll approve; show me a Lutheran school teaching cultural customs, and I'll disapprove.
Koraes School, SS. Constantine and Helen, Palos Hills, IL.-- among others. As I said before, a fabulous school. I have a niece and nephew attending there.
Pray for me a sinner.