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Author Topic: Marine reservist accused of attacking Greek priest  (Read 4179 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: November 10, 2009, 03:42:17 PM »

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A Marine reservist was charged with attacking a Greek Orthodox priest he mistook for a terrorist.

Jasen D. Bruce allegedly hit 29-year-old Alexios Marakis over the head with a tire iron and chased him for three blocks Monday evening before Tampa police officers intervened.

Marakis, a Greek Orthodox priest visiting from Crete, told police he had stopped to ask the 28-year-old reservist for help after getting lost in downtown Tampa. He had just performed a blessing of another priest and accidentally got off the highway.

Marakis approached Bruce as he was unloading his dry-cleaning, police said.

"Please, please help," Marakis said to Bruce in his limited English.

Bruce pulled out a tire iron and attacked the priest, police said. He then called 911 as he chased Marakis, saying an Arabic man was trying to rob him. When officers arrived, Bruce told them the man was a terrorist.

Bruce also told police he heard Marakis yell, "Allahu akbar!" _ Arabic for "God is great," according to Tampa police spokeswoman Laura McElroy.

Marakis, however, does not speak Arabic, McElroy said. He speaks Greek.

Police are working to determine if the offense meets the standard for a hate crime.

Authorities could not immediately provide the name of Bruce's attorney.

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« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2009, 03:52:11 PM »

I think one of the replies on the page you linked to as the source was spot-on:

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Not A Hate Crime, But A Stupid Crime!!
I thought the Marines were "smarter" than this. Apparently not. I'm sure many other stupid people (like the Marine in question) would probably attack an Amish woman they mistook for a Muslim. God Almighty! What next?

The guy should get a year in jail for the attack and another five for being an idiot.
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« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2009, 03:53:11 PM »

Wow.

I know of one monastery where, since 9/11, the monks always wear large wooden pectoral crosses whenever they go into the town to shop, even though most of them aren't ordained.
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« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2009, 04:05:20 PM »

The guy should get a year in jail for the attack and another five for being an idiot.

If only there were mandatory jail terms for idiots.
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« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2009, 04:11:13 PM »

I'm curious to know why the article pointed out repeatedly that Mr. Bruce is a Marine reservist.  Was he on duty and in uniform?  Quite likely not, but the article doesn't say one way or the other.
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« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2009, 04:42:26 PM »

I notice that the article doesn't say anything about injuries sustained by Father Alexios, or his current condition.  I hope he's okay and wasn't too badly hurt.  And I hope the racist idiot who attacked him gets a long prison sentence.
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« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2009, 04:55:00 PM »

I notice that the article doesn't say anything about injuries sustained by Father Alexios, or his current condition.  I hope he's okay and wasn't too badly hurt.  And I hope the racist idiot who attacked him gets a long prison sentence.
Why do you hope for a long prison sentence?  Do you really care for the attacker's well-being, or do you just care to see your desire for vengeance enforced upon him?
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« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2009, 05:01:38 PM »

Lord have Mercy.
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« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2009, 05:08:39 PM »

Wow.

I know of one monastery where, since 9/11, the monks always wear large wooden pectoral crosses whenever they go into the town to shop, even though most of them aren't ordained.

I have been harassed on the bus.  Tho, thankfully, the passangers got on the man's case and stopped him.  Have a beard and ware a long black robe and your a terrorist.
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« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2009, 05:15:14 PM »

Wow.

I know of one monastery where, since 9/11, the monks always wear large wooden pectoral crosses whenever they go into the town to shop, even though most of them aren't ordained.

I doubt you're thinking of our small monastery so I will add that we also have this practice, and my bishop gave me a blessing to wear a cross on the street* from day one for this reason.

*(Some may not know that unlike Russian priests, Greek priests do not get a cross right away. We do, however, get to wear our hats in liturgy. I think that is pretty nifty, myself.)
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« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2009, 05:31:56 PM »

I notice that the article doesn't say anything about injuries sustained by Father Alexios, or his current condition.  I hope he's okay and wasn't too badly hurt.  And I hope the racist idiot who attacked him gets a long prison sentence.
Why do you hope for a long prison sentence?  Do you really care for the attacker's well-being, or do you just care to see your desire for vengeance enforced upon him?

It's interesting that you make a mistaken presumption about what I want, when this whole story started with a tragic and equally mistaken presumption on the part of the man who assaulted Father Alexios.   angel
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« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2009, 05:54:55 PM »

I know a hispanic Orthodox Jew who has also been harassed on the street by ppl who think he's a Moslem. I've heard stories (third and fourth hand) of some nuns from Africa who are at a convent here being harassed by ppl who assume a black woman in a veil is Moslem. Bigots are always stupid...no big surprise.
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« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2009, 06:03:49 PM »

I notice that the article doesn't say anything about injuries sustained by Father Alexios, or his current condition.  I hope he's okay and wasn't too badly hurt.  And I hope the racist idiot who attacked him gets a long prison sentence.
Why do you hope for a long prison sentence?  Do you really care for the attacker's well-being, or do you just care to see your desire for vengeance enforced upon him?

It's interesting that you make a mistaken presumption about what I want,
How did I presume anything?

when this whole story started with a tragic and equally mistaken presumption on the part of the man who assaulted Father Alexios.   angel
What mistaken presumption?
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« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2009, 06:20:15 PM »

It's sad but it's also sort of funny ....Lord Have mercy ! on the victimizer and the victim....Amen Amen...
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« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2009, 07:57:05 PM »

Talking about stupid people; I was one shortly before Christmas 1979, about 1.5 months after the takeover of the American Embassy in Tehran. I was selected to play Santa Claus for the office party but for some perverse reason I decided to dress up as Ayatollah Claus. So, I was driving down the expressway in my truck and noticed many other pickup truck drivers looking at me kind of funny. I also noticed their well provisioned gun racks. It hit me like a bolt of lightning and I promptly took off my Santa beard and the red and white Palestinian keffiye. Needless to say, I made it to the party but I did learn a lesson of sorts; I should have worn the black and white keffiye as the red and white one was first worn by the PLFP and then by Hamas!
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« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2009, 08:50:10 PM »

From what I understood at work today, Father Alexios is okay.  He is in the hospital, having sustained four blows to the head with the tire iron.  This maniac chased him three blocks, and told the police that he was yelling "Allah akbar," when he was, in fact, yelling, "HELP ME!"  It was made quite clear that the marine mistook him for a Muslim.  Poor Fr. Alexios doesn't speak much English, so there was no way for him to defend himself from the marine's mistaken presumption.

He doesn't wear a cross because he is a monk, from what I understand.  I'm not sure what that means, actually, but that is what I was told.

I know that people have meant it innocently, but there is nothing funny about this.  I find it absolutely horrifying that anyone would do this to another person, Muslim or not.  And knowing Fr. Alexios, it horrifies me even more, as he is a kind, humble, loving person.  And personally, I can't say I would object to a long prison sentence.  I don't believe in capital punishment, but when a person is so obviously volatile as this marine, I would hope they would put him somewhere where he can't hurt any other innocent people.

Please pray for Fr. Alexios.  He was almost martyred today.
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« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2009, 10:11:42 PM »

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He doesn't wear a cross because he is a monk, from what I understand.  I'm not sure what that means, actually, but that is what I was told.

Among the Russian Orthodox, it is customary for priests to wear big crosses, but not monks unless they are heiromonks.  I was told that this stems from an incident involving a Tsar of Russia (don't remember which), who asked for a blessing from a monk, under the impression that he was a priest since they all dressed alike.  Embarrassed by his mistake, the Tsar ordered that henceforth in Russia priests would wear crosses, and monks who were not also priests would not.

I am not certain that this custom would have spread to Cyprus, but it sounds like it probably did.
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« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2009, 10:25:26 PM »

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I was told that this stems from an incident involving a Tsar of Russia (don't remember which), who asked for a blessing from a monk, under the impression that he was a priest since they all dressed alike.  Embarrassed by his mistake, the Tsar ordered that henceforth in Russia priests would wear crosses, and monks who were not also priests would not.

I made a similar mistake once... though that seems like a bit of an overreaction by the Tsar.

My thoughts are with this monk, though. One of the things that I worried about happening after 9/11 was that people would go after anyone they thought (whether rightly or wrongly) was a muslim. Thankfully that didn't happen, but it appears this is unfortunately that type of incident.
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« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2009, 10:38:23 PM »

From what I understood at work today, Father Alexios is okay.  He is in the hospital, having sustained four blows to the head with the tire iron.  This maniac chased him three blocks, and told the police that he was yelling "Allah akbar," when he was, in fact, yelling, "HELP ME!"  It was made quite clear that the marine mistook him for a Muslim.  Poor Fr. Alexios doesn't speak much English, so there was no way for him to defend himself from the marine's mistaken presumption.

He doesn't wear a cross because he is a monk, from what I understand.  I'm not sure what that means, actually, but that is what I was told.

I know that people have meant it innocently, but there is nothing funny about this.  I find it absolutely horrifying that anyone would do this to another person, Muslim or not.  And knowing Fr. Alexios, it horrifies me even more, as he is a kind, humble, loving person.  And personally, I can't say I would object to a long prison sentence.  I don't believe in capital punishment, but when a person is so obviously volatile as this marine, I would hope they would put him somewhere where he can't hurt any other innocent people.

Please pray for Fr. Alexios.  He was almost martyred today.

Lord have mercy! I think I know who Fr. Alexios is. Does he go to HCHC? I typed in his name on google images and sure enough a photo came up of the priest whose blessing I took when I was at HCHC. May God grant him a speedy recovery!
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« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2009, 12:12:02 AM »

From what I understood at work today, Father Alexios is okay.  He is in the hospital, having sustained four blows to the head with the tire iron.  This maniac chased him three blocks, and told the police that he was yelling "Allah akbar," when he was, in fact, yelling, "HELP ME!"  It was made quite clear that the marine mistook him for a Muslim.  Poor Fr. Alexios doesn't speak much English, so there was no way for him to defend himself from the marine's mistaken presumption.

He doesn't wear a cross because he is a monk, from what I understand.  I'm not sure what that means, actually, but that is what I was told.

I know that people have meant it innocently, but there is nothing funny about this.  I find it absolutely horrifying that anyone would do this to another person, Muslim or not.  And knowing Fr. Alexios, it horrifies me even more, as he is a kind, humble, loving person.  And personally, I can't say I would object to a long prison sentence.  I don't believe in capital punishment, but when a person is so obviously volatile as this marine, I would hope they would put him somewhere where he can't hurt any other innocent people.

Please pray for Fr. Alexios.  He was almost martyred today.

Lord have mercy! I think I know who Fr. Alexios is. Does he go to HCHC? I typed in his name on google images and sure enough a photo came up of the priest whose blessing I took when I was at HCHC. May God grant him a speedy recovery!

Yes he is attending HCHC.  He and I had classes together.  One of the most humble and amazing priest-monks I have ever met in my life.  So much joy, the joy of Christ.  It is truly sad that he had to undergo this, and as GreekChef said to almost be martyred.  I also hope and pray that this young marine receives a spirit of repentance, and consolations for whatever demons are attacking him. 
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« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2009, 01:11:00 AM »

I know a priest who while wearing his cross was identified as a "Jewish Priest" so the pectoral cross is not always a safe bet in a physical sense.  May Fr Alexios soon recover!
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« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2009, 02:23:46 AM »

He was almost martyred today.

This raises an interesting side question.  Can someone be considered a martyr if they don't die for their faith, but rather for some superficial reason like their appearance?  This seems like it has nothing to do with the death of a witness, but rather a meaningless, tragic death.  Would the church really call such a person a martyr?
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« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2009, 03:59:42 AM »

He was almost martyred today.

This raises an interesting side question.  Can someone be considered a martyr if they don't die for their faith, but rather for some superficial reason like their appearance?  This seems like it has nothing to do with the death of a witness, but rather a meaningless, tragic death.  Would the church really call such a person a martyr?
Are you sure you don't want to start another thread for this off-topic question?
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« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2009, 04:45:37 AM »

Xenophobia is so stupid.
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« Reply #24 on: November 11, 2009, 09:38:50 AM »

He was almost martyred today.

This raises an interesting side question.  Can someone be considered a martyr if they don't die for their faith, but rather for some superficial reason like their appearance?  This seems like it has nothing to do with the death of a witness, but rather a meaningless, tragic death.  Would the church really call such a person a martyr?

St Juvenaly of Alaska was martyred under similar circumstances, if I remember correctly.  He made the sign of the cross and it was mistaken for a threatening gesture.
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« Reply #25 on: November 11, 2009, 10:22:23 AM »

Wow.

I know of one monastery where, since 9/11, the monks always wear large wooden pectoral crosses whenever they go into the town to shop, even though most of them aren't ordained.

I can understand this.  I remember a story about the Mother of an OCA monastery in the southern US who was accosted by Muslim men in her city because she was, to their eyes, a muslim woman in black, not an Orthodox nun in a habit.  There were a couple of incidents, one pumping gas at a gas station (she was driving) and another when a muslim clerk wouldn't take her money for payment.  He told her to go back home and get her husband because he wouldn't take money from a woman.  This was about the time of the Iranian Revolution. 

I've had the same reservations wearing a head scarf to and from church.  I can clearly remember wondering if it was such a good idea the first Sunday after 9/11.  I'm such a hypocrite though because in my righteousness I though the prominent gold cross I was wearing would certainly indicate to some one that I wasn't one of "those muslims" - I was a pious Christian.  It's a constant learning process that while I might totally reject Islam as a religion, Americans should never discriminate or hate each other based upon their religious appearance, be it hijab, Sikh turbans or Jesus is my Co-Pilot t-shirts.
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« Reply #26 on: November 11, 2009, 01:11:24 PM »

Xenophobia is so stupid.....the Greeks invented it Grin

But seriously, this is a big problem in multi-cultural countries and it could get worse as nationals fight to reclaim their identity.  I was told that priests in Russia still are warned not to wear a riasa on the street because of reactions from former Communists or Islamic/Jewish/buddhist/taoist/pentecostalists.......
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« Reply #27 on: November 11, 2009, 07:25:30 PM »

Xenophobia is so stupid.....the Greeks invented it
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« Reply #28 on: November 18, 2009, 08:14:14 PM »

Wow.

I know of one monastery where, since 9/11, the monks always wear large wooden pectoral crosses whenever they go into the town to shop, even though most of them aren't ordained.

I sadly doubt that it would make much difference to some even if they found out that one was an Orthodox priest.  There seems to be some people have have a Xenophobic fear of all people and things that seem foreign to their American upbringing.  They tend to associate these things with the enemies of the USA. A lot of Marines, also sad to say, tend to be kind of psychopathic in the first place and have a pent up desire to attack and kill people for no reason other then blood lust.  This is why these people feel so0 compelled to join an elite fighting force int he first place.
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« Reply #29 on: November 18, 2009, 08:34:44 PM »

Bigots are always stupid...no big surprise.

Ain't that the truth!
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« Reply #30 on: November 19, 2009, 01:45:59 AM »

Wow.

I know of one monastery where, since 9/11, the monks always wear large wooden pectoral crosses whenever they go into the town to shop, even though most of them aren't ordained.

I sadly doubt that it would make much difference to some even if they found out that one was an Orthodox priest.  There seems to be some people have have a Xenophobic fear of all people and things that seem foreign to their American upbringing.  They tend to associate these things with the enemies of the USA. A lot of Marines, also sad to say, tend to be kind of psychopathic in the first place and have a pent up desire to attack and kill people for no reason other then blood lust.  This is why these people feel so0 compelled to join an elite fighting force int he first place.
How did you develop this conclusion?  I served in the Marine Corps Reserve for 8 years and very rarely ever saw this psychopathic tendency in any of the Marines with whom I served.  Of course, I admit that we were also full-time civilians who trained as Marines for only one weekend each month and for two weeks annually.  I really can't speak for any of the regular active duty Marines for whom the Marine Corps was their entire life.
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« Reply #31 on: November 19, 2009, 10:25:15 AM »

A lot of Marines, also sad to say, tend to be kind of psychopathic in the first place and have a pent up desire to attack and kill people for no reason other then blood lust.  This is why these people feel so0 compelled to join an elite fighting force int he first place.

I'm sorry, but what nonsense. Of course, I don't know every Marine, but none of the ones I know are psychopathic killers, including my brother-in-law. He may have his faults, God knows, but he's not a psychopath.
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« Reply #32 on: November 19, 2009, 08:57:40 PM »

If Marines are not prone to psychopathic desires then why are they the ones always being tried for war crimes by our own government?  It always seems to be the Marines that are accused of killing innocent civilians (not so sure exactly how innocent they are but this is the government doing the accusing and prosecuting, not me). 
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« Reply #33 on: November 19, 2009, 09:03:41 PM »

If Marines are not prone to psychopathic desires then why are they the ones always being tried for war crimes by our own government?  It always seems to be the Marines that are accused of killing innocent civilians (not so sure exactly how innocent they are but this is the government doing the accusing and prosecuting, not me). 
Can you cite some evidence for your assertion that they are "always being tried for war crimes"?
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« Reply #34 on: November 19, 2009, 09:27:34 PM »

It just seems like you always here about Marines getting prosecuted for war crimes and the like. 
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« Reply #35 on: November 19, 2009, 09:35:23 PM »

It just seems like you always here about Marines getting prosecuted for war crimes and the like. 
I never hear about them.  Are you sure you're not just prejudiced against Marines so that you hear only that which supports your prejudice?

IIRC, the abuses at Abu Ghraib, among the most notorious of recent war crimes, were perpetrated primarily by Army personnel.  So how does that support your asinine little theory?
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« Reply #36 on: November 20, 2009, 06:42:27 AM »

It just seems like you always here about Marines getting prosecuted for war crimes and the like. 
And your evidence of this is...?
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« Reply #37 on: November 20, 2009, 03:16:36 PM »

Not a foolproof method, I know, but after googling Marine war crimes, the only thing that came up was the terrible and unfortunate incident at Haditha. I believe that involved 12 marines - out of how many who serve and have served in the past.
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« Reply #38 on: November 20, 2009, 04:44:45 PM »

It just seems like you always here about Marines getting prosecuted for war crimes and the like.

An excellent citation of your source, which is simply your personal impressions.
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