Author Topic: Racism  (Read 8408 times)

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Offline EmptyBe

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Racism
« on: May 14, 2010, 06:23:53 PM »
Is racism a problem in the Orthodox church? I've heard, in Greek churches especially, that if you aren't Greek, Russian, etc. you will be looked at as an outsider. My fiance said, when I told her I was going to check out the Greek church down the street, that I would be the whitest and blondest guy in the room. Turns out she was right. It seemed as if everyone was Greek! And after the service an old Greek man came up to me and said I needed better clothes. I said "OK.... me and the family are kinda broke right now ha ha" (trying to laugh it off). He says "Well you need to find some money" and walked off. I was wearing black slacks, dress shoes and a button down.

Just a thought that came to me
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Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Racism
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2010, 06:34:33 PM »

The Orthodox Church is not racist.  However, I can't vouch for all the people who attend an Orthodox church.

Granted you will find mostly Greeks at a Greek Orthodox Church, Ukrainians in a Ukrainian church, Russians at a Russian church, etc.  However, they are hardly "exclusive" these days.  Most parishes will have people of different colors and nationalities. 

Don't mind the old gentleman who commented on your attire.  There are always people like that, in every church.  Besides, maybe he just wanted to talk to you and didn't know what to say...and thought he was being funny.

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Offline EmptyBe

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Re: Racism
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2010, 06:39:42 PM »

The Orthodox Church is not racist.  However, I can't vouch for all the people who attend an Orthodox church.

Granted you will find mostly Greeks at a Greek Orthodox Church, Ukrainians in a Ukrainian church, Russians at a Russian church, etc.  However, they are hardly "exclusive" these days.  Most parishes will have people of different colors and nationalities. 

Don't mind the old gentleman who commented on your attire.  There are always people like that, in every church.  Besides, maybe he just wanted to talk to you and didn't know what to say...and thought he was being funny.



Thanks for the response. I never thought the church as a whole would be racist. Just wondered if the problem was  found through out orthodoxy.

O and he acted more like he was drunk than like he wanted to talk!  ::)
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Racism
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2010, 06:47:19 PM »
Greeks and Russian are not distinct races. Ethnicism would be the issue you are thinking of, not racism.
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Racism
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2010, 06:48:36 PM »
And after the service an old Greek man came up to me and said I needed better clothes. I said "OK.... me and the family are kinda broke right now ha ha" (trying to laugh it off). He says "Well you need to find some money" and walked off. I was wearing black slacks, dress shoes and a button down.

Good grief.  >:(
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Offline EmptyBe

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Re: Racism
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2010, 06:50:52 PM »
Greeks and Russian are not distinct races. Ethnicism would be the issue you are thinking of, not racism.

You are right.
I'm smrt!  :laugh:
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Offline Jetavan

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Re: Racism
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2010, 09:11:21 PM »
Greeks and Russian are not distinct races. Ethnicism would be the issue you are thinking of, not racism.

You are right.
I'm smrt!  :laugh:
'Race' can also be applied to ethnic groups or nationalities, so 'racism' would be appropriate in your case.
If you will, you can become all flame.
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: Racism
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2010, 09:16:38 PM »
And after the service an old Greek man came up to me and said I needed better clothes. I said "OK.... me and the family are kinda broke right now ha ha" (trying to laugh it off). He says "Well you need to find some money" and walked off. I was wearing black slacks, dress shoes and a button down.
Good grief.  >:(

Yeah, that's a shame. I have been to "ethnic" parishes though where the people were very welcoming (I'm Chinese/Irish). And maybe that one old guy shouldn't be taken as representative of the entire parish.
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Offline Quinault

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Re: Racism
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2010, 09:37:17 PM »
I will warn that the Holy Week services have some pretty harsh words about "Jews." Holy Week would be a very bad week to come for the first time if you were Jewish. I am not saying that the Orthodox church particularly dislikes jews. Just that some of the text from Holy Week are pretty scathing towards "jews." If you attend the holy week services in the context of the liturgical year it is apparent that the Orthodox church has no issue with Jews. But Holy week as an isolated period is pretty bad.

Offline Super Apostolic Bros.

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Re: Racism
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2010, 10:07:07 PM »
But Holy week as an isolated period is pretty bad.
You're calling the week celebrating Christ's victory bad?

Offline HandmaidenofGod

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Re: Racism
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2010, 10:13:39 PM »
But Holy week as an isolated period is pretty bad.
You're calling the week celebrating Christ's victory bad?

No, read the rest of her post.

Some of the texts during Holy Week, if not understood in the right context could be interpreted as anti-Semetic, when that is not the case.
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Offline Marc1152

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Re: Racism
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2010, 10:51:57 PM »
And after the service an old Greek man came up to me and said I needed better clothes. I said "OK.... me and the family are kinda broke right now ha ha" (trying to laugh it off). He says "Well you need to find some money" and walked off. I was wearing black slacks, dress shoes and a button down.
Good grief.  >:(

Yeah, that's a shame. I have been to "ethnic" parishes though where the people were very welcoming (I'm Chinese/Irish). And maybe that one old guy shouldn't be taken as representative of the entire parish.

1/2 hour later youre hungry for beer..

{{ is joking }}
Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm

Online ialmisry

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Re: Racism
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2010, 11:01:50 PM »
I will warn that the Holy Week services have some pretty harsh words about "Jews." Holy Week would be a very bad week to come for the first time if you were Jewish. I am not saying that the Orthodox church particularly dislikes jews. Just that some of the text from Holy Week are pretty scathing towards "jews." If you attend the holy week services in the context of the liturgical year it is apparent that the Orthodox church has no issue with Jews. But Holy week as an isolated period is pretty bad.
It's also got some nasty things to say about the Gentiles.
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Online ialmisry

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Re: Racism
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2010, 11:37:31 PM »
Is racism a problem in the Orthodox church? I've heard, in Greek churches especially, that if you aren't Greek, Russian, etc. you will be looked at as an outsider. My fiance said, when I told her I was going to check out the Greek church down the street, that I would be the whitest and blondest guy in the room. Turns out she was right. It seemed as if everyone was Greek! And after the service an old Greek man came up to me and said I needed better clothes. I said "OK.... me and the family are kinda broke right now ha ha" (trying to laugh it off). He says "Well you need to find some money" and walked off. I was wearing black slacks, dress shoes and a button down.

Just a thought that came to me

I was just at the Greek Cathedral in Chicago last Sunday.  The entire service was in Greek, except the sermon (the sermon after the DL was in Greek).  Afterwards I sat in the corner drinking coffee.  A family came up and asked if they could join me.  As it turned out, the father was born in Sudan, and we talked about the Middle East (I don't look Middle Eastern).  I ran into a former land lord with whom I had had considerable trouble with (for which he was innocent: my legal troubles with my ex ate up the rent, etc.), actually he saw me first and came up and welcomed me and invited me to have some sandwiches.  I was glad to see him because he had been falling under the influence of Greek Protestants when I last saw him four years ago.  I also saw a Ukrainian who used to got to the OCA Cathedral. He was talking about the problems he had as a sub deacon transferring to the Greek Archdiocese: he didn't intend it to be a snub at the OCA and the Greeks didn't want it to be seen as one.

I didn't notice if there were any blacks in the congregation, but since I've been to enough Greek Churches were there was a black family or two, I don't think I would have been struck by anything about it.

The priest who gave the Greek sermon (an interesting one: he used a rose as prop and talked about motherhood) I remember because I went to speak to him about a friend of mine who wanted to marry a Greek girl. He was Polish.  The priest pulled out a register and showed that over half the marriages were with non-Greeks, and said as long as they were baptized, that wasn't a problem.  He pointed out that he was refusing to marry a Greek parishioner because his fiancee was Jewish, and that he would have to decide, if she wouldn't convert, which was more important, her or his heritage.

Anyways, yes Greeks (and the rest) can be clanish, but that isn't necessarily so.  What that has to do with your clothes, I don't know.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
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                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Blissfully Unaware

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Re: Racism
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2010, 12:18:48 AM »
Not at all!

I go to a Syriac Orthodox church. I think I am the only non-Middle Eastern person there. I love it and everyone welcomed me as family. One guy even stood up during the little after-liturgy get-together and announced me on his microphone to everyone and said I was always welcome there.

Here's a side note, and I'm not talking about the Original Poster now. I just wanted to make an observation. I don't know why some people feel so weird about being the only "non-Greek" "non-Arab" non whatever in church. I see tons of posts on here about stuff like that and I really don't get it...It's like, the name of the church includes the words "(ethnic group) Orthodox" in it and people are upset that they are speaking that foreign language and not English and that they are the only non-(ethnic) person there. I mean, I don't see why people get so preoccupied with that!

So, to me it seems that people are more xenophobic against the Orthodox, rather than the other way around.

EDIT: That guy who told you that you needed better clothes was probably just cranky from having to fast since midnight  ;D
« Last Edit: May 15, 2010, 12:22:11 AM by Blissfully Unaware »

Offline Christianus

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Re: Racism
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2010, 04:02:45 AM »
Pff The Germans aren't even Aryans. the Persians, and some upper class Hindus are.
Heck even I look more Aryan than most Germans: black hair, beige skin, and brown eyes, like Darius the Great.

Offline Jetavan

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Re: Racism
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2010, 11:08:26 AM »
Pff The Germans aren't even Aryans. the Persians, and some upper class Hindus are.
Heck even I look more Aryan than most Germans: black hair, beige skin, and brown eyes, like Darius the Great.
"Aryan" refers to a language, not an ethnicity.
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Racism
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2010, 06:51:05 PM »
Greeks and Russian are not distinct races. Ethnicism would be the issue you are thinking of, not racism.

You are right.
I'm smrt!  :laugh:
'Race' can also be applied to ethnic groups or nationalities, so 'racism' would be appropriate in your case.

Since when?
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Racism
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2010, 06:53:36 PM »
I will warn that the Holy Week services have some pretty harsh words about "Jews." Holy Week would be a very bad week to come for the first time if you were Jewish. I am not saying that the Orthodox church particularly dislikes jews. Just that some of the text from Holy Week are pretty scathing towards "jews." If you attend the holy week services in the context of the liturgical year it is apparent that the Orthodox church has no issue with Jews. But Holy week as an isolated period is pretty bad.

The Church legitimately has a problem with Jews (Messianics aside). But is also has evident problems with heretics, schismatics, pagans, etc.
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Racism
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2010, 06:55:09 PM »
Some of the texts during Holy Week, if not understood in the right context could be interpreted as anti-Semetic, when that is not the case.

What even constitutes "Antisemitism" is rarely all that clear these days.
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Racism
« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2010, 07:02:30 PM »
Pff The Germans aren't even Aryans. the Persians, and some upper class Hindus are.
Heck even I look more Aryan than most Germans: black hair, beige skin, and brown eyes, like Darius the Great.
"Aryan" refers to a language, not an ethnicity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aryan_race
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Offline Entscheidungsproblem

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Re: Racism
« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2010, 07:09:41 PM »
Since when?

It is hardly uncommon to see "people" and "race" used interchangeably in older documents and works when referring to ethnicities.  The German race, the Italian race, etc.
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Offline Quinault

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Re: Racism
« Reply #22 on: May 16, 2010, 07:19:14 PM »
But Holy week as an isolated period is pretty bad.
You're calling the week celebrating Christ's victory bad?

No, read the rest of her post.

Some of the texts during Holy Week, if not understood in the right context could be interpreted as anti-Semetic, when that is not the case.

Thank you, apparently you are the only one that understands what I meant.

I have a JEWISH PRIEST, and he and I actually spoke about the passages during Holy Week that sound so bad. I am just pointing out that there are passages read during Holy Week that would be rather uninviting and offensive to a Jewish person that had never attended a service before and knew nothing about the Orthodox church. "Gentile" is a very nonspecific ethnic group, so I don't think you can say it is the same. If I walked into a church and they were saying "You evil American Indians" I would be pretty offended, whereas if they were saying "you evil Apache"  I would know it doesn't apply to me :laugh:

And if you understand the readings in the context of the liturgical year you will see that the readings aren't supposed to be interpreted as being about ONLY and SPECIFICALLY Jews.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2010, 07:22:07 PM by Quinault »

Offline Christianus

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Re: Racism
« Reply #23 on: May 16, 2010, 07:33:06 PM »
Pff The Germans aren't even Aryans. the Persians, and some upper class Hindus are.
Heck even I look more Aryan than most Germans: black hair, beige skin, and brown eyes, like Darius the Great.
"Aryan" refers to a language, not an ethnicity.
Still the German language isn't even Aryan.

Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Racism
« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2010, 08:19:15 PM »
Since when?

It is hardly uncommon to see "people" and "race" used interchangeably in older documents and works when referring to ethnicities.  The German race, the Italian race, etc.

How old are you talking?
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Offline John of the North

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Re: Racism
« Reply #25 on: May 16, 2010, 08:30:11 PM »
Since when?

It is hardly uncommon to see "people" and "race" used interchangeably in older documents and works when referring to ethnicities.  The German race, the Italian race, etc.

How old are you talking?

The definition of racism now associated with the term grew out of the mid-19th century. Any work before that time would have referred to the Irish race, the English race, the French race etc.
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Racism
« Reply #26 on: May 16, 2010, 08:45:16 PM »
Am I not then correct in saying that given the common modern understanding both of race and racism that exclusion of certain American Caucasian groups by Greeks or Russians in the church would not be properly labeled "racism"?
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Offline EmptyBe

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Re: Racism
« Reply #27 on: May 16, 2010, 08:51:01 PM »
race 1
n.
1. A local geographic or global human population distinguished as a more or less distinct group by genetically transmitted physical characteristics.
2. A group of people united or classified together on the basis of common history, nationality, or geographic distribution: the German race.
3. A genealogical line; a lineage.
4. Humans considered as a group.
5. Biology
a. An interbreeding, usually geographically isolated population of organisms differing from other populations of the same species in the frequency of hereditary traits. A race that has been given formal taxonomic recognition is known as a subspecies.
b. A breed or strain, as of domestic animals.
6. A distinguishing or characteristic quality, such as the flavor of a wine.
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Racism
« Reply #28 on: May 16, 2010, 09:29:23 PM »
It would seem to me that the common usage of the term race today is almost exclusively the one based off of the 19th & 20th century works that associated broad ethnic groups into races with supposedly similar skeletal structures, what we refer to today as "Whites"/"Caucasians", "Asians", "Blacks", etc.
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Offline Jetavan

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Re: Racism
« Reply #29 on: May 16, 2010, 09:39:15 PM »
Pff The Germans aren't even Aryans. the Persians, and some upper class Hindus are.
Heck even I look more Aryan than most Germans: black hair, beige skin, and brown eyes, like Darius the Great.
"Aryan" refers to a language, not an ethnicity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aryan_race
The so-called "Aryan race" is more precisely the community of Proto-Indo-European speakers. Whether such a community was one unified "race", ethnically or genetically speaking, is far from clear. Such a community may have been composed of several different ethnic groups, who nonetheless spoke the same, or similar, language(s).


If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
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Offline Jetavan

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Re: Racism
« Reply #30 on: May 16, 2010, 09:46:21 PM »
It would seem to me that the common usage of the term race today is almost exclusively the one based off of the 19th & 20th century works that associated broad ethnic groups into races with supposedly similar skeletal structures, what we refer to today as "Whites"/"Caucasians", "Asians", "Blacks", etc.
I don't know about "almost exclusively". Here are some recent examples of "race" (and "racism") being used to describe different national, or ethnic, groups:

2003 Chatham (Ont.) Daily News (Nexis) 11 Jan., The French Canadians were treated as bad as the blacks throughout the U.S. at the time... His experiences of racism against French Canadians..was [sic] apparent.

2000 E. S. BELFIORE Murder among Friends i. 16 The Argive women supplicate Theseus on the basis of kinship, since they, like him, belong to the race of Pelasgos.

2005 D. MCWILLIAMS Pope's Children xxiv. 271 Back in mainland Europe, it feels like the Jews and the Paddies are the only two entrepreneurial races in Europe.


And even the category of "white/caucasian", racially speaking, has often been divided into three separate "races", one of which is the Nordic:

2004 R. WEITZ Rapunzel's Daughters i. 20 In his influential 1916 book, The Passing of the Great Race , Madison Grant argued that ‘the citadel of civilization will fall’ if the Nordic race..wiped itself out through intermarriage with the ‘brunet’ races of southern and eastern Europe.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2010, 09:48:56 PM by Jetavan »
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
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"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.

Offline Jetavan

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Re: Racism
« Reply #31 on: May 16, 2010, 09:48:01 PM »
Pff The Germans aren't even Aryans. the Persians, and some upper class Hindus are.
Heck even I look more Aryan than most Germans: black hair, beige skin, and brown eyes, like Darius the Great.
"Aryan" refers to a language, not an ethnicity.
Still the German language isn't even Aryan.
German isn't Indo-European?
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.

Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Racism
« Reply #32 on: May 16, 2010, 09:50:13 PM »
Pff The Germans aren't even Aryans. the Persians, and some upper class Hindus are.
Heck even I look more Aryan than most Germans: black hair, beige skin, and brown eyes, like Darius the Great.
"Aryan" refers to a language, not an ethnicity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aryan_race
The so-called "Aryan race" is more precisely the community of Proto-Indo-European speakers. Whether such a community was one unified "race", ethnically or genetically speaking, is far from clear. Such a community may have been composed of several different ethnic groups, who nonetheless spoke the same, or similar, language(s).




Whether the theory was legitimate or not is one thing. That the theory shows that people use "Aryan" to refer to a perceived race,  however, is clear.
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Racism
« Reply #33 on: May 16, 2010, 09:52:01 PM »
It would seem to me that the common usage of the term race today is almost exclusively the one based off of the 19th & 20th century works that associated broad ethnic groups into races with supposedly similar skeletal structures, what we refer to today as "Whites"/"Caucasians", "Asians", "Blacks", etc.
I don't know about "almost exclusively". Here are some recent examples of "race" (and "racism") being used to describe different national, or ethnic, groups:

2003 Chatham (Ont.) Daily News (Nexis) 11 Jan., The French Canadians were treated as bad as the blacks throughout the U.S. at the time... His experiences of racism against French Canadians..was [sic] apparent.

2000 E. S. BELFIORE Murder among Friends i. 16 The Argive women supplicate Theseus on the basis of kinship, since they, like him, belong to the race of Pelasgos.

2005 D. MCWILLIAMS Pope's Children xxiv. 271 Back in mainland Europe, it feels like the Jews and the Paddies are the only two entrepreneurial races in Europe.


And even the category of "white/caucasian", racially speaking, has often been divided into three separate "races", one of which is the Nordic:

2004 R. WEITZ Rapunzel's Daughters i. 20 In his influential 1916 book, The Passing of the Great Race , Madison Grant argued that ‘the citadel of civilization will fall’ if the Nordic race..wiped itself out through intermarriage with the ‘brunet’ races of southern and eastern Europe.

That's interesting. But does this reflect common usage?
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Re: Racism
« Reply #34 on: May 16, 2010, 10:20:12 PM »
It would seem to me that the common usage of the term race today is almost exclusively the one based off of the 19th & 20th century works that associated broad ethnic groups into races with supposedly similar skeletal structures, what we refer to today as "Whites"/"Caucasians", "Asians", "Blacks", etc.
I don't know about "almost exclusively". Here are some recent examples of "race" (and "racism") being used to describe different national, or ethnic, groups:

2003 Chatham (Ont.) Daily News (Nexis) 11 Jan., The French Canadians were treated as bad as the blacks throughout the U.S. at the time... His experiences of racism against French Canadians..was [sic] apparent.

2000 E. S. BELFIORE Murder among Friends i. 16 The Argive women supplicate Theseus on the basis of kinship, since they, like him, belong to the race of Pelasgos.

2005 D. MCWILLIAMS Pope's Children xxiv. 271 Back in mainland Europe, it feels like the Jews and the Paddies are the only two entrepreneurial races in Europe.


And even the category of "white/caucasian", racially speaking, has often been divided into three separate "races", one of which is the Nordic:

2004 R. WEITZ Rapunzel's Daughters i. 20 In his influential 1916 book, The Passing of the Great Race , Madison Grant argued that ‘the citadel of civilization will fall’ if the Nordic race..wiped itself out through intermarriage with the ‘brunet’ races of southern and eastern Europe.

That's interesting. But does this reflect common usage?
Scientifically, "race" is nowadays mostly applied to categories like Caucasoid, and Negroid, and so forth; but the common people use "race" in all sorts of ways.
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Racism
« Reply #35 on: May 16, 2010, 10:27:28 PM »
It would seem to me that the common usage of the term race today is almost exclusively the one based off of the 19th & 20th century works that associated broad ethnic groups into races with supposedly similar skeletal structures, what we refer to today as "Whites"/"Caucasians", "Asians", "Blacks", etc.
I don't know about "almost exclusively". Here are some recent examples of "race" (and "racism") being used to describe different national, or ethnic, groups:

2003 Chatham (Ont.) Daily News (Nexis) 11 Jan., The French Canadians were treated as bad as the blacks throughout the U.S. at the time... His experiences of racism against French Canadians..was [sic] apparent.

2000 E. S. BELFIORE Murder among Friends i. 16 The Argive women supplicate Theseus on the basis of kinship, since they, like him, belong to the race of Pelasgos.

2005 D. MCWILLIAMS Pope's Children xxiv. 271 Back in mainland Europe, it feels like the Jews and the Paddies are the only two entrepreneurial races in Europe.


And even the category of "white/caucasian", racially speaking, has often been divided into three separate "races", one of which is the Nordic:

2004 R. WEITZ Rapunzel's Daughters i. 20 In his influential 1916 book, The Passing of the Great Race , Madison Grant argued that ‘the citadel of civilization will fall’ if the Nordic race..wiped itself out through intermarriage with the ‘brunet’ races of southern and eastern Europe.

That's interesting. But does this reflect common usage?
Scientifically, "race" is nowadays mostly applied to categories like Caucasoid, and Negroid, and so forth; but the common people use "race" in all sorts of ways.

Hmmm. Speaking from personal experience, all I remember people using "race" to mean is something akin to the scientific usage.
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Re: Racism
« Reply #36 on: May 17, 2010, 07:47:31 AM »

Well, as has been stated earlier, the Church itself cannot be accused of ethnicism, or racism.  People on the other hand....in my case however this hasn't been the case as I was brought into Orthodoxy in Bulgaria (I'm Polish) less than a month ago, but having been going to services for a little over a year here I have never experienced any hostility on the part of the Bulgarian parishioners I encountered.  It was the same in Serbia.  I certainly encountered curiosity but in most cases have been lauded for 'looking to the truth'  ;D

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Re: Racism
« Reply #37 on: May 17, 2010, 01:21:22 PM »
I just wanted to add:

I think maybe some new potential converts attending a foreign language divine liturgy may be simply overwhelmed because a) being new to anything can make someone a little nervous, b) the language barrier means they might not know what is going on or what to do, and c) the cultural differences that the inquirer may not be familiar with.

I really don't believe at all that the ethnic Orthodox churches discriminate. Rather, I feel that most (if not all) of the feelings of alienation are in the mind of only the new parishioner.

Not only have I been welcomed at my church but I have been made to feel at home by the priest, deacons, and each and every parishioner.

One way I can sum this up is: I remember telling my (non-Orthodox) friend about moving to a different area of town so that I would not have to leave my church for the summer. She said with a smile "ah so it's YOUR church now..." Yes, I feel that I belong there :)

I remember sitting nervously in a donut shop, waiting for the divine liturgy to start (I arrived an hour early so I went to the shop for awhile). I nervously sent a friend a text message. "What if they don't want me?" I asked. :laugh: After my fourth divine liturgy I love to look at that text message and laugh. If only I knew how warmly I would be accepted.

Offline jnorm888

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Re: Racism
« Reply #38 on: May 17, 2010, 01:47:16 PM »
Is racism a problem in the Orthodox church? I've heard, in Greek churches especially, that if you aren't Greek, Russian, etc. you will be looked at as an outsider. My fiance said, when I told her I was going to check out the Greek church down the street, that I would be the whitest and blondest guy in the room. Turns out she was right. It seemed as if everyone was Greek! And after the service an old Greek man came up to me and said I needed better clothes. I said "OK.... me and the family are kinda broke right now ha ha" (trying to laugh it off). He says "Well you need to find some money" and walked off. I was wearing black slacks, dress shoes and a button down.

Just a thought that came to me

The Orthodox are a mixed bag, and so they are just like everyone else in this regard. You will find racists everywhere......including here, but you will also find non-racists as well. I'm an African American, and I attend an Arabic parish, and if I can fit in, then surely you can.
At the end of the day you have to look at people as individuals and go from there. You also have to have thick skin, for you will run into someone from time to time that will rub you the wrong way. You can't allow such things to stop you, and eventually in alot of cases, even those people will turn around or change their view about you once they get to know you better. Relationships is key! It has been my personal experience that you will find way more Orthodox Christians that will like you and embrace you. But you will find some that won't, but don't let that get you down......don't allow that to stop you.

 I'm not gonna share my personal thoughts about the GOA, but the OCA, ROCOR, and maybe some convert Antiochian, Serbian, and Ukranian missions and parishes.......might be a better fit. I am only saying this because some within the GOA have an idea of "mission" as something similar to what I saw within some protestant and Roman Catholic groups. You know, they only want to reach the rich and wealthy in America.....the brightest minds in America.........etc. (the top down method.....when it comes to reaching nonOrthodox Americans)

You know, it's the same old stuff we saw in some sectors in protestant and Roman Catholic land. Nothing new. So hold on, and don't let such things stop you from becoming Orthodox. Like I said.......if I can do it, then you can too. I'm a bottoms up type of guy when it comes to missions for there are more poor and middle class than rich, and it is todays poor and middle class that will be tomorrows rich and famous.......especialy in a classless, and free market society. Also the poor and middle classes produce more kids than the rich and wealthy, and so todays rich will die out tomorrow, but todays poor and middle class will be tomorrows future.


The Orthodox are a mixed bag. ......just like everyone else. Keep your head up, and don't give up!






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« Last Edit: May 17, 2010, 02:12:11 PM by jnorm888 »
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Racism
« Reply #39 on: May 17, 2010, 06:31:14 PM »
I was brought into Orthodoxy in Bulgaria (I'm Polish) less than a month ago,

What language is the liturgy conducted in?
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Racism
« Reply #40 on: May 17, 2010, 06:33:22 PM »
I just wanted to add:

I think maybe some new potential converts attending a foreign language divine liturgy may be simply overwhelmed because a) being new to anything can make someone a little nervous, b) the language barrier means they might not know what is going on or what to do, and c) the cultural differences that the inquirer may not be familiar with.

I really don't believe at all that the ethnic Orthodox churches discriminate. Rather, I feel that most (if not all) of the feelings of alienation are in the mind of only the new parishioner.

Not only have I been welcomed at my church but I have been made to feel at home by the priest, deacons, and each and every parishioner.

One way I can sum this up is: I remember telling my (non-Orthodox) friend about moving to a different area of town so that I would not have to leave my church for the summer. She said with a smile "ah so it's YOUR church now..." Yes, I feel that I belong there :)

I remember sitting nervously in a donut shop, waiting for the divine liturgy to start (I arrived an hour early so I went to the shop for awhile). I nervously sent a friend a text message. "What if they don't want me?" I asked. :laugh: After my fourth divine liturgy I love to look at that text message and laugh. If only I knew how warmly I would be accepted.

Welcoming and integration are somewhat distinct issues. Refusing to cater to converts with use of the vernacular language seems to me an indication that they may be welcome but that the ethnic churches do not care to compromise the ethnic nature of their church at all for the sake of integration.
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Offline Blissfully Unaware

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Re: Racism
« Reply #41 on: May 17, 2010, 08:55:40 PM »

Welcoming and integration are somewhat distinct issues. Refusing to cater to converts with use of the vernacular language seems to me an indication that they may be welcome but that the ethnic churches do not care to compromise the ethnic nature of their church at all for the sake of integration.

When you talk about the ethnic nature of the church, I think I see it from a different angle because my church's divine liturgy is conducted in Aramaic, the language that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ spoke. For this reason it would break my heart if the hymns were changed to English. The hymns were sung this way for nearly 2,000 years. I even listened to a divine liturgy recorded in Jerusalem. It was EXACTLY like the divine liturgy I attend thousands of miles away in the U.S.

To get back to your point, I suppose I wouldn't feel as strongly about integration if I were a member of, say, a ROCOR church. As much as I love the Russian language, I am not as tied to it in church because it's language is not ancient Aramaic which has direct ties to the time of Jesus. So yes, I suppose in any other church I would be for integration, but in the Syriac Orthodox church it would break my heart if they took out Aramaic for the sake of integration (not to mention that we need to keep Aramaic alive!).

EDIT: The bible readings and the priests sermon is in English. Is that what you mean by integration? Or do you mean the entire liturgy?
« Last Edit: May 17, 2010, 08:57:51 PM by Blissfully Unaware »

Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Racism
« Reply #42 on: May 17, 2010, 11:37:55 PM »

Welcoming and integration are somewhat distinct issues. Refusing to cater to converts with use of the vernacular language seems to me an indication that they may be welcome but that the ethnic churches do not care to compromise the ethnic nature of their church at all for the sake of integration.

When you talk about the ethnic nature of the church, I think I see it from a different angle because my church's divine liturgy is conducted in Aramaic, the language that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ spoke. For this reason it would break my heart if the hymns were changed to English. The hymns were sung this way for nearly 2,000 years. I even listened to a divine liturgy recorded in Jerusalem. It was EXACTLY like the divine liturgy I attend thousands of miles away in the U.S.

To get back to your point, I suppose I wouldn't feel as strongly about integration if I were a member of, say, a ROCOR church. As much as I love the Russian language, I am not as tied to it in church because it's language is not ancient Aramaic which has direct ties to the time of Jesus. So yes, I suppose in any other church I would be for integration, but in the Syriac Orthodox church it would break my heart if they took out Aramaic for the sake of integration (not to mention that we need to keep Aramaic alive!).

EDIT: The bible readings and the priests sermon is in English. Is that what you mean by integration? Or do you mean the entire liturgy?

Which of the readings are in English?
« Last Edit: May 17, 2010, 11:38:14 PM by deusveritasest »
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Offline Blissfully Unaware

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Re: Racism
« Reply #43 on: May 18, 2010, 01:15:49 AM »

Which of the readings are in English?

Near the beginning there is a bible reading that I think the priest picks out. The deacon reads from the bible and the reading varies from week to week. The priest also talks about various topics. Last week he talked about Jesus and his ascention into heaven after he had been with the disciples, and how Peter had denied him three times.

The prayer of confession is also in English. The Nicene Creed is also recited in English.

On the fourth Sunday of the month, the sermon and bible reading are in Arabic but the prayer of confession and Nicene Creed are still in English.

Every week the hymns are in Aramaic/Syriac.

Also, the liturgy book has the English meaning next to every Aramaic sentence. The liturgy book is also in English with the Aramaic of course, and at the back of the book it is in Arabic.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2010, 01:19:15 AM by Blissfully Unaware »

Offline Feanor

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Re: Racism
« Reply #44 on: May 18, 2010, 01:52:51 AM »
I haven't been subject to racism, just my own issues with feeling out of place as the only Anglo-Irish Aussie in a crowd of Greeks or Lebanese. But that's my problem, not theirs.

When I went to a Coptic Church, the priest was so welcoming that he even asked me to come up the front to read the Epistle for the day. I'm not sure if it was entirely canonical, but it was certainly an effective way of letting me know that I was welcome there.

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Re: Racism
« Reply #45 on: May 18, 2010, 08:47:11 AM »
I haven't been subject to racism, just my own issues with feeling out of place as the only Anglo-Irish Aussie in a crowd of Greeks or Lebanese. But that's my problem, not theirs.

When I went to a Coptic Church, the priest was so welcoming that he even asked me to come up the front to read the Epistle for the day. I'm not sure if it was entirely canonical, but it was certainly an effective way of letting me know that I was welcome there.

It could also be because you have no Greek or Middle Eastern accent.:) (I am not saying by this that it was not to let you know that you were welcome. :) )

My own little mission parish in Aberdeen, MS is a Greek Orthodox Archdiocese mission parish, and it does, indeed, include some people who are ethnic Greeks. But there are also half-Greeks (children of mixed marriages), and there are a few non-Greeks like my wife and myself. I don't know, is this is because we are so mixed, or because our priest is not an ethnic Greek, or because of other reasons, but there is no "enthocentrism" or Greek chauvinism there. Neither my wife nor I ever felt any hostility, never noticed any expression of the feeling that we are not welcome, from any of our parishioners - including older women and men who are "as Greek as they come."

Again, as I always say in reply to any post about hostility from "ethnic folks..." If you are a 100% "Anglo" and come to an "ethnic" or a partially "ethnic" parish - SHOW RESPECT. Show GENUINE INTEREST in the parishioners' ethnicity, language, culture, history, geography etc. This WILL make their attitude toward you much better very soon. If you behave otherwise, then don't complain that the "ethnics" don't like you. You need to make this move. It's very easy to do and it is just a simple, basic, elementary human kindness...
« Last Edit: May 18, 2010, 08:50:13 AM by Heorhij »
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Racism
« Reply #46 on: May 18, 2010, 01:45:38 PM »

Which of the readings are in English?

Near the beginning there is a bible reading that I think the priest picks out. The deacon reads from the bible and the reading varies from week to week. The priest also talks about various topics. Last week he talked about Jesus and his ascention into heaven after he had been with the disciples, and how Peter had denied him three times.

The prayer of confession is also in English. The Nicene Creed is also recited in English.

On the fourth Sunday of the month, the sermon and bible reading are in Arabic but the prayer of confession and Nicene Creed are still in English.

Every week the hymns are in Aramaic/Syriac.

Also, the liturgy book has the English meaning next to every Aramaic sentence. The liturgy book is also in English with the Aramaic of course, and at the back of the book it is in Arabic.

Anyway, yes, I was referring to the entire liturgy.
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Offline Blissfully Unaware

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Re: Racism
« Reply #47 on: May 19, 2010, 11:52:15 PM »
Anyway, yes, I was referring to the entire liturgy.

:O Of course not the whole divine liturgy in English! Why? Why would anyone want to change this beautiful service? Why should they cater to people who want them to change everything about the service the first day they attend?

If anyone doesn't agree, find on YouTube a rendition of Abun Dbashmayo trust me it moves me to tears! Why would I sing it in English? Jesus taught it in Aramaic.

I am a potential convert and I would be heartbroken if they changed it all to English! I'd rather learn Aramaic and Arabic like everyone else (which I am)...
« Last Edit: May 19, 2010, 11:56:17 PM by Blissfully Unaware »

Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Racism
« Reply #48 on: May 19, 2010, 11:54:19 PM »
Anyway, yes, I was referring to the entire liturgy.

:O Of course not the whole divine liturgy in English! Why? Why would anyone want to change this beautiful service?


If anyone doesn't agree, find on YouTube a rendition of Abun Dbashmayo trust me it moves me to tears! Why would I sing it in English? Jesus taught it in Aramaic.

I am a potential convert and I would be heartbroken if they changed it all to English! I'd rather learn Aramaic and Arabic like everyone else (which I am)...

Because the Fathers wrote that we have not even received the fullness of revelation until we have heard it all in our own language.

And no, I don't see anything inherently beautiful about the Liturgy being in one language over another; except that I think that all people hearing the Liturgy in their own native language is what is beautiful.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2010, 11:55:34 PM by deusveritasest »
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Offline Blissfully Unaware

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Re: Racism
« Reply #49 on: May 20, 2010, 12:02:31 AM »

Because the Fathers wrote that we have not even received the fullness of revelation until we have heard it all in our own language.

And no, I don't see anything inherently beautiful about the Liturgy being in one language over another; except that I think that all people hearing the Liturgy in their own native language is what is beautiful.

But if they changed the liturgy in my church, then the liturgy would not be heard in the native language of the majority of participants...Why would I barge in there and ask them to change how they have done things for 2,000 years? So, if you want to go to a certain church you want them to tailor the liturgy especially to you???

There are American Orthodox Churches too. I think they might be in English if you would prefer that.

Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Racism
« Reply #50 on: May 21, 2010, 06:41:31 PM »
But if they changed the liturgy in my church, then the liturgy would not be heard in the native language of the majority of participants...

I just said that it wasn't about English itself, but rather about native language. In a Syriac Orthodox community where the predominant first language was Arabic, I would advocate the use of Arabic as the predominant language of the liturgy, unless of course Syriac happens to be similar enough to Arabic that they understand 75% or more of it. Otherwise, I do not think it reasonable to continue to have the Liturgy in Syriac rather than Arabic.

Why would I barge in there and ask them to change how they have done things for 2,000 years?

You don't really need to do that. I just don't think it's right for the SOC to continue to use Syriac as the predominant language of the Liturgy if the faithful are not even understanding it. But if there are some non-Arabic speakers coming in, it would be reasonable to use some English as well as Arabic.

So, if you want to go to a certain church you want them to tailor the liturgy especially to you???

All I want is for church's to tailor the language of the Liturgy to what will be understood by the majority of the faithful. Otherwise they are doing the faithful a disservice.

There are American Orthodox Churches too.

Not really in the Oriental Orthodox tradition.
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Offline Blissfully Unaware

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Re: Racism
« Reply #51 on: May 23, 2010, 02:25:15 PM »
All I want is for church's to tailor the language of the Liturgy to what will be understood by the majority of the faithful.


Ok I can see where you are coming from. I still wouldn't want it to change but I can understand your point.

Offline Robb

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Re: Racism
« Reply #52 on: May 25, 2010, 01:12:30 AM »
What if your a convert who prefers to worship in a traditional liturgical language?  I personally love OCS and think it sounds so much more beautiful then does English (But that's just me :)).
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Racism
« Reply #53 on: May 25, 2010, 07:39:17 PM »
What if your a convert who prefers to worship in a traditional liturgical language?

It depends. Do you understand the language?
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Offline Robb

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Re: Racism
« Reply #54 on: May 26, 2010, 01:40:38 AM »
What if your a convert who prefers to worship in a traditional liturgical language?

It depends. Do you understand the language?

What difference does it make if I do or don't understand it?  Is it not my right to worship God in any language I choose, whether known or unknown to my ears?  Also, just because I don't know a language doesn't mean that I can't learn it over time.
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Racism
« Reply #55 on: May 26, 2010, 06:52:56 PM »
What if your a convert who prefers to worship in a traditional liturgical language?

It depends. Do you understand the language?

What difference does it make if I do or don't understand it?  Is it not my right to worship God in any language I choose, whether known or unknown to my ears?  Also, just because I don't know a language doesn't mean that I can't learn it over time.

No, I don't think its your right, at least not in terms of what is a correct usage of the Liturgy. The Liturgy should be served in a language that the people understand, anything else is an abuse of the Church.
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Offline Robb

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Re: Racism
« Reply #56 on: May 27, 2010, 12:52:38 AM »
What if your a convert who prefers to worship in a traditional liturgical language?

It depends. Do you understand the language?

What difference does it make if I do or don't understand it?  Is it not my right to worship God in any language I choose, whether known or unknown to my ears?  Also, just because I don't know a language doesn't mean that I can't learn it over time.

No, I don't think its your right, at least not in terms of what is a correct usage of the Liturgy. The Liturgy should be served in a language that the people understand, anything else is an abuse of the Church.

So almost all Orthodox Churches, which use antiquated languages for services are practicing liturgical abuse? 

Thank you your All-Holiness for that enlightened proclamation ::).
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Offline Chris1

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Re: Racism
« Reply #57 on: May 27, 2010, 02:23:15 PM »
I smiled when I read about the little old man that was not pleased with the way that you were dressed...the thought came to me...what if he was standing there when Noah and his family came out of the Ark....followed by all the animals....built an alter and worshiped God...even though I was not there...I can tell you right now they did not look good...never mind the smell...they had enough love for the Lord to worship Him regardless the way they looked or smelled...as for Racism...we all came from that bunch in the Ark.

Offline Heorhij

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Re: Racism
« Reply #58 on: May 27, 2010, 04:55:13 PM »
So almost all Orthodox Churches, which use antiquated languages for services are practicing liturgical abuse? 

Actually, I think they do. See 1 Corinthians 14:4-20.
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Re: Racism
« Reply #59 on: May 27, 2010, 06:18:27 PM »
So almost all Orthodox Churches, which use antiquated languages for services are practicing liturgical abuse?

Yes.
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Racism
« Reply #60 on: May 27, 2010, 06:21:42 PM »
I also remember reading a quote from John Chrysostom that essentially said that if the people have not heard the liturgy (or perhaps just the scriptures in the liturgy) in their native language that they have not received the fullness of the Christian revelation. I'll try to find it again.
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Re: Racism
« Reply #61 on: June 01, 2010, 12:06:42 PM »


Thank you your All-Holiness for that enlightened proclamation ::).

:laugh: I second you Robb. I mean, I am a convert and I am hearing the liturgy in Aramaic - Jesus' language. I love it and I would never ever change it.

My ears may not understand but my heart understands! That is the amazing about life - our hearts speak every language. This may sound odd but watch a foreign movie without subtitles and you will understand what is being said. I once listened to a song in a language that I didn't yet speak and I cried because I knew deep down what it was about (it was a very sad song). Only after a year of studying the language did I realize I had understood everything when I heard the song. My ears didn't - my heart did.

I have picked up on many hey words during the liturgy:

Aloho - God
Yoldath Aloho Maryam - Mary mother of God
Messih - Messiah
Qadeesh - holy
Shlomo- peace

and others. Yes, I understand the liturgy. First, my heart does and then slowly but surely, my ears will.

This thread is driving me nuts. Basically deusveritaset is an enquirer, only having stepped one foot in the church and is proclaiming that the church is practicing liturgical abuse! Why should they cater to you? And then he says it should be in the language of the people. Well, there is a village in Syria where they still teach their children Aramaic and Arabic. My church is 99.9% Arabic speakers and the liturgy is conducted in Aramaic and Arabic. Now, if you went into such a church I am curious if you would be demanding English, even though Aramaic and Arabic are the languages of the people.

Please try something deusveritaset. Listen with your heart, not your ears. You will be amazed at how much you understand.

Offline Heorhij

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Re: Racism
« Reply #62 on: June 01, 2010, 12:32:32 PM »


Thank you your All-Holiness for that enlightened proclamation ::).

:laugh: I second you Robb. I mean, I am a convert and I am hearing the liturgy in Aramaic - Jesus' language. I love it and I would never ever change it.

My ears may not understand but my heart understands! That is the amazing about life - our hearts speak every language. This may sound odd but watch a foreign movie without subtitles and you will understand what is being said. I once listened to a song in a language that I didn't yet speak and I cried because I knew deep down what it was about (it was a very sad song). Only after a year of studying the language did I realize I had understood everything when I heard the song. My ears didn't - my heart did.

I have picked up on many hey words during the liturgy:

Aloho - God
Yoldath Aloho Maryam - Mary mother of God
Messih - Messiah
Qadeesh - holy
Shlomo- peace

and others. Yes, I understand the liturgy. First, my heart does and then slowly but surely, my ears will.

This thread is driving me nuts. Basically deusveritaset is an enquirer, only having stepped one foot in the church and is proclaiming that the church is practicing liturgical abuse! Why should they cater to you? And then he says it should be in the language of the people. Well, there is a village in Syria where they still teach their children Aramaic and Arabic. My church is 99.9% Arabic speakers and the liturgy is conducted in Aramaic and Arabic. Now, if you went into such a church I am curious if you would be demanding English, even though Aramaic and Arabic are the languages of the people.

Please try something deusveritaset. Listen with your heart, not your ears. You will be amazed at how much you understand.

Dear Blissfully Unaware,

I am not against languages other than English being used during the Orthodox services. In fact, if there were more Greek in my Greek parish during our Divine Liturgies, I would be happy and grateful! I love foreign languages generally, and it pleases me to hear the liturgical proclamations in the language of St. John Chrysostomos's original. :)

But I am against "mechanical" hearing of some foreign text and accepting it without rational understanding. I think that if there are non-Aramaic native speakers in your parish, you guys should have a brochure where there are two texts, one Aramaic and the other English, in parallel. That's what we have at our parish - parallel Greek and English texts of the Divine Liturgy and of some hymns. It does help a lot, it does make the whole thing closer to your heart AND also to your brain.:)

This "liturgical abuse" begins when there is no rational understanding of the service. Fr. Alexander Schmemann wrote in his journals how he visited several ACROD parishes that were quite small and consisted mostly of those who had been born in the USA. He was amazed that these people sang and chanted the whole liturgy in Old Church Slavonic, but NOT ONE of them understood even ONE word of what they were singing and chanting. Fr. Alexander asked several parishioners to translate the liturgy into English for him, and no one could. But they all said that they were "proud to carry on the tradition of our ancestors." Now that's wrong, I think, and arguments like "my heart understands" do not quite convince me.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2010, 12:33:26 PM by Heorhij »
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Offline Lauren_Elisse

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Re: Racism
« Reply #63 on: June 15, 2010, 09:30:01 PM »
I've never had a problem with this in my parish.
I see it as these people are my family in faith and I love them and they love me :D
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Re: Racism
« Reply #64 on: June 26, 2010, 02:45:18 AM »
I was brought into Orthodoxy in Bulgaria (I'm Polish) less than a month ago,

What language is the liturgy conducted in?

Sorry I missed this one.  The Liturgy is in Bulgarian.  When I read the Symbol of Faith it was in Bulgarian, with a Church Slavonic translation on the next page.  My 'Molitvenik' or Prayer Book which I was given as a gift at my Baptism is split between Bulgarian/Church Slavonic.

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Re: Racism
« Reply #65 on: March 16, 2011, 10:23:43 AM »
Is racism a problem in the Orthodox church?
Yes, but only on this forum with members of particular ethnicities believing they are spiritually superior and more holy than others.
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Re: Racism
« Reply #66 on: March 16, 2011, 10:29:07 AM »
And after the service an old Greek man came up to me and said I needed better clothes. I said "OK.... me and the family are kinda broke right now ha ha" (trying to laugh it off). He says "Well you need to find some money" and walked off. I was wearing black slacks, dress shoes and a button down.
Good grief.  >:(

Yeah, that's a shame. I have been to "ethnic" parishes though where the people were very welcoming (I'm Chinese/Irish). And maybe that one old guy shouldn't be taken as representative of the entire parish.

(I'm Chinese/Irish)

So one half hour later you are hungry for a beer?

Is that Racist?

« Last Edit: March 16, 2011, 10:29:41 AM by Marc1152 »
Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm

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Re: Racism
« Reply #67 on: March 16, 2011, 10:29:58 AM »
I know a Greek who married an African-American and was thenceforth ostracized from the Greek church they were attending. They now come to an OCA church, even though it is an extra 20 minutes or so of driving. (I am not saying this to make any generalization about Greeks, the OCA, or anyone else.)
« Last Edit: March 16, 2011, 10:34:04 AM by Iconodule »
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Re: Racism
« Reply #68 on: March 16, 2011, 10:33:33 AM »
And after the service an old Greek man came up to me and said I needed better clothes. I said "OK.... me and the family are kinda broke right now ha ha" (trying to laugh it off). He says "Well you need to find some money" and walked off. I was wearing black slacks, dress shoes and a button down.
Good grief.  >:(

Yeah, that's a shame. I have been to "ethnic" parishes though where the people were very welcoming (I'm Chinese/Irish). And maybe that one old guy shouldn't be taken as representative of the entire parish.

(I'm Chinese/Irish)

So one half hour later you are hungry for a beer?

Is that Racist?

One part of me wants to start a fist-fight with you. The other part wants to smile politely and then poison your family's drinking water.
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: Racism
« Reply #69 on: March 16, 2011, 10:37:34 AM »
And after the service an old Greek man came up to me and said I needed better clothes. I said "OK.... me and the family are kinda broke right now ha ha" (trying to laugh it off). He says "Well you need to find some money" and walked off. I was wearing black slacks, dress shoes and a button down.
Good grief.  >:(

Yeah, that's a shame. I have been to "ethnic" parishes though where the people were very welcoming (I'm Chinese/Irish). And maybe that one old guy shouldn't be taken as representative of the entire parish.

(I'm Chinese/Irish)

So one half hour later you are hungry for a beer?

Is that Racist?

One part of me wants to start a fist-fight with you. The other part wants to smile politely and then poison your family's drinking water.

Nice!
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Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Racism
« Reply #70 on: March 16, 2011, 10:42:32 AM »
And after the service an old Greek man came up to me and said I needed better clothes. I said "OK.... me and the family are kinda broke right now ha ha" (trying to laugh it off). He says "Well you need to find some money" and walked off. I was wearing black slacks, dress shoes and a button down.
Good grief.  >:(

Yeah, that's a shame. I have been to "ethnic" parishes though where the people were very welcoming (I'm Chinese/Irish). And maybe that one old guy shouldn't be taken as representative of the entire parish.

(I'm Chinese/Irish)

So one half hour later you are hungry for a beer?

Is that Racist?

One part of me wants to start a fist-fight with you. The other part wants to smile politely and then poison your family's drinking water.

Nice!

Same reaction when someone wants pierogie rather than pirohi!  ;D

Offline Marc1152

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Re: Racism
« Reply #71 on: March 16, 2011, 10:55:24 AM »
And after the service an old Greek man came up to me and said I needed better clothes. I said "OK.... me and the family are kinda broke right now ha ha" (trying to laugh it off). He says "Well you need to find some money" and walked off. I was wearing black slacks, dress shoes and a button down.
Good grief.  >:(



Yeah, that's a shame. I have been to "ethnic" parishes though where the people were very welcoming (I'm Chinese/Irish). And maybe that one old guy shouldn't be taken as representative of the entire parish.

(I'm Chinese/Irish)

So one half hour later you are hungry for a beer?

Is that Racist?

One part of me wants to start a fist-fight with you. The other part wants to smile politely and then poison your family's drinking water.

Nice!

Same reaction when someone wants pierogie rather than pirohi!  ;D

Years ago I was a member of an Irish Republican Club ( Sinn Fein) though I am not Irish. Each year the club would march in the annual St. Patrick's day Parade here in DC.

One year before the parade we gathered at the home of a member at about 7 AM. They were pouring really tall tumblers of Irish Whiskey. They offered me one but I said :

 " Oh no thanks. I try to stay away from Whiskey before 8 AM."

I have no Chinese stories.
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Re: Racism
« Reply #72 on: March 16, 2011, 12:19:33 PM »
I have no problem with being the only white guy in the room. Frankly, I think it would do a lot of whites good to be in the minority for once.

What I've seen in integrated Orthodox parishes is that like gathers unto like -- e.g. Greeks with Greeks, Russians with Russians, WASP converts with WASP converts, young single guys with the pretty Russian girl, etc. That's just basic sociology. But in a well-integrated parish (which I consider mine to be), those initial congregations break up once everyone has said their hellos and everyone mingles around. Since Orthodoxy is such a religious minority around here, one cannot afford to be too cliquish.

I also like the liturgical happy medium that my current parish has -- predominantly in English, significant portions in Arabic and a small amount in Greek. If it is said in a non-English language, it will be repeated in English later.
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Offline IsmiLiora

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Re: Racism
« Reply #73 on: March 16, 2011, 12:30:12 PM »

Same reaction when someone wants pierogie rather than pirohi!  ;D
For some reason, this reminded me of a story I need to tell.

I just returned from Ukraine, and I was eating out with my family. My cousin's grandmother from Donets'k was there. I thought we would have a lot of fun talking about my work in Ukraine.

When we started speaking, she spoke Russian and I spoke Ukrainian. This began a lecture which lasted the entire meal. "Stop calling it Lviv! It's Lvov! The Ukrainians wish they were still in Russia! You shouldn't learn Ukrainian, that peasant language! Learn Russian! You're wasting your time! Pryvit? It's PRIVYET!"

Nothing against Russians. I was just very grumpy for the rest of the meal.  >:( I should have figured! Ha! (I also didn't take kindly to the peasant insult since my ancestors are Slovak and Hungarian. Excuse moi!)

Back to the subject at hand.  There's a lot of Greek culture and language predominant in our church...my husband and I don't mind at all until someone directly speaks to us in Greek, simply because we can't understand and respond.

But I love foreign languages (count how many of them I use in my profile!) so I'm very biased. I'm already learning how to read Greek and I'm just an inquirer, so that should be indicative of my geekiness when it comes to language.

Our priest also repeats the most important parts in English (the Creed, the Our Father, the readings...) so I don't have a problem. My husband isn't particularly gifted when it comes to languages and he loves it as well.

There is a bit of a cultural disconnect, but we're okay with that too. Not an issue, although it may mean that we may never have the tight bonds between the Greek members. Although we may pick up on some of the cultural nuances along the way and maybe go to Greece someday. Who knows?
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Re: Racism
« Reply #74 on: March 16, 2011, 12:39:57 PM »
I know a Greek who married an African-American....
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Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Racism
« Reply #75 on: March 16, 2011, 12:50:46 PM »
And after the service an old Greek man came up to me and said I needed better clothes. I said "OK.... me and the family are kinda broke right now ha ha" (trying to laugh it off). He says "Well you need to find some money" and walked off. I was wearing black slacks, dress shoes and a button down.
Good grief.  >:(



Yeah, that's a shame. I have been to "ethnic" parishes though where the people were very welcoming (I'm Chinese/Irish). And maybe that one old guy shouldn't be taken as representative of the entire parish.

(I'm Chinese/Irish)

So one half hour later you are hungry for a beer?

Is that Racist?

One part of me wants to start a fist-fight with you. The other part wants to smile politely and then poison your family's drinking water.

Nice!

Same reaction when someone wants pierogie rather than pirohi!  ;D

Years ago I was a member of an Irish Republican Club ( Sinn Fein) though I am not Irish. Each year the club would march in the annual St. Patrick's day Parade here in DC.

One year before the parade we gathered at the home of a member at about 7 AM. They were pouring really tall tumblers of Irish Whiskey. They offered me one but I said :

 " Oh no thanks. I try to stay away from Whiskey before 8 AM."

I have no Chinese stories.

Thanks for taking Iconodule's comment as a joke.

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Re: Racism
« Reply #76 on: March 16, 2011, 12:54:52 PM »
I knew a guy with Irish/Chinese parentage. Until he told me so, I had assumed he was Hispanic.
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
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Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Racism
« Reply #77 on: March 16, 2011, 12:58:15 PM »

Same reaction when someone wants pierogie rather than pirohi!  ;D
For some reason, this reminded me of a story I need to tell.

I just returned from Ukraine, and I was eating out with my family. My cousin's grandmother from Donets'k was there. I thought we would have a lot of fun talking about my work in Ukraine.

When we started speaking, she spoke Russian and I spoke Ukrainian. This began a lecture which lasted the entire meal. "Stop calling it Lviv! It's Lvov! The Ukrainians wish they were still in Russia! You shouldn't learn Ukrainian, that peasant language! Learn Russian! You're wasting your time! Pryvit? It's PRIVYET!"

Nothing against Russians. I was just very grumpy for the rest of the meal.  >:( I should have figured! Ha! (I also didn't take kindly to the peasant insult since my ancestors are Slovak and Hungarian. Excuse moi!)

Back to the subject at hand.  There's a lot of Greek culture and language predominant in our church...my husband and I don't mind at all until someone directly speaks to us in Greek, simply because we can't understand and respond.

But I love foreign languages (count how many of them I use in my profile!) so I'm very biased. I'm already learning how to read Greek and I'm just an inquirer, so that should be indicative of my geekiness when it comes to language.

Our priest also repeats the most important parts in English (the Creed, the Our Father, the readings...) so I don't have a problem. My husband isn't particularly gifted when it comes to languages and he loves it as well.

There is a bit of a cultural disconnect, but we're okay with that too. Not an issue, although it may mean that we may never have the tight bonds between the Greek members. Although we may pick up on some of the cultural nuances along the way and maybe go to Greece someday. Who knows?

To add on to your story...If you were in Uzhorod and were speaking the Rusyn or Lemko dialect, a Ukrainian zealot would approach you and tell you, "Why are you speaking that peasant language.... you need to learn proper Ukrainian,"  and go on to make similar corrections. Sometimes you just can't win!

I think the underlying reasons that many of our ancestors came to these shores can be summed up with these anecdotes!

Offline Tikhon.of.Colorado

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Re: Racism
« Reply #78 on: March 16, 2011, 02:13:57 PM »
this is why I LOVE the OCA, we're all a bunch of different races and ethnicities! 

I have found that in Greek Churches, they are Greek before their Orthodox.

a friend of my mothers is an Agnostic, but she was baptized in the Antiochian Orthodox Church with her family as a teenager.  when she moved, she went to a Greek Church (the only Orthodox Church in town) and was asked why she was there, as she obviously isn't Greek. 

I made a Greek eminarian friend of mine angry when I told him this, he says it's a common occurance in most Greek Churches he knows of.   :-[

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Racism
« Reply #79 on: March 16, 2011, 02:32:13 PM »
this is why I LOVE the OCA, we're all a bunch of different races and ethnicities! 

I have found that in Greek Churches, they are Greek before their Orthodox.

a friend of my mothers is an Agnostic, but she was baptized in the Antiochian Orthodox Church with her family as a teenager.  when she moved, she went to a Greek Church (the only Orthodox Church in town) and was asked why she was there, as she obviously isn't Greek. 

I made a Greek eminarian friend of mine angry when I told him this, he says it's a common occurance in most Greek Churches he knows of.   :-[

I would not paint in such broad strokes. Things seem to be changing so that we should no longer generalize.

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Re: Racism
« Reply #80 on: March 16, 2011, 04:32:54 PM »
I knew a guy with Irish/Chinese parentage. Until he told me so, I had assumed he was Hispanic.

Lol, that's a great post to have on this thread  :D ;D
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Form a 'brute squad' then!

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Re: Racism
« Reply #81 on: March 16, 2011, 04:37:57 PM »
I knew a guy with Irish/Chinese parentage. Until he told me so, I had assumed he was Hispanic.

Lol, that's a great post to have on this thread  :D ;D

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