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Author Topic: National flags in Sanctuary?  (Read 3345 times) Average Rating: 0
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Dart
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« Reply #45 on: November 01, 2010, 11:54:22 AM »

Sorry?

Are you saying that all Orthodox clergy are homosexuals?

Which Church do you belong to?

The original US flag DID have a cross on it. Two crosses in fact. That of St George and that of St Andrew. Then the crosses were removed and replaced by stars. That is a fact. That seems significant to me. At least as significant as the interpretation you give to the present version of the US flag. You say the cross was taken off the flag out of respect for other religions? That itself seems dangerously pan-religious, but I can't see which other religions were represented in a major way in the colonies in 1776? So it does seem that the cross was deliberately removed. And you now seem to be saying that the stars are a better symbol for the Church than the cross?

This just sounds way too new-agey for me.

Father Peter

You can take it to mean what you want. If you wish to corrupt the meaning of a flag or America then be prepared for people to corrupt your own beliefs and accuse you of being a homosexual for your dress. Would you like to be called a homosexual for your dress? Then do not misconstrue other peoples beliefs.


No disrespect meant towards homosexuals. Just towards mean spirited people.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2010, 11:56:00 AM by Dart » Logged
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« Reply #46 on: November 01, 2010, 11:55:23 AM »

Let's be candid and not make up fairy tales.


Fairy tales like the US being founded on Christian principles?

Quote
The issue is plain. Tolerance versus conformity.

Good, I'm glad you've had a change of heart and no longer think Christians who refuse to worship your flag should leave the country.

Quote
If you can find it in your heart to accept a christmas tree why are you so hardened not to accept a Judeo-Christian star as a symbol of heaven.

Can you cite any source which establishes that these stars are "Judeo-Christian"?
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« Reply #47 on: November 01, 2010, 11:56:06 AM »

Would you like to be called a homosexual for your dress?

I doubt Fr. Peter much cares what you call him- you only make a fool out of yourself.
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« Reply #48 on: November 01, 2010, 11:59:54 AM »

Let's be candid and not make up fairy tales.


Fairy tales like the US being founded on Christian principles?

Quote
The issue is plain. Tolerance versus conformity.

Good, I'm glad you've had a change of heart and no longer think Christians who refuse to worship your flag should leave the country.

Quote
If you can find it in your heart to accept a christmas tree why are you so hardened not to accept a Judeo-Christian star as a symbol of heaven.

Can you cite any source which establishes that these stars are "Judeo-Christian"?

The American and Greek flag are stationed nicely in my parish. I have no issue with them being there nor does the Priest or Bishop who allows it nor do my fellow christian brothers who pray with me there every week. If you have an issue with it then you should present some evidence to the contrary. Otherwise have enough christian tolerance to not raise a fuss over someone else's Faith.
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« Reply #49 on: November 01, 2010, 12:01:55 PM »

Would you like to be called a homosexual for your dress?

I doubt Fr. Peter much cares what you call him- you only make a fool out of yourself.

If I thought he cared I wouldn't use the term. It is for pedagogical reasons only.
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« Reply #50 on: November 01, 2010, 12:06:35 PM »

Let's be candid and not make up fairy tales.


Fairy tales like the US being founded on Christian principles?

Quote
The issue is plain. Tolerance versus conformity.

Good, I'm glad you've had a change of heart and no longer think Christians who refuse to worship your flag should leave the country.

Quote
If you can find it in your heart to accept a christmas tree why are you so hardened not to accept a Judeo-Christian star as a symbol of heaven.

Can you cite any source which establishes that these stars are "Judeo-Christian"?

The American and Greek flag are stationed nicely in my parish.

In the nave or in the sanctuary?

Quote
I have no issue with them being there nor does the Priest or Bishop who allows it nor do my fellow christian brothers who pray with me there every week.

Does your Bishop say "The flag is the embodiment of our faith"? Does your Priest say "The flag is the embodiment of our faith"?

The statement you made is purely idolatrous and goes far beyond simply placing the flag somewhere in the Church. Like I said, my parish has one- I don't like it, but I don't raise any fuss about it either. That would be different, though, if someone said "The flag is the embodiment of our faith," or if the deacon started censing the flag along with the Holy Icons, or if the priest blessed the congregation with the flag instead of the Cross.

Quote
If you have an issue with it then you should present some evidence to the contrary. Otherwise have enough christian tolerance to not raise a fuss over someone else's Faith.

Its funny how quickly you've switched from telling us to move to China or Iran, to telling us to show some "tolerance."
« Last Edit: November 01, 2010, 12:09:27 PM by Iconodule » Logged

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« Reply #51 on: November 01, 2010, 12:10:45 PM »

tolerance does not mean conformity. Just because an icon is in the church does not mean that everyone will reverence it the same way.

China and Iran just like Antioch and the other ancient sees was an example of the effect of state on religion and vice versa. But if you do not wish to accept the arguments at face value then I can also misconstrue your beliefs to encourage you to play fair. But unfortunately you have realized the weakness of your argument and just wish to nit pick over minutia. Rather than attack me, why not build up your own case as to why my parish should relocate the flags.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2010, 12:17:18 PM by Dart » Logged
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« Reply #52 on: November 01, 2010, 12:16:52 PM »

Are you saying that the flag of a secular state is an icon?

I can understand that it might possibly be considered iconic. Her Majesty the Queen has an iconic position in the life of the nation for instance. But you are speaking about icons. Do you think the US flag is an icon?

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« Reply #53 on: November 01, 2010, 12:19:00 PM »

Are you saying that the flag of a secular state is an icon?

I can understand that it might possibly be considered iconic. Her Majesty the Queen has an iconic position in the life of the nation for instance. But you are speaking about icons. Do you think the US flag is an icon?



icon as a symbol not a holy icon as in a gateway to heaven. Please see post above in regards to developing an argument as to why my parish should relocate the flags rather than nit pick.

Referencing the OP, "Is there any official rubrics or guidelines, or a common opinion, on flags in churches?"



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« Reply #54 on: November 01, 2010, 12:31:40 PM »

Are you saying that the flag of a secular state is an icon?

I can understand that it might possibly be considered iconic. Her Majesty the Queen has an iconic position in the life of the nation for instance. But you are speaking about icons. Do you think the US flag is an icon?



icon as a symbol not a holy icon as in a gateway to heaven. Please see post above in regards to developing an argument as to why my parish should relocate the flags rather than nit pick.

Sorry, rejecting your statement, "the flag is the embodiment of our faith," is not nitpicking. Flags should not be in the church because it encourages a confusion between heavenly and worldly matters. This confusion is amply demonstrated by your statement, "the flag is the embodiment of our faith."

That said, I won't raise a fuss if the flag is in a place that is not a focus of worship, and as long as no one says anything like "the flag is the embodiment of our faith"
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« Reply #55 on: November 01, 2010, 12:41:49 PM »

I will restate what I said earlier, it is my opinion that many of us spend far too much time speculating and worrying about the 'externals' in one parish, diocese or another and not enough about the 'internals' within each individuals heart and soul.

That being said, while I have no objection to the display of the American flag within a Church in the United States, I do not believe that evoking false patriotism is ever appropriate within the Church. By 'false patriotism" I mean, i.e. 'my country right or wrong' or taking the position, as many of our Evangelical friends do, that the US is somehow:

 a.) founded as a 'Christian' nation and
 b.) is pre-destined by God to fulfill their private interpretations of scripture.

Nor do I subscribe to the view of some that the unity of Church and faith as practiced in Byzantine Imperial or Tsarist Russian times represents some sort of ideal arrangement.

As to history and religion in the original 13 colonies, it is erroneous to state..." I can't see which other religions were represented in a major way in the colonies in 1776? " While the Colonies were overwhelmingly Protestant at the time, the Protestant churches were wildly diverse (as is the case in our times) in both practive and degrees of tolerance of the practices and beliefs of others. They ranged from the Congregationalist descendants of the Puritan Pilgrims through Presbyterians, Lutherans and on though to Episcopalians/Anglicans. There were Quakers in Pennsylvania, Unitarian deists scattered throughout the colonies, Catholics in Maryland and even Jews in Rhode Island. Despite the restrictive anti-Catholic penal laws that existed in the colonies at the time of the Revolution, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence was,in fact, Catholic - i.e. Charles Carroll of Maryland.

Never forget that at Christmas in the trenches of the first World War, both the English and German soldiers could be heard singing "Silent night, Holy Night" across the stillness of the night. I always think of Lincoln''s words during our Civil War when I get involved with this debate, and I will close my comments with his words:

"In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be, wrong. God cannot be for and against the same thing at the same time. In the present civil war it is quite possible that God's purpose is something different from the purpose of either party -- and yet the human instrumentalities, working just as they do, are of the best adaptation to effect His purpose."'

The display of the flag within a Church building should always be thought of within this context. Pride goeth before a fall the Psalmist reminds us.
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« Reply #56 on: November 01, 2010, 12:42:13 PM »

Are you saying that the flag of a secular state is an icon?

I can understand that it might possibly be considered iconic. Her Majesty the Queen has an iconic position in the life of the nation for instance. But you are speaking about icons. Do you think the US flag is an icon?



icon as a symbol not a holy icon as in a gateway to heaven. Please see post above in regards to developing an argument as to why my parish should relocate the flags rather than nit pick.

Sorry, rejecting your statement, "the flag is the embodiment of our faith," is not nitpicking. Flags should not be in the church because it encourages a confusion between heavenly and worldly matters. This confusion is amply demonstrated by your statement, "the flag is the embodiment of our faith."

That said, I won't raise a fuss if the flag is in a place that is not a focus of worship, and as long as no one says anything like "the flag is the embodiment of our faith".  
How about a nail or a mustard seed? For me seeking heaven through God's Grace with tolerance and justice for all people is the embodiment of my Faith and the American flag is a symbol of this. A nail for me is also an embodiment of my Faith as a reference to Jesus being nailed to the cross. A fish, the cross, the letters ICXCNIKA, what is it to you if someone uses a blue eyed glass bead or a head covering to represent their Faith. How about a beard? Should all Priests have a full beard? Should all Priests have their beard cut? What do you care?

If your Faith is so weak that you are incapable of worshiping in the presence of the American flag, then ok you have a point. Those of us with greater Faith should remove the stumbling block. Or better yet provide a nice clean cell at the monastery away from all earthly distractions so you can develop your Faith properly.

"confusion between heavenly and worldly matters" was this not the same argument used by those wanting to eliminate icons from the Church?
« Last Edit: November 01, 2010, 12:49:22 PM by Dart » Logged
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« Reply #57 on: November 01, 2010, 12:45:48 PM »

How could you possibly know that?

You know what? I first started looking into Orthodoxy when I was studying in China. Thanks to the PRC's gracious policy of allowing me to freely read about Orthodox Christianity on the internet, I was able to ask an Orthodox priest some questions by email. I guess I should be putting Chinese flags and pictures of Mao up on my icon corner?

I don't know, I'm just guessing. Also, I am not in favor of the flag of any nation being inside the nave/sanctuary. However, the Bible says that we are to honor our government, and follow it's laws, so I would have no problem with a flag being in the narthex or fellowship hall as a reminder.

"Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king." - 1 Pet. 2:13-17
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« Reply #58 on: November 01, 2010, 12:46:39 PM »

Are you saying that the flag of a secular state is an icon?

I can understand that it might possibly be considered iconic. Her Majesty the Queen has an iconic position in the life of the nation for instance. But you are speaking about icons. Do you think the US flag is an icon?



icon as a symbol not a holy icon as in a gateway to heaven. Please see post above in regards to developing an argument as to why my parish should relocate the flags rather than nit pick.

Referencing the OP, "Is there any official rubrics or guidelines, or a common opinion, on flags in churches?"




So you think placing New Age symbols in an Orthodox Church is OK?
You have yet to show that the US flag is a Christian symbol. So far, all we have seen is symbolism that is vaguely New Age.
Up until reading your posts I was of the "not a big deal" persuasion.
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« Reply #59 on: November 01, 2010, 12:48:57 PM »

I'd like to give an opinion as a non-American.

I think that there is in the U.S., as there is in all countries, a kind of ufanist patriotism that borders idolatry. I see that in my country too.

But how shameful to see people who speak of their own country in such hateful way. "Honour your parents" *includes* the nation.

America, whether anti-Americans like it or not is not the only, but by far the main reason the world has not become one big colony of the German National-Socialists or of the internationalist comunists.

America, whether anti-Americans like it or not, was for a very long time the inspiring model for the only way of ceasing material misery in the world. And no, it was not at the expense of poorer countries, it was not based on the "blood" of innocent. The poor have been exploided for millenia, the blood of the innocent has been spilled for probably even longer, but only since the market revolution initiated by Veneza in the medieval times, globalized by Portugal and Spain, industrialized by Great Britain and crowned by the U.S., has the extinction of material poverty ever became a real possibility. Crimes occur at the same time as the creation of wealth, but crimes cannot and have not produced anything positive. Ever. It is what is positive and particular to this "tradition of material prosperity" that is typical of the West, along with another positive Western tradition of liberty and redistribution of power that makes the West humanly more succesful than any other civilization today. That is why, despite the arrogant violence of the Muslims and the slave-based economy of China, unless they adopt Western economic and political traditions, the West will outlive them.

America, whether anti-Americans like it or not, may not be the only, but it certainly is the most surprising war winner who, having conquered and defeated certain nations *actually* retreated after the agreed time instead of commiting genocide to complete its conquerings.

If there are any moral vices in America today, they reveal themselves in a part of the country denying its tradition of power of the citizen, of minimum government, given up freedom for the dellusional pseudo-security of a more centralized and interfering government, giving up more and more the federation to become a increasingly unitarian state.

All those who are so fast to remind us about the importance of the hierarchy, of respecting the natural leaders that God has given us, should remember that in the choir of nations, America has been given leadership, at least for this historical period. All those so quick to bow to a title, should be the first to bow to the leadership of the U.S.

Now, I do not bow not out of disrespect or of bitterness. I stand before America because I know the difference between a competitor and an enemy. I'd like to see my own country, Brazil, being as wealthy as the U.S. is. And I know that the market is limited and that all the competitors will put a fierce fight. I wouldn't expect less, but I'm not afraid of the fight either. But that is *very* different from what current Muslim radicals, "progressists" and comunists are. They are not competitors. They are enemies. Competitors abide by the rules. Enemies want to destroy everything. They despise the rules, they despise the competitors. They think they are the ambassadors of a bright future and that being today the only representatives of this better future, they are above the rules and that every crime they commit cannot be judged by today's "corrupt" laws but only according to the "golden" rules of the future in their imagination.

Flags inside the temple are a nuisance, be it the national flag, or the Byzantine flag. It should be a place for all nations. But it makes me sick to see people bashing the U.S. with progressist slanderous propaganda.

Want to talk about slavery? Why don't we talk about the slavery occurring *right* now in Africa? Want to talk about "killing indians"? And what about the bloodbath that were the wars among the tribes even before the white men arrived? Or have we forgotten that these tribes showed a very early liking for firearms to murder their enemies? Want to talk about the evil influence of foreign habits? What about smoking, which kills more than wars in the whole world and which was a habit that the *indians* taught to the white men? Want to talk about oprresion of women? What about a quick look in the habits of "Mamma Africa" where women's clitoris are cut to prevent them from having sexual pleasure?

Gimme a break with this Western bashing through the bashing of the U.S., which became what it became, in all that it has of positive and negative, because it is, currently, the pinacle of what the West is. The West, because it *accepted*, *understood* and *lived* all the best virtues and traditions of all other civilizations that came before, has surpassed them all. It lost Orthodoxy in the way, but Orthodoxy also lost its traditional symphonic secular ally and that is why both suffer today more than both should.
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« Reply #60 on: November 01, 2010, 12:54:14 PM »

podkarpatska,

Just to be clear, all the communities you mention are Christian.

It was said that the cross was removed from the flag because of the presence of other religions in the colonies. All the groups you mention are Christian.

So I am still confused why the cross would have to be removed so as not to offend anyone?

There were deists and unitarians certainly, and most of the founding fathers held this view. So I would guess that if the cross were removed for a particular reason it was because of this, and not to satisfy the Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim communities in the colonies.
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« Reply #61 on: November 01, 2010, 12:55:58 PM »

Are you saying that the flag of a secular state is an icon?

I can understand that it might possibly be considered iconic. Her Majesty the Queen has an iconic position in the life of the nation for instance. But you are speaking about icons. Do you think the US flag is an icon?



icon as a symbol not a holy icon as in a gateway to heaven. Please see post above in regards to developing an argument as to why my parish should relocate the flags rather than nit pick.

Sorry, rejecting your statement, "the flag is the embodiment of our faith," is not nitpicking. Flags should not be in the church because it encourages a confusion between heavenly and worldly matters. This confusion is amply demonstrated by your statement, "the flag is the embodiment of our faith."

That said, I won't raise a fuss if the flag is in a place that is not a focus of worship, and as long as no one says anything like "the flag is the embodiment of our faith"
How about a nail or a mustard seed?

You mean, images from scripture, unlike the American flag?

Quote
A nail for me is also an embodiment of my Faith as a reference to Jesus being nailed to the cross.

That doesn't mean you should set up a big image of a nail in your church's nave.

Quote
A fish, the cross, the letters ICXCNIKA, what is it to you if someone uses a blue eyed glass bead or a head covering to represent their Faith.


The fact that you put the Holy Cross on the same level as a national flag or superstitious "evil eye" beads is troubling.

Your argument seems to be that everyone's personal spiritual symbols have a right to be represented in the church building.  

Quote
If your Faith is so weak that you are incapable of worshiping in the presence of the American flag...

I worship in the presence of an American flag every week in church. I don't worship the flag itself, though.
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« Reply #62 on: November 01, 2010, 12:58:21 PM »

podkarpatska,

Just to be clear, all the communities you mention are Christian.

It was said that the cross was removed from the flag because of the presence of other religions in the colonies. All the groups you mention are Christian.

So I am still confused why the cross would have to be removed so as not to offend anyone?

There were deists and unitarians certainly, and most of the founding fathers held this view. So I would guess that if the cross were removed for a particular reason it was because of this, and not to satisfy the Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim communities in the colonies.

He did mention Jews in Rhode Island. America is founded on a Judeo-Christian ethic as I mentioned earlier.
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« Reply #63 on: November 01, 2010, 12:59:12 PM »

There is neither Jew nor Greek ... nationalistic expressions, even respected symbols such as national flags, have no place within the walls of an Orthodox Church.  Angry
+1!  I don't particularly care for them inside the Church either.  Outside the Church might be OK though.
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« Reply #64 on: November 01, 2010, 12:59:59 PM »

Some Converts God Love them....They Come into Holy Orthodoxy And think they Know better ,and want to change everything including our ancient liturgical Languages ,plus want us to get rid of our flags/banners ....... Grin
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« Reply #65 on: November 01, 2010, 01:00:36 PM »

podkarpatska,

Just to be clear, all the communities you mention are Christian.

It was said that the cross was removed from the flag because of the presence of other religions in the colonies. All the groups you mention are Christian.

So I am still confused why the cross would have to be removed so as not to offend anyone?

There were deists and unitarians certainly, and most of the founding fathers held this view. So I would guess that if the cross were removed for a particular reason it was because of this, and not to satisfy the Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim communities in the colonies.

Fair point. If I recall my history lessons, the Cross of St. Andrew, or any other form of the cross, was removed so as to fully represent the Revolution's intended separation from the Crown and the Mother country. I raised my point with respect to the notion that the founders represented some sort of theistic state-sanctioned faith. I know that my sentiments will enrage some here and I will refrain from elaborating as this probably belongs in Politics and I try not to mix politics with religion to the extent that is possible!
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« Reply #66 on: November 01, 2010, 01:00:51 PM »

Are you saying that the flag of a secular state is an icon?

I can understand that it might possibly be considered iconic. Her Majesty the Queen has an iconic position in the life of the nation for instance. But you are speaking about icons. Do you think the US flag is an icon?



icon as a symbol not a holy icon as in a gateway to heaven. Please see post above in regards to developing an argument as to why my parish should relocate the flags rather than nit pick.

Sorry, rejecting your statement, "the flag is the embodiment of our faith," is not nitpicking. Flags should not be in the church because it encourages a confusion between heavenly and worldly matters. This confusion is amply demonstrated by your statement, "the flag is the embodiment of our faith."

That said, I won't raise a fuss if the flag is in a place that is not a focus of worship, and as long as no one says anything like "the flag is the embodiment of our faith"
How about a nail or a mustard seed?

You mean, images from scripture, unlike the American flag?

Quote
A nail for me is also an embodiment of my Faith as a reference to Jesus being nailed to the cross.

That doesn't mean you should set up a big image of a nail in your church's nave.

Quote
A fish, the cross, the letters ICXCNIKA, what is it to you if someone uses a blue eyed glass bead or a head covering to represent their Faith.


The fact that you put the Holy Cross on the same level as a national flag or superstitious "evil eye" beads is troubling.

Your argument seems to be that everyone's personal spiritual symbols have a right to be represented in the church building.  

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If your Faith is so weak that you are incapable of worshiping in the presence of the American flag...

I worship in the presence of an American flag every week in church. I don't worship the flag itself, though.

Then what is your problem? The Priest censes the person next to you as an Icon of Christ do you worship them either.
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« Reply #67 on: November 01, 2010, 01:06:09 PM »

Some Converts God Love them....They Come into Holy Orthodoxy And think they Know better ,and want to change everything including our ancient liturgical Languages ,plus want us to get rid of our flags/banners ....... Grin

Tolerance versus conformity. I vote for tolerance even when trying to conform to Christ. It is what I would want Christ to do for me so I do it for others. Smiley

God forbid they go after the Greek festival next!!
« Last Edit: November 01, 2010, 01:07:54 PM by Dart » Logged
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« Reply #68 on: November 01, 2010, 01:12:08 PM »

Fabio,

I have to say that I haven't seen any USA bashing in this thread.

The US is surely as self-centered as any other major power has been in the past, and as flawed in the execution of those things it believes to be good. But many people here in the UK recognise the great generosity of the US around the world even at the same time it is unjustly criticised. I don't want to live in the US, but I don't believe everything that is shown me in films and the news either. I like George W. Bush a lot and would like to have him round for dinner.

But it is my opinion that no-one should bow to their national flag. When we sing our National Anthem it is interesting that it is a prayer and a hymn to God asking him to bless the person who has the vocation of being the locus of our national community. It is not a song saying how wonderful our political state is. If we wanted to sing something like that it would be Rule Britannia. But THAT is not our national anthem. Our national anthem is God save our gracious Queen.
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« Reply #69 on: November 01, 2010, 01:15:17 PM »

Some Converts God Love them....They Come into Holy Orthodoxy And think they Know better ,and want to change everything including our ancient liturgical Languages ,plus want us to get rid of our flags/banners ....... Grin

Tolerance versus conformity. I vote for tolerance even when trying to conform to Christ. It is what I would want Christ to do for me so I do it for others. Smiley

Would you "tolerate" it if someone wants to put up a Hello Kitty banner in your church, next to the US flag? Please don't laugh at him. In his view, "Hello Kitty" represents the meekness and gentleness of Christ.
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« Reply #70 on: November 01, 2010, 01:28:45 PM »

I have to say that I haven't seen any USA bashing in this thread.


If it represents what you claim, then I oppose it for the gross hypocrisy. You say grace, I say genocide. You say bravery, I say slavery. You say purity, I say a land soaked with innocent blood sacrificed to filthy demons of lust, materialism, and greed. In my opinion, America is much more reflective of hell than heaven. But let's pray and labor for that to change.


Selam


Some Converts God Love them....They Come into Holy Orthodoxy And think they Know better ,and want to change everything including our ancient liturgical Languages ,plus want us to get rid of our flags/banners ....... Grin

Tolerance versus conformity. I vote for tolerance even when trying to conform to Christ. It is what I would want Christ to do for me so I do it for others. Smiley

Would you "tolerate" it if someone wants to put up a Hello Kitty banner in your church, next to the US flag? Please don't laugh at him. In his view, "Hello Kitty" represents the meekness and gentleness of Christ.

If the banner was there in the Church before I joined it, then I have a right to go to a different parish. If I out of my own free will join the parish knowing the banner is there then I should tolerate it. Over time I may ask why it is there and if it still serves the initial purpose but I would not presuppose to know more than the established parish does.

Change should occur slowly and not by authoritarian decree.
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« Reply #71 on: November 01, 2010, 01:32:50 PM »

Fabio,

I have to say that I haven't seen any USA bashing in this thread.

The US is surely as self-centered as any other major power has been in the past, and as flawed in the execution of those things it believes to be good. But many people here in the UK recognise the great generosity of the US around the world even at the same time it is unjustly criticised. I don't want to live in the US, but I don't believe everything that is shown me in films and the news either. I like George W. Bush a lot and would like to have him round for dinner.

But it is my opinion that no-one should bow to their national flag. When we sing our National Anthem it is interesting that it is a prayer and a hymn to God asking him to bless the person who has the vocation of being the locus of our national community. It is not a song saying how wonderful our political state is. If we wanted to sing something like that it would be Rule Britannia. But THAT is not our national anthem. Our national anthem is God save our gracious Queen.

Father,

there was. Everytime an American shows *any* kind of admiration for his own country, even if at times a bit ufanistic, there comes the "slave-owners", "genocide", blood, blood, blood blah-blah-blah. I was living in the UK just after 9/11 and I could see in an international cultural fair, how people avoided *only* to the American kiosk and the looks of despise at the poor couple trying to show some of the typical American country music and dance. That was one of the "warning lights" that lit during my stay in the UK - conversion to Christianity was another - how something was very wrong in the world today. It was a cultural fair, where every country was "doing their things". And just the Americans received that cold reception. No, there is no fairness toward America today.

I say that, also with great respect for Britain, which was my second home for two years. When I lived in Manchester I had to go through the Muslim neighborhood back from work, and to my great surprise, there was a permanent Muslim protest kiosk bashing the UK on the way. If I were a bit suicidal and had the money, I'd have gone there and give them the tickets back to their own lands. Since they hated Britain so much, they surely couldn't feel that much confortable living there.

Anyway, I think the argument went far beyond than "a church is place for all nations, so we shouldn't favor any by putting a national flag inside it". Which *is* a very ironic argument since it is always brought up against the American flag, but not so often against the many national flags of the traditionally Orthodox countries.
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« Reply #72 on: November 01, 2010, 01:46:21 PM »

Dear Fabio

I didn't know you had been in the UK. There is a difficult atmosphere which has settled over the country and which it only just seems might possibly lift if there is courage among politicians.

I guess my thought was that the people who have tended to be critical of the US are US citizens and so it seems to me to be a proper self-criticism, and not simply US bashing.

I have many US friends, and do appreciate the generosity of the US. But I think that it is still reasonable to raise issues relating to the establishment of the US state. It seems to me that the American Revolution/Rebellion seems to have been rather like the Protestant 'Reformation'. To criticise the 'Reformation' is not to criticise any modern Protestants. To be critical of the founding fathers is not to denigrate all Americans. To remind ourselves that the Civil War was only 140 years ago is a reminder to us all of the fragility of political institutions.
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« Reply #73 on: November 01, 2010, 02:36:00 PM »

Why not just paint the national symbol all over the sanctuary?

Although it makes sense in the homeland, outside of the home country it is senseless.
I have to state the sad truth that the diaspora churches of all stripes will die out soon. To recreate Eastern Europe in America is a stupid idea but people have tried. You cannot place the symbiosis which has formed in Central and Eastern Europe to anywhere else. This is our way of being.
Anyways all this talk about melting pot, multiculturalism, et cetera is a method of hiding the fact that ethnic, religious minorities are dying out all over the European world because of the onslaught of unitarian pop culture.
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« Reply #74 on: November 01, 2010, 02:48:14 PM »

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