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Author Topic: Are the Orthodox Xenophobic?  (Read 1766 times) Average Rating: 0
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JamesR
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« on: April 27, 2012, 04:07:58 PM »

Just something I've been wondering and toying with for a while. Judging from some Orthodox immigrants I've seen from the old country and comments even on this board, it seems that a good number of Orthodox Christians are very xenophobic of the western world and anything that has to do with the west. Like, I hear old Orthodox immigrants at my parish sometimes rambling on about how all these new 'cultural practices' in the west are so ungodly and deteriorating. However, to be fair, this is not something exclusive only to Orthodox old people; all old people usually ramble on and complain about something. And I've seen people on this board give rambles about how they think western society is deteriorating. How common is this anti-western attitude in the Orthodox? I'd have to say as a westerner, yeah we have our problems, but I doubt that the east is as holy and faultless as you make it out to be. If it were, then why did they bother immigrating to the west in the first place? Obviously they came to the west because there was something better about it that they were not getting in the east, like freedom perhaps. So, where does this attitude stop? God made the west just as he made the east. We're the ones making the most effort in the world and giving the most to world relief funds and sending our peace corps to aid the east. We're also the ones who gave them political and religious freedom when they immigrated over here. You'd think that they'd at least show some appreciation. Thoughts?
« Last Edit: April 27, 2012, 04:12:06 PM by JamesR » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2012, 04:12:12 PM »

From your profile James:

Total Posts:   468 posts
Total Topics Started:   61 topics

Do you digest this stuff before posting another topic? I must say though that you at least write many thoughtful ones, not just many one liners and the like.
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« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2012, 04:13:37 PM »

Do you digest this stuff before posting another topic?

Not all at once, but at a steady pace yeah.
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« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2012, 04:40:07 PM »

I wouldn't put this one on the "Orthodox" part, James, rather on the "immigrant" part. Now I'm not saying that all immigrants are like that, but obviously immigration does not always result in a change of mindset, and old-world prejudices or preferences are fairly well-ingrained/resistant to change. So it's a double-edged sword. My grandmother (may God rest her soul) made sure I grew up with an appreciation of Mexican culture, but I'm glad that my mother (non-Latina) made sure I didn't grow up with her racism towards black people. Neither women were Orthodox, just coming from pretty different mindsets, experiences, backgrounds, etc.

In my church, there is a friend of mine who is always saying how Americans are "ungodly" (his term). Yet this same man became upset when I told him last year that I didn't have plans to celebrate Thanksgiving: "How could you! How is it that I love America more than you? I wasn't even born here!" There is certainly a confusion between "the parts/aspects of America that I like" and America as a whole. I've tried to explain that having so many people who don't care about religion is, in a way, a consequence of having the freedom of religion that he enjoys here and not in Egypt. It's a hard sell. but don't mind it unless they're trying to make you be something you're not. There are, after all, things that I don't like about America either, but that's neither here nor there. If it bothers you so much, make a point of thanking God for the freedom that you enjoy, irrespective of other people's views or immigration statuses.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2012, 04:43:36 PM by dzheremi » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2012, 05:01:01 PM »

Just something I've been wondering and toying with for a while. Judging from some Orthodox immigrants I've seen from the old country and comments even on this board, it seems that a good number of Orthodox Christians are very xenophobic of the western world and anything that has to do with the west. Like, I hear old Orthodox immigrants at my parish sometimes rambling on about how all these new 'cultural practices' in the west are so ungodly and deteriorating. However, to be fair, this is not something exclusive only to Orthodox old people; all old people usually ramble on and complain about something. And I've seen people on this board give rambles about how they think western society is deteriorating. How common is this anti-western attitude in the Orthodox? I'd have to say as a westerner, yeah we have our problems, but I doubt that the east is as holy and faultless as you make it out to be. If it were, then why did they bother immigrating to the west in the first place? Obviously they came to the west because there was something better about it that they were not getting in the east, like freedom perhaps. So, where does this attitude stop? God made the west just as he made the east. We're the ones making the most effort in the world and giving the most to world relief funds and sending our peace corps to aid the east. We're also the ones who gave them political and religious freedom when they immigrated over here. You'd think that they'd at least show some appreciation. Thoughts?

Are some people that attend Orthodox churches xenophobic?? Sure.

Are the Orthodox xenophobic?? No.

But then again, none of the examples you raised are particularly xenophobic, at least not in my eyes. If someone has an irrational fear of a foreigner hurting them or committing a crime or just in general, that's xenophobia. Criticising the current state of Western culture is not xenophobia--it's just societal criticism. I've seen people who are western in origin criticise the West, heck I do it and I was born here.

Also, you highlight freedom a few times, but then you essentially turn around and say, these people shouldn't have the freedom to criticise the West because hey, they moved here freely and they wouldn't do that if it was better back home. But just because they came here for some things, doesn't mean they signed up for everything that comes with the West these days. I'd go into more detail if this was in Politics.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2012, 05:02:26 PM by John of the North » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2012, 06:58:17 PM »

Also, you highlight freedom a few times, but then you essentially turn around and say, these people shouldn't have the freedom to criticise the West because hey, they moved here freely and they wouldn't do that if it was better back home. But just because they came here for some things, doesn't mean they signed up for everything that comes with the West these days. I'd go into more detail if this was in Politics.

Strawman. I never once said or implied that they should not have the freedom to criticize the West if they want to or not. I'm just saying that it is a rather rude d*** move of them to do that if they are around westerners and we're the ones who allowed them to immigrate here. It is more of a judgment on their character rather than the law. I'm sure they would not like it if I were to start talking about how corrupted the east is being wrapped up in all that human trafficking sexual slavery industry stuff. Shouldn't people just be more considerate an thankful? I mean, wouldn't common sense tell anyone that it is a bad/rude move to talk bad about a place in front of its inhabitants after that place has taken you in and given you things you never really had before?
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« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2012, 07:01:23 PM »

Please pardon me if this is a weird question, but who came up with the name 'Eastern' Orthodoxy? Isn't the faith universal? You had missionaries in Alaska in the early 1800s or so. There are Orthodox all over the world.

Does God love only one hemisphere? Do some people just have bad luck as to where they're born?

That would be sad.
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« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2012, 07:04:50 PM »

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Please pardon me if this is a weird question, but who came up with the name 'Eastern' Orthodoxy? Isn't the faith universal?

Indeed, Biro. I think it is a matter of convenience in quickly labeling things because saying "Christian of Byzantine roots, spirituality, and praxis, adhering to the Christological formula of the Council of Chalcedon" is rather long-winded. Same too with the non-Chalcedonian churches. Oriental? I am not a rug. Sad
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« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2012, 07:08:27 PM »

Well, thanks. I wonder if someday there will be people who call themselves North American Orthodox or South American Orthodox... Or something. Yay for the East, but yay for other folks as well.
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« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2012, 07:09:14 PM »

Just something I've been wondering and toying with for a while. Judging...

That's where you went wrong. :-)
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« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2012, 07:26:08 PM »

Biro: I already do. Specifying that the congregation is Egyptian makes most people who aren't already Orthodox think that I'm converting to Islam, or that maybe "Copt" is Egyptian for "the descendents of Crusaders who took a wrong turn at Albuquerque".

I think also the OCA are quite keen on making for themselves this quite sensible connection of "American" and "Orthodox", as is after all right to do.
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« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2012, 10:37:16 PM »

Just something I've been wondering and toying with for a while. Judging from some Orthodox immigrants I've seen from the old country and comments even on this board, it seems that a good number of Orthodox Christians are very xenophobic of the western world and anything that has to do with the west. Like, I hear old Orthodox immigrants at my parish sometimes rambling on about how all these new 'cultural practices' in the west are so ungodly and deteriorating. However, to be fair, this is not something exclusive only to Orthodox old people; all old people usually ramble on and complain about something. And I've seen people on this board give rambles about how they think western society is deteriorating. How common is this anti-western attitude in the Orthodox? I'd have to say as a westerner, yeah we have our problems, but I doubt that the east is as holy and faultless as you make it out to be. If it were, then why did they bother immigrating to the west in the first place? Obviously they came to the west because there was something better about it that they were not getting in the east, like freedom perhaps. So, where does this attitude stop? God made the west just as he made the east. We're the ones making the most effort in the world and giving the most to world relief funds and sending our peace corps to aid the east. We're also the ones who gave them political and religious freedom when they immigrated over here. You'd think that they'd at least show some appreciation. Thoughts?

I wnt gona respond then i read yr 2nd post, so i will.

Westerners think the world begins and ends with them, see towards the last few sentences u wrote above.
you/we are so self absorbed that we dont see past our own noses. could be thats why SOME are xenophobic.

Also, isnt it ironic that you use the word XENOPHOBIC to discribe europeans and greeks. you actually took our word (language) and are using it against them laugh

growingup i used 2 tink i was as american as apple pie well into my teens. but then i realised im not, i was born in greece and my parents immigrated here in us when i was 1yrs old. thats why i thought i was an american, i hated anything ethnic/greek. untill some great american boys broke dwn the facts that i was just a forigner and would never really be an american. fyi:that did not end well for them Roll Eyes. but it did open my eyes. took awhile for me to accept im not american but an american citizen on paper only. and i live my life as such.

anyway, we americans are so self absorbed in our culture, our righta, our style, our belifes, so much so we are unaware or discount other cultures. we are shocked that clothing styles around the world actually varry from what we think as in style!
here is one thought i had that supports this theory: do yo know what the most consumed meat in the world is? hugh, what you say, pork...chicken,,,no maybe cow. thats got to be it cows. Not-----its GOAT and lamb! when is the last time your all american guy slaped a goat on the barby? what im trying to show (in a rude way i realise, sorry) is that we americans are NOT the entire world not the majority....we are just a part of this world.
oh too much im tired gota go eat a goat now.

forgot to say that the reason my parents moved to the US was for a better life (education) for them and there kids. Now i gota say i know lots of people who moved to the us on a time limit, they gave themselves 7 yrs to make as much $$ and then go back to greece, kinda rude, but lots did and do. maybe no so much anymore as the US is not what it used to be, people thought the us was lined with money in the streets, its not that way now. btw: im generalising here but the majority of the people in europ do not care for americans or america see my reason above.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2012, 10:44:14 PM by Nikolaostheservant » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2012, 11:03:26 PM »

Sorry, Nikolaos, I was with you for most of that until I got to the last line about Europeans not liking Americans or America. The majority of Europeans have probably never been to America, or when they did visit they came with cultural prejudices, just as Americans do when they go to Europe. So that's kind of a draw. There's realistically very little to separate an American-hating Belgian from a German-hating American on that account, with the possible exception that the German is probably statistically more likely to be able to find America on a map than the American is to find Germany, but anyway...

Everyone needs to chill out. Just because you came to America from another country doesn't mean you can never be displeased or uncomfortable with any aspect of American society without being labeled an ingrate, and just because you were born in America doesn't mean that you're the reincarnation of Jim Varney in his "Earnest Goes _____" roles, even though that seems to be the stereotype of Americans that many in Europe cling to (and not without reason, sadly). For as much as Europeans and others like to remind Americans that they are not the center of the world, it bears repeating that neither is Europe the center of the world, and that the general idea of (Euro-)American superiority was indeed inherited from a particular continent from which the first (European) colonists came...so, y'know...pot, kettle, black and all that. Nobody has the moral high ground when it comes to being a moron, no matter where they come from.  
« Last Edit: April 27, 2012, 11:04:26 PM by dzheremi » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2012, 11:24:52 PM »

So that's kind of a draw. There's realistically very little to separate an American-hating Belgian from a German-hating American on that account, with the possible exception that the German is probably statistically more likely to be able to find America on a map than the American is to find Germany, but anyway...

Everyone needs to chill out. Just because you came to America from another country doesn't mean you can never be displeased or uncomfortable with any aspect of American society without being labeled an ingrate, and just because you were born in America doesn't mean that you're the reincarnation of Jim Varney in his "Earnest Goes _____" roles, even though that seems to be the stereotype of Americans that many in Europe cling to (and not without reason, sadly). For as much as Europeans and others like to remind Americans that they are not the center of the world, it bears repeating that neither is Europe the center of the world, and that the general idea of (Euro-)American superiority was indeed inherited from a particular continent from which the first (European) colonists came...so, y'know...pot, kettle, black and all that. Nobody has the moral high ground when it comes to being a moron, no matter where they come from.  

"orry, Nikolaos, I was with you for most of that until I got to the last line about Europeans not liking Americans or America. The majority of Europeans have probably never been to America, or when they did visit they came with cultural prejudices, just as Americans do when they go to Europe. "

Thats what i was trying to show, it works both ways! and both are wrong
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« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2012, 11:32:11 PM »

Please pardon me if this is a weird question, but who came up with the name 'Eastern' Orthodoxy? Isn't the faith universal? You had missionaries in Alaska in the early 1800s or so. There are Orthodox all over the world.

Does God love only one hemisphere? Do some people just have bad luck as to where they're born?

That would be sad.

Uhm..

It was named this before they knew the world was round.   Also the name came to be because it was orignially the Holy Catholic and Apostolic church.  After the Great Schism, you had the church in the west which kept the name "Catholic", aka "Roman Catholic".  Then you had the Eastern Orthodox Catholics.   Heh, usually after some kind of division somebody is Orthodox... Like the Orthodox Jews for instance.

Perhaps I misunderstood what you were saying...
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« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2012, 11:52:00 PM »

"orry, Nikolaos, I was with you for most of that until I got to the last line about Europeans not liking Americans or America. The majority of Europeans have probably never been to America, or when they did visit they came with cultural prejudices, just as Americans do when they go to Europe. "

Thats what i was trying to show, it works both ways! and both are wrong

Oh, okay. I see we are in agreement, then. I'm sorry for jumping to conclusions without understanding your point.
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« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2012, 01:06:59 AM »

Westerners think the world begins and ends with them, see towards the last few sentences u wrote above.
you/we are so self absorbed that we dont see past our own noses. could be thats why SOME are xenophobic.

Also, isnt it ironic that you use the word XENOPHOBIC to discribe europeans and greeks. you actually took our word (language) and are using it against them laugh

Oh come on, now that is just a generalization. Not all westerners are like that, and I've observed this exact same behavior from all types of people, immigrants and westerners. So clearly this is an unfair generalization and it is quite hypocritical. So I used your word? What does it matter. You used the electricty from an American powerplant to power the computer/laptop in which you used to type this response and you do not hear me complaining or teasing about it.

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growingup i used 2 tink i was as american as apple pie well into my teens. but then i realised im not, i was born in greece and my parents immigrated here in us when i was 1yrs old. thats why i thought i was an american, i hated anything ethnic/greek. untill some great american boys broke dwn the facts that i was just a forigner and would never really be an american. fyi:that did not end well for them Roll Eyes. but it did open my eyes. took awhile for me to accept im not american but an american citizen on paper only. and i live my life as such.

Welcome to the life of every minority group in America. As a Mexican I'll give you a big handshake. But that still does not mean that we are not American, it just means that we are the more distant, semi-oppressed Americans. American is not a single culture; American is an umbrella term for several culture. The American culture is the culture of diversity, we eat all different kinds of foods, we speak several languages, have diverse politics etc.

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anyway, we americans are so self absorbed in our culture, our righta, our style, our belifes, so much so we are unaware or discount other cultures. we are shocked that clothing styles around the world actually varry from what we think as in style!

So does everybody else! I'm sure that if you went to Africa wearing a suit that the native tribes would think that we looked downright strange and silly. There are people like this of all cultures regardless of whether they are western or not, trying to scapegoat the west is really naive.

Quote
here is one thought i had that supports this theory: do yo know what the most consumed meat in the world is? hugh, what you say, pork...chicken,,,no maybe cow. thats got to be it cows. Not-----its GOAT and lamb! when is the last time your all american guy slaped a goat on the barby?

To be fair, how many Greeks/Russians have you seen making pizza, apple pie or BBQ ribs? Different people like different foods, and just because we prefer one over the other does not mean that we are hostile toward the other one. Some of us may be, but once again, that is observable in all types of people, not just westerners.

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what im trying to show (in a rude way i realise, sorry) is that we americans are NOT the entire world not the majority....we are just a part of this world.

We are also not the only bad part of the world with problems, so I think that the scapegoating coming from easterners should stop as well.

Quote
forgot to say that the reason my parents moved to the US was for a better life (education) for them and there kids. Now i gota say i know lots of people who moved to the us on a time limit, they gave themselves 7 yrs to make as much $$ and then go back to greece, kinda rude, but lots did and do. maybe no so much anymore as the US is not what it used to be, people thought the us was lined with money in the streets, its not that way now. btw: im generalising here but the majority of the people in europ do not care for americans or america see my reason above.

You've confirmed my point that people come to America because there is something about it that they want/enjoy that they were not getting in their native land. In your parents' case, it was education you stated. You have to admit then that just as there are bad things about the west, there are also good things as well, so it is unfair to demonize the west so much.
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« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2012, 05:26:30 AM »

Shouldn't people just be more considerate an thankful?

Do you want us to kiss your feet and stuff?

To be fair, how many Greeks/Russians have you seen making pizza, apple pie or BBQ ribs?

IDK about Greeks but Russians make awful pizza. Domino's in Moscow was the place I've eaten the worst pizza ever.
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« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2012, 05:27:53 AM »

Westerners think the world begins and ends with them

And this is somehow different from the Greeks or any other people of the World?

Shouldn't people just be more considerate an thankful?

Do you want us to kiss your feet and stuff?

"Your"? I thought both Poles and Belarusians are Westerners. Being in Europe and all.
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« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2012, 05:34:45 AM »

"Your"? I thought both Poles and Belarusians are Westerners. Being in Europe and all.

I don't consider myself "a Westerner".
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« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2012, 05:36:56 AM »

"Your"? I thought both Poles and Belarusians are Westerners. Being in Europe and all.

I don't consider myself "a Westerner".

But you probably are one. Smiley
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« Reply #21 on: April 28, 2012, 05:52:23 AM »

IDK about Greeks but Russians make awful pizza. Domino's in Moscow was the place I've eaten the worst pizza ever.

Homemade Ukrainian pizza can top Domino's in Moscow....nothing is so awful as pizza with mayonnaise. 

"Your"? I thought both Poles and Belarusians are Westerners. Being in Europe and all.

I don't consider myself "a Westerner".

But you probably are one. Smiley

It all depends on perspective.  I remember meeting some people from Kazakhstan when I lived in China and thinking it was nice to meet some other Westerners.   Cheesy  Seriously though, I think many people in the former USSR would consider anybody with an EU passport to be a Westerner.  Would a Parisian consider someone from Eastern Poland a Westerner?     
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« Reply #22 on: April 28, 2012, 05:53:17 AM »

"Your"? I thought both Poles and Belarusians are Westerners. Being in Europe and all.

I don't consider myself "a Westerner".

But you probably are one. Smiley

I suppose I'm LARP-ing.
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« Reply #23 on: April 28, 2012, 05:56:19 AM »

I think there is some xenophobia among immigrants, Greeks is my frame of reference.  But in my family's experience, it wasn't a rejection of Western society--a society of which they were very grateful to for the opportunities it had offered to them, but we were taught to be ware of the liberal life style, which was not the strong family ties, strong work ethic, close association with the church and it values, that my grandparents had experienced in the early 20th century villages of Greece  they came from.  I'm sure they would be disgusted by the change in life style that Greece has experienced in the past 40 years, Greece, at least in the urban areas, having adopted much of what has occurred here in the West.

I too am disgusted by the liberalism that pervades American society today, which still may be more conservative than what is occurring in Europe today, the general decline of the family unit, the acceptance of sexual promiscuity, illegitimacy, and homosexuality, the decline in patriotism, giving of one self to the benefit of others--look at the decline in the membership in service organizations, Kiwanis, the Lions Clubs, the Scouts, and Ahepa; membership in these groups is overwhelmingly among the 60+ age group.  These changes are probably responsible for the drastic increase of problems in today's society.

Laugh if you like, the '50's were a wonderful decade; the "Leave it to Beaver" family's life style worked to the benefit of the greater society. Oh, I know racial bias was acceptable behavior back then, but otherwise, morality, for God and Country, worked quite well.
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« Reply #24 on: April 28, 2012, 06:26:44 AM »

"Your"? I thought both Poles and Belarusians are Westerners. Being in Europe and all.

I don't consider myself "a Westerner".

But you probably are one. Smiley

I suppose I'm LARP-ing.

Not really. The Cold War confused things a bit. I wouldn't be so suprised if most of the US folks considered Finns as Eatern Europeans (and Communists).

It all depends on perspective.  I remember meeting some people from Kazakhstan when I lived in China and thinking it was nice to meet some other Westerners.   Cheesy  Seriously though, I think many people in the former USSR would consider anybody with an EU passport to be a Westerner.  Would a Parisian consider someone from Eastern Poland a Westerner?    

Probably not at this point of history. But then again just about every Finn would consider Polish Belarusians basically as "ryssä" which is a pejorative name for Russians. Maybe historically. Tsar Alexander I addressed Finnish politicians not in Russian but in French.
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« Reply #25 on: April 28, 2012, 06:36:13 AM »

It's funny. I have always thought of Greece as being a part of the West.
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« Reply #26 on: April 28, 2012, 06:39:37 AM »

It's funny. I have always thought of Greece as being a part of the West.

Tell it to Elder Paisios. Cheesy
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« Reply #27 on: April 28, 2012, 09:35:10 AM »

Some are.. That's due to philetism and other probably due to bad integration in the West.
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« Reply #28 on: April 28, 2012, 09:43:51 AM »

Even the word 'Arab' is an Assyrian word, meaning "Westerner" (the first written reference to Arabs was by the Assyrian King Sennacherib, 800 B.C., in which he tells of conquering the "ma'rabayeh" -- Westerners.

-- Assyrian historian Peter BetBasoo, What Arab Civilization?, November 7, 2001

It is indeed all a matter of perspective. I've always thought of Greeks, Russians, etc. as being culturally rather Western, albeit on the "Eastern" edge of the Western world. Not that any of this matters ecclesiastically/liturgically (though it would seem to me that there is at least a fair bit of uncomfortableness for Western converts seeking Orthodoxy that is lessened by going to the EO rather than the OO or the Assyrians, just due to the relative difference of their external forms, so if it's right to make a scalar measurement then, yeah, the Slavs et. al. are still Western in that sense, too).
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« Reply #29 on: April 28, 2012, 10:54:07 AM »

I think there is some xenophobia among immigrants, Greeks is my frame of reference.  But in my family's experience, it wasn't a rejection of Western society--a society of which they were very grateful to for the opportunities it had offered to them, but we were taught to be ware of the liberal life style, which was not the strong family ties, strong work ethic, close association with the church and it values, that my grandparents had experienced in the early 20th century villages of Greece  they came from.  I'm sure they would be disgusted by the change in life style that Greece has experienced in the past 40 years, Greece, at least in the urban areas, having adopted much of what has occurred here in the West.

I too am disgusted by the liberalism that pervades American society today, which still may be more conservative than what is occurring in Europe today, the general decline of the family unit, the acceptance of sexual promiscuity, illegitimacy, and homosexuality, the decline in patriotism, giving of one self to the benefit of others--look at the decline in the membership in service organizations, Kiwanis, the Lions Clubs, the Scouts, and Ahepa; membership in these groups is overwhelmingly among the 60+ age group.  These changes are probably responsible for the drastic increase of problems in today's society.

Laugh if you like, the '50's were a wonderful decade; the "Leave it to Beaver" family's life style worked to the benefit of the greater society. Oh, I know racial bias was acceptable behavior back then, but otherwise, morality, for God and Country, worked quite well.

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« Reply #30 on: April 28, 2012, 11:05:08 AM »

Shouldn't people just be more considerate an thankful?

Do you want us to kiss your feet and stuff?

To be fair, how many Greeks/Russians have you seen making pizza, apple pie or BBQ ribs?

IDK about Greeks but Russians make awful pizza. Domino's in Moscow was the place I've eaten the worst pizza ever.

LOL

btw: My friends from the Church - we like apple pie, baseball, bbq, hot dogs, pizza, hot days at the beach and pirohy, holubki, baklava, souvlaki and not to forget a good tall and cold Sam Adams Summer Ale, a shot of slivovitsa and a spot of ouzo. We're Americans...Some are open-minded, others are somewhat bigoted. Most are good hearted and would give their neighbor the shirt of their back if it were needed.

We all have our good sides and we all have our faults. One fault is falling back on stereotypes and generalizations.
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« Reply #31 on: April 28, 2012, 01:10:01 PM »

Just something I've been wondering and toying with for a while. Judging from some Orthodox immigrants I've seen from the old country and comments even on this board, it seems that a good number of Orthodox Christians are very xenophobic of the western world and anything that has to do with the west. Like, I hear old Orthodox immigrants at my parish sometimes rambling on about how all these new 'cultural practices' in the west are so ungodly and deteriorating. However, to be fair, this is not something exclusive only to Orthodox old people; all old people usually ramble on and complain about something. And I've seen people on this board give rambles about how they think western society is deteriorating. How common is this anti-western attitude in the Orthodox? I'd have to say as a westerner, yeah we have our problems, but I doubt that the east is as holy and faultless as you make it out to be. If it were, then why did they bother immigrating to the west in the first place? Obviously they came to the west because there was something better about it that they were not getting in the east, like freedom perhaps. So, where does this attitude stop? God made the west just as he made the east. We're the ones making the most effort in the world and giving the most to world relief funds and sending our peace corps to aid the east. We're also the ones who gave them political and religious freedom when they immigrated over here. You'd think that they'd at least show some appreciation. Thoughts?

I'd like to ask you a question. To which direction do we pray and celebrate divine liturgy? The East! To which direction do the catechumens spit when they reject Satan and accept Christ? The West! During my journey as a Catechumen, I was taught that all we pray towards the East because all holy things happened in the East and because the holy city of Jerusalem where Christ will return is located in the East.

Moral values came from the Eastern world. Havent you seen "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" when the Greek Dad says to his American soon-to-be son in law "When my people were doing philosophy, your people were still swinging from trees!"  Cheesy. If you look at todays world, the most countries in the East are far more conservative and morally correct than what you see in the West. Of course the same can not be said about urban cities in the East or rual towns in the West. As others have pointed out, most Eastern countries place a high empasis on morals, family, education, and religion. I was raised by a Persian-Indian father and an African American mother trust me...In my opinion, Eastern conservative values are much better than the modern-day "West".

In a society that glorifies sexual lust, gives lazy people "hand-outs" who dont want to earn , turns its back on traditional family life (high divorce rates and singles mothers, same-sex relationships, tiny small families with strained relations), little or no instruction of conservative ethics/morals, little cultural pride or patriotism, and little religious instruction and devotion: its easy to see why those grump old people or Orthodox old country immigrants are "rambling"

Im not saying that everyone in the West is evil or that the East is raising is raising angels  angel but in my opinion, Eastern society is much better in terms of conservative values.
          
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« Reply #32 on: April 28, 2012, 01:35:47 PM »



In a society that glorifies sexual lust, gives lazy people "hand-outs" who dont want to earn , turns its back on traditional family life (high divorce rates and singles mothers, same-sex relationships, tiny small families with strained relations), little or no instruction of conservative ethics/morals, little cultural pride or patriotism, and little religious instruction and devotion: its easy to see why those grump old people or Orthodox old country immigrants are "rambling"
          

Hm.

Minus the sexual lust, sounds like the Soviet Union.

Add "traditional" Greek cultulre into there, and the glorification of sexual lust is right back.

Nice straw man you've created.

While I think JamesR's post is a big pile of hypocritical crap, much of the reaction to it is just as bad.
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« Reply #33 on: April 28, 2012, 01:55:29 PM »

Quote
because the holy city of Jerusalem where Christ will return is located in the East.
Not if you're in China.

Quote
most Eastern countries place a high empasis on morals, family, education,

We place high emphasis on education and family too. The only difference is, that it is often different morals than those of eastern cultures. Eastern cultures have just as many problems with crime, prostitution and corruption as the West. 
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« Reply #34 on: April 28, 2012, 01:59:22 PM »

It's funny. I have always thought of Greece as being a part of the West.

Me, too. In school, we learned that the Greeks were considered the forefathers of Western culture. Seems they don't want the title anymore. Maybe it was too much time under the Ottoman Empire that forced this view on them.
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« Reply #35 on: April 28, 2012, 02:01:51 PM »

It's funny. I have always thought of Greece as being a part of the West.

Me, too. In school, we learned that the Greeks were considered the forefathers of Western culture. Seems they don't want the title anymore. Maybe it was too much time under the Ottoman Empire that forced this view on them.

Yeah, we learn that too.
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« Reply #36 on: April 28, 2012, 03:39:31 PM »



In a society that glorifies sexual lust, gives lazy people "hand-outs" who dont want to earn , turns its back on traditional family life (high divorce rates and singles mothers, same-sex relationships, tiny small families with strained relations), little or no instruction of conservative ethics/morals, little cultural pride or patriotism, and little religious instruction and devotion: its easy to see why those grump old people or Orthodox old country immigrants are "rambling"
          

Hm.

Minus the sexual lust, sounds like the Soviet Union.

Add "traditional" Greek cultulre into there, and the glorification of sexual lust is right back.

Nice straw man you've created.

While I think JamesR's post is a big pile of hypocritical crap, much of the reaction to it is just as bad.


Yes! It does sound like the Soviet Union. Also, the Soviet Union was not an Eastern society. 

Traditional Christian Greek culture did not glorify sexual lust. Ancient Greek culture did glorify sexuality but not Christian Greek culture (Byzantine).
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« Reply #37 on: April 28, 2012, 04:03:19 PM »

Quote
because the holy city of Jerusalem where Christ will return is located in the East.
Not if you're in China.

Actually, in any location in the world, I was told that Christians face the East as they pray. I think its because of sacred tradition rather than geography.

Quote
most Eastern countries place a high empasis on morals, family, education,

We place high emphasis on education and family too. The only difference is, that it is often different morals than those of eastern cultures. Eastern cultures have just as many problems with crime, prostitution and corruption as the West. 

In my opinion, there is a stronger emphasis placed on morals, education, and family than there is in the West. There might be many problems with social issues in Eastern societies but Id be willing to bet that there arent as many prostitutes and murderers running aroung in the Balkans, the Arab World, or Eastern Europe as there are in the West.     
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« Reply #38 on: April 28, 2012, 04:34:19 PM »

Quote
because the holy city of Jerusalem where Christ will return is located in the East.
Not if you're in China.

Actually, in any location in the world, I was told that Christians face the East as they pray. I think its because of sacred tradition rather than geography.

Quote
most Eastern countries place a high empasis on morals, family, education,

We place high emphasis on education and family too. The only difference is, that it is often different morals than those of eastern cultures. Eastern cultures have just as many problems with crime, prostitution and corruption as the West. 

In my opinion, there is a stronger emphasis placed on morals, education, and family than there is in the West. There might be many problems with social issues in Eastern societies but Id be willing to bet that there arent as many prostitutes and murderers running aroung in the Balkans, the Arab World, or Eastern Europe as there are in the West.     
I don't know about murderers, but prostitutes are way more visible in Eastern Europe than America.
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« Reply #39 on: April 28, 2012, 05:41:32 PM »

Quote
because the holy city of Jerusalem where Christ will return is located in the East.
Not if you're in China.

Actually, in any location in the world, I was told that Christians face the East as they pray. I think its because of sacred tradition rather than geography.

Quote
most Eastern countries place a high empasis on morals, family, education,

We place high emphasis on education and family too. The only difference is, that it is often different morals than those of eastern cultures. Eastern cultures have just as many problems with crime, prostitution and corruption as the West. 

In my opinion, there is a stronger emphasis placed on morals, education, and family than there is in the West. There might be many problems with social issues in Eastern societies but Id be willing to bet that there arent as many prostitutes and murderers running aroung in the Balkans, the Arab World, or Eastern Europe as there are in the West.     
I don't know about murderers, but prostitutes are way more visible in Eastern Europe than America.

Violence in the form of a sort of machismo is still very common in Ukrainian and Russian culture.  Prostitution and sex are ubiquitous. 
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« Reply #40 on: April 28, 2012, 05:45:05 PM »

Quote
because the holy city of Jerusalem where Christ will return is located in the East.
Not if you're in China.

Actually, in any location in the world, I was told that Christians face the East as they pray. I think its because of sacred tradition rather than geography.

Quote
most Eastern countries place a high empasis on morals, family, education,

We place high emphasis on education and family too. The only difference is, that it is often different morals than those of eastern cultures. Eastern cultures have just as many problems with crime, prostitution and corruption as the West. 

In my opinion, there is a stronger emphasis placed on morals, education, and family than there is in the West. There might be many problems with social issues in Eastern societies but Id be willing to bet that there arent as many prostitutes and murderers running aroung in the Balkans, the Arab World, or Eastern Europe as there are in the West.     

Or maybe you're just not seeing them. I once read a conversion story written by a former muslim. When he was young he thought that the east was morally superior to the West. When he grew up, he was told that they had prostitutes, nightclubs and corruption just like any other place, the only difference being, that they hid it away. If one think that the majority of westerners are just accepting immoral behavior, they are fooling themselves. I can't speak for the United States, but in Denmark, prostitution is not seen as a good thing and being uneducated is looked down upon. Yes, there are great problems in the West, but we also possess many positive qualities.
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« Reply #41 on: April 28, 2012, 06:46:22 PM »

Just something I've been wondering and toying with for a while. Judging from some Orthodox immigrants I've seen from the old country and comments even on this board, it seems that a good number of Orthodox Christians are very xenophobic of the western world and anything that has to do with the west. Like, I hear old Orthodox immigrants at my parish sometimes rambling on about how all these new 'cultural practices' in the west are so ungodly and deteriorating. However, to be fair, this is not something exclusive only to Orthodox old people; all old people usually ramble on and complain about something. And I've seen people on this board give rambles about how they think western society is deteriorating. How common is this anti-western attitude in the Orthodox? I'd have to say as a westerner, yeah we have our problems, but I doubt that the east is as holy and faultless as you make it out to be. If it were, then why did they bother immigrating to the west in the first place? Obviously they came to the west because there was something better about it that they were not getting in the east, like freedom perhaps. So, where does this attitude stop? God made the west just as he made the east. We're the ones making the most effort in the world and giving the most to world relief funds and sending our peace corps to aid the east. We're also the ones who gave them political and religious freedom when they immigrated over here. You'd think that they'd at least show some appreciation. Thoughts?

Hi JamesR

If you haven't figured this out already the answer is no. I am only going to respond to your comments without consideration of the comments of others. You do understand that unlike yourself, the US is the land of immigrants and controlled by immigrants. There is also a diversity of reasons why people come to the US. For my background, my mother came here to marry my father, my father was born in Astoria Oregon and his father came here from Australia with a British passport and started a diner in Astoria (not so different from the founding fathers). Although they are a dying breed Greek diners are perhaps the best place to get  pizza, hamburgers, ribs, apple pie, etc. I still have the pie pans from my grandfather's diner and according to my father he freely served both those who could and those who could not pay during the depression (I am afraid this is probably less common these days with chain restaurants).

Personal note:
While some here may disparage "liberals". By the usual meaning of the term I am one.  I am somewhat socially conservative, but I think it is not possible to follow Christ's instructions for how we should live our lives without falling into this artificial category these days. I have seen all of the arguments here dicing up this issue, so don't bother resurrecting this issue on my account.
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« Reply #42 on: April 28, 2012, 09:09:13 PM »

I hate to sound mushy, but I think the answer is, they're no better and no worse by nature than anyone else. I think the churches in North America in particular became stratified by heritage due to the needs of the early immigrant communities. People just got used to it. Many of them, when they left the old country, came from dire political or economic situations. They had to set up in a new place and some did react with fear to the presence of folks who were from different backgrounds. With time, as people get used to the new environment, this can change. So, some people do have a recalcitrant attitude, but not everyone is the same. In the Orthodox Church, you may meet some people who don't know what to do with you- but there can and will be those who love people and will be more open. People are people.
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« Reply #43 on: April 28, 2012, 11:46:30 PM »

Westerners think the world begins and ends with them, see towards the last few sentences u wrote above.
you/we are so self absorbed that we dont see past our own noses. could be thats why SOME are xenophobic.

Also, isnt it ironic that you use the word XENOPHOBIC to discribe europeans and greeks. you actually took our word (language) and are using it against them laugh

Oh come on, now that is just a generalization. Not all westerners are like that, and I've observed this exact same behavior from all types of people, immigrants and westerners. So clearly this is an unfair generalization and it is quite hypocritical. So I used your word? What does it matter. You used the electricty from an American powerplant to power the computer/laptop in which you used to type this response and you do not hear me complaining or teasing about it.

Quote
growingup i used 2 tink i was as american as apple pie well into my teens. but then i realised im not, i was born in greece and my parents immigrated here in us when i was 1yrs old. thats why i thought i was an american, i hated anything ethnic/greek. untill some great american boys broke dwn the facts that i was just a forigner and would never really be an american. fyi:that did not end well for them Roll Eyes. but it did open my eyes. took awhile for me to accept im not american but an american citizen on paper only. and i live my life as such.

Welcome to the life of every minority group in America. As a Mexican I'll give you a big handshake. But that still does not mean that we are not American, it just means that we are the more distant, semi-oppressed Americans. American is not a single culture; American is an umbrella term for several culture. The American culture is the culture of diversity, we eat all different kinds of foods, we speak several languages, have diverse politics etc.

Quote
anyway, we americans are so self absorbed in our culture, our righta, our style, our belifes, so much so we are unaware or discount other cultures. we are shocked that clothing styles around the world actually varry from what we think as in style!

So does everybody else! I'm sure that if you went to Africa wearing a suit that the native tribes would think that we looked downright strange and silly. There are people like this of all cultures regardless of whether they are western or not, trying to scapegoat the west is really naive.

Quote
here is one thought i had that supports this theory: do yo know what the most consumed meat in the world is? hugh, what you say, pork...chicken,,,no maybe cow. thats got to be it cows. Not-----its GOAT and lamb! when is the last time your all american guy slaped a goat on the barby?

To be fair, how many Greeks/Russians have you seen making pizza, apple pie or BBQ ribs? Different people like different foods, and just because we prefer one over the other does not mean that we are hostile toward the other one. Some of us may be, but once again, that is observable in all types of people, not just westerners.

Quote
what im trying to show (in a rude way i realise, sorry) is that we americans are NOT the entire world not the majority....we are just a part of this world.

We are also not the only bad part of the world with problems, so I think that the scapegoating coming from easterners should stop as well.

Quote
forgot to say that the reason my parents moved to the US was for a better life (education) for them and there kids. Now i gota say i know lots of people who moved to the us on a time limit, they gave themselves 7 yrs to make as much $$ and then go back to greece, kinda rude, but lots did and do. maybe no so much anymore as the US is not what it used to be, people thought the us was lined with money in the streets, its not that way now. btw: im generalising here but the majority of the people in europ do not care for americans or america see my reason above.

You've confirmed my point that people come to America because there is something about it that they want/enjoy that they were not getting in their native land. In your parents' case, it was education you stated. You have to admit then that just as there are bad things about the west, there are also good things as well, so it is unfair to demonize the west so much.

Ok, im so very happy you responded.
I was beginning to wonder if my post was useless.
I guess you understand that what i said mad you feel as if i grouped all people western/Americans in one group and slapped on a big fat ugly label on them all.
Good that is what i was after.
So you must also see that what you said also did the same. You slapped on a big fat ugly label on lets say none Americans.

And as for you responses, im not going to respond to everything you said, i just really wanted to get my point across.
but i will say, you are correct on some points but on others points yo are off cause it goes deeper politically, and that's not really on subject here.

Oh but one thing im gona respond to cause i take extreme offence!!!

I can make a pizza like no one else, (made pizza yesterday for dinner)i do bbq ribs often, and most every holiday apple pie is on the menu Grin

FYI: i have worked many years in the restaurant biz, all aspects of it.

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