But that's part of the point - I do have a "problem"! It's just that it is an aside given the occurence and not some negative rant from the start.
*Sigh!* Here we go again!
Okay, I'm game as long as you are!
It appears that we have different priorities here. To me, maintaining the sanctity of the Church is paramount in a situation like this. To you, apparently, the objective is to maintain a cheery attitude, enjoy your favorite show, and try out your Cartman impersonation (*sweeeeeet!*). With that mouth of yours, I wouldn't be surprised if you started singing the song about Kyle's mom next!
Anyway, I didn't tune in to the show with a negative attitude or negative expectations. In fact, just the opposite. When I heard that the show was going to take place in Ethiopia, and that the contestants might pass by St. George's, I was happy. It never occured to me that the clergy might be slacking enough to allow the producers of the show to use the Church as a playground. That this did in fact occur would be especially shocking to anyone who is familiar with Ethiopian Orthodoxy, and how strict they are with everything. When I say they are strict, I am not playing! I mean they are super strict with regards to women covering their heads, everyone removing their shoes before they even get in the door, and men and women standing on opposite sides of the Church. They are very proud of how strict they are with regards to this (when compared to other Orthodox Churches), and they do not play! So basically, to my mind, they would be among the last folks on earth to allow this to happen. I hope this explains why this was so shocking and disconcerting.
When I see that it is a cool ancient church, I think "sweeeet!". Then while watching, I think "I hope those going in try and make some effort to cover themselves and try and act respectful." and also "Wow, I'm surprised clergy allowed them to use the church - probably shouldn't have." It made my night seeing an ancient Ethiopian Church on TV while watching my favorite show. I didn't scream at the TV when I saw the task, "Is outrage! Infidels in the sacred and Holy Church!"
Is that what you think I did? I know that the written word is not always the best vehicle for conveying one's reaction, but this is not what happened at my house that night. Yes, I take the sanctity of the Church very seriously, but I am not Sonny Corleone. Don't worry, I didn't flip out.
However, if one of the priests from St. George's decided to throw the camera crew and contestants out of the Church for making it into Disney's Abyssinian Adventure, I wouldn't have blamed him.
When the Lord found the money changers in the Temple, He didn't say, "Sweeeeet dude! Let me look for the positives in this defilement of My Father's House! Maybe some of this money changing will bring folks closer to God, which would be totally boss!"
I have talked to some Ethiopian friends about this, and here is the read I am getting so far:
*The Church has been stripped of much of its power and property since the fall of the Monarchy.
*The tourism ministry is desperate to bring more Western tourists with fat pockets to Ethiopia.
*The govt. sees the rock Churches as a landmark and tourist trap. This was like a commercial to them.
*They do not care about the fact that it is a consecrated Church
So in other words, the motives (for the government) seemed to be financial, just like the money changers.
Which still begs the question: Why did the clergy play along?
It is wrong (and lame) of you to attempt to portray me as a "Fr. Vasily" type. I have no problem with so-called "infidels" (lol) coming into the Church, so long as they are respectful. I think a major problem here is that since St. George's is carved from the living rock of a mountain (supposedly by the angels themselves) people tend to see it more as an architectural oddity than as a house of worship. I really doubt that they would have tried to do this in a more conventional Church. What they fail to realize is that a Church is a Church, regardless of the building material.
Those were just thoughts as an aside - why I was shocked at the thread. Yes, Antonius, your post appeared to be in a negative tone and a rant from the getgo - exactly why I reacted the way I did.....I hope I've made my point.
Oh, now I see. Its okay for you to express your indignation about my post, but its not okay for me to express any indignation about what happened at the Church! Thanks for clearing that up.
If we want to make an uproar over this, then we should at every disrespectful tourost in the ancient cathedrals in Europe, Russian, Greece, the Holy Land etc. and I don't see it. Or is it just because their schismatic and/or heretical Catholics/Protestants?
That is a fallacious argument. Do the Orthodox have any control over what happens in Catholic or Protestant churches? No. Do we have control over what happens in our own houses of worship? Yes.
And by the way, thousands of tourists visit St. George's every year, and no one is in an "uproar" over them being there. But then again, they aren't running around in there using the cross for a toy or the Church for a playground, etc. There is a qualitative difference here. I hope you can see that.
Well tune in next week! At the beginning, they show a VERY brief recap so you can get an ever so slight glimpse.
Classic! Now you're plugging the show! Do you get a commission, or is this pro bono? In all seriousness, thanks for the laughs man!
Another aside, I talked to my mom earlier this eve and asked if she saw the show (she follows it like I do) and she didn't get in an uproar, but was refreshed by how respectful the contestants behaved even if inadequate - and she would be one of the first to decry rude tourists in sacred places!
Well that's nice, but what does that prove? I have talked to a few people about this, a couple of them from Ethiopia, and they were as scandalized as anyone posting here. Maybe more. We could quote people's random reactions to one another all day!
Half the things that are scandalous are only if you make them so.
I'm not sure if that's true, but assuming it is, that means that the other half really are scandalous. I think this falls in that other half!
Why do you feel the need to "correct" any poster that has something negative to say about this?
Mor - You are right on point, especially with that last line: "...and usually it's only with one religion..."
Like I said, does anyone think that they would have considered trying this in the Ka'aba?
Fortunatus - I agree. Let us pray for our brothers and sisters in the Church of Ethiopia. I wonder what Abuna Paulos had to say about all of this? Does anyone remember when he told Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. off for coming to see him in shorts and a t-shirt ("You came as you thought was appropriate.") and for asking for proof positive that the Ark was in Axum ("You want proof so that you can become famous.")? LOL!