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Author Topic: Fun 'n Games at Lalibela  (Read 3726 times) Average Rating: 0
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Antonious Nikolas
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« on: January 19, 2005, 11:27:32 AM »

I am not a fan of "reality TV" but last night I felt obligated to tune in to watch "The Amazing Race", after my wife told me that she had seen the Church of St. George (at Lalibela) on the commercial, along with a number of priests and debteras. We tuned in to watch the show, and to my surprise, the producers had arranged for the contestants to make a mockery of the sanctity of the Church, a Church which was built with the help of the angels themselves.

The contestants had to run inside the Church and receive a Maskal (Cross) from a priest, and then run out to a row of shamma-clad "worshippers" (as the announcer called them) who were chanting in the classic style (timbrels and all) and pick out the guy with the matching cross to get their prize.

These people were tramping through the Church, many of the women clad in tube-tops (with bare midriffs) and biker shorts. What is going on here? I cannot count the number of times that Ethiopian debteras and priests have lectured me on what a holy place the Church is, and have even disparaged my (Coptic) Church for not being strict enough in terms of people removing their shoes, and now we see the Church of Lalibela turned into Chuck E. Cheese's for some American money, and a reality show? Not only did these Americans leave their muddy shoes on in the Church, but as I have said, many of the women were scantily clad. I have often heard it said that even the land around the Church is considered sacred. This did not appear to be the case last night.

Furthermore, in the name of St. Yared, are the sacred chants really to be sung as background music for gameshow shenanigans? Is the cross to be used as a trinket for the entertainment of foreigners? This prostitution of the sacred for the sake of "entertainment" is really quite distressing. May God preserve His Holy Church in Ethiopia, through the prayers of St. George.

In Christ, Who is Undivided,

Nick
« Last Edit: January 19, 2005, 12:25:42 PM by Antonious Nikolas » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2005, 11:48:04 AM »

I think that what's more shocking is that the priests of St. George's allowed this to happen while it was happening.
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Antonious Nikolas
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« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2005, 12:09:12 PM »

I think that what's more shocking is that the priests of St. George's allowed this to happen while it was happening.

My point exactly!  It is the Church I am disappointed in, moreso than the shows producers.  The priests, presumably, know better.
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« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2005, 12:44:26 PM »


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« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2005, 12:57:02 PM »

I guess next week they'll have the contestants try to run past the monk guarding the Ark at Axum. Reminds of a case last year when a couple in NY had sex in the vestibual of St. Patrick's during Mass for the feast of the Assumption with thier cell phone on so a radio station could broadcast it.
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« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2005, 01:01:49 PM »

I haven't even read the thread yet and knew what it was about from the title.  This was soooooo cool!  The Amazing Race is one of my favorite shows and easily my favorite 'reality' show.

In AR5 they had a Russian priest greet the participants in St. Petersburg (or was it Moscow?).

Now I'll actually read the thread and maybe comment further.
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« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2005, 01:10:13 PM »

This was soooooo cool!

Mmm...I hope your opinion changes upon reading the thread.  Had this been St. Basil's in Moscow (or any Eastern Orthodox Church), I'd be livid.  I'm deeply sorry this had to happen in Lalibela.  Sad
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« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2005, 01:33:13 PM »

OK, now that I've read it I'll comment.

[soapbox]Sure, the contestants were dressed inappropriately for a church, may have acted quetionably in the "vicinity" of the church and the Priests probably shouldn't have let them and the church be "used" in the first place. BUT, gimme a break!!! Why don't you look at the context of the situation? The contestants, if you were paying attention, for the most part acted a respectfully as one could expect given the situation. I saw almost every participant in the task give at least a slight bow to the priest and/or worshipper and almost all of them gave comments that they felt very respectful of such a holy place. I saw Lori get down on a knee when getting the Maskal from the priest, another female borrowed a shirt from a villager to cover herself. These are your average American who probably hardly ever goes to church. They were MUCH more respectful than your average tourist trapsing through the venerable cathedrals in Europe. In stead of bitching and moaning about the situation, why don't you try to see the good in the event?

1) Millions of TV viewers became aware that there is ancient Christanity in Ethiopia (supported by the fact that they mentioned St. George's is 850 years old)
2) They people of Ethiopia acted very friendly and caring to the American contestants, who happened to be dirty, tired, hungry, very stressed out and thus not in the most friendly of circumstances.
3) Millions of TV viewers got to see that Ethiopia is a lush, beautful land and dispelled the myth that all African countries are desert impoverished wastelands.

Even Freddy & Kendra, the snobbish models that they are, had their hearts softened by the land.
[/soapbox]

For all of us followers of the Amazing Race, we were so happy to see Jon & Victoria eliminated. Jon is challenging for the most despicable reality personality ever because of his obnoxiousness, abusiveness and gigantic ego.
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« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2005, 01:35:50 PM »

I saw the show yesterday, and I wasn't upset with the contestants or the show.  One of them asked to borrow a shirt when she went in, and I saw a few others being very respectful to the priests, or whoever those guys in the white robes were. I really like the show itself, and they tend to be rather respectful to the countries they visit and show interesting places/traditions. On the other hand I was a bit disapointed with the monks.  Perhaps they did it to promote their monastary, perhaps they were offered money.  I don't know, but I place any blame for blasphomy & disrespect for the people who let it happen, not those who took up the invitation. 

Elisha, I have to disagree, Jon & Victoria gone makes the show less interesting.  I kept hoping that somewhere along the route, Victoria would get up, smack him upside the head, and tell him to jump in the nearest available deep body of water.  With them gone, there is only Lori & Bolo (I went them to win BTW) to show up all the young yuppies to keep me watching it.  (BTW, if Lori & Bolo get eliminated, I want Freddy & Kendra to win, though apparently you don't like them.   Evil )
« Last Edit: January 19, 2005, 01:40:16 PM by ania » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2005, 01:41:47 PM »



Mmm...I hope your opinion changes upon reading the thread. Had this been St. Basil's in Moscow (or any Eastern Orthodox Church), I'd be livid. I'm deeply sorry this had to happen in Lalibela. Sad

Nope, not really. I'm surprised they (the clergy, etc.) allowed the even to take place, but unless they were disrupting liturgy or something, I don't see any reasons to be "livid" about it.

We all find way too many excuses to get offended about things.
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« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2005, 01:48:27 PM »

I saw the show yesterday, and I wasn't upset with the contestants or the show. One of them asked to borrow a shirt when she went in, and I saw a few others being very respectful to the priests, or whoever those guys in the white robes were. I really like the show itself, and they tend to be rather respectful to the countries they visit and show interesting places/traditions. On the other hand I was a bit disapointed with the monks. Perhaps they did it to promote their monastary, perhaps they were offered money. I don't know, but I place any blame for blasphomy & disrespect for the people who let it happen, not those who took up the invitation.

Elisha, I have to disagree, Jon & Victoria gone makes the show less interesting. I kept hoping that somewhere along the route, Victoria would get up, smack him upside the head, and tell him to jump in the nearest available deep body of water. With them gone, there is only Lori & Bolo (I went them to win BTW) to show up all the young yuppies to keep me watching it. (BTW, if Lori & Bolo get eliminated, I want Freddy & Kendra to win, though apparently you don't like them. Evil )

Thanks for agreeing with me Ania.  I knew someone would!

Anyways, yes, I'll give you that it will be less "interesting" that Jon & Vicky are gone, but listening to Jon's abusiveness, Vic's whininess and just taking the abuse is all I could bear.  Kris and Jon have the best attitude of the bunch but are kinda boring.  I'm in a small online contest where I picked Hayden/Aaron to win it all (last weeks episode was scary though), but I have a soft spot in my heart for the muscleheads (even though Lori can be a bitch).  I remember when everyone thought Colin was mean in AR5 - he doesn't come close to Jon!  Colin can be excused a little more since Christie hardly lifted a finger the whole time.
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« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2005, 02:13:29 PM »

Whoah, relax there slick. You take these reality shows awfully seriously, don't you?  

Sure, the contestants were dressed inappropriately for a church, may have acted quetionably in the "vicinity" of the church...


Don't worry, no one is maligning your "friends", the reality show contestants. The point of this thread is that the Church is a sacred place, and should not have been used in this fashion. I would think that this fact would be blatantly obvious to any Orthodox Christian. What I want to know is what the Patriarch, the Bishop of the Diocese, and the local priests were thinking when they okay'd this.

Why don't you look at the context of the situation? The contestants, if you were paying attention, for the most part acted a respectfully as one could expect given the situation.


The situation should not have existed in the first place. Of course, the producers of the show want a spectacle at all costs. To them, the Church is just another exotic locale. They would probably parade these clowns through the Tomb of Christ and have them receive the Holy Light from the bishop to get a prize. Or then again, maybe they wouldn't. Maybe only an "exotic" African Church is fit to be used in this manner. At any rate I ask again, what were the Church officials thinking when they said, "Sure, you can use the Church for this! And we'll even have a choir of 'worshippers' chant sacred songs to add to the exotic flavor!"

the Priests probably shouldn't have let them and the church be "used" in the first place


I'm curious as to why you feel this way, when apparently, you think that what transpired was just fine, considering the "context".

These are your average American who probably hardly ever goes to church.


So what? Does that mean we shouldn't demand that they treat the holy places with respect? They don't know better, but the priests should. Do you think your local parish priest would allow them to use your Church as an amusement park, for a price?

In stead of bitching...


Hmmmm. Which is the more "bitchy" quality? Demanding that those who know better prevent those who don't from treating the Church like a playground, or taking extreme umbrage at someone daring to criticize the gods of reality TV?


1) Millions of TV viewers became aware that there is ancient Christanity in Ethiopia (supported by the fact that they mentioned St. George's is 850 years old)
2) They people of Ethiopia acted very friendly and caring to the American contestants, who happened to be dirty, tired, hungry, very stressed out and thus not in the most friendly of circumstances.
3) Millions of TV viewers got to see that Ethiopia is a lush, beautful land and dispelled the myth that all African countries are desert impoverished wastelands.

The land is one thing, the Church is something else. I would not have said a thing if the contestants would have been running around among the ancient pre-Christian stelae of Axum, or the source of the Nile, but I hope that you see a qualitative difference between secular landmarks and an Orthodox Church. Do you think that it would be okay in today's PC world for reality show contestants to play around in the Ka'aba?
« Last Edit: January 19, 2005, 02:32:03 PM by Antonious Nikolas » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2005, 02:25:20 PM »

On the other hand I was a bit disapointed with the monks. Perhaps they did it to promote their monastary, perhaps they were offered money. I don't know, but I place any blame for blasphomy & disrespect for the people who let it happen, not those who took up the invitation.

We agree on this at least.  That is exactly what I am saying.  I am deeply disappointed in the Church for renting St. George's out for this purpose, and actually having choirs of monks and "worshippers" come out to chant holy songs for entertainment purposes

Also, I think the priests should know better than to use the Cross for a toy.  Could you imagine this happening on Mt. Athos or one of the Churches in the Holy Land?
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« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2005, 02:55:02 PM »

Whoah, relax there slick. You take these reality shows awfully seriously, don't you?  


Don't worry, no one is maligning your "friends", the reality show contestants. The point of this thread is that the Church is a sacred place, and should not have been used in this fashion. I would think that this fact would be blatantly obvious to any Orthodox Christian. What I want to know is what the Patriarch, the Bishop of the Diocese, and the local priests were thinking when they okay'd this.


You're the one who acted all offended when watching the show. I'm telling you not to be so offended. Try to see the good and not try to nitpick faults. Don't the Fathers exhort us to see the good in others and only the negative in ourselves?

They're not my "friends". I really don't like most other reality TV shows since it is mostly about outrageousness and popularity. I really like the Amazing Race for the objective competition (last team is eliminated, very simple) and the cool places they travel to.

What I highlighted in bold is all you should wonder about. Any thing else is unnecessary speculation/conjecture. Why I reacted so much was how the whole tone of your post was negative and acting offended as opposed to trying to look for positives in the situation. That makes me disappointed in my fellow Orthodox. I expect this out of the general pubic and rejoice in the positive, but would expect fellow Orthodox to be more charitable.
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« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2005, 02:58:41 PM »

I really don't see how, at face value, monks chanting hymongraphy for "entertainment purposes" is necessarily that bad.  Famous Russian composers composed whole liturgies pretty much for "entertainment purposes" only and no one gets upset.  Travelling monastic groups perform concerts, make recordings, etc. and not gets upset.  Why now?
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« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2005, 03:13:09 PM »

I didn't see the show last night even though AR is the only reality I'll watch (or rather admit to watching) but saw some comment about it on a non-religious board I frequent.  Everyone thought the church was beautiful and it sparked some interest in Ethiopian Christianity. 

As an aside, the wifebeater is gone!!! 
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« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2005, 04:14:12 PM »

You're the one who acted all offended when watching the show. I'm telling you not to be so offended. Try to see the good and not try to nitpick faults.

I'm not sure if you are misunderstanding me or just being argumentative. I was not "acting offended" on behalf of myself or my own sensibilities. All I am saying (for the tenth time) is that the Church is a sacred place, the place where the Holy Eucharist is celebrated. The fact that St. George's happens to be carved out of a mountain does not make it any less of a Church. It is not "nitpicking" to say that the Church should not be used as a playground.

If we follow your line of thinking to its logical conclusion, you shouldn't have even replied to my post, because now you are "nitpicking" me and "finding fault" with me and how easily I'm "offended" when it comes to the sanctity of the Church.

Don't the Fathers exhort us to see the good in others and only the negative in ourselves?

You are too funny Elisha! You tell me I am "bitching" and then quote the fathers to me with the same mouth! Cheesy

But anyway...We both know I'm not "judging" the contestants, the producers, or the Church authorities here. I didn't say they were in danger of hell fire. I don't have a heaven or a hell to put them in. But that doesn't mean I can't say that what they were doing was wrong.

Does this mean that we can never comment negatively on anything? If I see someone taking a leak against the side of the Church, of course I would pray for this individual, but I would also not let him finish his "business". Nor would I have any qualms about telling him he was wrong.


What I highlighted in bold is all you should wonder about.


Again, thanks for the laugh! Now, thanks to you, I know what I should be worrying about! Wink


Any thing else is unnecessary speculation/conjecture.

Actually, its all speculation/conjecture.

 *Why did the clergy allow this?
 *Were they offered money, or trying to promote their monastery?
 *Why did the producers pick this spot?
 *Why did the contestants feel comfortable doing this?
 *Would this spot be considered less "sacred" than a more conventional Church elsewhere?

The only difference is the target of the speculation: The clergy or the people affiliated with the show. Apparently, you have no problem with speculation concerning the former, but get riled up when someone engages in speculation about the latter.

As I have said, most of my concerns are with the clergy. The burden is on them because they should know better. But this does not mean that the folks involved with the show should be immune from any criticism.


Why I reacted so much was how the whole tone of your post was negative and acting offended as opposed to trying to look for positives in the situation. That makes me disappointed in my fellow Orthodox.


Sure, there are some positive things that could come from this (like what Jennifer mentioned above), but that doesn't mean it wasn't wrong to do in the first place.

I expect this out of the general pubic and rejoice in the positive, but would expect fellow Orthodox to be more charitable.

This is not a matter of being charitable. How is it uncharitable to insist that sacred space should not be used as a playground? Especially when the Ethiopian Church places such importance on things like removing your shoes when coming near the Church (whether Liturgy is being celebrated or not), women covering their heads in Church (whether Liturgy is being celebrated or not), and the sanctity of the hymns?  As my teacher from Ethiopia used to say, "The Church does not cease being a Church when the Liturgy is not being celebrated."

If we can allow this kind of stuff in the Church, then I NEVER want to hear anyone complaining about people not taking off their shoes or women not covering their heads, ever again!  Wink 
« Last Edit: January 19, 2005, 04:49:30 PM by Antonious Nikolas » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2005, 06:36:05 PM »

I'll be honest, I'm surprised so many seem to have no problem with any of this.  The Church authorities were wrong to allow this.  The TV people?  Well, they don't care, and they presumably had permission, so much of their "sin" is, I think, on the Ethiopian authorities.  But they are not above reproach: they do this stupid stuff all the time, and usually it's only with one religion... 
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« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2005, 08:49:48 PM »

I'll be honest, I'm surprised so many seem to have no problem with any of this. The Church authorities were wrong to allow this. The TV people? Well, they don't care, and they presumably had permission, so much of their "sin" is, I think, on the Ethiopian authorities. But they are not above reproach: they do this stupid stuff all the time, and usually it's only with one religion...

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.  This is how the situation went:  I turn on the TV to watch one of my favorite shows, after getting the next clue which says they must fly to Ethiopia I think "sweeeeet!", they do some task once they arrive, then they have to take two mules to a farmer, next someone on their team has to do a task where they go into an ancient church and get a cross from the head priest and match it to one on the person of someone outside.  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!"  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.  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?

I hope I've made my point.
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« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2005, 09:24:55 PM »

And to think I missed this show that this discussion is referring to - I wish I had seen it to see what all the hubbub is about!  Wink
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« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2005, 10:46:33 PM »

And to think I missed this show that this discussion is referring to - I wish I had seen it to see what all the hubbub is about! Wink

Well tune in next week!  At the beginning, they show a VERY brief recap so you can get an ever so slight glimpse.

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!
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« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2005, 12:10:02 AM »

+Irini nem ehmot

Dear Antonious,

:S I must say I also find this very scandalous.
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« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2005, 03:18:01 AM »

+Irini nem ehmot

Dear Antonious,

:S I must say I also find this very scandalous.

Half the things that are scandalous are only if you make them so.
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« Reply #23 on: January 20, 2005, 11:06:46 AM »

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! Roll Eyes 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! Wink

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!"

LOL! Grin 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! Cheesy

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! Wink

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! Cheesy
« Last Edit: January 20, 2005, 01:25:34 PM by Antonious Nikolas » Logged

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« Reply #24 on: January 20, 2005, 01:38:35 PM »

Antonius,
Admittedly, my knowledge of the Ethiopian/Eritrean customs is rather limited and I would like to know more.  The further information you were able to dig up regarding the current government attitude and St. George's is helpful.  And yes, as you said:
Quote
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.
This isn't the best medium.  As several others in the past have made wrong impressions, do try to think through what you post before submitting in the future.  There are still several things we disagree on, but I understand a little better now.

Also, you are imputing things into my impression of the show far worse than I reacted and you appear to be overreacting to what I posted.  You are just as guilty as me by even making those South Park references.  By your word count per post and phrases I pointed out below, it is obvious that you are overreacting.

And no, making the comparison with venerable Protestant and RC churches is certainly not a fallacious arguement.  The situation in general should be lamentable by everyone - not a blind eye turned away from others just because it isn't Orthodox.  I also think you are blowing out of proportion what the contestants did.  They were far more respectable then your average tourist in European cathedrals.  Using words/phrases like "Chuck E. Cheese", "tramping through the church", "playground" and "mockery of the sanctity of the church" are rather overblown.  That was far beyond the intention of the contestants - those that actually did the deed.

Anyway, we've all had our say.  Let the topic die now...
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« Reply #25 on: January 20, 2005, 01:44:26 PM »

hey, can someone provide a link to a photo of Saint George's? Smiley
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« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2005, 03:16:46 PM »

...do try to think through what you post before submitting in the future.

 Grin LOL!!! There you go again, starets! You seem to know what is best for everyone but yourself!


Also, you are imputing things into my impression of the show far worse than I reacted and you appear to be overreacting to what I posted.


That is your opinion, my friend. Everyone is entitled to one of course. My opinion, for example, is that you are overreacting to what I have posted, and your posts are "far worse" than mine (What with the nasty words and highhanded, hypocritcal, admonitions!)...



You are just as guilty as me by even making those South Park references.


See, that's called joking. When a poster (me in this case) uses a little winking smiley face at the end of a sentence, it means they are joking. Maybe you were trying to do the same with the Fr. Vasily references? At any rate, the South Park reference was a direct response to your potty mouth and the "sweeeeet!" (Sorry, I can only picture that being said in a Cartman voice, or maybe a "Dude, Where's My Car" voice. Oh yeah, and Peter Griffin!) Wink <----- See? Kidding!!!


By your word count per post and phrases I pointed out below, it is obvious that you are overreacting.


Nah, that just means I like to type a lot. That is my style. I wrote just as much in the "Star Wars" thread, which of course was just for fun. Did you expect me to just skulk away once you'd vented your spleen?


And no, making the comparison with venerable Protestant and RC churches is certainly not a fallacious arguement. The situation in general should be lamentable by everyone - not a blind eye turned away from others just because it isn't Orthodox.



Will you please stop trying to paint me with this Catholic/Protestant bashing brush?!? No one said that people using Catholic or Protestant churches as a playground would not be lamentable. All I said was, we (the Orthodox) would have no control over it. We should, however, have control over what goes on in our own house.

As for that tourist analogy, you are ignoring the point that tourists visit St. George's every year. No one complains. This game show was markedly different from typical tourism.


I also think you are blowing out of proportion what the contestants did. They were far more respectable then your average tourist in European cathedrals. Using words/phrases like "Chuck E. Cheese", "tramping through the church", "playground" and "mockery of the sanctity of the church" are rather overblown. That was far beyond the intention of the contestants - those that actually did the deed.


A playground, by definition, is a place where people play, like Chuck E. Cheese's, etc., and unfortunately in this case, the Church of St. George in Lalibela. As for "tramping", they did just that in their muddy boots after helping build those mud huts. If you knew what importance Ethiopians placed on removing your shoes, this would be striking to you as well. As I have said REPEATEDLY, the onus is on the clergy for allowing these folks (who probably didn't know better) to use the Church in this way.

Anyway, we've all had our say. Let the topic die now...

 Cheesy Once again, and I mean this sincerely, thanks for making me laugh!!! This would have been more appropriate at the beginning of the post, followed by nothing else, but after another attempt to "chastise" me it is just funny!!! It reads like this, "Now that I got the last word, let's drop it..." But anyway...

For Donna Rose:
http://students.syr.edu/student_orgs/publications/happenings/eth23.html
http://home.planet.nl/~romei017/ethiopianet-photo-section-photocaption-007.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_St._George


I would post a few more, but that might be construed as "overreacting"! Wink
« Last Edit: January 20, 2005, 03:26:14 PM by Antonious Nikolas » Logged

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« Reply #27 on: January 20, 2005, 03:37:50 PM »


See, that's called joking. When a poster (me in this case) uses a little winking smiley face at the end of a sentence, it means they are joking. Maybe you were trying to do the same with the Fr. Vasily references? At any rate, the South Park reference was a direct response to your potty mouth and the "sweeeeet!" (Sorry, I can only picture that being said in a Cartman voice, or maybe a "Dude, Where's My Car" voice. Oh yeah, and Peter Griffin!) Wink <----- See? Kidding!!!


 Roll Eyes

Enough already. Just because I don't have emoticons everywhere doesn't mean I'm not joking. You characterization of me appeared that you were mocking me.

Anyways, I'd really appreciate an answer in my Mourning practices thread, from Mor Ephrem and others as well. Thanks.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2005, 03:38:17 PM by Elisha » Logged
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« Reply #28 on: January 20, 2005, 03:48:40 PM »


Enough already. Just because I don't have emoticons everywhere doesn't mean I'm not joking. You characterization of me appeared that you were mocking me.


So....Your post w/no emoticons = joking
    My post w/emoticons = mocking?

 Wink <------- Uh oh! Emoticon alert! Just kidding, buddy!

But seriously, I'll reply in your other thread now, but you have to promise me you won't jump on any other posters who come to this thread and say the Lalibela thing was scandalous!

 Grin < --------- Kidding again! Put that chair down!  PC's are getting expensive these days!

Okay, let's be good now! angel
« Last Edit: January 20, 2005, 05:19:23 PM by Antonious Nikolas » Logged

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« Reply #29 on: January 20, 2005, 03:54:34 PM »



So....Your post w/no emoticons = joking
 My post w/emoticons = mocking?


No, it was your Cartman referrence to my "sweet" - as if I had no respect whatsoever for the church.
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« Reply #30 on: January 20, 2005, 04:21:17 PM »

No, it was your Cartman referrence to my "sweet" - as if I had no respect whatsoever for the church.

Wow! You really like to get the last word, huh? I thought you were the one who wanted to let this drop? I, on the other hand, enjoy this kind of thing! Wink

Anyway, to borrow your own phrase, you are "overreacting" to the Cartman refrence. As I have explained above, I can only picture that long, drawn out, *sweeeeet!* in a Cartman voice, or that of the other characters I mentioned above. Perhaps this is because no one in my circle of friends talks like that, just as others on these boards have done their parodies of "slang talkin' thugs" or whatever.

Besides, you called me Fr. Vasily before I called you Cartman so nyah nyah nyah! Smiley C'mon man, its no big deal! Do you really think I think you're Cartman?  (By the way, that time you dressed up as Awesome-O?  Priceless! Afro)
« Last Edit: January 20, 2005, 04:36:15 PM by Antonious Nikolas » Logged

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« Reply #31 on: January 21, 2005, 12:19:41 AM »

thank you for the links, Antonious Nikolas! Smiley
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« Reply #32 on: January 21, 2005, 09:39:23 AM »

No problem Donna Rose! Smiley

Instead of double-posting, I will modify this post with an important addition.

I sent the same message I posted here to an Ethiopian monastic priest, and he was kind enough to give me his permission to post his reply here! Smiley

I think it will be a blessing to us all.  It was certainly a great blessing to me.

Note: I prefaced the letter by saying, "I ask your blessing and kiss your hand."

Abba's Response:
Quote
Dear Anthonious Nicholas,

Although a priest and monk of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido faith, I am an unworthy sinner. Therefore, rather than making the hands of a sinner the object of veneration, kiss the maesqal of our Saviour Jesus Christ, demonstrating your willingness to carry whatever cross He gives you unto the remission of sins. We give thanks to God that he has prompted you to share your concern about the sacrilege associated with the misuse of St. George’s church in Lalibela. While we should all be sensitive to such abuses, lest we take it upon ourselves to judge who has the greater sin, the producers, the contenders, the gatekeepers, the commercial sponsors, or the viewers, we should each frequently pray the penitential prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian. In addition to many rich poetic treatments of theology, similar to St. Yared’s and Romanos the Melodist, he gave us the following prayer. I think that it is most appropriate in our consideration of the debacle that you presented. “O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of idleness, selfish talk, and evil imaginations. But rather, give to me, Thy servant, the spirit of humility, patience, and love. Grant that I may see my own faults rather than judging my brothers, for blessed art Thou unto ages of ages.”

Whenever we gamble, by watching media controlled by Humanist agendas, we can expect to be scandalized, or worse, gradually robbed of all spiritual sensitivity. Our God-inspired Fathers have taught us that as our senses are repeatedly exposed to undisciplined stimulation, quite naturally, our discernment is dulled. We cannot dodge the media entirely_ along with good things like this web page and its forum, there is a lot of cyber pollution. But, what we, in the Orthodox diaspora, should be more careful of, is the tendency in our local churches to allow secular values, prompted by our desires to be acculturated and accommodated, to confuse worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:23 & 24) with entertainment. Let every one of us take heed of our conduct in church (Taking our shoes off before entering is important. But it should also signal our conscious decision to leave worldly cares at the door). Also when we leave the church, while putting our shoes back on, we should resolve to carry the grace of Christ with us everywhere we go. For, by our baptism, have we not been chosen and consecrated to become temples of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 7:47-52; 17:23-32; 1Cor. 6:19 & 20)
« Last Edit: January 21, 2005, 12:12:04 PM by Antonious Nikolas » Logged

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