It's impossible to separate the "essentials" from the "accidentals." The western churches are wrong when they try to remove religious imagery and traditional chant, believing them to be meaningless. We can't separate our emotions from our intellect. That's why your point about not needing to understand the liturgy is correct. If we were traveling in a foreign country, we wouldn't stay home from liturgy because we don't understand the language. However, I would argue that you are attempting to separate the essential from the accidentals by relying on that argument. Sure we don't *need* to understand. It's not "essential" but the contrary, not needing to understanding, isn't "accidental" either.
I agree that the necessity to understand the faith and understand the liturgy is an essenital, for I agree that the distinction between Essence and Accident cannot be made; however, it also follows that the maintaining of Orthodox Cultures are equally essential; yet I will go even further and say that Orthodoxy being relevant to every culture is an essential, for it is part of the missionary work of the Church. The issue about understanding I believe has been settled because English translations exist, thus even if the Liturgy is in Greek, you can still understand what it says because you can have a copy of it in English (or numerous other languages) infront of you. The second issue is a bit more tricky, how to keep Orthodoxy Greek, and make America Orthodox. This will, of course, require some Hellenization of America, just as the Slavic cultures were Hellenized; however, just as the slavic cultures did not have to be completely usurped by Hellenic culture, neither does America. Ideally, in time Orthodoxy will become American as America becomes more Orthodox, and the two events should happen at roughly the same rate. My objection is not to the fact that there should eventually be and American Orthodoxy, my objection is to trying to create an American Orthodoxy before there is an Orthodox America. The issue does not need to be forced, if we live our lives in a Christian manner, the difficulity will eventually take care of itself. But perhaps that's asking a bit too much out of the Orthodox in this Country (or any country for that matter).
Regarding what I wrote earlier about your "tone," I understand that you didn't intend to insult people who disagree with you but your posts seem to have an attitude about the militant "pro-english" crowd that I find distasteful. It seems to me that you are overly negative about them, unwilling to admit that they can be motivated by positive things. Hence we have you describing them as lazy and hating ethnicity, etc.
About my tone, it is, well, polemic, like this entire thread. But you will notice that keeping with good debating form, none (hopefully, or at least very little) of my polemic language has been directed towards anyone in particular, I try to avoid the use of the second person. If I attack a group that you Identify yourself with, try defending them in the third person, or if you want to make it clear that you identify with that Group, use the first person, but defend the posistion, my tone is not the issue. With this said, I have found myself attacked many times on this thread, with people using the second person singular, I try not to take offence, and I endeavour to address the issues, not the insults. In debate it is not good form to take offence from an argument, for taking offence, and especially arguing based upon that offence, can often be viewed as, or construed to be, an acknowledgement of the merit of the other person's arguments and a lack of confidence in, and inability to defend, one's own (not that I'm accusing you of this, or even saying that it's always true, just that this is often how it is viewed in matters of debate and rhetoric). My appologies if my statement has sounded harsh, for it's not intended in that manner, it is simply intended to portray how I view debate, why I use the language I do, and the detriment in going off on tangents of an accidental nature. (I bring up essence and accident, and now I find myself sticking it everywhere...lol)
I would suggest, and really I try to from psychoanalyzing people on-line but I can't help myself now, that your negative attitude towards them is based on your negative attitude towards your native culture. You are an American therefore your disdain for our culture is unfortunate. They are people that you come from. They formed you. There are unfortunate things in our culture but it's still who you are. Disdain for it is in a way, disdain for yourself and your people. I think once you work out your relationship to where you come from, you'll better understand those within your church who want english liturgies. I'm think you're at seminary training to be a priest. Is that right? If so, then I'm a little disappointed that your mentors haven't 'confronted' you about this disdain before. I think it's probably an indication that they themselves have the same problem.
Ah, about my psychological profile, first let us deal with the particulars, then we can address the issue in general. 'You are an American therefore your disdain for our culture is unfortunate. They are the people that you come from...' How did we jump from a dislike of Culture to a dislike of people? Next, since the reason I have previously given for my dislike of American culture is the fact that it is materialistic, individualistic, greedy, selfish, and in general sinful; thus using the hypothesis derived from my opinions and statements (it is my psychological profile, after all) American culture = sin. Accordingly with this small piece of information that you left out let me reconstruct your statement. 'You are a sinner (member of a culture of sin) therefore your disdain for sin is unfortunate. Sinners are people that you come from. They formed you. There are unfortunate things in our culture (sin) but it's still who you are. Disdain for sin is in a way, disdain for yourself and your people.' Now, if you want to discuss the legitimacy of my belief that American culture is sinful, that's another issue entirely, which I am willing to debate. As far as my understanding people who want english-only, I do understand them, for I confess to having been one of them at one point, but since then I've had a bit more experiance and have become better read, and I have since re-evaluated my stances on some issues; hopefully I will soon have the chance to spend some time in Greece pursuing a degree or two, which will allow me to have an even better experiance on which to base my beliefs about the relationship between Culture and Orthodoxy.
Now, for the more general response I promised, while I will confess to a 'disdain' for American culture, this should not be viewed an abandoning or complete rejection of American culture. In Psalm 5:5 david says of God, 'The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity;' what is this hatred of which David speaks? Surely it's not a desire to completely destroy them, for God, as the source of all, can bring all things into and out of existance at will, and if He willed their destruction, it would be so. Rather, this hatred is actually an element of God's Love, He does not want to see these people cease to exist, but to see them turn back to Him: a destruction, or 'putting off' of the 'old man,' so that the Person may be brought to repentance. By analogy, I wish to see the destruction of individualist, materialist, capitalist, selfish, greedy, arrogant, and generally protestant elements of American culture, what virtues are these vices to be replaced with? The answer to this question is why I hold up Traditional Orthodox Culture as the Standard I do, they are something to strive towards, and something to fill the cultural voids when they form with the destruction of these vices. I am not trying to cease to be an American, I'm advocating the creation of an America that doesn't make me hang my head in shame when I'm forced to acknowledge that I am an American.