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Author Topic: Orthodox in Iraq  (Read 1448 times) Average Rating: 0
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bergschlawiner
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« on: June 12, 2005, 08:18:00 AM »

Sitting over here in Iraq at the Army's Abu Ghraib Prison where I have been working as a contractor for 8 months.ÂÂ  The religious situation over here for the Orthodox military is pitiful.ÂÂ  There are Romanian Orthodox medical soldiers working here at the prison hospital and in December and January we were able to get an OCA navy chaplain from the Marines to serve Divine Liturgy twice at Abu Ghraib before he returned to the US.ÂÂ  during Bright Week an Army chaplain from Mosul came to several places to serve Liturgy and I was able to attend at Camp Victory near Baghdad.ÂÂ  We are still trying to get a service here at Abu Ghraib for the Romanians but the last group was somewhat "luke warm" about the Orthodox services.ÂÂ  The problems here for whatever Orthodox chaplains who come here is they are assigned primarily to a certain unit at a certain base and expected to minister there, even if they may only have a few Orthodox, including Copts and Assyrians.ÂÂ  The military really doesn't accomodate travel very much here and a chaplain can't be an itinerant priest or "circuit rider." This leaves the Orthodox service people in a spiritual void.ÂÂ  Unfortunately over the years I have found that many Orthodox may not even bother to attend a local service when they are away from home!ÂÂ  Just thought I would share some thoughts and observations on our orthodox here in Iraq.ÂÂ  tyying the Image posting and if it works, here is a picture of our Bright Week Divine Liturgy at Camp Victory near Baghdad on 5 May with OCA Chaplain Peter Dubinin serving:
[img=http://img258.echo.cx/img258/5622/brightweek9rz.th.jpg]
« Last Edit: June 12, 2005, 08:31:11 AM by bergschlawiner » Logged
Serbian Patriot
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« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2005, 07:14:58 AM »

Brother, do not take this the wrong way, but why are you risking your life, aiding a TOTALLY unjustified occupation.  I for one could not put my life on the line for something I didn't believe in. 
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cizinec
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« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2005, 08:17:44 AM »

Hey, thanks for the picture!

You are all in our prayers.  I wish there was some way for the Orthodox priests there to be able to help, but I realize that isn't possible.  One of the guys from our church has been back from Iraq for about a year.  He talked about some of the same problems.

He was working in logistics to help get people things like access to sewers, fresh water, electricity and a safe food supply that, for various political and ethnic reasons, they have never had.  He said that the overwhelming number of Iraqis with whom he worked were very grateful for the services they were providing.  Rest assured that many of us, regardless of our political persuasions, realise that you guys are doing what you're told and trying to make the best of it.

We all pray for your safe return.
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PrinceMarko
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« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2005, 05:09:21 PM »

Brother, do not take this the wrong way, but why are you risking your life, aiding a TOTALLY unjustified occupation.ÂÂ  I for one could not put my life on the line for something I didn't believe in.ÂÂ  

You seem to believe in destroying terrorists in Bosnia, Kosovo and other conflict areas.  Iraq had extensive ties to islamic terrorism. From abu nidal, to the MEK, to giving hamas suicide bombers $25,000 each. Fifteen of the 19 9/11 hijackers had trained at one time or another in Saddam's secret police camps and 1993 world trade center bombers held iraqi passports and FLED to iraq. That is justification enough to take down Saddam post 9/11 era. After Iraq, Iran and Syria are likely targets in the long term. The same Iran that funded islamic fighters in Kosovo and sent money and arms to them. Dont associate Republican military campaigns with Bill Clintons photo-op foreign policy.
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Elisha
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« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2005, 06:03:35 PM »

Brother, do not take this the wrong way, but why are you risking your life, aiding a TOTALLY unjustified occupation.ÂÂ  I for one could not put my life on the line for something I didn't believe in.ÂÂ  

This is completely besides the point of this thread.  Knock it off.

Furthermore, I think it may violate the ban on American Political discussion.
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Serbian Patriot
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« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2005, 06:14:12 PM »

This is completely besides the point of this thread.ÂÂ  Knock it off.

Furthermore, I think it may violate the ban on American Political discussion.
1. This Section is supposed to be un-moderated.  This thread was not going anywhere and I asked a relevant question.  Why are you so touchy?
2.  I was not aware that there is a ban on this forum regarding american political discussion.  If there is i am very surprised, since it is one of the most important socio-political questions of our time, and has great consequence for our faith.  Why it should be taboo i am not sure.  However if someone will show me that this is the case, then I clearly will cease posting on this thread.  How do I check out the rule?
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Elisha
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« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2005, 07:16:20 PM »

1. This Section is supposed to be un-moderated.ÂÂ  This thread was not going anywhere and I asked a relevant question.ÂÂ  Why are you so touchy?

SP,
The reason I'm so touchy, is that contrary to common internet message board social norms, you've stormed in here, unabashedly and with many assumptions about posters here, have flaunted your opinions.  Normally, newbies to ANY message board are polite and lay low for a while.  You've been rather audacious.
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Matthew777
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« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2005, 11:30:36 PM »

Brother, do not take this the wrong way, but why are you risking your life, aiding a TOTALLY unjustified occupation. I for one could not put my life on the line for something I didn't believe in.

Brother, I recomend that you read this book if you are interested in the truth of what our soldiers are doing overseas:

A Table in the Presence : The Dramatic Account of How a U.S. Marine Battalion Experienced God's Presence Amidst the Chaos of the War in Iraq
by LT. Carey H. Cash
Book Description

On April 10th, 2003, the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, faced with the task of seizing the presidential palace in downtown Baghdad, ran headlong into what Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North called, "the worst day of fighting for U.S. Marines." Hiding in buildings and mosques, wearing civilian clothes, and spread out for over a mile, Saddam Hussein's militants rained down bullets and rocket propelled grenades on the 1st Battalion. But when the smoke of the eight-hour battle cleared, only one Marine had lost his life. Some said the 1st Battalion was incredibly lucky. But in the hearts and minds of the Marines who were there, there was no question. God had brought them miraculously through that battle.

As the 1st Battalion's chaplain, Lieutenant Carey Cash had the unique privilege of seeing firsthand, from the beginning of the war to the end, how God miraculously delivered, and even transformed, the lives of the men of the 1st Battalion. Their regiment, the most highly decorated regiment in the history of the Marines, was the first ground force to cross the border into Iraq, the first to see one of their own killed in battle, and they were the unit to fight what most believe to have been the decisive battle of the war-April 10th in downtown Baghdad. Through it all, Carey Cash says, the presence of God was undeniable. Cash even had the privilege of baptizing fifty-seven new Christians-Marines and Sailors-during the war in Iraq.

The men of the 1st Battalion came to discover what King David had discovered long ago--that God's presence could be richly experienced even in the presence of enemies. Here is the amazing story of their experience.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0849908167/ref=lpr_g_1/104-3650913-5168769?v=glance&s=books
« Last Edit: June 14, 2005, 11:33:54 PM by Matthew777 » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2005, 06:17:13 AM »

SP,
The reason I'm so touchy, is that contrary to common internet message board social norms, you've stormed in here, unabashedly and with many assumptions about posters here, have flaunted your opinions.ÂÂ  Normally, newbies to ANY message board are polite and lay low for a while.ÂÂ  You've been rather audacious.
Audacious? you make it sound like im a commando on a military operation!  Im just direct and to the point.  I don't wrap the truth as i see it in packaging to make it more acceptable for anyone.  I was greatly moved to respond to some of the issues here, and i responded to statements with facts.  I don't no why everyone is trying to make it personal, i never assumed anything about anyone.  Some people seem to think that i should know the life history of everyone here before i right a message.  If id intended to lay low i wouldn't have signed up, i would just have read the material without having an account.
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Serbian Patriot
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« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2005, 06:42:54 AM »

Brother, I recomend that you read this book if you are interested in the truth of what our soldiers are doing overseas:

A Table in the Presence : The Dramatic Account of How a U.S. Marine Battalion Experienced God's Presence Amidst the Chaos of the War in Iraq
by LT. Carey H. Cash
Book Description

On April 10th, 2003, the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, faced with the task of seizing the presidential palace in downtown Baghdad, ran headlong into what Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North called, "the worst day of fighting for U.S. Marines." Hiding in buildings and mosques, wearing civilian clothes, and spread out for over a mile, Saddam Hussein's militants rained down bullets and rocket propelled grenades on the 1st Battalion. But when the smoke of the eight-hour battle cleared, only one Marine had lost his life. Some said the 1st Battalion was incredibly lucky. But in the hearts and minds of the Marines who were there, there was no question. God had brought them miraculously through that battle.

As the 1st Battalion's chaplain, Lieutenant Carey Cash had the unique privilege of seeing firsthand, from the beginning of the war to the end, how God miraculously delivered, and even transformed, the lives of the men of the 1st Battalion. Their regiment, the most highly decorated regiment in the history of the Marines, was the first ground force to cross the border into Iraq, the first to see one of their own killed in battle, and they were the unit to fight what most believe to have been the decisive battle of the war-April 10th in downtown Baghdad. Through it all, Carey Cash says, the presence of God was undeniable. Cash even had the privilege of baptizing fifty-seven new Christians-Marines and Sailors-during the war in Iraq.

The men of the 1st Battalion came to discover what King David had discovered long ago--that God's presence could be richly experienced even in the presence of enemies. Here is the amazing story of their experience.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0849908167/ref=lpr_g_1/104-3650913-5168769?v=glance&s=books
I've just seen the ludicrous forum rule about no american political discussion, so unfortunately i can't be completely open in my reply to you. I would say this though, you've just describe a fierce battle, nothing miraculous happened.  A vastly superior force, with air cover won a battle with only one casualty.  This is hardly a surprise.  Regardless of the overall validity of the iraq war, i do however believe that God could have protected individual soldiers.  But to imagine that God was on the side of america in that war, well that just sounds like evangelical war-mongering american propaganda!
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Serbian Patriot
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« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2005, 06:59:51 AM »

You seem to believe in destroying terrorists in Bosnia, Kosovo and other conflict areas.ÂÂ  Iraq had extensive ties to islamic terrorism. From abu nidal, to the MEK, to giving hamas suicide bombers $25,000 each. Fifteen of the 19 9/11 hijackers had trained at one time or another in Saddam's secret police camps and 1993 world trade center bombers held iraqi passports and FLED to iraq. That is justification enough to take down Saddam post 9/11 era. After Iraq, Iran and Syria are likely targets in the long term. The same Iran that funded islamic fighters in Kosovo and sent money and arms to them. Dont associate Republican military campaigns with Bill Clintons photo-op foreign policy.
Well you seemed to have violated forum rules, but i will try to respond to you without mentioning america indepth.  I am not at all interested in destroying terrorists beyond the borders of my country.  That would apply only to the KLA.  In Bosnia we were fighting muslims, who i don't think could be referred to as terrorists, they were a bosnian muslim army.  The statement that iraq had extensive ties to terrorism was and is completely unsubstantiated.  I agree sadam gave money to suicide bombers in palestine, but as for helping an international terror network, that is wrong.  Sadam had absolutely NO connection to 9-11, this was a cheap lie used by a certain leader to justify attack on iraq.  On my side of the water, bliar did not even try to use that as a reason for war because he knew it was ridiculous.  The idea seems to have gone down rather better on your side of the water.  If sadam had been shown to be responsible for 1993 wtc bombing then ask yourself why did US wait 10 years to retaliate???
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sin_vladimirov
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« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2005, 08:41:38 AM »

WOW!

And this all has to do with....?

This is called

O R T H O D O X C H R I S T I A N I T Y . N E T

Not

L E T S P L A Y P O L I T I C S A N D I N S U L T E A C H O T H E R . C O M
« Last Edit: June 15, 2005, 10:03:22 AM by sin_vladimirov » Logged

Lord have mercy.
Anastasios
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« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2005, 10:28:59 AM »

Quote
I've just seen the ludicrous forum rule about no american political discussion,

Hello! As an administrator I would like to respond.

First of all, I created this forum with my two friends to talk about Orthodoxy, not politics. Last year, there began a series of Republican vs. Democrat debates that were just simply time-consuming, mean-spirited, etc.  No matter how many times we moderated the participants, no one could control themselves, and the vast majority of the topics on the board started going towards politics.  It took away from discussions of Orthodoxy, so we decided to ban them.

When we say ban on American political discussion, we are not opposed to discussions of say wars and their relative justice.  We have left the defintion of what constitutes American political discussion somewhat vague on purpose to allow for some wiggle room, and specifically said if it relates to Orthodoxy it can stand, so for instance, discussion of American bombing of Serbia is fair game as long as it doesn't turn blatantly to partisan political cheap shots ("darn that Bill Clinton, he is such a Democrat jerk!" would be one example).  The war in Iraq is something we just aren't going to allow discussion on anymore because last year the discussion just dragged on and on and got really vicious and nasty.

I'm sorry if this offends you but we admins and mods are busy people and simply don't have the time or patience to let our board get sidetracked from its intended purpose.

In Christ,

Anastasios
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Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching. Also, I served as an Orthodox priest from 2008-2013, before resigning.
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