Ethnicity and the Church

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Tamara

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I wouldn't say I am proud to be an American. I would say I am thankful to be one. Thankful there was a country my Syrian grandparents could escape to from the oppression of the Turks to live fruitful lives. Thankful there is a country where I have freedom to walk down the street without having to wear a hijab or niqab in order to survive.
 

Heorhij

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Tamara said:
I wouldn't say I am proud to be an American. I would say I am thankful to be one. Thankful there was a country my Syrian grandparents could escape to from the oppression of the Turks to live fruitful lives. Thankful there is a country where I have freedom to walk down the street without having to wear a hijab or niqab in order to survive.
I should probably be thankful to America, too, because I could continue my career of a scientist here, while in the disintegrating USSR of the early 1990-s it became next to impossible, and it is impossible now... but then, it was not because of humanitarian or philantropic reasons that I was appointed postdoc here, and given my H-1 visa, and then green card... sorry, just cannot find any heroic-sentimental-whatever feelings in my soul. Have heard a lot, "why don't you just get out of here..."
 

serb1389

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Heorhij said:
I should probably be thankful to America, too, because I could continue my career of a scientist here, while in the disintegrating USSR of the early 1990-s it became next to impossible, and it is impossible now... but then, it was not because of humanitarian or philantropic reasons that I was appointed postdoc here, and given my H-1 visa, and then green card... sorry, just cannot find any heroic-sentimental-whatever feelings in my soul. Have heard a lot, "why don't you just get out of here..."
You know...I have a lot of reasons to be mad at America.  they did blow my country to bits and almost destroyed my home city in Serbia. 

But you know what...instead of getting mad, which is easy, I try to be an actavist and create knowledge as opposed to ignorance. 

In the end, we do live here and we have to make the best of it.  The sooner we can take that responsability and make that decision (?) the sooner we can move on and create a better America...whatever our definition is...
 

Carpatho Russian

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Friul said:
I'm thankful to be Canadian, since it could be worse...  I could be American.  :D :p
Well, according to the OCA Liturgy Book, as a Canadian, you aren't American.  We commemorate our Metropolitan as "Metropolitan of all America and Canada"!
 

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ozgeorge said:
Perhaps to other Americans, but from my own life and travels, I've noticed that Australians in Australia, Greeks in Greece, Italians in Italy, Scots in Scotland, Nepalese in Nepal and the French in France cannot tell the difference between a Canadian and an American unless the Canadian speaks French. They just assume they are both American until they're told otherwise.
Ouch! (I say that for my Canadian friends who would be VERY disillusioned to hear that! ;D
 

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serb1389 said:
I do like your semi-answer to this about how when you see it you will know it.  But I'm sorry to say, that just doesn't cut it for me...and I don't think it will for other people. 

Let me know where I went wrong my friend...
I can't explain it so I will have to be very "post-modern" and say its just something I feel and sense.  :mad:
Sorry!
 

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Heorhij said:
In Ukraine, everyone takes her as an American and she hates it. In the USA, everyone takes her as an American, too, and she hates it. In our family, we parents tend to assume that she is Ukrainian like us, and she hates it...  ???
Sounds like a normal kid!  ::)
 

Heorhij

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serb1389 said:
You know...I have a lot of reasons to be mad at America.  they did blow my country to bits and almost destroyed my home city in Serbia. 

But you know what...instead of getting mad, which is easy, I try to be an actavist and create knowledge as opposed to ignorance. 

In the end, we do live here and we have to make the best of it.  The sooner we can take that responsability and make that decision (?) the sooner we can move on and create a better America...whatever our definition is...
Yes, dear Serb, I agree... Actually, I am not really "mad" at America. At one point, I was just unpleasantly surprised by the reaction of some second and third generation Ukrainian immigrants who manifested something very close to hate toward me, when I did not display enough admiration of the USA, being, instead, critical and ironic. These people (or their parents or grandparents) came to the US as war-time refugees, and they quite literally owe their life to this country (or so they think). So, when the American anthem is played, they quite sincerely put their hands on their hearts and sing along, and they salute the American flag, etc. I, on the other hand, just cannot do that, I just honestly do not have the same genuine feelings towards the USA. My attitude to the USA is sort of practical and, maybe, even cynical.
 

serb1389

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Some people have no where else to live. 

I think ultimately the problem is that we need to come up with solutions instead of dwelling on the problems. 

Anyone can stay mad and show their anger.  It takes a unique and courageous person to take that step forward, away from their past, and go towards a goal.  That goal might be retribution, but its a lot better than complacent anger...in my opinion. 

I have met so many Serbian people who are mad just to be mad.  This doesn't sit well with me.  So I tell them, if you're mad, go and do something about it.  Oh no...they can't do that.  You know why?  Because being mad is easy.  Doing something about it takes effort and making the place you're in a better place.  We would rather be lazy though...and mad... ;)

p.s.  Heorhij, I hope that you do not mistake any of this as directed towards you.  This is a general theory I outlined, with more specifics being directed towards my experiences with Serbs, than with anything else. 
 

greekischristian

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Orthodox Bagpiper said:
Then why live here if the U.S is so horrible???
My ancestors tried to leave at one point...along with the citizens of several other states. Your yankee government was not quite so fond of the idea and took it upon themselves to murder hundreds of thousands of these peace loving folk and destroy the livelihood of untold millions more. Then there was another group, the Native Population, you know the people who were here first, they never wanted to live in the US in the first place, not that they were given much choice in the matter.

It seems to me that the solution is to get rid of the Yankee government rather than to force those who live here out. The land's great, for the most part (or should I say in most regions) the people are great, it's the oppressive government that's taken it over that's the problem.

There's far too many problems with the history and societies of the interactions of the various american peoples and several sovereign states for this 'love it or leave it' mentality...many simply reject your assumption that somehow the Yankee government is entited to this land.
 

Elisha

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Veniamin said:
OB, I can do you one better than that.
Better?  Ick.  Austin is probably the only place I could tolerate on a medium to long term basis. :p
 

ozgeorge

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When the "State" or the "Nation" is treated as though it has a life of it's own separate to the people who actually comprise it, and that this "Nation-as separate-entity" is somehow infallible and pure, I start to get worried. And not simply because it is a reification fallacy to talk of the "Nation" as a separate entity to the population; but because the "nationalism" attached to it is nothing short of idolatry.
If we claim the title "Christian", it means we place nothing above Christ, and our values are His values, and one of the key values Christ taught us is: "Love thy neighbour". When Christians become nationalists in the worst sense of the word, they suddenly have an "excuse" not to love their neighbour. In the worst scenarios, this "Nation-as-separate-entity" becomes something which needs to be defended against the very people who comprise the nation, and we saw this with Soviet Socialism in the USSR as well as National Socialism in Germany and many other parts of Europe. Entire parts of the nation, millions of people, are expelled, tortured and killed in defence of this ideal of the Nation-as-separate-entity.
If our neighbour is in pain, if someone has been left behind by the system or has fallen through the cracks, or has been hurt by members of the nation, should our response as Christians be "why don't you go somewhere else then?"
I'm an Australian, and I think Australia is a beautiful landscape, and a wonderful people. But I also hold that there are some things wrong in Australia at a National level, and I have been openly critical of them. As a result, I have been called "un-Australian" and have even been spat at in the face during a quiet protest vigil. I just continued to pray as the tears welled up in my eyes and the spittle rolled down my face. I remember the bewilderment and the horrible feeling of isolation, and asking why anyone, but particularly a fellow countryman, would hate me so much. Then one of my fellow protesters, a Roman Catholic Nun wearing a veil, came over to me, took out her handkerchief and wiped the spittle from my face, stood beside me and took out a rosary and began to silently pray also. It was one of the most human moments I've ever experienced.
When the "Nation-as-separate-identity" becomes an idol, then anything becomes acceptable in it's "defence", and spitting in the face of your fellow countrymen is the least of it. As with any idolatry, we forget the Living God, and when we forget God, we forget our own humanity, and people become expendable objects.
Christianity began with people who chose to be tortured and executed rather than submit to the State when their conscience would not allow them to. We dishonour their memory if we say that a Christian should now choose the State over their own conscience.
 
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