Σάββατο, 21 Οκτωβρίου 2017

Religious fanatics protest Pessoa’s “The Hour of the Devil” in Thessaloniki

Source

A group of some fifty people gathered outside the Aristoteleion Theater in downtown Thessaloniki on Wednesday evening in an effort to hinder the performance of play “The Hour of the Devil” by Portuguese author Fernando Pessoa. The religious fanatics and nationalists claimed the play is a “blasphemy” against Orthodoxy.
Holding Greek flags, banners reading “Orthodoxy or Death”, icons and even a wooden Jesus on the Cross, the fanatics claimed they were members of an organization using the name “Sacred Band” with reference to military troops in Ancient Greece and during the independence struggle against the Ottoman Empire.

They chanted slogans in favor of Orthodoxy and the Greek nation, sang the National Anthem and religious hymns. One of their main slogans was “Masons, get out of Greece.”
 “It is satanism a woman told me,” one of the protesters told reporters. Protesters claimed the play was showing Virgin Marycoupling the devil.
It was interesting to see among the protesters the self-proclaimed “Father” Kleomenis who called the play “blasphemy.” (Blogger's Note: Kleomenis is an Old Calendarist priest or Genuine Orthodox Christian priest. The official Church of Greece which is New Calendarist, announced that he isn't a member of them, but that's obvious.)

Kleomenis gained publicity a couple of months ago when he vandalized the Holocaust Memorial in Larissa. The Greek Church distanced from him saying he was not a priest, the prosecutor filed charges against the hate-preacher.

At some point they tried to approach the theater building. They were pushed back by police forces deployed outside the theater.

Well-known actor and protagonist Giorgos Hraniotis told local media “it is more than funny to see people protesting the play by Fernando Pessoa, it has nothing to do with satanism or similar practices.” He described the protest as “practices from the Middle Ages.”

“It is the first time I hear Pessoa was a blasphemist,” the play director said.

Members of the theater group said they have been receiving threats.

According to media, the para-religious, nationalist “Sacred Band” had attacked the Gay Pride in Thessaloniki earlier this year. Local media speak also of “nationalists organizations” and some call them “Christian-Talibans”.

Protesters did not reach their goal, the performance started as scheduled.

Nationalists website wrote about the play that it is “art in the service of the industry of darkness.”

The group plans to launch another protest today.

It is not the first time para-religious and nationalists groups protest outside theaters when they mind the plays insult the “sacred Greek ethics.”

Παρασκευή, 20 Οκτωβρίου 2017

Why did he do the exact opposite?

The prime minister who cultivated the mentality, that salaries are a human right and shouldn't be connected with productivity, ability, talent and knowledge. The prime minister who employed supernumerary public servants. The prime minister who funded 'problematic enterprises'. The prime minister, who lent money, never checked if they were invested and never asked them back. This prime minister had written an article telling following:

If Capitalism Can't, Can Socialism?

Andreas Papandreou has been Prime Minister of Greece since October, 1981. He is also the former Chairman of the Economics Department at the University of California, Berkeley.
In the following comments, excerpted from a longer discussion held in Athens with NPQ Publisher Stanley Sheinbaum and Editor Nathan Gardels, Papandreou offers some surprising observations on the virtues of capitalism and the limits of socialism.

Capitalism's Contradiction Is Socialism's

As a socialist, I am very familiar with the classical Marxist view that capitalism develops social structures, such as the private ownership of production, which hold back the advance of technology and productivity and necessitate social revolution. For Marx, this was the key contradiction of capitalism and the basis of the argument that socialism was historically inevitable. But quite the opposite seems to be true. The capitalist system shows impressive dynamism and changes the perceptions long held by Marxists about the waning future of capitalism.
Capitalism, far more than socialism, has produced new inventions from microelectronics to superconductors that are improving productivity in leaps and bounds. Paradoxically, Marx's prediction is more relevant to the Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc than to the capitalist West. Centralized planning, strict party control and bureaucracy have in fact held back technological change.
Now, the Eastern bloc is going through changes that approach the dimensions of a revolution. Gorbachev is undoubtedly a long-awaited reformer. He is a very impressive personality with the huge task of decentralizing the Soviet economy and introducing the market as much as possible. His reforms are a recognition that there are aspects of the capitalist structure which can be ignored only at a cost.
One of these aspects, which I am prepared to accept myself, is that the consumer side of die economy is best organized by some kind of market mechanism. A price system can clearly allocate goods more effectively to the consumer than any kind of planning. Yet, I still believe that the downsides of capitalism, such as unemployment, are best tempered by planning on the capital accumulation and investment side of the economy.
So, I would have to give a new interpretation to capitalism's problems than Marx did. Capitalism is in a deep crisis not because it is blocked from development, but because of the self-destruction caused by its dynamism. On a global scale, capitalism has to be held responsible for the more nefarious ills of human existence. Inequality in the distribution of income is growing. Technological change is causing the worst kind of inequality - the permanent unemployment of millions of workers. Even in the rich countries, a large proportion of citizens live at the margin of society. Inequality has also grown between the advanced nations and the Third World countries.
The dangerous and unplanned exploitation by free enterprise of this self-contained ecosystem we call the planet Earth has produced pollution that is not only dangerous to human life, but to all forms of life. It is exhausting what this planet has to offer for humanity's long-run survival.
The buildup of weapons, in particular nuclear weapons between the superpowers, is not the result of just a bad president or secretary general but part and parcel of the system. Elaborating on this point, I think Gorbachev realizes the problem from his side. His peace initiative is part and parcel of the internal reforms. He knows he cannot improve the Soviet standard of living without the reduction of spending on nuclear arms and the military in general. It is not only a question of Gorbachev being a man of peace. Believe me, Gorbachev is a man of peace. But for him, arms reductions are also a matter of dire necessity for the socialist system.
Technological revolutions go hand in hand with periods of crisis. While I don't think the problems I've noted will be solved in the near future, capitalism's perennial crises tend to resolve themselves and move on. My emphasis in the course of things is primarily on the dangers of survival. Environmentalism, peace and citizen participation in all processes of managing the crises are the values which

socialists share. That is our role. In Greece, we place key emphasis on empowering our citizens through a structure of decentralized planning.
Redundant Keynes

When John Maynard Keynes developed the theory of "effective demand" in 1936, he provided the solution to the problems of unemployment and underconsumption within national boundaries. If consumer purchasing power was stimulated either by tax cuts or government priming the pump, that would get industry going again to supply the surge in consumer demand, and thus increase employment.
But the new international division of labor has changed all that If we stimulate consumer purchasing power here in Greece, we create jobs in Italy and Germany. Since we are members of the European Common Market and can't protect ourselves, our consumers buy Italian shoes of the best German cars, and cause a balance of payments problem for Greece. Today a Keynesian would run Greece into bankruptcy within a couple of years!
The United States has the same problem. For whatever reason, the product basket of American goods is not as appealing to the American consumer as the basket produced by Japan. Despite the steep devaluation of the dollar, the US trade deficit has not budged. Perception is very important. In Greece, we don't even think of buying an American radio or tape recorder. We look elsewhere, usually to Japan.
To keep up today, a country would have to produce goods that not only have a domestic market, but an international market. Without minimal global economic coordination Keynesian stimulation is like banging your head against the waft.
Europe as a whole recognizes this problem and realizes it must pull together to form an effective competitive unit, particularly in the new high-value added technologies. But everyone delivers well-documented speeches. Then decisions cannot be taken or strategies realized because the EEC, Mrs. Thatcher in particular, is not prepared to make the necessary investments.
Despite the general agreement to have a united European market by 1992, the EEC is headed for big trouble. Europe cannot be a global economic challenger unless it decides to invest what is required. The resources at its disposal, particularly the Value-Added Tax levels, are not anywhere near sufficient to meet the goal of being a united world class competitor. If we do not have a significant transfer of resources and technology from the north to the poorer south of Europe, then we shall not

have a convergence but a divergence in the European standard of living. This contains explosive dangers for the future. We may end up just creating one great unified market for Japanese goods.
Profits and Productivity

Among socialists, the notion of the welfare state has undergone some changes as we confront the realities of implementation.
We Greek socialists won our first election in October 1981. A friend in the business community came to me six months later and said, "We are facing a problem. Now that you have won, our employees are not interested in maintaining internal discipline in production."
If Greece wants a welfare state with health care, education and secure pensions, we must, at the same time, keep in mind the struggle for rising productivity. If we are to survive in this new international division of labor and production in which national competitiveness has become so fierce, we have no alternative. Unless this attitude is adopted by the working and middle classes, the consequences can be quite severe.
This does not mean we have an anti-labor attitude. But it does mean that without a very positive commitment of the labor force to improving productivity, we lose the battle.
As a mixed economy, Greece also needs more investment capital. We have experienced a "capital strike" from investors for over thirteen years. This was true even during the time of the colonels who gave investors everything they wanted. The reasons are varied; for example, Greek firms are traditionally highly debt-leveraged with equity levels of only 20%. We need to change that and we, a socialist government, are proposing the creation of a stock market.
Greece also has an overgrown public sector. Those who work in the public sector are the privileged workers of Greece. The dream of the average Greek is to be a salaried employee of the government. They have the highest salaries, pensions, medical care and good vacations.
We socialists didn't create this situation, the dictatorship of the colonels did. When we came to power, 90% of all services, from the airlines to banking and electricity, were government owned. Now we have approximately double the personnel required to produce the necessary government services.
Our situation is just like America's. You are stifling private enterprise because the public sector is overgrown. In Greece, our financial resources for investment are squeezed by the budget deficits of the public sector. It may take 10 or 15 years, but our difficult task as socialists is to get this sector under control and increase its productivity.
We are also paying more attention to the concerns of foreign businessmen as we try to attract foreign investment. Businessmen, of course, make many complaints against socialism. But, as a result of our experience since 1981, there are two complaints that I believe.
First, it is important for business to have the right to hire and fire workers. Businessmen say if they don't have this right, workers are not concerned about performing and productivity goes down as a result. This complaint obviously conflicts with the socialist notion of secure employment and is a delicate matter of policy. But I also must accept that there is something to the businessmen's concern.
Businessmen also complain that reinvested profits be tax free. I must give credence to this argument because our other policies have failed to produce new investors. We have been offering up to a 50% subsidy for foreign businessmen to establish operations in Greece. But we've had very few takers. A well known German financier told me bluntly, "We're not interested in subsidies. We are interested in profits."
The issue is profit, and it is an 'issue of the Greek economy's survival. Workers understand that. If Greece can't attract the foreign investment to finance our participation 'in the technological revolution, we are basically condemned to being a tourist country. Our young people will emigrate and we will have an old population here tending hotels.
Source

Κυριακή, 15 Οκτωβρίου 2017

Ásatrú, the Old Norse pagan religion is the fastest growing religion in Iceland


The old Nose paganism is doing great in Iceland. According to figures from Statistics Iceland 3,583 people belonged to Ásatrúarfélagið, the pagan association, on January 1. The membership has grown by 244% since 2007, making paganism the fastest growing religion in Iceland over the past decade.
Pagans making a comeback after a millennium
The figures show that the share of Pagans in Iceland now tops 1% of the population for the first time for nearly a millennium. In the year 1000 Christianity was adopted as the national religion of Iceland by the Viking age commonwealth parliament, Althingi at Þingvellir. While it was still permissible to observe the old religion in private, the old pagan ways quickly receded in the face of Christianity. Now, 1000 years later the old Norse paganism Ásatrú is making a comeback.
Read more: Heathens against hate: Exclusive interview with the high priest of the Icelandic Pagan Association
On January 1 Ásatrúarfélagið had 3,583 members, up from 1,040 members one decade ago. At the same time as pagans have seen their numbers swell, the State Lutheran Church has seen its membership decline from 252,411 to 236,481, a drop of 6.3%. In 2007 82% of Icelanders belonged to the State Lutheran Church, but only 69.9% on January 1 2017.
While most of those who have left the State Lutheran Church have either joined other Christian churches or registered as not belonging to any particular religious denomination, Ásatrú has been growing rapidly. This despite the fact that the pagan association engages in no proselytizing or recruiting of new members.
No missionary work
Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, the high priest of Ásatrúarfélagið, told the local newspaper Morgunblaðið that he believes the reason is simply that more and more people are learning about what the association does and seeing their ceremonies.
"We hold more ceremonies each year, and I think more people are seeing first hand what it is that we do, and people like it. We don't engage in any kind of missionary work, but we do encourage people to come and join us if they are interested." Hilmar adds that all of their feasts are open to the general public.
Construction of new temple begins this spring
Ásatrúarfélagið has been working on a new temple in the southern slope of Öskjuhlíðin hill just outside downtown Reykjavík for two years, or since March 2015 when a ceremony was held to consecrate the ground where the temple will rise. Last year a ceremony was held to thank Mother Nature for the timber for the temple.
The actual construction work on the first stage of the temple a 400 square meter (4,300 sq ft) dome which will house 250 people, is scheduled to begin later this year. The temple is expected to be opened to the public in March 2018.

Source

Δευτέρα, 25 Σεπτεμβρίου 2017

Yahweh saves no-one for free!

The Archbishop of Cyprus wants to build a compound. However the Bureau of Archaeology, as by every construction site, has to inspect the site if there are any ancient monuments.  They found ancient monuments and ordered the construction to stop. The Archbishop says that the Bureau had to ask him, if he accepted. He doesn't permit anybody, no state authorities to enter the real estates which belong to the Church. The officials should learn that the fact they are just that, does not authorise them to do what they want, meaning to enforce the law. They should respect. "Whom did they ask when they decided that the place was an archaelogical site? These cannot be done?" Officials in his opinion do have weird hobbies, they go around on strolls and apply laws just for fun and they do not ask anybody if one wants to participate in this event. They official should probably ask: "May we enforce some laws we just came in the mood to do so, just for the fun of the matter, do you concede or should be go a little further and try to find other people who are in the mood if we keep being the mood as well?". That 's probably the appropriate way to play "enforcing the laws". The Archbishop asks if "we have democracy and state or not?" Elected parliaments that vote for laws and officials that go around applying them, are a sign of total anarchy. So because there is a State and there is Democracy in Cyprus, the Archbishop orders the whole paperwork should go back to the ministerial council and he orders them to declassify his estate. Otherwise he will take a tractor and demolish everything the archaelogists restored. He will not accept the whole matter and further procedures by the Bureau of Archaelogy will be as he said in English "trespassing".
And finally the Archbishop concluded:"God saves no-one for free".
The comedian presenting the interview of the Archbishop cannot do much to satirise him as he is laughable by himself. The Archbishop wants people to think that he talks the words of a God who created the World out of nothing.


Τετάρτη, 13 Σεπτεμβρίου 2017

Devious and malign monotheistic attacks against Ethnic Religions

An idiotic statement: "To followers, [the Norse gods] are the big tough white guys who, when they see a woman they want, grab her by the hair & pull her in the cave. It's seen as this ultra-male, super muscular religion, which is antithetical to Christianity & Judaism... It's a comic book religion in a lot of ways".
That is a prejudiced, stupid, childish, pseudo-intellectual and false statement. This statement is attributed to a person working for a civil rights organisation. This organisation is against hate groups that attack people with immutable characteristics, however it seems that as one can always convert back to an Abrahamic religion, it is fair to hate followers of Ethnic religions.
The average person is not specifically interested in Ethnic religions and perceives Ethnic Gods through commercials of films, video and computer games, cartoons and similar articles of entertainment. A person interested in Ethnic Religions will read books about that subject and watch documentaries. The quality of these media differ, because their authors or producers are seldom free from the influence of the monotheistic culture.
Mythologies and comic books have nothing to do with one another. Mythologies use art to transport life wisdom, whereas comic books just illustrate messianic desires. What myths are is explained here, what comic books are, everybody knows.
There is the problem of people pretending to be Polytheists, in order to infiltrate groups and guide them to certain political parties or to other non-ethnic religions. Many of these people write books that are full of lies and mistakes, so they can try to proselytise some people to their views and in parallel give the chance to monotheists to feel cleverer and more educated.
Many books are written by professors or doctorates, who choose the facts they want to publish and evaluate them as it suits their beliefs. When they are addressing to common people, they preach like common fanatics.

Πέμπτη, 31 Αυγούστου 2017

Why Greeks are Leaving Christianity

In Greece, a country of almost eleven million people, 98% (Aristokles' Remark: 95% define themselves this way, but do not accept obligatory dogmas) of which are Orthodox Christians, there is a re-Hellenization movement with growing momentum. Within Greece, and outside her boarders across the diaspora Greeks are returning to their ethnic ancestral traditions. Why are Greeks doing this? The modern Greek identity is tied tightly with Orthodoxy, the dominate faith of Greeks. For those with the curiosity and mind to question the status quo, have come to a striking truth. Orthodoxy is an inauthentic Greek identity. Orthodoxy is incompatible with Hellenism.

One cannot be a Greek (Hellene) and be a Christian, the two are opposites and have been historically at odds with one another. Going back to late antiquity, with the rise of Christianity, the clash between the new religion and the establish cultural force of the time, Hellenism, was clear. The “church fathers” wrote that the Greek religion was a deplorable religion, were the Gods of the Greeks are actually evil demons. The church fathers despised Hellenism as is evident in Eusebius’ Preparation for the Gospel (313 CE), which attempts to show the superiority of Christianity over Hellenism. With regards to identity, in the Preparation for the Gospel, Eusebius reveals a new identity for Christians by asking “Are we [Christians] Greeks or Barbarians?” He also defends Christians from pagan attacks of apostatizing from their ancestral gods. (1) We see that by becoming Christian, you no longer can be a Hellene (Greek).

Why does becoming a Christian kill a Hellene’s identity? By rejecting the ancestral Gods and accepting the Christian religion, there is a cultural exchange that takes place, which changes an individual’s identity. One function of religion is to transmit a groups history, ethics, beliefs and whole worldview. By becoming Christian, the worldview of a person who was Hellene fundamentally changes. They reject their ethnic history, myths, practices in exchange for a foreign one. Christianity grew out of Judaism.

The Torah of the Jews is preserved as the Old Testament in Christianity. The history of the Jews within the Old Testament then becomes an adopted history for Christian converts. Their native ethnic history and identity is erased and replaced with a Jewish narrative. The Bible replaces Homer, Jesus overthrows Olympus. Being Greek or Hellene no longer is an option in the Roman and later Byzantine Empire, the Greek identity is then effectively dies out in public view, going underground with occasional resurgences throughout history.

What Christianity did to Greek identity on the spiritual level, Rome did on the political level. When Rome eventually conquered Greece and the Hellenistic kingdoms, the Greeks would slowly see their identity change dramatically. No longer did they have their kingdoms, and political independence. With becoming part of the Roman structure, the Greek, their identity as a people eventually became Roman.

A similar way of explaining this is with the United States of America. A Greek born in the United States has citizenship to the country and grows up with an American identity. This individual might be raised with a Greek cultural upbringing, learning the language and so on. He or she does not live in Greece, has no understanding of a fully Greek identity based on a national level. This same thing can be said of the Greeks whom the Romans conquered. They spoke Greek, worshiped their gods and retained their culture (Greek culture dominated the Roman Empire), but they lost their sovereignty, they were absorbed into a larger political body of the Roman Empire, they became Romans.

Moving along in history, when the Empire splits between the Latin west and Greek east. The western half declines, but the eastern portion of the Empire flourished. The capital of the Empire was moved from Rome to Constantinople in 330 CE by Emperor Constantine. Later scholars would rename the eastern Roman Empire the Byzantine Empire, due to its Greek character. However, the people themselves who lived in the Empire identified themselves as “Romaioi”, Roman. (2) Greek or Hellene identity no longer existed. To be a Hellene was by this point synonymous with paganism.

The Roman identity persisted for centuries. Constantinople would fall to the Ottomans in 1453 CE, ending the Byzantium Empire. The Ottomans recognized and grouped their subjects into millets. The Rum millet or “Roman nation” was the designated name for the Orthodox Christian community in the Ottoman Empire. There was no Greek millet. Greek identity would not return until the rise of an intendent Greek state. However Roman identity persisted as late as the early twentieth century. Peter Charanis (1908 -1985) professor of Byzantine History at Rutgers University tells us that in 1912, as a child on the island of Lemnos, the island became occupied by the Greek navy. Peter, along with other children went to see the Greek soldiers, these “Hellenes”. One soldier asks the children ‘‘What are you looking at?’’ ‘‘At Hellenes,’’ they replied. ‘‘Are you not Hellenes yourselves?’’ the solider responded. The children answered, ‘‘No, we are Romans.” (3)

Greeks today are heirs of the Roman/Byzantine world and Orthodox Christianity, rather than anything resembling classical Greece. This creates a false sense of ethnic identity and for those aware of history, an existential crisis. What does it mean to be Greek? How is Orthodox Christianity reconciled with Hellenism? How do you unite these two to
create a Greek identity?

Trying to reconciling Orthodoxy (religious education) with Hellenism (Greek education/paideia), Rev. Dr. Demetrios J. Constantelos says that, “Tradition is what preserves the unity of a people and secures their identity. When a people forget their heritage, they lose their memory and disappear from history.” (4) Disagreeing with Rev. Constantelos, many Greeks in Greece and within the diaspora, have come to the conclusion that Orthodoxy is hostile and incompatible with Hellenism. If tradition preserves the unity of a people and secure their identity, we can safely argue thus far that the Greeks lost their identity centuries ago to Rome and later more so to Christianity. Greeks today carry little with them that is Hellenic.
To truly be Greek, a Hellene, there must be a rejection of the foreign Orthodox tradition to embrace Hellenism, the ethnic and native religious tradition fully. It is impossible to fully embrace Hellenism as a worldview (encompassing religion, education, and philosophy) while remaining an Orthodox Christian because the worldviews are opposed to each other.

In Greece, there are efforts being made by some people to re-Hellenize themselves and have organized officially. One organization, The Supreme Council of Ethnikoi Hellenes (Ypato Symboulio Ellinon Ethnikon – YSEE) was founded in 1997. Their goal is to protect and restore the polytheistic, ethnic Hellenic religion, tradition and way of life.(5) I interviewed several members of the community based in New York on what motivated them to be a part of this movement, re-Hellenizing themselves. Through compiling the stories of these members, who are active in either leadership or consistent attendance, a pattern or process was identified.

Curiosity: Between childhood and early adulthood, many of the people I spoke with shared that they had a curiosity about religion and or history in general. This curiosity grows and develops into questions about Christianity, their birth religion.

Investigation/research: The questions they have lead them to research and investigate matters of history and religion. They might have read the bible themselves, and then compare it with Greek history. They uncover history which was never taught to them, which is contradictory to established knowledge that was taught to them from their parents, school, and or Church. From their research, they conclude that Christianity and Hellenism are juxtaposed.

Identity Crisis: What comes about from the revelation that Christianity and Hellenism are incompatible is an identity crisis. What is an authentic Greek identity? Is it Christian as they were raised to believe, or is it Hellenism?

Identity Change: The conclusion these individuals come to is that Christianity is not a valid option as a Greek, the individual returns to Hellenism to resolve the identity crisis.

What are these people uncovering through their research that causes the crisis of identity?

I can provide one example for the purposes of this post, I may do subsequent posts on this. We learn of the hostility between Christianity and Hellenism through an attempt to bring Plato back to public consciousness. Demetrios Kydones (1323-1397) the mentor of the future Byzantine Emperor Manuel Palaiologos (1350-1425), wrote to Manuel telling him that Plato must be brought back to life, and that there is a desire for Plato’s voice once more. Kydones requested from Manuel that a manuscript of Plato which was held by the monks of Athos be given to him.

To the monks, Plato was considered a corpse, there was nothing living about the philosopher or his teachings. When Kydones received the manuscript, it was in horrible condition, it was soaked, torn, and stained. (6) The monks did not put much effort in preserving the manuscript. The monks had little love for Plato. He was seen occasionally by the monks as the ‘Greek Satan’, whose name was enough to make them spit on the ground and recite prayers. (7)

As a Greek of today, when reading this small piece of history is enough to start more research. It also is a sampling of cultural identity, where the monks, who would be seen as Greeks today, view Plato as a Satanic figure. In the modern Greek ethos, there is a level of reverence of ancient culture, but a superseding placement for Christianity that overrides the ancient but is taught as still retaining continuity. Upon learning that there is no continuity in a natural progression from one form to another, that instead there is hostility, the individual faces a crisis.

It is clear that for many Greeks, when they investigate their religion and history, what they have been taught by their community does not stand up to facts. By uncovering the hostile history between Christianity and Hellenism along with the foreignness of the Christian religion, they are bond to eventually opt for an ethnic tradition, native to their land and people.

Citations

1. The Tertullian Project. “Eusebius of Caesarea: Praeparatio Evangelica (Preparation for TheGospel). Tr. E.H. Gifford (1903) — Book 1.” The Tertullian Project, www.tertullian.org/fathers/eusebius_pe_01_book1.htm.

2. Kaldellis, Anthony. Hellenism in Byzantium: The Transformations of Greek Identity and the Reception of the Classical Tradition. Cambridge UP, 2011, page 42.

3. Ibid.

4. Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey. “Orthodoxy and Hellenism.” www.nj.goarch.org/resources/orthhellenism.htm.

5. Supreme Council of Ethnikoi Hellenes. “Supreme Council of Ethnikoi Hellenes.” About YSEE, www.ysee.gr/index-eng.php?type=english&f=about.

6. Siniossoglou, Niketas, Radical Platonism in Byzantine, Cambridge Univerisity Press, 2016. page 1-2

7. Siniossoglou, Niketas, Radical Platonism in Byzantine, Cambridge Univerisity Press, 2016. page 1


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Τετάρτη, 16 Αυγούστου 2017

Para-religious fetishism: The Holy boiled chestnut


Source
The rushed canonization of Father Paisios may have helped his fans feel vindicated for idolizing a priest once known for his homely utterances but who in recent years became more famous for outrageous prophecies, including a devastating war between Russia and Turkey that will benefit Greece and allow it to retake Istanbul (Constantinople). But the honors that are being bestowed on him now by the heads of the Church of Greece should be a matter of great concern.

The road of piety is so full of zigs and zags, and some exhibitions of faith are so unbelievable (bordering on self-ridicule) that we can never sure whether we are hearing actual news or whether we are the victims of media and social media trolls.

The most recent development is that after the holy man’s flip-flops, his cap and his glasses, we now have his blessed chestnut, which was recently put on display at the Church of Aghios Dimitrios in Agrinio, central Greece.

Such a move can only be described as para-religious fetishism.

According to the official statement that came with the display, this particular chestnut had been “given by a group of students along with others to Saint Paisios in October 1990 to be blessed.” It is this phrase, “along with others,” that should be read as a prophecy – it won’t be long before other blessed chestnuts pop up in other places too. More holy flip-flops and sacred caps will also inevitably appear.

After all, it was observed a long time ago that in times of deep crisis and when there is a general sense of insecurity, irrationalism in its most extreme form becomes the dominant religion, regardless of what idols people worship.

Saint Paisios is the patron saint of our country’s front pages, our very own Nostradamus. He was also a typically nationalist saint as he said things that so many people want to hear: the government in Skopje will collapse and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia will fall apart, Turkey will sink and so on.

However, since so many top political and church officials have stated in the past that “God is Greek,” what else could a humble servant of Greek origins be than a foot soldier for Greek Christianity?

There has been no confirmation of rumors, however, that Kokkini Milia (Red Apple Tree), a mythical land where the Turks were to have been banished to from Constantinople by the late Byzantine Emperor Constantine Palaiologos, has been found and now renamed Red Chestnut Tree. We have to keep watching the loud front pages – and the oh-so silent church hierarchy.

The problem is that these very newspapers which complain about this kind of fetishism, stand up for the worship of icons, bones and relics. Kathimerini is a conservative newspaper and conservatives do their best to maintain this way of thinking. Theologically there is no difference if a monk is full of the grace of the Holy Spirit and his bones and clothes are full of it, why not his glasses, or slippers or whatever he touched? All politicians go to such happenings, because this is how they expect to be voted, even those of the radical left.