Thursday, September 2, 2010

Turkish State Telegraphs Neurosis while Ecumenical Patriarch has super fatigue-resistance

Liberation from oppressive regimes is a no brainer right? It's easy to fight for the right to literacy, safety in our homes, to speak truth to power, to feed the hungry. Most would easily concede basic rights for the protection of children from sweatshops and families from years of servitude. Yet even with the fundamental civil liberties we relish in America many can't cross over to protest religious freedom violations in other countries. The very pursuit of religious freedom the bedrock of American culture is somehow negotiable and a luxury. As with the case in the State of Turkey for example Americans seem complacent with this issue.
Americans are appeased almost relieved that Turkey touts its official and current status as a secular democracy. Let's review these terms. Turkey is run essentially by an army or militant minded regime who protects it own interests from religious interference. Forbidding expressions of anything deemed anti-Turkish sentiment. The possible conversion from Islam to Christianity is  punishable by law.
Suggestions that the "Greek" Patriarch should consider leaving the "Turkish" Phanar, for Greece if conditions are unacceptable to Him (and obviously deplorable), is offensive. Perhaps American progressives should look at this assault on human rights through a more familiar prism: suggest that all African Americans should consider going back to Africa if they don't like their 'second class' status or the way things are run. This is obviously an unacceptable position by any measure of human decency or dignity or integrity.
Essentially it would be and is a failed human rights policy and yet it's been suggested by reporters on national forums, overlooked by many politicians and civil rights advocates while continuing to be grumbled in hallways. They are even making statements about "the last Patriarch" like they are trying to gauge our acceptance, comfort and sensitivity levels to this outrageous notion.
Turkey has obvious human rights violations and PR problems. In this democratic secular state freedom of expression is limited defined by an ideal of Turkishness or the party line; where everything Turkish or Muslim is the exception not open for debate or dialogue; as everything Christian, even institutions like The Ecumenical Patriarchate, is a free for all, whose liberty and property rights are continuously kept under the thumb of a few government officials. Turkey could easily embrace the Phanar as part of their ancient heritage and redefine or reform turkishness to include its rich history and not merely spew nationalism barely tolerating others but engaging in an exchange of mutual respect for all.
The unilateral assertions and decisions of government officials  denying the official Ecumenical status of the Patriarchate, would be as if I denied the intrinsic and historical role of the exiled Dalai Llama. It is really not within my purview to credibly renounce what his followers affirm. For the Turkish government to deny what the  world understands, as the role of the Ecumenical Patriarch which is acknowledged by 350,000,000 Orthodox Chrisitans and other Christians, from other denominations like a billion Roman Catholics; is neurotic and leads to erratic behaviors and bad policy.
They may likewise deny the duality of Christ, The Trinity, the Crucifixion and Resurrection but they cannot make claims for  who Christ is to His believers, to those of us to hail Him as King. Turks can not dictate the terms of our devotion, expressed in the Holy Orthodox Church with The Ecumenical Patriarch as our head. They cannot dictate the tenants of our Faith or to Whom we offer our life of servitude as an offering.
Furthermore for them to argue that any divergent worldviews are anti-Turkish telegraphs the insecurity of the Turkish State its neurosis and medieval thinking shaking it to its very foundation.
The Ecumenical Patriach has super-fatigue-resistance as I've mentioned in other blog entries. His All-Holiness cannot be deterred and will not be intimidated His strength is renewed like the eagle. The See of Constantinople established by the Apostle Andrew The First Called has survived: The Roman Empire, The Byzantine Empire, The Ottoman Empire and will survive the Turkish State. The message of true Christian love transcends culture, race, era and worldy regimes.

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