not near ground zero, they don’t

In 1916, a group of Greek immigrants opened the
Greek Orthodox Christian Church of St. Nicholas in New York City.  It stood there until September 11, 2001, when the second of the World Trade Center towers collapsed on top of it, the result of a horrible terrorist attack.  The church has been attempting to rebuild their place of worship since that time, working with the proper authorities to do so.  There was even an agreement reached at one time between the Archdiocese and the Port Authority for a particular area to be set aside for the church’s use.  But it seems the city has now reneged on their offer, and St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church is fighting a losing battle to reconstruct their building just a block or two from ground zero.

I say we don’t let them build their place of worship — not near ground zero, anyway.  And here are my reasons:

  1. Where is their funding coming from? Sure they say the city is compensating them for moving from their original site, but can they provide us with some proof?  Now I don’t claim to know much about the Greek Orthodox Church, but I’m guessing it’s pretty similar, or even related to, the Eastern Orthodox Church (which I’ve heard of).  And so, it must have some ties to the east.  And there are terrorists in the east — especially in the middle of it.  So I demand to know where the funding is coming from for this so-called “Orthodox” church.  No building’s going up until I see financial records, I tell you.
  2. Do any of us really know what the Greek Orthodox Church believes or practices? I know they speak really old languages during their services, wear funny robes and hats, and do a lot of chanting.  And their church calendar begins on September 1st and ends on August 31st.  It sounds like some kind of evil cult if, you ask me.  You know what I think?  I think if these Greek people want to have church buildings in America, they need to learn how to use American calendars, and they need to start speaking American.  They had better cut it out with all the chanting stuff and immediately forfeit anything that looks or sounds unfamiliar to me.  No doubt the immigrants who started these Greek churches were illegal in the first place.  Can somebody make these guys show us some birth certificates, please?
  3. Ground zero is hallowed ground. And no one should be able to build any house of worship there unless they agree with me.  And, frankly, I’m uncomfortable with some of the things this Greek Orthodox Church does.  They shouldn’t offend me or make me uncomfortable, especially if they claim to be Christian; that’s just plain insensitive.  What’s worse is that I’m sure they’re doing it on purpose, just to rub it in my face.  I’ve personally asked them to change their choice of location, but they refused and said they believe their building will encourage a free exchange of spiritual ideas among the greater religious community.  That’s not true.  Only my church would be able to accomplish such a monumental task in that particular location.
  4. I tell you the only way I’d be willing to change my mind is if they didn’t call this thing a church building, but instead referred to it as a community learning center or something.  Yeah, I suppose I could go for that.  Those crazy Greeks with their funny hats.

[For more reading on the St. Nicholas situation, see these articles in The New York Times and FOX News.  Or see this news release from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.  For my views on the whole mosque ordeal (if I were a female with kids — otherwise called a mother), go here.]



Filed under slightly humorous or amusing?, woe to us

19 responses to “not near ground zero, they don’t

  1. Pingback: a mother’s response to the ground zero controversy « aliens and strangers

  2. randy morgan

    you’re such an instigator. i love you.

    by the way, i am going to slander you on my blog today. hope you don’t mind.

    • do what you must, randy, do what you must. but just know that you may be buying me an extra burger as a result. don’t think i’ve forgotten that you promised to take me out to dinner if i ever pass through your part of oklahoma. and don’t fool yourself into thinking i can’t eat two burgers, either.

      • If you make it to Oklahoma to meet up with Randy, I would be tempted to make the trip down just to sit and listen to you guys talk over a hamburger.

        Now the trick is to get Randy to Tanzania so you can buy him a… well.. whatever is the going cuisine in your neck of the woods.

        • tony, are you trying to weasel your way into my second hamburger? how far are you away from oklahoma city? [and for the record, i won’t be back in the states for a while — and i have no idea why i’d ever be near oklahoma city.]

          • I live near Columbus, Ohio… so Oklahoma is quite a trip. Our vacation this year took us through Oklahoma City which gave us the great delight of visiting with Randy.

            I have been learning to look for opportunities while on vacation to visit with people I have met in the blog world.

            Last year I stopped in on Pete Wilson while in Nashville. It is pretty cool to meet the people behind the words.

          • well, i’ve been able to meet james the orthodox guy in person, and that was a good time. but not many people pass through our town… or country, for that matter.

  3. You really don’ t mean this James. You are joking aren’ t you ?

    • “joking” is such a strong word, amrita. i prefer “satire.”

      the first is “a thing that someone says to cause amusement or laughter, esp. a story with a funny punch-line.”

      the second is “the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.”

      or maybe satire is the stronger word…?

  4. Much appreciated. 😉 And yes, I personally refuse to change the location of St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church.

    Happy ecclesial New Year, by the way.

    • everyone, a real orthodox person has visited this post! james, i know you’ve got a sense of humor, but i didn’t know about the larger orthodox community. though someone does, because there are those hats…

      just thought i’d raise a little extra awareness for the orthodox cause — while poking a little fun at the mosque detractors.

      • But the hats convey that solemn religious look you want in a faith, you know? Very pious. Especially the Latvian Orthodox hats, which are worn on purpose just to rub it in your face.

        To be fair, one bizarre thing Orthodox clergy don’t wear is silk ropes knotted around their necks…

        • pious is just the word i was looking for, james. didn’t george convert to latvian orthodoxy on seinfeld? and kramer dated a nun — and had the “lure of the animal” or something like that.

          i wore a tie to work a lot of days of my life, and had dozens of them. when i moved to tanzania, i brought one. i think, but i’ve not seen it so far in the unpacking. i don’t mind, though. really.

  5. Ike

    “Jacob I loved, Esau I hated”?

    Not sure why this came to my mind.?? Must be too much coffee.

  6. Jason Miller

    It seems you think my reaction to the Greeks was totally emotional and lacking any real logic. Oh wait, no, I said that. Just now I did. Curses and rabbits, you got me again.

  7. At least it’s not the Russian Orthodox.
    Well crafted satire! Love it!

  8. Pingback: burning holy books and the terry jones debacle « aliens and strangers

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