Jump to content


Photo

What Is The Good Of Armenian Church Anyway?


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Armen

Armen

    Veterinarian

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,456 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Yerevan

Posted 01 November 2003 - 07:39 PM

Scientists protest Cabinet's decision

October 31, 2003

Employees of the Linguistics and Economics institutes of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), joined by their colleagues from other NAS institutes, staged a protest demonstration outside the Cabinet building early on Thursday.

The scientists insisted that the Cabinet reversed its October 2 decision to hand over the historic building that currently houses both institutes to the Armenian Apostolic Church as a Yerevan residence for the Catholicos.

The scientist consider it unacceptable that the building where the Armenian Academy of Sciences was founded in 1943 be taken away from the Academy.

A delegation of the demonstrators was received by a top Cabinet official. No news yet on the results of the negotiations.

Edited by ArmenSarg, 01 November 2003 - 07:42 PM.


#2 Armen

Armen

    Veterinarian

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,456 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Yerevan

Posted 01 November 2003 - 07:48 PM

Now the Catholicos needs a residence in Yerevan to catch up with all the latest gossips within the political elite. And I really can't get why wealthy Armenians invest so much money in this useless, corrupted structure.

#3 MJ

MJ

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,343 posts
  • Location:New York City
  • Interests:Theology, Tennis, Jazz, Modern Art, Red Wine

Posted 01 November 2003 - 07:55 PM

And I really can't get why wealthy Armenians invest so much money in this useless, corrupted structure.

perhaps because (as we have discussed it several times throughout the life of Hye Forum) they are very parochial. Moreover, they feel it buys for them a round-ticket to Heaven.

#4 Armen

Armen

    Veterinarian

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,456 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Yerevan

Posted 01 November 2003 - 08:15 PM

perhaps because (as we have discussed it several times throughout the life of Hye Forum) they are very parochial.  Moreover, they feel it buys for them a round-ticket to Heaven.

I agree that most of them do. But aren't there people who think that by giving money to the church they somehow contribute to the overall development of the Armenians. I think, this segment exists and must be addressed, persuaded to direct its means to more effective projects.

I went through some of the older discussions. Indeed, the topic was covered extensively. I just thought the church's latest move is worth paying special attention.

Edited by ArmenSarg, 01 November 2003 - 08:18 PM.


#5 Twilight Bark

Twilight Bark

    Resigned

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,060 posts

Posted 01 November 2003 - 08:53 PM

Individuals can define their priorities as their background and intellectual abilities allow and guide them. We, as individuals, should be assumed to be stupid and in need of guidance. I am not bothered much by other Armenians' priorities, even when I might find them ridiculous. I also think we should not be bothered when the church acts in a way that it thinks furthers its self-interest. I may (and do) disagree with its pursuit of self-interest, but I understand it. However, I am bothered very much when the government of Armenia gets its list of priorities upside down. I am also bothered when the "problem" involves a greedy "state church" and a hopelessly stupid government, and the discussion immediately starts revolving around the hapless, unguided diasporans doing what they think is a good deed (which, incidentally, has nothing to do with the content of the article that started this discussion). This particular problem has nothing to do with the instinctive support of the church by the "old" diaspora.

Please keep your focus where it should be. Belittling the traditional diasporans for their instincts, when they are receiving no (or bad) guidance from the motherland is another instance of that "m" word.

Only the state has the means to lift itself and the nation (in and out of Armenia) up from our bootsraps, above and beyond our "natural" rate of evolution. The buck stops at the gate of the government.

#6 Armen

Armen

    Veterinarian

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,456 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Yerevan

Posted 02 November 2003 - 03:13 AM

No one has restricted to extract new topics from the article above. If one could make one more assumption, it would become clear that the government's ineffectiveness is taken as default...

I can't see why do I have to concentrate only on government's corrupt policies, when in some cases the Church (the last resort) is clearly the issue to be addressed.
The Church has always been very well placed to positively influence not only the developments in Armenia, but the Armenia-Diaspora relations as well. Something it has continuously failed. Being more powerful in some aspects than the government (e.g. international network, experience, information, budget), it has consciously limited its activites (especially in Armenia) around very earthly issues. I have yet to see any Church leader to openly criticize the government. Besides, it could serve the mentioned guide for diasporians' dealings with Armenia.

When I see clergy driving expensive cars in Armenia, it's twice as painful...I don't want to know how the government allowed (I know how) the new residence to be built, I want the Church not to have these kind of initiatives and especially these amount of means.

And yes I want to belittle the traditional diasporians for "instictively" giving money to the church. They are adults and a big majority among them are very well educated and experienced people, who do not need any guidance.

#7 Twilight Bark

Twilight Bark

    Resigned

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,060 posts

Posted 02 November 2003 - 10:13 AM

No one has restricted to extract new topics from the article above. If one could make one more assumption, it would become clear that the government's ineffectiveness is taken as default...

I can't see why do I have to concentrate only on government's corrupt policies, when in some cases the Church (the last resort) is clearly the issue to be addressed.
The Church has always been very well placed to positively influence not only the developments in Armenia, but the Armenia-Diaspora relations as well. Something it has continuously failed. Being more powerful in some aspects than the government (e.g. international network, experience, information, budget), it has consciously limited its activites (especially in Armenia) around very earthly issues. I have yet to see any Church leader to openly criticize the government. Besides, it could serve the mentioned guide for diasporians' dealings with Armenia.

When I see clergy driving expensive cars in Armenia, it's twice as painful...I don't want to know how the government allowed (I know how) the new residence to be built, I want the Church not to have these kind of initiatives and especially these amount of means.

And yes I want to belittle the traditional diasporians for "instictively" giving money to the church. They are adults and a big majority among them are very well educated and experienced people, who do not need any guidance.

Dear ArmenSarg

It's not that I don't agree broadly agree with your sentiments. I do. It's just that I think there is a qualitative difference between an institution that is supposed to have no ego of its own (the government) and those "Private" institutions, such as the church. I agree completely with you about the "qualities" of the church. The cars, the perks, etc. It disgusts me. However, the church has always been a self-centered, and often selfish institution, Armenian or otherwise. I just don't expect much from them. On the other hand, if they are having even a limited success in competing for the "souls" of stupid rich people, it says to me more about what the government is NOT doing than what the church IS doing.

As for people being "smart", "educated", etc. All I can say is that intelligence and sophistication is often highly compartmentalized. "Soft" matters that do not lend themselves to "left-brain" kind of analysis leaves many a "smart professional" looking like a deer staring at a bright headlight. Armenians are still orphans as far as I am concerned.

I hope I clarified what I meant a bit more. Again, I would like to stress that I agree with your sentiments very much, in most ways.

TB

Edited by Twilight Bark, 03 November 2003 - 12:24 AM.


#8 Armen

Armen

    Veterinarian

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,456 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Yerevan

Posted 03 November 2003 - 02:11 AM

It's just that I think there is a qualitative difference between an institution that is supposed to have no ego of its own (the government) and those "Private" institutions, such as the church. I agree completely with you about the "qualities" of the church. The cars, the perks, etc. It disgusts me. However, the church has always been a self-centered, and often selfish institution, Armenian or otherwise. I just don't expect much from them. On the other hand, if they are having even a limited success in competing for the "souls" of stupid rich people, it says to me more about what the government is NOT doing than what the church IS doing.

Dear Twilight Bark,

In my opinion every government has its incentives. Moreover, narrow interests serve as basis for governments, regardless of party or country. On the top of that, individual ambitions and interest of government leaders shape the structure of these incentives. It is virtually impossible to have a government without an ego.
The present ego of our government is strong and heavy greed: power, money, careers etc. And it must be satisfied to some extent. And I hope that there is a limit for every human being, even in greed.

If the government cannot find the limits of its greed, there must be a structure, which could persuade the government that its greed is already satisfied. In vast majority of normal democracies this argumentation comes from different unions, and Armenia lacks this institution, which in my mind is one of the core problems of Armenia's social-political establishment.

The government of Armenian currently ( and always) receives enough money from diaspora to implement any kind of development projects it wants. A significant portion of this money is "wasted" (in their pockets), but there are some minor acheivements. I totaly agree with you that the criticism of the government should never stop and that it is the priority.

In contrast, I don't see the role of Armenian Church in our society. If they are a private institution they could very well establish a business and stop begging.

#9 Twilight Bark

Twilight Bark

    Resigned

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,060 posts

Posted 03 November 2003 - 12:54 PM

In my opinion every government has its incentives. Moreover, narrow interests serve as basis for governments, regardless of party or country. On the top of that, individual ambitions and interest of government leaders shape the structure of these incentives. It is virtually impossible to have a government without an ego.
The present ego of our government is strong and heavy greed: power, money, careers etc. And it must be satisfied to some extent. And I hope that there is a limit for every human being, even in greed.

If the government cannot find the limits of its greed, there must be a structure, which could persuade the government that its greed is already satisfied. In vast majority of normal democracies this argumentation comes from different unions, and Armenia lacks this institution, which in my mind is one of the core problems of Armenia's social-political establishment.

The government of Armenian currently ( and always) receives enough money from diaspora to implement any kind of development projects it wants. A significant portion of this money is "wasted" (in their pockets), but there are some minor achievements. I totally agree with you that the criticism of the government should never stop and that it is the priority.

In contrast, I don't see the role of Armenian Church in our society. If they are a private institution they could very well establish a business and stop begging.

It is a matter of defining the ideals for different institutions. We all have a pretty good idea of the ugly reality. But that should not detract us from demanding the ideal. The ideal is a pretense. But it is a useful one, providing a reference point.

At this point in time, the church is just another private institution, vying for more power, more influence, more perks, more money, bigger, better, and all the nonsense that drives "private enterprise". And it's not necessarily a bad thing. You can't blame the individuals or institutions for asking, but you can blame the government for giving.

Let me give an example from a different kind of "priesthood". It is perfectly acceptable, and indeed almost universally viewed as desirable that science departments do "outreach" in order to recruit young minds into science. Of course, the science establishment often sucks their blood and chews out what's left after grad school, but that fact would not be a part of their "proselytizing". Microsoft would have a much harder time going into schools with the explicit intention of producing future Microsoft programmers, even though they may be offering a more prosperous or even more meaningful future. The history and the perception of one of the two "institutions" allows it to get away with something that others cannot. The church milks its perceived image and "national" position for all its worth. And why wouldn't they, when everyone else is? In an ideal situation, they come and ask, the government raises its middle finger, and the case is closed.

As for the misdirection of diasporan funds. Like all funds, they are being wasted and channeled in breathtakingly inefficient directions. Who has the organizational level and clout to do something about it? Certainly not the Twilight Barks or ArmenSargs of HyeForum, or a few dozen readers. Only the government has the ability to mold and guide. The church could be a formidable moral force, even for non-believers. But forget it; we know it's not going to happen. And we can go door to door preaching to diasporans that they should stop supporting the church. What will it accomplish? Needless to say we would be dismissed (or worse) by most of the "friends of the church". And from the few that agreed, we would have taken away the only national totem that was near and "tangible" to them. Most likely they will proceed to view being Armenian as a pointless exercise in masochism, and assimilate away. Most will not turn into vigorous reformers of anything, not even the neighborhood grocery store.

Just as the church should compete with other denominations by offering higher spirituality and self-consistency rather than bullying them out of Armenia, the non-church entities should offer sensible alternatives for the souls and funds of Armenians everywhere. The keyword is competition. The regular disaporan is the "client", and any entity with national or nationalistic pretenses is competing for their "business". Have we learned the basic tenets of free-enterprise yet?




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users