Religious Festival at beth.

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Posted by pancho from ( on Friday, November 29, 2002 at 10:01AM :

What's in a name indeed.

Christian Assyrians who accept the fact that you can be of any religion and still be Assyrian forget one thing.

In them old hoary days you weren't just a religion. Religion dictated culture as well as Law and custom. The Jews don't consider a Jew a Jew if the Jew leaves off worshipping the god of the Jews.

You can be Italian and give up Christ and stay Italian...but you aren't Christian any longer.

Does it matter in today's world how purely anything you are? With all of us tumbled together can anyone be pure anything?

In the ancient world I would think we felt pretty much as the Jews did...that the god you worship has something to do with your entire make-up...that you can't just shop around. Being Assyrian back then was more than an ethnic or a religious or a cultural was everything rolled in together.

You can be American and be anything you want.

We have "Ashur" at the beginning of our name for a the Christians put their god at the front of their name. Can you leave off believing in Christ and be a Christian? Can you substitute another god's name there and still be a follower of Christ...or Ashur? If it doesn't change anything to remove Ashur and substitute Christ...would it matter if you removed Christ and put something else in his place? Why not go back to Ashur then? I mean if there is no "real difference"?

We fought like hell to become followers of Christ...and ran like hell to leave Ashur. can we really claim that what we picked up is as precious as what we let go?

Can you do that with Ashur? Can you replace his name with the name of another god and still be Assyrian?

Christian and Assyrian are not the same thing. As far as gods to be worshipped...they each contain the name of their god in the title. But there is no one country ever called Christya. Christianity went all over the place. The name doesn't denote any particular ethnicity...Assyrian didn't much either, even back then. But it did put a belief in Ashur and service of his people at the top of the list.

An Assyrian who becomes Christian has divided loyalties. The Christian will deny it all over the place, but the actions of our Christians certainly show that. A Christian also has divided loyalties when it comes to his nation or ethnic group...but when the chips are down...Christian will usually side with Christian against someone else. Not always certainly as Francis I was allied with the Turks against the interests of the Holy Roman Empire.

Assyrians do not feel loyalty towards Ashur as they do towards Christ. We even celebrate the fact. Can you love the Assyrian people and ignore their god? Can you love Christianity and ignore its god? Can you really serve two masters?

This is a muddle...we are a muddle. We will remain a muddle so long as we try to convince ourselves that what happened didn't really happen. For whatever reason...we dumped our Assyrian identity to chase after a Jewish one. The fact that an Assyrian brought this questionable gift to us is no consolation at all...yet we even celebrate that. Have you ever known of a People so desperate to stop being what they were and become something else? And wouldn't you expect such a People...insisting that they haven't changed, not really...or have changed for the better...wouldn't you expect them to be a little nuts?

No wonder we can't understand, let alone spell "logicuqueik".

-- pancho
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