Not As Refined
As Catholic Ones
Hi Cliff! This is Dimitris, the guy you have had the email exchange about the 'Religion on ID cards in Greece' issue some time ago.
I'm writing to say that I rather liked the way you handled that 'Peter' person in that email exchange entitled 'You have to let go of your logic and believe'. As you might have seen, this was obviously a member of the (eastern) orthodox church, the very same brand of Christianity I was brought up in and then rejected, becoming an atheist.
In my opinion (and from my experience), this particular brand of Christian has an inherent difficulty in 'thinking out of the box', as one might say. Throw them a few arguments to challenge their thinking, and they immediately block up and get caught in a loop of 'This is the Truth.', 'Change your ways.', 'One day you will see the Truth.', 'Glorify God.', 'Let go of your fallible logic and science.' etc., simply refusing to make their case. I think this guy was a textbook example of it. Maybe this has to do with the fact that the Enlightenment movement was mostly confined to the West and therefore Orthodox apologetics are nowhere as refined as, say, Roman Catholic ones, because they never met with much opposition.
Regarding the 'miracle' he referred to, this is really something that practically all Eastern Orthodox believe in. Apparently, every year in Jerusalem, on the evening of Easter Saturday, a flame appears in what is supposed to be the tomb of Jesus and lights everyone's candles. Of course, nobody ever really sees how the flame erupts, since the Patriarch is all alone in there right before it appears. Also, apparently, during its first minutes, the flame is blue-white and does not burn. Quite honestly, the natural explanations one can think are so many (and the observations so scant) that I haven't found it worth bothering about much.
Oh, and of course the 'miracle' is only granted to the Orthodox Church! Not even the Catholics! (I forgot to say there is also a strong anti-Catholic sentiment in this church, although there are exceptions).
Just my two cents worth. Keep up the good work, Cliff, and I hope you get finished soon with your moving. I have recently moved to Italy myself, so I know the feeling!
All the best,
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