Tuesday, 29 April 2008

"Forward Armenia, forward to God"?

On 1st May there will be a “pan-Armenian” pilgrimage (estimated 500 people) from the Echmiadzin ('Armenian Vatican') to Karabakh under the slogan "Forward Armenia, forward to God." According to IA Regnum, this group of pilgrims will reach Shushi (Karabakh), where a rally will take place "One nation, one state, one faith."

Sorry for my cynicism to everyone with strong religious feelings, but there are slogans which are really hard to digest, like "Forward Armenia, forward to God". This reminds me a combination of the infamous pre-election slogan with a religious motto. If “forward to God” is a “forward Armenia”, then we are on very backward path, indeed.


Anonymous said...

I think waht they mean is that Serzh is the God.

Anonymous said...

It's really ridiculous, Who are the organizers and what do they mean? Is it a way to express the solidarity of the Catholicos and Serjik and why on the workers' day?
Their imagination is deplorable, like is the situation in our country. And they don't have the common sense to understand this.

Ani said...

This seems to be a major strategy of the Sargsyan(s) administration--wrapping as tightly as possible to the Armenian Church so that the opposition is made to seem un-Christian. Here's an excerpt from an interview with T. Sargsyan published today in Lragir:


Question: Mr. Prime Minister, you mentioned that we must not accept the European values blindly. Do you mean such basic values as human rights, freedom of speech and press?

T.S.: I would like to tell you that human rights, freedom of speech are not European values, they are Armenian values. And if you are acquainted with the book by Makhakia Ormanyan, a famous figure of the Armenian Apostolic Church in which he makes profound analyses of the history of the Armenian Apostolic Church, you will see that it is one of the peculiarities of our nation, and we need not imitate what is in our nature. It is simply necessary to discover and use. And the artificial approach that we must yield to that European values, it is insulting. It is insulting for a person who considers himself to be Armenian, who has dignity because the European values should be based on the Christian system of values. And today we can see European ugliness, deviation from those values, and we are not going to follow blindly the values which are not acceptable for us, worth the Armenians, the Christians. And it will mean overcoming provinciality. We do not need imitations, we need to return to our origin.

artmika said...

That was the most ridiculous (and very dangerous in terms of prospects we face)interview Tigran Sargsyan gave to date. He seemed like could not get enough of using words like “behaving as Christian”, “Christian values”...

He was behaving more like religious minister than prime minister of a secular country.

reflective said...

I honestly don't see what the big deal is. I do not find (the translation of) the interview particularly inspiring, but I for one (sorry to anyone with a-religious or anti-Christian feelings) do not find anything particularly deplorable.

Where are the calls for deplorable when the radical opposition with giddy hysteria calls out the "half-Armenian half-Karabakhtsis"? Or the Mongol-Tatars? Or the completely insane Talaat Jemal Robert combination?

And instead we are all crying horror when a PM makes a reference to a national/historical writer appealing to national/historical values?

I find the hypocrisy more notable than anything else.

Ani said...

Reflective, I didn't know you were a fan of George W. Bush, but I learned something new today! Anyway, equating church values with government values is a dangerous road, and some of us can see where that road is leading. But since you've got a mirror in front of your face, I guess you can't.

nazarian said...

T.S.: I would like to tell you that human rights, freedom of speech are not European values, they are Armenian values.

Since these are Armenian values, and Serjik, Robik and their minions do not respect these values, does it mean that they are not Armenian?

Armen Filadelfiatsi said...

I'm sure the Katoghikos fully agrees with Koch..., erm, I mean Ormanian.

Human rights and freedom of speech/press are Enlightenment values. The Carolingian Renaissance, which laid the intellectual foundations of the Enlightenment (glosses on Aristotle), relied on priests from Byzantium, or, more accurately, priests familiar with the intellectual culture of Byzantium enough to transplant it to France.

Armenians contributed to the Enlightenment in that way. Then, in the 17th c. when Locke came around, Armenian international trade was peaking, and these ideas spread to Armenia faster than anywhere else east of, say, Germany, maybe Bulgaria. So Armenians have both given to and received from the development of the Enlightenment.

The problem is Armenians have never had the chance of practicing its values. That is one of the reasons that the conflict today in Armenia is so utterly important.

Onnik Krikorian said...

Jesus (no pun intended), this is terrible. Forward Armenia, Forward to God. It sounds nauseating to me as well. Of course, I'm an agnostic/atheist (depends on my mood) and dislike organized religion, but anyway.

Sometimes it's kind of funny to think that in many cases it is precisely what appears to be simplistic attempts at propaganda that ultimately backfire.

Onnik Krikorian said...

Of course, the one other reality that terms such as "Christian" etc are used constantly by Armenians. Even if they don't practice the religion or understand what it teaches, the fact is that it's one component of a nationalist identity I don't like as it is usually used to attack other faiths (especially Islam) as well as (ironically) reject European values and CE commitments. The decriminalization of homosexuality, for example, is one of the best examples here.

Anonymous said...

Armenian values? Why shouldn't we accept an all-human value that is virtuous and beneficial and give up an Armenian "value" that is shameful. Remember a Parlimentarian declaring that we have gone so far from our values that are trying to ignore "our sacred tradition of red apple". Let's first of all try to overcome our complexes of being the forefathers of everything and everybody on the globe.

spm said...

our "technocrat" educated prime minister is sooo fucked up. A large part of our society is fucked up as a matter of fact. Because for many armenians it sounds like a music... the oldest christian.... the nation that suffered the most... armenian values are better, bigger and older than european values, and such crap.

Azad said...

This is “talibanisation” of the state and the society, Armenian-style!
It is deplorable that universal values and symbols are systematically denatured. And this regression has been going on for some time.

After turning March 8 – the International Women’s Day – when normally women’s political, economic and social achievements are celebrated, into the day to remember and thank “our mothers, sisters and wives”, May 1 is being redefined as a religious event.

May 1 is the day of the International Solidarity of Workers!

Anonymous said...

Another charade like serjuk's parade.

Ani said...

As usual, this church=state policy is being coordinated with Russian policy:

At Expense of All Others, Putin Picks a Church (it's a really long article, I just chose a few paragraphs)
Just as the government has tightened control over political life, so, too, has it intruded in matters of faith. The Kremlin’s surrogates in many areas have turned the Russian Orthodox Church into a de facto official religion, warding off other Christian denominations that seem to offer the most significant competition for worshipers. They have all but banned proselytizing by Protestants and discouraged Protestant worship through a variety of harassing measures, according to dozens of interviews with government officials and religious leaders across Russia.

This close alliance between the government and the Russian Orthodox Church has become a defining characteristic of Mr. Putin’s tenure, a mutually reinforcing choreography that is usually described here as working “in symphony.”
Protestants here must receive official permission before doing anything remotely like proselytizing. The Rev. Vladimir Kotenyov, a Baptist minister, said his church had given up asking.

“Naturally, it will be perceived as propaganda directed at our population,” Mr. Kotenyov said. “ ‘What kind of propaganda are you preaching?’ they would ask. ‘An American faith?’ ”

“This is how they think: If you are a Russian person, it means that you have to be Russian Orthodox.”