The only thing necessary for the persistence of evil is for enough good people to do nothing

Homophobic Bishop

Via Pink News

Gay rights advocates in Greece have appealed for help in fighting a lawsuit against activist Leo Kalovyrnas and non-governmental organisation Synthesis HIV/AIDS Awareness.

The Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Piraeus, Seraphim, is bringing the suit.

He made a series of homophobic statements in a newspaper article, claiming gay people are “morally corrupt, obsessed with satisfying their psychopathological deviation and who have made a life value out of the faeces elimination tract.”

Synthesis and Mr Kalovyrnas denounced the bishop’s comments, and will appear in court on February 3rd on charges of defamation.

Damages of one million euros (£912,750) are being sought.

“Hate speech against gays, lesbians and transgender people in Greece takes place with impunity,” Synthesis said in a statement.

“Several leading politicians, ministers, and religious leaders, as well as several journalists and other public figures, repeatedly insult and demean gays and lesbians without any legal or disciplinary consequences.”

The AIDS group added that in his newspaper article the bishop: “said that the popular Greek actor Nikos Seryanopoulos, who was murdered in what seems to be a homophobic crime, brought this on himself because, according to the alleged murderer, Seryanopoulos forced him to have sex, and him not being ‘that way’ got upset and defended himself by stabbing the actor 21 times.”

Synthesis have asked people to sign a petition to the Greek government calling for a ban hate speech against the LGBT community in Greece by changing the anti-discrimination laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Greece has been a member of the EU since 1981.

The Greek Orthodox church has taken the lead in opposing gay rights.

Greek government policy is still steadfastly anti-gay.

Gay marriage has long been opposed and gays are still barred from entering the military.

However, homosexuals in Greece are still seeking a greater voice within their country in recent years, which culminated in the first Gay Pride parade in 2005.

Update: Please sign the online petition

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42 Comments

  1. Post Disagreement
    January 7, 2009    

    While we may not like what the bishop says, nor how he makes his points, Hate Speech laws are not necessary to prosecute acutal crimes against anybodys person or civil rights (unless you think that civil rights include your right to silence others that may disagree with you on a social, politcal, moral or ethical issue) and thus merely a means to silence political opponents..which is not what a democracy should be about.

    i.e, Christianity teaches homosexuality is morally wrong. Are we going to outlaw Christianity?

    While one may disagree with the Churches or ordinary people who believe or think this way they have a right to their views and should NOT be restricted from saying homosexuality is wrong morally or otherwise.

    What they do not have the right to do is to call for violence upon a group of people.

    Although I know many activists will simply say that by expressing any disapproval or condemnation of this lifestyle or orientation, like saying the practice is immoral that can potentially lead to violence etc. while it may be true that somebody may use that to do violence, violence is illegal now without hate laws as is vigilantism.

    Thus anybody committing a violent crime against LGBT people would/should be prosecutable under existing laws against murder, theft, manslaugther, etc.

    Hate Laws can be used as a means to prevent a democratic debate on immigration. i.e, You can say I am a hate criminal because I think Greece has too much immigration. Just as now simply throwing the epithet racist to anyone who things Europe should remain majority European is a means to silence debate or dissent from a politically correct view. (i.e, who gets to say what is hate what is not? i.e, am I hating somebody else because I want something from my people..a homeland where they maintain majority status)

    No one has a right to not have their feelings hurt.

    Freedom of Expression means Freedom to those we disagree even sharply with having the right to say what they believe or think about a topic.

  2. Xenos
    January 7, 2009    

    COMMENT EDITED BY DEVIOUS DIVA

    The usual rant about the putative freedom to insult and harass other people. The fact is that hate speech laws are designed to limit freedom of speech in order to protect others’ rights. I know this concept of co-operating and making things work better is alien to you , but there it is.

    To give you an example of what is acceptable and what is not: you MAY ask the question, “Does Greece need/ Can Greece cope with more immigration?” You may NOT say to immigrants in Greece: “We don’t need people like you, you are not welcome here with your black skin/ Muslim religion (etc).” Got it? It’s not rocket science…

  3. Response
    January 8, 2009    

    COMMENT AND NICKNAME EDITED BY DEVIOUS DIVA

    Your response is just as offensive to me as the bishops is to some LGBT people.

    Black Skin has nothing to do with anything.

    Religion esp. considering that this threads is about hate speech and LGBT issues is relevant.

    Religion is part of culture and cultures have varying degrees of compatibilty because their values, communication, customs, attitudes can clash.

    So it is relevant to say, yes if we really do need immigration, I would prefer that they are from a similar European and Christian background, or a similar relgious background to minimize the potential of conflicts.

    Pakistanis, Albanian or Bosnian Muslims in Greece are more likely to be a cause for concern for Greece’s security in the case if we went to war with Turkey..their Muslim brethern. So they are a potential enemy from within, whereas a BLACK ETHIOPIAN ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN would not be and is thus more desireable than the previously mentioned paler Islamists.

    Finally, on the race issue you brought up, why would it be wrong for a European country like Greece to prefer immigrants from another European or a Mediterranean country over people from further flung places?

    Do not twist my words..I am not saying Blacks or Asians are not human beings with value but what is objectively wrong to preferring people from closer by nations?

    Also, most of Greece’s immigrant population came here ILLEGAlly not invited like the guest workers in Germany.
    That there are legal ones here is mostly because of past amnesities.

    And finally XENOS I would not go up to someone and tell them that they are undesireable. I would inform the government of my views when dealing with this issue that if we really did need immigration it makes more sense to bring in people that have a similar cultural background to ensure assimilation and societal peace.
    Not people like you ( I do not know your color or religion ) who hate Greeks and Greece.

    In France, Bridget Bardot was fined because she is an animal rights activist who thinks the ritual killing of goats and sheeps by Muslims is barbaric and she made that statement which is politically incorrect.

    So just because a Muslim is offended by her pro-animal views she should be silenced.

  4. Response
    January 8, 2009    

    NICKNAME EDITED BY DEVIOUS DIVA

    ALso you are delusional if you think that Hate Crime laws (READ speech thought and opinion crime laws) are just there to keep people from being offended.

    They are there to silence dissent from whatever is politically correct from the view of those in power at the time.

    I do not trust big government or that special interests groups won’t use laws like that to silence dissent making a country into a new Soviet Union.

    I do not believe it should be legal to state somehting like Kill all __fill in the blank____, or all ___fill in the blank religion or race or ethnicity___ should be killed or mistreated.

    I do believe its okay to say all people who came here illegaly should leave. although that may be offensive to you. Its merely my view on immigration.

    Anyway like I said laws already exist that make murder, theft, vandalism, injuring another person etc. illegal and prosecutable offenses.

    Hate Crime laws will merely punish unpopular speech or politically incorrect speech and merely serve that purpose and agenda.

  5. Xenos
    January 8, 2009    

    COMMENT EDITED BY DEVIOUS DIVA

    Like all foreigners in Greece, I have experienced the hate speech of Greeks and the complete absence of the rule of law in the country. The fact that you, anonymous person who chose to make an insult against me through your nickname, do not understand the whole point of laws against hate speech is no surprise. We are used to the barbarism and insults thrown at non-Greeks who dare to comment on the society, along with personal attacks. This is the small-mindedness of Greece.

  6. Xenos
    January 8, 2009    

    Sorry, DD, but you are wrong. It is almost exclusively a Greek obsession that there can be no constraints on the freedom of speech, and that the outlawing of hate speech is a very bad thing. This is not racist to say it, it is accurate reporting and by editing it out you are censoring the truth. I know that Greeks don’t like it, but I am not interested. Nor should you be.

  7. Michael Scowcroft
    January 8, 2009    

    Most christian churches view homosexuals as a threat to the “family” (even though homosexuals have families). For this reason, most christians are programmed to “fear” homosexuals, hence the word homo’phobic’.

    It’s the same old story of christianity trying to impose it’s homophobic and bigotted ideas on the public. Just a few examples:

    UK:
    “The Churches are accused today of “institutional homophobia” in a report by the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement.”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1374424/Church-is-accused-of-vilifying-homosexuals.html

    EU:
    “EU Approves Ban on ‘Homophobia’; Christians Remain Silent”
    http://headlines.agapepress.org/archive/1/272006d.asp

    Latin America:
    “In Latin America is the Roman Catholic Church says we must love the homosexual but hate the sin of homosexuality”
    http://www.indiana.edu/~arenal/lathomo.html

    The US:

    “You know, really, when you think about it — let me just be blunt here — when an individual ‘comes out’ and proclaims their homosexuality, really, what they are doing is standing up and saying, ‘I’m a sexual deviant, and I’m proud of it.’ ” – Michael Johnston, head of Kerusso Ministries (an “ex-gay” conversion center) Oct 16, 96

    “It is [a sin]….You should try to show them a way to deal with that problem, just like alcohol…or sex addiction…or kleptomaniacs.” – Senate Republican Leader Trent Lott, Associated Press, June 15, 1998.

    “many of those people involved in Adolf Hitler were Satanists, many of them were homosexuals, the two things seem to go together, it is a pathology it is a sickness.” – Pat Robertson on TV

    It’s attitudes like the above that keep the fires of homophobia and hatred of gays alive.
    My question is this: if homosexuality is such an awful sin to christians, then why is not mentioned in The Ten Commandments?

  8. January 8, 2009    

    Please consider this to be a final warning…

    Can EVERYONE please stop the personal attacks on individuals on this blog whether through your comments or your nickname. I have edited all of them out for now but in future I will just delete.

    Also, can EVERYONE stop making offensive sweeping generalisations about ANY group of people. I have edited them out this time but in future I will just delete.

    It is possible to have an ACTUAL discussion about the issues here (Free Speech and Hate speech etc) without resorting to these tactics.

    Thank you.

    deviousdivas last blog post..Community News

  9. Michael Scowcroft
    January 8, 2009    

    DD, you wrote: “Also, can EVERYONE stop making offensive sweeping generalisations about ANY group of people. I have edited all of them out for now but in future I will just delete.”

    But further down I read this: “I have experienced the hate speech of Greeks and the complete absence of the rule of law in the country.”

    “hate speech of Greeks” is a generalization, “hate speech of SOME Greeks” is surely more acceptable?

  10. George
    January 8, 2009    

    Although I don’t agree with him, I can understand why Post Disagreement thinks this way about immigrants coming to Greece and possibly changing the demographics of Greece.

    However, I would ask him to challenge his idea that a country should be made up of a specific racial/ethnic/religious demographic. The more forward thinking and the reality of the future is that we are all human beings occupying this earth. If Greece becomes 70% Albanian/Pakistani/British or whatever nationality, than so be it, but it will still be Greek & Greece. Welcome your immigrants and make them Greeks instead of fighting them with racism and hatred.

  11. Xenos
    January 8, 2009    

    A few replies. (1) When I write about the “hate speech of Greeks” it does not mean, and it is clear to everyone, that all Greeks are exactly the same. It means that it is such a common and accepted phenomenon that it is reasonable to characterise Greeks in Greece with this. “Some Greeks” means absolutely nothing, and is a worthless phrase. The fact is that Greeks, uniquely in the civilised world, do not accept limitations on hate speech (even though there are laws against it): this is a cultural attribute and people, like Michael, who do not know Greece should not criticise those of us who know it well.

    (2) The conservatism and hypocrisy of Greeks (not some Greeks, but the majority) concerning homosexuality is incredible. It is a society where practised male homosexuality is widespread amongst the married population, is supposedly reviled by the Church and politicians yet seems to be a normal (although concealed) lifestyle of both. This constitutes a sick and dishonest culture.

    (3) Greece consists largely of immigrants from the wider Balkan and Mediterranean area from migrations over the last few hundred years. The idea that these are “pure” Greeks is so laughable, that I could die laughing at it. Yet the current population has been so deluded by nationalist propaganda that they actually believe their culture is millennia old and is being threatened by new immigration. Try reading some serious history; try thinking outside of the schoolbook propaganda; try being part of the modern world, for once.

    (4) The fact that most immigrants arrived illegally is irrelevant: the Pontian immigrants also mostly arrived illegally so the government passed a new law giving them automatic citizenship. Every Greek knows that almost everything in Greece is illegal, semi-legal, fake legal, etc: anyone who attacks non-Greeks for lack of legality is just playing games with foreigners. Some of us are not so stupid as to fall for that trick.

  12. January 8, 2009    

    Xenos. That’s not what you wrote though.

    deviousdivas last blog post..Community News

  13. January 8, 2009    

    Goodness. Being online all the time due to my current job can be wonderful but very distracting! :-)

    Personally, I cannot say that I have ever been threatened by demographic changes. I have been part of a “minority” all my life although I am British according to my passport.

    “Racial/ethnic/religious majorities” have been a reality for me even though they weren’t my own so I find it hard to relate to the fear of being “taken over”.

    Perhaps someone who feels the fear could explain ?

    deviousdivas last blog post..No More… Again

  14. January 8, 2009    

    “When I write about the “hate speech of Greeks” it does not mean, and it is clear to everyone, that all Greeks are exactly the same.”

    It’s not clear to me and/or maybe to other people? When you say “Greeks” you mean “all Greeks” not just some. Language is divisive. Let’s take care?

  15. Michael Scowcroft
    January 8, 2009    

    Welcome back George. Where have you been? You seemed to have disappeared from here during the Greek riots but reappeared when they stopped! You haven’t been chucking stones have you?

    Xenos,
    “When I write about the “hate speech of Greeks” it does not mean, and it is clear to everyone, that all Greeks are exactly the same. It means that it is such a common and accepted phenomenon that it is reasonable to characterise Greeks in Greece with this.”

    I have a BIG problem with that^.

    It is not “clear to everyone” that your gemeralisations do not apply to all the people of a nation. A generalisation by definition is a general application to a group of people for that which YOU BELIEVE is a common phenomenon.

    It is unwise for us to make generalisations because it is an abstract concept i.e. you formulate your general concepts by abstracting common properties from instances that YOU CHOOSE. Therefore, you cannot hope to derive accurate conclusions about a group of people for complex issues such as homophobia or hate speech because you do not have evidence for these views from the GENERAL population.

    I think we should all refrain from making these sweeping generalizations. I’ve been reading some past postings from this blog and I’ve read quite a few sweeping generalisations about people in Greece, including Roma, immigrants, and Greek citizens which are clearly generalisations but have been largely accepted by DD, despite forum rules (I can provide examples if you wish).

    Generalisations and characterisations form the basis for racist attitudes such as “black people are aggressive” or “blacks can’t swim” and are demeaning and totally offensive. So i urge everyone to refrain from making sweeping generalisations.

    Xenos, do you like Greeks?

  16. Xenos
    January 8, 2009    

    Michael: you do not live in Greece, you do not publish articles or conduct research on Greece (as far as I know). So, you write your personal opinions. Others write on the basis of more extensive knowledge, such as history, legal cases, personal contacts with Greeks over 20 years etc. Making a valid observation about the cultural behaviour of a specific group is very different from making sweeping generalisations about people that you dislike. Sorry if you don’t get that, but that is why some of us have spent more than than thirty years stydying and lecturing in universities — to try to understand things better.

    To answer your last question: I like some Greeks, I am lukewarm about some, and I dislike others. What I do dislike are some specific aspects of the culture, which is what I posted above. I also dislike some aspects of UK culture, but I do not post them here because this blog is about Greece. I should not have to defend myself for posting accurate comments which are simply unpopular with certain people. You have to justify why it is not permitted to characterise life in a certain culture: this is known as censorship, to most people.

  17. January 8, 2009    

    Sorry but I am going to be unpopular either way!

    @Michael Scowcroft
    Yes, there are generalisations which still stand on this blog. Mostly, because I have not had time in the past to edit, delete etc before others have replied. I have been asked to remove certain comments because they are offensive and then I am accused of censorship.

    @ All

    Seriously people, you have to understand that this is a no-win situation.

    @Xenos

    You said “Making a valid observation about the cultural behaviour of a specific group is very different from making sweeping generalisations about people that you dislike”

    Not sure about that. I don’t know what you would call a “valid observation” and what is a generalistion. I would rather we talked about specific issues and about attitudes that are expressed by individuals rather than “them” and “us”, if you know what I mean. There are problems which are endemic in Greece which most Greek people I know are aware of and angry about but they are not characteristic of Greeks. There is a difference.

    Here’s to being unpopular !

    deviousdivas last blog post..No More… Again

  18. Michael Scowcroft
    January 8, 2009    

    DD, I understand the position you are in and you’re doing a wonderful job. It must be hard to post on this blog and moderate it and hold down a job at the same time, so I can’t expect you to correct past posts as well.
    But i think it’s important that we’re consistent with our language : We cannot criticise those who make sweeping generalisations about immigrants and Roma on the one hand, but then we go ahead and generalise about Greek people on the other. This is the height of hypocrisy. You are spot-on with your admonition of “valid observations”.

    I must admit, I cringe when Xenos talks about “cultural behaviour of a group of people”. To me, this sounds like the racists and bigots who talk about “rubbish-leaving, dirty gypsies”, “aggressive, crime-prone blacks”, “lazy Mexicans” or “tight Jews”. The racists talk as if it’s part of a groups’ “way of life” to be lazy, dirty, anti-semitic, tight etc.. . In the same way, I don’t believe that the average Greek/Portuguese/Italian is more prone to be homophobic or accepting of hate speech than anyone else. Everyone is an individual, let’s not attach stereotypes to whole groups of people.

    Alot of racists (perhaps subconcsiously) make the generalisation that blacks aren’t good swimmers because it is “observed” that black swimmers never compete in the Olympics. In 1969, a pamphlet by Ohio University titled ‘The Negro and Learning How to Swim’ made the assertion that black people have a biological makeup which made them less buoyant than white people. The study was based on a racist generalisation not science. The publication has since been nullified, but the generalisation that “blacks can’t swim” still persists among racists. We should be careful about making collective observations about groups of people.

    There are often factors which racists ignore and which nullify their generalisations.
    In my example, young athletic black men are traditionally more likely to go into football and basketball rather than swimming or tennis. But we are seeing barriers being broken down slowly but surely: Arthur Ashe, the Williams sisters, Tiger Woods – swimming is the last barrier concerning black participation in major sports.

    Thankfully, the generalisation that “blacks can’t swim” will soon shattered for ever:
    http://sabirswims.com/photo.htm

    Xenos: “I like some Greeks, I am lukewarm about some, and I dislike others.”

    It’s so nice to see the word “some” in your post.
    “All generalizations are dangerous, even this one” 😉
    (Alexandre Dumas)

  19. Michael Scowcroft
    January 8, 2009    

    I noticed that it doesn’t allow you to quote another poster directly or leave lines between text either. Will take some time to get used to…
    Have a nice evening DD :)

  20. Xenos
    January 8, 2009    

    Michael, have you ever lived and worked in another country? I ask because those of us who have (4 or 5 in my case) know very well that there are major differences in cultural values even between EU countries. By denying this, you are claiming that everywhere is like the UK. Well, sorry to tell you this, but you’re wrong. I suggest you get a bit more experience of life and the world before you start lecturing me (and others) about it. It shows a degree of arrogance which is quite unacceptable.

  21. January 8, 2009    

    Back in my (minor competition) swimming days, I was told that black people couldn’t swim because they had an extra bone in their leg!

    I’m off out tonight so I won’t be moderating until tomorrow. Play nice please.

    BTW: @ Michael Scowcroft
    Your comments are held in moderation because you put links in them. For some reason, my blog does not approve comments with any number of links even just one. I set it to three but it ignores me ! Got to love technology !

    deviousdivas last blog post..No More… Again

  22. Post Disagreement
    January 9, 2009    

    XENOS WROTE:

    Like all foreigners in Greece, I have experienced the hate speech of Greeks and the complete absence of the rule of law in the country.

    >What does that mean. Did they call you ugly evil did they threaten to kill you or injury you deny you housing?

    The fact that you, anonymous person who chose to make an insult against me through your nickname, do not understand the whole point of laws against hate speech is no surprise. We are used to the barbarism and insults thrown at non-Greeks who dare to comment on the society, along with personal attacks. This is the small-mindedness of Greece.
    > Your anonymous too Xenos, thats not your real name, I understand the STATED reason for Hate Crime Laws BUT I disagree that this is the real reason bureacrats are seeking them.

    And to Michael you missed my point.

    I am not saying Religions should have no restrictions on what they can do or say at all, but we have to be careful to distinguish between calling for violence and calling something wrong. NOTE: I am not saying anything in terms of my views. I am talking about this from a Freedom of Speech perspective and Freedom of Belief.

    XENOS wrote:

    A few replies. (1) When I write about the “hate speech of Greeks” it does not mean, and it is clear to everyone, that all Greeks are exactly the same. It means that it is such a common and accepted phenomenon that it is reasonable to characterise Greeks in Greece with this. “Some Greeks” means absolutely nothing, and is a worthless phrase. The fact is that Greeks, uniquely in the civilised world, do not accept limitations on hate speech (even though there are laws against it): this is a cultural attribute and people, like Michael, who do not know Greece should not criticise those of us who know it well.

    >>>You must have never lived in the United States before to say what you are saying about Free Speech.

    >>>What I do not get about you is that you are beyond just criticizing Greece and Greeks. DD criticizes Greece but I do not get the impression that she has a chip on her shoulder. Personally if Greece or any place were truly so horrible as Greece and Greeks I would move on or move back to one of the 4 or 5 other countries you lived in before? Why are you here in Greece?

    (2) The conservatism and hypocrisy of Greeks (not some Greeks, but the majority) concerning homosexuality is incredible. It is a society where practised male homosexuality is widespread amongst the married population, is supposedly reviled by the Church and politicians yet seems to be a normal (although concealed) lifestyle of both. This constitutes a sick and dishonest culture.

    >>>So the majority of Greeks are hypocrites ( and being conservative means being a hypcorite ) and the majority of married males are practing homosexuality..you took a poll I assume or know from personal experience.

    >> I agree with you on the following:
    Politicians and Clergy are hypocritical, so whats new?
    Thats not a trait of Greece or Greeks only or uniquely as you put it.

    >>>I have noted some juvenile anti-Greek youtube video by a nationalist Albanian that complains about racism against Albanians in Greece while calling us GAYreeks..is that you.

    (3) Greece consists largely of immigrants from the wider Balkan and Mediterranean area from migrations over the last few hundred years. The idea that these are “pure” Greeks is so laughable, that I could die laughing at it. Yet the current population has been so deluded by nationalist propaganda that they actually believe their culture is millennia old and is being threatened by new immigration. Try reading some serious history; try thinking outside of the schoolbook propaganda; try being part of the modern world, for once.

    >>>Well I do not subscribe to the idea there are pure anything in any country..But there is a dominant gene pool that is correlated to the ancient Greeks and Romans and others have admixed over time to form one common culture.

    >>>Is the country you originate from in the modern world? Would your homeland welcome a 20% demographic change in 15 years?
    I am not against some level of immigration but I do think Greece is full, it does not ahve the capacity to handle more than it has now.

    (4) The fact that most immigrants arrived illegally is irrelevant: the Pontian immigrants also mostly arrived illegally so the government passed a new law giving them automatic citizenship.

    >>>The Pontian Greeks are actual Greeks and what you say is not really correct. Ethnic Greeks who are citizens of another country do in fact according to law have a right to immigrate to and become Greek citizens. Is it racist in your eyes for Greece to grant refuge to Greeks. Where are they supposed to go to Albania or Turkey where our rights are stomped on all the time.

    Xenos also wrote:

    Every Greek knows that almost everything in Greece is illegal, semi-legal, fake legal, etc:

    >>>So their is corruption in Greece but it is quite over the top to say everything is illegal, semi-legal or fake. Worse it such a broad generalization that it makes no sense. i.e, there are illegal drugs in Greece, Illegal immigrants, illegal hiring, guess what that happens in Turkey, Russia, USA etc. too.

    anyone who attacks non-Greeks for lack of legality is just playing games with foreigners. Some of us are not so stupid as to fall for that trick.

    >>> I am not attacking anyone, merely expressing my objection to the amount of immigration and the fact that most of it is illegal.

  23. Post Disagreement
    January 9, 2009    

    XENOS:

    Any objective person can sense your hatred towards Greece and Greeks in general except for some few people you might like.

    GEORGE WROTE:

    If Greece becomes 70% Albanian/Pakistani/British or whatever nationality, than so be it, but it will still be Greek & Greece. Welcome your immigrants and make them Greeks instead of fighting them with racism and hatred.

    >>>Actually no it wont be Greek any longer. Asia Minor was once a majority Christian and Greek-Speaking..Today its mostly Muslim and Turkish speaking and the people for the most part identify themselves as Turks and Kurds..although there is probably significant amount of Greek and Armenian gene pool that got assimilated in over time.

    >>Who said anything about Hating or being Racist.
    Thats just a means to silence debate.
    Look if Greece really and truly needed this many immigrants then fine. But the fact is there is a high unemployment amongs young people here and amongst immigrants legal and illegal we clearly have no need for this number of people here. the type of person is really an important and secondary issue. Like I said I will take a Black Ethiopian Orthodox or Coptic Christian from Egypt over the Muslims for reason of cultural assimilateability and societal peace.

    I have met many fine people of many different kinds of backgrounds. But the truth is too much diversity often causes strife. One group feels offended by this or that another by this or that.( ex: Animal Rights Activists vs. Muslims). And that strife is worse when their are economic problems. Diversity is manageable only in a robust economy or by a communist style government that suppresses all ethnic identification and controls daily life a lot more than in a democracy.

  24. Michael Scowcroft
    January 9, 2009    

    Xenos, I think others will judge who is arrogant. I cannot bring myself to hate people like you do. Only racists and bigots make such crass generalisations such as “Greek cultural values make Greeks likely to be homophobic, anti-immigrant or anti-semitic”. That’s hate speech. Would you approve of someone who said “Jewish cultural values make Jews more likely to be greedy with money etc…” or “the Travellers’ nomadic culture make them prone to be dirty and dump rubbish”? Your “cultural values” thing is seriously flawed and very offensive to the human race.
    Don’t torture yourself mate, don’t be among people you clearly despise and can barely tolerate. Life is too short mate. You’d both be better off without each other (Greeks will probably be much better off).

    You say that you like “some” Greeks, but you fail to acknowledge that, as Greeks, they must share the same culture, education and values as those Greeks you clearly despise. How can Greek culture and values be present in a group of people you both like and despise at the same time? Surely it’s not the culture and values that’s to blame but the attitudes of individual people you dislike?
    Your reasoning is based on generalisations and, like all racism, it doesn’t make sense.

    In Portugal, we have young people who are respectful to elders, we have no loutish behaviour or fights when the bars shut, no catfights at closing time, no ‘hoodies’ on street corners at 3am and a society which is family-oriented and respectful to each other.
    I suspect the culture is similar in Greece. I wish i could say the same for British culture and values.
    Bloody foreigners, with all their cultural values…

  25. Xenos
    January 9, 2009    

    Since you two commentators obviously don’t understand plain English properly, I will say it very precisely: I do not dislike Greeks. OK?

    On some specific points, since I cannot be bothered with people’s opinions of me, you should note the following:

    (1) There is no law in Greece (and never has been) giving the right of immigration to those claiming to be ethnic Greeks. This is just popular Greek belief and completely wrong. So ethnic Greeks enter either on a special visa (which is very restricted) or more typically as illegal immigrants or tourists who stay illegally. OK?

    (2) IN Asia Minor during the Ottoman period, Greeks were a minority across the region. In northern Greece, before the Greek army invaded and slaughtered Muslims in the Second Balkan War, Greeks were a minority in much of the region. In Thessaloniki, they were about 20%; in some areas of Thraki they were 0%. The real history of Greece is a history of diaspora; the fake history is a story of how Greeks have always “owned” the territory that is now called Greece. The extent of intermarriage and even changing of religion is completely concealed in Greek propaganda, so that modern Greeks think there is a continuous “pure” bloodline back to Aristotle or something. Completely absurd…

    (3) Michael: if you disregard the experiences and extensive knowledge of educated people living in a country that you hardly know, and put your own political correctness ideology above those, you are arrogant. Yes, you should listen to what people living in Israel tell you about the behaviour of Israelis (not Jews), because they know a lot more than you do. OK?

  26. January 9, 2009    

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  27. Michael Scowcroft
    January 9, 2009    

    Xenos, almost everything you write are examples of a State “behaving badly”. Your examples are hardly indications that the malaise in Greek society is caused by Greek “cultural behaviour” and “cultural values”.
    Nothing you say justifies making sweeping generalisations about the culture and values of the Greek people. Call me ‘politically correct’ all you like but it’s extreme voices like yours which made generalisations of a group of people in Nazi Germany and placed yellow stars on them and herded them onto trains because of the generalised belief that their cultural values were somehow inferior or harmful.

    “I do not dislike Greeks. OK?”

    I think you despise Greeks.
    I believe that you consider the locals beneath you (you share the views of many of my ex-pat acquaintances in Portugal – just like you, they believe
    Portuguese culture is to blame for the country being poor and rife with corruption – they think that the Portuguese are lazy and backward – sweeping generalizations just like yours).
    Frankly, I don’t think you like yourself either. You wouldn’t put your body and mind in an environment you clearly despise if you had any respect for yourself. You have been clearly hurt by Greek people in a way only you would know about but i don’t believe that spouting generalisations and hate speech on blogs will heal you.
    I’m sorry to say these hurtful things but i have to say what i feel. I don’t see the point of your generalisations. Don’t you see that they do more harm than good?

    I respect people who go to a foreign country and see things that they disapprove of and try to put things right or help the local population (like the brave volunteers in Gaza for example or DD helping the Roma purely from the goodness of their heart) but my heart sinks when i see people like you making crude generalisations about whole nations whilst sitting in their ivory towers and doing practically nothing to help the community you live in. Writing hateful generalizations on the blogosphere does not help anyone.

    Yes, you should speak up when you see injustice in society but we should be criticising governments not blaming the ills of a society on the “cultural values” of it’s people – this is too simplistic and downright offensive.
    Allow me to share something with you:
    When i first went to live in Portugal my wife and i were horrified by the amount of stray dogs in the rural villages. They weren’t fed for days on end and were covered in fleas. To be honest, i believed that the Portuguese were barbaric because of their apparent apathy for the plight of these animals. After a few months, my wife and i bought a small garage and decided to convert it to house and feed stray dogs. We fed and watered them every day, de-loused and wormed them and had them neutered and paid for all vet bills. When my wife went back to work we advertised for volunteers and we were astounded by the response of the locals – the support and goodwill they displayed shattered all my prejudices about the Portuguese people. They would feed and water them when we couldn’t and you could see a difference in the dogs appearance and state of health within a few days after staying with us. With the help of local volunteers, the dogs received love, care and attention and the local cattle vet gave his time and medicines for free.
    We organised charity events locally where we funded a neuter program for dogs and cats in our district. We couldn’t have asked for a better response from the Portuguese people.
    Our humble sanctuary is now part-subsided by the Portuguese government and European charities and we employ two locals to take care of the animals. As soon as funds allow, we will build stables to take in donkeys.

    The reason why i’m sharing this with you is that whenever we Brits go to a foreign country and see things which we disapprove of, we’re often quick to point the finger and start criticising and generalising about the natives and their culture and their values. But it is isn’t until we scratch the surface and realise that there are often reasons of poverty behind many ills in their society and they receive scant education and assistance from the government which purports to support them. It isn’t the culture of Portuguese to be apathetic to animals but if they are struggling themselves to make ends meet and put food on the table due to unemployment and other factors, we can hardly blame them for not providing care and food and support to animals. The love and support given to us by the Portuguese people shattered all my illusions about the Portuguese culture being apathetic to animal welfare – the Portuguese showed that they aren’t “barbaric” or “cruel” at all and this has taught me a great life lesson: Never make assumptions or generalisations about a group of people or their culture because human nature is basically good and people will prove it to you time and time again if you give them the chance.

  28. George
    January 9, 2009    

    Michael, when you asked if I was involved in the riots, protests etc. No, not me, but ironically, I was in the Excharchia area today and happened upon a group of anarchists screaming at a group of about 15 police in Green-Military style uniforms (with gas masks). I was a bit apprehensive since I was sort of in the middle, Police behind me marching up the street, and anarchists shuffling from the other direction. So, I chose sides quickly. I asked one of the riot police officers the safest, quickest way out of the area, and he pointed since I couldn’t understand what he said with the mask on. I quickly egressed from the area and was not sure what happened then.

    See, if you are polite to Greek Police, they don’t attack you!

  29. Michael Scowcroft
    January 9, 2009    

    Trouble seems to follow you around George 😉 You say you haven’t been pelting Greeks with stones but I saw you throw some metaphorical stones at Greeks on other blogs…Why are you giving Greeks such a bad rap? They seem quite friendly to me, they seem a pretty jovial lot. I remember when Greece won the European Championship in 2006, the local Greek restaurant spilled into the road and were jumping around like nutters. I wish i could have that experience once in my lifetime. Come on England!

  30. Xenos
    January 9, 2009    

    Michael: I don’t accept lectures (let alone amateur psychoanalysis) from people who know nothing of me, of Greece or what they are talking about. If you are not interested to learn about Greece from experts on it, I think it would be best for you not to participate on Greek blogs. I do not go to Portuguese blogs and tell them how they should do things or how to think, and for good reason: I am not competent to do so on the basis of having visited Portugal once. So, perhaps you could show just a little humility and interest in learning from the people who actually know something, instead of playing the modern British game of “Look how politically correct I am, and how disgusting my fellow Brits are!” Basically, you are pathetic.

  31. Michael Scowcroft
    January 10, 2009    

    Sorry Xenos, I don’t believe that you’re an expert on anything except generalisations and talking a load of flannel juice.

  32. Post Disagreement
    January 12, 2009    

    Just because you live in Greece does not make you an expert on it, have you been to different parts of Greece and interacted with many different people in Greece, Students, families, elderly, rural, urban, etc.

    I do not disagree that there are problems in Greece and with Greek society but you say something like corruption (i.e. your statement of “everything is fake, semi-fake or illegal”) is a unique trait of Greece.

    You also avoid the question of where do you come from?
    I ask because obviously one would assume we are making comparisons of Greece to some other places.

    And what religious background do you come from?

    Are there no corrupt politicians, Churches or whatever house of worship is dominant in your original domicile..that are corrupt…please share where is this utopia.

    Ironically you are critical of Israel, but support hate crime (speech, thought and opinion crime) laws.

    EJC and ADL both are one of the forces (although not the only ones) pushing for these laws to silence protest of Israeli actions in general, arguing that the anti-Israel protests are racist and anti-semitic against Jews..yes they do say its okay for legitimate criticism of Israel but then follow it by pointing to examples of placards that compare IDF to Nazis arguing that is unacceptable.

    Perhaps an Israeli living in Europe might be truly and honestly offended by the comparison of his nations security forces to Nazis, but its not the same thing as calling all Israelis or Jews Nazis. However, if we have stiffer hate crime laws and a hate crime tribunal a la Soviet style communism technically speaking this persons offense at what is being said would be all that matters and politically “incorrect” speech would get the protestors tossed in Jail with hate crimes charges.

    Laws already exist to provide justice for crimes and incitement to criminality.

    Its a slippery slope when a society embraces these kind of rules, because tomorrow these same laws could be turned against you. I could say I am offended by the things you say and you are causing anti-Hellenic or anti-Orthodox Christian sentiment and I want you thrown in Jail or fined.

    Interestingly enough Turkey our next door neighbor has a version of “hate Crime (read thought, opinion and speech) crime laws…and they are applied in the reverse way…i.e, Laws against insulting Turkishness, Turkey, ataturk, stating Turkey committed a genocide against armenians, etc. I say its reverse because in the Western nations esp. UK and Canada and Sweden you can say anti-British or anti-Christian, anti-White things but not anything remotely critical of immigrants or immigration, homosexuals, Muslims, etc.(because of the idea that this will protect minorities) in Turkey the laws are intended to protect Turks in Turkey from criticism of her history and present policies.

    So, any time a state starts wielding powers of restriction against speech, opinions and thoughts freedom loving people need to be vigilant to make sure they do not cross the line..to genuinely separate them from actual incitements to violence versus their use agains those who think differently on an issue or anything really.

  33. Xenos
    January 12, 2009    

    The answer to all parts of your first question is Yes. My own nationality is not at issue, so I see no point in discussing it: I would feel the same (more or less) as a Greek, since most of my Greek colleagues have similar views about the corruption that pervades modern Greece and why it seems to have taken root.

    Turkey has a serious problem with human rights, which Greece has (partially) avoided through EU membership. It is interesting that Greek people like to compare themselves with Turkey as if that is the litmus test: it is not. The litmus test is what sort of society and democracy YOU would like for your country, rather than defending out-of-date religious nonsenses and malfunctioning state apparatuses. This defensive posture is one of the reasons that problems are not addressed in Greece, and people need to wake up to a simple reality: you don’t solve problems by denying their existence.

  34. Michael Scowcroft
    January 12, 2009    

    Xenos’ views are similar to those of the Little Englanders i know – they make generalisations and condescending remarks about the “P.I.G.S.” (Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain).

    These Brits consider the people of Southern Europe and the Mediterranean to be “greasy, cheating, corrupt, foreign-muck-eating, sweaty, lazy, dirty bastards”. They often use the acronym “P.I.G.S.” because they feel that it sort of describes the people of these countries. Unbeknownst to them, it is mainly a term used by economists for shorthand.

    When you point out at these generalisations are often offensive and racist, they say “i’m not racist, i’ve got Spanish/Italian/Portuguese/Greek friends and colleagues”, and “I’m only trying to point out the error of their ways” just like Xenos has done (as if his racist stereotyping and offensive generalisations is helping).
    The racism against the people of Southern Europe is quite disturbing.

  35. Xenos
    January 12, 2009    

    I do not accept this offensive personal attack, making allegations which are completely unfounded. Please ban this person from your blog, DD, because he has nothing intelligent to say and is just inventing lies for his personal aggrandisement.

  36. Michael Scowcroft
    January 12, 2009    

    I wondered how long it would be before you tried to blackmail DD. Another “pseudo-intellectual” attempted to give DD a similar ultimatum (“Ban him, or i’ll leave” which really meant: “Ban opposing viewpoints, or i’ll leave”) but luckily, DD is too clever for you by half and she saw right through it.
    If you don’t like my posts, scroll past them – no-one is forcing you to read them. But don’t expect to make sweeping and offensive generalisations about groups of people and expect NOT be pulled up on it.
    Oh, and please identify the personal attack.

  37. Xenos
    January 12, 2009    

    Blackmail??To ask DD to stop personal attacks. You know perfectly well what is the personal attack and I cannot even be bothered to point it out. The problem is that you think you are so fucking clever when you are not. We have nothing to learn from you, and you are not interested to learn anything about Greece, so why do you bother coming here?

  38. Michael Scowcroft
    January 13, 2009    

    Xenos,
    It was not my intention to upset you but I can understand your frustration. Trying to get me banned with the old “personal attack” ploy was a good effort, but no cigar. It’s interesting to note that when I ask you to identify the personal attack, you plead: “can’t be bothered”.
    Well, I can be bothered to defend my comments, especially when someone wants to have me banned for stating the obvious. So please, allow me clarify my comments: I accused you of racist stereotyping and offensive generalisations.

    This is not a personal attack against you because I am aware that many ex-pats share your attitude and I made reference to this in my post. I feel sorry for you and I feel sorry for the ex-pats who share your racist attitudes and generalisations.

    Alot of people read this blog and the last thing they want to see is one Brit making offensive generalisations and another Brit criticising him for it.
    I think it would be more constructive for us to talk about the issues which are universal to everyone so let’s agree to get along on this blog (or at least tolerate each other – you call always “scroll past” my posts, they obviously upset you).
    Racism, Homophobia, Sexism etc have touched every corner of this earth and many people may want to post a comment on this blog and share their personal experience or talk about the issues which DD introduces.
    But I’m concerned that your exclusion policy (“you don’t live here, so we can’t learn from you”) will perhaps dissuade people from sharing their experiences on this blog.
    I’m sure that you’ve frightened many readers with your aggressive and superior tone. For example, a reader from Holland/USA/Poland/Italy etc may refrain from commenting on this blog because of your exclusion policy. Would-be contributors may feel that their opinions will be attacked because they don’t live in Greece.
    According to you, people are not “competent” to comment on the issues unless they live in Greece.
    The articles and news which DD posts may be Greece-oriented but the issues that are involved touch all of us in some way and everyone has an experience and an opinion which we can all learn from. So, with an olive branch in hand, i urge you, let us non-Greece-living people share our thoughts and experiences on this blog without fear of being attacked by your royal highness.

  39. Xenos
    January 13, 2009    

    OK, I am not going to reply to these disgraceful accusations of racism from an ignorant political correctness policeman in another country. I will not post any further in this blog. I am also aware of others here who are sick of your arrogant attitude. Write your crap, here, and you can have a nice chat with DD. I will not participate.

  40. Michael Scowcroft
    January 13, 2009    

    Xenos,
    Your ultimatums are pathetic and your imaginary friends are ridiculous.
    Confucious say: “I from Singapore and I like Xenos. He seem smart man”. Even your invented people are stereotypes!
    Come on mate, do you really think DD is that dumb? Grow up.

  41. Michael Scowcroft
    January 13, 2009    

    DD,
    “do you really think DD is that dumb?”
    I don’t mean to imply that you are ‘dumb’ at all, DD.
    I hope my comment above isn’t misunderstood. Sorry if i caused any unintended offence.

    Xenos,
    I’m still offering the olive branch to you – let’s agree to tolerate each other on this blog (for the benefit of everyone).
    But you should apologise for making offensive generalisations – i’ve heard these generalisations about Southern European people time and again in Portugal – it’s not cool.
    More importantly, you really should promise not to dismiss the opinions of people who don’t live in Greece – you can attack their opinions but not the fact they don’t live in Greece – i think you should retract your statements that people are not “competent” to post here unless they live in Greece. I think you might be scaring alot of people into not posting here with your comments.

  42. Michael Scowcroft
    January 13, 2009    

    :roll:

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