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BS: Nazi salute in church

mg 26 Sep 04 - 12:29 AM
The Fooles Troupe 26 Sep 04 - 12:33 AM
Bill D 26 Sep 04 - 12:40 AM
mg 26 Sep 04 - 12:40 AM
mg 26 Sep 04 - 12:43 AM
CarolC 26 Sep 04 - 12:56 AM
GUEST,Obie 26 Sep 04 - 01:22 AM
GUEST 26 Sep 04 - 02:50 AM
Wolfgang 26 Sep 04 - 03:45 AM
Wolfgang 26 Sep 04 - 04:02 AM
mg 26 Sep 04 - 04:12 AM
Mark Cohen 26 Sep 04 - 04:53 AM
mg 26 Sep 04 - 04:57 AM
The Fooles Troupe 26 Sep 04 - 07:09 AM
Mooh 26 Sep 04 - 07:26 AM
kendall 26 Sep 04 - 07:44 AM
GUEST,Jon 26 Sep 04 - 07:58 AM
bbc 26 Sep 04 - 09:38 AM
wysiwyg 26 Sep 04 - 09:45 AM
The Fooles Troupe 26 Sep 04 - 09:47 AM
bbc 26 Sep 04 - 11:35 AM
Big Mick 26 Sep 04 - 12:39 PM
Don Firth 26 Sep 04 - 01:12 PM
GUEST,KT, not signed in. 26 Sep 04 - 01:24 PM
dianavan 26 Sep 04 - 02:03 PM
brid widder 26 Sep 04 - 02:32 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Sep 04 - 05:00 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 26 Sep 04 - 05:01 PM
Joe Offer 26 Sep 04 - 05:27 PM
GUEST,Anne Croucher 26 Sep 04 - 09:21 PM
Little Hawk 26 Sep 04 - 09:40 PM
Deckman 26 Sep 04 - 09:49 PM
Little Hawk 26 Sep 04 - 10:36 PM
maire-aine 26 Sep 04 - 11:28 PM
Little Hawk 27 Sep 04 - 12:11 AM
Jeanie 27 Sep 04 - 05:01 AM
GUEST 27 Sep 04 - 06:40 AM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Sep 04 - 06:58 AM
Blues=Life 27 Sep 04 - 09:09 AM
Big Al Whittle 27 Sep 04 - 10:29 AM
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mg 27 Sep 04 - 01:13 PM
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mg 27 Sep 04 - 02:50 PM
Little Hawk 27 Sep 04 - 03:19 PM
Joe Offer 27 Sep 04 - 04:28 PM
bbc 27 Sep 04 - 06:27 PM
Don Firth 27 Sep 04 - 07:07 PM
Don Firth 27 Sep 04 - 07:08 PM
mg 27 Sep 04 - 07:22 PM
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mg 27 Sep 04 - 07:48 PM
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Deckman 27 Sep 04 - 09:16 PM
Little Hawk 27 Sep 04 - 09:22 PM
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Deckman 27 Sep 04 - 09:32 PM
Blues=Life 27 Sep 04 - 09:46 PM
Deckman 27 Sep 04 - 09:47 PM
Joe Offer 27 Sep 04 - 11:12 PM
mg 28 Sep 04 - 12:26 AM
Deckman 28 Sep 04 - 12:28 AM
The Fooles Troupe 28 Sep 04 - 02:07 AM
Joe Offer 28 Sep 04 - 02:13 AM
Ellenpoly 28 Sep 04 - 03:35 AM
GUEST,Obie 28 Sep 04 - 05:12 AM
Jeanie 28 Sep 04 - 05:39 AM
Irish sergeant 28 Sep 04 - 03:10 PM
Once Famous 28 Sep 04 - 03:22 PM
PoppaGator 28 Sep 04 - 06:12 PM
Little Hawk 28 Sep 04 - 06:22 PM
Joe Offer 28 Sep 04 - 07:58 PM
The Fooles Troupe 28 Sep 04 - 10:30 PM
The Fooles Troupe 29 Sep 04 - 05:55 AM
The Fooles Troupe 29 Sep 04 - 06:03 AM
Nerd 29 Sep 04 - 05:16 PM
dianavan 29 Sep 04 - 08:29 PM
PoppaGator 29 Sep 04 - 09:05 PM
Joe Offer 29 Sep 04 - 11:00 PM
The Fooles Troupe 30 Sep 04 - 01:41 AM
mg 30 Sep 04 - 01:54 AM
The Fooles Troupe 30 Sep 04 - 02:00 AM
mg 30 Sep 04 - 02:27 AM
Big Al Whittle 30 Sep 04 - 06:29 AM
Wolfgang 30 Sep 04 - 07:59 AM
GUEST,Martian Gibbon 30 Sep 04 - 08:35 AM
matai 30 Sep 04 - 08:54 AM
matai 30 Sep 04 - 08:57 AM
Little Hawk 30 Sep 04 - 09:06 AM
GUEST,bbc at work 30 Sep 04 - 11:27 AM
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wysiwyg 30 Sep 04 - 12:14 PM
Little Hawk 30 Sep 04 - 01:11 PM
GUEST 30 Sep 04 - 01:50 PM
George Papavgeris 30 Sep 04 - 02:29 PM
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mg 30 Sep 04 - 04:56 PM
Big Mick 30 Sep 04 - 05:00 PM
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Bill D 30 Sep 04 - 06:22 PM
mg 30 Sep 04 - 06:25 PM
Big Mick 30 Sep 04 - 07:13 PM
bbc 30 Sep 04 - 08:54 PM
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Little Hawk 30 Sep 04 - 09:42 PM
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robomatic 01 Oct 04 - 07:08 AM
Bill D 01 Oct 04 - 05:38 PM
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GUEST 30 Mar 10 - 05:39 PM
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McGrath of Harlow 30 Mar 10 - 06:51 PM
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Subject: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: mg
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 12:29 AM

No lie. They do this in my church, Catholic. And this is fairly new as far as I know. We never did it growing up. It is not a tradition that we always had and the Nazis took over, like they took over the swatzika, or the nice hiking songs. This is something new that they have imposed on us. Some people look just like in the old films. Some sort of at least bend their arms or half way do it. I refuse to do it at all and I write very strong notes and put them in the collection plate. I can not fathom for the life of me why they, whoever they are, the same ones that come up with the super ugly songs they sing now, would come up with this. Is this done in other Catholic churches? Other religions? What would people think if they walked in this church and saw a congregation of mostly older people, old enough to be at least children or teens in WWII, doing this? mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 12:33 AM

I haven't seen this on '60 minutes'.

This has got to be a put on.

Why are you still going there?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 12:40 AM

??? that is a strange post....you never say exactly what they are doing, and when, and 'how' they are dressed...and how the priests act...etc...


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: mg
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 12:40 AM

Because I am a Catholic. I should say we don't shout Heil Hitler but it is the arm thing. Supposed to be a blessing thing. Some blessing I would say. But it is a good question. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: mg
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 12:43 AM

Well, sometimes we don't have priests in this parish. We share with another parish. Maybe I should check and see if they only do it when the priest is not there. Tonight it had to do with who had birthdays in September. They say a prayer and people go up to the altar and the congration does the Nazi salute. This is not part of the liturgy that I grew up with. I'm OK with the birthday part though. This is not a joke. it is for real that they do this.    mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: CarolC
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 12:56 AM

I've seen stuff on TV where congregations of Protestant churches were holding their arms out in the way you describe (and waving them around a bit at the same time). While it looked a bit cloying to me, I didn't make that connection between what they were doing and the Nazi salute. I had the impression they were more along the lines of evangelical congregations though. I'm surprised to hear about it being done in Catholic churches.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: GUEST,Obie
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 01:22 AM

Mary, I am not a Catholic . I was raised Presbeterian but today claim no faith except a strong belief that the Universe contains far more than what we can comprehend. As a child our minister always extended his arm while he was doing the benediction. I never before associated this with the nazi salute , but for sure the motion was the same although the intent was far different.
As a person with a strong Scottish heritage I have an understanding of the tradition of the "firey cross". This has also been stolen from our culture by assholes in the KKK , so that it means something far different from what it once stood for. From what you say, the same may happen to the blessing of the extended arm.
         Obie


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 02:50 AM

Uhmm..no Nazi salute in Church services..Catholic and all..if you want to debate Popes role in ww2 then I will listen..but ..otherwise..maybe you need to find a new Parish.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Wolfgang
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 03:45 AM

Emperor Augustus

There's even a better fittng statue but I didn't find it.
Long before it was called 'Hitler salute' in Germany it was called 'Roman salute'. Perhaps that's the idea, a roman salute in a Roman catholic church?

But I agree they shouldn't adopt something which has bad connotations for many.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Wolfgang
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 04:02 AM

Pope saluting

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: mg
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 04:12 AM

Obie and others...this to my knowledge was not a Catholic tradition that the Nazis stole and made forever evil. It is something imposed on us sheep-like Catholics post-Nazi era. That is what makes it so sickening to me. If there were a long tradition, and maybe there was that I am unaware of, of using that pose, and they wanted to reclaim it I could understand. But not imposing it on us with all its connotations. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 04:53 AM

Mary, I understand your discomfort, but I'm not sure that what you're seeing is actually a "Nazi salute." In many traditions, blessings are given with an outstretched arm. For example, in Judaism, both arms are often outstretched when the rabbi gives what is called the priestly blessing.   In this instance, the person's elbows are slightly bent, and his or her hands are open with the fingers spread, and the palms face the congregation. I imagine that this is true of many other raised-arm religious blessings. Whereas in the Nazi salute, the arm and hand are held in a rigid line, palm down, with thumb and fingers closed together. It could be that the intent was to have a "blessing-like" gesture but some people do it differently so it resembles the military salute. Hard to say without seeing it in person. If other people in your church have the same reaction, then it might be worth mentioning it to whoever makes the decisions about such things.

Aloha,
Mark

PS, For those who might be interested, when the priestly blessing is given by a Kohen (a descendant of the priests at the Temple in Jerusalem, who were descendants of Moses' brother Aaron), the hands are not separated but are held together in a particular posture, which symbolizes the letters of the name of God, and also represents a window through which the Divine presence is seen. Leonard Nimoy saw this gesture as a boy, and appropriated half of it to make the Vulcan "Live long and prosper" sign!


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: mg
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 04:57 AM

I would say it closely resembles the Nazi salute with the rigid arm. I haven't noticed what fingers were doing. Some people do not do the rigid arm. I don't do any of it. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 07:09 AM

I looked at the piccies.
Some might call it 'extending a blessing' - atheists would call it 'waving'.

Not a Nazi Salute.

1) Change your place of worship until you find one more compatible with your comfort zone.

or

2) Seek Professional Help.

or

3) You are winding us up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Mooh
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 07:26 AM

'Thought you were equating the RC church with the Nazi party. I see now you weren't. However, being raised Anglican, it makes for good choir loft amusement. Sounds like a massive misunderstanding on someone's part.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: kendall
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 07:44 AM

I remember as a small boy in school we used to extend our right arm, palm down pointing to the flag and recite the pledge of allegience. Then, suddenly we we told that we were not to do that anymore, but we were to put our hand over our hearts instead. That was in the late 30's or early 40's.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 07:58 AM

Mary, the most sensible thing to do would be to ask the priest why. I feel you are putting us in a position to judge without any knowledge about what we are judging. If it was indeed the Nazi salute - I'd be out of there never to return (unless I felt I could do anything about it) but I think it far more likely you are missreading something.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: bbc
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 09:38 AM

Hi, Mary,

I was very surprised when I saw the subject line for this thread. Obviously, doing a Nazi salute in church would be considered inappropriate & abhorrent by the vast majority of people. Have you ever talked to the folks who make that sign & asked them what their motivation & intended meaning is? I am of Protestant Christian background & have worshipped in many kinds of churches. For the past 15 years or so, I have worshipped in Church of the Nazarene, an offshoot of Methodism. I also have friends who are Assembly of God. I have frequently seen folks raise one or both of their arms (bent or unbent) in response to singing during the service or something that the worship leader has said. To the best of my understanding & in my personal experience, this is a heartfelt response to what is being said, in the same category as saying "amen." It indicates that the person agrees w/ what has been said or sung. It is a proclamation of faith & a show of support to the worship leader. Sometimes, it is done quietly & inconspicuously; sometimes, it is more flamboyant. If the use of this gesture offends you, it may be appropriate to discuss it w/ your priest & the congregation; it may be appropriate to pray about it & see if you can come to peace w/ it. I think this expression is becoming more widespread as people move around & participate in various expressions of Christian worship. I hope this may help you. Feel free to PM me, if I can clarify this any more for you.

best,

Barbara (Protestant in NY)


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: wysiwyg
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 09:45 AM

Garth Brooks got it too, as well as the waving, at his concerts. Maybe body language is just body language, used differently in different settings but outwardly looking the same. We do have a limited number of body parts to express a wide range of thought and feeling.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 09:47 AM

After a little more serious thought, I've realised that you may have stumbled into a group of English Football supporters that are only half pissed...

Not realy Protesting today...


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: bbc
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 11:35 AM

P.S. from bbc--

Mary, I remember seeing this gesture in churches long before I started doing it myself & I remember thinking about it at some length. I didn't want to do it to "go along w/ the crowd" & I didn't want to be seen as someone whose feelings had overwhelmed my reason. I only lift my hands in praise & affirmation when I feel that the Holy Spirit is prompting me to do so &, then, only in what I hope is a quiet, non-distracting way.

best to all,

bbc


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Big Mick
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 12:39 PM

Mary, I think the world of you, but I am not sure what you are thinking on this one. To even label it as a Nazi salute defies logic. I am a Catholic, and I have never seen anyone do a Nazi salute. Just because something looks similar, doesn't mean that is what it is. Isn't a salute an expression of loyalty to a cause, philosophy, or leader? Because, as a military person, I happen to have saluted the same way as many of my enemies, does that mean we supported the same cause? You should ask the simple question as to what the intent is. If it is simply the ritual act of a blessing, that is how it should be taken.

I have attended Catholic Mass all over this country, and in several others. I have never seen anything that any thinking, rational person could construe as a "Nazi" salute, nor have I heard anyone mouth sentiments that could be in any way construed as giving honor or sympathy to a Nazi point of view.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Don Firth
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 01:12 PM

Kendall, being quite ancient, I remember this. While reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, the right arm was extended toward the flag, elbow straight, fingers straight, and in line with the arm. This was the same as the Nazi salute, and that's why it was changed to placing the right hand over the heart early during World War II (I was in the Boy Scouts at the time, and they were real tight on the Flag Code and other such things [it has since become a pretty tight-assed conservative organization]).

Mary, unless there is something else occurring in the church you attend that would support some pretty strange things within that individual church, I think you're probably reading something into it that isn't really there. I attend a Lutheran church (irregularly), and the pastor, at the end of the service, extends her right arm (elbow slightly bent, palm toward the congregation) and bestows the closing blessing. I have seen other pastors raise both arms in a similar manner. I have also seen pastors bestow the closing blessing while raising both arms, elbows well-bent, palms toward the congregation, in a sort of "hands up!" gesture. I think this is probable just the style of the individual pastor or priest.

One robin doth not a spring make. Two robins, perhaps. Three robins, quite probably.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: GUEST,KT, not signed in.
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 01:24 PM

There are so many very good answers up there. To these, I would add only this. Usually, before the congregation extends their arms, they are gently invited or asked by the priest to do so as a means of support and blessing upon those for whom it is intended. For example, "Please join me in a blessing for so and so on their birthday." (or their anniversary or whatever)

It is an invitation to participate as a community, to bless and support one another. The positioning of arms and hands is in no way meant to reflect the Nazi salute. Although I don't know the history about why or how it was decided to include it as a current part of the celebration, it is clear that the intent is to allow blessing to flow through us to one another.

If it makes you uncomfortable because of the association you hold with that particular symbol, don't participate in the physical gesture. But don't allow your discomfort with the gesture make your miss the opportunity to "bless" the person in your heart.

KT


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: dianavan
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 02:03 PM

Mary -

Where do you live?

...also, I don't think you should do anything that makes you uncomfortable, especially in church. Church should be a place where you feel comfortable, safe and "at home" with the congregation and the priest.

Maybe this is why I don't go to church at all.

d


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: brid widder
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 02:32 PM

As a child at school we were instructed to raise our hands in this way to attract the teachers attention... to offer an answer to a question... to ask to leave the room! ... I started school 10 years after the end of the war... no-one ever suggested the gesture was inappropriate or Nazi... it wasn't!! neither is it when used in church... does your church express Nazi opinions... if so leave & go somewhere where you feel more at home... Nazism was... is aboout much more than arm gestures.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 05:00 PM

We used to stick our hands up at school when we wanted to ask the teacher a question. No one thought it meant we were Nazis...

As WYSIWYG put it "We do have a limited number of body parts to express a wide range of thought and feeling."


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 05:01 PM

Mary:

I was a Catholic for many years, converting to the religion as an adult. I never once saw anything vaguely resembling a "salute." I'm a spiritual mongrel, having grown up Methodist, mostly, then becoming a Lutheran after I left the Catholic faith, and am now a Baptist. A northern Baptist, thank you.

As bbc stated it so well, when people feel moved in the Spirit, they often will raise one, or both hands in praise. It's is done as an affirmation of a prayer, or a song, or a scripture and while it was never part of my culture growing up, it has slowly come to feel natural to me. But, it sure ain't a salute. If it was, it'd be a salute to Jesus, I think.. not to be confused with "Heil Hitler."

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 05:27 PM

Hi, Mary -

It's an ancient, traditional symbol of extending a blessing, used in the Catholic Church for at least a millenium or two before Hitler was born. However, before the Second Vatican Council in the 1960's, blessings were usually given only by priests. As Mark Cohen said, the tradition of extending blessings dates back far before the time of Christ. Somehow, the universality of blessings got forgotten in the Cahtolic Church during the Middle Ages, and it was usually priests who gave blessings. In the restoration of the ancient liturgy that took place during and after Vatican II, it was recognized that we all should ask God's blessing on others - and so lay people once again began to use this gesture.

I was blessed by our parish in this way when I was commissioned as a delegate to our diocesan synod. That blessing from the whole community meant a lot to me, much more than a blessing that came just from a priest.

And no, it has nothing at all to do with Hitler. It's an ancient tradition that has been restored. So, not to worry, Mary.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: GUEST,Anne Croucher
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 09:21 PM

There are many very subtle nuances in the extending or raising of the arms - they go back so far that the great apes share some of them.

The angles, and there are many possibilities of different orientations are important.

I find signs expressive - being female and having curved limbs the rotation of the arm from the shoulder is probably more distinct - I think it proves that females communicated more even before they could use words.

The civillian Nazi salute was quite distinct in the straightness of the arm, projecting forward from the shoulder and slightly inwards, palm down hand flat - so when looking at the person being saluted the saluter sees the hand over the head - implications of adoration, homage owed. It was also quite extended in time - at rallies it seemed to be held for many minutes.

Notice if you ever see film of Hitler acknowledging the crowds how he keeps his elbow down close to his ribs, hand raised up so he views the masses over his hand, indicating his separation, difference, and control. I once heard it described as 'namby pamby'- though the describer saw my point when I remarked that there seemed to be no one sniggering. No one would dare.

Simply extending the right hand up and out is not a Nazi salute, and perhaps holding the out held hand as though pouring something from a cupped hand over the people it is directed towards should indicate the true spirit of the gesture in church.

I feel it is not right to allow an entire repertoire of gestures to be tarnished by association with one particular and very precise salute.

Anne


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 09:40 PM

Why must a raised arm be forever copyrighted by the Nazis? What if they had customarily shaken hands? Would we all have to stop doing that too? The swastika is an ancient symbol that was used long before the Nazis, and they turned it the other way. Is a swastika itself evil? Is a raised arm evil?

If they are not consciously emulating Naziism in your church, Mary, then they are not emulating Naziism at all. You're judging the book by its cover, in my opinion.

But if you just can't stand it because of the emotional associations that you feel over it, then I guess you have a problem, and you may have to go to another church to solve that problem.

You know, just because Hitler happened to co-opt a bunch of old cultural symbols that had been around for ages (the Roman salute, the Roman Eagle standards, the Swastika symbol, the Nordic legends, the German Cross, etc, etc, etc.) does not mean that those symbols belong exclusively to Hitler from now till eternity or that they are inevitably associated with evil.

Really, for heaven's sake...do you honestly think your church is trying to give the Nazi salute??? They're making a gesture of blessing.

I resent Hitler being given a permanent monopoly (in various people's minds) over a perfectly good gesture which was around long before the Nazis were ever heard of or dreamt of.

What's more important, Mary? Outer form or inner intention? What would Jesus have said about that?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Deckman
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 09:49 PM

Mary ... you are wise to ask this question. Bob


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 10:36 PM

I bet people were discussing stuff like this back in the days of the Spanish Inquisition too...only it was "imps of satan" they were looking for then, not Neo-Nazis. Every age has its own boogeymen that it obsesses over...going by the outer form, and NOT the inner intention, because it's so much easier to sieze upon outer forms than to actually look within a person for what's really there.

I hope I reincarnate next time in a time and place far distant where nobody has ever even heard of the fecking Nazis! I'm sick of it. It is used as an excuse to cover up and justify other iniquities, to launch new wars and atrocities, to persecute new targets of opportunity.

The people presently ruling in the White House are far more dangerous to the World at this time than the Nazis (given that the Nazis are basically defunct as a power base in this World)...and their chosen outer symbols are the American flag, the American Eagle, the US Marine Corps, the White Star, the US dollar, and stuff like that. Judge them by their intentions and actions, NOT by their outer symbols. Any symbol can be used for good or for evil with equal facility.

Look how the Christians have used the cross in the last 20 centuries...for good and for evil...

The Germans used the cross too. It was (and is) their main national military insignia. A black and white cross. Where do you think that came from? It came from the Christian religion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: maire-aine
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 11:28 PM

I hope you will talk with the priest or the person leading the service. That's the only way you'll get to the bottom of the issue. I have seen occasions where the congregation was asked to stand and extend their hands toward someone who was being blessed for some special reason. But it was something that doesn't happen very often.

Maryanne


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 12:11 AM

And what will you do if you find out that it is not a Nazi salute?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Jeanie
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 05:01 AM

Here is the "On-line Guide to Charismatic Body Language", as observed in the ever-so-slightly irreverent and very tongue-in-cheek Christian website, The Ship of Fools, by Rev. Gerald Ambulance

I thoroughly recommend the outpourings of the "Rev. Gerald" (and his co-writer Stephen Tomkins). His book "My Ministry Manual" is hilarious, especially his tips on writing modern worship songs. Only for those who approve of humour allied to worship. Be warned !

- jeanie


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 06:40 AM

This is not a nazi salute it is a way in which a blessing is signified in many churches.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 06:58 AM

"...they go back so far that the great apes share some of them."

Like beating your chest at the "I Confess".

........................

Maggie Thatcher used to do "keeps (his) elbow down close to (his) ribs, hand raised up" as a way of silencing interviewers. It works quite well in other situations - for example, when you don't want to be stopped by someone inspecting tickets, or are trying to go somewhere that is sort of not open to the public. Not always, but surprisingly often - it more or less says "this is all sorted out already - don't delay me".

If I was a ticket inspector, I'd be inclined to insist on a strip search of anyone who tried it on me. (What a horrible thought with Maggie Thatcher...).

It's also something glove puppets go in for, for reasons of anatomy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Blues=Life
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 09:09 AM

Mary, I was at my daughter's school the other day, and that evil teacher had 24 5th graders doing the Nazi salute. Oh my God, she should be fired! What? Oh, they just knew the answer?
Never mind.










I wouldn't be worried about the church. I'd be worried why you automatically connected an upraised arm with Nazism. Check your own eye for logs, before worrying about specks in others.
:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 10:29 AM

Say forty sieg heils my child, and sin no more....


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 12:56 PM

LOL! Best line yet...

How the hell can people still be this scared of a political movement that was beaten and bombed into smoking wreckage 59 years ago in the rubble of Berlin and has less credibility today with 99% of humanity than OJ Simpson does?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: mg
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 01:13 PM

It exists like a recipe exists. The cake might be crumbled into dust or bombed to bits. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Jeri
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 01:23 PM

I agree with Jon about asking. If something seems incongruous, it makes sense to do that. Symbols and symbolic gestures often are passed down years and adopted, and what they mean to one particular group is more important than assigning meaning based on what another group used them for in the past. You may choose not to use the gesture yourself, but if it's sybolic to what a group of folks, it just makes sense to find out what it's symbolic of to them, or you may wind up believing things about them that aren't true.

I once went to a party when I was in Korea. It was on the rooftop of an apartment buildings, since space is at a premium and rooftops are often residents' common areas. I looked around at the town below and saw many huge, bold swastikas painted on buildings and signs. I thought "Wow...I didn't know there were so many Nazis in South Korea!" I didn't automatically BELIEVE it though, because it just didn't seem to make sense. I asked, and was told the symbol marked Buddhist temples. The arms of the symbol pointed in the opposite direction from the ones on a swastika. I could have gone on insisting they looked too much like swastikas and been bothered every time I saw one, but I couldn't have done anything about them. The Nazis got the swastika and the salute from somewhere else, anyway. The Ku Klux Klan seem to like crosses, but I don't think Christians are going to give those up without a fight.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: mg
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 02:50 PM

I repeat. This is not a practice that as far as I know has been in usage in the Catholic church. It is new probably in the last year or so to me. I have been Catholic my whole life. I never saw it pre or post Vatican council. If you see these people at church, and you see clips of the old war films, you could not tell the difference. I would be all for reclaiming or keeping something that had meaning. It has no continuous historical meaning. maybe they did it centuries ago but they haven't done it in my lifetime. I am not in any way suggesting they have any Nazi inclinations. It is one of those sensitivity things. Why do something with those connotations when it is not something you have always done? Why start it? Use another body part in a less offensive manner. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 03:19 PM

If they do not have Nazi inclinations, then what is the problem? Children in school use essentially the same gesture when raising their hand to indicate they have the answer to a question (as someone else pointed out). It's a pretty basic and natural movement, after all, for a human being to make with their arm.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 04:28 PM

You're absolutely right, Mary. The Catholic Church is a subversive neo-Nazi organization that intends to lead the world to Hitler. It's all a subversive plot, and the world will soon be taken over by Nazi priests and nuns who arrive in black helicopters, singing super ugly songs and goose-stepping with outstretched arms. It was a good place in the days of your childhood, but it was taken over by Nazi spies after World War II. Soon, it will take over the world and bring it to Hitler.

Don't bother asking a priest for an explanation. He'll only lie to you and tell you the extended arm is an ancient symbol of blessing that has been used for millenia. He'll say the gesture has always been used by priests in giving blessings, but that it hadn't been used by lay people in the last few centuries, until it was restored recently. See? That proves he's a Nazi! All lies!!!

There - are you happy now?
If you are, then I have to say I'm very disappointed in you. I think you need to do some serious thinking, and it really would be a good idea for you to talk with a priest or other parish leader. You have a lot of misconceptions to let go of. Open your mind and spend some time studying the history of Catholic rituals and symbols. Almost all of the "new" practices are restorations of ancient traditions that had been practiced for centuries and forgotten in the Middle Ages. Those "ugly" songs that use scripture texts for lyrics are a good example.

-Joe Offer, who must be a heretic because he has a Theology degree from a Catholic seminary-


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: bbc
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 06:27 PM

Mary, I'm sorry you feel that way. I feel quite sure the folks at your church don't intend to be offensive. If you don't want to ask them or the priest for input, perhaps you should consider why you are reacting so strongly to this phenomenon. I suspect that the negative feelings you seem to have about it will affect your ability to worship there. We can rarely change others. Good grief! It's hard enough to effect any changes in ourselves. If you can't get past this, you could consider leaving that church body. Chances are, though, you will see the same gesture elsewhere at some time. I hope you can resolve this, for your own emotional & spiritual good.

best,

Barbara


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Don Firth
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 07:07 PM

Mary, when I was working at a classical music radio station a few decades back, I received a phone call from a listener who exploded all over me. He sounded like a somewhat older man, which he was, and he had a fairly thick German accent. He had taken extreme offense at a piece of music I had just played.

He told me that he was Jewish, and he had barely escaped death in one of the concentration camps. Because of the painful memories invoked by his surroundings in Germany, his homeland, he emigrated to America as soon as he was able. Now, he told me, I had invoked those painful memories again by playing a piece of music that he knew to be one of Hitler's favorites.

When I finally identified which of the selections I'd played that afternoon that he was talking about (when I asked him, he insisted, "You know which one I mean!" But I didn't), I had no luck at all in trying to explain to him that that particular piece of music had been in existence long before Hitler had, and it had nothing really to do with Hitler or the Nazi regime. He was not mollified and he continued to be furious with me.

This was on a Sunday afternoon and I was alone in the station. I suggested that if he had any complaints to lodge against me or the music programming of the station, both the station manager and the program director would be in Monday morning. He did call and he talked to both of them, and neither of them were able to satisfy him either. The end result was that we lost a listener. He said he would never again listen to our station because we played "Nazi music."

The piece of music in question was a Beethoven piano sonata.

God knows what he might have done if I'd played the Siegfried Idyll by Richard Wagner or Ein Heldenleben by Richard Strauss. Hitler liked Wagner and Strauss even better that he liked Beethoven.

Because someone perceives an association between two different things, it doesn't necessarily mean that an association of significance between the two actually exists. I'd suggest that rather that worrying about it, you should express your concerns to the priest and see what he has to say.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Don Firth
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 07:08 PM

By the way, keep in touch. I'd be interested to hear what he says.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: mg
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 07:22 PM

I honestly do not understand this response. This is a gesture that is not done anywhere else in my lifetime. It has one meaning and only one in the culture I am in and that is Sieg Heil. Maybe other churches do something similar. Maybe in the distant past Catholics did something similar. And it is not how you raise hands in school. We raised them straight in the air and could not prop up our elbows or wave them. There are some sports incidents using this gesture and they are taken to task I believe. I am astounded that after all the years of sensitivity training and political correctness, which I am never accused of, that almost everyone thinks this is nothing. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Cluin
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 07:36 PM

Mary, nothing has only one meaning. There are several statues of the Buddha as well as other divine being from around the world with similar blessing or hand postures. They all can't be Nazi-inspired. Don't witnesses in court hold up one hand when they swear an oath to tell the truth? Are they all Nazis too?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Don Firth
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 07:38 PM

Mary, are you afraid to ask the priest? If so, I'd suggest you get out of that church and go to another. And see if you can find out what's going on from a safe distance.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: mg
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 07:48 PM

I do not think they are Nazi inspired. I think they are extremely insensitive. We have a nice priest, from another country, and some nice people. The lady who did it in church is a nice lady, but old enough to remember WWII in person, as is most of the congregation.

mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: PoppaGator
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 08:02 PM

This whole long discussion reminds me of a favorite TV sitcom episode (sorry!).

Larry David, in a public place, is humming a favorite passage from Wagner, the German composer. (Larry is known to be Jewish; it's an important feature of his character.) An acquantance, also Jewish, gets up in his face and gives him hell: "How can you like Wagner? Hitler liked Wagner! You're nothing but a self-hating Jew!!!"

Larry gets all indignant: "You've got it all wrong -- I hate myself, all right, but it has nothing to do with being Jewish!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Burke
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 08:59 PM

There are Neo-Nazis in this world. They scare me & I would not want to downplay the pockets of Nazis in the US, Germany, or elsewhere. It's hard to see how a gesture of blessing can be seen as creeping Nazism.

For comparison, I'm Episcopalian; when several priests are con-celebrating communion, the ones off the the side will extend thier arms straight out, palms down, probably a little lower than the Nazi salute, as part of their participation in the rite. The farther away one is, the higher the arm will usually be.

The physical attitude of entending a blessing on an individual is to extend the hand over the person's head. If the recipient is standing, or those extending are far away, the natural way to do it would be in this gesture that looks to you like a Nazi salute. How might you symbolically but physically extend this blessing?

In addition to what everyone else has said, there is not only a hand & arm position involved, but a gesture as well. To my mind the Nazi salute should include a 'coming to attention' sort of gesture. It is not just the arm position, but the entire body. You've admitted that not all have straight arms. What's their body language saying? If the arms are all raised at different times, in individually unique body attitudes, you don't really have a salute of any kind going on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 09:02 PM

Man, Woody Allen could've had a heyday with this thread. It sounds like a sitcom to me too. Loved your post, Joe Offer.

I looked up "Woody Allen Monologue" on Google and found all kinds of funny stuff. Try it and see.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Deckman
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 09:16 PM

Beware the perils of a religion. Bob


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 09:22 PM

Or a political party. Oh...well...same thing, isn't it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Deckman
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 09:28 PM

I'm FINALLY reading about Justice William O. Douglas, U.S. Supreme court, associate Justice. I came across this wonderfull statement: "They were prisoners of their own beliefs." I think this fits here ... of course I've been wrong previously. Bob


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 09:29 PM

Beautiful quote.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Deckman
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 09:32 PM

WRONG WORD!!! WRONG WORD!!! The CORRECT quote is: "They were prisoners of their own "ILLUSIONS!!!" My appologies. I had to leave MC and look it up.

I think it now fits even better. Bob


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Blues=Life
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 09:46 PM

"I think they are extremely insensitive"

Mary, I think it is a matter of extreme sensitivity, but I think you're looking the wrong way. So, what DID the priest say about it?

(By the way, that outstretched arm - (Nazi salute) - blessing thing? My dear old Dad did that every Sunday during the benediction in his Presbyterian church... is celebrating his 50th year in the clergy... Oh, my God, Joe Offer, why didn't you tell me my Dad was a Nazi... I'm so ashamed!!!!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Deckman
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 09:47 PM

And to add a little more! This is always a DANGEROUS thread topic, yet I well respect Mary for daring to express it. If we are all not very careful, this could slide down into the bottomless pit of a religiosity/flaming/damnyou/damnme/the hellwith it/stupid war. But that's not where I want to go. And I strongly suspect that that is NOT where Mary wants to go.

I know Mary, a bit. She is seriously Catholic. She and I have talked of her religious beliefs. And, she is a grown up person with a very good head on her shoulders, who also is able to compose incredible songs.

So, for her to ask a question, as she has, on a internet thread, means that she's wanting serious answers. I can't help her. I'm far too much a cynic. I was raised in the Pentacostal church and grew up with the serious downside of religion every day.

I also have a memory and I'm old enough to remember the hitler salute as it happened in real life. Yes, I know that the swatstika was well known in American Indian cultures. But, Mary has asked a serious question here. Bob


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 11:12 PM

Yes, it's a serious question.

Mary's right - no matter how ancient the gesture is, it looks quite a bit like a Hitler salute. If that similarity pushes one of her "hot buttons," it will probably always be hard for her to accept that symbol for the meaning of blessing that it has had for many centuries. I think that's true for most of us - a symbol takes on the meaning we first associate with it, and it's almost impossible to shake that meaning. I guess when that happens, we have to make a choice. I think the most sensible choice is for me to acknowledge that although the symbol has negative implications for me, it obviously has a deep, positive meaning for many people. The people who use the symbol have no reason whatsoever to express its negative implications, so it's only logical that the negative things are not their intention.

I think we need to accept people for what's in their hearts, and not find fault with them because they choose words or gestures that we dislike. The basic question is this: are the people in church praising Hitler, or are they asking God to bless somebody? If it's the latter, it's not fair to condemn them as Nazis.

If we have to be so careful about confusing symbols, we'd better go back to calling sauerkraut "liberty cabbage" and French fries "liberty fries." I guess we'd better burn all the American flags, because Richard Nixon hid behind his flag lapel pin. If we take this to extremes, we paralyze ourselves, because everything we could possibly say and do must have some sort of negative implication for somebody.

So, Mary, it's your choice. I think we've given you a definitive answer. It's an authentic, ancient symbol of blessing that has been used since the days of the Jewish patriarchs. It has been used throughout the history of the Catholic Church, although it was used mostly by priests from the Late Middle Ages until the Second Vatican Council in the 1960's. It has come into use again as a restoration of an ancient tradition. Those are the facts. I have a Theology degree and I've worked with Catholic liturgy since the 1960's, so I think I can speak with reasonable authority - priests often ask me questions about liturgy, because it's a subject I know very well.

Yes, it kind of looks like a Nazi salute, and it's clear that it has that meaning for you and you probably will never be able to shake that implication from your mind. The people who instituted the practice centuries ago and those who reinstituted it in recent years, have no reason on earth to praise Hitler - all they want is a sign that conveys blessing, and it's a very effective sign for most people. You cannot compel them to stop using the symbol because it just does not have Nazi implications for them - there's no way that they're going to see things your way on this issue. So, I guess the best thing to do is to live with it.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: mg
Date: 28 Sep 04 - 12:26 AM

I think the most sensible choice is for me to acknowledge that although the symbol has negative implications for me, it obviously has a deep, positive meaning for many people. The people who use the symbol have no reason whatsoever to express its negative implications, so it's only logical that the negative things are not their intention.



How in the name of creation can it have a deep positive meaning for Catholics when we haven't ever done it before. That is just bull puckey. It is a very poorly chosen imposed on us gesture. I personally can't remember priests doing it..I just remember them making the sign of the cross in blessing. I have not called anyone Nazis or think that they are thinking along those lines. But what if they decided we would all raise our hands and give the finger because someone thousands of years ago did it. It has a different meaning now. On a scale of one to a thousand giving a congregational finger is a 1 and giving a Nazi salute is 1000. Imagine if you are at a ball game and the other side does that in unison. Are you going to call it a deeply profound blessing? Hardly. In fact I think there are laws against it. Lawyers please check in. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Deckman
Date: 28 Sep 04 - 12:28 AM

Joe, I appreciate your clear answer. Being a non catholic, and also a non christian, it is clearly time for me to quit posting to this thread. Best wishes everyone. Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 28 Sep 04 - 02:07 AM

The same gesture is used in the Lutheran church, and has always been used since Martin Luther's time - Hitler burned as many Lutheran Ministers as he could get his hands on.

To the Nazis - Hitler WAS God! All other Religions were Sacrilege! He pinched and reinterpreted as many symbols as he could.

Hitler is responsible for the Olympics Rings symbol, and the Olympic Torch, and carrying it from Olympia to the Games site thru many countries, and the Olympic Torch lighting the flame that burns thru the Games, and many other Olympic Traditions much loved by many ... do you say that we must trash all these things too?

In life, when there comes a time that you cannot accept what most others believe, it is time to kill them all - or move on.

Robin


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Sep 04 - 02:13 AM

Hi, Mary - One of the major reasons for liturgical renewal after the Second Vatican Council was that the liturgy had become corrupted, that it had taken on many of the European monarchical trappings of the Middle Ages. It was in Latin, a language few people understood - and yet it was originally translated from Greek to Latin because Latin was more widely understood. So what you saw before Vatican II was a medieval creation, far less authentic that what we have now (not that a lot of conservative Catholics will believe that).

In the process of reform, liturgists chiefly tried to restore the ancient liturgy, rather than come up with new things. This practice of extending the arm as a sign of blessing is one of those ancient practices. Mind you, though, I do not believe this gesture by the congregation is part of the official liturgy - but you're seeing it in a blessing, not as part of the liturgy. Still, it's in keeping with ancient tradition - you're just not used to seeing a blessing extended by a number of people, all at the same time (Blessings are official prayers, but most are not part of the liturgy).

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Ellenpoly
Date: 28 Sep 04 - 03:35 AM

Interesting thread.

Mary, I would only add that it really does sound like the people you need to be talking with about this are the ones in your congregation. It could make for some excellent discussions there, and since they are the ones directly involved, also the way to get to the core of the issue with those whom you share your faith and church.

..xx..e


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: GUEST,Obie
Date: 28 Sep 04 - 05:12 AM

Sometimes symbols are misunderstood. Probably many of you have read this before but it relates to this thread:

"HONK IF YOU LOVE JESUS"

       The other day I went to the local religious book store where I saw a "HONK IF YOU LOVE JESUS" bumper sticker. I bought it and put it on my back bumper and I'm glad I did.

       What an uplifting experience followed. That bumper sticker really worked!! I found lots of people who loved Jesus. I was stopped at the light at a busy intersection, just lost in thought about the Lord. Why, the guy behind me started to honk like crazy. He must REALLY love Jesus because pretty soon he leaned out of his window and yelled "JESUS CHRIST!" as loud as he could. It was like a football game with him shouting, "GO!...JESUS CHRIST!...GO!" Everyone else started honking too, so I leaned out the window and smiled and waved to all those loving people.

       There must have been a guy from Florida back there because I heard him yell something about a sunny beach and saw him waving with only his middle finger. I asked my kids what he meant by that and they laughed and said it was the Hawaiian good luck sign. So I leaned out of the window and gave him the good luck sign back.

       A couple of people were so caught up in the joy of the moment that they got out of their cars and started running towards me! I bet they wanted to pray, but just then I noticed that the light had changed so I stepped on the gas. It's a good thing that I did because I was the only driver to get across the intersection. I looked back and everyone was still standing there so I leaned way out the window and held up the Hawaiian good luck sign as I drove away.

       Praise the Lord for such wonderful folks!


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Jeanie
Date: 28 Sep 04 - 05:39 AM

Anyone who has been involved in collective worship over a period of years will see changes in practice and language come and go, within a denomination as a whole or within one particular place of worship: for instance, the aftermath of the Toronto Blessing phenomenon some years ago when congregations all over the world began laughing and making animal-like noises; the trend towards open prayer, with one person speaking and the remainder of the congregation affirming what is being said by saying repeatedly "Oh yes, Lord, oh yes, Lord"; certain expressions which come and go e.g. "it was a real anointing", "I have a burden for you", "God has given me a word for everyone".

Whenever you find yourself in the middle of something new to you in the way of collective religious expression, you can either go along with it and do it yourself or feel somehow an observer, looking on. I have experienced both reactions in myself on different occasions over the years. The important thing is to take time afterwards, quietly, to ask "Does this draw me closer to God ? Is this helping in some way ?" Sometimes my answer has been yes and sometimes no. Only each individual has that answer, applicable to themselves alone. That's why I think it is very important for Mary to be questioning what she is seeing and finding the answer that applies to herself. Just as it is important for every member of every congregation to do so. Sometimes we all need reminding of this.

At the end of the day, the crucial relationship for a believer is the one-to-one connection between himself and his creator, who knows his heart and from whom nothing is hidden:

"And now about prayer. When you pray, don't be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I assure you, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly. Then your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you."

( Jesus' words in Matthew 6: 5-6 New Living Translation)

This is a most interesting discussion.

- jeanie


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Irish sergeant
Date: 28 Sep 04 - 03:10 PM

Mary:
In religion as in all other aspects of life, you must do what you feel is right. I never saw it used at Mass either. The closest thing to a Nazi salute I ever saw in church was the statues of Jesus with the two forefingers raise and his hand held like he was raising it in class. Having said that,I believe you should talk to your priest and failing to get an adequate answer then look for a new parish. kindest regards, Neil (Irish Sergeant)


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Once Famous
Date: 28 Sep 04 - 03:22 PM

Isn't there a deodorant commercial that goes "raise your hand if you're Sure?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: PoppaGator
Date: 28 Sep 04 - 06:12 PM

Foolstroupe, I believe you're dead wrong about Hitler initiating all those Olympic symbols and rituals. Most of them date back to Athens in 1896, or at least began earlier than the 1936 Berlin games. The torch relay *may* have been new for Berlin, but I believe the Olympic flame itself was already established. I'm absolutely sure that the flag and the five-rings symbol it bears predates Hitler; the large fringed flag presented by the mayor of the host city to the mayor of the next host city at Closing Ceremonies was introduced at the Amsterdam Games in the 1920s (and that was *not* the first Olympic flag, just a large and elaborately decorated one).

Hitler did, of course, take maximum advantage of the prestige associated with the Olympics, and used his country's hosting of the Games as a way to pose as a responsible world leader and stall off opposition from the rest of the world. He certainly loved symbolism and ritual of all kinds, and was incredibly skilled at putting them to use for his own ends. Insofar as he was able to hijack the trappings of the Olympics for the greater glory of Nazism, he certainly did his damnedest.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Sep 04 - 06:22 PM

Just as any national leader does when hosting the Olympics...

We love it when "good guys" do stuff like that. We hate it when bad guys do. Every bad guy is a good guy in his own mind. It's how he sees other human beings that is crucial.

Does he see them as intriniscally good or evil? If it's the latter, watch out!


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Sep 04 - 07:58 PM

You know, I think that to a great extent, religion is folklore. Maybe that idea won't sit very well with the religious or antireligious people here, but I think there's a lot of truth in it.

Many people here have said that religion is a system of control, imposed upon people to ensure their behavior and compliance. I don't buy that - there are very few religious groups today that are able to exert any real control on members. Also, most religious creeds and rituals evolve from the community experience of the group - they are not ready-made creeds that are imposed on people.

I acknowledge that there are many people (although not many here) who believe that their religious beliefs and practices are absolute truth, bestowed on them by the Almighty. That's certainly not true in the Roman Catholic Church that I've belonged to all my life. Many of our rituals and traditions evolved from Jewish and pagan traditions. The stories of many of our saints are often mostly legend - although many are very wonderful legends. Our liturgy is a marvelous blend of many traditions. And of course, the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures stem from many sources and many traditions, all with a basis in legend, myth, and oral history. It's a very messy faith, one that doesn't fit neatly into any pigeonhole - but I find that wonderful. I find that wonderfully rich blending of tradition in almost all religious groups, and I find it fascinating and good. My religious faith is one of the most deeply important aspects of my life - but I don't see it as a system of authority or authoritative answers to the questions of life. The Catholic church may have a structure that seems very authoritative and doctrinaire, but that authority and doctrine has very little effect on the day-to-day lives of most Catholics. The basic beliefs and practices of Catholics are quite simple, expressed in a wide diversity of traditions.

So, I see religion as folklore. It's a true, honest search for the meaning of life, expressed in many rich, colorful, and clumsy ways. I treasure the religious traditions I was brought up with - but I also question them. I also have high regard for most other religious traditions, and for the sacred meaning they have for people. This is not to denigrate religious faith in any way - for all its flaws and foibles, faith is the only way we can touch the hand of the divine power that is beyond us, whatever name we give to that power.

The hand outstretched in blessing is folklore, too. It's something Catholics and people of many faiths have done for ages, a very natural gesture - and one that can have a lot of meaning.

-Joe Offer-

P.S. Mary, maybe you'd enjoy taking a look at the Catholic Book of Blessings. Most any priest has a copy you can see (although probably you can't take it home, because it's in constant use). It is the collection of the official blessings used by the Catholic Church for various occasions - from the blessing of a home to the blessing of animals, and some situations that are kind of corny. Again, it's rich in tradition and meaning, and it's wonderful folklore.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 28 Sep 04 - 10:30 PM

PoppaGator

What I said must be true - I saw it all in a pre-Olympics documentary on TV!

:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 29 Sep 04 - 05:55 AM

1936 saw the introduction of the torch relay, in which a lighted torch is carried from Olympia to the site of the current Games. The 1936 Olympics were also the first to be broadcast on a form of television. Twenty-five large screens were set up throughout Berlin, allowing the local people to see the Games for free.

IOC Site

The IOC does wish, of course, not to be seen as 'political'...

So...

If you watch the Olympic Games on TV you are a Nazi Sympathizer?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 29 Sep 04 - 06:03 AM

Olympic Symbols Have Sinister Origins
By Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News

Aug. 20, 2004 — Two of the most well-known symbols of the Olympic Games, the Olympic rings and the torch relay, did not originate in ancient Greece, but instead were immortalized in Nazi Germany, according to the recently published book, The Naked Olympics.

The lasting power of these symbols demonstrates how effective the Nazis were at creating powerful, dramatic images. It also reveals the association that Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) and his followers wished to make between Nazi Germany and classical Greece.

~~~~~~~~~~~

1936-Summer-Olympics

Film-maker Leni Riefenstahl was commissioned to film the Games. The film, titled Olympia, was arguably a piece of propaganda, but originated many of the techniques now commonplace to the filming of sports.

To ensure victories, the German government provided anabolic steroids and testosterone supplements to its atheletes.

For the first time the Olympic Flame was brought to the Olympic Town by a torch relay, with the starting point in Olympia, Greece.

The games were the first to have live television coverage, Telefunken and Fernseh broadcast over seventy hours of coverage to specially erected booths throughout the city.


and this one is too good to leave out...

German communist Werner Seelenbinder had planned to win the wrestling event and make a vulgar gesture at Hitler; but instead came fourth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Nerd
Date: 29 Sep 04 - 05:16 PM

You know, I think that to a great extent, religion is folklore. Maybe that idea won't sit very well with the religious or antireligious people here, but I think there's a lot of truth in it.

You're right, of course, Joe, and to a folklorist this is a non-controversial statement. Good post all around!


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: dianavan
Date: 29 Sep 04 - 08:29 PM

Joe: I agree with what you said, ..."Also, most religious creeds and rituals evolve from the community experience of the group - they are not ready-made creeds that are imposed on people."

I think you could also call this peer pressure. Isn't the church really 'the people'? Its the peer pressure to conform to values and beliefs that are held in common by members of the church that can be stifling for some.

d


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: PoppaGator
Date: 29 Sep 04 - 09:05 PM

Foolestroup,

My apologies -- maybe!

I'd be more than willing to admit I was wrong, but I still have an inkling that your Discovery News source was dramatizing, if not fabricating, some of her presentation. For example, here's the fourth paragraph of her article:

"Baron Pierre de Coubertain of France originally designed the rings in 1913. De Coubertain was the founder of the International Olympic Committee. He created the rings to symbolize the first five Olympic games."

Then she mentions that de Coubertain's plan for introducing the rings at one particular event in 1913 was postponed, and we're suddenly back in 1936, being told about how Leni W. helped Hitler to make the most of all this high-toned Olympic symbolism.

She never comes out and states that the rings and the flag remained dormant and secret for 23 years, and I'm not so sure that they did.

No one will dispute the point that Hitler and the Nazis played a big role in giving new and heightened meaning to the various Olympic symbols and rituals, and that they were absolute masters of inventing and promoting their own symbology and secular "liturgy." But did they originate ALL the best-known Olympic trappings? I still doubt it.

But then again, maybe I'm all wrong, having been successfully duped by the Nazis into believing that most of the Olympic claptrap predates 1936.

And, of course, you and I were and are in basic agreement on the *main* point, which is that whether or not the Nazis appropriated that blessing/salute gesture, people can raise their arms in church without expressing an endorsement of fascism and genocide!

**********

Oh yeah, one other thing -- Joe Offer's post was right on the mark. For the record, I'm a mildly disenchanted "fallen-away" Catholic -- although I prefer the expression "gotten-away" -- who does not hold a grudge against the Church, but just can't accept its authority.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Sep 04 - 11:00 PM

Dianavan and Poppagator, I think what happens in many organizations as they age, powerful people step in and usurp the organization, attempting to make it a tool for acquiring power and wealth. This stops the natural, organic, "folk" process of tradition. I'm an optimist, so I think the folk process usually prevails, and those who grab power eventually make themselves irrelevant. It's a cycle, but I believe the powermongers lose in the end. It's certainly true in my experience of the Catholic Church - those in power are largely irrelevant, although they do fulfill an administrative function and they do make a splash in the world of politics and power. Politics and power have little effect on my daily life - I hope that's true for most of us.
I know it's true that occasionally religious groups do go horribly wrong - but my experience is that this is the exception, not the rule.
But then again, I'm an optimist.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 30 Sep 04 - 01:41 AM

In the TV documentary - it mentioned that the Nazis excavated at Olympia, and 'unearthed' the Olympic Rings symbol (among other faked 'finds') - which had a surprising [exact] resemblance to the previous (and rather cute and elegant!) De Coubertain design... :-)

You have to remember their Ayrian Supremacy Creed which basically stated that Germany was the natural successor to the Roman Empire.

Funny that, if you remember that The Legions - about 3 I think - (Claudius' time?) were butchered by a certain 'proto-german' Leader (who served as an auxillary in the Legions for a while & knew their tactics) living in the Forests East of the Rhine - and that is why the Romans never tried to seriously go back there, but built a line of forts and a wall along the border to keep the goddam barbaric 'proto-germans' out...

But that Nazis were always prepared to fake the documentary evidence... just like some modern politicians... ;-)

Robin


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: mg
Date: 30 Sep 04 - 01:54 AM

Well they can't do it in Germany now because it seems to be against the law there, according to one site I visited. I suspect it is against the law here too. Somewhere. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 30 Sep 04 - 02:00 AM

Nazi salutes are against current German Law, but I'm fairly certain 'religious blessing gestures' are not - the Nazi Salute also having other bodily movements too.

But perhaps we should wait for a German Resident Catter to comment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: mg
Date: 30 Sep 04 - 02:27 AM

if they add the heel clicking I'm going to become a Protestant. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Sep 04 - 06:29 AM

Am I alone in finding this thread totally bizarre?

Can you imgine what must have gone through the priest's mind on the day he decided to add this to the service?

"I know what would add something to the service - not different flowers, not a new prayer......Got it! A Hitler salute! Sure they'll never be expecting that!"

I mean divergent thinker, or what.....

Its like something out of Father Ted.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Wolfgang
Date: 30 Sep 04 - 07:59 AM

The Hitler salute is forbidden in Germany but that doesn't mean you cannot reach out with your right arm for fear of getting jailed. It is a matter of context and intention.

So if a group of neonazis shows the 'resistance salute' (like the Hitler salute but with only three fingers outstretched to form a 'W' (first letter of the German word for 'resistance') the planned dissimilarity in appearance of the salute will not prevent them to be sentenced.

For some time, it was a 'contest' among photographers to picture each politician doing the 'Hitler salute' but that fad soon disappeared for it was too easy: Reaching out with his right hand for something above head level, saluting a crowd, trying to calm down a hostile crowd, asking for the right to question during a speech of somebody else in parliament etc...


Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: GUEST,Martian Gibbon
Date: 30 Sep 04 - 08:35 AM

This is quite simply a sign of a Blessing nothing to worry about or am I missing something?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: matai
Date: 30 Sep 04 - 08:54 AM

Hey Mary, you could always try yelling out hiel Hitler next time they all do it and see what happens. They might just discover the error of their ways.

matai


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: matai
Date: 30 Sep 04 - 08:57 AM

Either that or you could get arrested. But either way you make your point. Good luck.

matai


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Sep 04 - 09:06 AM

Nazis wore shiny boots too. Let's ban them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: GUEST,bbc at work
Date: 30 Sep 04 - 11:27 AM

Sorry, Mary. Converting to Protestantism is likely to make you more unhappy. The gesture is much more prevalent there than in Catholicism, particularly among the more fundamental/evangelic groups. Hope you get this sorted out to your satisfaction; I think we've said about all we can to help.

best,

Barbara


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: PoppaGator
Date: 30 Sep 04 - 12:13 PM

I just Googled "Amsterdam Olympic Games" and verified that they were held in 1928 -- pre-Berlin. Since the oversized ceremonial flag with the five-ring symbol debuted at Amsterdam, the rings *couldn't* have been introduced by the Nazis. They just tried to heighten their importance by faking and filming that "archeological find."

Of course, one wouldn't know that from reading the Discovery News article cited earlier. That kind of sensationalist innuendo-by-omission, unfortunately, seems to be a feature of much contemporary "journalism." In this case, the writer isn't advancing her own politcal prejudice (as is so often the case), but she is certainly trying to enhance the impact of her work by "gilding the lily," trying to make Hitler look even worse than he was, an even Bigger Liar. Why?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: wysiwyg
Date: 30 Sep 04 - 12:14 PM

If they add the heel clicking I'm going to become a Protestant. mg

LOL! Good one! Made my day, Mary!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Sep 04 - 01:11 PM

Why, PoppaGator? Because people use Hitler as a handy repository for all their own hatred, fear, and negatige karma. It is comforting for them to make him ever bigger and more evil in their own minds. It saves them having to examine themselves and their own faults more closely.

The Americans did this recently with Saddam Hussein too, but they have killed far more innocent people and invaded far more countries than Saddam ever managed to.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Sep 04 - 01:50 PM

Mary if you don't feel comfortable enough to ask your priest the meaning of this, why are you worshipping there?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 30 Sep 04 - 02:29 PM

I don't think the gesture has anything at all to do with nazism in the Catholic Church - or in your church, Mary. I do think that it is a silly gesture however.

Blessing, my foot! Blessing is given by the priest as the representative of Christ, not by the community. In the Catholic and Orthodox Chrches that's the whole point for having a priest (that he represents Christ), not just as a prayer-leader - unlike may Protestant Churches.

Gestures like that are a sign of the slow descent (over a number of decades, perhaps as much as 100 years) towards things physical/material and away from the spiritual emphasis that both Catholic and Orthodox covet; where a gesture is required to express religious feeling, like an external sign of what you feel. So that others can judge you by it, perhaps? It ends up with old grannies trying to out-genuflect each other, or the churchgoers imitating some sort of ecstatic state - in the hope of achieving it, I wonder?

So it's not the (unlikely) nazi links that annoy me in this case. It's the fact that there is a gesture in the first place, and that the power of blessing is being watered down by such newfangled theatrics.

I do feel better now;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 30 Sep 04 - 02:30 PM

Super ted, where are you?
Oh sorry, spoiled it for you...


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Sep 04 - 03:28 PM

I would have to disagree with the 'watering down' bit. Years ago in our Catholic church the priest was so far up on his pedestal the child abuse he perpetrated went unchecked. His power was staggering over his parishioners. He ruled by fear and that kept him safe to practise his abhorrent acts.
Nowadays we have a much more open set up. The handshake of peace between congregation is new. It is nice to touch the people around you. The priest feels comfortable letting his congregation participate in the mass. And his ever increasing attendances prove that we are also grateful with the methods he uses.
I don't see a gesture that the rest of the congregation enjoy as 'watering down.' I see it as a step in the right direction.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: mg
Date: 30 Sep 04 - 04:56 PM

Who says they enjoy it? I see some that have obviously figured out the symbolism and do it either with bent arm held down or some other version. I doubt very much they enjoy it. Part of our problem as Catholics is being led around like sheep and not standing up when we know something is wrong because someone told us it was right, like the whole don't use birth control thing. Anyway, they are trying to make us stand up after communion now and people are just not doing it. In the little church only open in the summer here, sometimes the whole entire church is kneeling. Sometimes it is mixed. The main church has more standing. There is no reason whatsover to change good traditions that have gone on forever and neither is there any reason to add offensive ones.   mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Big Mick
Date: 30 Sep 04 - 05:00 PM

Now I understand what this is all about. You just resent the change from what you were raised with. But if you had read Joe Offer's post, my friend, you would know that this is a change back to how it was, and presumably how it was intended to be at the inception. I don't miss the old days much, as I thought they were too regimented and didn't allow for enough participation by the rest of us. It is about the Body, not the Head.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 30 Sep 04 - 05:30 PM

GUEST, I have no problem with the handshake of peace; it is a social, not a religious, gesture. But conferring a "blessing" is a different thing. Each one of us can offer only our own blessing, for what it is worth; but the priest (in the Catholic and Orthodox Churches) confers the blessing of Jesus Christ. To equate the priest's gesture with that of the layman is way off.

As for the child abuse that you referred to: You're out of court, this has nothing to do with the power to confer blessing or the raising of hands in church; I think you just needed to say it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Sep 04 - 06:21 PM

The Catholic church was in need of change. The attendance was at an all time low. The abuses perpetrated within it were now out in the open. The priest may orchestrate the mass, but the congregation are what keep it going.

Joe Offer's post on this thread was one of the most enlightened opinions I have heard in a long time. Those who fear change should ask themselves why. Meanwhile others will embrace it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Sep 04 - 06:22 PM

very old Nazis

current Catholic Nazi

not sure of his denomination, but he is guilty!

even worse..the Pope is in on it

and you never know what they'll do at a tent service

this entire group is under the spell of Nazis

the pagans add a twist

there are more...I am not trying to make fun of the issue--really. But it is obvious that the basic gesture is pretty common....


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: mg
Date: 30 Sep 04 - 06:25 PM

Big Mick, you are wrong. You are right in that I don't like the changes in liturgy, and I flat out hate the music but this is different. What if I wanted to fly the Confederate flag in front of the church, which I think would be way more mild a thing to do, because we have direct knowledge of the Confederate flag, and are gradually coming to realize how it does offend people, but we know it has many more meanings that predominate in most people (I hope)..such as family history, loyalty, tradition etc. This symbol, and I don't care how you present, has only one meaning to most people.

Again I ask if you saw a sports audience doing it what would you think? Even if you were sure they had no Nazi type sympathy. What if you saw it at a concert where the audience did it to show appreciation of the music...those contexts do not exist. There is no reason to use this gesture whatsoever, unless people have used it in a nonbroken way in the fairly recent past..and if they used it in a nonbroken way until WWII and the Holocaust but perhaps stopped then and now are reclaiming it. This is not a gesture we are reclaiming at all. It is one that has been imposed by some committee somewhere who somehow have enough of their heads in the sand (or elsewhere) to not realize how this looks. Trust me, if you saw this you would know what I am talking about.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Big Mick
Date: 30 Sep 04 - 07:13 PM

Honestly, Mary, it would not matter to me. It is about what it is. It is NOT a Nazi salute, it is a blessing. If I saw 10,000 people doing it as a blessing in a stadium, I wouldn't give it a second thought. I don't understand where you are coming from on this. You, and no one else, have claimed that a Nazi salute is being done in your Catholic Church. Nothing of the sort is true. I think you need to go back and read this thread start to finish.

That is all I will say in this thread.

Your friend,

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: bbc
Date: 30 Sep 04 - 08:54 PM

Bill, you made me laugh out loud. Thanks!

Barbara


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Cluin
Date: 30 Sep 04 - 09:22 PM

I saw this salute in a seemingly innocuous commercial recently.

Oh, they're pretending to sniff their armpits... but we know what they're really doing!


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Sep 04 - 09:42 PM

I am not offended by the Confederate flag. No symbol, in itself, offends me. It is bad intentions, hostile intentions that offend me. The Confederate flag in itself does not embody bad intentions, and most of the people who fought for it in 1862-65 fought primarily to defend what they regarded as their homeland, not to perpetuate slavery. Robert E. Lee, for example, was not in favour of slavery, but he was a patriotic Virginian.

If someone else is offended by the Confederate flag, well, that's up to them.

I repeat, no historical symbol offends me. It is bad, hurtful attitudes and behaviours that offend me. They are usually less easy to see than symbols.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Sep 04 - 09:59 PM

I'm sure the priest would be horrified to know he had started up all this speculation. You must talk to him and explain your feelings. It is almost certain other people feel the same - after all the there can few communities where WW2 didn't cause hurt and suffering.

I feel sure there will be a solution, if you start talking and he will not belittle you or discount your concerns.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: robomatic
Date: 01 Oct 04 - 07:08 AM

This thread has an unfortunately provocative name. You don't find nazis by arm motion, or even goose-stepping, which the Russian army and a few others practise.

It's the thoughts, words, and deeds.

Whatever you might think of the Pope and the Catholic Churce, they are not nazis.

This world has some real problems, this is not one of them.

I enjoyed Bill D's links of illustrations.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Bill D
Date: 01 Oct 04 - 05:38 PM

(those illustrations were a result of a Google image search on the term "the blessing"...then a little looking thru pics)


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Subject: RE: BS: Seattle area church with Nazi salute
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 01:44 AM

As mentioned in another thread..another Catholic Church in Washington State..this time in Shoreline, Washington, had the congregation give the Nazi salute. It looked to the casual observer, me, and I must say the friend I was with, exactly like what you would see in historical films or photos. It is not an unbroken gesture that the church has always used, so there is no excuse whatsoever for doing it. If it had been done for 400 years and the Nazis had appropriated it, I would say continue to use it. This is new, and I have only seen it in two places.

Of course I had to put a note in the collection plate, raced downstairs to talk to the nearest usher and corralled the priest after Mass...the only response to being told that your congregation is giving the Nazi salute is to say oh I never saw the connection but now that you point it out we will inform the congreation that another gesture will be substituted. Priest was not going in that direction. I said what if Jewish people had seen this? I could also have said Poles, Gypsies, any war veterans, etc. He said and I quote: I don't think they would mind. I resolved to talk to at least 10 Jewish people to see what they would say about this. It looked like the congretation was calling down evil. I am sure they did not mean it, but I looked in shock at the woman I was with and she knew what was going on and said she spreads her fingers a bit. This was a younger congregation, and might not make the connection. My home parish is an older congregation and you can be assured that some of them were horrified..fortunately they haven't done that in some time, perhaps thanks to my putting up a stink whenever they did. Go ahead, make excuses and enable them. That is how evil spreads..by people looking around and seeing other people doing it and thinking it must be OK..and any sane person who does not think a Nazi salute is evil..regardless of what you call it..well, I just don't know. mg
That was me. I will be writing to the Seattle times. Is there any point in writing to any church official? Maybe I will send them a cc. The eyes of the world are on Catholics, and for good reason, and they do something dimwitted like this. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Seattle area church with Nazi salute
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 01:59 AM

Here is what I wrote to Seattle times:

I was attending a Catholic church service in Shoreline last Sunday and to my shock and horror looked down from the balcony and saw the congregation giving what would look to the average person like the Nazi salute. Exactly like the Nazi salute...the same gesture that is forbidden in many countries. I have seen this done in one other Catholic church in Washington, but they thankfully don't do it any more. It is called a blessing. It is not an unbroken tradition in the Catholic church. It was not done when I was growing up in the 50s and 60s, nor have I seen it until a couple of years ago. How shocking this must be to some WWI veterans, who risked their lives against this evil. How traumatic if people of Jewish descent, or the other victims of Nazi genocide were to witness this..a churchfull of people being told to do this and just doing it.



Catholics: don't do this. Find another gesture that means the same thing; cross your arms or raise both arms or bend your arm at the elbow. But don't do this. The intentions are wonderful; the display is horrifying. This is a gesture that the world has retired, that nations have declared verboten. There is no reason whatsoever to do this, and every reason not to. The eyes of the world are on the Catholic church right now; let us not be discovered doing this.



Mary Garvey, Catholic


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 02:15 AM

You'll also find swastikas in Catholic churches, Mary - they were put there centuries before Hitler was a gleam in his father's eye. Do you want to get rid of those, too?

The people who extend their hands, are extending their hands in blessing. Sometimes people extend one hand, and sometimes two. I'm sure this is made clear when the priest asks people to do this. It's an ancient symbol, far older than the Nazis.

If people respond to your letter in the Seattle Times, can you post what they have to say?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 02:22 AM

Yes, if I see a swatzika in a Catholic Church, which I never have, and I would like to hear from anyone who has, I would of course like..no insist, on it being removed. If I saw it in a Indian setting, where it has been used continuously, then I would not ask for it to be removed, but I certainly would inform the people of how their symbol, which is a pretty universal symbol, had been horribly misappropriated, and was therefore not going to be in use, except where it had been continuously in use. It is hard to stamp this out because it is a design that people just naturally draw..kids will draw it without knowing anything about this history. But of course I would insist on a swatzika being removed from a catholic church. ARE WE ALL NUTS HERE? mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 02:32 AM

Hmmm. I'm sure I've seen swastikas in ancient churches in Europe, Mary./ The Wikipedia article says that you'll find swastikas in the Basilica of St. Ambrose in Milan. Thgere's also a swastika floor mosaic in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Amiens, France.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 02:37 AM

Apart from the serious offense this gives, are you not afraid of calling down evil? Especially when the chief exorcist of the church has made some pretty scary observations about evil at the very top of the church? Especially when more and more depravity is being revealed? I felt that not only should the practice be stopped, or substituted for a harmless gesture, but that something very powerful had happened, that made me sick, and that made me feel this church needed to have a special purification ceremony. It was that serious. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 06:06 AM

When I was in New Zealand recently, the cathedral in Christchurch has swastikas as part of a frame around some memorial or other. No idea if it is a Catholic or Protestant cathedral, just noted the swastikas when having a look around when the missus was bell ringing there.

Nazi salute? I am sure somebody will have poked this fun already but I haven't read every post in this thread. I assume it was introduced in homage to the present Pope, a bit of nostalgia for him. he loved his faith so much he felt it more useful to be a Nazi member than stand up for whatever it is Christians reckon they stand for...

No hypocrisy there then.....

Me? I stand to have a pee and prop the bar up. The thought of Godbotherers giving the old Seig heil! makes me chuckle though. Especially if they are uncomfortable with it but don't want to offend the priest in case he buggers their offspring. zzzzzzzzz


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Greg F.
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 09:48 AM

are you not afraid of calling down evil? Especially when the chief exorcist of the church has made some pretty scary observations...

As I've often suspected before, ol' Mary is obviously a member of the tinfoil hat brigade.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 09:58 AM

I've only seen this once, done by a Presbyterian minister at a funeral. The funeral was for a an openly gay Christian friend of mine who had spent most of his short life struggling to fit his religion and his sexuality together, and the minister was like something out of "Breaking the Waves" or a kailyard novel. He made that gesture as the coffin was going into the furnace, and it looked more like a a curse than a blessing. But the guy's family didn't act like it was anything out of the ordinary, and it was their show, so I assumed whatever meaning it had for them took precedence over any Nazi associations it might have for me and the assorted leftie friends in the congregation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 04:35 PM

When I was a school-child, back in the late 30s and early 40s, we were taught to say the Pledge of Allegiance, with the right hand starting over the heart, and extending the arm toward the flag with the palm up beginning at a (now-forgotten) word in the pledge. The arm was not stiffened, as in the Nazi salute. The symbolism was explained as offering the heart in the palm of the hand extended toward the flag.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 04:50 PM

Guest Steamin' Willie, it's very easy at this safe time and distance to slag off Ratzinger for his membership of the Hitler Youth. That was at a time of intense nationalist fervour in Germany, largely stoked by the punitive terms of the WW1 armistice. The young in their droves flocked to the cause and in Ratzinger's part of the world it would have been virtually suicidal not to do so.

If you want to have a go at fascist sympathisers in the catholic church, have a look at Pius XI's take on the Spanish Civil War or Pius XII's deafening silence in WW2 (as a result of which the Vatican still refuses to release documents from that era) or the obsessively anti-communist John Paul II's haste to beatify hundreds of priests who supported Franko, and others like Archbishop Stepinac, apostolic vicar to the crazed clero-fascist Ustashe who waged genocide in Croatia and Bosnia during WW2.

There is a lot I don't care for about Ratzinger, but he was never a Nazi.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: olddude
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 04:52 PM

Hmmm. I'm sure I've seen swastikas in ancient churches in Europe, Mary./ The Wikipedia article says that you'll find swastikas in the Basilica of St. Ambrose in Milan. Thgere's also a swastika floor mosaic in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Amiens, France.

-Joe-

IT is a peace symbol that goes back centuries, only Hitler made it a thing of Evil ... IT has nothing to do with Nazi in an ancient church


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 05:07 PM

Symbols symbolise what they are intended to symbolise. Treating them as if they had some power in themselves, regardless of the intention of the people who use them, or in the case of physical objects, who made them, is giving in to a way of thinking that has done enormous damage in the past.

The symbols the Nazis used, swastikas and salutes and so forth, were symbols that had been around for thousands of years, and they used them for evil purposes. The same way they used the German language for evil purposes. There's really no more sense in suggesting that all the symbols they used should be forever banished from human use than suggesting that the German language should be similarly banished.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 05:39 PM

the swastika is actully taken from pagan times. if it has been used in churches, it was only to make people come over from the dark side.

i don't mind these things in places where they should be, it is kids messing about, that i do mind. they don't know any different. i know i didn't when i was younger.

how can someone so young get their head around what the symbol was last used for. i still can't and i am in my 30s.

take care all
jade x x x x x


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 06:12 PM

I can't get my head around it and I am in my 60s.

The main thing to know is that it spreads. We seek social permission to lord it over certain groups or to insult certain groups of people. Once social permission is granted and critical mass is reached..and it does not have to be much...things rapidly accelerate. Then a few thugs with weapons of almost any sort can start making threats to people and the mass of people will go along with the threats out of fear. They will say I will kill 10 of your neighbors if you don't report all the Catholics you know. Or I will kill your husband if you don't reveal other information. It is generally not that people are evil; they are terrified.

Once the Nazis got the formula down pat, it could be used by others like a franchise..Pol Pot, Ida Amin, whoever.

So we have to stop things soon in theprocess. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 06:51 PM

I suppose it's possible there are some people who are thinking "Heil Hitler"when they stick their hands up, rather than "God Bless Everybody". But I rather doubt if there are too many of them.

Of course in a Catholic Church over here everyone would be too embarrassed to do anything like that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: mg
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 07:01 PM

Most are oblivious. Some are mortified to be doing that but they were told to by the priest or deacon. It is not good enough for us to be ignorant. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 07:13 PM

Of course in our parish Church here everyone would be too embarrassed to do anything like that, even if an over enthusiastic priest were to try to get us doing it.

Well, we've got Indians, Africans, Chinese, Poles, Irish, English and so forth, but not too many Americans... Just not our style.

Maybe sticking both hands up would be better - it might look and feel as if you were getting ready to do a high dive, but nobody could imagine you were doing Nazi stuff.

But if it doesn't mean it, it doesn't mean it. Treating symbols as if they held power in themselves over and above what those using them intend is a kind of idolatry.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: Ed T
Date: 31 Mar 10 - 04:55 PM

Worse things were done in some, manye many, churches.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nazi salute in church
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 01 Apr 10 - 04:17 AM

Well, on reflection, I suppose an ill judged salute blends in nicely with the sanctimonious ethos of thinking your imaginary friend loves you, that you will be saved and people who poke fun at your superstitions are below contempt...

Doing a salute that has been hijacked (along with the swastika) by a thug regime may be alright in principle, as you can demonstrate it predates the Nazi creatures, but if you have to explain something in order for people not to jump to the wrong conclusion, then maybe it just isn't worth doing in the first place?

(Steamin' Willie's missus is into bell ringing. A couple of the ringers at the local bell tower are gay, yet the bloke with the dog collar reckons such people are the spawn of the devil... as none of the ringers go to church, the idiot doesn't know that his bells are being rung by gay dudes.

To celebrate their civil partnership, they rang a quarter peel (almost an hour of noise) to celebrate and the idiot asked what was the occasion. A wedding, they said. Excellent, said the idiot.)

Sometimes, you have to abuse a church in order to get any entertainment out of it...


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