So, what's this "Orthodox" thing then?

So, are you Jewish?

Why don't you go to a normal church that doesn't have exorcisms?

What's this about you moving to Russia?

Fortunately, the last one was asked on MSN Messenger so I didn't have to suppress the laughter. We've all had them. Go on, share yours.

11 responses:

Huw Raphael said...

Actually, I've heard several of these questions reported from Orthodox people - Fr J has a couple of good ones. But I have to admit that I've never heard these questions - even here in rural North Carolina.

Joe said...

my favorite is when my parents, both liberal domocrats who hold post graduate degrees in Library Science and Literature respectfully, asked me "I though you were a republican?"

I could barely control myself....

Also been called a "red b*****d" and a few other sundry things. Hard as I try to explain it, here in SE Kansas everyone still equates Russian with Communist.

Joe Zollars

Eric John said...

I like the question about exorcisms.

My sister thought (or still thinks) that I joined a weird cult. She also believes that fasting is bad for my health.

It doesn't seem to matter what answer I give the casual inquirer when they ask what Orthodoxy is. There are no follow-up questions.

Ian said...

I've had the Jewish one.


"But you're not Greek!"

"Are they like the Catholics?"

"Oh, they're the people with the pretty pictures!"

Anonymous said...

I've been Orthodox so long that folks ask me, "What parta Greece you from, honey?" or, when I mention my full name, some Russians think I'm a descendant (wrong side of the blanket, to be sure) of a mistress of Tsar Peter the Great....

Years ago, before I was Orthodox, I was whisper-chatting in French to a dear little old Russian lady at "Our Lady of the Sign", the big Synodal church in NYC. When they said in Slavonic "Depart, all you catechumens! All you catechumens, depart! Let not any catechumens remain!" the little lady, who turned out to be a real countess, grabbed my arm and wouldn't let me leave.

But the best of all was the monk in the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem, to whom I had bowed when he walked past Christ's tomb with the incense, who came back after he finished censing and crowed, "You Ortodox! You come with me--I show you throne of Tsar!" And I was still an Anglican at the time....

Mark my words, Michael, they'll soon consider you a Cossack! Don't worry 'bout it--it'll be a compliment. And we don't have to change at all--they love us just the way we are, I think. And I give thanks for that!

Leetle M.
Scots-American Greek, Geek and Russian Orthodox who just managed to install Norton System Works and Norton Firewall all by herself.... it took a lot of prayer and even more tech support....

Minor Clergy said...

My favorite is the Jewish one -- I get it all the time. People I have known for years get this quizzical look, cock their heads and slowly go "I didn't know you were Jewish."

I did try to change my identification to Russian orthodox, which brought on the same look and head posture, but changed the punch line.

Orthodoxy! Hours of fun for all!

aaronandbrighid said...

I was at the local Greek parish helping out at their book kiosk for their annual Greek festival, and some kids asked me if we worshipped Zeus.

Michael said...


I love it! The worrying thing is that these comments/questions usually arise our of genuine ignorance and not out of malice.

St. Sebastian said...

When I told friends and family I was converting to Orthodoxy, the most common questions were variations of:

"Are they Christian?"

"Are you sure it's not a cult?"

I did a poor job of conveying the nature of the Liturgy to my mother, and eventually realized that she thought it was an utterly disorganized affair, with people wandering around willy nilly, talking to icons, lighting candles and generally ignoring the priest, who was doing something mysterious on his own.

Jimmy, the Duckboy said...

Oh, is that Catholic?

What sort of Orthodox? Like Greek or Russian or what?
Just Orthodox.
They're all the same. :angel:

PS. This is your best 'About me' pic yet. You are a total hunk (in a platonic way of course ;) )

Deborah said...

I'm not Orthodox, but I am exploring a call (that sounds dreadfully pretentious, no matter how often I say it) to the Lay Dominicans. People hear the word "Dominicans," but not the "Lay" bit, and their thinking appears to go "Dominicans = religious order = aaaaargh, she's becoming a nun!" It's pure comedy gold, let me tell you.

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