Clicking here goes to information on the icon.Welcome to the St. Luke Web Page.
Search the site.Listen to Father Borichevsky's restored radio programsSee What St. Luke Orthodox Church has planned.Visit and sign our guest book.Contact the St. Luke Orthodox Church Web Development Team.
Find something on the site in a hurry.
St. Lukes Orthodox Church Home PageDonate Now!Shop for Orthodox goods from your Computerchurchdirectory Pages that deal with St. Luke the Evangelist Orthodox Church. What's the news at St. Lukes.View all the previous and current Evangelist newsletters.View the Sunday bulletin.Information about St. Luke Orthodox Church including the Mission and Vision statements. Pages for 'keeping in touch' with God. Information on prayers and prayingView the prayer of the week and all other previos prayers of the week.Need to pray for something? What is the Orthodox Church and how/why do Orthodox Christians worship? What is the Orthodox Church of America?Who were the Saints, and why do we honor them?Find and explore many different liturgical texts we have available, including the Divine LiturgyWhat is Pascha?  See what it's like at St. Luke's.How is Orthodoxy playing a role in the present times?Learn what are icons and how are they used in the Orthodox Church today.BellsSee what we have to offer!Current Issues Pages for Organizations of St. Lukes. Christian Education, Youth Group, Music, Church Resource Center, Adult Education, and Junior Olympics.Maintenance, New Building, Strategic Planning, Cell Phone Tower, Inventory, Cemetery/Memorial Book, and Historian.Outreach, Charities, Internet, Evangelist Newsletter, Media, Prison, Sanctity of Life, and Mission.Liturgical, Altar Servers, Bell Ringers, Cemetery, Readers, Greeters, Choir, and Vestments.Fellowship, Supply Coordinator, Prayer, Women's Ministry, New Americans, Sunshinem, Flowers, and Vestments. Some stuff Study the bibleSearch the bibleOrthodoxy on the lighter side...Words of Wisdom...If you've got the taste for great Orthodox foods, this is the place to be.Children friendly section of the pageMessages


Tread Not On My Sacred Symbols
By Rev. Dr. Steven C. Safaris
Source: Unknown

In this world of political correctness, I find time and time again that the politically correct "thought police" tend to not practice what they preach. If you think about it, political correctness, especially when it comes to religious symbols, is a one-way street. I, as a Christian, have to tolerate you -- after all you have rights - but no one wants to respect or tolerate me or my Christian faith. In fact, bashing symbols of the Christian faith has become a favorite pastime of many who claim to be champions of free speech and tolerance.

Take for example the artist Andres Serrano. For those of you who do not know who he is, in 1989, he shocked many people when he took a picture of a crucifix in a glass of his own urine. He titled this work 'Piss Christ". As offended as so many Christians were, the politically correct rushed to his defense shouting first amendment freedom of speech, artistic freedom, etc. No one dared to call him intolerant, bigoted, politically incorrect, anti-Christian, etc. Tolerance and respect apparently do not apply to Christianity and its symbols; in some situations, even your tax dollars help fund such desecration and blasphemy via the National Endowment for the Arts. But why the Cross of Jesus Christ? Why not a Jewish star of David in a glass of urine, or why not the crescent moon and star of Islam in a glass of urine? Because, according to the politically correct, to use those Jewish or Muslim symbols in such artwork would be bigoted, racist, anti-Semitic, hateful, intolerant, and so on and so on. From the artistic standpoint, though, it's "open season" on Jesus. See how one sided this situation is?

Even more recently, in 1999, the Brooklyn Museum of Art took intolerance and bigotry even one step further when they allowed a so-called "artist" to display a picture of the Virgin Mary made with elephant feces. Taking the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is, according to the Orthodox Christian faith, "more honorable than the Cherubim and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim" because she is the one who gave birth to the Word of God made flesh, and making an image of her out of feces - that is tolerable, that is permissible? However, if I wanted to make a statue of let's say Buddha or Mohammed out of feces - only as a work of art, of course - I somehow think that the politically correct thought police would not tolerate such "art." My work would be lambasted, rejected, and I would probably be labeled as a racist, hateful, bigot. The person who made the fecal "Virgin Mary" is labeled as an artist. Are you angry yet? It gets better.

As many of you know, the fish symbol with the Greek letters IXOY inscribed in it is an important Christian symbol as the "icthys" is an abbreviation that in Greek means Jesus Christ, God's Son and Savior." So, to me, as an Orthodox Christian, that is a 2,000 year old sacred symbol of my Christian faith. Like so much about my faith, it too is constantly lampooned. Some take the fish symbol, give it little legs, and replace the "icthys" with "Darwin" and put it on their car as a plaque. Other options are to put in such things as "pagan," "rasta," etc. in the Christian fish symbol.

Check out www.darwinfish.com and you will see all of the dozens of ways that this sacred religious symbol can be desecrated. Probably the worst one is the "evolutionfish" mounted "doggie-style" on top of the Christian "icthys" symbol. By the way, I am not laughing.

Just a few days ago, on our hallowed campus, I saw another example of a bigoted statement using the fish symbol. On one person's car, I saw a bumper sticker where the "icthys" on the fish symbol was replaced the word "Gefilte". For those of you who don't know, gefilte is a type of fish that Jewish people eat. In other words, this person thought it o.k. to take a sacred religious symbol for Christians and make it "cute, funny, and Jewish". Going beyond just the one car, you must realize that somewhere there is a company that mass produces this blasphemy and that there are websites, like the one mentioned above, that sell such blasphemy openly. The politically correct would probably find some way to say that that is acceptable. However, if I were to take the star of David and write on it "Ham" or "Pork, the other white meat" and put that on my car as a bumper sticker then I would be branded as intolerant, bigoted, anti-Semitic, hateful, etc. Of course I would not do that because in good conscience, out of respect for Judaism, and because I have a functioning brain, I would not adorn my car with such a symbol that makes such a statement.

Unfortunately, most people do not have that attitude of respect and tolerance towards Christians. Everywhere you turn, be it TV, movies, music videos, etc. the Christian world is constantly and openly being lampooned and mocked. What saddens, angers, and frightens me is that this type of bigotry, intolerance, and hatred is tolerated by so many "enlightened" people. Political correctness and tolerance is supposed to be a two way street. If you wish respect and tolerance, you have to give respect and tolerance. We Christians have to stand up for ourselves and demand that we, along with every other religion and their symbols, get the respect and tolerance that we deserve whether it is in art, the media, or on a bumper sticker.