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Op-ed: Orthodoxy (by Peter Children)

Let me attempt to explain what Orthodoxy really means to someone born Orthodox.

The Orthodox faith is more, much more than a church building or a priest in regal robes with gold embroidery, or the smell of incense that fills your nostrils when you enter the church.  Orthodoxy is a combination of distinct flavors of which food is only a part, a big part but none the less no where near the entirety.

Orthodoxy covers your body like skin, it is a part of your natural DNA, it is not something you can extract, or set aside because it is a natural part of your existence….you cannot “become some thing else” because you may think you suddenly want to; it just doesn’t work that way. For me it would be like trying to eat with no arms….it is part of the breath that enters my body, it is the soil in the path that leads to my grandfather’s village high in the mountains of Montenegro.  It is the customs agent at the airport in Belgrade  who on my first visit to the country  waved me through customs without opening my bags; instead saying to me….”go on  through, you are home now.”

It is truly a wondrous place and I cannot imagine  life without it. It breeds tolerance and respect and trust and fierce loyalties that lead to  friendships that last beyond the grave. It does not runs ads in magazines looking for applicants, but it never turns away anyone who wishes to enter.  I wish similar love for whatever faith you may follow, and may your journey through life be as wonderful as mine……….

Peter Children

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