Talk:Iona

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From the OED, s.v. affiliate, v.: I.2.a. To attach a smaller institution to, or to connect it with, a larger one as a branch thereof; ... &c. No grammatical mistake here! As ever, Maxim 14:04, June 21, 2006 (CDT)

How can this be proven, etc.

Dear Dn Damick, RE the issue about the Friends of Orthodoxy on Iona not being interested in Scottish Orthodoxy more generally. The Friends is a London-based group, with an almost exclusively English membership. Most years, they go to Iona once a year, other years they go somewhere else, on a retreat of a few days. Apart from that they don't do anything else, except have the occasional dinner in London. When they go to Iona, they even stay at the Anglican/Episcopalian house. If you live in the UK and are well acquainted with the activities of the Friends of Orthodoxy on Iona, these things are self-evident and incontrovertable. Were the activities of the Friends and the geographical locale of its members published on the internet, then these references would establish the case. I propose the sentence in question be reintroduced. It serves to make clear (as otherwise would be assumed) that the Friends of Orthodoxy on Iona is a local Orthodox group with a focus on Iona, when it is not, but is mainly a group from another country which visits Iona periodically on a retreat. As ever, Maxim 03:30, June 28, 2006 (CDT)

It is one thing to say that their official events are limited to certain locales or activities. It is another entirely to say that they have no interest at all in Orthodoxy in Scotland otherwise. That's why there has to be a citation from an official statement of the group or the like. (I don't see how their staying at the Anglican/Episcopal house on Iona is relevant; it's not like there's an Orthodox equivalent there. I've been there.) If the point is that the members are mainly from outside Scotland, then there's nothing wrong with including that information. ("Another country" may well be confusing for some readers, who usually think of the UK as one country.)
In any event, I have anecdotal knowledge from two of their members in personal conversations that they are indeed interested in Scottish Orthodoxy in general. Among other reasons, that's why I'm insisting on a citation for what is otherwise a rather negative thing to say about the group.
OrthodoxWiki does not always follow a strictly citation-based method of documentation for its content, but where items are challenged, a citation needs to be produced. The wiki is not to be a storehouse for rumors or perceptions, but rather for verifiable, reliable information. —Dcn. Andrew talk random contribs 07:40, June 28, 2006 (CDT)

Dear Dn Damick, First of all, the issue is not whether the Friends have NO interest (that was never claimed); secondly, it is not whether particular individuals have PERSONAL interests in Scottish Orthodoxy. The point is that AS A GROUP the Friends of Orthodoxy on Iona is based in London; it is comprised almost exclusively of English people; and it does not involve itself in matters pertaining to the Orthodox Church in Scotland in any way.

It is misleading to mention the Friends of Orthodoxy on Iona without making clear that the group is in fact a non-Scottish, London-based group. For this article is geographically-specificed (it is about an island located off the west coast of Scotland), and it is natural therefore for the reader to think in terms of geographical locale. As such, if no further specification is provided, it is natural for a reader to think of the Friends as an organization centred on Iona, or if not on Iona itself, then in the west of Scotland. This will be even more the case in that the mention of the Friends in the article follows the mention of the Iona Community, which of course IS centred on Iona, and is very active in Scottish church and social affairs. The Friends, however, is not based on Iona, and has no such activity.

Beyond that, I am perplexed by your appeal to your own obviously very limited anecdotal experience of Iona and the Friends. If I wrote something about St Tikhon's seminary, and you contradicted me on the basis of your vastly greater experience - I would not think to challenge you, even if my limited experience suggested something different to me. And if you wrote something about St Tikhon's which contradicted what I myself, in my very limited knowledge, had thought - I would not think to challenge that. Rather, I would simply accept that in all likelihood you knew more about the subject than me. Maybe I would even ask for clarification. But I certainly would not pull something out the article unilaterally and without warning. In this case, I am an Orthodox who has lived all his life in the UK. I have been to Iona many times. I am well acquainted with the Friends. Now, I don't know how many weeks you've spent in Britain, but my experience in this instance dwarfs yours.

Go to the website of the Friends. There you will see that (a) none of the office-bearers named are Scottish; (b) none of the organisers of the pilgrimage are Scottish; (c) the chaplain of the pilgrimage is not Scottish; (d) this year the only activity of 'the Friends of Orthodoxy on Iona' does not even involve Iona or Scotland at all - they are going to north-east of England. You could also visit the photo-album of the pilgrimages and see how many people are Scottish.

To make the point clear about the Anglican centre on Iona (since you have been to Iona, I believe you are feigning non-comprehension): out of the different places you could stay on Iona the Anglican centre is the one English place. There are different places you could stay with different ecclesiastical attachments (as well as places you could stay which have none); it is reflective of the orientation of the Friends that they choose to stay in the one English and Anglican place - indeed that they choose to stay in the one place which has its own Anglican chaplain.

Lastly, as regards your comment about 'some readers' who 'usually' think of the UK as 'one country' - such readers clearly know nothing about the UK. I would simply observe that Scotland has its own crown, its own church, its own legal system, its own parliament, its own banknotes, etc. etc. etc. I'm sure you would have no difficulties in correcting such readers and reminding them that the 'U' in 'UK' stands for 'United'. The next time you see the Scotland team playing football, ask yourself 'Which country is playing in blue?'; 'Which country's fans are waving the saltire?'; 'Which country's anthem makes Hampden roar?'. Each time your answer will be the same: that country is Scotland. I am very proud to be British under the reign of Queen Elizabeth, Queen Elizabeth the First of Scotland and the Second of England, just I am sure you are very proud to be an American under the presidency of George W. Bush. And just as I am sure that you would deem it unnecessary in the writing of an encyclopedia article to avoid confusing the pig-ignorant who think of America as an illiberal dictatorship, so too I consider it unnecessary in the writing of this article to avoid confusing those who are not aware that within the United Kingdom, Scotland is a different country from England.

Oncemore, Maxim 11:21, June 28, 2006 (CDT)

The original addition which you made read thus:
Unhappily, the Friends are based in London, and very few take any interest in Scottish Orthodoxy more generally, beyond valuing Iona as a location for annual retreat. In this its social values are (like its membership) akin to those of the ex-Anglican component of the Diocese of Sourozh. Ironically, it is precisely such a sentimentalised and otherworldly vision of Iona which the Iona community itself seeks to oppose through its commitment to social justice.
That is a rather negative bit of editorializing, which is not appropriate for OrthodoxWiki, not matter what one's experience is, without some sort of citation to back it up.
If you wish to state that the membership of the Friends is non-Scottish and that their activities in Scotland as an organization are limited to Iona, then state that. It's a verifiable question of fact. Whether "very few take any interest in Scottish Orthodoxy more generally" or they have "a sentimentalised and ortherworldly vision of Iona" is not verifiable fact. It thus requires a citation.
Regarding whether Scotland is a separate country from England, Wales and N. Ireland is not the issue. The issue is making the article clear to English-speaking readers. To say that the Friends are "from another country" without saying that that country is in fact part of the same sovereign state could be misleading for some readers, something which is not excusable simply by insulting the knowledge of those readers. Saying that they are "from England" is accurate and precise and gets the point across. The wording as you've most recently changed it is just fine, though one wonders whether there may be other Orthodox activities on Iona besides that of the Friends.
In any event, all this is more appropriate for the article on the Friends rather than the Iona article itself.
Really, I'm starting to wonder whether you're misreading my comments deliberately. —Dcn. Andrew talk random contribs 18:29, June 28, 2006 (CDT)
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