Why would they try? Or are they merely unwilling to advertise the bicentennial of a republic in a region where democracy is imperiled? Are they sorry that Greece defeated the Ottoman Empire to win liberty?
Have they forgotten that one cannot say “democracy” without the Greek?
Our College and School celebrates the bicentennial of Greek independence with no monument except one from the heart. The faculty chose the speech of Pericles and our students recounted portions of this classic address and the facts around the events that gave our Greek brothers and sisters freedom. Evidently, mentioning that a long dead Empire tried to quash this move for liberty triggered Facebook. We wanted to alert our friends in Greece to our tribute, Facebook said no, and again they said no. The social media giant would post the tribute, but not run an advertisement.
Why? There is, thank God, no Sultan and no Empire left to complain. Will Facebook next refuse our funds if we celebrate the heroes of 1776, since we might offend the British Empire? There was no hate in our tribute to Hellas, just a celebration of freedom and an acknowledgement of the debt our College and School owes the Republic of Greece.
We owe a debt to many lands, but none is greater than to Greece (Hellas).
From Athens, to Antioch, to Alexandria, to ancient Aksum, classical Hellenic Christian education spread throughout the world. The Greeks planted the culture that produced the universities of the Byzantine commonwealth (Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Russia). Centuries of education in Northern Italy planted the seeds of the Byzantine inspired Renaissance that bore fruit in universities such as those in Paris, Oxford, Cambridge.
This is a small thing, certainly not persecution. The choice between a Facebook ad and the truth is easy: solidarity with the Greek freedom fighters.
The Orthodox Church knows persecution and despite her size, Facebook can only bully, virtually. The Ecumenical Patriarch was hanged for the crime of being a Greek and a patriot in the War for Independence: that is persecution, Facebook is a nuisance. Yet if you are a small republic next to an increasingly hostile larger power, then you learn that small slights can become greater evils. Allies learn to worry about such clouds the size of a man’s hand.
So here in Houston, a land far from Greece, where tomorrow we will teach using the dialectic given to us by Athens, we live at one with the martyrs and saints of the Greek revolution. As Orthodox Christians, we ask for their prayers. As lovers of wisdom, we follow their example. Against the shadowy power of some mindless bot at Facebook, denying appeals based on some keywords, we have no fear.
Liberty is won by men, not by bots.
Long live the Greek Republic.
Here is the tribute that Facebook will not let us highlight for our friends in Greece: