Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Face of the GOP

Nuff said?

"Mock" Anger?

This appeared yesterday on Andrew Sullivan's The Daily Dish:

It's a little hard to tell from the photo, but it's a representation of President Barack Obama as a clasically rendered saint, on a ten-inch tall votive candle. This one was spotted in the San Francisco store Just For Fun.

Naturally, the candle has some people upset. According to Sullivan, it has "angered members of the St. Philip the Apostle Church who see the candle as mocking Jesus."

I'm sure that once word spreads, many more people will be angered, too.

I'm thinking of being angered myself, just because I realize I haven't been angered by anything inconsequential in a great many days.

However, reason must prevail. As I said to my pal Jerry, who brought the item to my attention in the first place, how does this mock Jesus? As a cradle Catholic, I see immediately that it draws from the traditional, even classic portrayal of saints as depicted on countless prayer cards, in countless books, on countless walls and windows in countless older churches...but saints, mind, not Jesus. I have never seen Jesus depicted in such garb; it's usually white, or, if depicting the resurrected Jesus, white with some other "pure" color--gold, a pale blue, a kind of salmon color, even purple. Never brown or black, whichever it is on the candle jar.

Nor is Jesus, in my experience, depicted holding a crucifix. The closest to that that I can think of are representations of Jesus holding the orb, representing the world, atop which is often a small cross. Although of course in the Stations of the Cross he is shown carrying the cross.

You might, if you felt the need to feel outrage, say that the candle mocks...what? Saints? Not all of them, surely, nor any particular one. If anything, it seems to mock a style of art.

Hardly much to get worked up about, yes?

So what is it about the good parishioners of St. Philip the Apostle Church? Does their church just happen to be nearby? Has it been awhile since the last dust-up and this is the best they can come up with on short notice?

Or Perhaps they have just never taken to heart the ancient wisdom: Choose your battles.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Quotation Marks

Again, most if not all (all, I think) of these quotations were culled from the always-informative A Word a Day newsletter:

I protect my right to be a Catholic by preserving your right to believe as a Jew, a Protestant, or non-believer, or as anything else you choose. We know that the price of seeking to force our beliefs on others is that they might some day force theirs on us. -Mario Cuomo, 52nd Governor of New York (b. 1932)

The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error. -John Stuart Mill, philosopher and economist (1806-1873)

There is no religion without love, and people may talk as much as they like about their religion, but if it does not teach them to be good and kind to other animals as well as humans, it is all a sham. -Anna Sewell, writer (1820-1878)

Politeness is the art of choosing among your thoughts. -Madame de Stael, writer (1766-1817)

When the flag is unfurled, all reason is in the trumpet. -Ukrainian proverb

The man who is always waving the flag usually waives what it stands for. -Laurence J. Peter, educator and author (1919-1990)

Conscience is the still, small voice which tells a candidate that what he is doing is likely to lose him votes. -Anonymous

When you battle with your conscience and lose, you win. -Henny Youngman, comedian and violinist (1906-1998)

The lame man who keeps the right road outstrips the runner who takes a wrong one. The more active and swift the latter is, the further he will go astray. -Francis Bacon, essayist, philosopher, and statesman (1561-1626)

Wealth has never yet sacrificed itself on the altar of patriotism. -Bob LaFollette, congressman, senator, governor (1855-1925)

Being rich is having money; being wealthy is having time. -Stephen Swid, executive (b. 1941)

This country will not be a permanently good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a reasonably good place for all of us to live in. -Theodore Roosevelt, 26th US President (1858-1919)

Democracy, to me, is liberty plus economic security. -Maury Maverick, attorney and congressman (1895-1954)

The only gift is giving to the poor; / All else is exchange. -Thiruvalluvar, poet (c. 30 BCE)

I wasn't disturbing the peace, I was disturbing the war. -Ammon Hennacy, activist (1893-1970)

If you want to make peace, you don't talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies. -Moshe Dayan, military leader and politician (1915-1981)

A coward is a hero with a wife, kids, and a mortgage. -Marvin Kitman, author and media critic (b. 1929)

Whenever two people meet, there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is. -William James, psychologist and philosopher (1842-1910)

The doctrine of the material efficacy of prayer reduces the Creator to a cosmic bellhop of a not very bright or reliable kind. -Herbert J. Muller, educator, historian, and author (1905-1980)

I don't know if God exists, but it would be better for His reputation if he didn't. -Jules Renard, writer (1864-1910)