Thursday, May 05, 2005

I’m outraged: What did Mayor Bloomberg think he was doing?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A neighborhood paper printed an article stating that, while visiting a Greek Orthodox church last Saturday night in honor of Greek Orthodox Easter, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg—yes, he’s Jewish—“received the Holy Light symbolizing the resurrection of [the individual whom our Christian neighbors call] Christ and in turn lighted the candles of other worshippers on exiting the church.” I’m not an Orthodox Jew, and I have no problem with a Jew entering a church, or even attending a service as a respectful observer. But actively participating in a religious ritual of a religion other than your own is quite another matter. As far as I’m concerned, Mayor Bloomberg showed disrespect not only to the Jewish religion, but to the Greek Orthodox faith as well, by coopting a ritual of that faith for use in a photo op. For shame!!!!!


Blogger PsychoToddler said...

Not trying to defend Mr. Bloomberg's actions in any way, but I was recently part of an "interfaith" episode where I suddenly got co-opted into some ritual. Sometimes it happens before you know what's going on.

Anyway, makes me a little more cautious to accept future offers.

Fri May 06, 09:09:00 AM 2005  
Blogger Talmida said...

If the Gk Orthodox ritual is anything like the Roman rite (and it sounds like it is) it would have been difficult to avoid.

The church is pitch dark, and everyone picks up a candle as he or she walks in -- they have boxes full of them. The celebrant lights a fire at the back of the church, and then acolytes light their candles from the fire and pass it on. It's a very dramatic way to light a building!! You just get a light from person-on-your-left and pass it to person-on-your-right.

Although the reporter is "technically" correct in describing the symbolic nature of the fire at the end of the Mayor's candle, that's a very unfair way of describing the situation. I expect the mayor just wanted light enough to read his program and follow along.

In your shoes, without further information, I'd be disgusted with the reporter, who sounds like someone taking advantage of a guest's ignorance of the customs.

Fri May 06, 02:05:00 PM 2005  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Ok, maybe I should cut the mayor some slack. It is entirely possible that he got roped in before he realized what was happening, and/or that he was just trying to shed some light, literally, and didn't realize the symbolic nature of what he was doing.

Sun May 08, 04:30:00 AM 2005  

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