Friday, March 20, 2009

What the Well-Dressed Tourist Doesn't Wear

From the Department of Religious Tolerance and Can't-We-All-Just-Get-Along comes this story from Time Magazine: Jerusalem Rabbi Insists the Pope Must Hide His Cross. The basic story is this: Pope Benedict XVI ("B16," as he's sometimes known) will visit Jerusalem next month, and will visit two famous religious sites: the Western ("Wailing") Wall, sacred to Jews, and the Dome of the Rock, a major Muslim shrine. Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich, the spiritual overseer of the Western Wall, insists that when the pope visits the site, he must hide the cross he wears as a symbol of his faith, claiming it would be disrespectful to Jews to do wear it openly. The Muslims, on the other hand - although not generally noted for their tolerant and gently accepting view of other religions - don't seem to care: Sheik Tayseer Tamimi, Chief Justice of the Shari'a law courts in East Jerusalem, said that the pope was free to wear his cross, saying that "We don't believe in interfering in another religion's affairs."

I think I've heard it all, now.

I'm reminded of the joke about two elderly nuns driving down a winding country road late one night. As they drove past an old cemetery, Count Dracula suddenly leaped out of the darkness onto the hood of the car and leered at them through the windshield. The nun who was driving frantically swerved from side to side in an attempt to throw him off, but the vampire spread his arms and clutched both sides of the windshield to hang on. She honked the horn without effect, then turned on the windshield wipers and squirted the Count with washer fluid, but still he hung on, laughing and baring his fangs at the terrified sisters.

The driver turned to her passenger and screamed, "Quick! Show him your cross!!"

The second nun rolled down her window, leaned out, and shouted, "Hey, #%@! Get off the &$!# car!!"

Go ahead, Benedict - show them your cross. I think we have a lot more important things to worry about. And wouldn't it be nice if Muslim clerics everywhere took Sheikh Tamimi's view and encouraged interfaith friendship and understanding instead of hatred and intolerance?

I'm not holding my breath.

Have a good day. Hang in there - Cartoon Saturday is coming!

Bilbo

7 comments:

Amanda said...

B16....I had not heard that one.

The Pope may try to hide its cross but I'm sure it will find its way out.

The Mistress of the Dark said...

I'm tempted to say Oy Vey but I don't want to encourage the Jews...

Melissa B. said...

I wonder how many other Christians have been held to a "dress code" at the Wailing Wall. I think such an edict certainly would make me cross!

Mike said...

Jeez. This calls for the ol' "get a life" comment. I think I'll wear my 'whirled peas' shirt today in protest.

Malaise Inc said...

I wonder if both reactions have something to do with B16 reinstating the now-formerly excommunicated Holocaust denier Bishop Richard Williamson?

John said...

Yes, Your Holiness. We recognize that you represent the Catholic Church, and we want you to come visit us. Just please leave the cross at home.

Stupid (note the capital S)

wv: envia..what the rabbis have regarding coverage of the Pope's visit.

fiona said...

Daft...that's all