26 Aug 99

My morning paper is rarely this amusing.

The evangelical community has gathered together to arrange that a "well known film of the life of Jesus" ("a vivid portrayal" --Billy Graham, "meticulous" --_Time Magazine_) appear in the mailbox of every single household in Monroe County).

"The local effort is part of a nationwide plan to distribute millions of the videos through the efforts of more than 10,000 churches. Locally they are attempting to raise $760,000 to cover costs." [All quotations from the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, August 25, 1999, pgs 1 and 5A.]

When the news got out the Jewish community was "enraged" and protested. "The message is, 'Your way of religious expression is not valid. Come look at our way.' By sending it into people's homes, you are invading their privacy. It is very limiting and close-minded," said Rabbi Alan Katz.

Katz, who belongs to the community groups Interfaith Forum and Commission on Christian Jewish Relations, said he has nothing against Jesus as an historical figure. "It is the imposition of him into Jewish people's lives that have had other implications for us in the last 2,000 years," the rabbi said.

Pastor Arthur Brown of Pearce Memorial Church, North Chili, said, "The last thing we want to do is offend folks or hurt them. We understand the sensitivity of people of different faiths. We'd like people to simply understand who Jesus is. Everyone has to decide for themselves what to do with this video."

[The question of who Pearce might be and why it was desirable to memorialize him was apparently not asked nor was it asked whether bonfires of tapes with non Christians dancing about them might conceivably offend the video mongers. Too many people have no imagination.]

The mind boggles.


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