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Thursday, October 23, 2008

It Behooves One

When we passed this statue of Jesus holding the Twin Towers, we were quite surprised - we brought our car to a halt, reversed and parked briefly to get a real good look, less our eyes had deceived us the first time around. But they had not - Jesus was holding the Twin Towers in front of St. Ephrem's Church at 929 Bay Ridge Parkway in Brooklyn. On a plaque below the statue there was a passage from Isaiah in the bible:

"I will never forget you.
See, upon the palms of My hands
I have written your name;
Your walls are ever before me."
Isaiah 49:15-16

I am not adequately schooled in the bible to explain the meaning of this passage and its relationship to Jesus holding the Twin Towers. Also, the word order of this biblical passage appears differently everywhere else I have read it.
There was a realization that this sculpture was not a casual or whimsical thing - it was obviously planned, commissioned in some way, designed, created and installed. And it is not hidden from view at all but prominently placed in front of the church on a major thoroughfare.
It certainly has created controversial remarks by those who have seen the statue live or in photos. A photo featured in the Gothamist, which was posted on Flickr, shows a broad range of sentiments in the comments.
The Twin Towers disaster of 9/11 is a very delicate subject. I believe it behooves the prudent person to leave the subject alone if at all possible - I had reservations in doing this posting at all. On this one, I am just the messenger ...

Personal Confession: I love the word behooves, find it underused and am always looking for an opportunity to use it.

13 comments:

Wayne said...

It behooves me to stay mum on this one too although I'm not without an opinion.

Anonymous said...

Religion and State and tragedy. Quite a dramatic statement. This is creepy.

Lorelai said...

I think the passage is beautiful, the church is simply making a memorial to those who were lost. And i totally agree- behooves is such a great word. I've always thought that.

Migs CFL fan said...

Very moving post and fanastic photo. Thanks for sharing!

Cheers!

http://reginainpictures.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

If this was in front of a government building, I might understand how some might get their noses out of joint, but it is in front of a Church. People of different faiths aren't allowed to commemorate their dead?

I find it very touching.

Paz said...

Lovely photo. I like the whole idea behind the statue. I like the scripture, too. Very fitting.

Paz (who thinks behooves is a cool word, too.) ;-)

Anonymous said...

Brian, your photo behooves any person who has a heart, faith oriented or not, American or not. Therefore, the photo also behooves you.

Anonymous said...

Indeed, there was a designer, a sculptor, and a set of people that cast the statue and installed it.

That is a long line of people who are deeply deranged, or at least tolerant of a crazy idea.

Saint Lemur said...

"Bees don't have hooves, bees have feet." -- Charles Schulz

Elisa said...

oh, wow. I don't quite know what to say to that. (and it's so hard to leave me speechless)

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the sculpture on the mosque across the street looks like?

Anonymous said...

Actually that verse in the bible, was used by Isaiah to tell the Israelites that they deserved their present suffering. In that respect, this statue is insulting. Is God only remembering the christians that died in there.

The family of my atheist friend that died on 9/11 would consider it an insult to put religion on such a horrible act, especially since it was because of it that this horrible tragedy happened. People should be remembered in a humanistic sense and not just in a religous one.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the people behind this meant to honor the people who died. It behooves us to be more tolerant of other people's ways of making sense of what happened. Let's not over-analyze this or ascribe any ill intention to it.