Ithaca Blog

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Jesus Christ Thrown Out of Church

This is an excerpt from a column by Jimmy Breslin a few years ago at Christmas. Breslin was at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York and saw them giving Christ the bum's rush at closing time.

Breslin says he saw it. He says it's not a metaphor.

We would print the whole column, if we had it. Here is a fragment.

- from "Sending Christ Into the Cold", by Jimmy Breslin

Christ slipped into a pew on the side aisle on the left-hand side. He looked like all the others who had nothing. In fact, he had less. At least the other homeless people had plastic garbage bags filled with whatever they owned. Christ sat with nothing.

When he gave up his life for this religion, it was a belief that honored the blind, the destitute, the lame. Now he sat in a church and looked ahead, far ahead, over the many rows, to an altar that sat under a steeple and was dedicated to gold.

They were in a palace away from the cold, the most famous church of the Catholics in America. It is supposed to represent the Lord's religion. On this cold night, one of the ushers said that the church closes at 8:35. Exactly.

"Nobody can stay?", an usher was asked.

"Church closes," he said.

Christ slipped out of a pew and followed the other homeless people out of the church. The ushers and cops didn't have the slightest idea who he is, and nobody running the huge church he was leaving knows anything about him, either.

They claim they do. They say they pray to him and try to act in his behalf. Last night, he was asked to leave and go out into the cold, just like any of the other homeless.


Doing something to ease poverty and stop violence in this world would make a fitting Christmas gift. To be in a position to do it, proves it is more blessed to give than to receive.

Stephen Burke
for Ithaca Blog

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