Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Priests Brawl at Jesus' Birthplace

   Every so often one runs across something so absurd that it makes my RidicuList.

First of all for men who profess to follow in the footsteps of their model, Christ Jesus, it's doubly ridiculous that they should then fight in the Church of the Nativity. 

  This happened in Bethlehem, West Bank where Greek Orthodox and Armenian priests attacked each other with brooms and stones as long-standing rivalries erupted in violence during holiday cleaning on Thursday.
  The basilica, built over the grotto in Bethlehem where Christians believe Jesus was born, is administered jointly by Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic authorities.
  Any perceived encroachment on one group's turf can touch off vicious feuds.
So dozens of priests and cleaners were scrubbing the church ahead of the Armenian and Orthodox Christmas, celebrated in early January.  Thousands of tourists visited the church this week for celebrations.
  But the clean-up turned ugly after some of the Orthodox faithful stepped inside the Armenian church's section, touching off a scuffle between about 50 Greek Orthodox and 30 Armenians.
  Palestinian police, armed with batons and shields, quickly formed a human cordon to separate the two sides so the cleaning could continue, then ordered an Associated Press photographer out of the church.
  Four people, some with blood running from their faces, were slightly wounded.

All I can say is that they must have missed the part where Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount "love your enemies and pray for those who are persecuting you"; or where Paul mentions to "return evil for evil to no one and if possible, as far as it depends upon you, be peaceable with all men; do not avenge yourselves but yield place to the wrath for it is God that will repay vengeance; and  do not let yourself be conquered by the evil, but keep conquering the evil with the good." Romans 12: 17-21.

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