Saturday, September 25, 2010
Last week I highlighted the murals between 25th and 26th Streets. But there's more if you wander on down toward 24th Street -- it's just in a different vein.
Bethel Christian Church, a non-denominational megachurch incongruously plopped in the heart of the Mission, apparently let its youth group loose on its rear walls. Though I'm sure many of those who worship there are perfectly pleasant people, I have trouble warming to a church whose website lists professional homophobe James Dobson and his Family Resource Council as resources.
I'm afraid I just don't share this aesthetic.
I assume this is a rendering of the Biblical account of the "Transfiguration" -- a revelatory moment when some of Jesus' followers saw his face shine with the glory of God and figures of older prophets appeared alongside of him.
Though long celebrated in Eastern Christianity,Western (Roman Catholic) Christianity took up annual observances of this story on August 6 only about 500 years ago.
Some historical themes recur. The catalyst for the adoption of the western Transfiguration feast was apparently the victory of Catholic Hungary over Muslim Ottomans in 1456. Fear of Muslim invaders is part of the DNA of much of Europe. It's a new development, and an unhappy one, in this country.