US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Light it up

Meghan Murphy-Gill | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

I received a call this morning from a woman who wanted to lament both the vehement anti-Catholic attitudes on display in the user comment sections of many news websites and blogs as well as the seeming inability of American Catholics to stand together on anything. But the issue she said was really "stuck in her craw" was this business about whether or not the Empire State Building should light up in blue and white in honor of Mother Theresa's 100th birthday.

A brief scroll through the comments on the sites covering this bit of news (or most Catholic news) and you'll see why to call the anti-Catholic rhetoric vehement is no understatement. As an editor (and regular reader of our own comment section), I enjoy the thick skin I put on every morning when I come to work and rarely feel insulted or alarmed by what I consider mostly innocuous sentiment. But when I get phone calls expressing distress over the mean (and frankly, uninformed) words of those who hide behind a user name, I'm frustrated and can't help but sympathize with Catholics who feel threatened or concerned by such a blatant lack of the tolerance these commenters would likely preach.

Ironically, though, is that while Mother Theresa is one of the most prominent and well-known Catholics the world over, she is revered not for being a Catholic nun, but for being a humanitarian of the highest order. She won the Nobel Peace Prize. The owners of the Empire State Building refuse to honor her in lights because she's a religious person.

Also, "it's not as if she was checking faith cards before treating people," my caller said.


I just hope the owners realize their misstep and agree to light up the building in August, because all this brouhaha is a bit ridiculous.