http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/...Torre&sn=001&sc=1000



He may be the Second Coming to many San Franciscans - but one local Catholic priest wants a popular prayer candle with President Obama's picture on it pulled from a local gift shop, saying it "mocks Jesus" and "depicts our beloved saints in a not so saintly way."

The Rev. Tony La Torre of St. Philip the Apostle Church, in ever-hip Noe Valley, is so riled up that he's calling for a boycott of the neighborhood's Just For Fun card and novelty shop, which has been selling the $15 candles at a fast clip.

The candles feature the president's halo-adorned head plastered onto the crucifix-clutching body of St. Martin de Porres, the Peruvian-born friar regarded as one of the first black saints in the Americas.

"I am appalled that in such a family-oriented neighborhood, any retailer would be so bigoted and so hateful (as) to carry such merchandise just to 'make a buck,' " La Torre declared recently in the parish newsletter.

Store owners Robert Ramsey and David Eiland say they've sold more than 700 candles since putting them on display over the Christmas holiday.

And while the candles are a big hit, Ramsey says they're not much different from the line of gag gifts they've been selling without complaint at the store on upper 24th Street for the past 22 years.

"Believe me, there is a lot of nasty stuff you can sell - you can get it down in the Castro," Ramsey said. "This is just fun stuff."

Besides Hula Hoops, Barbie lunch bags and Valentine heart trinkets, the novelty store stocks such joke religious items as Jesus pencil erasers, "Beware of Nunzilla" wind-up toys and, most recently, the Obama devotional candles.

But to La Torre, the candles featured in a big window display were "the final straw" for a store "that feels the need to mock and ridicule the Catholic/Christian faith."

It's not first time "anti-Catholic, anti-Christian" attitudes, as La Torre calls them, have been decried in the city.

A couple of years back, Archbishop George Niederauer said he had been duped into giving communion to a couple of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence - cross-dressing, prankster "nuns" - prompting outrage from religious conservatives across the country.

The candle commotion might have passed quickly, except that La Torre also described the store's owners as Jewish (they're not) and urged parishioners not only to boycott the store but to "be sure to poke your head in ... and tell them why."

The San Francisco Archdiocese weighed in, contacting the priest to express its concern over his "Jewish" reference. La Torre has since retracted the reference, saying he only meant that the owners - if Jewish, as he says he was led to believe - "should know what it feels like to be mocked and ridiculed."

The flap hit the front page of the local Noe Valley Voice, and the store's owners found themselves besieged with questions from all sides.

The owners ignored La Torre's offer to meet with them to discuss his concerns, but did post a copy of the priest's newsletter in their store window - right next to the king-size, 2-foot-tall version of the Obama candle that had set him off.

So far, the only effect of the controversy seems to be free advertising and a demand for even more candles.

"Tomorrow, I got 72 more coming,"
:applause: :applause: :applause: Ramsey said.
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Original Post
quote:
Originally posted by isistah:
Besides, you have to be dead to be a saint.
Not to mention also Catholic in this context. But all that is IMO, really beside the point. It is like Cholly said, I put the candle in the same category as all the other Obama kitsch that is out there (shirts, caps, posters, et al). It is about making a buck.
it "mocks Jesus"---article

Let's see......

There is no halo.

He does not look European-like.

99.99% of the pictures I've seen do.

He does look an awful lot like I picture Saint Augustine looking.

And he is smiling.

I have never seen a picture of Jesus...smiling.

I don't think.

I never noticed.


But...I understand.

PEACE

Jim Chester
quote:
Originally posted by James Wesley Chester:
it "mocks Jesus"---article

Let's see......

There is no halo.

He does not look European-like.

99.99% of the pictures I've seen do.

He does look an awful lot like I picture Saint Augustine looking.

And he is smiling.

I have never seen a picture of Jesus...smiling.

I don't think.

I never noticed.


But...I understand.

PEACE

Jim Chester

I does'nt have anything to do with "mocking Jesus". The guy just superimposed Obama's face for St. Martin de Porres and had a piece of kitsch he could make a buck one. Here are some typical St. Martin de Porres images,

quote:
Originally posted by James Wesley Chester:
Here are some typical St. Martin de Porres images,---kresge

And...

This 'local' priest knows that.


PEACE

Jim Chester

He would know this. We are talking about a priest in San Francisco, CA where there charities with associated with St. Martin.
quote:
Originally posted by kresge:
quote:
Originally posted by James Wesley Chester:
Here are some typical St. Martin de Porres images,---kresge

And...

This 'local' priest knows that.


PEACE

Jim Chester

He would know this. We are talking about a priest in San Francisco, CA where there charities with associated with St. Martin.


I may be completely wrong, but I think what JC is saying is that yes, the priest knew this, so why is he saying the candles are making a mockery of Jesus(when there is no resemblance), when it's obviously a cut and paste onto St. Martin de Porres' image?

I can see him saying it makes a mockery of beatification, saints, or St Matin's memory ect., but where did the Jesus criticism come in? The priest isn't a moron, he could have easily said that he felt 'It makes a mockery of Catholicism and/or X-ianiy', which would be an understandable criticism coming from his perspective. The fact he said 'Jesus' seems like some overprotective 'knee jerk' reaction to Obama's Black image somehow being associated with Jesus' overtly different depiction, and therein lies the mockery... That's what I got out of JC's sarcastic "But...I understand" comment.

{Feel free to correct me JC)

Giving the priest the benefit of the doubt, he may have been commenting(out of context) about how some people's Messiah making of Obama is a mockery of Jesus... that I could understand, coming from his perspective... IF that's what he meant.

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