Monday, November 10, 2008
JERUSALEM - Israeli police rushed into one of Christianity's holiest churches Sunday and arrested two clergyman after an argument between monks erupted into a brawl next to the site of Jesus' tomb.
Nice to see the traditional decorum and restraint of Middle Eastern culture on display again.
The Greeks objected to the march without one of their monks present, fearing that otherwise, the procession would subvert their own claim to the Edicule — the ancient structure built on what is believed to be the tomb of Jesus — and give the Armenians a claim to the site.
The Armenians refused, and when they tried to march the Greek Orthodox monks blocked their way, sparking the brawl.
I'm sure this all about protecting the dignity of the religious site; being men of God, it surely couldn't be about anything else, like say, tourist income? Then again, reports relayed to me by soldiers here who have gone on the sanctioned Holy Land tours tell me portions of the tour are like running the gauntlet of carnie barkers on opening night at the county fair. You WILL buy religious trinkets before you leave the sites.
Hopefully, these guys aren't big into contemporary culture and marketing. MSN notes the lack of quality reality shows available currently (I hadn't realized there ever were any). Anyone doubt that at least one network would drop a load of cash for a season of "Extreme Monk Fighting: Bruisin'em in Jerusalem"?