Monday, September 17, 2007

Disappointing first step?

If it's true, that newly elected mayor Karl Dean is going to be sworn in at the Parthenon, it will be a very disheartening first step by the new mayor for many in Nashville. I understand that the Parthenon is seen by some in this city as not really a house of worship but many more will see it otherwise.

I suggest that he move it to the band shell instead or Riverfront Park, the Bicentennial Mall---almost any other non-religious space. There is no compelling reason to offend so many by insisting on the use of the temple of Athena as the place he begins his tenure over this city of many faiths. Yes, the band shell is a much humbler space but if Karl Dean wants to keep those connections he talked about so often, he should find another venue.

Update: Maybe even the steps of the newly renovated courthouse?

8 comments:

Sarcastro said...

When you say "many" in Nashville, how many are we talking about? Six? Can you name six people who are upset about this non-issue.

Other than you, of course.

Last time I checked, it's a museum. Who exactly sees the Parthenon as a "house of worship"?

Other than Agamemnon and Odysseus, of course.

p.s. In the sixth century, the original Parthenon was converted into a Christian church.

Southern Beale said...

p.s. In the sixth century, the original Parthenon was converted into a Christian church.

I'd forgotten that. Good point. That reminds me that many great churches and many great Christian traditions are built on pagan ruins. Christmas = the Festival of Saturnalia, Easter = the Festival of Aprhodite, etc. Rome's San Clemente church was built on top of the temple to the god Mythras; the church of Santa Maria Nova was built on the ruins of Rome's largest temple, the Temple of Venus and Roma.

Plenty of other examples, too. So it seems we have nice tradition of religious inclusiveness.

Sean Braisted said...

Southern Beale,

Recant your wicked ways and wicked comments. Christianity is built upon Judaism which is built upon the word of GOD...any similarities to other pre-Christian religions or customs are merely coincidental, or tricks by Satan to fool the believers.

lcreekmo said...

Kay, really. It's a civic museum. If you haven't been picketing or trying to get the Parthenon torn down in the past -- it's been here 100 years or so -- then I don't get the problem.

Because it's not a pagan temple. It's a museum owned by the city.

Southern Beale said...

Because it's not a pagan temple. It's a museum owned by the city.

But it looks like one!! Aaagh!

Kay, please be warned before you enter the Downtown Presbyterian church. It looks really, really Egyptian.

Kay Brooks said...

I know the history of Nashville's Parthenon and the centennial celebration.

I know that many houses of worship originally erected for one religion were co-opted by another.

The first time I was in the sanctuary of Downtown Pres was for an initial meeting of the International Christian Embassy . That was a bit of a mind blower to be sure. :-)

So if I can find just 6 who are 'upset' about this venue will that pass muster with Sarcastro? Or will the measure be moved to 12, or 500? Where's the line and who gets to set it? My point is we don't need a line--we've got other options.

If I can find anyone who has actually worshiped Athena at that 'civic museum' does that mean it's no longer a secular building but actually a house of worship and then can't be used?

My point was that we're installing a new mayor over our civic government and I don't see the need to use any sort of religious building for the swearing in. We've got plenty of venues with no religious connotations or history that could serve the purpose. Why not the new park in front of the newly renovated Metro Courthouse?

Hopefully, the story isn't true and someone in the Dean camp recognizes that it's not necessary to offend right off the bat. Are those photographs really worth this price?

lcreekmo said...

I don't see the need to use any sort of religious building for the swearing in.

Then you're in luck: the Parthenon in Centennial Park isn't any sort of religious building.

Southern Beale said...

Why not the new park ....

As Paul Chenoweth posted over at MCB:

"I think it would be more appropriate if the ceremony were to be held in a metro park with some significant city landmark in the background.

"Oh. Wait!"