Monday, July 24, 2006

St. George Offensive?

This is old news, but I just found out about it. Apparently the Church of England is considering replacing St. George as the patron saint of England. He is too aggressive and warlike and because he fought in the crusades, he could offend Muslims. He'd be replaced by St. Alban. Read all about it here. And by the way, shouldn't that be slain, not slayed? ("Will George be slayed as England's patron saint?")

Like most people, I imagine, all I know about St. George is that he slew (slayed?!) a dragon. So I visited Wikipedia and found out more. Interestingly, Muslims have a figure associated with him called al-Khadr. I'm not quite sure what it means to be "associated with him" in this context, since clearly these two men lived in totally different times and places. I've cut and pasted the relevant section from Wikipedia below.

"In Islamic cultures, the figure of al-Khadr (or al-Khidr; according to the Qur'an a companion of the prophet Moses), is associated with St.George, who is also venerated under that name by Christians among mainly Muslim people, especially Palestinian people, and mainly around Jerusalem, where according to tradition he lived and often prayed near the Temple Mount, and is venerated as a protector in times of crisis. His main monument is the elongated mosque Qubbat al-Khadr ('The Dome of al-Khadr') which stands isolated from any close neighbors on the northwest corner of the Dome of the Rock terrace in Jerusalem."

Read the comments on the Daily Mail article and you'll see that plenty of people are not at all happy with the idea of jettisoning St. George. And it also looks as though St. Alban was a soldier as well (Roman). Won't the people fought by the Romans be offended?

No comments: