Morning Read: North Country pastor says No to going green for St. Pat’s Day

First Baptist Church, Watertown--"Not a billboard."

The Watertown Daily Times is reporting this morning that a Baptist pastor in Watertown is unhappy with a plan to light up his church tower with green spotlights as part of a St. Patrick’s Day Irish festival.

The Rev. Jeffrey E. Smith…insists the green floodlights will give people the perception he and his church condone the consumption of beer at this weekend’s events.

“This is our house of worship. It is not a billboard,” he said. “We call our church ‘the Lighthouse on the Square.’ This cheapens our church.”

The pastor said he believes the city should have been more sensitive to his parishioners, some of whom are recovering alcoholics and former drug users.

So there you go.  What do you think?  Too grumpy by half?  Or a good, solid principled stand?

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16 Comments on “Morning Read: North Country pastor says No to going green for St. Pat’s Day”

  1. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Ostentatious displays for every two bit holiday is getting out of hand. We are down to 3 holidays that aren’t simply beer delivery vehicles: MLK Day, Columbus Day, and Veterans Day.

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  2. Pete Klein says:

    Fee-fi-fo-fum do I smell the blood of an Englishman?
    While I might agree it is a bit silly to light up the church with green, the complaint is even more silly.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  3. Jim Bullard says:

    In Ireland Saint Patrick’s Day is a religious holiday. The drinking party version is an American invention. I’d just as soon see it go away. It doesn’t honor St. Patrick and we have no need of another excuse for a day of excessive drinking although I’m sure the beer manufacturers would disagree.

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

  4. JDM says:

    I wasn’t aware that the Baptists recognized the sainthood of Patrick.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  5. It's Still All Bush's Fault says:

    Do you have drink beer to enjoy St. Patty’s Day? My first thought goes to corned beef and cabbage.

    Does anyone ever get to point where they ask themselves, “Do I get offended too easily?”

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  6. Knuckleheadedliberal says:

    As a vegetarian I protest. Take away the corned beef and that is just ruining a bunch of vegetables.

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  7. Two Cents says:

    “…The drinking party version is an American invention.”

    American or Irish-American invention?
    More like the latter.
    See, thats Hyphenation at work.

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  8. It's Still All Bush's Fault says:

    It’s been said that everyone is Irish on St. Patty’s Day. Even though I am a Dutch-American, I celebrate the holiday.

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  9. Pete Klein says:

    Knuckle,
    And let’s not forget all good spirits are made with non meat products. Just what a true vegetarian might order.

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  10. Knuckleheadedliberal says:

    True Pete. And plenty of good local product to choose from, Saranac, Lake Placid Ubu Ale (one of my fav’s), Lake George Pub and Brewery, Coopers Cave Ale Company (and they celebrate their 13th anniversary on St Paddy’s Day), a little further afield is my absolute favorite Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown — am I missing any?
    Oh, and then there’s P3 vodka if you want to stay on the potato theme.

    Meat simply can’t compete when it comes to beverages.

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  11. jeff says:

    Separation of church and state? The town owns the clock. Went to the Irish event in Watertown last year. Auditorium concert was great. Music elsewhere in the building was good, floor sticky with spilled liquid and it wasn’t from cabbage. Yes the Americans have made a caricature of a culture.

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  12. Two Cents says:

    I think the Irish-Americans are the ones who have made the charicature of themselves, Corporate-Americans provided the beer.
    The rest of the participants are easily bought for the celebration.

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  13. Mervel says:

    I think it is a principled stand:

    “This is our house of worship. It is not a billboard,” he said. “We call our church ‘the Lighthouse on the Square.’ This cheapens our church.”

    12 Then Jesus went into the temple of God[f] and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 13 And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’[g] but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’”[h]

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  14. Two Cents says:

    Since we were quoting, i couldn’t resist…

    “Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine, a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.”

    (Source: Isaacson, Walter. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2003. p.374.)

    “….just not so happy that we spill our drinks on his floor”
    (source: Two Cents-The In Box-2012)

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  15. Mervel says:

    haha, True indeed, I love beer and wine and I do think they are gifts from God.

    But I think this Church should be allowed to not be part of a public celebration or any public celebration for that manner; that it finds offensive, I think that is fine and good.

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  16. I strongly agree that the Pastor has ever right to not use the church as a billboard. Its not about dislike its about keeping the house of worship as it is. Also im surprised drinking is aloud in the State office Building, thought it was geared towards terrorist attacks thats why we have to show ID now. All weekend people are in and out, drinking, getting drunk ??? I also saw people with mugs of beer at the St. Pat’s parade outside??? Open Container law???

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