Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Inadvertently Christian Fort Lauderdale Municipal Signage

This sign appeared on the beach earlier this week. I'm quite sure it is a municipal attempt to be religiously neutral. The beach is patrolled constantly by gliding pelicans who suddenly drop into the shallows for fish. 

Yes! Let's show a pelican in a Santa cap!

Actually, the pelican is an ancient Christian symbol of self-sacrifice. Supposedly, the pelican will gouge its own breast to feed its young with its own blood. (Whenever anchovies are not plentiful, I guess.) The crazed Saint Thomas Aquinas called out to Jesus "Pelican of mercy, cleanse me in they precious blood!" (Yuck.) Slightly more palatable is Shakespeare in Hamlet where Laertes says 

To his good friends thus wide I'll ope my arms,
And like the kind, life-rendering pelican,
Repast them with my blood.

1 comment:

Blindman said...

During extremely lean times, the pelican will pluck feathers from it's breast to induce bleeding, and "suckle" its young.

I know this because our church had a beautiful relief of a pelican in the gates of our pre-Vatican II altar rail (subsequently removed, oh I wish I knew then what I know now.)