Praise the Lord and Pass The Ammunition

When you live in a place for a while, your mental map of that place starts getting annotations. Specifically, I find that I start coming up with names for places that are better than their actual names. On Fifth Avenue, across the street from WQED, is a church; its given, wrong, name is “Holy Spirit Byzantine Catholic Church.”

I used to walk past this building every day on the way to class. The front of the church is covered with a huge mosaic:

![Holy Spirit]( content/uploads/2007/03/20070304-07725-150x150.jpg)

I never thought much of it, not caring much about religious iconography. One day, however, I examined the mosaic a little more closely.

As I did so, I realized it had a particular detail that I found not only jarring, but downright disturbing. Here’s a close-up shot of that detail (click to enlarge):

[![nagasaki]( content/uploads/2007/03/20070304-07728-150x150.jpg)]( /wp-content/uploads/2007/03/20070304-07728.jpg “nagasaki” )

To the person who created this particular work of art, I ask the question: what the hell?.

Ever since noticing the World War II-era bomber and the fighter jet on the mosaic, I’ve always thought of this church by its secret True Name: Our Lady of Nagasaki.