It’s a jokey thing to do – “pardon the butter lamb”. Erie County Executive Poloncarz did that sometime during that week before Easter when Polish WNYers rediscover their old neighborhood. This attempt at humor (you can’t really pardon a thing that doesn’t live) has outraged at least one person,
In what at first appeared to be a harmless political stunt, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz ventured over to the Broadway Market to pardon a butter lamb today. For some community leaders in touch with their Christian faiths, it wasn’t so harmless after all.
“It is clear that Mr. Poloncarz and his staff are blatantly ignorant to the significance of the butter lamb and its portrayal of Jesus as the Lamb of God. The title Lamb of God was given to Jesus by the Apostle John to clarify to the flock that in giving his life for mankind, he embodied the ultimate sacrifice,” said one Catholic political insider. “For Mark Poloncarz to think he has the ability and authority to pardon that sacrifice, eliminating it’s necessity – even if it was just a political stunt – is incredibly offensive. We are in the midst of the holiest week in the liturgical calendar, and there is just no room for such ignorance.”
The first reaction a reasonable person might have might be, “lighten up, Francis”.
The second reaction might be to pose a question. If the lump of butter molded into a lamb shape and sold in a box is such a holy portrayal of Jesus, why are we cutting it with a knife and eating it? Are we all Romans, symbolically sacrificing a dairy portrayal of the Messiah?
It was a joke – a marketing stunt. It was an effort to promote Buffalo, the Broadway Market, our Easter traditions, Polish heritage, and the company that makes the butter lamb. Google it, and you’ll notice that the stunt worked – it was picked up as a “weird news” story on the AP wire, and ABC, MSN, Fox, the Times of Malta, and the Washington Post all ran the story. Poloncarz didn’t just pardon any old lamb, but one manufactured by the Malczewski company, which gleefully promoted the Poloncarz pardon on its Facebook page.
How does the “Catholic insider” jibe his offense with Exodus 20:4 – 6?
Maybe don’t be so offended. He wasn’t really pardoning anything, and the butter lamb isn’t Jesus.