A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 24, 2012
Pedestal Complex (Hall of Fame obsession)

Charles W. Colson (1931-2012) wrote in The Body: Being Light in Darkness (1992):

“Today this mentality translates into what we call the pedestal complex; it is rampant throughout the church. Too many clergy and parachurch organizers see themselves as leaders, not servants, and their parishioners and followers eagerly reinforce this attitude.”

Colson also wrote in a January 2012 article, “Friends, celebrity worship — in my book Being the Body I call it the Pedestal Complex — has no place in the Church.” Colson rejected the “pedestal complex” of celebrity worship.

Charles McGrath wrote about “The All-American Pedestal Complex” in the New York (NY) Times, May 21, 2006. McGrath described the American obsession for creating heroes and putting them on pedestals, such as at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.


Wikipedia: Charles Colson
Charles “Chuck” Wendell Colson (October 16, 1931 – April 21, 2012) was a Special Counsel to President Richard Nixon from 1969 to 1973 and later a noted Evangelical Christian leader and cultural commentator. Once known as President Nixon’s “hatchet man,” Colson gained notoriety at the height of the Watergate affair for being named as one of the Watergate Seven, and pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice for attempting to defame Pentagon Papers defendant Daniel Ellsberg. He became a Christian in 1973, and the following year served seven months in the federal Maxwell Prison in Alabama as the first member of the Nixon administration to be incarcerated for Watergate-related charges.

Colson’s mid-life conversion to Christianity sparked a radical life change that led to the founding of his non-profit ministry Prison Fellowship and to a focus on Christian worldview teaching and training. Colson was also a public speaker and the author of more than 30 books.

Google Books
The Body:
Being Light in Darkness

By Charles W Colson with Ellen Santilli Vaughn
Dallas, TX: Word Pub.
1992
Pg. 274:
Today this mentality translates into what we call the pedestal complex; it is rampant throughout the church. Too many clergy and parachurch organizers see themselves as leaders, not servants, and their parishioners and followers eagerly reinforce this attitude.
Pg. 444:
10. What is meant by the ‘pedestal complex’? What problems have arisen as a result of the celebrity syndrome and the pedestal complex?

New York (NY) Times
HALLS OF FAME
The All-American Pedestal Complex
By CHARLES McGRATH
Published: May 21, 2006
(...)
The hall of fame — a sort of instant Westminster Abbey — is a peculiarly American institution and must stem both from our democratic need to recognize lots and lots of people, not just poets and statesman, and also from our need to create a sense of history for ourselves when we don’t really have one. The Baseball Hall of Fame came into being at a time when professional baseball was just 60 years old or so, and it was founded on a lie, or, to be charitable, a myth — the notion that baseball, created by Abner Doubleday, was first played on the fields of Cooperstown, N.Y., near the Hall’s site, and that a rag-filled, leather-covered orb unearthed from somebody’s basement and now on permanent display in the Cooperstown Room is in fact the game’s Holy Grail.

Break Point
The Pedestal Complex
Keep It Out of the Church

By: Chuck Colson|Published: January 2, 2012 8:05 AM
People used to be celebrated in our culture for accomplishing something special. George Washington won the Revolution; Charles Lindbergh flew solo across the Atlantic; Wilma Rudolph set a world record in the 100-meter dash. Now, people are famous for, well, being famous.
(...)
Friends, celebrity worship — in my book Being the Body I call it the Pedestal Complex — has no place in the Church. Let’s honor and care for our spiritual leaders, of course. But let’s be sure to keep them off our pedestals — for their sake and for ours.

The Telegraph (UK)
Colin Montgomerie divides opinion in US Hall of Fame game
One rainy morning in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, I spent a couple of hours’ dutiful reverie in the columned galleries of Cooperstown’s Baseball Hall of Fame. The place was like a cross between Lenin’s Tomb and Westminster Abbey.

By Oliver Brown
10:00PM GMT 19 Dec 2012
(...)
But then a hall of fame is itself a peculiarly American phenomenon, satisfying what The New York Times recently dubbed the ‘pedestal complex’.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Monday, December 24, 2012 • Permalink