Despite the urging of editorial boards, pressure from various city officials, and a suggestion from Mayor Bloomberg to "listen to the public," it seems that the Empire State Building's owners will maintain their position of not honoring Mother Teresa's birthday with some lights on top of their tower. In a statement sent to us today, owner Anthony Malkin calls the decision "final and irrevocable" and, taking a shot at the Catholic League's Bill Donohue, insists that the decision is in "no way intended to be a slight against Mother Teresa or Catholics; only Mr. Donohue for his own platform has chosen to make it one." Furthermore, this whole unwelcome brouhaha is making Malkin reevaluate those religious lightings he has approved of in the past.
Happily, we believe Mother Teresa's position in history is quite secure regardless of our inaction. It is our hope that this will not become a "religious" issue. The unintended consequences of focusing on religion may drive us to reconsider those traditional lightings we have maintained over the years.
Considering the uproar over the Mother Teresa snub, it's likely that, should Malkin start ignoring Hanukkah and Christmas lightings, there will be widespread rioting in the streets.