Detroit MI — Detroit sanitation department worker Tomas Gomez could hardly contain himself, as he emerged from a downtown Detroit sewer manhole he was cleaning yesterday. Visibly shaken and crossing himself, he shouted to fellow workers, ” Jesus is on the wall, down there! Holy Mary!, come down and look!”
Fellow workers scrambled down the slippery rungs to gaze upon what appeared to be an image of Jesus on the rusty wall of the sewer pipe. Attracted by the commotion, passers by peered down the manhole, traffic snarled, and soon police arrived and closed the street.
Catholic Bishop Timothy McCarthy was hastily summoned by police Captain Gregory Flynn, and escorted by police cars with sirens screaming, he arrived on the scene.
Fighting his way through the increasing crowd the Bishop descended into the fetid sewer. Upon emerging, holding forth his crucifix and muttering Hail Mary’s, he told the gathered members of the press. ” I declare a miracle! Jesus has appeared below!” A lone voice in the crowd wailed the 23rd Psalm, ” The Lord is my Shepherd….and hundreds of voices soon joined in with, ” I shall not want…”
To give equal time to other religions; Christian, Muslim and Jewish, Baptist minister Ken Graham, Islamic Mullah Rashij Kirami, and Jewish Rabbi, David Finkel were summoned to the scene by the police.
Emerging from the sewer after viewing the apparition, a heated argument broke out among the clergymen of the various religions. The Reverend Graham remarked that it simply looked like ‘crap on the wall’. Mullah Kiram insisted it was a sign from Allah; and that the image was that of Mohammad, while Rabbi Finkel proclaimed, that it looked like the Old Testament’s King David.
The argument grew fiercer, and soon the clergymen and Bishop McCarthy were pummeling and pushing each other. Spectators in the crowd quickly took sides and soon a full scale riot with thousands taking part erupted. Cars were overturned, stores were broken into and looted and the street was littered with injured and dying.
Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick declared a state of emergency and summoned the State Guard to aid the embattled police. Tear gas and rubber bullets, soon gave way to police and guardsmen firing lethal automatic weapons into the crowd.
When peace was restored late that evening amid smoldering fires, wrecked cars, thirty five dead and scores wounded, Sanitation Commissioner Luke White ordered the image scrubbed from the sewer wall,
The debate continues in Detroit’s Mosques, Synagogues and Churches; each presenting their own interpretation of who the image represented.
Bishop McCarthy told his congregation, ” I am sure it was that of Jesus, who preaches love, peace and brotherhood among men”.