This situation is upsetting to start with: someone spray painted swastikas onto a wall in front of a synagogue. Not just any synagogue, but the one where I attended my second year of Hebrew school, where many of my friends and neighbors belonged, a short walk from the house my mom moved out of just last week.

What’s upsetting me almost more than the original incident is the reporting on it. The Fox news article referred to the people who work in the synagogue as “church staff”. The NBC article refers to the people who run the place as “church officials”.

I took a step back to think about whether I was overreacting by being bothered by this more than the original vandalism – I mean, swastikas! But I don’t think I am. For one thing, it’s at least possible that the vandalism was done by ignorant kids (or ignorant people of whatever age) who have avoided learning much about the Holocaust and who were just trying to upset people without understanding the full context. It’s also possible it was done by a true hater, in which case I am glad people are searching for the evidence to prosecute them, I hope the punishment is appropriately severe, and I don’t want to waste any more of my brain’s bandwidth on them.

But the “church” language is coming from reporters who are supposed to be educated, reasonably aware of modern history, and respectful to the victims of the crime they’re reporting on. Maybe I just feel more betrayed by their ignorance because I have higher expectations. I have written to both reporters; I hope lots of other locals and ex-locals do as well.

(And also: once again, I am so glad Mom moved away! She seems to be very busy and very happy in her new place.)

ETA:
NBC:
> Hi Paula — It was a pure mistake on my part. Trust me, I understand the difference between the Jewish faith and Christianity. The article has been corrected.

Fox:
>My apologies for the error. I do, indeed, know the difference between a church and a synagogue. I appreciate your pointing out the mistake and thank you for watching.

I checked: the NBC report has been corrected, as the reporter claimed; the Fox article has not been corrected.