the white house

IMG-0473_editWelcome to blogs from the white house. These do not come from The White House of course. The photo of this white house is a bit of a giveaway. To look at The White House you need your sunglasses. The whiteness of the white, the whiter-than-white is too dazzling. This white house is more of a whitey-grey, more toned down, more real.

White is a very interesting colour. To begin with, strictly speaking, it isn’t a colour at all.

According to a wikipedia article: 

White is the lightest colour and is achromatic (having no hue). It is the colour of fresh snow, chalk, and milk, and is the opposite of black. 

White objects fully reflect and scatter all the visible wavelengths of light. White on television and computer screens is created by a mixture of red, blue and green light.

In ancient Egypt and ancient Rome, priestesses wore white as a symbol of purity, and Romans wore a white toga as a symbol of citizenship. 

In the Middle Ages and Renaissance a white unicorn symbolized chastity, and a white lamb sacrifice and purity. 

It was the royal colour of the Kings of France, and of the monarchist movement that opposed the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War (1917–1922). 

Greek and Roman temples were faced with white marble, and beginning in the 18th century, with the advent of neoclassical architecture, white became the most common colour of new churches, capitols and other government buildings, especially in the United States. It was also widely used in 20th century modern architecture as a symbol of modernity and simplicity.

According to surveys in Europe and the United States, white is the colour most often associated with perfection, the good, honesty, cleanliness, the beginning, the new, neutrality, and exactitude. 

White is an important colour for almost all world religions. The Pope, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, has worn white since 1566, as a symbol of purity and sacrifice. In Islam, and in the Shinto religion of Japan, it is worn by pilgrims. 

In Western cultures and in Japan, white is the most common colour for wedding dresses, symbolizing purity and virginity. In many Asian cultures, white is also the colour of mourning. 


I am happy that this white house is not emanating eye-dazzling purity because that is quite hard for this occupant to live up to. In a dazzlingly white house everything you do and say would have to be so carefully managed in case you just fell off your pedestal. You would have to live an ultra-pure, ultra-moral life to live up to the God-like status of an occupant of The White House. An occupant of The White House would certainly never condone the moral failings of others, condone the bigotry and xenophobic actions of others or support the perpetuation of social injustices because acting out of self-interest just isn’t very white.

So from this white house won’t come great judgements on the rest of the world. I couldn’t live up to that sort of whiter-than-white moral high ground. 

Instead, I hope you will find bits and pieces that may feed, sustain, interest you, from the perspective of a parish priest going about her work.