Sunday, May 4, 2014

What does it mean to blaspheme?

I don't like the word blaspheme.  In general I feel too committed to honoring how other people experience or don't experience sacredness to want to criticize people just because they are different than me.  Words that are that loaded with judgement tend to exclude any possibility that sharing or respect can occur.  No matter how bad something is that you are criticizing, when you start making it about whether its wrong to have the wrong take on God people who disagree with you only a bit are automatically unwelcome.  When I used the word in my previous post it kind of surprised me how angry I felt.  So I wanted to define the word.

I don't care about whether the symbols of sacredness evolve.  I don't care that much if they stay the same.  When you think about how much the ways people think about sacredness it would be almost impossible for symbols to stay the same.  Even if they are represented or performed in the same way they will be understood differently by different groups through time.  I appreciate the beauty of how people encounter what they find sacred.  I find people very frustrating in where they find sacredness.  Pick almost any group and there will be losts to disagree with or agree with, admire or dislike etc about how they encounter the most important things in their life.  Those kinds of disagreements don't tend to bother me at a general level.

But what does bother me is when representation of love are perverted into representations of hatred and fear.  Using torture as a baptism defiles the idea of baptism.  Its kind of the same kind of disgusting as turning a cross into a swastika or turning Easter into an excuse to indulge in antisemitism.  When you take away the parts of something that were tied to love and focus on the parts that are tied to evil then you have committed an evil against the sense of sacredness and the people who honor those ideas.  That is what blaspheme means to me.

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