Friday, March 13, 2009

Guns And Religion III: This Crucifix Is Solid Brass!

So The Church Won't Bless It!

O.K., the churches of today look nothing like those built in the "high baroque" period or earlier. Gilt - and lots of it - was supposed to inspire as well as give homage to God. Eventually, economics forced church builders into plainer, more austere decoration. But as plasterers, painters, stonemasons and woodworkers disappeared, goldsmiths were still around, transferring the "bling" from belfry to bosom.

24 carat gold crucifixes are sold by the millions each year and they've become a staple for in-your- face Christians. So will the economy change all that?

Hardly. The church you attend might have a leaky roof and walls of solid dry-rot, but it will never ask you to change your lifestyle so much as to give up your religious jewelry. After all, what screams "I'm a Christian" than a gold crucifix, head of Christ, fish symbol or (for Catholics) Virgin Mary? In fact, sometimes, wearing jewelry is the only portable way you can tell people you're a devout Christian. Never mind that you can't recite the Ten Commandments to save your soul; never mind that you've skipped Sunday service for golf, never mind that you can't name your parish priest, jewelry is the way to tell people that you are blessed and going to heaven.

And besides jewelry, there are blessed rosaries made from olive pits from the Garden at Gethsemane, relics touched to relics that touched a piece of the True Cross, chrome symbols for your car, family Bibles so huge and ornate no one in the family can lift them much less read them, likenesses of Jesus for every ethnic group, bumper stickers, video games, blessed candlesticks, a wide variety of porcelain Nativity scenes, and more and more and more. And none of it is cheap (o.k., maybe the bumper stickers).

Your church people will tell you that Christianity is again under attack. And while lions are too expensive to keep up, heathens and Atheists will think of other ways to destroy you and the one thing that is worth having: your faith. You must show them that you will not be intimidated and that your faith is strong! You must display everything Christian - flaunt your Christianity!

Yes, Christianity is just that commercial. Churches don't just sell personal beliefs and spirituality, they sell the proof as well.

Just a thought.

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