Posted by: mrdmcday | August 7, 2010

From Sacred to Secular: The Prostitution of Christian Symbolism

There was a time in human history—with a focus on Europe—where it was commonplace to believe in God. Everyone believed in God and a great religious foundation was set in the community. But, as one could’ve guess, abuses came within this ancient institution. With utter control over the spiritual guidance of society’s members, and the stratification that placed the clergy upon a worldly pedestal despite their spiritual obligation to the people, there were those individuals who sought to prostitute the church in order to maintain their esteemed way of life.

With society eventually gaining a collective consciousness of the vices running through the bloodstream of their temples and the rise of the scientific revolution following soon after—a new way of life was born. While some, even myself, may argue that it’s foolhardy to judge the existence of God by the actions of mere men, the masses gained a new method to understand life—rationality. And we can all agree; God’s existence is anything but rational.

But there are those who maintained a thorough believe in God, in a higher power. Returning to more recent times, it seems that behaviors and attitudes that had previously applied to God seem almost nonexistent. There is a discipline that has virtually disappeared within our religious institution. I feel this is, in part, because people of today’s society, while claiming not to be of the world, are actually falling victim to it. This, my friends, is no personal rant but an objective observation, at least, as objective as I can possibly be in regards to the topic at hand.

The evidence on which I found this claim lies within the focus of this:

How Christians poorly represent the God they claim to serve. Today, we’re focusing on symbols.

So, as you are all aware, rosary beads have become a new fashion trend within American society, especially within the black community. I am unaware of how much this trend has integrated with other cultures but I am sure that there is NO POSITIVE end result to such a fad.

Rosary beads are held as a sacred symbol within the Catholic Church. They are a core element in Catholicism, keeping track of the number of prayers and used in paying reverence and seeking intercession from Mother Mary in “Hail Mary” rituals. While they have been used in other spiritual walks, one thing is certain: That this object is definitely held sacred by a large, religious organization.

We, as black men and women, must learn not to follow the ways of the world so blindly. As you know, there is a profound stigma of ignorance attached to our race and culture, and participating in this trend only strengthens it. Not only does it reinforce the shared belief that African-Americans are oblivious to the world, it also sheds a dark light on our spirituality. To further solidify this point, let’s look at a trend that still remains predominant in our community: Tattoos and jewelry.

It wasn’t long after tattoos were invented, that Christ himself would become a fashion icon. Not only have I seen the cross, the very thing he sacrificed his life on, placed in questionable areas, but his NAME as well. The thighs and bosoms of women remain the most questionable areas to date. I pray there are none worse…

And then you have the silver, gold, and diamond-encrusted rings, earrings necklaces, chains, and pendants—all coupled with a ridiculous price tag. Do you really think these things are made in reverence to your Sovereign?

Capitalism pays no respect to Christ and the folks guided by its cold calculation and incessant hunger for more have no problem taking the sacred images and symbols of YOUR spiritual walk and prostituting them. You have become the Christian street-walkers, adorned with their hollow objects. There are folks out here that claim to be Baptist and are strolling around with Catholic symbols hanging from their necks because they think it’s cool. You’re a walking contradiction. You aren’t only giving the world a reason NOT believe in God, but, furthermore, an even more adequate reason to doubt your own beliefs in Him.

In layman’s terms, let’s stop using Christ as a conduit for “cool points.” There’s no homage that comes with the carnal tattoos and jewelry that diminish his name. The day people, especially those of the African-American race, stop repping Jesus like some street set is the day they might actually find him.



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