Monday, July 03, 2006


About that fish on your bumpersticker...

Trust Avedon to come up with the best stuff. She links to the following article onthe fish as Christian symbol. Suffice it to say that the article claims that a lot of people are driving around with a stylized vulva on their Volvo. It would be less pagan than a W sticker, I suppose. How much of the article is a fish story itself? Beats me. Ancient peoples had a limited number of symbols to work with. Sun, moon, man, woman... a few hundred words span mankind's basic kit of nouns. So, it's very unsurprising to find a symbol for one religion overlapping with that of others. Fish were almost certainly the major source of animal protein in ancient Palestine. For food insecure people, it was indeed life itself. But the gospels advise us to share fish with one another, not plaster symbols of them on our cars or wear jewelry made as an icon. And so, as a Christian, I can only chuckle when we get tweaked over what is, after all, only a symbol. If that symbol doesn't reflect a deeper spiritual reality-- and fish bumper stickers usually don't-- then it should be laughed at.
Symbols are powerful pre-literate markers of emotions. As such, they're easily manipulated, as are the people who put all their trust in the symbol and ignore what the symbol is supposed to represent.
So what you're saying is that this has nothing to do with eating fish on Fridays?!
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