Sunday, October 29, 2006

Graven Images

Yo!—what’s the deal with certain religious monotheists and their irrational fear of graven images?

According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, a graven image is “an object of worship carved usually from wood or stone.”

Paintings, drawings and photographs are also deemed to be graven images if they exhibit a human being, or even an animal.

So, let me try to break down the reasoning: Because monotheists worship a completely non-anthropomorphic God, it’s deemed blasphemous to proscribe any anthropomorphic qualities to a graven image. As a result, some people take this idea to its irrational, illogical conclusion and shun many great works of art and even photographs. Are these people afraid they might accidentally worship Mona Lisa? Is their faith in an omnipresent God that weak? Or do they fear their omniscient God might misinterpret their appreciation of art as an act of worship and then punish them? If God knows all, He would know the difference between somebody appreciating art and worshiping a graven image.

The injunction against graven images, or rather the irrational lengths to which some believers take it, is really… stupid.


Blogger airforcewife said...

I'm catholic. Have you ever SEEN how much statuary (graven images) we decorate with? And candles. Incense, too. You might think from the smoke going on in there that Catholics and Rastafarians are actually the same religion.

Well, except we don't do the whole steel drum music thing. More's the pity.

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think part of the reason is to make human beings think instead of projecting their emotion/devotion onto an image...hence the superiority of the written word to TV with regards to education...God is supposed to be beyond sensory comprehension - an idol necessarily diminishes His attributes. Remember, the Biblical proscription applies to graven images TO BE WORSHIPPED not graven representations per se - otherwise, what about Solomon's bronze bulls, or the cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant?


1:28 PM  
Blogger semite1973 said...

Perhaps my post was directed more at the Islamic concept of graven images...

4:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does that apply to the posters of Osama Bin Laden which are waved everywhere across the Muslim world?


11:00 AM  

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