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View Diary: SCOTUS declines to review Georgia gun law (187 comments)

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  •  it is what it stands for really... (0+ / 0-)

    the crossed beams of wood were used by authorities to execute  people ... both guilty and innocent... but beyond that usage as a tool of torture and death it hard to hold up a liquor store or shoot up a school with a cross no matter what the size... not useful for suicide or in winning an argument or attacking a relative and anyway it has been a symbol of sacrifice and or redemption.

    Guns however do not seem to often be symbols of sacrifice and or redemption... and are useable in many different scenarios to threaten harm or death from small to pretty large... especially semi auto, large magazine, assault type rifles... And situations from defense to assault to warfare and many criminal or acts of terror are all much easier than carrying around either a sharpened crucifix or a full sized single use cross.

    Also Crosses need at least several hours to complete the death process and be ready for another victim... And that is the optimal turnaround with a weak and unhealthy victim. Healthier occupants of a cross would take a lot longer. Sure a spear can be used to prolong the agony by allowing lung fluids to escape so that instead of suffocating they die of dehydration and blood loss... or a bladed weapon or spear to the heart could speed things up but that sort of loses the whole long drawn out agony purpose for the whole exercise.

    And Crosses need hammers and nails and extra assistants to help hold the victim in place while doing the fastening process... slow and inefficient... and really in the old days they'd leave the victim hanging there to rot, attract worms and be torn up by birds... so it could be a while before it was usable for the next victim... having lots of extra crosses in storage might help but the extra expense and space needed and the extra nails just makes it a less desirable option compared to a gun.

    And as a symbol of a cult... a gun just seems to be detached from any of symbolism and ethos of just about all established religions and most of their offshoots.... true some revolutionary groups have AK47s in their logo... but they are more political than religious.

    Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

    by IreGyre on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 05:56:33 AM PST

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    •  Wow that went right over your head. (0+ / 0-)

      I was pointing out that worshiping two crossed sticks is also worshiping an inanimate object.

      It's safe to trust a sane person with the keys to nuclear weapons, but it's not safe to trust an insane person with the cleaners under the kitchen sink.

      by JayFromPA on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 04:35:00 PM PST

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      •  just went beyond the inanimate object thing (0+ / 0-)

        the surface implications of your comparison were simple and uncomplicated but if looked at a bit more it lead to a lot of history, psychology etc. (I should probably do a diary...not an overlong comment... apologies)

        So... here is the not yet a diary, overlong beyond the point, comment... reading optional...
        Inanimate object is besides the point for a cross or any religious symbol (star of David, Crescent Moon)... people do not worship it as a god itself or as an object with direct inherent power for life or death, practical and or theoretically... most Christians take it as a reminder of what their creed tells them was a sacrifice made by the central incarnate figure of their faith... A gun cult, should one ever be founded, would presumably imbue it with more direct meaning in the use of guns by adherents than a cross would be as some sort of weapon.

        (Not that Christianity or Islam have not symbolically weaponized their symbols...An inverted sword looks like a cross it is true and Scimitars rather resemble an Islamic sword design but those are coincidences not a direct link to the symbol's origins... )

        So just taking these ideas and the wider implications of them and mulling them over...

        The "crossed sticks" is like any logo... it labels something, is a focal identity for a loose grouping of like minded people... but it in of itself is not a weapon, or any sort of direct implement of death and destruction or a symbol of using force to gain power or to overcome adversaries, suppress enemies or overthrow authority via direct threat of physical harm and death...

        Your comment was not wrong or right and for me was a starting point for a lot of related memes and ideas... But also I thought the crossed sticks comparison was not entirely apt beyond the immediate idea of inanimate items being used as religious symbols and the potential step to them being directly worshiped.

        So it just prompted me to explore the implications of veneration of ideas or beings via an idol or thing and extending that to items that also have direct function in everyday life. And figuring out what kind of symbol something might be does vary even within a religion... Sikhs who follow Khalsa are required to carry a knife with them... a symbolic knife (along with the bangles, uncut hair etc) but it is typically a blunt ceremonial blade... but even that has gotten them in trouble with TSA. It symbolizes their resolve to defend their fellow believers among other things but that does not cut much slack with Homeland security.

        After all, religions have argued for probably millennia about where to draw the line between idols and reminders, logos, representations or other physical focal points for prayer, meditation or just labeling. Iconoclasts and graven image phobics have gone to one extreme while others have over ornamented and over-statued and imaged every aspect of their faith's history or trappings to where many adherents are more like idol worshipers...

        But back to guns and weapons as totems or idols, focuses for worship - there were and are ancient venerated special ceremonial swords in Shinto shrines in Japan (they were confiscated by US authorities... temporarily in the end... because they could in theory be used as a weapon)
        Imagine a cult that had special guns as holy relics or focal points in their house of worship... gold plated or jewel encrusted maybe, or just very well made with the finest materials... inscribed with religious verses and or related symbolically with gun use by a holy figure in their faith....
        And imagine them getting a religious exception for possessing them in a country that banned guns or maybe just assault rifles...

        I don't want to give any gun nut survivalists an excuse to start a Church of JC of the latter day Gun fetishists with their sacrament being firing a gun in a church firing range and having ceremonial guns on the altars of their holy places... platinum and gold plated Bushmasters... Holy AKs... seems far fetched but it does seem like there are nutters out there that are barely one step away from totally going with something like that...

        Now if a cult had Two sticks joined by a CHAIN or even THREE sticks joined by a bit of chain (sansetsukon) as their holy symbol then it would be more akin to a gun as as holy symbol with dual use as a direct, useable weapon both figuratively and literally... and even if it was mainly as a reminder of a specific incident at the start of their belief system... it would still be more "Dual use" than two sticks.

        Church of Nunchakus?... the two linked sticks could represent the latent strength and power of defenders of the weak and helpless or something... and no associations with terror groups or mass shootings... unlike say a possible Church of Numb Chuck which has crossed assault rifles as their logo and Chuck Norris and Saint Ted the Nuge in the stain glass window bulls eye. But I would say that there are more people out there with an overlarge and unseemly reverence for their own guns and all guns in general than any combination of sticks would be for them...

        And that comes back to the inherent deity in an object like a couple of pieces of wood or a gun or any object. Extreme "back to basics" believers in Christianity and Islam and probably others regularly denounce trappings or symbols that could be interpreted as creeping idolatry and try to stick to words so much that some worry about the bible or Koran etc. becoming an object of worship itself...being supposedly the direct words of GOD that is inevitable... a physical manifestation!!... even if separated by a few steps to print a book etc. it could end up becoming a type of idol; direct words from above... can't get more tangible than that apart from bones of saints or a piece of the true cross or other "relics"...

        Sorry if this went on at length... more about my fascination on the topic than on the small distinction between the utility of an actual religious symbol and that of a hypothetical one... and the differences  what they would each represent plus the functions and implications of religious symbols in general and whether they become idols or get imbued with violent associations to empower believers in some way.

        Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

        by IreGyre on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 06:26:55 AM PST

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