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The Profanity of the "Religious Wrong"

By       Message Richard Mathis     Permalink
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The word profane comes from the Latin profanus which literally means from the temple. You would think that a word that means out of the temple would be a good word and mean something that is reverent toward the Sacred. But profane means that which is not sacred but is common or secular. To be profane is to treat the sacred as if it a common commodity and put the sacred to a wrong use.

Consider the letters YHWH for example. They are the Hebrew letters for Yahweh, whom we call God. However, the Jews considered the name so sacred that it was not even to be spoken, much less be used outside the temple. The name of God was even to be written sparingly. For example, take the Gospel of Matthew where the author changed Mark 's kingdom of God to the kingdom of Heaven.

Listen to what Jesus said at the 5th chapter of Matthew:

"Don 't make any vows! And even to say, 'By Heavens! ' is a sacred vow to God, for the heavens are God 's throne. And if you say 'By the earth! ' it is a sacred vow, for the earth is his footstool. And don 't swear 'By Jerusalem! ' for Jerusalem is the capital of the great King. Don 't even swear 'By my head! ' for you can 't turn one hair black or white. Say just a simple 'Yes, I will ' or 'No, I won 't. ' Your word is enough. To strengthen your promise with a vow shows that something is wrong. "

Yet all the time I hear people calling themselves Christians taking the name of God and Jesus out of the temple and taking it into the marketplace where they proclaim that you must act, think and vote as they tell you because that is what God wants. People plaster the sacred name of God and the sacred image of Jesus onto bumperstickers, T-shirts and advertisements. They use sacred symbols to sell everything from used tires to politics. Then to add to the profanity, they treat the Ten Commandments, Jesus and God as if they were graven images that they can publically worship in lieu of actually doing what Jesus taught.

While many of us think of profanity as cussing, the real profanity is to take religion out of the realm of the sacred and use it simply as another weapon in the arsenal of the rich and powerful.

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B. 1952, GA, USA. D. To Be Determined. Beloved husband, father, grandfather, lover, confidant and friend of many from bikers to Zen masters; American writer and speaker, known for his criticism of Mammon's unholy trinity of big business, big (more...)

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