Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Modern Iconoclasm

Iconoclasm is when images are seen as unfit to use in worship.Often, religious images are destroyed or banned from use. An example of this, which has more to do with the government than the church being destructive of religious images, would be when people are banned or discouraged from displaying objects of religious meaning. There have been several cases around Christmas time, for instance, in which certain businesses were unable to display the nativity scene in front of their buildings. This is not the destruction of images but it does put a limit on what images can be displayed. It's sort of the same thing when people say "merry Christmas" but they are often expected to say "happy holidays". I think this has to do with political correctness in our country more than anything. These words and objects such as the manger scene, have religious meaning behind them and can cause controversy with certain people. I guess the government feels like they should step in and do something to intervene with this dilemma. Another example is when people burn crosses. This is definitely an act that shows a lack of respect for religious symbols and intends to make a statement of disagreement with Christian or other religious beliefs. Interestingly, this is a constitutional act. It is protected under the American peoples' right to free speech. This also applies to flag burning in which the flag is a symbol of America, not a religious symbol; however, the destroying of religious symbols and other symbols are along the same lines. It's interesting to see modern examples of iconoclasm. I think people often choose not to acknowledge these acts as modern iconoclasm when in reality they are not much different than iconoclasm that happened much earlier in history.

1 comment:

Stephanie Lewis said...

Technically, the burning cross is a threat of intimidation by the KKK against one of their hated groups. It is not a statement or practice of iconoclasm.