Signs, or wonders, or nothing at all?

It is a curiosity of contempoary media that things get recycled all the time (how eco-friendly!), even when it clearly ain’t “news” – which is often enough doubtful anyway, but at least some stuff published is actually “new”. So today the Telegraph had a sidebar slideshow on “Religious Imagery in everyday life” for no apparent reason. We’ve all seen the Turin shroud – ‘the grandaddy of all holy apparitions’ (!!!) – the famous grilled cheese sandwich…. in fact what is up with the holys appearing in food? Check out this aubergine:


(That says Allah!)

and this egg:


(That says Allah too!)

And here is the Virgin Mary in a window:


Wow… Hello!!! Do these people really believe that if a fictional virginal mother of a fictional saviour of the world were to appear to them, that she would assume the most easily replicable iconic image – ie. a line drawing – of herself?

Come, Feuerbach, speak:

‘But certainly for the present age, which prefers the sign to the thing signifed, the copy to the original, fancy to reality, the appearance to the essence … illusion only is sacred, truth profane. Nay, sacredness is held to be enhanced in proporation as truth decreases and illusion increases, so that the highest degree of illusion comes to be the highest degree of sacredness.’

That’s Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach on The Essence of Christianity, 1841.

1841. That’s 168 years ago. What progress mankind has made! Such progress, evidently, that some of the really dim even believe that their religions are threatened: tired of hearing chefs go on about Kosher salt, some fool has now started to market Christian salt. “This is about keeping Christianity in front of the public so that it doesn’t die,” he said, “I want to keep Christianity on the table.” Well, good luck to you, Rev. Saltshaker, I’m sure your salt is going to change the world.

Meanwhile, I just enjoyed a piece of cheesecake that looked like Micheal Jackson’s nose on a bad day. It was delicious. Happy Friday.

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