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Worldview Watch

periodic commentary and analysis on news items from a worldview perspective

 previous issue                     issue #26  posted 9 /30 / 2012, revised 10 / 29/ 2012         archive of all  issues

 Worldviews, Blasphemy, and Bumper Stickers

In the news:  Mid September 2012 brought death to the USA ambassador to Libya and three colleagues after their diplomatic compound was attacked. While this was eventually linked to a well planned terrorist plot, originally it was thought to be a more spontaneous attack by militants angered by a 14-minute, American-made video. "This depicted the Prophet Muhammad, Islamís founder, as a villainous, homosexual and child-molesting buffoon" according to a New York Times report.  Earlier in the month the BBC News reported on Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws--which "carry the death sentence for anyone who insults Islam." 

commentary and analysis (by Stephen P. Cook, project Worldview, www.projectworldview.org)What if the USA was a Christian theocracy and had such laws?  After being greatly disturbed earlier in the month by events in Libya and Pakistan, I pondered this question after seeing two bumper stickers on different vehicles.  The first vehicle displayed, "Jesus: It's Hell Without Him"; the bumper of the second was decorated with "It's Pray for Others, NOT Prey On Others". 

In an imaginary USA theocracy with Pakistan style blasphemy laws, I can imagine the driver of the first vehicle having nothing to fear. It's even possible that the featured religious belief of his or her worldview--based on conceiving of a Moralistic God (theme #14a)--is shared by a majority of Americans. But the second driver, whose bumper suggests is a religious Skeptic (theme #1b), may want to think twice about this and similar exercising of freedom speech. Certainly bumper stickers are out there that devout Christian fundamentalists would find blasphemous (read on to find out where).

I find this business of expressing one's beliefs on one's vehicle both humorous and sobering.  The vast gulf  between worldviews of religious True Believers (theme #2A) and those Skeptics offended by religious zealots who use their car to proclaim "I Know What's Best for You" (theme #2b) to believe suggests the potential for conflict. While I suspect that something like Jesus = Peace = Love would rein in Christian evangelist types energy for such conflict, what about those who they offend?  JimWalker, in an October 25 2003 internet posting, gives us some insight into this with his (either entertaining or offensive depending upon your beliefs) effort entitled:

Get back at religious bumper stickers: mirror image messaging  

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