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17 July 2010 @ 11:51 pm
dear internet brain trust  
This question is particularly for the practitioners or students of Judeo-Christian religion:

Would I go to hell for taking a Bible apart and using parts of the text and binding for an art project?

(Note: I'm not asking so much the metaphysical if you are a practicing Jew or Christian do you believe in hell sort of question, but the more is it forbidden by the faith in an intense way sort of question.)

The purpose of the project(s) is beauty, not sacrilege. And would it make a difference if it were already damaged and I'm repurposing it? I'm just not sure if there's a specific "respect the physical book some guy gave me on the streetcorner" taboo out there.
 
 
feel: curiouscurious
 
 
 
I'm not weird, I'm limited editionanuna_81 on July 18th, 2010 06:57 am (UTC)
*raises hand* I'm Catholic, and although I'm rarely on Sunday mass, I'm pretty sure it would raise few eyebrows, or make very traditional believers pissed.
Little Red: sg - sj more than words - lizmylittleredgirl on July 18th, 2010 07:05 am (UTC)
*sigh* I suppose I kind of figured that, or I wouldn't have asked. I guess I was thinking, hey, there are a zillion of these at Goodwill, which means people must be OK with getting rid of them, which means maybe there isn't actually a do not damage the holy book commandment.

Thank you! :)
I'm not weird, I'm limited edition: baby wolvesanuna_81 on July 18th, 2010 07:10 am (UTC)
For the record I personally wouldn't be offended :) Especially if it's an artistic project made by you.

Also, I believe people ahve done things like these, but too many people are easily ofended. In many countries you swear an oath while holding your hand on top of a Bible... I think the book itself still has the status of something sacred. (while we're at it, I doubt I could cut it apart myself.)
Little Red: aw - cj/d *hugz* - natushkamylittleredgirl on July 18th, 2010 07:16 am (UTC)
I know, I'm actually not a Believer, particularly, but it still has such... gravity. Which is why I want to use it, because the words are so beautiful and the paper is all tissue-y and, you know, most influential text ever, etc. And I think I asked because I felt strange about the idea -- I'd want to find one that was already damaged (and so needing to be recycled) and I'd probably feel compelled to use all of it in something?

But yay, art project made by me = not offensive to nuna. :) That counts for something!
I'm not weird, I'm limited edition: made of starsanuna_81 on July 18th, 2010 07:21 am (UTC)
but it still has such... gravity. Which is why I want to use it, because the words are so beautiful and the paper is all tissue-y and, you know, most influential text ever

I know what you mean. (see how hesitant I would be about doing somethign similar). And at the same time, it's just a book. But it's not. I'm rambling, sorry.

It's a powerful book, powerful symbol. I wish there were less taboos in our world, but on the other hand, it might be good that we still hold some things sacred. And taht's quite something to think about - sorry for rambling :)
entertaining in a disturbing way: Nyssa likes science and sometimes gunslyssie on July 18th, 2010 07:08 am (UTC)
O.o

I wouldn't have issues, and I don't think my parents would, but, uh, they're pretty damned liberal and stuff, and dad destroys his bible every three years (he uses it like a brief-case, keeps lots of notes in it and stuff), so, he'd have to ground to stand on.

But, I don't know. I think it would be awesome, personally. But I'm also weird.
Little Red: trek - sistine trek - lemonrocketmylittleredgirl on July 18th, 2010 07:21 am (UTC)
Ahahaha. Yes! I see people making notes and using cash and ticket stubs as bookmarks, etc, and there are so many different translations and everything that I was kind of like "eh, maybe the book itself isn't as much of An Icon as the meaning of the text."

I suppose that between all the sects though there are probably people who are offended (by everything I could think of, prolly)? It's all so complicated!
Rose Wilde-Irishrosewildeirish on July 18th, 2010 07:27 am (UTC)
I was raised Catholic and I don't know of anything specifically prohibiting that. I do think someone will get their panties in a knot, but since it's touching on religion, that'd happen regardless.

And I'm with Lyssie - sounds interesting.
ornithoptercatornithoptercat on July 18th, 2010 08:53 am (UTC)
It wouldn't offend me, though I'm very liberal as Christians go. And art involving bits of Bible no doubt has been made before. Will some people be offended? absolutely. But frankly, the people most likely to be *really* offended are the same ones who like to cut out bits of the CONTENT and abuse that. And they already think you're a heathen and so going to Hell, and I'm going to Hell for reasons related to Teh Sexxor, and 95% of people we know and like are too, and there's probably only One True Version of the Bible in their world - despite that version being in English making zero sense - nevermind most of Christianity not counting. So as long as you do it with respectful intent, I say go for it.
Katekatejaneway on July 18th, 2010 01:42 pm (UTC)
I think God would be happy for you to take something that is often misinterpreted and turn it into something useful and pretty.
Kim's Watermelon Gunkeenween on July 18th, 2010 03:23 pm (UTC)
Yeah, anyone who would likely be offended by an art project using the pages of a Bible is already offended by many other things you do in your daily life. Provided you're not, y'know, soaking them in urine or something.
MegTDJ: SPN - Dean Biblemeg_tdj on July 18th, 2010 06:58 pm (UTC)
Nah, go for it. It's the words we hold sacred, not the paper.
fyca: Abstinencefyca on July 18th, 2010 08:23 pm (UTC)
I'm an atheist, so I'm not even going to answer that question. But isn't art supposed to push boundaries and make people *feel* and evoke emotions and responses that normal ordinary objects do not?
miera_c: CJmiera_c on July 18th, 2010 09:46 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately all I can think of at the moment is the "West Wing" episode where President Bartlet asks if there's some sort of epidemic of flag burning going on that he doesn't know about which is causing the movement to amend the Constitution to prohibit flag burning.

(The flag and the Bible are merely physical symbols of an intangible thing, so to me, neither of them deserves the protection that the intangible thing does. But I am a lily-livered, bleeding-heart liberal egghead communist.)
Angelasjshipper on July 19th, 2010 01:57 am (UTC)
I consider myself devout. I say, 'no,' doing what you describe is not a big deal and will in no way send you to hell =)

The scripture is Holy. The book-binding and paper, IMO, is not.
redbeardredbeard on July 19th, 2010 03:08 am (UTC)
If it's a torah itself you're taking apart, yeah, that's verbotten. But, just a buy-it-off-the-bookshelf bible? I don't think so (perhaps see this article?.

I mean, I'm sure the ultra-orthodox wouldn't like it, but, hell, they don't even like women carrying torahs.
Michelle Lunsford: faithdm_lunsford on July 19th, 2010 02:03 pm (UTC)
As has already been pointed out, the realm of Judeo-Christian beliefs can cover a wide spectrum of views so no doubt you are apt to offend someone in that group - particularly the more extreme conservative end. And I'd say that goes double for the more fundamentalist interpretations of Christianity, who I sometimes wonder if they don't equate the Bible (usually the King James Version translation) right up there with the holy Trinity himself.

Anyway, my personal take is I wouldn't be offended. Especially if the material being used is for art and being handled in a respectful way. Which I think is where more of your middle-of-the-road folks in that spectrum would hopefully fall. From my perspective it's the message the words of the text communicate - the truth it communicates about God - which is special. The words themselves, the paper, ink, binding - yeah, all that is no more special in reality than a copy of Shakespeare or the latest novel. That being said, because it is a book about God, and has for generations been considered the canonical text of the church, people - myself included - view it with a sort of sacredness. In the same way that I think all things that are set apart for the purposes of God are sacred.
proverbial_oneproverbial_one on July 22nd, 2010 01:32 pm (UTC)
There's nothing set in stone. It's not like Islam is about copies of the Koran, where you have to be so careful about where you even place the book. I guess you can't sit it on a floor, for example. I remember that from my lessons on Islam in high school. The teacher said she attended a tour of a Mosque and there was a terrible moment of awkwardness because copies of the book had been kept in a cupboard. One of the tour guides opened the cupboard, and the Korans fell out and hit the floor!

We've got dogeared and dusty Bibles all over the place here. I keep my current one in its box, but it's got highlighter all over it. It's basically how we apply the Word that's important.

Some will find fault with anything, especially since art is subjective. I'd say, so long as it is 'tasteful' then go for it.
sivonni: Writer since birthsivonni on August 18th, 2010 05:53 am (UTC)
As a Christian...
...I wouldn't be offended unless you destroyed an ancient text. The Torah from the Jewish faith would be more sacrilegious to destroy since they're supposed to transcribe it letter for letter using sacred pens and ink, whereas the Christian faith just prints it out as the first five books of the Bible so...

If you're worried about it, pick up a Bible from a Goodwill store or a used book store. I've seen plenty that are falling apart all on their own. The entire book of John fell out of mine when I was twelve and no lightning struck.

I now have...five copies of the Bible in my room, different "versions", which all say the same thing, though one has a lot more details and descriptions of what the words mean and daily life back in those times. You should read the 23rd Psalm through the eyes of a shepherd (waaaay more meaningful). I love words and there's just such a...well, poetry in the Psalms you just don't find in modern texts.

By the way? Love your writing. You made me snort/giggle reading through your earlier Shep/Weir.