Just to be thorough, let’s look at religions other than Christianity and Islam – for once.
Most religions come in many forms – from relatively liberal ones to insanely fundamentalist ones. While I am willing to have respect for some religious practices (as long as they are strictly self-imposed by adult individuals), it is a serious mistake for a society to give a ‘carte blanche’ of ‘respect’ to all things religious.
Just because something is ‘religious’ does not automatically make it worthy of respect.
For example, there is a Hasidic Jewish sect living in New York which is so misogynistic, it forbids any and all photographs of women.
(To their credit – the women within this sect/cult have chosen to not hold a driver’s license rather than have their picture taken. This is way more respectable than demanding that society accommodate them with a no-photo driver’s license, as some religious cults have done.)
This group puts out a ‘newspaper’ called ‘Der Zeitung’.
In this newspaper, they have published the now famous photo of Obama, Biden, Hillary Clinton and a bunch of other people ‘watching’ as the seals storm Osama’s hideout and kill him. The catch is – they have removed from the picture the image of the two women present: Hillary Clinton and Audrey Tomason (a staffer in the background).
“Because of laws of modesty, we are not allowed to publish pictures of women, and we regret if this gives an impression of disparaging to women, which is certainly never our intention,” the Der Zeitung statement said.
Yes: to these religionists, ‘modesty‘ is more important than the truth!!!
Shame, shame, shame, shame!
This type of religion does not deserve respect – to the contrary. Giving it even a pretense of respect is an offense to us, our culture and our laws. It is no better than radical Islam or radical Christianity or radical facsism/communism/whatever-ism!!!
Now, let’s leave radical fundamentalist Judaism behind and turn our attention to Hinduism: the religion that brought us ‘the suicide belt’ and pioneered the use of women in suicide bombings…
Many Hindus are reportedly ‘outraged’ over a picture of the goddess Laksmi.
Noe, I am not a Hindu, nor am I an expert on Lakshmi – but I am a little bit familiar with her and her worship. A friend of mine worships Lakshmi. A few years ago, when one of ther daughters (roughly my age – a scientist with similar interest and personality to me) suddenly died, I stood in for her during a Laksmi-worshippping ceremony which my friend and her daughters had been planning before the sad event. So, I have learned a little bit about Lakshmi in particular… I rather like Lakshmi – think wise and loving and tolerant Shakti.
Lakshmi is the goddess of wisdom and fortune and sharing and female sexuality! A skimpy bathing suit is a perfect place for an icarnation of her image! It is a uniquely empowering place for this particular goddess to appear! Well, at least according to my admittedly limited knowledge of Lakshmi…
Still, even if it were not it good taste – which I think it was: I do love that swimsuit! – Lakshmi is the goddess both of being charitable and of wisdom. The designer meant well – she honestly thought she was honouring the goddess by including her image in her collection. Lakshmi is also the goddess of material gain – both helping one earn it as well as guiding one on how to be charitable and perform charitable works. The key is – she IS the goddess to pray to if you wish to make money….
Lakshmi was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not for pushing swimwear in fashion shows for mercantile greed of an apparel company, Zed argued.
She is the goddess of making money!!!
And of wisdom and understanding – so she would ‘get’ the good intent behind the bathing suit!
Plus, she is the goddess of beauty and channeling feminine powe!!!
All this makes me wonder if religionists can be trusted to even understand their own religions! Rather, it seems to me that they wish to use it as a tool of coersion, to get power for themselves over others!
This face of ‘religion’ is definitely not worthy of ANY respect – EVER!