Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Sign of the Cross (Offensive?)

Last week at work we were driving to a job and as we passed a Catholic Church I crossed myself.

The guy I was with (who I am very good friends with...and is uncertain about religion) asked me this question:

"If someone asked you to not sign the cross because it offends them, would you?"

My initial response..."No!". He kind of laughed/snickered making me wonder what was going through his head...but anyways.

Now of course, me being me, I contemplated upon it all day.

It made me think a few things:

First, is it wrong of me to ask someone to refrain from certain things (i.e. blasphemy, etc.) in the same sense of my not wanting someone asking me to refrain from signing the cross? Of course, I can think of reasons why there are certain actions people would do that are offensive. No one blasphemes because it is part of their religion or is it something they do because it makes them who they are. No...most people blaspheme because the name of God and Jesus have become so commonplace they are no longer sacred, rather they are clichè! (Which is very unfortunate...Father forgive them, for they know not what they do!)!

Second, I wondered, maybe I would not sign the cross if they had a legitimate reason why it would offend them. Then, I could not think of a legitimate reason how or why it would offend anyone.

When it comes down to it (and I pray for this fortitude everyday) I would rather be killed than to have to deny my faith by refraining from doing a pious act (even something as simple as signing the cross...though the "Sign of the Cross" has so many theological underpinnings that it is amazing!) or being asked to deny my faith. I know it is easier to say I would die for my faith than to actually do it, but that is why I pray that I would have the courage to do so...if it be God's will!

Ultimately...I COULD NOT refrain from signing myself because it would be denying my very being and that is of being a disciple and slave of Jesus.

This was very thought provoking though. It is not that I would be trying to be rude in refusing to do so...I just do not see how it could be offensive to anyone.

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