Friday, November 30, 2007

Religious Jewelry

Not jewelry that prays regularly but jewelry that proclaims your religious convictions.

The postal worker shoved my mail through the mail slot and it hit the floor with a heavy thud. Ah, I thought, Christmas catalogs. I received several that I haven't seen in the last eight years, not since I wandered off to seminary. (How could it possibly have been so long ago?) I was flipping through Wireless and Signals (catalogs supporting public radio and public television) and saw a number of bracelets sporting religious phrases or scriptural references.

Certainly before I went to seminary, bracelets like these would have been seen only in "Christian" bookstore catalogs beside the Precious Moments figurines.

I don't wear religious jewelry. I had a silver triqueta which I bought in Ireland that I wore for a while until the chain broke. Part of the reason that I don't wear religious jewelry is my WASP upbringing that frowned on such displays as "lower class" (hate to admit this). Another reason is something I heard from a friend after she put a fish symbol on her car: "Now I have to be really careful how I drive." Somehow wearing religious jewelry bears the risk that I will be held to a standard of behavior higher than I am capable of. In other words, I don't want to give Christians a bad name. (I have said more than once that being a Christian doesn't mean that you have to let people take unfair advantage of you. Or Christians can have boundaries.)

So, I wonder why people wear jewelry with Bible verses on it. The only one that caught my fancy was one in Hebrew with the shema written on it.