Friday, March 07, 2008

Christian fish vs. Evolution fish???

Are you familiar with the Ichthys? Or in other words, the Christian fish symbol (pictured here).

It’s an ancient, secret symbol that Christians used to identify each other so their enemies couldn’t spot them.

The reason I bring this up today is because I work for a Christian ministry in the customer service department. The Christian fish is also our emblem which is printed on much of our literature. Until last week, no one had a problem with it – that I knew of.

Then last week, I got a letter from a donor asking why are we using the pagan symbol, that they were surprised we’d do so and they demanded an explanation. I was surprised. I’d known of the Christian fish symbol my entire life. I used to have a fish necklace as a little girl. I have the fish symbol on my van now.

So I did a little research and low and behold, I found about about the Darwinian evolution fish that has little legs on it (pictured below).

And then I found this brief explanation:

“The fish symbol has been used throughout history by pagan and earth-based religions. Ancient Goddesses in China, Egypt and India were represented by the fish symbol. In ancient Greece the fish symbol represented the Goddess of Love. Venus, the ancient Roman empire's Goddess of Love was also represented by a fish symbol. She was so revered that Christian authorities insisted on taking over the symbol. The Christians revised the symbol's associated mythology to fit their own purposes. Today, the fish symbol has "evolved" yet again to represent Evolution, Science and Political Freedom.”

In 14 years of working in customer service at the charity, the donors never fail to come up with new, and often, off the wall stuff. They continually amaze me. This is very very tame compared to some of the wild things they ask and complain about. It keeps the job interesting.


Cath said...

Ashley - it's amazing what we take for granted and think is rooted in "faith" when it is actually adopted from elsewhere. There's loads of other pagan stuff in mainstream Christianity too. Thanks for sharing this one. This one I knew was pagan but not why - now you have enlightened me! Thanks.

Molly Daniels said...

Never heard this one before...amazing, but I'll stick with my fish. And WWJD.

Yvonne said...

Wow I never knew that! The Catholic faith in Ireland has incorporated lots of saints, festivals and traditions from the original pagan faith that was practiced here. It's facinating.

Bronwyn Green said...

It seems like there's a lot of cross over symbology in most religions.

Cath said...

Hi Ashley - I tagged you! Come over and check it out. Hope you don't mind. Are you meant to tell people they're tagged or just wait for them to find out? Anyway, I told you. :-P

DJ Kirkby said...

Have you seen the website link on Rob Clack's blog? There is this kind of stuff for sale there, the Pagan versions, some of it is quite amusing.

Unknown said...

People like to ask weird-arsed questions. Good to see you got yourself armed with research

sterlingwriter said...

Oh, those Christians, always borrowing symbols to ingratiate themselves in the neighborhood. A nice coffeecake would do as good. . .

Unknown said...

Have you read or watched The Da Vinci Code? It suggests that a lot of Christian faith is rooted in the pagan. It gives a lot of food for thought.

I'm not familiar with Rob Clack's blog. I'll have to look it up. Might be amusing.

And yep, Amarinda, I gets TONS of weird questions and just weird people. Like donors who ask us to call them back to answer their questions and then they hang up on us or be rude because we called. Huh? Or the one that blamed charities (not just my charity but all charities) for causing 9-11. Huh? Or the woman who calls several times a day who will only speak to one person and she asks the same question over and over. She's fixated on my coworker. Strange.

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