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The Shrine of All Faiths

Some time back, I wrote a post about shrines and created my own on-line shrine. In that post I mentioned my Former Flatmate (pre-cohabitation with Monsieur) and his in-house shrine. Last weekend, Monsieur and I trotted off to a party at my old abode and I took the opportunity of taking a couple of photos so I could better explain the concept behind it. Please note: this shrine embraces all religions and icons. End of.

Naturally, we see Christ and the Virgin Mary here in many different forms, along with their fellow celestial residents of angels and putti. St Clare of Assisi is there as patron saint of television, in the form of a small glow-in-the-dark figurine. There is ‘Hope on a Rope’ and a ‘Pope on a Rope’, both soaps for those of you who haven’t come across the more traditional ‘Soap on a Rope’. Christ guards the house keys (and might I say, he does a pretty good job of it) and there are Mexican Day of the Dead figures with their ghoulish skull heads. A little nun doll rescued from a charity shop wears the tiniest habit and veil I’ve ever seen, and Buddha sits cross-legged in the front. At the centre of the upper shelf stands a tiny Queen Mother dwarfed by the doll of Princess Diana in her famous silk wedding dress to the right. No, this shrine isn’t all about Christian icons and royalty…

We can also see Tibetan prayer flags, Hindu god posters and a Chinese New Year banner. A pair of furry wings adorns the solemn St Francis, and there’s a pack of Fuzzy Felt Bible Stories to play with in case you get bored. And if you ever find yourself needing a Magic 8 Ball, there’s an Answer Me Jesus doll: just ask Him a question, turn Him over and His answer will be displayed. Somewhere, there’s even a sacred cow money box.

I’ve only managed to touch on the wealth of spirituality that appears on this shrine. It’s truly inspirational and is a daily reminder to be tolerant of all faiths. Most of all, it makes people smile, even though the less spiritual side of it must be the religious souvenir manufacturers who are skipping all the way to the bank in the least spiritual of ways…


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