It’s A Question of Taboos

As for mortals, their days are like grass;
they flourish like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.

Psalm 130:15-16

I was telling someone recently that these verses of Psalm 130 were among my favorite, they had two comments.

Firstly they said I over use that phrase when it comes to the Bible.  Apparently I hardly go past a single reading or quote without saying that it contains some of my favorite verses.  I understood what she was saying I have lots of favourite bits in the Bible, but it did get me to thinking, is it right to have favorite bits of the Bible?  After all I have always been quick to defend the lectionary as it challenges us with bits of the Bible which we might be tempted to skip over.

Her second observation was that I seem to have a tendency to talk about death a lot.  Now this I wasn’t aware of and in fact I defended quite vigorously, including by pointing out that we spend more time dead than alive.  However I ended up by having to concede that I probably talk about it far more than the average Jo or Jane in the street and were others might shy away from such conversations I will happily engage in them because I think they are important conversations to have.  It is curious to me that the last time this country was celebrating their queen’s diamond jubilee such conversations wouldn’t have seemed out of the ordinary – as indeed speaking about faith or the Bible wouldn’t have been – while we are far more open about discussing all manner of things than our Victorian ancestors would have needed the smelling salts out at the first mention of.  The later doesn’t really surprise me, it is the former that I find curious.

What causes things that weren’t taboo to become such?


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