No, nothing is sacred. And even if there were to be something called sacred, we mere primates wouldn’t be able to decide which book or which idol or which city was the truly holy one. Thus, the only thing that should be upheld at all costs and without qualification is the right of free expression, because if that goes, then so do all other claims of right as well.
Sacred is an adjective used to describe a person or thing worthy of worship or declared holy. Sacred usually has a religious context, however something or someone that has been set aside for dedicated purpose can also be sacred. Anything designated as sacred is considered to be untouchable, and inviolable. In an absolute sense any critique of that which is sacred is itself an act of blasphemy.
Blasphemy is the act of insulting; showing contempt; lack of reverence to a deity, to religious or holy persons or sacred things; or toward something considered sacred or inviolable. Blasphemy is by its very nature in the eye of the beholder. If I don’t think of an object, place or person as sacred then my lack of reverence cannot be blasphemy. Yet to those that hold an object, place or person as sacred, my lack of deference is clearly blasphemy. This disagreement about what is sacred and what is profane is the heart of all conflict. And how are we to judge what is truly universally sacred?
We are simply imperfect beings living in an imperfect world. If there is a divine being somewhere out there we have no way of knowing on our own what is inviolable. We have no proof of the divine, or even the message of the divine. We simply have myriad stories of what others have declared to be the ultimate sacred message. Zeus, Odin, and Mithra have been sacred, and now are mere mythologies. When faith fades and crumbles, it is clear the sacred transmutes into the mundane. Think of all those who died because the profaned Jupiter and Apollo – their deaths meaningless punishment for an imaginary crime.
This is why it is best that nothing is sacred.
That is not say we should display contempt towards the sacred beliefs of others. There is still the need for respect for other ideas, other thoughts, other needs. I accept that there are those that feel the need for “something more”, all I ask is that they accept in return that I do not and never will share those same beliefs.
There is no god out there that cares what we individual humans think or do. There is no god out there to judge us for our greed and stupidity. We humans own our own misery and cruelty. No outside agency is to blame for the raping and pillaging of the world. If the world is to be a better place, it will only be better because we collectively have chosen to make things better. It is our choice to live as a swarm of locusts on our mother earth, consuming everything within our reach. It is our choice to leave nothing behind but our toxic excretions.
Nothing is sacred. Everything is allowed. And in the end it is what we chose to do with that freedom that matters. It is the essence of human nature to rely upon the divine as an excuse for inaction: hey not my fault! Don’t worry god will look after the consequences.
It is all just excuses. There is no god that compels us to behave, or to do. Our sins are our own. We make the choices – and we own the consequences. Fully and completely.
Time to grow up people. Nothing is sacred. And you have no excuse for the mess you are making.