I came across an thought-provoking feature story in my Sunday paper, the Allentown Morning Call
To summarize a bit for those who don't want to read the full article:
One woman has used her car dashboard as ....' an altar incorporating sacred symbols from many spiritual traditions. "Some are typical items you'd find on most altars--a cross, flowers, prayer beads, a representation of one or more deities. For example, I have a laughing Buddha, a small figurine of Kuan Yin, a Condor, and Ganesh the sacred elephant diety from India."
The story goes on to describe the personal meaning of each item in this electic mix.
Of course, private altars and shrines are more common in homes than on car dashboards.
Do any of you have dashboard altars? Private altars in a corner of your living space?
Obviously private altars are protected under the constitution--unless you use them for human sacrifice. How do you feel about them, particularly the ones on public or semi-public view?
Do you think they express religion or superstition? Like the roadside shrines at the scenes of traffic deaths, the altars represent an individual approach to the diety? Are such individual approaches dangerous?
Can religion be reduced to trinkets? What about shrines to St. Elvis?
What do you think?