How do you get rid of a holy symbol?

When I moved into my apartment in March 2003, I removed a small crucifix which was glued to the front door by the previous tenant. Being a Jew, I have no use for a crucifix, but I just can’t bring myself to throw away a religious symbol the same way I would throw away used kitty litter. I’ve had it ever since, and I’m not sure what to do with it. Anyone have any ideas?


Drop it off at the nearest church with a brief explanation; no more verbose or complicated than that. It can even be written with the crucifix in an envelope.

They’ll simply throw it in the trash for you. :wink:

(just kidding folks…)

It’s nice of you to be so sensitive. You might also leave it with the apartment manager. Or leave it in the laundromat with a note saying anyone can take it who likes it.

Wear it around your neck the next time you visit your mother. Then go, “What?”

Let me just say that I think this level of respect is pretty cool. Not because I think it is necessary, but just that you think about these things.

I second the leaving it at a church thing, or do you have any Christian friends who might want it? If you wanted to be really dramatic, you could swaddle it in baby clothes and leave it on the church doorstep in the middle of the night. :slight_smile:

Either a church or a local Mission. Even a nursing home may have use for one of their residents.
And kudos for having enough respect for a different religion to not just throw it out. I’m not a big fan of Islam, but I wouldn’t throw away a found Koran.

Good on you, Agent Foxtrot. I wish there were more people like you, who really understand what it means to show respect and tolerance for other religions, even when they don’t agree with your own.

But are you sure you want to get rid of it? What if you’re attacked by a vampire? Popular opinion is that a crucifix won’t work for Jews, but I say better safe than sorry.

(My real answer is just the same as everyone else’s: Find a local church, mission, YMCA, or Christian charity. If they don’t have need of it, they’ll find someone who does.)

Y’know, respecting religion is one thing, but doesn’t that normally mean respecting people who hold religious beliefs? This really does seem to be a case where, if a crucifix falls in the garbage and no Christian hears it fall, it doesn’t make a stink.

The sentiment is noble, but it’s not disrespectful to any person to throw it away, unless you do it ostentatiously. The symbol has no feelings, and I assume that if you’re Jewish, you don’t think it’s gonna piss off God for you to throw the symbol out. What, then, is the problem? What harm would there be in tossing it?


Bring in a vampire to frighten it away. It works both ways, right?

Can I have it?

Are you serious? Do you really want it? I’ll send it to you if you’d really like. It’s a neat little thing…wooden cross, metal caps on the ends, and a metal Jesus. Pass me an email and I’ll send it.

Just as a side note, Mango, please take a moment to read this thread. It’s of particular importance to you. Thanks.


Sure, I really want it. It would make a welcome addition to my icon corner. Which, actually, seems to be suffering from icon sprawl. It’s expanded onto my bookcase, thence to the wall beyond, and wrapped around another corner and currently ends up over my bed. Oh, and I found the other thread all by myself. I don’t check MPSMS often, but I happened to be in a mood for it. :slight_smile:

BTW, you seem to have opted not to be able to receive e-mail via the SDMB. So, like, could you drop me an e-mail?

I mostly popped in to mention that I admire the respect you give to another’s religion - really cool.

But I’ll also mention that you could probably drop it off at the salavation army and they would re-sell it.

Just as an aside: In Judaism, any religious items that have God’s Name (the Tetragrammaton) on them – such as prayerbooks, bibles, t’fillin, mezuzah scrolls, etc. – must be buried, not just thrown out. (I think the same is true of some prescribed items, like talesim.)

I don’t think there is any such requirement in Christianity, but I don’t claim to know for sure. It obviously doesn’t feel “nice” to toss something (anything, religious, or not) that someone else or some charity might use.

First, fill the hole in with bondo. Sand and buff vigorously. Shazam! No more holes. And next time, don’t play it so hard.

Wow, you are one beautiful person, Angel Foxtrot. I think the idea of dropping it off at a church was a good one or, if you’d be uncomfortable inside a church, just give it to your rabbi. In all likelihood, he knows a Christian pastor whom he could give it to. Here’s a toast to you, the embodiment of class! […tink!..]

Band name! :cool:

When a religious object (Bible, prayer book, icon, crucifix, etc.) needs to be disposed of, most Orthodox will either place the object in a coffin with someone to be buried, or will burn it and bury the ashes. Growing up Catholic, I was taught to do the latter as well. I’ve no clue what Protestants do.

Atheist here, just reading this thread out of curiosity. The very idea of a physical religious symbol having some sort of intrinsic property that demands respect I find rather odd. I mean, I can understand respect for a religion, and to that end I certainly would understand why you would not deface such an object in front of followers of said religion, just as you would not burn the flag of a nation in front of its citizens. Once in private, though, the object would seem to be nothing more than a formed piece of metal, wood or what have you, and in that case, why would you not treat it as scrap as you would if it was something else? At some point, someone (or possibly some automated machinery) made the symbol from raw materials with no such value. At what point did it become deservent of such respect in disposal?

Perhaps, out of respect for the environment, I could understand recycling it, but that’s about it.

FWIW, I am often involved in setting up and cleaning up after services at my church. This involves cleaning up the unused bread and wine after the Eucharist, and there is a set of rules for disposing of these.

The bread is crumbled and thrown to the birds. The leftover wine, and the first rinsing of the chalice that held the wine, is poured onto the bare earth, as Jesus’ blood was spilled onto the ground. And there is a prayer that we say as we do it.

Your scruples do you honor, Agent Foxtrot.