In chat, I surmised that crosses and fish were no-gos as far as Jin's artwork. I can sort of see why the cross might be offensive to JW's, but why the fish?

3 Answers 3


I'm of the mind that we should avoid both of these symbols not because they don't mean really important things, or have a lot of history, but because they are really cliché. I also have another separate issue with each.

  • The Cross: this is problematic because it's not universal. While it is widely accepted that Christ died on a cross and this is an appropriate symbol for most of Christianity, as you mention the Jehovah's witnesses are rather offended by it. This is a pretty good reason to leave it out.

  • The Fish: this is a personal one to me and I find it unfortunate because it's a good symbol with a lot of history. However, this symbol seems to be the chosen symbol for an over commercialized form of Christianity. It's the Christian Bookstore and bumper sticker version of it.

Lastly, most of the discussion in chat has been about the sort of logo or main icon we want associated with this site. I think that the fish (and maybe even the cross) would make excellent motiffs in the theme as sort of understated design elements. However I'd rather see us go with something significantly less cliché for a logo/header design.

  • Also I won't say that chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/message/6182797#6182797 wasn't at least a tiny bit written to attract a chat star :)
    – wax eagle
    Commented Sep 22, 2012 at 2:27
  • How about the Chi Rho? I'm glad you're dumping the fish. Especially the one that's popular now, it's a Vesica Piscis. Sacred geometry sure is fun.
    – user1054
    Commented Sep 23, 2012 at 2:12
  • @DanAndrews I'm a huge fan of the Chi-Rho, but understand that it might not be ubiquitous enough to easily ID
    – wax eagle
    Commented Sep 23, 2012 at 3:03
  • The cross is Constantine's sword... Forgot to through that softball in there too.
    – user1054
    Commented Sep 23, 2012 at 3:14

One reasons we should have obvious Christian symbols is because we're not beliefnet or Patheos or other sites that I don't frequent. And we're not about.com and incapable of ever having a uniquely styled site.

There's no real reason for our site to be trendy or fashionable or to attract hip kids to services and there's really no reason to avoid the cross we should be embracing.

The real question is, should every Christian thing have a cross on it. Now, I believe that every altar should have a cross on it and every station of the cross should have a cross on it, every baptized person should have the sign of the cross made on them and every prayer should begin with the cross and every morning should begin with a veneration of the cross and every rosary should end with a little smooch on the cross.

The only thing I can say further is, if this were Catholicism.SE, the design would be a lot more fun

  • All the badges would be sacred heart badges
  • the star would be Our Lady and she would have a crown if stars lit up when clicked
  • +1 would be a lamb and -1 would be a goat
  • the footer of the page would be that angel holing up the moon under the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe
  • The 404 page would be a lost sheep.
  • the captcha page would be charlton Heston (in some capacity)
  • the error page would be a confessional with a big red light on.
  • the icon would be St John Bosco's beanie. (The patron of catechists).

But somewhere, there would have to be a cross, or better yet, a crucifix.

  • 1
    Your Catholicism.SE design reminds me of the decor of Buca di Beppo. The accepted answer icon should be a candle with Saint Thomas Aquinas (or Saint Albertus Magnus) emblazoned upon it. Commented Sep 23, 2012 at 5:42
  • 1
    If this was ever built I'd frequent it just for the decor. Commented Sep 24, 2012 at 18:57
  • Jehovah's Witnesses don't believe Jesus died on a cross; Mormons do believe this, but don't like to focus on it in their artwork (that said, they wouldn't find it offensive); and Catholics wouldn't object to an empty cross, but do think it would make the site look rather Protestant.
  • The fish symbol is, I know, ancient, and is theoretically universal, but I've never actually seen it used in Ireland, even in the hyper-religious Northern Ireland. I would, in fact, think of it as an American symbol. As it's a symbol that barely exists in my culture, I'm a little reluctant to analyse it, but I'll say that it seems to me more tribal than religious in nature. Wax eagle has strengthened that feeling by saying he'd associate it with Christian commercialism, which is of course tribal by necessity. I personally would associate the symbol with what I think of as the "nasty Calvinist" types ("We're going to heaven and you're not, ha ha ha!" rubs hands gleefully and cackles a little).
    • Personal associations with the symbol be what they may, I can report that I strongly suspect that many Irish people would have no idea what the fish symbol meant, and wouldn't associate it with Christianity at all. And that probably holds true in many majority Catholic countries, and I suspect also in Britain.
  • Yeah, as far as the Ichthus fish symbol is concerned, I've really never seen it in any church decorations or priestly apparel, I think you're right, any American would know what it is but perhaps we overstate its historical significance. Quo Vadis might have had something to do with that.
    – Peter Turner Mod
    Commented Sep 24, 2012 at 2:46
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    Anyone who is gleeful over the destruction of another has NOT understood the Calvisist doctrines of grace and has no right to use that name. One of the basic premises is that none of us deserve salvation in the first place.
    – Caleb
    Commented Sep 24, 2012 at 6:00
  • 1
    I decided to ask a question about the "rubs hands gleefully and cackles a little" phrase and I might have gotten a little carried away. Please let me know if you'd like me to remove the quotation or fix up the way I worded the question. It's actually one that I've struggled with at times myself. Commented Sep 24, 2012 at 19:42

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