I was reading reviews of the film Cabin Fever (don't ask why, it is a long story), and I came upon some misused words that amused me terribly:
Pigs use lots of water and spread disease so the semantic religions shun pigs.So, apparently Jews and Moslems worship verbal signifiers? I know there are prohibitions against graven images, and Jews especially, but also Moslems, have serious objections to anthropomorphizing God, but I don't think anyone has suggested they have decided to simply worship the word itself. Or maybe this means that Jews and Moslems are enamored of religious word play? I don't know, kind of hard to imagine what a semantic religion would be. Actually, maybe we could call popular kaballah as semantic religion, since the Sepher Yetzirah (among other works) is so obsessed with the combinations of letters and the words/phonemes they form, especially since most pop-kaballists forget that there is a deeper, spiritual purpose to all the verbal exercises. Maybe that is a semantic religion, the superficial obsession with kaballistic wordplay.
Perhaps it is just me, that I find this so amusing, but something about creating "the semantic religions" struck me as terribly funny. So much so I did not even bother commenting upon the popular, but quite wrong, theory that the prohibition on pork has some sanitary origin. (The truth is, it is forbidden because the Torah says so, just like mixing wool and linen, or milk and meat, or planting mixed seeds together. They are prohibited simply because they are. Some may postulate they developed because of some sanitary practices, but that has no more evidence than those who postulate the rules were established by alien visitors. All we can establish is that Jews and Moslems avoid pork because holy texts tell them to do so.)