I recently joined a FB group for people who share the same illness I have been managing. This particular group has a ”no religious content” stipulation in its rules. Ok, I thought. I’m just here to glean helpful info and don’t plan to evangelize the group.
This morning, this post came across my feed:
FYI the ‘no religious content’ rule also covers the use of religious iconography and religious emojis such as the Buddha’s head and praying hands. These are harder to catch by the admin team so we might miss them in a thread but that doesn’t mean that they are allowed. Comments containing religious emojis will be removed by the admin team.
This was in response to this post by a member:
Sincere apologies that I did the icon with 2 hands together. I meant it as a thank you gesture and did not see it as religious.
In Japanese it means please or thank you. Young people use it for that rather than religious. Also Hand together emoji Meaning. Depicting two hands pressed together and fingers pointed up, Folded Hands is variously used as thanks, request, and greeting as well to express such sentiments as hope, praise, gratitude, reverence, and respect.
Thanks for pointing it out to me. I simply had no idea.
Several comments posted in which members say they use the emoji all the time, though they’re atheists, simply as a heartfelt thank you. One person explained the precise translation of ”Namaste,” which is not religious, and is used widely the world over with this gesture.
The Admin replied:
It can have any of those 3 meanings: high five, thank you, or prayer.
We can’t always tell what the intent is, so just ask folks not to use.
An admin turned off commenting for this post.
If I take time to muse about these exchanges, my mind reels. But I’m going to sit with this awhile and probably write a follow-up post.
What are your thoughts?