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Concerns About the Peace Symbol

     If you shop at some of the same places I shop for my children’s clothing, you are likely to encounter clothes blanketed in peace symbols . . . everything from little girls’ tee-tops, to swimsuits, and lingerie, to jewelry! My spiritual radar has been going off for quite some time now as I only assumed that a young girl raised in a Christian home would not even consider wearing such symbols across her chest.

     How wrong I was. This past school year I lost count of the Christian girls raised in Christian homes, bought with the precious blood of Jesus, wearing peace symbols in varying degrees plastered all over their bodies.

     Romans 12:1-2 (NIV) clearly states, “Therefore I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.”

     It is difficult to know God’s will for our lives—which includes our wardrobe choices—when we are determined to be in the world and of the world, as opposed to what Scripture teaches us in John 17:14-18, which is to be in the world but not of the world.

     So, what does all this have to do with the peace symbol? Because of my concern, I decided to do some research on this subject. I hope you are blessed to have this information so that you can better guide your child’s wardrobe choices. Do not feel condemned if you have already allowed peace symbols into your home . . . simply acknowledge before the Lord that you did not know, ask His forgiveness, and move forward in Him.

History of the Peace Symbol

     The peace symbol is very old. The fifth and final Roman emperor of the Julio-Caludian dynasty, Nero (37-68 AD), is remembered in history for persecuting Christians.  Nero’s rule was so wicked he even had his mother executed.

     The first Roman-Jewish War (66-70 AD) started during his reign, and today the term “Nero Cross” is the symbol of the “Broken Jew” or “broken cross.” The most famous person believed to be crucified by Nero was the Apostle Peter. To symbolize humility and unworthiness in comparison to Christ, Peter requested that he be crucified with this head toward the ground. As a result of Peter’s death, the upside down cross was used by early Christians as a positive symbol for peace.

     However, the symbol changed in meaning when the person on the upside-down cross was no longer Peter but Jesus.  Anti-religious and satanic groups use the “Nero Cross” to symbolize everything opposite of Christianity. Today, this is clearly illustrated by heavy metal music lyrics that communicate anti-Christian sentiments. Filmmakers have reinforced the notion that the upside down cross is an anti-Christian symbol, as illustrated by The Omen in 1976 and The Exorcism of Emily Rose in 2005.

     After the Romans, it was also an anti-Christian symbol used by the Saracens in 711 A.D. For the Saracens, the image placed on their shields symbolized the breaking of the Christian cross. For others, the broken cross was equated to a satanic symbol known as the witches’ foot.

     In 1099, the Muslims fought under the peace symbol against the Crusaders who invaded the Holy Land.

     In 1917, the Bolsheviks painted the Nero Cross on the doors of the churches they had closed.

     The same symbol was used by Hitler’s 3rd Panzer Division from 1941 to 1945, and it can also be found on some of Hitler’s SS soldiers’ tombstones.

     Jumping to the mid-20th century, the symbol was introduced at the 1958 Aldermaston peace walk in England, supposedly invented by Gerald Herbert Holtom. It was first taught that the symbol was the letters N and D of the semaphoric alphabet, standing for Nuclear Disarmament.

     But this does not appear to be the complete story.

     The peace symbol was endorsed by a man named Bertrand Russell, a scientist with great knowledge of religion, politics, and occultism. Russell was a British philosopher who hated Christianity. While Holtom may not have known the historical meaning of the peace symbol, a 1970 article in American Opinion magazine claimed Russell knew the historical occult meaning of the symbol and intentionally selected “an  anti-Christian design to be associated with Satanism.”

     Russell was a follower of Karl Marx and became a member of the “Fabian Socialists” founded in 1883. The Fabian Socialists forced themselves in devious ways into churches, socialist, and liberal groups. They fought against love for one’s own country, respect for family life, Christianity, and faith in God. They encouraged free sex (which would explain the symbol’s popularity at Woodstock) and viewed the Russian way of communism as the best way for the whole world. They wanted to achieve that goal gradually, and they used this principle: “Change everything except the front of the building.” They wanted to let the principle of private possession continue (officially, that is) . . . but only when the State would get complete power over the decision of whatever private possessions there were. For people like Bertrand Russell, the symbol represented not only a pro-communism meaning, but peace without God.

     We have seen that the peace symbol has a much deeper, darker past than it might seem at first glance. It is a symbol of hatred against Christ and His followers through the ages. (Much of the information in this article was taken from this helpful link: http://www.teachpeace.com/peacesymbolhistory.htm.)

     Please prayerfully read and process this; I believe many of you will agree that this is not something we want to embrace or associate with as followers and disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ.

     May God help us to model and exemplify peace . . . without ever needing to use a faulty and deceptive symbol. Grace and true peace be to you today!!

Copyright © 2008-2015 Alyson Shedd

Reader Comments...
2011-11-30 11:24:54
"My dear... I have no qualms with your belief system. Well, no, that's not entirely true. I do have qualms, but I have no qualms with you. I have absolute faith you mean well. However... please allow me to share a dissenting viewpoint, and one I hope you will at least consider. What exactly is a Symbol? A symbol is a simplified picture that holds only the meaning that you put into it. A symbol of a star could, by many, be either to symbolize America (Stars, some are even drawn inverted!)... actual stars from the night's sky, paganism, or satanism. Or all 3. I once saw a full blown, circled and layered, inverted Pentagram on a tombstone that, instead of a Ram's head engraved in the stone, in each of the points of the star, had a baby's cradle in a manger, a cup with the horizontal cross, and several other symbols that I could not make out. I can only assume that the inverted Pentagram meant something else entirely to those who created it than those who see it now. A cross could very easily mean nothing more than "addition" in mathematical terms. Or, to those who are not religious, purely a symbol of pain and slow death as taken in the historical sense. Or possibly, they see the Cross and think "oh, that's a simplified Ankh from Egyptian paganism!" Or, as Christianity sees it, a symbol of the cleansing of our souls of the Original Sin, allowing us all to stop paying for sins that we, personally, did not commit. Obviously, Christianity has demonstrated the willingness to take tainted, what some would call evil, symbols and accept them when given a new meaning. Yes? Or, let's take the Jesus fish. Some will look at that symbol and recall, "Oh, when Christians were persecuted, they would use this symbol, drawn in the dirt, to recognize each other! It's a symbol of my Christianity!" ...and then some will look at it and say, "You know... that was originally a pagan symbol of fertility. The symbol is a stylized woman's [uh... groin? I'm out of polite words to use here!]" Every person reads into it what they will. If you read into the peace sign as a broken satanic cross... when the vast majority of people look at it and say, "Peace and Love!" (2 primary tenets of Christianity!)... why quibble? I hope you take my words as I meant them: not as an insult, or condescending... but as a sharing of concern and interest from a dissenting viewpoint."
        - Emily
2011-11-30 07:09:16
"you are extremely ignorant and certainly moderating your comments!"
        - tom
2011-09-06 21:11:48
"That is known that cash can make people autonomous. But what to do if somebody has no money? The one way only is to get the home loans and just term loan. "
        - Rebekah
2011-07-31 05:42:19
"I think you need to get over how it WAS used and see it NOW as what it has changed to: LOVE. If you really want to get into histories of symbols and only acknowledge how they were used in the past, then look at the SWASTIKA. It WAS a symbol of HARMONY, and today it is seen only by most people as a symbol of hate. You are not real christians if you cannot LOVE."
        - Jeff
2011-07-08 20:56:20
"Please don't make something bad out of something that is meant to stand for good. God speaks to us in many ways, and most effectively through our thoughts and gut feelings. To me the peace symbol stands for what the wearer wants it to mean, and nothing more. I believe those wearing it see it as a good thing, and they are letting everyone that sees it see that they are for peace in the world, and what harm can that do? "
        - Jim
2011-06-27 11:14:35
"omg... this website and the pictures are so cool and awesome... how do yuu make yuur own website so ppl can go on mii website??? well anyways i want ppl to see mii drawings and creep on mii page ... lol lmao"
        - Eva
2011-06-05 05:12:00
"I am not starting a debate- but the peace symbol is the symbol for nuclear disarmament's. "The code ND for Nuclear Disarmament is shown on the right.4 The circle, representing the concept of total or complete, surrounds the N and D signifying total or complete nuclear disarmament..When you see the peace symbol, I encourage you to see the person displaying it as communicating a message of love. If you display the peace symbol, my recommendation is point the arms of the peace symbol toward the sky to honor Holtom's wish, address historical objections, and communicate love of all people.." I beleive that you copied and pasted your information from the very site that had this reference at the end. I feel that if you are quoting someone's message you should quote the entire. This is plagerism and is punishable by law.It should also be noted that Wikipedia is not a verifiable site for reference and its information is not permitted for use in the world of education. the author of the article will be notified that you did not cite his work in your article. http://www.peacemuseum.org.uk/ httpKen Kolsbun, author of the book Peace: The Biography of a Symbol://www.teachpeace.com/peacesymbolhistory.htm "
        - Brenda
2010-11-06 16:29:53
"I always despised this symbol. It represents a counter culture of rebellion in America in the 60s. It represents an unAmerican influence and represents defeat more than peace. The advocates do not understand the world nor our soverienty, Thanks."
        - John
2010-10-03 00:06:19

Thank you for writing this!!!! I was beginning to think I was the only one making a big deal out of the peace sign. It is such an issue with all the kids we are in contact with. We have even thrown out matchbox cars that were given to us for Gideon because the signs are on some of the cars and trucks! Blessings, "
        - Dorena

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