"Have you noticed the silly archaic phrases, Bible-literalists like to use? They refer to Jesus as a Lord, language modeled after a monarchy not a democracy. This language reflects the thinking at the time the Bible was written and, again, when it was translated. This might explain the fundies' desire to interfere with our modern human and civil rights - they're stuck in the ancient past and are having difficulty adjusting to a modern reality.
Today we received an email from a detractor who was attempting to insult Ring of Fire's Darwin fish by claiming that adding feet to the icthus, transformed it into a serpent. While the term 'serpent' is less than archaic, it isn't a word used much except by fundies. In essence a serpent is a snake and I haven't seen any snakes with feet - but then I'm not a faith-based person. I don't hallucinate or talk to invisible persons on a daily basis.
Our detractor seems to believe that the icthus originated as a 'Christian symbol representing the faith of fisherman' and apparently is unaware that the icthus symbol, like many Christian ideas, originated in Paganism.
In Pagan times, this glyph was associated with the Goddess Venus, and represented female genitalia. How it came to be associated with Christianity isn't entirely clear, but early depictions of Christ depict him as an infant within the vesica (usually called a mandorla, meaning 'almond shaped.'), which represented the womb of Mary. As such, it is also a doorway or portal between worlds, and symbolizes the intersection between the heaven and the material plane. The shape of arches in gothic architecture is based on this shape. - About.com
The fish symbol has been used for millennia worldwide as a religious symbol associated with the Pagan Great Mother Goddess. It is the outline of her vulva. The fish symbol was often drawn by overlapping two very thin crescent moons. One represented the crescent shortly before the new moon; the other shortly after, when the moon is just visible. The Moon is the heavenly body that has long been associated with the Goddess, just as the sun is a symbol of the God.
The symbol itself, the eating of fish on Friday and the association of the symbol with deity were all taken over by the early Church from Pagan sources. Only the sexual component was deleted. - Religious Tolerance.com
The patriarchal church was determined to control women and sexuality and it certainly wasn't comfortable with sensuality and it certianly isn't difficult to find gender discrimination in the Bible.
The fish, as a pair of fishes, is part of the Chaldean (Babylonian) zodiac, as one of the signs of astral worship with the Sun at the center of the zodiac. It therefore formed part of, and was a sign of Sun-worship.
The son of the Syrian goddess Atargatis was known as Ichthus... Another Fish-deity was the Babylonian Ea, who became known amongst the Greeks as Oannes, similar to the Fish-deity of the Philistines, Dagon, half man and half fish.
The Fish is also associated with the sun...the god of the sun...as a fish," also being an Egyptian phallic emblem, as well as a sign of fecundity, or the female generative organ, or of female goddesses. - The Words of Eternal Life