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Consecration is the solemn dedication to a special purpose or service, usually religious. The word "consecration" literally means "to associate with the sacred". Persons, places, or things can be consecrated, and the term is used in various ways by different groups. Such consecrated persons, places, things, even topics for discussion or subject matter (such as special teachings or doctrines), can also be "circumscribed", i.e. a "circle is drawn" around them (from Latin circumscribere, from circum "around" + scribere "to write"): a boundary is set which must not be crossed, limiting or regulating rules and laws and warnings are in place, unauthorized approach is forbidden or barred or is deflected or redirected, and careless or casual treatment or use of the person, place, thing, doctrine or subject is a punishable offense (sacrilege) which (normally) discourages any unconsidered disrespect (see taboo). Circumscription includes consecration but has a much broader meaning. Whatever is circumscribed is "off limits", "out of bounds", "restricted", as a military base, hospital, secret government documents, knowledge of F.B.I. and C.I.A. and security agency operations and intelligence, persons under "house arrest", certain criminals and their operations and organizations, scientists participating in special research, juries during trial deliberations, or certain social customs and topics of conversation (which excite awe, or dread, or disgust), and even racial and ethnic groups. To disregard the circumscribed quality of what has been "set apart" is to "cross the line" and to "step over the boundary" of the "circle drawn" around it. Not all that is circumscribed is sacred, but all that is consecrated is circumscribed. A synonym for consecration is to sanctify. An antonym is desecrate.

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