Saturday, July 4, 2015
DEALING WITH PAGAN AND PAGANIZED CHRISTIANITY AND CHRISTIANS--IT IS LIKE DEALING WITH NONES EXCEPT THE NONES TODAY AREN'T REAL NONES AS THEY HAVE A NEW RELIGION--AMERICAN PAGANISM!
It is perhaps misleading even to say that there was such a religion as “paganism” at the beginning of [the Common Era] ... It might be less confusing to say that the pagans, before their competition with Christianity, had no religion at all in the sense in which that word is normally used today. They had no tradition of discourse about ritual or religious matters (apart from philosophical debate or antiquarian treatise), no organized system of beliefs to which they were asked to commit themselves, no authority-structure peculiar to the religious area, above all no commitment to a particular group of people or set of ideas other than their family and political context. If this is the right view of pagan life, it follows that we should look on paganism quite simply as a religion invented in the course of the second to third centuries AD, in competition and interaction with Christians, Jews and others.
Yesterday I read somewhere that most Americans no longer consider America to be a Christian nation. I'm not sure I ever considered America to be a Christian nation in the classic definition of Christianity being Catholic. After all America had separation of Church and state. I did consider our government and civil founding to be WASP, meaning, White, Anglo-Saxon Protestant. Thus inscribed in the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were the principles of our Judeo-Christian heritage, albeit Protestant.
That has changed and rapidly beginning with the 1960's social revolution culminating in the Supreme Court's Decision to allow abortion on demand and continuing today in an uncanny sort of way with the 2010's social revolution culminating in the Supreme Court's edict mandating same sex marriage and immediately.
Thus, unlike the classic definition of paganism which I quote above, the new Paganism does now have an "organized systems of beliefs to which they are asked to commit themselves" with an authoritarian-structure synonymous with the secular governments and a commitment to family and politics as dictated by the secular governments in which they live. We really can't call them "nones" because they have a religion a new or neo-pagan religion to which they profess!
The ultimate magisterium of the Pagan religion in America is the Supreme Court, aptly named.
The Bible of American Paganism is fierce godless individualism unless it has a Christian bias.
The two sacraments of American Paganism are abortion and same sex marriage.
The sexual morality of American Paganism is heathenism or anything goes to the point of the glorification of S&M in movies such as 50 Shades of Gray.
The general morality of American Paganism is simply to include everyone in a non-judgmental way and to see amorality and immorality as classically taught by Christianity as obsolete, harsh and bigoted.
In the Diocese of Savannah where I grew up, we Catholics were a minority. We learned to defend our Faith from Protestant Christians who tried to proselytize and denigrate us (more so prior to Vatican II but still today in pockets). We knew how to live with our Protestant brothers and sisters who wanted to convert us and kind of liked the challenge of dealing with them. It helped us to hone up on our own faith in order to debate.
However, we are not prepared as practicing Catholic, who actually believe everything the Church teaches, to do the same with new Pagans that often say they are Christians, maybe even Catholics.
Like the Jews of old who God chastised for bringing Paganism of their day into the purity of Judaism, we are at a similar crossroads with pagan cyncretism (blending) with Catholicism in particular and Christianity in general.
We must learn to debate with our pagan friends and in a non-threatening way.