Saturday, January 28, 2012

Responding to the Pagans

You may have seen the profane video making its way around You Tube produced by a pagan who asserts that the "inspiration" for the Son of God was actually plagiarized from astrology and is really based on "the sun of god".  I won't dignify the video by linking to it from here.  There are assertions made such as that the Twelve Apostles were "borrowed" from  the twelve suns and zodiac signs.  It really is quite nauseating and we can only pray for the conversion of such people.

As Catholics, I think we've all heard the insults and insinuations of atheists and pagans that our beliefs are rooted in fantasy and that our most sacred traditions and holy days have been lifted from pagan practices, such as Christmas from Saturnalia.

I was looking for some images of Candlemas yesterday when I came across yet another pagan blasphemy claiming that Christianity sought to gain legitimacy for the Presentation of Jesus in the temple by borrowing from the traditions of Imbolc, another pagan festival that occurs around the same time and was used to look forward to spring.

Because these pagan practices may have preceded our sacred holy days such as Christmas and All Saints, it is easy for the God-less people to make such claims that we merely took what they considered sacred and refashioned it to suit our own misguided purposes.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

I have some thoughts of my own about why these pagan practices evolved in the first place and that is the innate longing of every soul for God.  In every season the soul longs to pay homage, to embrace the sacred, to distinguish certain days from others in an effort to acknowledge the Sacred Mysteries bestowed by God on His people.  Sadly for the ancient pagans, and sadder still for those of today,  that longing was misdirected in the worship and adoration of false idols and premises.  When some people heard the Word of God, either directly from  His Divine Son or through the writings and teachings handed down from the disciples,  they realized the emptiness of those pagan rituals and converted them for the legitimate religious purpose of glorifying God and commemorating the Gospel mysteries.

In the same way that our good works find their legitimacy and worth only when they are performed out of love for God, so it is with these so-called pagan traditions supposedly  "borrowed" by Christians.   There is a reason the Church, in her wisdom, celebrates Christmas in winter and Easter in the spring.  Although we were given the four seasons and nature by God to enjoy, the seasons by themselves do nothing to help us achieve union with God.  Simple man may look forward to seeing the dormition of winter end with the emergence of bulbs springing forth from the earth.  However, it is  our desire for Heaven reminds us that it is the emergence of Christ from the tomb and the implications that Mystery holds for all of us that is the kind of spring we should first and foremost embrace.

It's one thing to do or believe something because you don't know any better. But once you have  been enlightened and instructed otherwise, it is a grave sin to continue down a dangerous path that seeks to put false idols above The Holy Trinity, and an even more grave sin when you blaspheme that same Trinity.

Pray for such people, but don't let their blasphemy go unchallenged.


  1. Unchallenged you say? I'm reminded of a quote from St. John Chrysostom.

    "And should you hear any one in the public thoroughfare, or in the midst of the forum, blaspheming God; go up to him and rebuke him; and should it be necessary to inflict blows, spare not to do so. Smite him on the face; strike his mouth; sanctify your hand with the blow, and if any should accuse you, and drag you to the place of justice, follow them there; and when the judge on the bench calls you to account, say boldly that the man blasphemed the King of angels!"

    Somehow I suspect that I'd be very promptly tossed out of seminary if I ever did this.

  2. Though of course, I do all support all challenges to blasphemy that don't involve severe beatings. :)

  3. Besides, how exactly, does one "smite" someone?

  4. I have not seen the video Joyce, but I argue with the pagans and atheists on an opinion/debating forum called Sodahead. So I've heard all there arguments. They are so wrong. They're grasping at straws. By the way i think you're right about the longing for God. Unfortunately pre christians had not recieved the Word to fully understand it. But it is the same longing. That longing is in every human heart.

  5. Sodahead, eh? I'll have to check that out sometime.

    1. Here's the link if you're interested.:

      My guess is it's not your cup of tea. Let me know if you do join; I'll befriend you. To be honest, I'm not on it as much as I used to. I don't have the time I had prior to Matthew.

    2. It may be useful to remind modern pagans that one of the practices common to many pre-Christian societies was human sacrifice. A fact that many people seem to have conveniently forgotten when they argue for the supposed superiority of paganism over Christianity.


  6. Excellent point Lydia, thank you for pointing that out!


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