When I started this report I knew that paganism existed as a religion before Christianity. I suspected that if Christianity developed after paganism then it would have adopted some of the paganistic practices to attract followers. From my previous studies I knew there had been some form of propaganda against the pagan religion. Through out my life, my personal feelings toward the Christian Church, specifically the Catholic Church, were those of distrust.
The Christian Bible also left much to be desired. For example, Christians are not supposed to worship any graven image (implying an idol or a symbol) yet they pray to a cross. According to the Christian bible, the old testament, God giveth and God taketh away. Yet in the new testament God gives and the devil takes away. (3) Which is a contradiction of terms. 2 There were several reasons why I felt I had to write this paper. In fact, there were so many that I could not list them all without boring you. I will however discuss them all to one extent or another.
The first and foremost reason was the fact that the Christian religion refuses to accept where its roots came from and still slanders the source of its roots, paganism. Secondly, the Christian church has performed some of history’s most inhumane acts. Although the church has apologized for some of its atrocities it continues to persecute people to this day. The church has stolen rituals and symbols and claimed them for their own while calling those from whom they stole the symbols from as evil. Christians have called pagans Satan worshipers because they did not take the time to find out that to be pagan means to worship two or more gods and not one (i.e. God or Satan) .
To this day Christians still refuse to admit they were and still are wrong about paganism. The third reason is that the Christian religion tells people that if you do not believe in my god then you are evil and wrong. Finally, I personally have been told that as long as you are not Christian (from the Catholic church specifically) then you are welcome in their church but you are not allowed to take part in the Eucharist. 3
During my discussion with Subject #1, he began explaining about Joseph and Mary, Jesus’ mother and father. He told me that not only was Joseph a carpenter, as all know , but also a missionary. therefore, he explained, Mary was called the Virgin Mary because she was the wife of a missionary not because she was a virgin. The wife of any missionary was called a vestal virgin. During the time of Joseph’s absences she was a practiced virgin. However, when she was with her husband they had sexual intercourse. Yet because Joseph was a missionary Mary was considered a virgin through the divine intervention of god. When Jesus started to preach he was a philosopher, He did not speak about how the Jewish or Roman Catholic Religion should be run.
Jesus’ speeches were a release for the people from the occupying Romans and the harsh Jewish temples. The new testament was Jesus’ philosophy. In fact there are no original copies because King James rewrote the new testament as he thought it should be. The Roman Catholic Church knows of the changes but refuses to acknowledge them. While continuing my discussion with subject #1, he disclosed the main reasons why he gravitated toward the pagan way of life. As a child he was told to worship God and anything you want just ask from God and he will give it to you. He felt that was selfish. Then he finally learned what the pentagram meant. Then he felt the need to learn more. He got curious and started to think on his own.
To be pagan according to Subject #1 means to be open to others about how you feel. He did not like the Church telling him that he should control how he feels. As soon as he figured out how he felt he became a pagan. The pagan church, to him, is a church of free thinking. He told me that you must not just live you have to be open or you are not really alive. The church told him to control his feelings. He did not agree with this. That is when he became pagan. However, he told me something of interest, there could not be a pagan church because all pagans believe somewhat differently because the pagan religion allows free thinking.
In today’s society persecution still exists. As an example Subject #1 was accepted by his friends in the church but shunned by the adults. He has never been attacked by someone but he has been verbally assaulted. Jehovah Witnesses tell him he is going to hell and they try to force him to change his ways. Pagans vs. Satanic cults. In the Satanic church they sacrifice a virgin by sodomizing her with a wafer that is stolen from a church. In paganism nothing like that has ever occurred.
The Satanic church is a reversal of Christianity and they are being anarchical. The Christian Church attacks the satanic groups because in the public eye they are pagans and use this one group out of 200 and say they are all evil. Christianity and the Salem witch trials. After the long discussion described above I wanted to hear the pagans version of the Salem trials. He told me that in Salem there were witches but the witch trials resulted from a judge who did not like one person and was upset with how the community was responding to the person. I inquired if it was related to the girl having seizures. He responded by stating that seizures were common. The witch trial was about removing the people that the judge disliked. He told me that most people were just interested in a conspiracy. The questions that were asked during the trials were worded in a way that they could not be answered correctly.
I asked Subject #1 about animal and human sacrifices. He responded by stating that people who did those things must have been mentally ill. I then asked him about the cult of Charles Manson. According to him and many others, Charles Manson was a fanatic Christian. He then told me that most of Manson’s followers were not all there (mentally) or were following what they thought was right because of what they were taught as children. Subject #1 feels that Manson was just being an Anarch. The next group discussed was the cult Order of the Golden Dawn. Our discussion centered on the reason why people thought this group of people were evil. He thought it was because they were secretive. He told me that people were afraid of the Order of the Golden Dawn because they were so secretive that they were doing something wrong. One rule they had was that you do not divulge secrets to those who are not initiated. This he felt caused suspicion.
The discussion turned to the rites Christianity took from paganism. He told me how the Eucharist is taken from a right called bread and ale. According to him people become Christians because they are afraid of the unknown. People stay Christian because it is methodical and it is pounded into their head. They do not know about rituals and they do not know about pagans so they fear them. The reason people join Christianity over paganism is two fold. One is peer pressure, the need to conform. Two, Pagans will not accept people who only wish to join to be with their friends, as opposed to those who truly believe paganism is the right path for them. The largest problem that he had with Christianity is the selfishness of one God. I then asked him why he felt Christianity is wrong. He replied by stating that no one should be told this is the one way and that you must accept our way of thinking and conform to one set of rituals.
My Interview with Subject #2 started out by defining his religion. He told me he is a wiccan, a form of paganism. He told me that paganism made more sense than any other religion. His only Christian experience was as a child. He became bored and felt that the service was too drawn out. He agreed with Subject #1 when it came to the sacrifice of animals. He explained the difference of symbols between a Satanist and a pagan. The pentagram is reversed of that of the Satanist. The difference was that the pagan pentagram had one point up where as the Satanist had two points up. The five points stand for air, fire, water, earth, and spirit.
According to him, the Christians stole the cross. The depiction of Satan was taken from the male pagan god who was the god of the hunt. He mentioned that a Christian choir stands in a semi-circle which was taken from paganism. He was attracted to paganism for the following reasons. First, he believes in more than one God. The belief that the power comes from you not from a divine power of something. Subject #2 felt people join Christianity because it is expected of them. Children follow their parents. He pointed out that Christians are very pagan in that they pray to Jesus and the Virgin Mary. I inquired if he had ever been persecuted. He stated that he had been verbally abused by Christians and told by them he was going to burn in hell. He mentioned that he has never been threatened by Satanists but he has been threatened by Christians. (2)After my interviews I decided to turn to books.
The question on my mind was that of what is the difference between a cult and a religion. My investigation let me to the start of Christianity. According to the book Christianity started like all cults. They discovered a new truth. The Church satisfied the needs of people that inspire a person to join a cult. The Church satisfied the need for supernatural and elaborate rituals. In fact the Church filled with its miracles, saints, and martyrdom allowed sects to flourish in side of the church. (4) I learned allot about Pagans and Christians.
The one thing I learned is there is no clear cut reason why people believe what they do. However there is one thing I learned. Above all else there is one thing that unites us all. Regardless of right or wrong. The one thing that makes us all human is faith. Faith on one god two gods or science. Faith is the only thing that separates us from animals. So may the Gods of heaven and earth smile on us all.