posted on Apr, 14 2006 @ 01:22 PM
Just one thing. It's important to distinguish between the ancient pagan religions, which are extinct, and Neopaganism, which exists today and is
actually quite modern. I know that some Neopagan traditions have origin myths that claim they are survivals of the old ways, but those are myths and
What you are describing is a union of church (or temple) and state, and yes, it was the norm throughout civilized history. The separation of church
and state is a modern concept dating back only to the 18th century. Even religiously tolerant peoples like the pagan Romans had state religions.
And, arguably because of that, the religious tolerance of the Romans had important exceptions: the Druids and the Christians come to mind.
Neopagan values DO NOT encourage the union of religion and government -- even our own religion. Some years back, a town council in some town in (I
think it was) Georgia that had a fairly large Pagan population passed an ordinance making a certain week of the year "Earth Religion Week."
Neopagan groups were as vociferous as Christian ones, or more so, in getting that rescinded. It doesn't matter what religion is given official
sanction. Not only is that dangerous to unsanctioned religions, it is also very dangerous to free spiritual expression within the sanctioned
faith. Most victims of the Inquisition were Christian.
And that is why, getting back to the thread topic, I don't see it as a big deal what we call the fir tree decorated at holiday time. Call it what
you will. And worship as you will. And keep the hands of religion off the government, and vice-versa.