book: separation of church and state
Steven D. Jamar
sjamar at LAW.HOWARD.EDU
Sat Jun 14 12:21:46 PDT 1997
But Will, surely you cannot be arguing that the origins of such symbols in
antiquity eliminates the current connection of them to Christianity and
Every religious tradition which has moved beyond the confines of its origin
has adapted to and incorporated aspects of local culture. Though perhaps
you mean to say that any deviation from Christianity as practiced by the
original disciples is not really Christianity; or that Conservative or
Reform Jews are not Jews; or that Islam in Indonesia and in Pakistan or
even in Iran for that matter are not really Islam.
As to the awfulness of Christians - what makes you think Christians are, as
a group, awful? Or that the adoption and adaptation of pagan symbols would
prove that Christians are either nefarious or awful? What a bizarre chain
of logic! Or perhaps it is just that you consider that the expression of
any point of view different from yours to be an attack by a person who
holds you and Christians in ill will - the old, ugly "for me or against me"
I have heard arguments about how Christians co-opted local pagan traditions
and branded non-converts as witches and devil-worshipers. Perhaps that is
what you were referring to. This has happened no only in Europe hundreds
of years ago, but in the colonial expansion all around the world as the
Christians "civilized" the infidels.
Some secularists and some "neo-pagans" are indeed anti-Christian - with the
secularists rejecting and fighting against the religion in general, and
with neo-pagans and others rejecting various attributes of Christian
doctrine and practice, including often the patriarchical aspects and
exclusive claims to a lock on the truth which are so common among Christian
sects. But it is still a stretch from this to characterizing Christians as
nefarious and awful, as you did.
> > Regarding your book and post and reposte with Jim Henderson - you don't
> > have to be on this list very long to discover that this country is both
> > officially a Christian Nation and that Secular Humanism is its dominant
> > religion or that Santa Claus is not a Christian symbol no matter how
> > connected he is to Christmas and that "Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer" is
> > not a Christmas song, or, if it is, it has nothing to do with Christianity
> But professor, the neo-pagans have told me again and again that
> evergreens and men in red suits are THEIR symbols, which have been
> "stolen" by the nefarious Christians.
> Funny how they become "proof" of the awfulness of Christians, not
> matter WHAT their origins are found to be.
> Will Linden wlinden at panix.com
> Magic Code: MAS/GD S++ W++ N+ PWM++ Ds/r+ A-> a++ C+ G- QO++ 666 Y
Steven D. Jamar
Professor of Law
Director LRW Program
Howard University School of Law
2900 Van Ness Street NW
Washington, DC 20008
vox: 202-806-8017 fax: 202-806-8428
email: sjamar at law.howard.edu
The more you know, the more you know you don't know.
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