Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Commenter Patti Sheffield, in response to a historically illiterate meme on the "pagan" origins of Christian holidays and other things:

"Silly pagans. Everything is pagan before it's baptized."

Of course, for the meme in question and the examples it chose, many were not in fact pagan (as the meme understands that word) in origin anyway, and so the meme was what is technically known as "wrong"...What a shock, I know! The Internet isn't infallible and you can't believe everything you see on it? Who would have thought?.....But even granting for the sake of argument that they were accurate....yeah, that comment basically nails the stupidity of the meme. Or, as G.K. Chesterton put it:

"It is often said by the critics of Christian origins that certain ritual feasts, processions or dances are really of pagan origin. They might as well say that our legs are of pagan origin. Nobody ever disputed that humanity was human before it was Christian; and no Church manufactured the legs with which men walked or danced, either in a pilgrimage or a ballet. What can really be maintained, so as to carry not a little conviction, is this: that where such a Church has existed it has preserved not only the processions but the dances; not only the cathedral but the carnival. One of the chief claims of Christian civilisation is to have preserved things of pagan origin. In short, in the old religious countries men continue to dance; while in the new scientific cities they are often content to drudge." (The Superstition of Divorce, 1920)

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