Great news for pagans last week, the pagan Gods of ancient Greece returned to their traditional home on Mount Olympus after being banished for 1600 years. Zeus, Aphrodite and the one whos erection reached to his eyebrows (The God of Blowing Your Own Trumpet, I believe,) are back and being actively worshipped.
A victory for Greek pagans in the European court of Human Rights has ended centuries of Christian oppression has seen the Orthodox Church overruled and freedom of worship established. Previously only Christianity, Judaism and Islam were tolerated in Greece.
But this is significant for all of us because we have all been told since childhood that Christianity became the dominant religion in the west after being adopted by Roman Emperor Constantine because Jesus was such an all round wonderful guy. The truth is that the early Christian church made many of its converts by having a couple of burly monks hold people down while another held an axe aloft and said in nomino patre, filio et spiritus sancti accept our God or you will get an axe through your head and you wife and children will be sold into slavery.
But thats how the Roman Empire had always done business and they recognised that religion was just another profit making business.
All in all the approach worked well everywhere except in Britain where an axe though ones head was seen as a badge of honour, a bit like the modern ASBO. In the end poor old King Alfred had to give half his Kingdom to the Danes to get them to convert. In truth the Danes didnt much care which God they worshipped and they knew a good deal when the saw one.
The big comeback paganism is making is entirely in line with New Labours free market economics which rely on giving customers choice in order to encourage trade. Paganism is much more aligned to the capitalist society that the Abrahamic religions neo-Bolshevik one God-fits-all-approach.
Market economics have convinced us choice is always a good thing, and with paganism you have a god for everything and are free to choose your favourite – and no binding contracts, you can change when you like. You know it makes sense, after all what good is the God of War when you need help getting your underwear drawer unstuck(yes, theres a god for that too!)
I have always thought the Greek gods had a much healthier attitude to sexual matters too, all that covering women in the form of a shower of gold (had you never wondered where the term golden showers came from? So I am off to Greece on holiday this year, and if I see any pretty, naked girls playing on the beach I shall walk straight up to them and say, Im Zeus, take me to your Leda.
Be Careful What You Wish For
Read the Spring Equinox poem in Ian’s Eighfold Year series, From The Darkness and find links to other poems in the series at Authorsden.com
Cup Bearer To The Gods