I get that for some people, pagan practices led them to some spiritually traumatic experience (demonic possession, oppression, influence etc, etc). I just don’t see how that justifies this rather obnoxious culture war attitude I get from other Catholics.
On the one hand, there’s them. But on the other, there are dozens of Catholic universities that offer further study into pagan mythology. Everything from classic art to modern pop fiction draws heavily from a lot of pre-Christian folklore. (Including but not limited to Greek, Chinese, Norse, Japanese, Aztec, Babylonian, Celtic, Irish etc.) Fields like archaeology and anthropology include them in their curriculum.
People say there’s a difference between appreciating the mythology and that of the actual pagan religion. So, why is it then that culture warriors refuse to care about this difference? Some of them go so far as to dismiss the value of studying mythology from a literary perspective, claiming that all the world needs is Sacred Scripture, Lives of the Saints, and the Catechism. (I guess these people would like to see more churches built in place of museums and libraries huh.)
Ironically, medieval monks who could’ve boasted twice as much piety as these people were also the ones responsible for preserving much of Europe’s pre-Christian folklore. (Needless to say, that might just be the tip of the iceberg. It feels like this sudden hostility to what Tolkien called ‘Fairy Stories’, as well as their non-European counterparts, is a modern attitude.)
So really, as much as there seems to be this evangelical call to shun paganism, can’t we all realize that it’s being taken too far? :shrug: