Why are Catholics Pagans?

:slight_smile:

Ok seriously, what is with the pagan holidays? Is this a case of “when in Rome…” ? The two holidays I am specifically refering to are easter and christmas. Christmas happens right after the pagan celebration of the winter solstice. The holiday was happening anyway so let’s make it christian? Why not stick with hannukah (sorry i butchered the spelling) like Jesus himself would have practiced? And that brings me to easter. Christian equivelant of the passover holiday correct? (speaking from a time of year perspective) Then why have easter resemble the spring equinox festivals of the pagans. The pagans used such symbols as eggs and rabbits for their fertility rituals regaurding the spring equinox…those symbols sound familiar…Is this another case of early christians adapting to their pagan surroundings or do you guys just like to confuse children with stories of ressurections and large rabbits hiding painted eggs? :smiley:

[quote=Wormwood]:slight_smile:

Ok seriously, what is with the pagan holidays? Is this a case of “when in Rome…” ? The two holidays I am specifically refering to are easter and christmas. Christmas happens right after the pagan celebration of the winter solstice. The holiday was happening anyway so let’s make it christian? Why not stick with hannukah (sorry i butchered the spelling) like Jesus himself would have practiced? And that brings me to easter. Christian equivelant of the passover holiday correct? (speaking from a time of year perspective) Then why have easter resemble the spring equinox festivals of the pagans. The pagans used such symbols as eggs and rabbits for their fertility rituals regaurding the spring equinox…those symbols sound familiar…Is this another case of early christians adapting to their pagan surroundings or do you guys just like to confuse children with stories of ressurections and large rabbits hiding painted eggs? :smiley:
[/quote]

Actually, it’s so atheists and Fundamentalists will have something to talk about together, and thus confuse each other.

[quote=Wormwood]:slight_smile:

Ok seriously, what is with the pagan holidays? Is this a case of “when in Rome…” ? The two holidays I am specifically refering to are easter and christmas. Christmas happens right after the pagan celebration of the winter solstice. The holiday was happening anyway so let’s make it christian? Why not stick with hannukah (sorry i butchered the spelling) like Jesus himself would have practiced? And that brings me to easter. Christian equivelant of the passover holiday correct? (speaking from a time of year perspective) Then why have easter resemble the spring equinox festivals of the pagans. The pagans used such symbols as eggs and rabbits for their fertility rituals regaurding the spring equinox…those symbols sound familiar…Is this another case of early christians adapting to their pagan surroundings or do you guys just like to confuse children with stories of ressurections and large rabbits hiding painted eggs? :smiley:
[/quote]

It’s also a case of secular commercialism overgrowing Easter… because goodness, we couldn’t actually portray the risen Christ, that might offend some people’s sensibilities. :stuck_out_tongue:

But yes, as far as I know, some feasts were placed at certain times to assume the ‘pagan’ believers. I think Easter is actually… an english thing… let’s check wiki… Easter:

The English and German names, “Easter” and “Ostern”, are not etymologically derived from Pesach and are instead related to ancient names for the month of April, Eostremonat and Ostaramanoth respectively. According to the 8th century Christian monk and historian Bede, this month was dedicated to the pagan fertility goddess Eostre. The Easter Bunny is often identified as a remnant of this fertility festival, although there is no hard evidence of any link.

Interesting.

I don’t think the Church sanctions the bunnies and eggs, though, that may be more of a cultural and secular phenomenon.

-Rob

I am familiar with “The Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” and “Pascha”.
But what is “Christmas” and “Easter”? :smiley:

Of course we are. We worship Jesus after all… wait thats wrong. If we worship Jesus…that must make us… Christian. :eek: Lets face facts, we stole certain signifgant dates from the pagens and made it a good thing. Kinda like taking a fire away from a druggy and using the fire to carterize a wound. A previously bad thing (Pagen holydays/flamable drugs) into a good thing (Christmas/hurting[but otherwise alright]wound).
excuse me for the odd anology, the only thing I can think of at this moment.

[quote=Wormwood]:slight_smile:

Ok seriously, what is with the pagan holidays? Is this a case of “when in Rome…” ? The two holidays I am specifically refering to are easter and christmas. Christmas happens right after the pagan celebration of the winter solstice. The holiday was happening anyway so let’s make it christian? Why not stick with hannukah (sorry i butchered the spelling) like Jesus himself would have practiced? And that brings me to easter. Christian equivelant of the passover holiday correct? (speaking from a time of year perspective) Then why have easter resemble the spring equinox festivals of the pagans. The pagans used such symbols as eggs and rabbits for their fertility rituals regaurding the spring equinox…those symbols sound familiar…Is this another case of early christians adapting to their pagan surroundings or do you guys just like to confuse children with stories of ressurections and large rabbits hiding painted eggs? :smiley:
[/quote]

Nativity of Our Lord pagan? News to me. Everybody knows that the date of our celebration of the holy mystery was set to coincide with pagan festivals, partly because of the coinciding imagery of “the light of the world being born.” Doesn’t mean the Nativity of Our Lord is pagan.

Easter? You mean Passover? The Resurrection of Our Lord? You are aware, of course, that never has a big bunny with eggs been part of any liturgical celebration of the Church? Or maybe you’re not. That’s why you ask the question.

Is the sun, created by God, “pagan” because pagans worshipped it? Are eggs pagan? Are rabbits pagan? Do Christians worship the sun? rabbits? eggs?

Get a grip!

I think a trip to the Catholic Answers library is in order here:

Is Catholicism Pagan?
catholic.com/library/Is_Catholicism_Pagan.asp

[quote=RobNY]It’s also a case of secular commercialism overgrowing Easter… because goodness, we couldn’t actually portray the risen Christ, that might offend some people’s sensibilities. :stuck_out_tongue:

But yes, as far as I know, some feasts were placed at certain times to assume the ‘pagan’ believers. I think Easter is actually… an english thing… let’s check wiki… Easter:

Interesting.

I don’t think the Church sanctions the bunnies and eggs, though, that may be more of a cultural and secular phenomenon.

-Rob
[/quote]

There is some debate about Eostre and the name* Easter*. I’ll get some sources for you later. As much as I love Bede, he was not always correct.

The “Easter bunny” delivered baskets of goodies to my house when I was a child. I went egg hunting. Never once to my teeny-little mind did the thought occur to me that when we went to Church on Easter Sunday I was supposed to be worshiping the equinox, the sun, a rabbit, or eggs.

When I taught second grade Sunday school, one of our best projects was to crack a hole about the size of a nickel in the side of an egg, empty the contents, brush the egg with glue, roll it in dry soil, glue the egg to 3 pebbles mounted on a piece of green cardboard “grass” and glue a little paper banner on the egg that said, “He is risen!”

To the eyes of faith, any created thing can point to the worship of the Creator Himself: the sun, eggs, running water, evergreen trees . . . Christians can view pagans’ worship of such created things as a forerunner of revealed religion.

Images and symbols - even dates - which originally came from paganism but are now submitted to the One True God, sometimes do have a place within Christian tradition (small “t”). And that has always been the case, since all things belong to Him and may be submitted to Him.

I doubt if we know anyone who, in placing a Christmas tree in his living room, does this because he intends to worship pagan Germanic gods or celebrate the winter solstice. The true now has a true meaning, not a false one: symbolizing Christmas, the celebration of the Nativity of the Savior.

If one chooses to question the adoption of such symbols (or the very celebration of Christmas itself - especially on Dec. 25) because of their pagan origination, then one should likewise question the Hebrew festivals we see recorded in Scripture. Christmas is no more or less “pagan” than the Jewish celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles which coincided with a Canaanite festival celebrating the grape harvest. Just as the Hebrews made their own and conformed to the honor of the One True God what were previously pagan commemorations, it was (is) entirely appropriate for the Church to reclaim, e.g., a date in time which had been perverted to the glory of a pagan deity and appropriate it for the glory of the true Unconquered Son.

Time itself is a creature of God and it along with all creation can be - and often is - distorted and misused by man. But we see in Scripture, such as in the Canticle of Daniel (Dn. 3:35-88), that all creation is to praise the Lord, even the sun and moon which regulate our days and hours. The fact that some have worshiped these creatures rather than their Creator, does not mean that they cannot be redeemed and put to the use for which they were created - ultimately to the glory of God.

In Ephesians 1:10 we read: “. . .to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth,” (RSV). Here and elsewhere in Scripture we see that all of creation is to be gathered into submission to Christ - ALL of creation. The Church is the means by which this gathering-in is accomplished, redeeming and sanctifying in Christ that which has been corrupted - including time, places, and things.

The difficulty some have with the celebration of the Nativity of Our Lord, or with some of the human traditions that have been incorporated into the celebration, seems to come from the idea that everything having to do with man’s relationship to God has to have a scriptural warrant (for the Fundamentalist Protestants especially - and why do so many atheists sound just like the most vehement Fundamentalist? :smiley: ), or easily connected to either Scripture or Sacred Tradition (for us Catholics :slight_smile: ).

If we were to apply this sense of purity to Scripture itself we would have to exclude much of what we see of the religious practices of the Hebrew people. Certainly they were divinely guided to offer to God the worship He desired from the, but if we make even the most cursory comparison to the religious practices of their neighbors - especially the Egyptians and then the Canaanites - we find great similarities and even appropriations: circumcision, festivals, sacrificial rituals and libations hymns (psalms), proverbs (Prov. 22:17-24:22 was modeled after the Egyptians “The Instruction of Amenehope”, 10000-600 B.C.). Pagan origins? Yes. Yet God used it all to fashion a people for Himself, using the “material at hand” and giving it His divine blessing and transforming it to His purposes.

So the wisdom of the Church in incorporating some cultural (pagan) traditions into the celebration of Christmas should be seen as a part of the submission of all things to Christ. We just have to make sure that we employ these things with Christ in mind - submitting our own minds to Him.

My Dear Wormwood,

Before you begin accusing Catholics of being pagans simply because they celebrate certain Christian holidays on or near the same dates as certain pagan holidays, either out of coincidence or because the Catholic Church has adopted some good that may have previously existed in the pagan celebration, baptized it as it were, and now celebrates that date with a completely Christian understanding, it might be well to ask what calendar you use for your religious, business, and social appiontments?

Does the calendar you observe have months named after the pagan gods Janus, Februus, Mars, Aphrodite, Maia and Juno, as well as the pagan Emperors Julius Caesar and Augustus Caesar, who were worshipped as gods, finally rounded out with months with strictly numerological designations?

Are the days on your calendar named for the chief astrological bodies, the Sun and the Moon, as well as the pagan gods Tiu, Woden, Thor, Frigg and Saturn?

If so, then welcome to the company of the pagans. I look forward with great anticipation to the day, not far from now, to be sure, when you may join all the rest of your pagan brothers and sisters, Catholic and otherwise, in our Father’s house.

Your affectionate uncle,

Screwtape.

[quote=Wormwood]:slight_smile:

Ok seriously, what is with the pagan holidays? Is this a case of “when in Rome…” ? The two holidays I am specifically refering to are easter and christmas. Christmas happens right after the pagan celebration of the winter solstice. The holiday was happening anyway so let’s make it christian? Why not stick with hannukah (sorry i butchered the spelling) like Jesus himself would have practiced? And that brings me to easter. Christian equivelant of the passover holiday correct? (speaking from a time of year perspective) Then why have easter resemble the spring equinox festivals of the pagans. The pagans used such symbols as eggs and rabbits for their fertility rituals regaurding the spring equinox…those symbols sound familiar…Is this another case of early christians adapting to their pagan surroundings or do you guys just like to confuse children with stories of ressurections and large rabbits hiding painted eggs? :smiley:
[/quote]

Okay it might be too early for me tothink but please tell me you are joking! Right your just Joking!

We “baptised” Pagan stuff, basically. Putting Christimas on the same day as a big Pagan feast made conversion easier–people could keep their big feast they had grown up with:) .

The Christmas tree now means everlasting life (because it’s an evergreen). We put the star on top to remind us of the star followed by the Magi.

Santa Claus is based on St. Nicholas. He likes helping kids and leaving people surprise presents. Read on:

  • Upon hearing that a local man had fallen on such hard times that he was planning to sell his daughters into prostitution, Nicholas went by night to the house and threw three bags of gold in through the window, saving the girls from an evil life. These three bags, gold generously given in time of trouble, became the three golden balls that indicate a pawn broker's shop.
  • He raised to life three young boys who had been murdered and pickled in a barrel of brine to hide the crime. These stories led to his patronage of children in general, and of barrel-makers besides.

    Easter eggs represent new life–a very important part of the Resurrection.

    Not sure where the Easter bunny comes from :hmmm:

    Wedding rings is another formerly Pagan thing that’s been “baptised” to give it new meaning.

  • [quote=Joseph Bilodeau]My Dear Wormwood,



    Your affectionate uncle,

    Screwtape.
    [/quote]

    That was baaaaaaaaaad… :smiley:

    There is actually a Biblical basis for Christ’s birthday being celebrated at the winter solstice… If you look at John 3:23-30, (below) you will see that John the Baptist uses the phrase “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Keep that in mind.

    The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year and subsequent days are longer. Thus Christ’s birth being celebrated on that day represents Christ’s bringing, or increasing, the light of this world. Conversely, if you look at the summer solstice, it’s the longest day of the year and subsequent days are shorter - guess who’s feast day that is??? LOL!!! I just love the Bible!!!

    catholicculture.org/lit/calendar/day.cfm?id=176

    Also, I honestly don’t think that there is a single day or event or concept that some pagan religion did prefigure in some way shape or form given that there are an infinite number of pagan religions to choose from.

    23 And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized. 24 For John was not yet cast into prison. 25 Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying. 26 And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him. 27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. 28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. 29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease.

    [quote=Isidore_AK]That was baaaaaaaaaad… :smiley:
    [/quote]

    :rotfl: as a C.S. Lewis fan, I enjoyed that too. :thumbsup: You go Joseph!!!
    (Gee, and all this time I was suppose to be worshipping trees, bunnies and eggs, go figure!) Now, did you really think we did that?? This is just a joke right woodworm? Come on use the common sense the good Lord gave you.

    I don’t think the Church sanctions the bunnies and eggs, though, that may be more of a cultural and secular phenomenon

    Yeah but why? Why allow so many blatantly pagan traditions to persist in a christian holiday?

    It’s also a case of secular commercialism overgrowing Easter… because goodness, we couldn’t actually portray the risen Christ, that might offend some people’s sensibilities. :stuck_out_tongue:

    This tradition was around long before it wasn’t “pc” to show religious icons.

    Nativity of Our Lord pagan? News to me.

    Is pagan a guy now? I thought it was a religion (or set of religions).

    Everybody knows that the date of our celebration of the holy mystery was set to coincide with pagan festivals, partly because of the coinciding imagery of “the light of the world being born.”

    This doesn’t make sense, you set your holidays to coincide with pre-existant pagan festivals to show the depth of your religions divinty?

    Is the sun, created by God, “pagan” because pagans worshipped it? Are eggs pagan? Are rabbits pagan?

    Did pagans worship eggs and rabbits? The whole festival was oriinally for Ishtar(easter) and the rabbits and eggs were symbols of fertility used for her holdiay. Was the maypole worshiped or was it merely a symbol and a vehicle of tradition?

    Do Christians worship the sun? rabbits? eggs?

    You’re the christian, you tell me.

    Get a grip!

    Indeed.

    The “Easter bunny” delivered baskets of goodies to my house when I was a child. I went egg hunting. Never once to my teeny-little mind did the thought occur to me that when we went to Church on Easter Sunday I was supposed to be worshiping the equinox, the sun, a rabbit, or eggs.

    Again, this notion of “worshiping eggs” is purely of your design. Please quote where you are reading “egg worship” from.
    As for your “teeny little mind” I am sure the easter bunny also did not inspire knowledge of death and ressurection.

    Christians can view pagans’ worship of such created things as a forerunner of revealed religion

    More than you probably want to believe.

    FCEGM
    but if we make even the most cursory comparison to the religious practices of their neighbors - especially the Egyptians and then the Canaanites - we find great similarities and even appropriations: circumcision, festivals, sacrificial rituals and libations hymns (psalms), proverbs (Prov. 22:17-24:22 was modeled after the Egyptians “The Instruction of Amenehope”, 10000-600 B.C.). Pagan origins? Yes.

    Oh I know. You will never hear me dispute that most of Judaism is based on older pagan religions. I was just curious how you guys could justify all the paganism…especially on “easter” becase that was Christs claim to fame…the death and resurection, and now he competes with a giant bunny that brings chocolate (an aphrodesiac).

    So the wisdom of the Church in incorporating some cultural (pagan) traditions into the celebration of Christmas should be seen as a part of the submission of all things to Christ. We just have to make sure that we employ these things with Christ in mind - submitting our own minds to Him.

    It seems more like the christians submitted to the pagans :slight_smile:

    [quote=Wormwood]Yeah but why? Why allow so many blatantly pagan traditions to persist in a christian holiday?
    [/quote]

    Um. Because we don’t control the secular culture. And you exaggerate the harm of them.

    Is pagan a guy now? I thought it was a religion (or set of religions).

    ?? pagan here is an adjective.

    This doesn’t make sense, you set your holidays to coincide with pre-existant pagan festivals to show the depth of your religions divinty?

    Do a little homework. It actually isn’t all that difficult.

    Did pagans worship eggs and rabbits? The whole festival was oriinally for Ishtar(easter) and the rabbits and eggs were symbols of fertility used for her holdiay. Was the maypole worshiped or was it merely a symbol and a vehicle of tradition?

    Ishtar? Only in German and English does the word “Easter” appear and it comes from “East.” Nothing to do with Ishtar.

    . . . As for your “teeny little mind” I am sure the easter bunny also did not inspire knowledge of death and ressurection.

    Nor did it prevent the development of a mature faith.

    Oh I know. You will never hear me dispute that most of Judaism is based on older pagan religions. I was just curious how you guys could justify all the paganism…especially on “easter” becase that was Christs claim to fame…the death and resurection, and now he competes with a giant bunny that brings chocolate (an aphrodesiac).

    Right. I worship a giant rabbit. And we have chocolate communion wafers, which I confuse with Jack Chick’s death cookie.

    Thanks for setting us straight. We wouldn’t have any idea WHAT we believed if you hadn’t helped us out.

    It seems more like the christians submitted to the pagans :slight_smile:

    Right. That’s why so many of our forbears spilt their blood in the sand of the Roman arena . . .

    Joseph Bilodeau

    simply because they celebrate certain Christian holidays on or near the same dates as certain pagan holidays, either out of coincidence

    …yeah…coincidence…that’s it…

    or because the Catholic Church has adopted some good that may have previously existed in the pagan celebration, baptized it as it were, and now celebrates that date with a completely Christian understanding,

    Yeah, completely christian with irrelevant pagan symbols in-tact and all.

    it might be well to ask what calendar you use for your religious, business, and social appiontments?

    Depends on the circumstance actually. I use the standard C.E. calendar for taxes and government paperwork, but my business call are mostly to China, so I use their calendar system when I deal with them, and in all personal affairs I prefer the Mayan calendar :wink:

    Does the calendar you observe have months named after the pagan gods

    At times perhaps…but I never claimed NOT to be a pagan.

    If so, then welcome to the company of the pagans. I look forward with great anticipation to the day, not far from now, to be sure, when you may join all the rest of your pagan brothers and sisters, Catholic and otherwise, in our Father’s house.

    Yeah you go first…I’ll meet you there.

    Your affectionate uncle,

    Screwtape.

    I don’t know if it is all the talk about fertility and maypoles, but careful. Your advances and inuendos are unwelcome I assure you.

    MonicaC
    Okay it might be too early for me tothink but please tell me you are joking! Right your just Joking!

    Actually yes a little. I was just curious what the reasoning was behind keeping these traditions.

    Genesis
    Not sure where the Easter bunny comes from :hmmm:

    The festival of Ishtar, a symbol of fertility as rabbits can reproduce…well…like rabbits :wink:

    allhers
    (Gee, and all this time I was suppose to be worshipping trees, bunnies and eggs, go figure!) Now, did you really think we did that?? This is just a joke right woodworm? Come on use the common sense the good Lord gave you.

    I wish you could use that same common sense to read. Who said anything about worshiping trees or eggs? Even the pagans didn’t do that…that is something you guys came up with just now. Actually read what is written instead of just thinking of how you want to reply. Thanks all.

    Never in my experience as a Christian, Evangelical, Anglican, now Catholic, have I EVER seen a bunny used as a symbol of ANYTHING in a Church.

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