Candidate for Lt. Governor of Virginia: Witchcraft “Wrong and Dangerous”

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  June 13, 2013 — 152 Comments

There are a lot of people out there who have misguided, distorted, or willfully wrong attitudes about modern Pagan religions, and this can become a problem when those individuals start running for elected offices that will affect the lives of Pagans living in the state or district under their potential influence. Such is the case with E.W. Jackson, a Christian minister and Republican nominee for Lt. Governor of Virginia. As Mother Jones reports, Jackson opined about Witches, Buddhists, and other non-Christian “spiritual” people in his 2008 book “Ten Commandments To An Extraordinary Life.”

E.W. Jackson

E.W. Jackson

“There are those who engage in witchcraft, fortune telling, Tarot Card, tea leaf and palm reading and other “spiritual” practices. These practices are wrong and dangerous. They are spoken of as an “abomination”—a particularly detestable sin—in the sight of God. They bring a terrible curse on the person who engages in such things, and you do so at your own peril. […] Non-Christian religions have their own values which are often highly questionable. Yet there is a remarkable deference paid to any religious system that does not include Christ as the Son of God. Affinity for anything but what is truly of God is the nature of spiritual death?”

That’s just a taste, Jackson is full-blown adherent of Christian spiritual warfare principles, though he’s been trying to soft-peddle his ardent Christian beliefs as more and more scrutiny has been paid to the many, frankly outrageous, statements he has made over the years.

“He was soft-spoken and earnest as I questioned him about how his religious beliefs interact with his political views. Christian values make us free, Jackson told me, and people should live as they see fit as long as they don’t hurt others. While he opposes same-sex marriage, he said he wouldn’t support any sort of ban on gay sex. He also said there shouldn’t be any legal sanction of a religion, and that he would oppose a constitutional amendment naming Christianity as America’s official religion. But that doesn’t mean that our culture isn’t historically Judeo-Christian, he added, and influenced by the Bible. Acknowledging that isn’t an imposition of religion.”

This creates a quandary of sorts for voters in Virginia concerned about the treatment of minority religions: which E.W. Jackson do we believe? Do we believe the “soft-spoken and earnest” Jackson who tells us he opposes legal sanctions on any religion, and that he opposes naming Christianity as America’s official religion, or do we believe the man whose rhetoric implies that there’s disaster on the horizon if Christians don’t “rise up?”

“This is an emergency, a critical point in American history. Continuing down the path we are on will result in escalating persecution of Christianity, but even worse, risk losing the favor of God on our country, which would be an unimaginable horror. I am asking Christians to unite on the biblical principles which founded our country and help me take those principles to the United States Senate. Those who understand the history of our country know the vital role the church played not only in the establishment of hospitals, colleges, and a host of other charitable organizations, but in the revolution which established this great nation. If Christians do not rise up, the future of our country is bleak. I ask you to go to the polls on June 12 and cast a vote for the glory of God. I’m not a perfect man, but I love the Lord, and I love this country, and I will always be grateful that He has saved me and gave me citizenship to the most free and prosperous nation in history. I will fight to see to it that it stays that way. As a brother in Christ, I ask for your prayers, your support, and for your vote…”

It may surprise some to note that Virginia is home to many Pagans. A Pagan (and Unitarian-Universalist) holds an elected conservation post in that state, and there was a high-profile case involving a Wiccan getting clergy status so she could perform legal weddings in 2012. Virginia has been a place where debate over the regulation of divination services has raged, and where a local candidate for a Board of Supervisors seat had her Pagan identity outed and smeared by local media. So it matters quite a bit what Jackson thinks about Witches and Pagans, because legislation affecting the lives of Pagans in that state isn’t a hypothetical. Jackson has tried to draw a line between “candidate” Jackson and “minister” Jackson, saying they are different jobs that hold different standards, and that his religious rhetoric “must be taken in context.” However, I fail to see how any non-Christian candidate would be allowed such a dispensation within the political realm.

Simply put, we all have to own our words and deeds, no matter what sphere in which they occur (just ask any candidate for president ever). As the National Review points out, the elected Lt. Governor in Virginia will hold increased power as a tie-breaker in the currently equally-balanced state senate, so stakes are quite high. Candidate Jackson, if elected, may very well get to vote on a number of initiatives that minister Jackson might have some strong opinions on. Any candidate, no matter what their party, or their personal faith, has to be able to serve all of their constituents. A Lt. Governor Jackson would be lieutenant governor for Buddhists, Witches, tarot-card readers, practitioners of Yoga, and Christians alike. Whether he governs and votes from a conservative or liberal philosophy is his prerogative, but he’s running in a secular nation, one that’s becoming increasingly post-Christian. Voters have a right to question whether he’ll be able to fully serve Virginians who follow a religion he thinks is “wrong and dangerous.” 

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Jason Pitzl-Waters

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  • Hecate_Demetersdatter

    No quandary for this Virginian. He’s dangerous and I’ll do what I can to get his opponent — Ralph Northam — elected.

  • Lēoht Sceadusawol

    I totally respect his decrying of witchcraft, etc. as a Christian minister.

    He is acting according to his beliefs. I’d respect him less if he didn’t say those things, quite honestly.

    I do not, however, think that he should be able to stand for election. In a country that has a clear, legal separation of church and state, would there not be a rather obvious conflict of interest for a cleric to run for political office?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnbeckett/ John Beckett

      The Tennessee state constitution has such a ban: “Whereas ministers of the Gospel are by their profession, dedicated to God and the care of souls, and ought not to be diverted from the great duties of their functions; therefore, no minister of the Gospel, or priest of any denomination whatever, shall be eligible to a seat in either House of the Legislature.”

      The same article also bans atheists from holding public office. Both sections have been deemed unenforceable due to conflicts with the US constitution.

      Practically speaking, at some point you have to choose a career. A cleric is called to serve his or her god(s) and co-religionists, while a public official is called to serve all the people. Both are noble callings, despite their many bad apples. But choose one, not both.

      • Kullervo

        Aren’t all elected officials something else before they get elected? Nobody majors in elected officialling and gets an entry-level elected officialing job right out of college. Doctors aren’t barred from eleced office and don’t have to renounce their medical licenses in order to serve. Ditto with lawyers. Craploads of elected officials are lawyers, admitted to the bar and in good standing.

        • Lēoht Sceadusawol

          Last I heard, the US didn’t have a separation of the medical profession and state.

          • Kullervo

            Last I heard, “separation of church and state” doesn’t mean you can’t be both clergy and politican.

          • cernowain greenman

            John F. Kennedy set the precedent of showing how he could be both a Catholic and the President. Usually this involves claiming to have virtues or ideals from one’s religion to guide the politician while not imposing specific religious beliefs upon the general public. Rev. E.W. Jackson seems to have missed that memo.

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            There’s a difference between can’t and shouldn’t.

    • LyndaLBD

      actually you mean, you’d respect him MORE if he didnt’ say those things. I know…semantics….just keeping the air clear here.

      • Lēoht Sceadusawol

        No, actually, I didn’t.

        He is a strong, traditionalist Christian. “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” is part of his holy scripture, the written word of his god.

        I can respect conviction, even when I don’t condone it.

        • Bookhousegal

          There’s nothing ‘strong’ about fearing through ignorance, never mind trying to spread it to gain temporal power when you’re bucking to swear an oath to represent *all* your constituents.

          Ignorance is not strength. Spreading ignorance, especially through deceit is… Further from that three times over. Ask any Witch what a lie does.

          • BryonMorrigan

            Indeed. I don’t have any “respect” for people like this…any more than I have “respect” for Osama bin Laden for being “true” to his Muslim beliefs.

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            I respected Osama. He stood by his convictions. Which is a better than many panderers manage.

          • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

            He’s not much of a Muslim though. I can’t tell you how many Muslims, even Imams, I’ve talked to that view his version of Islam as a perversion.

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            Again, I never said his convictions were right. I just respect conviction.

          • WitchesDailyAlmanac

            Osama Bin Laden didn’t adhere to the teachings of Islam. They are of love, not war. He just made it up as he went along and no, I don’t respect anyone who goes around killing innocent people in the name of their God.

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            Not quite the meaning of strong I was going for. Think ‘convicted’.

        • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

          I’m not sure I can respect it.

          But I can at least understand it as a point of logical consistency. I won’t respect him for it, but I can understand it.

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            There is a difference between respecting an individuals conviction and respecting the ideals the individual has conviction in.

          • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

            True. I have a good deal of respect for you, I think we are somewhat similar in views despite our different paths.

            But I can’t bring myself to respect him, even understanding his conviction is honestly come by. Perhaps it’s a bias or personal failure on my part, but I can’t. Even in the abstract, I cannot disconnect it from the experiences I have suffered due to people like him.

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            I am very good at ‘removing myself’. Much more a fan of logic than emotion.

        • WitchesDailyAlmanac

          “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” was most likely inserted during the re-translation of the Catholic bible when King James ordered his Protestant version of the bible written.

          • http://www.forgingthesampo.com/ Kauko

            No, I can assure you that it’s in the original Hebrew, unless you think that King James inserted that into the Dead Sea Scrolls.

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            Well aware. The better translation would be ‘poisoner’.

          • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

            Actually, the translation as “poisoner” is both anachronistic and incorrect.

            When Jewish scholars created the Septuagint in Greek over 2000 years ago, they translated Exodus 22:18 as φαρμακοὺς οὐ περιποιήσετε. The Greek word “pharmakous” does not simply mean “poisoner”, but rather is a very nebulous term with clear magical connotations.

          • http://www.forgingthesampo.com/ Kauko

            As is often the case with Biblical Hebrew, the exact meaning isn’t easy to come by, but it certainly has ‘magical connotations’ as you say. The Akkadian congnate kašāpu means ‘to bewitch, work magic’. Other interesting cognates are Arabic kasafa ‘to cut’, and similarly Ethiopic kasaba ‘to circumcise’. The root in Syriac (Aramaic), but in a different verbal form than the Hebrew, means ‘to beg, pray’.

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            Must confess, I don’t know the text in the original Klingon, and I got bored of looking into it some years ago.

          • http://www.forgingthesampo.com/ Kauko

            I hear that the Bible in the original Klingon is even better than Shakespeare in the original Klingon.

          • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

            And even if the word were to be translated as “poisoner” it is still anachronistic to think that “poisoning” is non-magical in this category. “Poisons” have historically been viewed in the same category as herbal remedies, hallucinogens, and outright magical potions (such as elixers that give one the ability to fly or to change shape).

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            The implication, however is that the poisoner is malefic whilst there are also benevolent forms of magical practice.

    • Bookhousegal

      As a potential holder of public office, there’s nothing to be ‘respected’ about fearmongering and ‘decrying’ people you don’t understand. That goes for their collars as well as, in the unlikely event, our mantles. Remember it.

      • Lēoht Sceadusawol

        I never said I respected the fear mongering and decrying. I merely respected that he held the convictions of his beliefs to do so.

  • Kullervo

    Don’t plenty of the Wild Hunt’s readers think that Christianity is wrong and dangerous?

    • http://www.wildhunt.org/blog/ Jason Pitzl-Waters

      Would any Pagan who said they thought Christianity was wrong and dangerous ever have a hope of getting elected to a high-profile political position?

      • kenofken

        They’d get my vote…

    • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

      One thing to carefully note about what Jackson is saying is that he is not specifically criticizing one particular religion based on the actual teachings and practices of that specific religion, but rather he is making a sweeping condemnation of all religions other than his own based solely on his own wildly inaccurate perceptions of those other religions.

      It is a completely different matter to single out Christianity and to criticize it on the objective basis of 1. its sacred scriptures, 2. it’s historical track record in action, and 3. the writings of all of its most prominent and influential theologians for the last 2000 years.

      • Lēoht Sceadusawol

        His perception is not entirely inaccurate. He believes that witchcraft/etc. go against the teachings of the Bible. Which is true.

        • cernowain greenman

          He also says these practices are of the Christian Satan. Last time I checked I haven’t called on any Christian deities, Jehovah or Satan.

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            According to his belief, they are.

            According to my belief, he is wrong and is being deluded by a malevolent desert spirit.

        • http://saffronrose.livejournal.com/ A. Marina Fournier

          I’m willing to bet he only reads English translations of the Bible, or he’d know what King Jamie morphed into “witch” from the original texts.

          Poisoners, especially of wells, we ain’t.

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            Exactly.

        • LyndaLBD

          I would like you to explain how (other than thou shalt not suffer a witch to live) goes against the teachings of the bible.

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            Basically, not following the teachings of the Bible is a whole mess of sin. Allow me to quote scripture for my own purpose. (All extracts are from the KJV – it’s prettier.)

            Exodus 20:3 “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;” – Not only are most forms of polytheism outlawed here, but so is nature photography.

            John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” – Essentially, does not matter how good a life a person live, they will not be righteous unless they accept Jesus into their hearts.

            There are plenty more to choose from.

            Here is a convenient list:

            http://www.openbible.info/topics/paganism

    • Valerie Jones

      It’s not my place to deem a religion wrong and dangerous. Do as thine wilt – this includes the monotheistic religions.

      • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

        I think it is obvious that at least some forms of some religions are wrong and dangerous. Aum Shinrikyo, the Lord’s Resistance Army, The Christian Identity movement, etc. But we can’t stop at these “extreme” fringe groups. What about the Southern Baptists and other Christian denominations who explicitly supported slavery as part of their official theology? And what about those radical Protestants like William Hopkins who played an important role in the Witch-hunts and wanted them to go much further and who (like John Wesley) bitterly complained when the Witch-hunts stopped?

        • Charles Cosimano

          Well, as I don’t see many members of the SBC running on a platform of bringing back slavery, it’s kind of a silly thing to bring up.

          • NoBodE

            No, they just admonished the Boy Scouts for accepting gay scouts.No intolerance there, huh?

          • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

            And if Aum Shinrikyo promised to be good from now on, you would say don’t bring up their past either?

    • NoBodE

      Some of us understand all too clearly how dangerous xianity really is. I speak not from a position of ignorance but,rather, a position of knowledge. Xianity was forced down my throat my entire life. I had to overcome the brainwashing and indoctrination that the “bible belt ” is steeped in before finally finding my Pagan path. If you don’t understand the dangers of xianity,then you are vulnerable.

      • cernowain greenman

        I’m not sure you can be objective if something was forced upon you your entire life. How Christianity was forced upon you was wrong. And probably the “brand” of Christianity you experienced did wrong. But Christianity as a religion is so big, consisting of both good and bad aspects, that it is presumptuous of you to say it is all “dangerous”.

        As a Pagan, I can see how forcing religion, even Paganism is wrong. It doesn’t make the whole religion “dangerous”.

        • NoBodE

          I think it’s track record speaks for itself.

        • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

          This is some rather perverse logic you are laying down there, cernowain greenman. Those who have suffered from brainwashing at the hands of Christianity should not criticize Christianity because they cannot be objective?

          Also, if there are good aspects of Christianity, what are they? Its one thing to simply complain about criticism of Christianity, but it is another thing to actually answer those criticisms and try to defend Christianity.

          All religions must be subject to criticism. Otherwise there is no freedom of religion.

          • cernowain greenman

            I didn’t say no criticism. I said you can’t condemn a whole religion as “destructive”. There are destructive elements in most religions, but Christianity has had some good influences, such as building hospitals and Christians involved in the Civil Rights movement.

          • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

            I don’t know man.

            I think monotheist religions must inherently be supremacist. It’s written into the belief system. If only I am right, and everyone else wrong, I should consider myself better. I MUST destroy all other beliefs, not only because I am right but for the sake of those “misguided” ones. It’s built into the idea of exclusive monotheism.

            Plenty of Christians don’t act that way nonetheless. They ignore those tendencies, or even actively reject them. But from a purely scriptural view of Christianity (and most other monotheist faiths) you will always end up with those supremacist tendencies.

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            A question.

            If something is written into the belief system (which is dogmatic by nature), and someone ignores that, does that make them a good or poor adherent?

          • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

            Depends on what subjective measures you’re using to calculate good and poor. In this case, I would argue good in a moral sense, poor in a literal sense.

            Though the more I think about it I’m not sure it’s really written in, as much as an assumption monotheists have internalized over their long dominance. The ancient Hebrews were not true monotheists in the sense that they recognized only one God, though the debate over exactly when they shifted to monotheism is still raging at least some of the literature was already written before then.

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            I see morality as relative to the philosophies the individual clings to.

            However, to clarify, I did mean in the more literal sense (as an adherent, rather than as an individual.)

          • Franklin Evans

            It occurs to me from your assertion, with which I agree, that a key difference between mono- and polytheism is the competition dynamic. Judging from what I’ve read — I am not a polytheist, so my knowledge is strictly second-hand — pantheons were (are?) rife with internal strife on various levels. The Golden Apple of Eris and the subsequent destruction of Troy were motivated by the rivalries and inclination towards revenge of the gods, as one example I might choose. Monotheisms had and have no such internalization of this dynamic. Their conflicts are all externalized. I acknowledge the concept of the Adversary (Satan, etc.) but I see that as the symbolic lumping of “the other” into a handy target. In the Christian mythos, Lucifer had only the one “chance”, never to be repeated except with the hapless believers as proxies.

          • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

            Franklin Evans: “Monotheisms had and have no such internalization of this dynamic. Their conflicts are all externalized.”

            If anything, monotheists have less tolerance for each other than they do for polytheists. The single greatest threat to the freedom of Christians and Muslims to practice their religion as they freely choose to do so turns out to be all the other Christians and Muslims. For most of the history of Christianity, Christians had zero freedom when it came to the practice of Christianity itself, due to the intolerance of Christians! And this continues to be the case for the vast majority of the world’s Muslims.

          • Franklin Evans

            I once thought that I’d acquired a sort of peace with my view of Christianity and the dangers it poses. It was rather naive, and was cured by the very thought you express, hitting my consciousness and not letting go: Look how willing they are punish and kill their own fellow believers over minutiae, how can I expect them to be any less willing with me?

          • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

            Hmm I think the key difference is exclusivity. As a polytheist, I don’t need to reject anyone else’s deities. Even the Christian God is one I recognize as existing, though not one I choose to honor (though my view of divinity would not match a Christian’s here). I think the competition dynamic is somewhat secondary. Especially since the whole God/Satan dynamic has taken on certain characteristics like that in some forms of Christianity like you said (depending on the sect though).

          • Franklin Evans

            It just occurred to me that I should reserve my “ups” for when I’m not logged on as “guest”. Anyway, I take a more (Joseph) Campbellian view. My remarks here were intended more towards the abstract than the specific.
            When dealing with muggles, I enjoy introducing them to Oberon Zell’s “The Other People”. ;)

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            Lucifer is not cognate with Satan. Anyone who says so doesn’t understand the scripture (or is being wilfully wrong).

        • NoBodE

          How many religions outside of the Abrahamic umbrella advocate the destruction of all other religions and their adherents?

          • cernowain greenman

            My understanding is that tolerance of other faiths only arose during the Roman era. Before that, Hellenism did its share of destroying other religions, such as the erection of a statue of Zeus in the Jewish temple courtyard during the Maccabees.

          • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

            I’m sorry, but that’s incorrect. If anything the Romans was a pretty bigoted bunch (though they generally did allow free worship as long as you gave homage to the Roman state).

            Ancient Persia was considerably more tolerant than Rome, and predates it. Under the Achaemenids they were probably the most tolerant empire in history. Even before that, very few people ever tried to stop what people believed. Sure, temples might be sacked, statues or symbols of deities taken by the victors, but that was a political statement, not a religious one. I know of no instances where the people came in and tried to force the people to worship their deities. If you do I’d be curious to know about it.

          • cernowain greenman

            In the ancient world, political and religious were the same thing. If you tear down a temple, and you build one to the new gods, you are giving people a single choice on which deities to pray to. I think you are reading modern sensibilities into ancient ways.

          • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

            Tearing down temples was pretty rare. Usually you carted off the Gods of your enemies, or their cult objects, to show your Gods dominance. But there was little effort to change peoples worship patterns. It was a power play plain and simple.

            Even then, most of what we’re talking about is Mesopotamia, where we have records for that sort of thing. Outside of Mesopotamia it doesn’t seem very common, though I think if I remember right the practice happened in Mesoamerica too.

            In fact the only good examples I can think of are a few where religion and political resistance and identity became tied together, like during the Jewish Revolt or with the Druids of Gaul and Britain. Even in those cases, the religions were changed but not wiped out, and there are Romano-Gaulish temples to Gaulish deities that post-date the Roman persecution of the Druids.

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            “Tell Augustine that he should be no means destroy the temples of the gods but rather the idols within those temples. Let him, after he has purified them with holy water, place altars and relics of the saints in them. For, if those temples are well built, they should be converted from the worship of demons to the service of the true God. Thus, seeing that their places of worship are not destroyed, the people will banish error from their hearts and come to places familiar and dear to them in acknowledgement and worship of the true God.” – Pope Gregory (In a letter to Bishop Mellitus)

            How would you define ‘ancient’?

          • kenofken

            Pre-Christian societies were known to harass other religions as an extension of nationalism. None had the central obsession that Christianity and Islam have, which is to force the entire world to orthodoxy and conversion. The Romans or Greeks might sack someone else’s temple or demand nominal offerings to the empire’s official gods. A Hindu and a Buddhist might come to blows somewhere in India over cultural hatreds partly rooted in religion.

            Unlike Christians, none of them are or were deeply troubled by the fact that others have different beliefs. Christianity and Islam stand alone in the assertion that their respective religions contain the ONLY truth, and that anyone not believing in them is either ignorant or evil if they persist in their obstinance.

            Does that mean all Christians or Muslims are evil? No. We can trade personal anecdotes and historical references all day long here over good and bad things done in Christianity’s name. All of that misses the point, which is that Christianity is not wired to co-exist with other religions nor to acknowledge the legitimacy of them. When we experience tolerance from Christians, it does not arise from the core assertions of their faith. It comes from their own personal values, usually inculcated by secular democracy and pluralism. Sometimes they will ground tolerance in terms of humility (ie leave conversion to the Holy Spirit). Many other times, “tolerance” in the sense of being nice to us, is just a tactic in the larger strategic goal of converting us.

          • http://www.cernowain.com/ cernowain greenman

            I’ve known lots of Christians in Interfaith circles who aren’t in it for the evangelism, but because they find things they have learned from other faiths that they find helpful. Some are in it to promote peace. The ones into Interfaith for evangelism don’t last long because they grow too bored.

          • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

            “My understanding is that tolerance of other faiths only arose during the Roman era. Before that, Hellenism did its share of destroying other religions, such as the erection of a statue of Zeus in the Jewish temple courtyard during the Maccabees.”

            Your understanding is wrong. Judaism and Hellenism have a long and complex history of interactions, and Judaism actually flourished and spread in the Hellenistic world (both before and after most of the Hellenistic world became politically integrated into the Roman empire). There were conflicts, but to the extent they were capable, the Jews gave as good as they got.

            To be clear: there were precisely zero religions “destroyed” by either Hellenism or the Romans. On the other hand, there were precisely zero religions that were even slightly tolerated by the Christians once they came to power – and this includes even variant forms of Christianity itself. The one example of a religion that “survived” somewhat intact is Judaism. but I don’t think that Judaism can be held up as an example of the open-minded largesse of Christendom.

          • http://www.forgingthesampo.com/ Kauko

            You should be careful of accepting the version of the Maccabean revolt that is told in the book of Maccabees; it is almost certainly biased and suspect. It’s actually far more likely the the entire event was a localized civil war between traditionalist and ‘Hellenized’ Jews. There would have been no logical reason for the Seleucids to just arbitrarily decide to eliminate the Jewish religion.

          • cernowain greenman

            Thanks, that is enlightening, Kauko.

          • Deborah Bender

            Antiochus IV Epiphanes (the one who desecrated the Jewish temple) was the fifth Judean ruler of his dynasty. His four predecessors didn’t suppress the Jewish religion, although they did exert influence over who got to be High Priest. Politics rather than religious zeal probably motivated A. IV E.’s actions. OTOH, he, like many other Hellenistic rulers, followed Alexander’s example and ruled as a god. Occasionally taking ruling titles like “Savior” and “The God Made Manifest” went to these guys’ heads.

            Hellenistic rulers erected temples to their own gods wherever they went, and sometimes created syncretic cults combining native gods with their own. Can you give other examples of their attempting to outright destroy non-Greek religions?

        • Northern_Light_27

          I think Christianity is dangerous because it has the mechanism of systemic privilege behind it. If I were to say “this religion is dangerous and should be stopped”, I’m just some chick ranting on the internet. If an elected official who is a Christian says that, it’s a thing that can actually happen. I don’t know how anyone can look at that situation and *not* find it inherently problematic.

          It’s impossible to say what Christianity is without that privileged status until and unless that situation comes to be. I think you can look at more tolerant congregations and see clues to what an adaptive Christianity in a pluralistic environment could look like, but until that day comes, that more tolerant congregation still has an enormous amount of power behind it and can still do an awful lot of harm– whether or not it realizes it’s doing it. (The carrot and the stick with Christian charity programs, for instance, where homeless people have to stand through a sermon before they’re permitted to eat the meal. No, they certainly don’t all do that by a long shot, but I’m willing to bet the people doing it don’t see it as harm.)

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            I think Christianity is dangerous because it seeks monopoly on both spirituality and temporal power.

    • harmonyfb

      I sure wouldn’t support a Pagan candidate who used their political campaign as an opportunity to denigrate other faiths.

      If a candidate is tied to hateful rhetoric and partisan sentiment (as the candidate referenced in Jason’s column is), they clearly would not be able to fairly govern those different from themselves. I want candidates who realize that they will be representing all citizens, not just those who share their beliefs.

    • cernowain greenman

      Amazingly, there are a lot of Christian-haters in Paganism. It’s almost as if they carried the hate they knew in Christianity and ported all of it into their Paganism. Just because you change the name of your gods doesn’t mean you’ve actually converted.

      • Franklin Evans

        My general awareness would suggest that a more accurate description would be “angry with Christians”, and for those of my personal acquaintance I would add “by whom they were hurt”. Not all of them carry hatred for those who hurt them, and even fewer of those extend that to Christians and Christianity in general.
        My anecdotal view contradicts the implication of “a lot”. I’m open to correction, but I also wonder if properly gathering that data might be more grief to those being questioned than having the data would be of any worth. Shrug.

      • Lēoht Sceadusawol

        Funny, the reason I ‘converted’ was because of the gods, not the organisations.

    • LyndaLBD

      Only when it crosses over onto other people’s rights to worship as they see fit. Only when the Christian believers try to force their religion on anyone, who either doesn’t want to hear it, or is of another faith. Christians believe they are the Correct religion and everyone else is wrong. When they murdered in the name of Christ they crossed the line. When they burned people because they wouldn’t convert, they crossed the line. When they forced children of the Native American people to cut their hair, change their names to a Christian name, and become good little Christians, they crossed the line. There is such a thing as EXTREMIST. Too many are becoming extremists and thus persecute everyone else. And they tell us they are being persecuted. They don’t even know what its like to be persecuted. Those that were persecuted back in Nero’s time, was the last time they were.

  • BryonMorrigan

    Let me say that I am shocked…SHOCKED I tell you…that a Conservative Republican would be Anti-Pagan!

    • Lēoht Sceadusawol

      Do you need to sit down? Let me get you some hot sweet tea.

    • Northern_Light_27

      Actually, there was a time not all that long ago when two Young Republican clubs in Virginia were both led by out Pagans, neither of whom received much if any grief about their religions. I can’t imagine that happening now– and neither would touch the GOP with a 40′ cattle prod today.

      • BryonMorrigan

        Well, 50-60 years ago, the Republicans included Leftists like MLK, and the KKK was filled with Right-Wing Democrats…but times change. Today, the GOP is the party of Christianism.

  • Peg Aloi

    I have just posted another link on the Witchvox FB page to a story on a prominent conservative political advisor who links “paganism” to all of the social evils in America and calling for a “return” to a Christian nation….

  • Roland the Gardian

    This is a dangerous platform.

  • LyndaLBD

    Voting for a Christian in a state that helped promote Religious Freedom, is big trouble. He won’t be able to separate his Church and the State….so here he will violate constitutional rights because of his faith. Virginia stand up and be counted. SAY NO TO E.W. Jackson!

    • http://saffronrose.livejournal.com/ A. Marina Fournier

      because he makes us go “Ewwwwe”?

  • angela

    Your an ignorant son of a BITCH!!! Educate urself Moron!!

  • Kulkulkan

    I consulted my Tarot cads and they told me this guy should be kept far far away from any public office.

    • kenofken

      The Constitution told me the same thing! :)

      • Genexs

        Hysterical. :)

  • VoiceOfReason71

    Number of people murdered in the name of Christianity/the Church (including those murdered for ‘being a witch’): millions. Number of people murdered in the name of Wicca: zero.
    Which one is ‘dangerous’ again???

    • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

      I’m sorry, but that’s an extremely reductive and shallow statement.

      You can’t make any sort of comparison in good faith. Its beyond apples and oranges.

      I’m as rough (probably rougher) on the Christian supremacist types as most. But simplistic statements like this are wrong when they make them about us, and they are wrong when we make them concerning them.

      • kenofken

        It’s a true statement, and it’s not unreasonable to judge ideas by the actions they inspire. The reasons behind the massive disparity in fatalities from Christianity vs Wicca is more complex than theology, but it’s arguably an important piece.

        I would argue a very significant factor in why Christianity slaughtered so many in its name is because power corrupts. They had many many centuries of cultural and political monopoly and the instruments of state power to enforce their edicts. If Wicca or any other form of modern paganism somehow gains that sort of hegemony over that stretch of time, I have no doubt that we will emerge with a, shall we say “checkered” human rights record of our own. At the same time, Christianity’s exclusivist claims to truth and its insatiable hunger for universal orthodoxy make it inherently much more dangerous in the presence of unchecked power.

        If we get power, we Wiccans will become corrupt, and we will do so behind the mask of religious virtue. I simply can’t envision us ever subjugating an entire hemisphere and committing worldwide cultural (and literal) genocide with a primary motive of conversion.

        • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

          The “power corrupts” argument doesn’t reflect what actually happened with Christianity. Intolerance, both in thought and in deed, was already well established in the Christian religion long before Christians had any real power.

          Christianity did not become “corrupted” by becoming so closely associated with the Roman state. It was the other way around.

          And “power corrupts” is just plain wrong. Power doesn’t corrupt, but it does magnify whatever corruption is already there. But Pagans do not believe that we are all inherently “corrupt”, and that if we obtain power, then this power will automatically magnify our inherent corruption. It is the Christians who view human beings as all “miserable sinners”. Therefore the whole “power corrupts” idea is very compatible with Christianity, but doesn’t really make sense from a Pagan perspective.

      • Genexs

        Reductive? Yeah. Simplistic? Yeah, if by that you mean she nailed it. You are wrong, if by that you mean ad hominem snarkery.

        • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

          First, how is something in that an ad hominem?

          Second, feel free to explain how I am wrong. I’m comfortable defending my argument here. I don’t need to rely on the false mythic history Christians have created for themselves, or the mythic history Wiccans have created for themselves.

          • Genexs

            A defense of ad hominem snarkery, with a statement of false equivalency! Then I should “feel free” about something. Hmm. How about a loose quote: “I wish I could be as sure of anything, as some people are sure of everything”.

          • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

            Which part of that is ad hominem?

            False equivalence? No, both are equally mythic, and both are about creating a group identity. There is no false equivalence. Christians want to see themselves as persecuted, and so do some pagans, so they created the myth of “ancient Wicca” and millions killed in the Burning Times rather than thousands.

            For someone accusing me of snark you’re being a pretty big **** right now.

          • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

            The persecution of Paganism is no myth. Nor is the historic continuity between modern Paganism and ancient Paganism.

            And as far as the actual death toll goes, the records are actually very incomplete, and modern scholars have had a pronounced tendency to greatly exaggerate the certainty of their estimates of the number of trials and the number of executions.

            We do know that there were intense concentrated periods of Witch-hunting which occurred intermittently throughout most of Europe during a period of about three centuries. One of these outbreaks, as an example, occurred in Scotland between the years 1649 and 1662. If the same thing were to happen today in the U.S. today, correcting for population size, it would be the equivalent of half a million people being put on trial for Witchcraft over a period of 14 years, with half of those being put to death.

          • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

            We’ve had this conversation. There is NO continuity according to any respectable historian. I don’t care how much Gimbutas you’ve read.

            The persecution is no myth. The “millions” is a giant bloody myth.

            There were. But their intensity, duration, and connection to any sort of non-Christian belief system are hotly debated.

          • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

            The continuity between ancient and modern Paganism has been explicitly accepted by such “respected historians” as Ronald Hutton and Owen Davies, to name two.

            And as the case of the Scottish Witch-hunts shows, the idea that millions were killed during the Witch-hunts is actually not at all outrageous once we correct for population sizes. The total body count just for Scotland would be the equivalent of over one half million deaths if Scotland had had a population the size of the current U.S. population. And Scotland was not where the most intense and sustained “super-hunts” occurred (which was in the three electorates of the Holy Roman Empire which just happened to be the only three that were directly ruled by church officials).

          • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

            I’ve read Hutton, and he does not support any direct, or even major continuity. If he does, you’ll need to point out where. Because, other than reconstructionists and some folk practices that survived, there is no continuity.

            There was especially no “ancient Wicca” in Europe.

            You don’t “correct” historical data for population sizes. That is an attempt to create a false impression. The data exists as it is. There were not millions killed, and even the instances you’re discussing are not set in stone.

            Not to mention there is no proof any of those “witches” were pagans, or anything other than Christian.

          • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

            Hutton radically changed his position soon after publication of Triumph of the Moon. In his next book, Witches, Druids and King Arthur (WD&KA), he conceded that he had in his previous work he had “ignored the existence of certain types of ancient religion which far more closely resembled [modern] Paganism, had certainly influenced it, and had certain linear connections with it.”

            To be fair, Hutton had all along always stated that there was a great deal of continuity between ancient and modern Paganisms, but that this continuity was strictly limited to the realm of magic and had nothing whatsoever to do with religion.

            What Hutton conceded in WD&KA was that, in his words, “certain types of ancient religion” were in fact recognizable as the true religious progenitors of modern Paganism. Having made this concession, Hutton then proceeded to attach endless qualifications and other forms of obfuscation to his mea culpa, to the effect that to this day very few people have any idea what his actual position is, and most people still simplistically equate Hutton with a crude position of rejecting all continuity between ancient modern Paganism, a position that Hutton adamantly insists he never championed.

          • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

            Which types of ancient religion? Where?

            Because there is certainly nothing like the heavily Christian influence Wicca or ceremonial magick that I’ve ever seen in the historical record.

            I reject any meaningful continuity. While I respect Hutton, without seeing the specific argument, I’m extremely skeptical. Any argument I’ve seen at “continuity” has been made very poorly by people with biases.

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            There is more to Paganism (or, indeed, witchcraft) than Wicca.

          • Genexs

            Heh, the Burning Times canard, even! You sound like someone who has spent all of 15 minutes browsing these subjects.

          • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

            …I’m a historian. I’m passingly familiar with most of the major archaeological cultures of ancient Europe, particularly the ones associated with Indo-European speakers. I’m much more familiar with the history of the Celts, which is relevant to me.

            So you’ll need to tell me where exactly I’m wrong, rather than sitting there being smug and non-responsive.

          • Genexs

            What I’m really finding funny are the down votes you are giving my posts. How shallow, reductive, and simplistic.

          • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

            Are you going to engage or just be a troll?

            Because if you just want to be an a**hole I see no reason to assist you. Seems like you got it down pat all on your own.

          • Genexs

            Oh come on! Judging from your posts in other forums, this is all you do.

          • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

            Well, then this is done.

            Politely f*** off.

          • Genexs

            Yes, I must give credit where it’s due: you have graduated from your caps lock to “****”. And I must say your hss aattery has been first class.

  • Bookhousegal

    Witch-hunters are a cowardly ans superstitious lot. :)

  • Franklin Evans

    Something I first read in the writing of Robert A. Heinlein: Nations go to war for practical reasons; young men (I would add and women) go to war out of idealism.
    It is arguable as a blanket statement, but it logically supports the historical evidence that mass manipulation is the goal of those wanting, getting and keeping power. Propaganda is not about convincing, it’s about motivating people to act in a manner that the powerful desire towards a goal that they have set.
    Religion, from my view of human history, is unsurpassed as the tool of choice in manipulating people. We here rightly focus on Christianity in this regard, but it is just one religion of many and our own ancient predecessors perpetrated horrific outcomes as well. That is not an invitation to a tu quoque argument, it is an observation of fact that deserves examination.
    Focusing on Christianity as some personal-level entity (and enemy) is a cognitive trap. It motivates us to be just as prejudicial towards the label as Christians are towards us. My suggestion is to make a list of friends who are Christian, and honestly say that you would punish them for the crimes of their religion as quickly as their leaders call for making us scapegoats. There is no middle ground there. “But he/she is a good person despite being Christian” begs the next question: I know many people who are Pagans who have committed crimes and are being or should be punished for them. The logic must work both ways, or its refutation must be valid for both. Make a choice.

    • Franklin Evans

      Personal case in point: The Vatican’s WWII policy of nonintervention was routinely “violated” with the tacit support of local clerical hierarchs. My mother survived the Holocaust for that very reason. I will join in every level of criticism of so-called leaders like Jackson, and I see no hypocrisy in agreeing with my late mother that there was no nobler people on this planet than the Roman Catholic peasants and townfolk of northern Italy.

    • Bookhousegal

      Gods, in *high* school I was known for saying. ‘Generalizations suck.’

      How bout looking at the mechanisms? :)

      • Franklin Evans

        That’s my “up” there. I implied detailed support for my general statement because it’s way too easy for me to post longwinded rants. Absence does not mean ignorance, is what I mean. :D

      • harmonyfb

        Gods, in *high* school I was known for saying. ‘Generalizations suck.’

        ::fistbump::

    • NoBodE

      One thing RAH advocated against was a government based on xianity.

      • Franklin Evans

        “If This Goes On…” is IMO required reading for anyone who thinks theocracy has any validity.

    • NoBodE

      Do you know a lot of Pagans who have caused the mass murder of hundreds of people in the name of their religion such as was done by Jim Jones?

      • Franklin_Evans

        Why limit it to Jonestown?

        How many early Christians were tortured, maimed and killed in Roman circuses as punishment for violations of religious laws? Answer: all of them.

        Would you deny that the Aztecs were Pagans? Their human sacrifices are quite famous.

        Before Islam, the Hindus were quite violent, though I don’t have any specifics at my fingertips.

        • kenofken

          The Christians weren’t killed for heresy but for treason. Emperors didn’t care that not everyone in the empire exclusively believed in their pantheon. They couldn’t care less that Christians worshipped differently. What they could not abide was the fact that Christians openly and persistently challenged the political and moral standing of the government. The difference is quibbling if you’re the guy who dies in the arena, but there is a fundamental qualitative difference in reasons for religious violence perpetuated by Christians and non-Christians.

          • Franklin_Evans

            I don’t think that’s a rebuttal. I didn’t write “heresy” — which I take as a violation of dogma — I wrote violation of religious laws, which is (and was in Rome) a civil matter at least as much as a religious one. I don’t have the details handy, so I’ll leave it at that and stipulate the rest.

            I agree about the qualitative difference, but again I don’t see the relevance. Killing “in the name of their” religion was the original challenge. If you didn’t like my rejection of the Jonestown qualifier, I can respect that.

            I’m rather tired, so please accept my apology for not giving a better answer. I don’t mean to be glib.

          • kenofken

            A human rights violation sucks regardless of the motive. What’s relevant though is that Christianity, at least in most of its main streams, is hardwired for intolerance. It doesn’t mean they are more violent or evil per se, and the Roman empire certainly set a high bar for that. It does mean that some core components of its theology make true tolerance of other religions very difficult for them. The Romans didn’t really care what you believed. They just wanted your obedience and some outward sign of observance to assure loyalty to the empire. For Christians who take the Great Commission seriously, there is no path of least resistance outside of conversion.

          • Franklin Evans

            I agree completely with your hard-wired metaphor. The Great Commission is, IMO, exactly why some countries ban Christians entirely, and those missionaries who ignore that and get arrested deserve what they get. I don’t normally condone torture, but I also don’t offer sympathy for people who insist that prayer will save them from standing in the middle of the tracks as the express train approaches at top speed.

        • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

          “though I don’t have any specifics at my fingertips.”

          do tell.

          • Franklin Evans

            Are you suggesting that the historical accounts of Hindu aggression and conquest in the Asian sub-continent are somehow to be doubted because in my fatigue after two 24-hour workdays out of three I didn’t do everyone else’s job of looking them up?
            And no, I didn’t “hear” about them from The Temple of Doom. :(

          • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

            Franklin Evans: “Are you suggesting ….”

            I am suggesting that if you can’t be bothered to support your claims with reliable citations then no one should bother to take your claims seriously.

            I am also suggesting that unless you can name at least one author or the title of at least one scholarly publication, then perhaps your recall of the contents of whatever sources you think you are remembering is not that trustworthy, either.

          • Franklin Evans

            I believe any reputable history book suitable for use in middle or secondary school classrooms would provide sufficient citations. I fail to understand how such a widely-available source needs to be specified in this context, especially when there are so many of them and I might correctly be accused of cherry-picking on my own behalf.

            I can be bothered to consider courtesy first before embarking on a several-hundred word post for which most people can do the research for themselves in a matter of seconds. Ironically, I find your long posts quite well-constructed, and you often come up with citations I’d find difficult finding for myself, in topics that are very specific and often esoteric. Should I decide to post in like manner on a topic for which I have that much interest, I would make a similar effort. In the meantime, I’d rather not prompt people to admonish me to not try to teach my mother how to suck eggs.

            Next time, I’ll take your implied demand that I suppress my urge to post until I’ve had sufficient rest, though with the speed with which they close comments here, that might also result in my disappearing from your threads entirely.

          • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

            “I believe any reputable history book suitable for use in middle or secondary school classrooms would provide sufficient citations. I fail to understand how such a widely-available source needs to be specified ….”

            Well, now you have changed from saying that you don’t have the information right at hand to claiming that you don’t need no stinking citations. I’m glad we have been able to clarify your position.

            The difference between actually knowing something and thinking that you know something is an important difference. One way to tell the difference is to see whether or not you can actually demonstrate the truth of what it is that you think you know. When it comes to historical events, this is done by citing reliable sources, preferably multiple independent primary sources.

          • Franklin Evans

            Clearly, I don’t share your academic standards in conducting discussions in a blog. Also, we are clearly matched in our curmudgeonly regard for certain aspects of online interactions.
            Back in the day, your quip “now you have changed from saying that you don’t have the information right at hand to claiming that you don’t need no stinking citations” would be labelled “Ah. I see you subscribe to alt.mindreading.” I don’t need to be a curmudgeon to reject the practice of putting words in my mouth. I would assume you dislike it at least as much.
            Let us hope our TWH hosts refrain from closing comments on this thread before I have a chance to respond to your rebuttal concerning Roman persecution of early Christians. I have a printed citation at home against which I’d like to compare your linked citations.

          • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

            Franklin Evans: “Are you suggesting ….”

            I am suggesting that if you can’t be bothered to support your claims with reliable citations then no one should bother to take your claims seriously.

            I am also suggesting that unless you can name at least one author or the title of at least one scholarly publication, then perhaps your recall of the actual contents of whatever sources you think you are remembering is not that trustworthy, either.

            [sorry if this is a duplicate – disqus appeared to have eaten the last one ….]

        • Lēoht Sceadusawol

          I don’t recall Hinduism as being a religion of ‘peace’ (or the Aztec, for that matter.)

          The calling out of Christianity (and modern Islam) as violent is valid since they are ‘sold’ as paths of peace and tolerance.

          Trying to compare that to religions who don’t make that claim is somewhat misleading.

          • Franklin Evans

            To be fair, I’ve not explicitly addressed the notion that Christianity (or any religion making “peace” claims) avoids hypocrisy. I was comparing group behaviors, not their religious beliefs. I agree completely with kenofken’s citing of the Great Commission as a show-stopper. I’ve made that very argument on another thread here, that Christians are not going to earn our trust (or that of any non-Christian group) so long as they refuse to address that particular part of their dogma.
            There does not seem to be a consensus here on the semantic limits in this topic. I’ll emphasize as my main point that religion is a tool of power, no religion is immune to that abuse, and the believers of any given religion do not get a free pass because they’ve allowed themselves to be manipulated by their leaders or their personal “interpretations” of their beliefs into perpetrating horrific acts.

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            You have to judge group behaviours by their (religious) beliefs.

            It is a case of the ‘good tiger’.

          • http://www.cernowain.com/ cernowain greenman

            Evangelical Fundies are the ones who seem to interpret the Great Commission as the primary commandment of Xns, and they are the ones who interpret it as “save everyone”, when it actually only says to recruit students (mathaths) among all the gentiles (ethnh). There is a world of other Xns out there who you may have never met who believe that feeding the hungry, making peace, being a good neighbor are more important commandments. They would are embarrassed by the Evangelicals and Fundies and have even called for a moratorium on mission work. But, I guess some folks on this board have convinced themselves that Xnty is so destructive that they will never question their own assumptions. Which is unfortunate because if Pagans want to really coexist peacefully in this world, they never will.

        • harmonyfb

          How many early Christians were tortured, maimed and killed in Roman
          circuses as punishment for violations of religious laws? Answer: all of
          them.

          Correct answer: None of them.

          Some were condemned for refusing to show fealty to the State (and there are surviving stories of officials bending over backwards to allow early Christians to make purely nominal displays of loyalty to Rome so they would not be punished.)

          Not to mention, if ‘all’ of the early Christians had been killed in the arena, there’d be no need for this discussion.

          • Franklin Evans

            I seem to have caused a semantic confusion. I should have worded that “Of all the early Christians who were tortured, maimed and killed in Roman circuses, how many were being punished for violations of religious laws?” I regret the ambiguous wording.
            I need to again find a book that described documented evidence of Roman propaganda against the early Christians. I’ve tried searching online to no effect. As I recall, the rhetoric in much of it would be precisely familiar to Pagans in latter years including today: Christians practiced ritual deviant sex, cannibalism, and kidnapped Roman babies for blood sacrifices. Nothing new under Apollo, and all that…

          • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

            First answer the question: how many documented cases of “Christians being tortured, maimed and killed in the Roman circuses” are there, and what is the source this documentation? Very little hard evidence actually exists for for such claims.

            An excellent source book for information on Roman Pagan attitudes towards the cult of the creed-making fishermen is “The Christians as the Romans Saw Them” by the Christian theologian Robert Louis Wilken:http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/book.asp?isbn=9780300098396

            A more recent scholarly work, also by a Christian theologian, that deconstructs the whole mythology of Christian “persecution” at the hands of the Pagan Romans is Candida Moss’ book “The Myth of Persecution”: http://www.religionnews.com/2013/05/14/candida-moss-debunks-the-myth-of-christian-persecution/

        • Genexs

          How many Christians were killed? Not many, it seems. In fact, brief spikes in persecution were often punctuated by long periods where Christians enjoyed tolerance and peace. But even during the last spike in persecution during the Tetrarchy, some members of the Imperial College seemed to ‘look the other way’ when it came to their Christian subjects. In addition, even in areas where persecution was more sever, some local officials bent over backwards to acquit prisoners, or meter out a mild punishment. However, in spite of everything, some fanatical Christians who were enamored with martyrdom often had their wishes granted.

  • Aedh Rua

    He thinks we’re “an ‘abomination’ – a particularly detestable sin”. So, we’re up there with murderers and child molesters, apparently, or maybe worse. Just plain old tarot readers, even Christian tarot readers, are the moral equivalent of serial killers.
    That indicates a striking lack of moral judgment in somebody running for high office. Do Virginians want somebody as lieutenant governor, representing them, who can’t tell the difference between reading tea leaves and murdering babies?

    It’s also a form of genocide language, the equation of an entire class of innocent people with heinous criminals. Last I checked, the advocacy of genocide was the true “abomination”, the really “particularly detestable sin”.

  • WitchesDailyAlmanac

    Witchfinder General reincarnated. He is quite within his rights to have his own opinion, however, anyone with an ounce of real Christian values do not go around slagging off other religions. Most Pagans do believe in one Divine Source, no matter how many gods and goddesses they worship. Regardless… most people are afraid to find out about what they go hating on – that’s what started the Burning Times – people who thought their way was the only way and everyone else be damned. I’d hate to see what his opinion on Gays and Lesbians would be….it doesn’t bear thinking about, I’m sure.

    • Northern_Light_27

      “Most Pagans do believe in one Divine Source, so matter how many gods and goddesses they worship”

      [citation needed]

    • Genexs

      Ah, “The Witchfinder General”, aka: “The Conqueror Worm” with Vincent Price.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rusty.yates.7 Rusty Yates

    And imaginary. Got to watch out for that imaginary stuff, it can really get you.

  • Northern_Light_27

    What kills me is the “soft-peddled” version. He’s not going to “ban” gay sex or “legally sanction” non-Christian religions? Oh, thank you ever so much for your generous allowing of people to openly exist or have completely consensual adult sex with each other! That he chose to even word it that way recalls a Nick Fury quote from Avengers: “you say you want peace, but I kinda think you mean the other thing”.

  • Genexs

    In the link Jason posted for Jackson’s self published book , the word “Commandments” is spelled correctly. As has been pointed out by some media folk, Jackson actually misspelled it “Comandments” on the cover of his book!