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View Diary: Origins of English: Pagan and Heathen (53 comments)

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  •  it wouldn't be a thead about Paganism (3+ / 0-)
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    Alexandra Lynch, Ojibwa, karmsy

    without someone bringing up human / blood sacrifice. (a common accusation from religions against other religions - see the Jews.) As a modern Pagan, we get that on occasion, along with the you worship Satan accusations. I can't say for sure what the ancients did in practice, as we only have the word of conquerors, but everything I know about modern Paganism tells me life is sacred and interconnected and a core tenet is the principle of 'harm none." Therefore it seems like the idea of human sacrifice (as implied in the term human sacrifice, in other words an unwilling victim) would be anathema to those beliefs.

    "Watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical, a liberal, fanatical, criminal..."-7.75, -5.54

    by solesse413 on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 12:29:45 PM PDT

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    •  Meso-American Religions Set the Tone (3+ / 0-)
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      Ojibwa, justintime, karmsy

      Unfortunately, the great Meso-American religions are the last organized pagan faiths which the Western world has encountered and they did rely quite a bit on human sacrifice.  Clearly, since they were the most recent, they're the best remembered and extended to all pagan religions.  Few people today know that the last pagan religion in Europe was among the Lithuanians, against whom the Teutonic Knights actually crusaded over centuries until the Lithuanians converted in only about the 14th century.  That didn't stop the Teutonic Knights from continuing their crusades against the Lithuanians though.

      "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

      by PrahaPartizan on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 03:08:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Modern Paganism only dates from the 1890s (1+ / 0-)
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      and and is rather benign. I never said anything about organized Wicca groups ritually killing people. I was talking about prechristian Ireland, when they certainly did do it.

      When I first went to China, I was horrified to learn that the Han dynasty practiced human sacrifice, and that it continued well into the second millennium CE (exactly when, I was never able to find out).

      There is evidence that Odin and Thor received human sacrifice, and not that many centuries before Cortez conquered Mexico either.

      When we are talking about "neo-paganism" or Wicca, we are NOT talking about ancient polytheism and vice versa.

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