Pagan’s delicate sensibilities offended by article
To quote Adam Ramey’s article in the March 29 issue of the CT, “Across the country, students at America’s top universities have formed religious student organizations separate from official outlets.” As one such student, I’m surprised his article took so long to reach my attention.
As the founder of UR’s Pagan Students Community, I would like to correct a few of the mistakes presented within the article that I fear may encourage nothing but the hate against which we at PSC struggle.
First, I must give Ramey credit for knowing the origin of the word “Easter.” Eostre was indeed a Goddess worshipped in the days when people depended upon the Earth for their lives, and spring was celebrated as the time when people could again harvest food.
This is counter to Ramey’s statement that the Pagan days were full “of lust, sloth and pleasure.” Rather, they were deeply interested in what was most important. Those living off the land had no luxury of sloth and took the little pleasure they could get.
Eostre was also a fertility Goddess, and her festivals were often celebrated with sacred sex. This takes a very different notion of sexuality from Christianity, but one that was well thought out, highly ritualized and seen as profoundly Godly. Today’s rabbits and eggs are symbols of fertility, both of humans, and of the animals we rely on for sustenance.
Since Christianity was born in days dominated by Paganism that was, in fact, also Western, it adopted these “horrid trends” as cultural rather than religious icons and, later, used them as tools in its efforts to acclimatize converted Pagans. It is logical that Christianity, like every other religion I can think of, drew pieces of its traditions from the religions around it. Spring celebrations worldwide celebrate the principle of returning to life. Christianity is no exception.
-Emily SnyderClass of 2007