martedì 23 settembre 2008

Christians and Pagans

I enclose the following comments I have sent some weeks ago to the Italian Magazine “L’Espresso” as reply to an article published by this magazine. These comments do not received any reply.

I have red with particular attention the article written by Eugenio Scalfari published in the magazine “L’Epresso” titled “The Vatican and the Pagan”. I have to say that it is quite unusual for me to express my opinions about these issues, but I think it could be worth writing something to point out some topics and clarify some very common prejudices. Anything is immoral, popular, vulgar, idolatrising and dirty is considered “Pagan” and Mr Scalfari uses this term to describe the most ethically degraded, populistic, and rude part of Italian politics nicknaming these individuals as “Pagans of the Late Empire” just to highlight something really negative. I perfectly understand what Mr Scalfari intends, yet I have been impressed by the deep rooting of certain prejudices within our culture. Probably Mr Scalfari was talking about some “liberti” (freed slaves) already mocked in ancient times (i. e. by Petronius in the “Satyricon”) who were famous for their lack of any moral principle, loving ostentation, ready to become rich at any cost and lacking any kind of religious principle: paradoxically these individuals were ready to quickly convert themselves to Christianity above all when this step appeared particularly advantageous during the years of the “Late Empire” (during which the Vatican experienced the taste of power and experimented against many our ancestors its intolerance and evangelizing violence then successfully applied against other culture until recent times). During those years of the Late Empire pagans gave lessons of tolerance and morality in a completely collapsing world losing for this their lives (above all women) and becoming only forgotten losers. At present, as in the past, the Vatican tend to be allied, to affirm its political power, to the same “liberti” who, rather than pagans, always represented the most perverse aspect of our domestic Christianity. It is important to remind also the same contradictions, characterizing the other abramitic religions, which still denote, with dramatic consequences, the present times: environmental degradation (for the incapability to recognize the “Anima Mundi”), the lack of respect for women, omosexuals and the cultures perceived as “other”, religion fanatism or the furious violence for the so-called Holy Land. Thus the term “pagan”, effectively invented in a negative sense - ignorant peasant) suffers not only secular prejudices but also a total collapse of the classical culture. I think that these considerations are due for those who, even culturally descending from the first victims of this system of political power, are often in the frontline to defend Nature, tolerance and anything is “plural”.

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