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In my pastor’s sermon today, he talked about America being a pagan and post-Christian society. I certainly agree that we are in a post-Christian one, but “pagan” is not the right term.
Pagan societies, at least the ones we know about, have a few shared characteristics. They were self-perpetuating as societies; that is, they created an ethos that promoted families (even the ones that practiced child sacrifice and exposing infants still made sure they had enough children for a stable population), protected private property (don’t buy the “Native Americans didn’t understand land ownership” fraud), and inculcated respect for order, authority, and defending the tribe/polis/empire. They had, in other words, the virtues necessary to survive.