Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Why Celebrate Cultural Genocide?

It's been a few days since I've posted anything, but I feel the desire to express something today. I really struggle with the idea of St. Patrick's Day, especially as an unquestioned national celebration. St. Patrick is notably remembered as the figure who drove the "snakes" a.k.a druidic pagans out of Ireland. I say genocide in the title because while Patrick* may have done some good work in his lifetime, he also inspired an age of Celtic conversion to christianity by choice and by force. Let's be honest, few cultures adopt a different system of belief en masse without a fight. What bothers me is not just the harm and deaths that came to Pagans in this age, but the cultural genocide. By that I mean the destruction of age old beliefs, deep family ties to druid traditions, records of druidic history, sacred spaces and ancient druid relics.

I encourage you to read more about the happenings of St. Patrick's age in the translation of Oisin and Patrick. Oisin is a Celtic warrior and poet who's tales of pagan resistance to christianity have been passed down through oral tradition and documented by christian monks and druid scribes alike.

*- A note about "Patrick". There's no congruent historical evidence that Patrick as a person actually existed since even the oral stories were developed 300 to 900 years after when he was supposed to have lived. In this posting I really consider "Patrick" as a concept or mindset of the christian missionaries of the time. Keep in mind that the 5th century is a time of much migration and thus the introduction of different cultures, religious beliefs and the conflicts that arise.

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