• Gus Lamarch
    517
    At the time of Constantine the Great - 306–337 -, barely 10% of the Roman Empire's population were Christians, with most of them being urban population and generally found in the eastern part of the Roman Empire. The majority of people still honoured the old gods in the public Roman way of "religio". As Christianity became a complete philosophical system, whose theory and apologetics were heavily indebted to the Classic word, this changed. In addition, Constantine, as Pontifex Maximus, was responsible for the correct "cultus" or "veneratio" of the deity which was in accordance with former Roman practice. The move from the old religion to the new entailed some elements of continuity as well as break with the past, though the artistic heritage of paganism was literally broken by Christian zeal.

    Christians at the time of Constantine's conversion made up only 10% of the population. This would rise to 50% by the end of the fourth century and 90% by the end of the fifth century. Emperor Justinian I - 527–565 - then brutally mopped up the rest of the pagans, highly literate academics on one end of the scale and illiterate peasants on the other. A conversion so rapid seems to have been rather the result of expediency than of conviction.

    The persecution of pagans in the late Roman Empire began during the reign of Constantine the Great in the military colony of Aelia Capitolina - Jerusalem -, when he destroyed a temple for the purpose of constructing a church. Christian historians alleged that Hadrian - 2nd century - had constructed a temple of Aphrodite on the site of the crucifixion on Golgotha hill in order to suppress Jewish-Christian veneration there. Constantine used that to justify the temple's destruction, saying he was simply reclaiming the property. Constantine and those who followed him instituted many anti-pagan laws. For example, in 341, Constantine's son Constantius II enacted legislation forbidding pagan sacrifices in Roman Italy. In 356, he issued two more laws forbidding sacrifice and the worship of images, making them capital crimes, as well as ordering the closing of all temples. In 357, Constantius visited Rome, and in preparation for his visit, so he would not be faced with being expected to offer a sacrifice on the Altar by his pagan senators, Constantius ordered the Altar of Victory to be removed from the Senate.

    In 388 Valentinian II assumed the office of Emperor in the Western Roman Empire. He refused to grant the request from pagans to restore the Altar of Victory to the Senate House. He also refused to overturn the policies of his predecessor by restoring the income of the temple priests and Vestal Virgins. In the year 391, Valentinian II issued a law that prohibited sacrifices and that forbade anyone from visiting the temples. A later law of Valentinian declared that pagan temples were to be closed; this was viewed as practically outlawing paganism. Urban ritual procession and ceremony, a vital aspect of urban communality and unity, was gradually stripped of support and funding during the 4th century.

    The Eastern Roman Emperor Theodosius I - 347 - 395 - signed a decree, on February 27, 380 in Thessaloniki, with the Western Roman Emperor Valentinian II - 371 - 392 - present, making Christianity the official religion of the Roman empire and punishing the practice of pagan rituals. According to Brown, Theodosius was a devout Christian anxious to close the temples in the East, and his commissioner, the prefect Maternus Cynegius - 384-88 -, was assisted by monks who proceeded to fall on temples all over Syria, the Euphrates frontier, and Phoenicia. Brown says Libanius wrote:

    "This black robed tribe - the Christians - were acting outside the law, but Theodosius passively legitimized their violence by listening to them instead of correcting them."

    Between 389-391 Theodosius I had collected and promulgated the "Theodosian decrees", which were effectively, a total ban on paganism. He forbade all forms of sacrifice. No governor was to even approach a temple for the purpose of worship. The eternal fire in the Temple of Vesta in the Roman Forum was extinguished and the Vestal Virgins disbanded. All practices of divination, auspices and witchcrafting were to be punished. This marks, for many historians, the beginning of the Christan Roman Empire.

    But now, let's analyse the USA:

    Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in the United States. Partly through conversion but mainly through immigration, the number of Muslims has now risen to three or four million. At current rates of increase, there will be more Muslims than Presbyterians within the decade. Early in the next century their numbers may well grow past six million, at which point there will be more American Muslims than Jews. Although there may be as many as 1,500,000 native-born Americans who have converted to Islam they are, almost without exception, black. Heretofore, black Muslims and immigrant Muslims have had little to do with each other, but they are beginning to build alliances. Militant blacks and Middle-Eastern fundamentalists are discovering common ground, bound together in a religion that, in its extreme forms, strives to dominate all aspects of society.

    For America’s first 153 years, there was not a single mosque on United States territory. The first was built in Ross, North Dakota, of all places, in 1929, to serve Lebanese and Syrian peddlers who had settled there. There are now more than 1,100 mosques in the United States - with at least one in nearly every state - and 80 percent were founded in the last 12 years. The greatest concentrations of Muslims are in New York, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. In the Los Angeles area alone, there are 250,000 to 300,000 Muslims and about 50 Islamic centers. Within just the last few years, Muslims have established lobbying groups, magazines, student organizations, schools, social clubs, bookstores, and even marriage services. All that is lacking is an Islamic theological seminary, but one is likely to be built soon. Muslims are now a substantial and growing minority.

    The newcomers are beginning to flex their muscles. There are now Islamic chaplains in prisons and in the armed services, and in some locations special meals are prepared for Muslims. Although there are 165 full-time, private Muslim schools in America, the majority of Muslim children attend public schools. In Dearborn, Michigan, they account for 36 percent of the students and the lunch rooms serve no pork. Muslims have joined every other group in the country in scouring school books for “insensitivity” and “negative stereotypes”. Although Islam means “submission”, Muslims have quickly learned how to make the majority submit. Two years ago, Fairfax County, Virginia gave an Islamic group permission to build a temple if it would also build a 90-car parking lot to accommodate worshipers. However, instead of the 100 or so that the lot could handle, weekly services attract as many as a thousand.

    I conclude with the root question of my discussion:

    How much longer, until a "Constantine" takes possession of the American civilization? And after him, how long before a "Theodosius" forbids pagans - today's Christians - from worshiping their God?
  • Hippyhead
    899
    How much longer, until a "Constantine" takes possession of the American civilization? And after him, how long before a "Theodosius" forbids pagans - today's Christians - from worshiping their God?Gus Lamarch

    Well, Christians and Muslims worship the same God, so I'd guess it will be awhile.
  • tim wood
    5.6k
    Well, Christians and Muslims worship the same God, so I'd guess it will be awhile.Hippyhead
    There is a French high school teacher who likely would like to have his head back. And I am thinking that between us, one of us simply has no clue at all.
  • Echarmion
    1.6k
    How much longer, until a "Constantine" takes possession of the American civilization? And after him, how long before a "Theodosius" forbids pagans - today's Christians - from worshiping their God?Gus Lamarch

    What reason would this Constantine have? The conversion of the Roman Empire did not happen in vacuum.
  • 180 Proof
    2.1k
    Islamophobic trash. (Still have cousins et al in "Eurarabia", kafir, don't you?)
  • ssu
    3.5k
    Have to agree with , as this is way off.

    Just putting things into context, how many people in the US are actually starting to be non-believers or agnostics? Wouldn't that be the real change?

    Pew Research Center telephone surveys conducted in 2018 and 2019 show that 4% of American adults say they are atheists when asked about their religious identity, up from 2% in 2009. An additional 5% of Americans call themselves agnostics, up from 3% a decade ago.

    Now a little bit more than 1% of Americans are muslim and by 2050 the U.S. Muslim population is projected to reach 8.1 million, or 2.1% of the nation’s total population. That's hardly a huge change.

    I noticed the similar narrative here too with the utterly crazy idea that Europe is turning muslim. How this was even tried to be argued was that one simply extrapolated from the migrant crisis of 2015-2016 continuing totally unabated perpetually without any stop. With a simple understanding of statistics, of course you could see dramatic transformation if you start extrapolating from the year 2015 or better yet, assume an increase up to 2015 continuing. With the real data, this all is simply ludicrous.

    _114167792_arrivals_03-nc.png

    What, of course, is totally forgotten is that the migrant crisis as it was then ended and today the EU does control it's borders more (not only because of covid-19). Last time Turkey's Erdogan tried to blackmail the EU to give concessions and opened it's borders for migrants to push into Greece, the EU stood totally with Greece and a new huge influx of migrants didn't happen as Greece kept it's borders shut.

    Of course this latter developments don't fit the anti-immigration narrative, so it's forgotten.
  • Echarmion
    1.6k
    Of course this latter developments don't fit the anti-immigration narrative, so it's forgotten.ssu

    In a more general sense, the idea that continued immigration into Europe threatens "western" culture and secular culture more generally seems to be based on some deep insecurity with that culture. Shouldn't the goal be to convince those new arrivals of the benefits of the secular way? After all, we presumably value it for a reason, and reason can be communicated.
  • Philosophim
    442
    The only reason I'm replying to this is to add to the chorus of rejection. Honestly, this OP isn't about philosophy, but conspiracy. You're a smart guy Gus Lamarch. Don't waste your gift and talents on trash like this.
  • Ciceronianus the White
    1.3k
    How much longer, until a "Constantine" takes possession of the American civilization? And after him, how long before a "Theodosius" forbids pagans - today's Christians - from worshiping their God?Gus Lamarch

    Well, you see, the Christian Roman Empire actively suppressed traditional pagan religion. Not necessarily Constantine, who seemed to prefer Apollo/Sol Invictus sometimes, finally consenting to be baptised when near death. Shrewd fellow, Constantine; he played the field as needed. He may have been the beginning, but the real persecution of pagans took place under his successors.

    For anything similar to take place here, substituting Islam for Christianity, Christians for pagans, imperial power would have to be imposed in the U.S., on behalf of Islam, for centuries. That seems unlikely, to understate. For one things, traditional pagan religion was non-exclusive and tolerant. Christianity in the U.S. is neither of those things.
  • Gus Lamarch
    517
    Well, you see, the Christian Roman Empire actively suppressed traditional pagan religion. Not necessarily Constantine, who seemed to prefer Apollo/Sol Invictus sometimes, finally consenting to be baptised when near death. Shrewd fellow, Constantine; he played the field as needed. He may have been the beginning, but the real persecution of pagans took place under his successors.Ciceronianus the White

    The point of deliberately quoting Constantine before Theodosius is in reference to the beginning of the favouritism of Christianity - with Constantine - and complete Christian dominance - with Theodosius -. Obviously we will have a Constantine before the rise of a figure like Theodosius, as it is a change over time, and even though it is drastic at certain times, such as with the Edict of Thessalonica - 380 AD -, they would already be realized in a society further weakened by the tolerance imposed on the civilization by its predecessors - such as Constantius II, Valentinian I, and Gratian -. I suppose the same will happen to the West at some point in the future - about 100, 200 years if we are already living during our period equivalent to the Roman "Crisis of the Third Century", or 300 to 400 years if we are still at the end of our period equivalent to the Roman "Principate" -.

    "Constantine I", in Britannica Encyclopedia of World Religions:

    "Constantine ruled the Roman Empire as sole emperor for much of his reign. Some scholars allege that his main objective was to gain unanimous approval and submission to his authority from all classes, and therefore chose Christianity to conduct his political propaganda, believing that it was the most appropriate religion that could fit with the Imperial cult. "

    I do not say that the first people who sympathize with Islam - in our case - will convert by faith, but by pragmaticity in terms of their political agendas.

    For anything similar to take place here, substituting Islam for Christianity, Christians for pagans, imperial power would have to be imposed in the U.S., on behalf of Islam, for centuries.Ciceronianus the White

    You did not take into account the context of the people who lived at that time, and who still believed that they were living in a republic. What happened during the "Dominatus" was that the figure of the "Princeps Civitatis" - First Citizen - was completely distorted and inverted to the concept of "Dominus" - Lord, and/or Master - with the rise of Diocletian. What we call the "Roman Empire" was nothing more than the period of Roman civilization where republican values ​​and principles were gradually being inverted and distorted, where the final transformation would now be recognized as the "Byzantine Empire" - which in fact , in official documents until the 9th century, was denominated as a republic -.

    Currently we have:

    Inversion of republican values ​​and principles;
    Extremism and polarization of the masses;
    Beginning of censorship;
    Populism and personality cult;
    Economic crisis - although localized, it may eventually become global -;
    Immigration and integralization of foreigners;
    Plague.

    All these and other more symptoms afflicted Roman civilization between the 3rd, 4th, 5th centuries until Rome was no more.

    The attitude of thinking that Western civilization will never fall, and that it will become better is the very cause of its fall.

    For one things, traditional pagan religion was non-exclusive and tolerant. Christianity in the U.S. is neither of those things.Ciceronianus the White

    Yet they worshiped a pantheon of Gods, and Christianity today has a pantheon of interpretations of God. For Islam, Christianity is a polytheistic religion because of the Trinity. Christianity, as the Roman religion, is secularized, with secularization you have decay, and with decay, you become weak, with weakness your values and principles are shaterred, and with that, only a new belief system can save the masses, and most importantly, their purpose - God -.

    For generations that were born after the 2nd century, in a majority, the Greco-Roman religion was as frowned upon as Christianity is now seen by decadent generations. It is not surprising that they - the Romans - would use Christianity's perfect justification to destroy their civilization.

    The leader of the Egyptian monks who participated in the sack of temples replied to the victims who demanded back their sacred icons: "I peacefully removed your gods... there is no such thing as robbery for those who truly possess Christ."

    And then you have people today burning down churches in Chile and making priests prostate while the vandals are reciting passages of the Quran...

    But don't worry, the West won't fall. It is already falling...
  • KerimF
    162
    Well, Christians and Muslims worship the same God, so I'd guess it will be awhileHippyhead

    What?!!! But you are right if you mean formal Christians, not just Christians, because the formers have doctrines which are much like of Muslim's ones concerning God.
    Mohammad Al-Kuraishi, the founder of a social military political system in the name of Allah and he called it Islam, told his followers that Allah created humans just to worship him. And he replaced the statues of Pagans in Mecca with their house, the Kaaba, besides the images of any verse taken from the holy Qur'an.
    The formal Christians are also supposed, though in contradiction with Jesus sayings, worship and fear God as slaves do towards their masters. Naturally, they have also their holy monuments, statues, images... besides the cross; no matter if it is made in wood, gold or silver, if not on a painting.

    I personally didn't hear Jesus, in his greatest two advices, talking about worshipping, obeying or fearing God as if the relation with God has to be one way. Instead, he talked about Love. And he didn't say that the word 'God/Lord' refers to One Being only, as Islam and Judaism insist on. In fact, talking about how the spirit of Love can unify two independent beings and let them have One Will and One Power (when seen by any outsider) is a an unpardonable blasphemy in Islam and Judaism.

    Conclusion:
    God, as revealed by Jesus, has nothing to do with Allah of Islam and is not the one that Jews (also the formal Christians) are supposed to know.

    Anyway, let us not be worried about the survival of the formal Christians, Jews, Muslims and all today's Pagans. They will all exist to the end of times because wars and bloody conflicts are the mines of gold for the powerful rich groups. Almost any believer of them is ready to defend his religious group even by risking his life besides his financial support. So such believers can be easily deceived anytime to open more of these mines of gold for their Elite. Yes, fooling them is easy because none of them (also atheists) is supposed to follow Jesus advice:

    "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;"
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