I would just like to remind everyone.
That, thanks to religious imperialism, pagans still are persecuted in most parts of the world.
Sometimes it takes the form of blaming the unwanted with witchcraft and/or paganism. Think of burning unwed mothers and independent women, torturing mentally ill people, etc for “witchcraft.”
Sometimes, it’s just hatred of pagans.
Christian missionaries are an example of the latter. They go to people’s countries and try to remove their indigent religions by force, because they consider paganism inferior and usually evil. This “missionary” idea first destroyed Italy’s religions, and has invaded every populated country. This is an insidious manner of anti-pagan sentiment, as it is still considered to be noble and holy in even the most moderate religious groups.
Reading the news, I find examples of the former pretty often as well. There are things like killing or abusing mentally ill adults and children, from the mistaken idea that the victim is “possessed” or a witch. This happens from both Muslims and Christians, usually extremist ones.
Hatred of pagans is frequently rooted in or inspired by misogyny. From the little I’ve read, the idea of women being witches originated when the ruling religious needed an extra motive to hate women who were unwed mothers, “promiscuous” women, widows, unmarried women, etc. It also seems that “witchcraft” was frequently associated with “hysteria,” which was a cover-all label of irrational behavior that was applied whenever a woman defied cultural norms.
Today, it’s difficult to tell exactly where American anti-pagan bigotry is rooted in. As a mere conjecture, I’d wager that direct anti-pagan sentiments are more from hatred of paganism itself, and the trivialization of anti-pagan discrimination could be more from the association of paganism with unwanted women.
In any event, discrimination against pagans is pretty strong. Americans are so heavily into opposition to paganism that Christianity is considered American and even “patriotic,” while real American religions are usually covered up and forgotten. In similar favoritism to Christianity, pagans are thought to be extra irrational, superstitious, and silly, as if Christianity was the pinnacle of reason.
In most cases, anti-pagan sentiment accompanies anti-atheist sentiment, and vice versa, which makes the pagan cause important to atheists.
Yes hello I like you.