|Rubens Source Wikipedia|
"Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.' And he laid his hands on them and went away."
Children, an elderly widow, a menstruating woman, prostitutes, tax collectors, lepers, Samaritans, yes even a Roman centurion: Jesus loves, embraces, supports, elevates and respect society's dregs.
Some say they have rejected Christianity and embraced "Paganism" because it is more user-friendly. These folks, God bless them, inhabit a fantasy of what Paganism really means.
Jesus loved children.
Pagan Gods loved children, served with fava beans and a nice chianti, or powerless, greased, and spread.
At the urging of his mother, Gaia, Cronus castrated his father, Uranus. Gaia gave Cronus the giant sickle he used to chop off his own father's testicles.
Fearful that one of his children would castrate him, Cronus ate his children.
Zeus' mother gave Cronus a rock in swaddling clothes in place of Zeus. Cronus ate the rock instead of Zeus. After Zeus grew up, Metis, one of Zeus' wives, gave Cronus an emetic that forced him to vomit up all of Zeus' siblings that Cronus had eaten. Zeus then fought Cronus and his other ancestors, and gained supremacy.
Zeus had sex with whomever he wanted to have sex with, willing or not. One day he saw the youth Ganymede herding sheep, and Zeus, in the form of an eagle (eagles prey on lambs), Zeus raped Ganymede and took him to Olympus to serve as cup bearer, the cup, in this instance, being an undeniable Freudian symbol for the real purpose Ganymede was forced to serve – as receptacle for Zeus' member. The value Zeus placed on his young, male lover was measured by this: Ganymede is the only one of Zeus' partners that he gifted with immortality.
The Ganymede story was used in the Ancient World as justification for powerful, older men sexually exploiting younger, less powerful males, including boy soldiers and slaves.
BTW, many scholars argue that it was this Pagan exploitation of unwilling and powerless males that so repulsed Biblical authors in their condemnation of same-sex intercourse.
Me, I don't find Paganism to be a kinder, gentler religion. I much prefer Jesus, who loved children, in the true sense of the word "love."
Today's reflection brought to you by today's randomly drawn tarot card, the six of cups, that calls to mind childhood innocence and childlike affection.