On Thu, 3 Apr 1997 20:36:51 PST James J Cain <[log in to unmask]> writes:
>Good reference. Oh, by the by, both pagan (Latin - paganus - farmer)
>and heathen (Literally - one who lives on the heath) in and of
>have nothing to do with religion, only to distinguish one who did not
>live in the city...and are linguistic evidence of the urban prejudice
>when determining whether or not a group is "civilized".
This is not exactly true. While paganus was the original - inocuous -
term for a country dweller; aka "bumpkin", the early christians adopted
it to mean one who was not a soldier of christ; one outside the pale of
their religion. Therefore, a godless non-believer. A heathen. A heretic.
One to be doomed to the fiery pit.
A likewise evolution was to befall the simplistic early meaning of
"heathen". In the past history of the church, either of these terms were
sufficient indictment for capital punishment.
Bruce L. Jones
The Mojave Desert - The Geographic Center of Nowhere