>Can you grasp the idea, Neil, that religion became the vehicle for
>cultural and economic oppression, backed up with armed force?
Religion has been used for centuries as an excuse or flimsy reason for waging war on other cultures and countries, usually by people who want to extend their frontiers across places that are already inhabited by societies who won't submit themselves graciously to their advances. I know I'm going to appear incredibly stupid here, so I'm well prepared for the guffaws of laughter and ridiculing statements, but what is there to suggest the conversion of Celts to Christianity was anything other than them being usurped by a greater force?
[Please note (i) I'm just asking a question and maybe acting a bit as a devil's advocate, I'm sure there were other reasons why the Celts' religions or belief systems were subsumed by the tide of Christianity and (ii) I'm not aiming that question at Gil, I think perhaps Ray might be a better person to answer it - at least coherently]