Letter to the editor: Does holiday support pagan cult?

St. Patrick’s Day is officially celebrated in more countries than any other Christian holiday. It probably has more to do with remembering the Irish diasporas, than with any religious meaning. March 17 is the official date given to St. Patrick’s death, and is an official Feast Day, when Catholics can break the Lenten Fast, drink liquor and party (after Mass of course). But, March 17 is also an ancient day of pagan cult practice.
Revisionist historians have increasingly found evidence that St. Patrick’s Day was used by pagans to conceal their religious observance of Liberalia from Christian persecution. Liber, or Liber Pater, was the ancient Roman god of the people, the plebeians, whose name meant freedom, and was associated with the spring crops, wine, getting drunk, insulting the rich, powerful and famous, uncontrollable ecstasy. Sort of a national holiday to have a rave.
It is also associated with the ancient Roman gods with no name and no face. During the Roman Republic and Empire, Liberalia became the official day for boys becoming men, imagine a national Bar-Mitzvah, or confirmation and being 21, drinking age, all on the same day.
Liber was replaced with Bacchus/Dionysus worship, Roman and Greek gods for getting drunk and partying.
So, what you were told about poor Christians and Jews getting picked on by pagans may not be the truth. Even today, Rome’s Jews will tell people they survived for centuries in Rome because they were not part of any Mediterranean Jewish or Christian groups that tried to convert pagans to Judaism or Christianity.
Educated and devout Irish do not like the public image of Irish drunks, for not just preventing Irish stereotypes and perverting Roman Catholic teaching, but also the idea of perpetuating pagan cult practices.

Scott Mitzner
Sun City West

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.