Odds and Ends
27 11, 7:13am
First of all, I dont mean that invading and killing is a good thing. That was not realy good, but christian invaders simply did more bad stuff then that.
Secondly, you are refering to paganism as if it is one thing, a religion in the same way christianity is one. However, paganism is not one religion, but but many religions who all have in common that they were prechristian. The lion feeding and so on wich you are refering to was performed in Rome, by roman pagans, not nordic ones. Also, the reason why the romans acted so harshly toward the early christians was not becourse that they had another religion, but becourse they spoke out and acted against the roman gods and customs, and through a growing popularity the christian cult also took away power from the local cult. Christianity was found to be a threat by the romans.
The nordic pagans, however, did not see christianity as a threat. The reasoning was: A new god? Well, why not? Unlike the romans, they did not fear their own gods, so why would they fear this new one?
It was not untill we had christian kings, who demanded that people stopped using magic and worshiping their old gods. that people realized that christianity was a threat to their culture and way of life. By then, however, it was too late.
Yep, a sense of shame for sex and independence. Read the letters, especialy those of Paulus, in the New Testament if you dont believe me. You can also read quite a bit about it if you study the history of christianity in Europe. Especialy the period between the Middle Ages and the Enlightment are full of examples.
I also get the impression that you have the far too common impression that nordic paganism was all about violence and conquest. That is simply not the case. The aesir stood for order, as opposition to the chaos of the natural world, while the vanir (the other god kind, of wich Njord, Frej and Freja was part) stood for fertelity and magic. There were also other beings wich were worshiped or otherwise taken into account, such as housegods, familygods, a big number of nature spirits and the dead of the family (ancestor worship). There was also a lot of magic use, especialy by the women known as 'völva' (weaver), wich was part of the religion just as much as the gods.