Article Title

Christians and Pagans


Abner S. Greene

Document Type




In this response paper, I will offer four thoughts. First, I’m not sure the contemporary picture is best described as pagans vs. Christians. Second, I question the subtle move throughout the book from a generative/creative understanding of God to seeing God as normative, as supervening in human affairs regarding right and wrong conduct. Third, I push back on the notion that theistic belief (or, perhaps, the very existence of God) is necessary to ground meaning and value. Fourth, I discuss some modern-day U.S. constitutional issues that Smith discusses as examples of pagans persecuting Christians: (a) state-sponsored religious symbols, (b) religious arguments in the lawmaking process, and (c) the application of public accommodation antidiscrimination laws to religiously devout persons.