Why do people think “Pagan” is the name of a religion?

Question by BrokenEye, the Straw Man version: Why do people think “Pagan” is the name of a religion?
Its a derogatory term that Medieval Christians used to refer to non-Abrahamic religions, and on occasion, Judaism and Islam.

Here’s the entire entry on the word “Pagan” from dictionary.com
(http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pagan)

“pa·gan   /ˈpeɪgən/ [pey-guhn]
–noun
1.one of a people or community observing a polytheistic religion, as the ancient Romans and Greeks.
2.a person who is not a Christian, Jew, or Muslim.
3.an irreligious or hedonistic person.
–adjective
4.pertaining to the worship or worshipers of any religion that is neither Christian, Jewish, nor Muslim.
5.of, pertaining to, or characteristic of pagans.
6.irreligious or hedonistic.”

Best answer:

Answer by Curing Religion
Define “people”

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

8 thoughts on “Why do people think “Pagan” is the name of a religion?

  1. Because “one of a people or community observing a polytheistic religion, as the ancient Romans and Greeks” means it’s a religion.

  2. I think numbers 1 and 4. answered your question. It’s an umbrella term, like Christianity.

  3. answer: actually it’s much older and meant a rural country dweller. Just because ignorant ancient Christians meant it as an insult doesn’t mean they had it correct.

    Most pagans will rightly point you to number 4 of your own list and roll their eyes at lame attempts to discredit their religions, especially from those that are intolerant enough to claim there are only two religions: Christianity and Satanism – which would include Judaism and Islam to them, no doubt.

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