The Common Good

Pagan Rituals in Broad Daylight

I recently saw a promo piece on The History Channel for their show Cities of the Underworld. At first one sees an overview of a busy commercial street teeming with professionals and consumers. The captioning states, "A pagan ritual is taking place on these streets. Can't see it? Look deeper." The premise is that some secret society once met in the abandoned tunnels below the city that you can hear all about on the show, but the irony of the commercial struck me.

Of course there is a pagan ritual taking place -- the daily oblation of ourselves to the idols of money and stuff. Now I know there is nothing necessarily pagan or evil with buying, selling, and trading, but the obsessive way we commit our lives to the pursuit of such things reveals a devotion akin to worship. We acquire stuff and build our wealth often without thought to our religious beliefs and guidelines. Instead of caring for the least of these among us, we look out for number one. Instead of loving our neighbor, we love our possessions -

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