Linking Religion to Ethnicity

Some interesting thoughts here. Ethnicity, language, religion, and race are not entirely independent variables. Traditional pagans won’t be surprised by that.

This particular discussion reminds me of something I often hear from Jewish friends — if go back just a few generations, you run into a solid wall of orthodoxy. The ancestors of modern Jews are never anything but Orthodox.

It’s the same for Christianity in the European diaspora, although not many people I know are willing to acknowledge it.

Ironically, the neo-paganism that draws on our European ethnicity, begins by discarding our actual ethnicity. Go to a Lutheran church in modern America and you’ll discover a big chunk of Germans and Scandinavians; the people whose ancestors in Europe were Lutherans. It works for other churches as well.

I might be a bit more sensitive to that because I belong to another culture that approaches being an ethno-religious group–the Mormons. Not that I’m a Mormon, but I’m not exactly not Mormon either. I prefer to call myself an Ethnic Mormon. Nearly all my close relatives are Mormon, and I grew up inside the “Zion Curtain” (the Intermountain West). But if Mormonism were really an ethnicity, I would have to count myself only 1/8 Mormon. It just happens, in my case, to be the pot everyone melts into.

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