Sunday, April 20, 2008

Axe cuts

“The triumph of Christianity was accompanied by the
sound of the axe on age-old arboreta.”—Robin Lane
Fox, Pagans and Christians

The sacred groves, where pagan gods were worshipped,
were seen as dark primitive places resisting the dazzle
of Christian light; hence, during the next two millennia,
the enthusiasm for chopping down trees. The motive
was missionary as much as economic. Keen to smash
the ancient religions, God explicitly instructs the people
of Israel (Exodus 34:13) to “destroy their altars, break
their images, and cut down their groves.”

And the colonists coming to New Zealand did just that.

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