Symmachus the pagan appealed to the Emperor:
‘We look at the same stars; the sky belongs
to all; the same universe surrounds us. Does
it matter by which method each seeks the truth?
One cannot arrive at so sublime a secret by only one road. ’
Bishop Ambrose responded to the pagan’s appeal:
‘What you do not know, we know from the word of God;
what you seek, we have established as truth from the
very wisdom of God …Your ways do not agree with ours. ’
Within a decade Theodosius issued his edict to close
the temples saying: ‘Burn all books hostile to Christianity
lest they cause anger and scandalize the pious! ’
And, as black clad monks destroyed shrines and scrolls,
intolerance became ascendant, entrenched and holy.
‘Damn these Christians! My dilemma,’
declared Diocletion in 303 A.D.,
‘is how can any state continue to be tolerant of a minority
that condemns the tolerance of the State
for allowing religions other than that it practices?’
‘Damn these Moslems! My dilemma,’
confided the President in 2012 A.D.,
‘is how can any state continue to be tolerant …’
In the second century AD, the anti-Christian
Celsus claimed the mother of Jesus was
turned out of the bed by her carpenter husband
before giving birth to a bastard known as ben Panther.
Hence he was known as the son of Mary
not Joseph in the Talmud and noted as
‘father unknown’ in the Koran. The
Pharisees claimed he was ‘born of fornication’.
Now poor Panthera, the legionary
archer from Sidon, who served most of his
enlistment in Germay, is being blamed for the birth.
The flutes of Pan echo down the millennia.