Say hello (or begone!) to the gods of Babylon and beyond


Did the Greek god of war "possess" a boy at Camp Half-Blood?

This summer, a bunch of New York preteens had a memorable summer in Prospect Park, acting out the roles of half-blood children whose parents include one human and one Greek god. Camp Half-Blood, based on the popular youth novel “Percy Jackson and the Olympians,” gave the kids a chance to pretend they were challenging monsters to fulfill a quest that would save Brooklyn.

But in the midst of battle, an alien showed up. A shy boy wasn’t up for battering the beast. Another boy encouraged him to get back in there – and suddenly, the shy boy found himself pounding the monster with such fury that he had to be reminded there was a person inside the costume..

Why would I do such a thing? he wondered afterward. According to The New York Times, his friend said he shouldn’t worry about it: Ares gave you the rage.”

So was the Greek god of war animating children’s behavior in Prospect Park during summer book camp?

I don’t know. Do ancient gods “possess” us here, now? Is Ares still worshipped?

Where I live, new immigrants worship a great many gods. A friend who is not Hindu went to yoga practice at a traditional yoga center, where the walls are decorated with icons of gods from many faiths. As she completed a particularly difficult pose, she says she heard (the way you “hear” in your mind): “Ganesh gave you strength.”

Was Ganesh [a Hindu god with the head of an elephant] actually talking to her? I don’t know. He is worshipped in that room.

What we know, as Christians (and Jews) is that we worship only one God. Abram left the many gods of Babylon and became our father Abraham, who loved the Lord our God and had no other God before him.

God made Christians for: loving and serving one God only.

How do you deal with living in a world where so many gods are worshipped?

Copyright (c) 2010 Carlene Byron

About Carlene Byron

Writer, editor, publicist, communications project manager ... I've written technology and infrastructure; I used to edit New England Church Life and The New England Christian and I've freelanced to publications ranging from Commonweal to Christianity Today. I'm now living in my hometown in Maine and am speaking about global perspectives on suicide prevention.
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2 Responses to Say hello (or begone!) to the gods of Babylon and beyond

  1. Pranaganesh says:

    Well said. Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace. Thanks for sharing!

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