We provide the answer with an excerpt from the book “A History of the Byzantine State and Society”, by Warren Treadgold, and then analysis from our Team.
“Constantine naturally extended to the whole empire the privileges for Christians that he had already introduced in his previous realm, and he reinstated Christians whom Licinius had dismissed from the eastern army or government because of their religion. Soon after his final victory Constantine went even further, prohibiting all pagan sacrifices and divination throughout the empire, though in practice he did not and could not enforce his prohibition strictly. He allowed most pagan rites that did not include sacrifices, but he pointedly prohibited those that violated Christian standards of chastity, such as sacred prostitution and religious orgies. By granting official favor to Christians and only limited toleration to pagans, he reversed the legal position of the religious as it had been under Licinius.
Although pagans were still too numerous to let Constantine enforce Christian morality by law, he occasionally legislated in support of it. Thus he forbade gladiatorial shows, and instead encouraged the less violent Roman sport of chariot racing. In place of the previous rule allowing divorce by the wish of either spouse, Constantine permitted it only in cases of serious crime, or of the wife’s commiting adultery or keeping a brothel. He allowed bishops to try legal cases on the petition of either party. To discourage infanticide, he provided poor parents with public grants. ”
Analysis by NovoScriptorium:
It is amazing that after so many years ‘Pagan ethics’ seem to have returned, in other forms, in our everyday life, at least in Western-type societies. It is also amazing and terrifying at the same time that there are people of our time who choose to place themselves as religiously ‘pagans’. Let’s resume what we read first:
Sacrifices of animals (of humans, too, in some cases)!
Divination (not sure everyone knows what this actually is, so we need to explain: this is basically Magic of various forms. In some cases purely of demonic nature, rather than just ‘impressive tricks’)!
Sacred prostitution (there were special ‘temples’ where the ‘devoted pagan’ was paying a fee and could mate with the ‘priestesses’ of the ‘Erotic Goddess/Goddess of Sensual Lust’. Imagine this; considering prostitution as ‘sacred’ and ‘divine’! We talk about full decadence of human morals)!
Religious orgies (in the same category as before…mating practices that not even animals perform to be considered as ‘divine’ and ‘offer’ to some ‘god’. Well, there is a section of Magic that deals exactly with this type of rituals. No coincidence we believe…)!
Gladiatoral shows (to receive joy by watching people die or becoming dismembered in front of your eyes…not even animals…)!
Easy divorce (actually, this is much wider; in general, marriage was not considered something so serious. As a result, most of the people didn’t even marry. And if they did, whenever one was bored of the other they split without any second thought. ‘Free relationships‘ in other words)!
Infanticide (we believe this is the worse of all; there was the practice to kill infants if either they had a health problem, if they were girls (!), or just because they couldn’t ‘afford’ to raise them)!
Now, let us compare all the above with what is happening in our time:
Modern man does not directly sacrifice animals to some gods, but, instead of a controlled and respectful to Nature and Life diet he consumes mainly meat in his everyday plate. In amazingly high numbers, it has to be said.
Magic was never abandoned by people as a practice, but in our time it has openly, widely and seriously returned. Remember, for instance, films and books widely known, which are direct Propaganda pro Magic. Not to add serious satanists in all this. Magic is everywhere; in music, in literature, even in cartoons. And it has many ‘introductory’ forms, too. Astrology, Tarot cards, Wicca board and the such.
As for prostitution and orgies, modern times must be much worse in terms of ‘pornification’ of whole nations and societies. A quick look at the statistics of Porn viewers, of the money spent on prostitution per year, of the virginity loss and distortion of sexual activity in even younger ages as time goes by, and countless other examples convince us that ‘pagan ethics’ have ‘triumphantly’ returned…
We may not have gladiator shows in modern times but we are at least as much as familiar to violence as the old pagans. The majority of people seem to enjoy violence seen in films, in video games, even in cartoons. And this is not ‘innocent’; if we take, again, a quick look to some social statistics we will notice an every year increase in violence in every possible field and age…
As for marriage and relationships in general, we are almost identical to the old pagans. ‘Free relationships’ without serious or at all commitment are the rule and not the exception in today’s Western-type societies. And from very young age, too. True Love or Devotion are very rare or almost impossible for the average modern humans. The good old ‘Family’ seems to vanish during the last decades. And the problem is getting bigger every single year.
As for infanticide, we may not kill infants today -even though some sick people have proposed this to be legal before a few years from now- but, the statistics of Abortion show astronomical numbers of mass murdering of unborn humans. No surprise, the birth deficit problem appears in every Western-type society, leading nations and populations to extinction, slower or faster.
Conclusion: When Man abandons God and pursues only his Pleasure (a deification of Selfishness) then everything bad is possible. Ugliness and Evilness give birth to more Ugliness and Evilness; this is an unwritten philosophical, natural and spiritual law. Prudence must return among humans. If not, we must sadly count the days to greater decadance, more violence and vulgarity, more crime and atrocity. And in the end total destruction as a logical ending of all this anomaly. Jesus Christ and Christianity offered Man the possibility to be released from the bonds of the World, of Evil and of Death; to become truly Free. Man though is always free to choose not the Freedom and Grace offered. We definetly believe that a return of Man to True Christianity can fix everything wrong we described so far. Let’s all hope and pray for this.