My Pagan Valentine

Why Christians Should Not Celebrate Valentine's Day

Saint Valentine's Day
has its roots in pagan rituals which included rapes and orgies and blood sa­c­ri­fices to pa­gan gods. This is not taught, not preached and, likely, not known by many of our black pastors.

Each year, educated, thoughtful, mature grown

women transform into pouting children or harping shrews, browbeating the men in their lives over St. Valentine’s Day. Sisters who otherwise demand respect and want to be taken seriously as equals, routinely insist on being infantilized and condescended to on February 14th. Worse, in our black church tradition, these sisters routinely emasculate their men, foolish, stupid men, by dressing them up in red and pink for church-sponsored “sweetheart balls;” events where weak-willed, low-information “Christian” men reject God and allow themselves to be led astray by what the Apostle Paul called “silly women laden with sin” [2 Timothy 3:6]. These foolish women—yes, your girlfriend, your wife, your mother—know nothing about what this holiday actually means (the color red stands for the blood spilled at pagan sacrifices) and, frankly, don’t care. Most men I know, including most pastors, care absolutely nothing for Valentine’s Day, but dare not ignore it out of fear of their wives. Fear of their wives. The anxiety we brothers go through every February is in direct contention to God’s plan for both men and women. Men are to love and protect their wives, not fear them. And, frankly, if men were doing a better job of it, their women would likely not be as psychotically invested in Valentine’s Day. Similarly, God’s plan for our sisters is not for them to invest in some ritual, least of all a ritual of pagan origin. The dour browbeating is an artifact of our sisters’ insecurity and neediness. Sisters: it is God’s will for you to be a whole person and a complete person, not someone so emotionally starved that she elicits “love” under threat. Brothers: caving into this nonsense denies God and crucifies Christ afresh. I can’t believe how many of our brothers actually go out and buy a red suit. A red suit. You look like an idiot, which is actually appropriate. Capitulating to her insecurity in rejection of God condemns you as one. That precious few pastors I know—I mean, I can count them on one hand—take a stand against such nonsense deeply saddens me. And I can only imagine how God feels about it all.

In five decades of breathing, I’ve not once met a man who looked forward to Valentine’s Day or saw it as anything other than a dreaded day of obligation. The typical refrain is, “I just don’t wanna hear it,” a kind of “grin and bear it” get-it-over-with dreary task of planning and spending or facing the consequences of Annual Child Day; his wife or girlfriend melting down to pre-pubescence. What’s even more disturbing: most women I’ve known are fully aware their man is committing to this ritual out of obligation and not out of his own impetus. I’ve yet to meet a woman who cared. She’s earned this. She has this coming. Pony up or face the consequences.

This is not love. This is not even close to love, has nothing whatsoever to do with love. And this dysfunction is sewn into the fabric of our existence, this annual drudgery, which many like myself have come to resent. Not the sentiment so much as the demand: do this or else. Love demands nothing. Love does not insist on having its own way. Our sisters have been indoctrinated into this mess by their mothers and pass this disease onto our daughters who will grow up and browbeat their husbands. This business is most especially ridiculous for Christians because it denies most everything about Christ and blasphemes the Gospel by trying to create a mix-in smoothie of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and pagan idolatry, which the bible itself repeatedly condemns. I’ve explained that to our sisters many, many times. They don’t care. They are that ignorant. Yes, you, sister. You’re that ignorant. You want what you want, period. And you’re prepared to turn a blind eye and deaf ear to the Gospel, and undermine your relationship with our man by pouting and holding your breath and making him absolutely dread this day of the year and resent you for it. And you don’t care, long as you get what’s coming to you. This is the foolishness of women, hammered into them by their mothers who had it hammered into them by their mothers: the insecurity and need for validation, the chronic childishness surrounding what is, by definition, a pagan ritual that denies Christ.

Pastors who indulge this ritual, even obliquely, deny Christ and really don’t deserve to be called “pastor” at all. This ignorant tribalism demeans and oppresses women, perpetuating for all men the stereotype of the woman as a child. Even some of the roughest, baddest, most aggressive sisters in the church, some of the best educated minds and most respected leaders, turn into *idiots* on St. Valentine’s Day. Mass psychosis; it’s all emotion over intellect, women slipping into depression or committing acts of rage because “he forgot.” Female pastors—pastors—bringing this mess into God’s House, emasculating the men by dressing them up in “holiday” pink and red. And you stupid brothers allow yourself to be cowed like that, to be unmanned like that, just to “keep peace” in your house. Which misses the point, brothers, that it’s your house. There’s not usually a point in a relationship where we ask the wife to stop being a woman, while women are constantly—from the first moments of a relationship—trying to strip their men of their manhood. Trying to “fix” him or rehabilitate him or bend him to their will. Only to lose respect for him once she accomplishes that.

Women don’t respect some dimwit standing there in a red suit. It’s like putting a sweater on a dog; it’s what kids do, dress up the dog. She’ll be angry if you wear normal clothes but beneath her anger and disappointment is the visceral reassurance that her man is a real man who can’t be manipulated. I’ll take the anger and disappointment over the dog sweater any day.

“Sweetheart” Balls

Saint Valentine's Day has its roots in pagan rituals which included rapes and orgies and blood sacrifices to pagan gods. This is not taught, not spoken of, not preached about and, likely, not known by many of our black pastors who, in an effort to appease their even less knowledgeable wives, dress up like fools and engage in ritualized behavior that is an offense to the cross. There is little if any actual evangelism being conducted by black churches in this city. No evangelism, but most every black church I know is supportive of these pagan “Sweetheart” balls. Church folk gatherings which do little, if anything, to tell people about Jesus and which offer Christ to no one. But they raise money. They are festive, more pageantry and celebration of ourselves. Pastors: if you are allowing or promoting any Valentine’s Day activities, you are lost in sin. You are encouraging your people to sin.

...the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord's table and the table of demons.  —I Corinthians 10:20-21

Few, if any, women I know speak in any doctrinal tones whatsoever when it comes to these idiotic “Sweetheart” balls. God is simply not in the equation, not present in the planning, and makes His presence known only in the blessing of the food. God is simply not in these things, yet there’s Pastor, dolled up like a red and white hyena, trying to keep the wife happy.

The truth is, gentlemen, you have an obligation to appreciate and love your wives every day you draw breath. There shouldn’t need to be some day on the calendar to remind you to love her. Loving her is your responsibility [Ephesians 5:25]. Valentine’s Day finds energy and inertia only in our failure to honor the covenant we made with God and the women we love. I shouldn’t need to observe some invented day to prove I care about you. I shouldn’t need a special day to remind me who you are or remind me to demonstrate how much you mean to me. You should be able to see that, to know that, every day of your life. A man who really loves his wife should buy her a house, not a stupid ring. Engagement rings are not biblical. The biblical model is dowry, the bride’s price: an investment, a demonstration of means to care for the wife and family. Diamonds do not replace God’s promise. Wasting ten grand on a wedding is idiotic. Buy a house. Get a man-made diamond—the expensive ones are not Zirconium but are actual diamonds and cost a fraction of natural ones.

Buy her a car. Get her kids out of public school and into a private one. I can make a list, pages long, of better ways to spend your money than on some frivolous jewelry. But sister will lose her mind, and her respect for you, if you don't put a huge rock on her finger. Her ignorant friends and family will shake their heads dolefully, presuming you to be cheap because you'd rather put the money into a down payment on a home. That's how twisted this thing is, this ignorance breathed into sisters one generation to the next. She doesn't care about the down payment on the house or the practical investment. She wants that rock. She will pout, perhaps secretly, and wallow. She wants a big wedding and a fabulous honeymoon, even if you two don't own a pot to piss in. She's that ignorant, which really isn't her fault: it's the disease passed down through the generations, The Woman As A Child. And then she gets mad when we treat her as the child she actually is.

Sisters: grow up. Seriously. I’m just sick about this. About our sisters being so willingly infantilized, hinging their entire self-esteem and/or a man’s worth on the size of the rock he buys her. The value of your husband should hinge on his commitment to Christ and to his family. And you should be mature enough to know God and to put practical matters ahead of childish tribal practice.

Cringe: What Valentine's Day represents for too many men: the threat of an angry woman.
I'd imagine most if not all men cave in to this foolishness out of emotional blackmail from severely
immature people sulking like children


Most women who have ever been in my life became upset around the 14th of February because I didn't believe in St. Valentine's Day. I figured, (1) if I loved them, I shouldn't have to prove it and (2) being a robot and throwing money away just because Hallmark said we should is no way to do (1). The main problem with customs is they are customs, which is to say these rituals are so deeply embedded into our social DNA they rise to the standard of a religious obligation. Which is ironic considering I could talk most any woman I've been involved with into skipping church but skipping St. Valentine's Day was pure heresy. She would experience rejection. She would all but accuse me of lying when I refused to cooperate with this foolishness. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, of God or the bible involved in St. Valentine's Day, a seemingly benign distraction which actually tracks back to heinous pagan rituals.

The custom of sending lover's greetings on February 14 began with an ancient pagan celebration called The Feast of Lupercalia, "Wolf Festival," a pre-Roman blood rite honoring Lupercus, the god of shepherds. The celebration featured a lottery in which the names of young girls were written on slips of paper and placed into a vase. Young men would draw a girl's name from the jar, and the girl would be his sexual companion during the remaining year.

In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius changed the name of the Lupercalia festival to St. Valentine's Day, and ordered a slight change in the lottery. Instead of the names of young women, the box would contain the names of saints. Both men and women were allowed to draw from the box, and the game was to emulate the ways of the saint they drew during the rest of the year. Not too surprisingly, this prudish version of Lupercalia proved unpopular, and by the fourteenth century they reverted back to the use of girls' names.

The feast included blood sacrifices of two male goats (representing fertility) and a dog (representing purification). Girls and young women would line up to receive lashes from whips made from the skins of the animal sacrifices to ensure fertility, prevent sterility and ease the pain of childbirth.

Paul's insistence that such ancient rituals no longer have any power [1 Cor. 9] have led pastors to tell me we are, therefore, free to emulate them; to use benign improvisations of these rites (St. Valentine's Day, Trick-Or-Treating) as agents of evangelism Which is faulty exegesis. Even though the Apostle Paul denied the power of pagan gods and rituals, even though he instructed his followers to not chastise the new Christians for eating the meat of idols, such selectively myopic interpretation of scripture misses the broader context: Paul himself never ate the meat of idols and Paul himself never included pagan rituals into his Christian belief. Just because Paul says these “gods” have no feet, have no real power, he is not endorsing our emulation of pagan rituals, behavior Paul condemns [I Cor. 10:20-21].

Rituals and practices designed, from their inception, to deny the holiness of God are inappropriate vehicles for evangelism. Some have argued that we’re just taking Satan's tools and turning them against him. By definition, Satan's tools are Satan's tools. By definition they are FOREVER condemned and ineligible for inclusion in worship to God.

It frustrates me that if, when asked why I don't participate in St. Valentine's Day, I said if I was a Muslim, people would accept that. Nobody demands long explanations of my Muslim friends. Their wives don't turn them inside out over this foolishness. But Christians, apparently, have no standards. And I am belittled, mocked, berated and dismissed as lazy or, worse, as someone who does not love. Churches having "sweetheart balls," and so forth are especially contemptible to me. Papering the fellowship halls with red and pink hearts is the height of ignorance. Why not build an altar to Baal while you're at it. I would like to respectfully disagree with pastors who endorse this heresy, but I can't be all that polite about it. There simply is no biblical defense for this practice. It is shameful and antichrist. We are a deceived people, led by pastors who either don't know better or who rigidly enforce the parts of the bible they like while crucifying Christ afresh with paper hearts.

I'm not all that bent about the paganism and religious aspects of this (though they are important to know). I just, flat out, think emotional blackmail is not love. My beloved sulking, refusing to speak to me, crying, experiencing rejection because I refuse to deal with this nonsense Is Not Love. If my love for her is so weak that she requires such Santa Claus-like external validation, our relationship is in serious trouble. I want to be with someone secure enough to not make demands of love, as true love makes no demands. Someone who knows herself and knows me and knows God and wants to please God more than she wants to please herself. I want to be with a grown-up: somebody who accepts me for me and accepts my conviction to not participate--even indirectly--in emulation of pagan rites that blaspheme the God I worship. Forcing me to participate in this idiocy Is Not Love. And, to me, it's really sad when a woman emotionally blackmails a guy into this nonsense. He's miserable, she knows it, she doesn't care. She's wallowing in self deception even as she undermines her relationship with him because he's marking this torture off on his calendar, February 14th becoming a dreadful obligation and a day when this woman loses her dang mind and acts like a pouty ten-year old.

There's certainly nothing wrong with giving your sweetheart a bouquet or a box of chocolates. But let's stop being lemmings, doing things because we've always done them. Let's understand the roots and origins of our customs and traditions and ask ourselves, truthfully, if these practices please God. I mean, we should demonstrate our love for one another every day. And if you want to designate a Sweethearts Day, there's certainly nothing wrong with that, either. But blindly following pagan tradition makes us obstinate and lazy and, ultimately, guilty of integrating paganism into our belief system. After all, waiting to Monday to give her those flowers would honor her and God. But she'll likely have a dang fit. Fellas--this is how we got tossed out of the garden in the first place.

Christopher J. Priest
13 February 2011

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