32. The Pagan Cross Was a Sex Symbol

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One of the bedrock principles of the Christian worldview is that the devil does not have his own clay. All he can do is take God’s clay and twist it, distort it. And this is why pagan symbols, when untwisted, take on true Christian meaning.

Take the most central symbol of Christianity, the Cross. Did you know that in the pre-Christian, pagan mind, the cross was actually a symbol of sexual union? As John Denham Parsons writes in his book The Non-Christian Cross, long before Christ, many pagan cultures recognized two lines crossing as “a symbol of life … because the figure of the cross is the simplest possible representation of that union of two bodies or two sexes … which alone produces life.”

What is Christ revealing on the Cross? Among other things, as the true Bridegroom, he’s revealing the ultimate meaning of our creation as male and female and the call of the two to become “one flesh.” He’s untwisting the pagan symbolism of the sex/fertility cult and revealing the union of Christ and the Church which gives eternal life to the world!

As St. Augustine put it, Christ “came to the marriage bed of the cross, a bed not of pleasure, but of pain, united himself with the woman [his Bride, the Church], and consummated the union forever.”

How do we know the union of Christ and the Church was supernaturally fertile? Because the “woman” at the foot of the Cross became the mother of all of Christ’s “beloved disciples.”


For such a time as this have we been given Saint John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. By taking us beyond the alternatives of prudish repression and damaging indulgence, the Theology of the Body opens the path to the redemption of sexuality and the real healing of our wounds. Learn more by watching my short film, The Cry of the HeartWatch the trailer below.

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