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News: Pagan Blessing for Building in Tennessee Causes Controversy

So apparently Blue Cross Blue Shield is constructing a new building, and following an ancient Scandinavian tradition, raised a tree to the roof of the building for a blessing, and soome folks are in arms about a 'pagan blessing' being used.

Pagan 'blessing' sought for new building
'Good fortune and fertility' sought from 'the gods on the structure'

Posted: May 31, 2008
11:50 pm Eastern

A former employee of a Tennessee insurance company is objecting to a "ceremony" held at the construction site of a new building because it called on "the gods on the structure" for "good fortune and fertility."

The report on the ceremony came in an e-mail from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, which is constructing a new nearly $300 million office building at Chattanooga.

A spokeswoman for the company told WND the report comes apparently from an employee dispatched by the company to celebrate the "topping" ceremony of the building, with the report then transmitted to the insurance company's e-mail list.

"Upon arriving at the construction site we were greeted by the workers preparing to lift this tree with the crane. Why were they lifting the tree to the top of building one? Well according to the Scandinavian tradition from long ago, after the final foundation is complete you are to raise a tree to the top of a building to bless it. It was to 'bless' the house with fertility. But people still use the tradition to bless the structure with good fortune. It is a request for a blessing from the gods on the structure to provide good fortune and fertility," the company's e-mail said.

Insurance company construction site "blessed" in Tennessee

"As a former employee and former insured of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, I find it quite disconcerting to discover that they have now started practicing pagan blessing rituals at the workplace," said the WND reader, whose name was withheld. "It will be sad to see the judgment that befalls them due to their ignorant (or maybe not so ignorant) participation in this ritual."

But BCBS officials told WND it doesn't mean anything.

"No, Blue Cross doesn't endorse any religious perspective. It's simply a matter of tradition," a spokeswoman said.

(Story continues below)

"I'm aware it [the promotion] may have caused offense, if they had not been properly explained what the intent of the ceremony was," she said. That was simply to "wish luck on the site."

BCBS then blamed the situation on Skanska, the construction company, saying it was a contractor's tradition.

Jessica Murray, a spokeswoman for the builder, said it's "common practice" for builders to have such a ceremony.

"Centuries ago … when people first started doing it in Scandinavia, there had been some religious connotations. Nowadays all that is doing is signifying the project has been completed to its highest point. Lifting the tree up is symbolizing teamwork … and wishing luck on the building," she said.

She blamed BCBS for having an official statement in a speech during the ceremony that the history of the event included religious elements.

Source: World Net Daily


It's BCBS's fault. Knowing how other Healthcare companies work, someone in the office added the bit because they thought it was "cute" that the construction company had an Ethnic tradition. "You Know those Europeans....those funny costumes and quaint customs;>!". They would have NOT mentioned it if it had been a Chinese or African company for fear the local wack-jobs would make a stink, embarrass them and make them look like "hicks". But those are real people, not like the Wicked Euros "whose hearts do not pump Red Blood like ours but a Black viscous Bile"......
People are so stupid. If it had been a blessing by a priest, people wouldn't have been all up in arms about it. Besides, as it was said, it was a cultural tradition that was not meant to be a religious one. However, since it was white people doing it and from a white culture, it's "pagan" and therefore offensive. ::rolls eyes:: People really are stupid and bigoted about the dumbest things.
My one faith in humanity, is stupidity.