This one's for Creech and Noakes.
The Venerable Bede records this excerpt from a letter written by Pope Gregory to Abbot Millitus upon the latter's journey to Britain:
"Therefore, when by God's help you meet our beloved brother, Bishop Augustine (of Canterbury), we wish you to inform him that we have been giving careful thought to the affairs of the English, and have come to the conclusion that the temples of the idols in that country should on no account be destroyed. He is to destroy the idols, but the temples themselves are to be aspersed with holy water, altars set up, and relics enclosed in them. For if these temples are well built, they are to be purified from devil-worship, and dedicated to the service of the true God. In this way, we hope that the people, seeing that it's temples are not destroyed, may abandon idolatry and resort to these places as before, and may come to know and adore the true God. And since they have a custom of sacrificing many oxen to devils, let some solemnity be substituted in its place, such as a day of Dedication, or the Festivals of the holy martyrs whose relics are enshrined there."
Quoted in Bruce D. Reed, The Dynamics of Religion: Process and Movement in Christian Churches (London: DLT, 1978), 104-105.
This inspired me. When I get back to the United States, I'm going to start visiting churches and replacing American flags with crosses.
Wonder how long it'll take me to be martyred?