OK, I know the notion of pagan symbolism has been beaten to death on this board, but I still have a question about the whole concept.
So, the WTS bans pagan elements. We can see that in their arguments against Christmas and Christmas decorations, and other similar things. They forbid the use of anything with pagan origins. A little extreme, in my opinion, but fair enough.
But then they turn around and say that some "pagan" things, like wind chimes, pinatas and Hawaiian luaus are OK for "True Christians" to use. They argue that these things, among others, have lost their religious/pagan meanings and are merely customary now.
So, a Christmas tree, which is used only as a decoration at Christmas and has no "pagan" connotations in the modern world, is evil, along with Christmas itself, but a wind chime, which was created with the sole purpose of "scaring away demons" by pagans centuries ago, is A-OK.
How the hell does that work??
How does the WTS decide which things are "pagan and evil" and which things are "safe" for its members to use/partake in?? Is there a set of criteria or is it all based on the whims of the old fogies in Brooklyn?? Like, does a member of the GB say, "Hey, my wife really likes wind chimes, she thinks they're pretty, so let's not ban them anymore so she can put one up at our house", or "You know, smashing a pinata is sort of fun, I enjoy it, let's not ban it anymore so I can smash them and not have to hide it from other JWs"??
Things like Christmas trees and mistletoe are considered heathen pagan elements of a pagan holiday, but things like pinatas and Hawaiian luaus, which have very strong religious connotations in their respective cultures, are no longer banned by the WTS, and I want to know who gets to decide what's pagan and what isn't, and how they can say that pinatas, for example, have lost their "pagan" origins and have no religious meaning now, but that Christmas trees are still horrible and evil pagan decorations.
How do they decide what makes something pagan or not, and how do they decide what is no longer pagan??
Any help and references would be very helpful.