When Did We Become Like the Christians??

There’s a reason I don’t read a lot of the Pagan blogs out there.  There’s a handful of “won’t miss” ones such as Cat Treadwell’s “The Cat Box” – but for the most part, I’ve started breezing through many of the others.  About a week or so back – those pages were being lit afire over the concept of “What is (or not) Pagan” which I’ve already made mention of in a previous posting.  Now, there’s a move towards defining “modern Paganism” as a way of “bringing back the Gods”.  Bully for them.  Its a notion I don’t even bother to entertain.

So far, the few folks that I have talked about with this have dropped their jaws in awe when I make that statement.  It seems completely out of tune, in their eyes, for me to not want to “bring back the Gods” as a Pagan (and forget that concept of a “modern Pagan” – unless you’re driving a Delorean with an installed flux capacitor, or have a Police Box that’s bigger on the inside – but that’s another rant for another time).  My seeming “goal” as a Pagan seems to be to spread the Gospel of polytheism.  Bullsmeg.  All these people wringing their hands over what is or is not Paganism – bringing the old Gods back…how about something completely different?  Why not LIVE your belief system and stop worrying about how everyone else is doing theirs?

Holy smeg, people.  When did Paganism become like the Christian churches out there?  When did we all have to start poking our fingers and noses into just how everyone else is practicing (or not) their stated religious beliefs?  I’m a refuge from the Christian churches of the mid to late 1980s.  I REMEMBER VIVIDLY when people like Mike Warnke and Lauren Stratford went around the country proclaiming their instances of abuse at the hands of “Satanic” cults.  I REMEMBER VIVIDLY as broadcasters such as Bob Larson REGULARLY axe-poled Pagans as being those “Satanists”.

Who *IS* Pagan “enough”?  My answer to that is simple:  I don’t know.  I can only speak for myself.  Do I want to “bring back the Gods”?  My answer to that is even simpler:  They never left.  If someone feels the need to incorporate that into their belief system – I applaud them for it and encourage them to continue seeking along their Path.  Its not where I am headed on my Path — but the differences in our Paths don’t nullify the validity of what we each practice.  For me, choosing Paganism isn’t about following the herd…its about setting everything in order for yourself.  If having like-minded people around works for you – go for it.  Just don’t assume that every other Pagan out there MUST follow your direction to be “valid”.  Holy smeg, ya’ll…I know plenty of Wiccans.  I USED TO BE WICCAN.  I’m not anymore.  But because I stepped off that Path doesn’t make it an invalid Path…its just not the correct Path for me to follow.

I completely grok the point being made about “bringing back the Gods” — what I don’t get is how others see this as the only “valid” Path for some concept called “maodern Paganism”.  Every few years, it seems the community at large rolls through this perception of needing to “define” what is or isn’t…when we should really be looking at what works for our own individual selves, and realizing that what works for you will not necessarily work or be correct for others.

::sigh::

4 thoughts on “When Did We Become Like the Christians??

  1. I agree with you! There are those who say that Paganism must emphasize reverence/worship of Nature and/or certain God/esses. Why? I am not saying that these opinions are "wrong", but that they are not "required" for one to define oneself as Pagan. I also was unaware that the God/esses were ever "gone". In my view, belief in multiple deities (or even multiple "aspects" of one deity) is my personal "requirement" for being "Pagan". What is a deity? Is it energy? A thoughtform? An independent entity? Something else entirely? This matters not, in my opinion.

  2. Scott — good questions there. What is a deity?? That's actually a fair question – especially after all this nonsense over what is or isn't a Pagan. And to be completely honest, I'm in the same train of thought as you are – however the term gets defined matters very little to me, except for the way I define that answer for myself.What really ruffles my fur (so to speak), is the way people are throwing qualifiers over what a certain term means to them, as if it should mean the exact same thing to everyone else – without question, without fail. I always had the notion that Paganism was an uber large umbrella term that covered a lot of belief systems – even some that were diametric in nature to one another. Maybe I was wrong…but I certainly hope not. A lot of this nonsense is very similar to what ran me off from the Christian churches – this entire idea that there is only one way to see the nature of divinity…and the practice of acceptance of many ways of seeing divinity was what drew me to Paganism in the first place…I really hope we're not seeing that disappear….

  3. So sounds like you have a lot of people in the community that need to spend some time down in a certain yew tree having a conversation with shadow about their need to feel special.I have a theory that a larger number of pagans than will admit actually became pagan as a form of rebellion and now that it's becoming more and more accepted they're not feeling special anymore, so time to rebel again.For me there is no need to bring any god or goddess back, they all exist inside me and I within them. I just need to take time to seek out the path that leads to them and see what is to be learned and taught. This week the path may be through a tibetan holy symbol, next week it could be through gregorian monk chants, after that it could be through watching and crying through "What Dreams May Come".As I grow, they grow, you grow, we all grow, we are one. Why limit what that can become by putting it in a box?

  4. I can see where you're drawing your conclusion from Shannon….and I do believe you and I talked about this at one time over lunch at work back in the day. Like you – I don't see the Gods as having ever disappeared…They are all around us, in us, and we in them. And to be honest…when I see people trying to limit something – I see people trying to control. And that's one of the very things that turn me off to such movements to /define/ something. Its quite frustrating at times…but you're correct: We all grow, we are one. Perhaps, as you're pointing out – this is their way of growing??

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