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Switch to Forum Live View What kind of Pagan are you?
5 years ago  ::  Nov 05, 2008 - 12:32PM #11
EyesoftheWorld
Posts: 1,707
Is it possible to be a self-hating Pagan?

Has anyone seen 'The Simpsons' episode when Krusty finds out he had never been Bar Mitzvah'd?

"I thought I was a self-hating Jew, but it turns out I'm just an Anti-Semite..."

Sorry, Gorm! I have no idea how to classify myself without getting into a pretty major post...

I guess I'll give it a shot...

How about NeoClassical Pagan? Does that term already have like a set definition?
If so, please someone tell me; I may have to renounce this post!

I'm a huge fan of Nature; was raised Catholic... thought it interesting that Xians were drinking blood, eating flesh, glorifying eggs,  celebrating the Winter Solstice ([re] birth of the Sun/Son), and how Jesus embodied Springtime by supposedly rising from the dead.... I also found it interesting how "Mary", which I believe is derived from the Latin "mare", which means "sea" or "ocean" gave birth to the "Son" sort of like the sea or ocean may be seen to give birth to the sun.... I also learned alot of classical mythology in 4 years of Latin in HS, along with Latin... I "realized" or came to my own conclusion that Xianity was very much Pagan in that it celebrated Nature and had as it's crowning events transcendence of the Laws of Nature, namely a Virgin Birth and a Resurrection... now, parthenogenesis does happen, but not with humans I don't think...
anyway, the "fact" or opinion that Xianity was essentally hypocritically condemning/scorning the very kind of beliefs which it was really symbolizing and glorifying led me to conclude that the Xian Church is practically unrelated to Jesus himself and is a power structure of control and greed, using Jesus' name in a way that a lawyer could successfully sue the Church over... I also feel Jesus was against organized religion!
I believe much of Xianity's appeal is actually its utilization of Pagan symbolism and imagery and its observance of events and "holidays" which Pagans had and would celebrate. I feel people derive a kind of fulfillment, the origin of which they don't really understand; in fact, it's origin has been thoroughly denigrated by their own Church. It's very much like an imposter kind of scenario to me; this "Hate Paganism! but totally embody it!"
The vicious execution of an enlightened man was a visceral yet sublime centerpiece as it was a manifestation of the state crushing the individual with impunity... however, the fact was the Church (Jewish Temple) put massive pressure for the execution to proceed! Jesus' crime was blasphemy and it was Passover! Pilate wanted to let him go. So inside the very heart of Xianity is a kernal of the maxim:
What fatal flowers of darkness bloom from seeds of Light."
Humans turn religion and churches into sources and centers of physical power and control...

The Natural symbolism of the "Fatal Flowers" blooming from "Seeds of Light" is probably a good way to end this ramble.... Nature indeed provides the most apt metaphors.
You see, Humans are part of Nature... the Abrahamic idea the Man is apart from Nature and that the Earth is only here for Humans to do with as they wish is a terrible corruption of the Natural Order that perhaps what I feel "Classical Paganism" had observed and honored...
With NeoClassical I'm pointing at a desire to connect to very simple harmony with nature, maybe before the advent of the Abrahamic Slave Cults... but the fact that I am historically on the other side of the dawning of those cults... I can not truly get back there, thus the "Neo-" prefix.

Now, I have stated here and elsewhere, maybe the "History's Mysteries" thread in some far away forum here a BNet, that I am pretty naive when it comes to scholarly terminology about Paganism... I'm sort of a Pagan Pagan.... though that could be just doubly ignorant...
the fact that my instinctual connotations of "Pagan" is informed by my childhood as a Xtian I'm sure means I have a simple conception of it..
But I do feel that Paganism actually is pretty simple, especially compared to the contorted dogma of, say, the Abrahamic religions.

I do have a strong sense of Pantheism in that, like Einstein once said "Either everything is holy or nothing is holy.". I think all Life is holy... I also have a decent science background. To think of atoms, particles which are not currently "part" of a living being may have been part of a living being many many times before and/or may yet be part of a living being in the future... so, are those particles only holy when they are part of living being? I can't believe that.
Also, the reliability of matter (so that we can rely on the matter that comprises these computers - me to type, you to read this, for example) seems really miraculous...
The harmony that matter seems to like to enter into, such as planets spinning and rotating around a star, which in turn gives light and heat to fuel all life while that life needs water, which just happens to be able to go from gas to liquid to solid and vice versa in the Earth's temperature range, while there are some fascinatingly efficient relationships going on, such as the way an animal can eat a piece of fruit, and ingest the seeds, and then eventually pass the seeds and happen to leave them encased in a natural fertilizer... it all just seems like a super genius designer at work... not to get into anthropomorphism though... I'm thinking more sublime... like a Divine Will that suffuses all Space.

the way a planetary system centered upon a star seems like a macrocosmic manifestation of the microcosmic atom with particles around a nucleus sort of reinforces a sense of there being "principles" at work/play and I can't conceive of such principles just coming from absolutely Nothing...

I don't really understand the distinction between Pantheism and Paganism very well, probaby b/c of my personal perspective... if any cares to elaborate I'd read it!

Well, this is much longer than I had planned. such is Life (ideally)

Take care
What Fatal Flowers of Darkness Bloom from Seeds of Light!
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 05, 2008 - 8:00PM #12
gorm_sionnach
Posts: 237
[QUOTE=EyesoftheWorld;874397]Is it possible to be a self-hating Pagan?

Has anyone seen 'The Simpsons' episode when Krusty finds out he had never been Bar Mitzvah'd?

"I thought I was a self-hating Jew, but it turns out I'm just an Anti-Semite..."[/QUOTE]

Yeah, that was a pretty good episode, especially for being so late in the series... I do not think that modern Paganism has been around long enough to develop some kind of secular basis. Insomuch as Jew's often see (and are talked about) as being an ethnicity, as well as a religious group. I don't want to side track the topic, so I'll avoid any deeper discussion of that topic.

[QUOTE=]Sorry, Gorm! I have no idea how to classify myself without getting into a pretty major post...[/QUOTE]

Not a problem, the world is complicated, why shouldn't people be?

[QUOTE=]I guess I'll give it a shot...

How about NeoClassical Pagan? Does that term already have like a set definition?
If so, please someone tell me; I may have to renounce this post![/QUOTE]

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "Neoclassical"

[QUOTE=]I'm a huge fan of Nature; was raised Catholic... thought it interesting that Xians were drinking blood, eating flesh, glorifying eggs,  celebrating the Winter Solstice ([re] birth of the Sun/Son), and how Jesus embodied Springtime by supposedly rising from the dead.... I also found it interesting how "Mary", which I believe is derived from the Latin "mare", which means "sea" or "ocean" gave birth to the "Son" sort of like the sea or ocean may be seen to give birth to the sun.... I also learned alot of classical mythology in 4 years of Latin in HS, along with Latin... I "realized" or came to my own conclusion that Xianity was very much Pagan in that it celebrated Nature and had as it's crowning events transcendence of the Laws of Nature, namely a Virgin Birth and a Resurrection... now, parthenogenesis does happen, but not with humans I don't think...
anyway, the "fact" or opinion that Xianity was essentally hypocritically condemning/scorning the very kind of beliefs which it was really symbolizing and glorifying led me to conclude that the Xian Church is practically unrelated to Jesus himself and is a power structure of control and greed, using Jesus' name in a way that a lawyer could successfully sue the Church over... I also feel Jesus was against organized religion![/QUOTE]

I'm happy you enjoy nature, I think everyone should. Many of the points you make may seem like Christians stealing or borrowing idea's, but you should understand that the early Christian church was rather syncretic in nature, and tended to borrow a great deal from existing religions. As many people know, as Christanity spread north into northern Europe, it often adopted or appropriated existing days, even deity and associated them with their religion. This does not, however mean that Christianity has 'Pagan roots', unless you mean that Pagan's converted into the Religion. Borrowing and adopting aspects for wider acceptance and universality allowed the church to convert large populations, but keep in mind that in terms of doctrine, very little leeway was allowed from the papal authorities in Rome (which, for example is why the Celtic Church was eventually abolished, too difficult to control and arguably teaching heresy.

You also have to remember that this was centuries ago, and while historic records exist for people interested in looking into it, most adherents are perfectly fine believing what they have been taught to believe. Yes, it can get annoying and ridiculous when you have Evangelicals decrying the evils of Halloween, while complaining about the war on Christmas, while ignoring the holiday's Pagan roots (noting that, there are other interpretations where the Pagan days happened to occur at the same time, but had little to do with the Churches decision to pick that day, often picking it for their own reasons) Again, I really do not want to get into that topic, and with the Holidays fast approaching, I'm sure it will pop up again.

On the subject of the Church not representing Jesus, well that's a hard one. The problem with a figure like Christ, is that he didn't write anything himself, and what did emerge was written long after his death. If you go by scripture, then there are many aspects of Christ which would not fit into the way the RCC (and later Protestant churches developed.) Then again, there are many passages where Jesus claims he is the 'only way to the father', that he was the light, and belief in him was the only way to eternal paradise. Clearly there are issues regarding the  overall coherency of the texts, but that can also be attributed to translation, bias and simply making mistakes. It all really depends on how you understand the texts, because the litany of Christian denominations out there speaks to the varied interpretations.


[QUOTE=]I believe much of Xianity's appeal is actually its utilization of Pagan symbolism and imagery and its observance of events and "holidays" which Pagans had and would celebrate. I feel people derive a kind of fulfillment, the origin of which they don't really understand; in fact, it's origin has been thoroughly denigrated by their own Church. It's very much like an imposter kind of scenario to me; this "Hate Paganism! but totally embody it!"[/QUOTE]

Again, simply because much of the trim was adopted, the underlying philosophy and spirit was not, it was suppressed and demonized. keep in mind that after the initial conversions, the origin of the day, or the previous meaning behind it was highly stigmatized, it was really a matter of reassurance and appropriation, trying to do things in such a way that the Pagan cultures could associate the new religion with the days they held sacred. Something else to consider is that much of Europe willingly converted, and abandoned the old religions. Sure for a while they survived, and maybe managed to become incorporated, but eventually what was left became folklore and myth, compared to the Religion they now practiced. This is a gross over simplification, but I don't want to go into this aspect much more, maybe start a new thread and see what other people think.


[QUOTE=]The vicious execution of an enlightened man was a visceral yet sublime centerpiece as it was a manifestation of the state crushing the individual with impunity... however, the fact was the Church (Jewish Temple) put massive pressure for the execution to proceed! Jesus' crime was blasphemy and it was Passover! Pilate wanted to let him go. So inside the very heart of Xianity is a kernal of the maxim:
What fatal flowers of darkness bloom from seeds of Light."
Humans turn religion and churches into sources and centers of physical power and control... [/QUOTE]

Keep in mind that the argument you are making is from the Christian standpoint, I'm sure a Jewish lens would have a much different interpretation of events. Also remember from a theological stand point, according to many interpretations, Jesus was supposed to die, he never had a choice. In that light trying to blame the Romans or Hebraic peoples for his death is meaningless when taken in that context. Again, this is not really the place to discuss Christian theology.

[QUOTE=]The Natural symbolism of the "Fatal Flowers" blooming from "Seeds of Light" is probably a good way to end this ramble.... Nature indeed provides the most apt metaphors.
You see, Humans are part of Nature... the Abrahamic idea the Man is apart from Nature and that the Earth is only here for Humans to do with as they wish is a terrible corruption of the Natural Order that perhaps what I feel "Classical Paganism" had observed and honored...[/QUOTE]

While certainly a noble sentiment, it really is just that. As an example, the Celts (they are my go to examples, because I know a great deal about them) practiced slash and burn farming and deforested most of Ireland and the British Isles. Material needs often came before respect for nature. This is a romantic ideal which sprang up in the Neo-Pagan movement to attempt to present an alternative to the modern Western approach to the environment when of course the two groups merged in which ever way they did in the 70's and 80's.


[QUOTE=]With NeoClassical I'm pointing at a desire to connect to very simple harmony with nature, maybe before the advent of the Abrahamic Slave Cults... but the fact that I am historically on the other side of the dawning of those cults... I can not truly get back there, thus the "Neo-" prefix.[/QUOTE]

Lost of environmentalist are from Christian, Jewish and Muslim backgrounds, some are Pagans, Athiestis, Buddhists, Hindu's, and bevy of others, belonging to a religion does not preclude that you cannot respect and honour nature. The fact that there is no un-ending chain of practice from pre-Christian Pagans to modern Pagans is the reason the term Neo-Pagan is used, though often interchangeable with Pagan, and ti gets used anyway. If your really interested in authenticating pre-Christian Pagan beliefs, may I recommend you have a look at the Reconstructionist page?

Pt II to follow
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 05, 2008 - 8:01PM #13
gorm_sionnach
Posts: 237
[QUOTE=]Now, I have stated here and elsewhere, maybe the "History's Mysteries" thread in some far away forum here a BNet, that I am pretty naive when it comes to scholarly terminology about Paganism... I'm sort of a Pagan Pagan.... though that could be just doubly ignorant...
the fact that my instinctual connotations of "Pagan" is informed by my childhood as a Xtian I'm sure means I have a simple conception of it..
But I do feel that Paganism actually is pretty simple, especially compared to the contorted dogma of, say, the Abrahamic religions.[/QUOTE]

It seems simple on the outset, but it can be just as complex, albeit it not as overtly dogmatic (it really depends on the Paganism you want to follow, the people you associate with, and the way the wider community perceives you.)

[QUOTE=]I do have a strong sense of Pantheism in that, like Einstein once said "Either everything is holy or nothing is holy.". I think all Life is holy... I also have a decent science background. To think of atoms, particles which are not currently "part" of a living being may have been part of a living being many many times before and/or may yet be part of a living being in the future... so, are those particles only holy when they are part of living being? I can't believe that.
Also, the reliability of matter (so that we can rely on the matter that comprises these computers - me to type, you to read this, for example) seems really miraculous...
The harmony that matter seems to like to enter into, such as planets spinning and rotating around a star, which in turn gives light and heat to fuel all life while that life needs water, which just happens to be able to go from gas to liquid to solid and vice versa in the Earth's temperature range, while there are some fascinatingly efficient relationships going on, such as the way an animal can eat a piece of fruit, and ingest the seeds, and then eventually pass the seeds and happen to leave them encased in a natural fertilizer... it all just seems like a super genius designer at work... not to get into anthropomorphism though... I'm thinking more sublime... like a Divine Will that suffuses all Space.

the way a planetary system centered upon a star seems like a macrocosmic manifestation of the microcosmic atom with particles around a nucleus sort of reinforces a sense of there being "principles" at work/play and I can't conceive of such principles just coming from absolutely Nothing...

I don't really understand the distinction between Pantheism and Paganism very well, probaby b/c of my personal perspective... if any cares to elaborate I'd read it!

Well, this is much longer than I had planned. such is Life (ideally)

Take care[/QUOTE]


Well for starter you could go to the Pantheism page and ask them. Do a quick wiki on it, the differences would become apparent. In terms of your divine will, you may also want to have a peek at Deism. The last bit is really something more introspective, though some people would argue that the seeming harmony is evidence of some divine will, others will say that is just the inherit logic of the universe, and see no reason to believe in anything more...

But thank you for sharing, and prolonging this thread.:D
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 06, 2008 - 10:41AM #14
EyesoftheWorld
Posts: 1,707
Hi Gorm. thank you for really taking the time to think about and provide thoughtful responses, ideas and commentary to that rambling post of mine.

Here are my responses to your truly valued (by me) ideas. I appreciate your attention and knowledge.

To me, for anyone to be able to admit there is "logic" in the Universe and not realize the implications of such a concept (What is being logical? Where did that logic come from? How can such logic, an abstract "mental" construct, possibly manifest in matter?), suggests to me they are either 1) in need of some education or 2) trying hard to not think much, though their minds have "betrayed" them.

I cannot understand how anyone can admit that Xianity syncretized "Pagan" holidays, motifs, themes, symbols and bedrock myths, and then not feel or at least think that the Xian Church's disavowal (more like turning on, demonization and persecution in total contradiction to its "Commandments") the very sources or even "relative" as in "familial"  traditions which provides the Xian religion's very Heart and Soul, in regards to what its followers "respond" to and inform it's "Mysteries", is a kind of internecine cannibalism of belief systems. (sorry for the run on sentence) Getting bogged down with details about word choice ("roots", "foundation", "structure") to codify Pagan's role in the accretion of Xianity's repetoire of symbols, holidays and traditions seems like a waste of time if it can be agreed Pagan ideas, motifs and preexisting holidays were appropriated by the Church.

What are ostensibly Jesus' words, which I'll grant as "his" for the sake of discussion, have been twisted and contorted by implying a fundamental, tremendous assumption.
I doubt Jesus knew or thought there would be a montrous organized religion bearing his name. So when he "said" "the only way to the Father (Heaven) is through me", I think it's disingenuous for a "Church" to establish itself afterwards and claim Jesus meant through it, rather than living a life like Jesus himself.

The idea that Jesus "had to die" in general or, in particular, had to be tortured and executed in what's up there as one of the worst deaths known of in history, is assuming a point of faith, which if one is to hold as axiomatic, then "we" should just stop here.
The "spin" put on Jesus' death (and his words) is the bedrock of the Church which assembled itself upon his legacy. The "meaning" of the crucifixion and it's alleged predestination, I believe, is a rationalization without which the Xian Church would be undeniably absurd; with the rationalization it is merely debatably absurd.
Spin-free, Jesus taught and more importantly embodied a compassionate humanism which transcended organized religion's dogma and trifling details (bathing for a price!, before entering the Temple; banning the sick, lame and blind from ever entering the Temple, prohibitions upon whom one could sit down and eat with). He was a threat to the religious establishment's power and stranglehold over a people's religious sensibilities. He was classified as another blasphemer and executed.
It seems Jesus played upon/acted out some prophecies, such as entering the city on an ass; his motivation is, I feel, up for speculation (if anyone feels speculation is "forbidden", their presence "here" is rather curious as to their motivation).
I've also heard, by the way, that certain details of Jesus' history have been amended to fit in with other prophecies, such as the location of his birth. The motivation behind that, to me, is clear.
I don't want to get too sidetracked, but motivation is absolutely crucial!
Why would the Church, after it's "foundation" many years after Jesus' death, actively and - it's hard not to think - consciously, disregard his most sacred teachings and actively persecute and kill people it deemed "heretical" or "non-believers"? Is it possible there was human motivation and not Divine motivation there? What possible Divine motivation could anyone conjure up? I think it was about power and Jesus was a kind of "excuse" for people to impose their will and either sieze actual power or just feel powerful, as in "right" or "just". This obviously still happens today too.

To say it is 'meaningless' to point out the accepted facts of why Jesus was crucified seems like a feeble and ultimately unsupportable attempt to discredit or deflect or maybe distract from my point: Jesus was executed not because he had violated any Roman secular law. He was executed for blasphemy. Why was he crowned with thorns? Why was  "Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum" (INRI) placed on the cross?
There has been, is and will be much apologist squirming and theoretical contortions to shed blame for Jesus' crucifixion. I'd love to hear what you or anyone else reading this (thanks for reading, btw!) believes to be the reason Jesus was put to death. To try and infuse some kind of God-playing-puppet-master, pulling strings to get his "only son" to be tortured and crucified would probably be amusing to read, to say the least. So if anyone wants to try, and please do if you are so inclined, I'd be grateful if you could explain why Jesus had to die at all, and why he had to die that particular way.
I'm also a bit confused... why did Jesus die? So that "our sins may be forgiven"? Does that mean that before he died, nobody who ever sinned went to Hell b/c there was no way for sins to be forgiven? Well, considering Original Sin, which seems like a blatant condemnation of sexuality, which I can't at all comprehend since how else does "God" expect any species to propagate, that would necessarily mean nobody avoided Hell until Jesus' death... I don't know what God's problem is to create humans and then damn them to Hell no matter what, but maybe someone has some insight they're compassionate enough to share and quell my confusion. I'd assume a "good Christian" would come to the aid of another human... like a Samaritan, right?
So... if there was some kind of major "policy change" that came in w/Jesus in regards to sin, what had happened to necessitate it? There's a fatal flaw in Christianity which anyone who dares to think will discover. Maybe that's why the Church is or at least was until it became obvious, rabidly anti-education and anti-science. Why? Human greed. that's why.
I know this has become a major attack on Xianity, but it's not an attack on Jesus. Some may be able to understand that, but if not, I don't really care.
The reason I feel it's necessary to rail against this abomination of an organized religion is that it's hypocrisy is unparalleled in it's scope and sheer insanity. A religion based upon the premise of Love they Neighbor which has militantly, violently and viciously persecuted not only non-Christians, but even Christians: just look at the Spanish Inquisition. Why would Christians torture other Christians? Power, greed and pathology.

Beware of any person or group who maintains they know the "Will of God". They are dangerous power hungry socio- and psychopaths.

I attack Christianity to prove that it has no authority over a single, isolated Pagan believer, no matter how disorganized and inexpressible their beliefs, which they never have to even articulate, unless maybe they're being tortured by a zealous disciple of Christ. I'm sure they're really loving and compassionate... they care about your Eternal Soul! That's why they can cause so much pain in this World, right?
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 06, 2008 - 1:19PM #15
gorm_sionnach
Posts: 237
[QUOTE=]To me, for anyone to be able to admit there is "logic" in the Universe and not realize the implications of such a concept (What is being logical? Where did that logic come from? How can such logic, an abstract "mental" construct, possibly manifest in matter?), suggests to me they are either 1) in need of some education or 2) trying hard to not think much, though their minds have "betrayed" them.[/QUOTE]

Perhaps logic was the wrong word for me to use, I believe (as do many others) that one can satisfactoraly explain the development of the universe without the need to insert deity as the causal force. Especially when it comes to evolutionary biology. Again, this is really neither here nor there.

[QUOTE=]I cannot understand how anyone can admit that Xianity syncretized "Pagan" holidays, motifs, themes, symbols and bedrock myths, and then not feel or at least think that the Xian Church's disavowal (more like turning on, demonization and persecution in total contradiction to its "Commandments") the very sources or even "relative" as in "familial"  traditions which provides the Xian religion's very Heart and Soul, in regards to what its followers "respond" to and inform it's "Mysteries", is a kind of internecine cannibalism of belief systems. (sorry for the run on sentence) Getting bogged down with details about word choice ("roots", "foundation", "structure") to codify Pagan's role in the accretion of Xianity's repetoire of symbols, holidays and traditions seems like a waste of time if it can be agreed Pagan ideas, motifs and preexisting holidays were appropriated by the Church.[/QUOTE]

Again, and I believe that another poster brought this up in another forum, but to complain that Christanity stole beliefs and practices from Pagan groups is sort of silly. Those groups converted, most European tribal societies and kingdoms willingly adopted the new religion, abandoned the old ways and simply took their beliefs and incorporated them into the new one. It is hardly stealing. Further, it is a completely untennable posistion for modern Pagans to complain about the Church stealing their beliefs, becuase they never were their beliefs. Neo-Paganism is one of the most syncretic religious movements out there, and with the exceptions of the Recon trads (and one of the reasons the Recon's developed at all) essentially take bits and pieces from folklore and mythology and incorporate them however they see fit. Sure, the Church has (and had) its dogma and forbade much of the Pagan practices, but comparing the early Church to the Modern Christian religion is not an especially valid form of argument, considering the plethora of differences between the two.

[QUOTE=]What are ostensibly Jesus' words, which I'll grant as "his" for the sake of discussion, have been twisted and contorted by implying a fundamental, tremendous assumption.
I doubt Jesus knew or thought there would be a montrous organized religion bearing his name. So when he "said" "the only way to the Father (Heaven) is through me", I think it's disingenuous for a "Church" to establish itself afterwards and claim Jesus meant through it, rather than living a life like Jesus himself.

The idea that Jesus "had to die" in general or, in particular, had to be tortured and executed in what's up there as one of the worst deaths known of in history, is assuming a point of faith, which if one is to hold as axiomatic, then "we" should just stop here.
The "spin" put on Jesus' death (and his words) is the bedrock of the Church which assembled itself upon his legacy. The "meaning" of the crucifixion and it's alleged predestination, I believe, is a rationalization without which the Xian Church would be undeniably absurd; with the rationalization it is merely debatably absurd.

Spin-free, Jesus taught and more importantly embodied a compassionate humanism which transcended organized religion's dogma and trifling details (bathing for a price!, before entering the Temple; banning the sick, lame and blind from ever entering the Temple, prohibitions upon whom one could sit down and eat with). He was a threat to the religious establishment's power and stranglehold over a people's religious sensibilities. He was classified as another blasphemer and executed.

It seems Jesus played upon/acted out some prophecies, such as entering the city on an ass; his motivation is, I feel, up for speculation (if anyone feels speculation is "forbidden", their presence "here" is rather curious as to their motivation).
I've also heard, by the way, that certain details of Jesus' history have been amended to fit in with other prophecies, such as the location of his birth. The motivation behind that, to me, is clear.
I don't want to get too sidetracked, but motivation is absolutely crucial!
Why would the Church, after it's "foundation" many years after Jesus' death, actively and - it's hard not to think - consciously, disregard his most sacred teachings and actively persecute and kill people it deemed "heretical" or "non-believers"? Is it possible there was human motivation and not Divine motivation there? What possible Divine motivation could anyone conjure up? I think it was about power and Jesus was a kind of "excuse" for people to impose their will and either sieze actual power or just feel powerful, as in "right" or "just". This obviously still happens today too

To say it is 'meaningless' to point out the accepted facts of why Jesus was crucified seems like a feeble and ultimately unsupportable attempt to discredit or deflect or maybe distract from my point: Jesus was executed not because he had violated any Roman secular law. He was executed for blasphemy. Why was he crowned with thorns? Why was  "Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum" (INRI) placed on the cross?

There has been, is and will be much apologist squirming and theoretical contortions to shed blame for Jesus' crucifixion. I'd love to hear what you or anyone else reading this (thanks for reading, btw!) believes to be the reason Jesus was put to death. To try and infuse some kind of God-playing-puppet-master, pulling strings to get his "only son" to be tortured and crucified would probably be amusing to read, to say the least. So if anyone wants to try, and please do if you are so inclined, I'd be grateful if you could explain why Jesus had to die at all, and why he had to die that particular way.
I'm also a bit confused... why did Jesus die? So that "our sins may be forgiven"? Does that mean that before he died, nobody who ever sinned went to Hell b/c there was no way for sins to be forgiven? Well, considering Original Sin, which seems like a blatant condemnation of sexuality, which I can't at all comprehend since how else does "God" expect any species to propagate, that would necessarily mean nobody avoided Hell until Jesus' death... I don't know what God's problem is to create humans and then damn them to Hell no matter what, but maybe someone has some insight they're compassionate enough to share and quell my confusion. I'd assume a "good Christian" would come to the aid of another human... like a Samaritan, right?
So... if there was some kind of major "policy change" that came in w/Jesus in regards to sin, what had happened to necessitate it? There's a fatal flaw in Christianity which anyone who dares to think will discover. Maybe that's why the Church is or at least was until it became obvious, rabidly anti-education and anti-science. Why? Human greed. that's why.
I know this has become a major attack on Xianity, but it's not an attack on Jesus. Some may be able to understand that, but if not, I don't really care.
The reason I feel it's necessary to rail against this abomination of an organized religion is that it's hypocrisy is unparalleled in it's scope and sheer insanity. A religion based upon the premise of Love they Neighbor which has militantly, violently and viciously persecuted not only non-Christians, but even Christians: just look at the Spanish Inquisition. Why would Christians torture other Christians? Power, greed and pathology.

Beware of any person or group who maintains they know the "Will of God". They are dangerous power hungry socio- and psychopaths.[/QUOTE]

I guess its my own fault, but I realized that the majority of this quote is debating over tennats and beliefs of the Christian religion, and as such this is hardly the place too discuss it. I gave some limited answeres in my eariler posts, but that was to adress some of your contentions with Christanity, just to give my personal view of it.  If you really want answers, especially from someone who could provide you with more insight into the Christian mind set, I'd advise you go to the discuss christianity boards, there happnes to be some very intelligent and elloquent posters there, who I'm sure would answer your questions regarding matters of Christian docterine.

[QUOTE=]I attack Christianity to prove that it has no authority over a single, isolated Pagan believer, no matter how disorganized and inexpressible their beliefs, which they never have to even articulate, unless maybe they're being tortured by a zealous disciple of Christ. I'm sure they're really loving and compassionate... they care about your Eternal Soul! That's why they can cause so much pain in this World, right?[/QUOTE]

You do not need to attack another religion or set of beliefs to give legitimacy to your own, in fact according to your own arguments, that seems to be kind of hypocritical. Pagans do not  bother (well perhaps "ex-Pagans"  do, but they are a whole other kettle of fish) considering what Christians think of their beliefs as a way to justify them. Biblical scripture has no bearing on the neo-Pagan movement, because it does not apply to us. It is as simple as that.
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 06, 2008 - 2:19PM #16
EyesoftheWorld
Posts: 1,707
My you are slippery! But not slippery enough. Gorm.. worm...

It sound like you're describing the ideal of a Christian when you say "Pagans do not bother considering what Christians think of their beliefs as a way to justify them. Biblical scripture has no bearing on the neo-Pagan movement, because it does not apply to us. It is as simple as that. "

Here's my thoughts:
1) That sounds like an Xian ideal in theory to live and let live, but in practice Xians have shown an inability to be that tolerant.

2) I didn't know there were rules as to what Pagans do and do not do. Where can I obtain this rulebook?

3) I'm not bothering to consider what Xians think of my beliefs (I know they're hopelessly closed-minded). I am discussing here what kind of Pagan I am... who started this crazy thread?haha

4) Is the list of what has bearing on the Neo-Pagan movement and what applies to "us" in the rulebook too? Where is this movement?

5) Do you really think it's that simple? Please tell me you didn't think very much before you posted that.


***

This peaceful notion of Pagans willingly joining Xianity and leaving behind their Pagan ways is humorous. Was there no coercion or fear of persecution? Did they not see any examples of what would become of them if they did not convert? What's that? "Convert or Die? kind of Evangelicalism? Did the Xians go the Pagans and demand they convert or did the Pagans, under their own free will just show up at the Church one day?

And the idea of the Xian Church selecting Pagan ideas and symbols and annexing holidays seems so pastoral and gentle... like selecting chocolates out of a box shaped like a heart, and turning the pages of an album, and liesurely browsing the calendar... To not realize the shrewd reality of brute force and malicious duress which was wielded with impunity (being justified by God, you see) by the Church in absolute contradiction to their own 'glorious' ideals is almost funny...

Considering Dromahair, in another thread, who I hope does not mind me citing his post, said basically that the Xian Church has defined Paganism... so to think a discussion of Paganism can be so easily conducted without a hard look at Xianity strikes me as either unrealistic or as motivated by a bias...

The reason I'm not in the Xian forums, conversing with the no-doubt eloquent posters there (I've spent some time in the Historical Jesus forum for example) is that I'm here to learn and talk about Paganism. Someone started this thread about what kind of Pagan I am. I have no questions about Xian doctrine; I asked you (as a reader of my post) in an attempt to get you to see the fault lines and what I deem the key issues. The way you display such ignorance of this stuff makes me think you need to learn the answers to those questions if you don't believe me.

Considering the word "Pagan" was a pejorative term for Non-Abrahamic religious practitioners, and that is the apparently self-chosen word for what I think I associate with, and then that Xianity actually has "Paganism" suffusing it's core beliefs and symbols, and for you to seem to be annoyed that I'm 'attacking' Xianity I guess does prove that you think it's "that simple".

As for my "attack", it's obviously only words.... those 'peaceful' Xians though,,, aren't we lucky they're not in the position they used to be to 'attack' us? What tough love.
What Fatal Flowers of Darkness Bloom from Seeds of Light!
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 06, 2008 - 2:58PM #17
gorm_sionnach
Posts: 237
[QUOTE=EyesoftheWorld;877265]My you are slippery! But not slippery enough. Gorm.. worm...

It sound like you're describing the ideal of a Christian when you say "Pagans do not bother considering what Christians think of their beliefs as a way to justify them. Biblical scripture has no bearing on the neo-Pagan movement, because it does not apply to us. It is as simple as that. "[/QUOTE]

I appreciate being called a worm, really. Thanks...

[QUOTE=]
Here's my thoughts:
1) That sounds like an Xian ideal in theory to live and let live, but in practice Xians have shown an inability to be that tolerant.

2) I didn't know there were rules as to what Pagans do and do not do. Where can I obtain this rulebook?

3) I'm not bothering to consider what Xians think of my beliefs (I know they're hopelessly closed-minded). I am discussing here what kind of Pagan I am... who started this crazy thread?haha

4) Is the list of what has bearing on the Neo-Pagan movement and what applies to "us" in the rulebook too? Where is this movement?

5) Do you really think it's that simple? Please tell me you didn't think very much before you posted that.
[/QUOTE]

1) I am unsure why this is an ideal form of only Christianity. Live and let live is a perfectly tennable and worth while philosophy to have. The point I was making was simply that Pagans have no reason tro try and justify their beliefs to Christians, especially not by stomping on someone else's faith. Tollerance and openness are one of the many aspects which draws people to a Pagan path. How this makes me sound like a Christian, is clearly your own opinion. I assure you I am not, nor ever have been Christian.

2) At no point did I ever state that not carrring what the Bible said about our practices was a rule of Paganism, the point was that people quoting from a book which does not apply to those being prostylized to are misguided and foolish to expect those to believe as they do.

3) For someone who "doesn't care" what Christians think about their beliefs, you certainly complain an awful lot about what they do think and believe. You flatly stated,

[QUOTE=]"I attack Christianity to prove that it has no authority over a single, isolated Pagan believer, no matter how disorganized and inexpressible their beliefs, which they never have to even articulate, unless maybe they're being tortured by a zealous disciple of Christ.[/QUOTE]

That certainly sounds like you need to defend yours and other beliefs by denigrating others, because you are concerned about their claim to authority.

4) Where is the Neo-Pagan movement?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo_paganism

http://www.paganpride.org/

www.witchvox.com

that's just for starters. Again, your inference that I claim rules for neo-Pagans is unfounded and wrong.

5)Yes, and I will say it again, Biblical scripture has no bearing on any neo-Pagan belief system , with the exception of Christo-Pagans or unless individuals choose to incorporate it,  and I suppose the purpose of theis thread was originally to decided if this was a tenable posistion.


***

[QUOTE=]This peaceful notion of Pagans willingly joining Xianity and leaving behind their Pagan ways is humorous. Was there no coercion or fear of persecution? Did they not see any examples of what would become of them if they did not convert? What's that? "Convert or Die? kind of Evangelicalism? Did the Xians go the Pagans and demand they convert or did the Pagans, under their own free will just show up at the Church one day?[/QUOTE]

Have you ever actually picked up a history book, really. Try it some time, read.

[QUOTE=]And the idea of the Xian Church selecting Pagan ideas and symbols and annexing holidays seems so pastoral and gentle... like selecting chocolates out of a box shaped like a heart, and turning the pages of an album, and liesurely browsing the calendar... To not realize the shrewd reality of brute force and malicious duress which was wielded with impunity (being justified by God, you see) by the Church in absolute contradiction to their own 'glorious' ideals is almost funny...[/QUOTE]

Never said it was all peaceful, just that a very large percentage of European peoples willingly chose conversion. You can quote all the psudeo-history there is, it wil remain psuedo-history. Again you are the one placing inferences on statements I made.

[QUOTE=]Considering Dromahair, in another thread, who I hope does not mind me citing his post, said basically that the Xian Church has defined Paganism... so to think a discussion of Paganism can be so easily conducted without a hard look at Xianity strikes me as either unrealistic or as motivated by a bias...[/QUOTE]

It did and ti has, but that doesn't make it the final authority on language or meaning. Pagan, especially in terms of neo-Paganism has moved away from simply being not part of the abrahamic faiths. And yes, discussion of modern Pagan beliefs can, and usually is discussed without having to place it in a wider context of Christianity.

[QUOTE=]The reason I'm not in the Xian forums, conversing with the no-doubt eloquent posters there (I've spent some time in the Historical Jesus forum for example) is that I'm here to learn and talk about Paganism. Someone started this thread about what kind of Pagan I am. I have no questions about Xian doctrine; I asked you (as a reader of my post) in an attempt to get you to see the fault lines and what I deem the key issues. The way you display such ignorance of this stuff makes me think you need to learn the answers to those questions if you don't believe me. [/QUOTE]

I suppose if your beliefs are so fragile and tennative that in oder to maintain them you continually need to attack the beliefs of others, then you\ve already answred the question I asked. My choice to not answer your questions is simply as an act of courtesy and decorum in B'Net. You makes such one sided leaps of logic in your assertions, and completely ignoe the perfectly acceptable reasons someone give you. You talk about being closed minded, look in a mirror some time.

[QUOTE=]Considering the word "Pagan" was a pejorative term for Non-Abrahamic religious practitioners, and that is the apparently self-chosen word for what I think I associate with, and then that Xianity actually has "Paganism" suffusing it's core beliefs and symbols, and for you to seem to be annoyed that I'm 'attacking' Xianity I guess does prove that you think it's "that simple".

As for my "attack", it's obviously only words.... those 'peaceful' Xians though,,, aren't we lucky they're not in the position they used to be to 'attack' us? What tough love.[/QUOTE]

If you want to use one of the many accepted definitions to desrcibe your 'Paganism" feel free to.

And really, just because someone else does something, does not justify it or make it an ethical decision. Rise above hate and intollerance, don't be dragged down by it.
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 06, 2008 - 3:05PM #18
tameless_heart
Posts: 2,084
Ditto Gorm. You echoed my feelings on the subject most intensely.

(Other than that my post has no purpose. Shame on me.)
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 06, 2008 - 3:23PM #19
EyesoftheWorld
Posts: 1,707
Alright, I think we've come full circle... I have a better understanding of where you're coming from Gorm... I didn't call you a worm, by the way! I just mulled over the closeness of "Gorm" with "worm", which was predicated by your slipperiness... sorry though. I can see that it was rude.

I guess we don't fully understand each other... I mean, I'm trying to articulate my thoughts about this, which to me is a big deal, and I very well may have more of a charge to my feelings about certain hypocrisies than the average Paganist; this could be at least in part due to my Catholic schooling.... I'm not really a hateful person, but I cannot tolerate injustice and I feel like the Church has, is and will be a massive force of injustice in the World, under the cloak of Divine Righteousness and that bothers me greatly.

I feel bad that we've become pitted against each other this way. I'm sure it's related to how Xianity basically equated the concept of Paganism to "evil" while having integrated the very things which served to characterize Paganism...

Well... I think I'm more a Pantheist anyway... thanks for the mental workout.

And yes, I have read history books...
Is English your native language?
What Fatal Flowers of Darkness Bloom from Seeds of Light!
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 06, 2008 - 3:29PM #20
tameless_heart
Posts: 2,084
You know Eyes, I think it is pretty spiffy that youve come to post here. I know you've made me think, and I"m pretty sure some other people have too. So, don't stop posting,but do as we do and keep an open mind and the discussions flowing. ;)
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