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Pagan Fundamentalists

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Pagan Fundamentalists

Postby Kassandra » Mon Jun 29, 2015 8:38 pm

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http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/PaganCo ... talism.htm

Good article (I would cut and paste it here, but I'm on my tablet and can't, perhaps later), good food for thought. Dealing with "fundies" is never fun, be they Christian, or pagan, or what have you.

Paganism itself is a varied mix, with some self-identifying as having deity-centered practices, and some not. Some may subscribe to rules and principles that others do not. Some may take an eclectic approach that others don't take. It's quite challenging to be tolerant when others have different points of view, different approaches, but we can remember that our love for sincere spirituality could outweigh any differences between us.

Though we may express our beliefs passionately and lively, it's wonderful that we even care enough to do so. I think in the end, that is what counts the most, that we care.
smileylove


(P.S.: Read more articles about this phenomenon here: https://www.google.com/search?sclient=p ... gle+Search )




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Re: Pagan Fundamentalists

Postby smogie_michele » Tue Jun 30, 2015 7:38 pm

thank you for sharing :)
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Re: Pagan Fundamentalists

Postby Kassandra » Wed Jul 01, 2015 1:15 am

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You're quite welcome, my friend.




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Re: Pagan Fundamentalists

Postby Elysium » Fri Jul 03, 2015 7:36 pm

This is an excellent point to bring up, because a community is stronger by accepting each member's diversity. I honestly haven't met a pagan fundamentalist, but I think it is less common due to the fact that paganism doesn't have a central doctrine to follow like monotheistic religions. I'm sure they're out there though.
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Re: Pagan Fundamentalists

Postby Kassandra » Sun Jul 05, 2015 5:59 pm

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The Ever-changing Pagan

Elysium wrote:I think it is less common due to the fact that paganism doesn't have a central doctrine to follow like monotheistic religions. I'm sure they're out there though.

Oh, they're out there. "Pagan" originally came from a Latin word that just meant a person of the Roman provinces, usually from a rural area, who practiced a non-state-sanctioned religion (did not worship "official" Roman gods). Later, when Christianity's papal system replaced Rome's ceasar-system, and then when Islam came into being, "pagan" seemed to morph yet again, simply meaning any adherent of a non-Abrahamic religion.

And even later, it seemed to have taken on many other shades of meaning, especially since the advent of Neo-paganism. So, there's a wide variety of folks included under the umbrella term, paganism. There's a lot of bleed-over one from religion to another, many similarities, and they seem to all touch on concepts of fertility and cycles of life, in one way or another. You'd think with these similarities and seeming freedoms that pagans would all be embracing each other, singing Kumbaya around a campfire, and whatnot.



A Crucifix for a Pentacle

Someone on some pagan website wrote an interesting phrase that I never forgot: "traded in their crucifix, for a pentacle." An unfortunate trademark of Christiandom, and other Abrahamic faiths really, is a very dogmatic, black or white, condemnatory attitude toward the faiths and practices of all other folk. And there tends to be an interesting emphasis on guilt, accompanied by a perceived sense of righteousness. It seems to me like people are "guilted" into those religions, and rarely ever drawn toward them.

And here's the clincher: people steeped in that mentality will ostensibly leave their Abrahamic religion (or claim to have never subscribed to such), but will come over to paganism/witchcraft bringing that very mentality along with them! There's the same bullying, the same finger-pointing, the same "I get the last word on this...because my way is the right way!" nonsense that just turns everybody off and shuts them down.

Not only do they preach their inerrant beliefs, but they seem to espouse some kind of implied in-group/out-group dynamic and assume that everyone else agrees with them. I especially don't like it when these folks try to speak for me, saying things like, "we here ALL believe [this]." No, we DON'T all believe [that]. Wrong. And I can speak for myself, thank you very much.



Beat Over the Head with a Bible --Oops, I Meant Grimoire

It's unfortunate when I see people coming on this message board, in pain or otherwise stressed, having exhausted their mundane resources, asking what a witchcraft solution might be, not caring if it's a Wiccan solution, or hoodoo, or Asatru...they just want some help, anything. And instead of getting met where they are, I've see them get practically dogpiled, harangued with this that or the other pagan "law" dictated to them with as much self-righteousness as Christians quote Biblical scriptures. What's the difference? There is none. The net result is that no attempt, whatsoever, was made to actually help that person, while rather zealous attempts were made to preach that person.

Yeah, pagans/witches could be just as nauseating as anyone else. A fundamentalist is a fundamentalist, regardless of creed. Yeah, a pagan fundamentalist may talk about "the goddess," do all manner of magical spells and whatnot, but there are some who essentially "trade in their crucifix for a pentacle," and will proceed to beat you over the head with their set of dogmatic, absolute, universal and inerrant beliefs.



A Simple Fix

For the purposes of this board at least, I propose a simple fix for toning this down, an old standby of Interpersonal Communication Skills 101, yes, the tried and true...."I-Statements"! It's an oldie, but goodie. These are simple "qualifiers" that could modify our earth-shattering spiritual declarations and deeply-profound pronouncements, and thereby foster an atmosphere of mature, open-minded discussion, rather than of zealous, preachy, nauseating evangelistic pagan fundamentalism.

I-Statements sound like this:

In my opinion...
I think that...
In my experience, I found that...
I was taught that...
In my particular belief system, we believe that...

and so on. They reflect that the author of a post has some semblance of humility, and understands that his or her way is not the right way, nor the only way, but merely one of many ways.

Imagine that, a fix so simple, so Kumbaya-worthy, perhaps it's complicated. :wink:


Thanks for reading.




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Re: Pagan Fundamentalists

Postby Sakura Blossom » Mon Jul 06, 2015 10:51 pm

I love that article, Kass! I think it's incredibly important to remember for ANY religion, that everyone has a different set of beliefs and that nothing has been proven as "fact". If it had been, we would have only one religion because everyone would know it was the one and only thing to believe. Religious freedom is the ability of having choice in the faith you wish to have or don't have, so knocking down someone's ideas or actions as "wrong" for not matching yours is a quick way to cause upset in the community. Great article!
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Re: Pagan Fundamentalists

Postby Kassandra » Mon Jul 06, 2015 11:12 pm

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Thanks, mate.




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Re: Pagan Fundamentalists

Postby Elysium » Tue Jul 07, 2015 9:32 am

Trading a crucifix for a pentacle is a very good way of putting it. I guess some people are just so entrapped in that state of mind they want to apply it to everything.
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