You know I occasionally do a google + hunt of all things pagan to see what's on the top page. Probably because it's Halloween time this post came in on the top of the page (warning reading the post linked to may cause anger among other non-believers).
It's ok with me that Pennie De is against paganism/the occult/ religion that doesn't involve Jesus. As far as I'm concerned, her accusations of Satanism is just a born again Christian acting like a born again Christian and I can over look it.
I am deeply disturbed by where she writes: “ ....the one thing that always ticked God off the most was when His people adopted the customs of the pagans. It was an abomination to Him”
First off Christians have borrowed and stolen so much from ancient paganism, exactly what does one decide to cut out? This isn't an accusatory statement, it's virtually impossible to be immersed in a culture and not borrow at least their building style. Modern pagans have a similar challenge in identifying what is Christian bias in our culture or thought system and whether it has a place in a pagan religious structure. I understand her lament regarding familiarizing the self with certain rituals, finding comfort and meaning in them, and then having to go back and either re-structure them, or acknowledge they have no place in your life for various reasons. I like to think this is neither a Pagan, Christian, nor Convert thing but something all thoughtful people must do from time to time in their practice to stay authentic to who they are now.
Secondly whether Halloween itself is pagan or not is kind of debatable.
Thirdly, are you really going to cut yourself off from new thought, technology, discovery, and culture because a Christian didn't come up with it? This seems like a knee jerk reaction to the word pagan more than anything else.
It's one thing to try not to just pick and choose bits of other pieces of other people's culture for your own entertainment or personal fulfillment without true consideration or thought, but it's another entirely to reject all that is not of your religion.
Isolating yourself from society and how others interact with the world will stagnate a faith. It's not just about people passing a faith over for something “cooler”, it's about a religion's slow loss to make deep meaningful connection between different people and the world around them. I think religion loses a lot when it can no longer make connections between one person and another, when it can't be inserted into one's day to day life, when a deity requires one withdraw from society instead of going out and interacting.
I know Pennie De never intended to withdraw from society, but rather she aims to remold it in a manner pleasing to her God. I suppose I don't understand why an all knowing all powerful deity doesn't choose to be the change ze wishes to see in the world. I don't understand why such a god with the means forces zir follower's to withdraw from the world and abstain instead of sending them forth to live richly and deeply with others. Why is such a God angered by zir followers looking at and sharing in other's customs? Why would adapting these customs to further worship the one true god be harmful? If it so deeply offends why does this God allow it on this earth period?
I am saddened for a group of worshipers that are supposed to have an all powerful God but whom seem to be constantly retreating into their own faith and circles away from an open group conversation. I am afraid of people who reject knowledge and learning out of hand because their God or their people didn't come up with it. Let the information or tradition succeed or fail on it's own merits.
Also, should Pennie De ever read this I'd like her to know that I, like her, will probably be at home praying on Halloween. The difference it that my prayers will be to my Gods, guides, and ancestors. Instead of combating evil or trying to cajole others into changing I will be thanking them for what I have and asking them for guidance in what I want to accomplish in the new year. I hope that Pennie De finds her prayers as deep and fulfilling as mine will be, though I can't exactly hope her prayers are answered.
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Article copyright Swift Rabbit/ Southern Pagan Muses