Pagan Pride

Min Bannister

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zarathustraspake said:
I notice that both the local Catholic priest and the Catholic youth organisation involved have condemned the salt-chucking.
The article I read mentioned something about the family not being known to them and not even being registered on the retreat. Bit of a shame for them really.*

*Edit, the youth group that is, not the weirdos.
 

Jerry_B

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Glastonbury is probably one of the most Christian places on the map of England, in terms of history - but it seems various pagans have chosen to ignore that bit and instead buy into the New Age/hippy-inspired nonsense about the place. There are actually several pre-Christian religious sites in the local area, but the local pagans don't seem to be terribly clued-in on actual history, preferring instead some romantic ideal. Add to that the appropriation of the King Arthur stuff - which in itself was kicked off by Christian monks trying to drum up some money way back when ;)
 

escargot

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On a wall in a pub in Glastonbury, the Star and Something, (can't remember) there is a huge resin replica of a buffalo skull, with my name written inside it. 8)
 

jefflovestone

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Jerry_B said:
Glastonbury is probably one of the most Christian places on the map of England, in terms of history - but it seems various pagans have chosen to ignore that bit and instead buy into the New Age/hippy-inspired nonsense about the place. There are actually several pre-Christian religious sites in the local area, but the local pagans don't seem to be terribly clued-in on actual history, preferring instead some romantic ideal. Add to that the appropriation of the King Arthur stuff - which in itself was kicked off by Christian monks trying to drum up some money way back when ;)
This is something I've observed myself with quite a few pagans. I've heard/read more than few over the years deriding various Christians for not knowing various facets of Christian (or even general) history or doctrine - usually things that either are said to have negatively impacted on pagans in some way or other. Yet quite often their take on knowing what really went on is weirdly selective or based on a very strange or dubious take on history.
 

ghostdog19

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jefflovestone said:
Jerry_B said:
Glastonbury is probably one of the most Christian places on the map of England, in terms of history - but it seems various pagans have chosen to ignore that bit and instead buy into the New Age/hippy-inspired nonsense about the place. There are actually several pre-Christian religious sites in the local area, but the local pagans don't seem to be terribly clued-in on actual history, preferring instead some romantic ideal. Add to that the appropriation of the King Arthur stuff - which in itself was kicked off by Christian monks trying to drum up some money way back when ;)
This is something I've observed myself with quite a few pagans. I've heard/read more than few over the years deriding various Christians for not knowing various facets of Christian (or even general) history or doctrine - usually things that either are said to have negatively impacted on pagans in some way or other. Yet quite often their take on knowing what really went on is weirdly selective or based on a very strange or dubious take on history.
Agree with you both. I've come across the exact same thing. Quite a selective knowledge which almost completely excludes Christianity or any knowledge thereof. There are also countless books that do the same. I suppose you prescribe to whatever an area has to do with your faith, but it smacks of revisionist thinking to me. It doesn't seem entirely genuine when you have the history of a place described as rooted in paganism when it isn't or vice versa.
 

jefflovestone

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ghostdog19 said:
jefflovestone said:
Jerry_B said:
Glastonbury is probably one of the most Christian places on the map of England, in terms of history - but it seems various pagans have chosen to ignore that bit and instead buy into the New Age/hippy-inspired nonsense about the place. There are actually several pre-Christian religious sites in the local area, but the local pagans don't seem to be terribly clued-in on actual history, preferring instead some romantic ideal. Add to that the appropriation of the King Arthur stuff - which in itself was kicked off by Christian monks trying to drum up some money way back when ;)
This is something I've observed myself with quite a few pagans. I've heard/read more than few over the years deriding various Christians for not knowing various facets of Christian (or even general) history or doctrine - usually things that either are said to have negatively impacted on pagans in some way or other. Yet quite often their take on knowing what really went on is weirdly selective or based on a very strange or dubious take on history.
Agree with you both. I've come across the exact same thing. Quite a selective knowledge which almost completely excludes Christianity or any knowledge thereof. There are also countless books that do the same. I suppose you prescribe to whatever an area has to do with your faith, but it smacks of revisionist thinking to me. It doesn't seem entirely genuine when you have the history of a place described as rooted in paganism when it isn't or vice versa.
Yeah, I don't purport to be an expert on either Christianity or paganism, it's just the double standard that bothers me. How some pagans will use history or an intellectual stance to pull apart Christianity yet brush any pagan shortcomings under the carpet or even not be aware of them at all.
 

escargot

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What? You say that members of a religious faith will use history or an intellectual stance to pull apart another religious faith, yet brush their own faith's shortcomings under the carpet or even not be aware of them at all? :shock:

What is the world coming to?
 

Pietro_Mercurios

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escargot1 said:
What? You say that members of a religious faith will use history or an intellectual stance to pull apart another religious faith, yet brush their own faith's shortcomings under the carpet or even not be aware of them at all? :shock:

What is the world coming to?
Quite. Shocking isn't it? :eek!!!!:
 

jefflovestone

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escargot1 said:
What? You say that members of a religious faith will use history or an intellectual stance to pull apart another religious faith, yet brush their own faith's shortcomings under the carpet or even not be aware of them at all? :shock:

What is the world coming to?
Ouch!
 

ghostdog19

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jefflovestone said:
Yeah, I don't purport to be an expert on either Christianity or paganism, it's just the double standard that bothers me. How some pagans will use history or an intellectual stance to pull apart Christianity yet brush any pagan shortcomings under the carpet or even not be aware of them at all.
The thing about "faith" is that proof is not a part of it. Many Pagans and Christians alike appear to forget that.

Perhaps this has more to do with the avaricious or covetous nature of man? Some of us still feel the need to scent mark everything.
 

ghostdog19

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I wonder if there have been any stories about acts of vandalism to your traditional CofE churches with their pagan gargoyles, as an act of disassociation? Ie: Pagan vandalizes a gargoyle of the green man... or something like that?
 

ghostdog19

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not quite the story I was looking for, (though the tenuous 'sun worship' iconology would perhaps fit the bill, but not likely given the IQ shared between the vandals amounting to a presidential low) but here you go...

http://ledger.southofboston.com/article ... news01.txt

‘‘They got drunk on wine and urinated on the altar and into the holy water,'' Cachopa said.
Way to go. Oh, how the benighted find merriment. :roll:
 

jefflovestone

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ghostdog19 said:
jefflovestone said:
Yeah, I don't purport to be an expert on either Christianity or paganism, it's just the double standard that bothers me. How some pagans will use history or an intellectual stance to pull apart Christianity yet brush any pagan shortcomings under the carpet or even not be aware of them at all.
The thing about "faith" is that proof is not a part of it. Many Pagans and Christians alike appear to forget that.
It depends on what area "faith" is being applied to. The discussions I was discussing were more issues historical (in)accuracy and the part the Church has played in history. As I said, usually things that portray Christianity or the Church in a bad light and quite often people that have spouted the "never again the burning times!!!11!" type line of argument.

Perhaps this has more to do with the avaricious or covetous nature of man?
Careful, someone was asked to prove this human nature on the conspiracy boards. ;)

Some of us still feel the need to scent mark everything.
Yeah. sigh
 

ghostdog19

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jefflovestone said:
It depends on what area "faith" is being applied to. The discussions I was discussing were more issues historical (in)accuracy and the part the Church has played in history. As I said, usually things that portray Christianity or the Church in a bad light and quite often people that have spouted the "never again the burning times!!!11!" type line of argument.
Yep, still agree. :D
Perhaps this has more to do with the avaricious or covetous nature of man?
Careful, someone was asked to prove this human nature on the conspiracy boards. ;) [/quote]
The avaricious or covetous nature of man is otherwise known as his stomach. ;) Ask any person who doesn't believe in it what they had for lunch today. ;)

Besides which, I thought the challenge was to prove reality? Or was that all a bad dream? :twisted:
 

jefflovestone

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ghostdog19 said:
[
The avaricious or covetous nature of man is otherwise known as his stomach. ;) Ask any person who doesn't believe in it what they had for lunch today. ;)

Besides which, I thought the challenge was to prove reality? Or was that all a bad dream? :twisted:
No, it was human nature. As for reality, I'm praying someone disproves this one.
 

Timble2

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ghostdog19 said:
I wonder if there have been any stories about acts of vandalism to your traditional CofE churches with their pagan gargoyles, as an act of disassociation?

Someone vandalised a Sheela-na-gig in a CoE church last year, but that was more likely to have been done by some prudish Christian than a Pagan separatist.

Buncton Sheela
 

Jerry_B

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jefflovestone said:
This is something I've observed myself with quite a few pagans. I've heard/read more than few over the years deriding various Christians for not knowing various facets of Christian (or even general) history or doctrine - usually things that either are said to have negatively impacted on pagans in some way or other. Yet quite often their take on knowing what really went on is weirdly selective or based on a very strange or dubious take on history.
Yep, I agree. There are actually 3 (2 definite, 1 probable) pre-Christian religious sites within 20 or so miles of Glastonbury (with another being down the road a bit at Maiden Castle too, which is plain for all to see). Then again, such sites probably don't really need misinformed modern pagans with dubious ideas wandering over them - several megalithic sites have suffered from such things in the past. And alot of them also seem to eschew Roman pagan religion - probably because too much is known about it and therefore can't be made up out of whole cloth ;) This despite the fact that Romano-British pre-Christian religious sites are fairly thick on the ground in the UK.
 

Kondoru

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Yes, its pretty funny how the classical pagan stuff is mostly ignored.
 

Pietro_Mercurios

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Kondoru said:
Yes, its pretty funny how the classical pagan stuff is mostly ignored.
Everybody seems to think belief systems have to have some sort of pedigree, signed in triplicate and witnessed by a notary. Official, like. With Authority. :lol:

So what if modern paganism is a mongrel? Show me a belief system that hasn't been made up and given spurious roots, a backstory? ;)

Take Roman Catholicism, with all its borrowed Pagan Gods and Spirits recruited for Saints and Martyrs... Or, modern Evangelicals with their exaggerated reverence for the King James VI Bible with its 17th Century rhetoric.
 

Jerry_B

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Well, the point is the comparison with actual pagan belief systems from the historic record and those which are just made up stuff with the 'pagan' label attached. It's also curious that, as has been pointed out, subscribers to actual known pagan religions or religious outlooks are somewhat rare in modern paganism. There seems to be a preference for invention rather than continuation, but at the same time an attempt to pose the invention as having older roots and a link to the past. This may be why you get adherents to 'druidism' in the UK, but not for Romano-British stuff - because less is known about the former than the latter, and so it's easier to invent things. And also add to the way that, WRT the stuff at Glastonbury, it tends to attract a modern pagan crowd because of perceived or imagined links to the past. Glastonbury is not a pagan site in terms of history (outside of modern history) - it is famous because of it's links to Christianity. So you get lots of pagan types hanging around Glastonbury (where there is no trace whatsoever of anything pagan), but none at all at Maiden Castle (where you can actually walk within the confines of a Romano-British temple).

It's all well and good making stuff up if you want, but to try and dress it up as 'ancient' etc. is all rather ridiculous.
 

ghostdog19

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The bible's old testament is an anti-Babylonian text. Its the very stuff of reconstituted faith. Written by those liberated by the Persians when the Persians invaded Babylon (the writing was on the wall, for all those who remember bible studies or sunday school). Babylon had raised Jerusalem to the ground and taken a stack of slaves (took lots of stuff from Solomon's Temple they shouldn't have, hence God coming down and numbering their kingdom as it were and finishing it) and it's from this lot who were eventually liberated by the Persians, that you got the OT. They took a few of the Babylonian myths and stripped them of their polytheism. From Enlil to Noah etc (like what Alan Moore did with Charlton heroes, turning them into Watchmen...but that's a little sidetrack there).

So that was the first time that it was written down. Hence the bad vibes to anything polytheistic or Babylonian for that matter... Babylonian in turn was based on something (Akkadian to Summerian... or the other way round, can't remember off the top of my head at this late hour... one or t'other). So in short, the OT was based on something that was based on something else. The only way it could be older than that is if it'd been stories around camp fires ... as a lot of beliefs circulated that way because people were not able to write. MENE; God Hath Numbered they kingdom and finished it, is perhaps more telling a turn of phrase then perhaps at first appears. The Torah supposedly contains numerical values (sorry, going off track here with a little pet theory) etc.... likely then that God Hath Numbered they kingdom, much of the forming of the old testament was likely written in secret during their imprisonment in Babylon.... God (the monotheist) have numbered they kingdom (has re-written the rulebook in secret). Anyway, back on track again; considered that this was a scattered bunch needing to find order... hence... ten commandments. It went from belief to rules in one short step, a god of unconditional love, the god of the camp fire, the unifying god, the god of revolution, of uprising, of strength in the face of adversity, acquired conditions. (Should point out that some of them did decide to stick around Babylon even after the Persians liberated it... some didn't want to return home... I think it had been something like fifty years).

So that, kids, is where the Old Testament (the first book of the Christian Bible, the foundation of the belief) comes from and why it was written. The second book was a collection of what were basically memoirs re-edited to suit political doctrine rather than a religious one, by Constantin. It's probably been open to more editorial abuse than wikipedia so as far as reliable goes, it's not very.
 

Pietro_Mercurios

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Jerry_B said:
...

It's all well and good making stuff up if you want, but to try and dress it up as 'ancient' etc. is all rather ridiculous.
The Romans were just 'Johnny come latelys' in Britain, but of course they wrote everything down. To some that gives them Authority. Really they were picking & mixing religions and cults to make their own blend of the Spiritual spoils of Empire, belief system magpies,.

Why shouldn't people make things up, even attribute spurious histories to their 'new' beliefs? Even the Roman Catholic Church has a belief in the sanctification of objects and Saints through the power of faith. All those fragments of the True Cross, all those toe bones of St Trinian, etc.

All human culture and beliefs are ultimately a product of 'making stuff up'. Artifacts of the human imagination. A lot of pagans probably realize this. That would be why some keep their own 'Book of Shadows', they make their own Way. It's the poor schmoes who believe that there's stuff out there that's actually 'real' in some way (and I'm not talking about the pagans here), that are actually rather ridiculous.

That's why:

The Way that can be told of is not an Unvarying Way;
The names that can be named are not unvarying names.
It was from the Nameless that Heaven and Earth sprang;
The named is but the mother that rears the ten thousand creatures, each after its kind.
;)
 

Jerry_B

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Pietro_Mercurios said:
The Romans were just 'Johnny come latelys' in Britain, but of course they wrote everything down. To some that gives them Authority. Really they were picking & mixing religions and cults to make their own blend of the Spiritual spoils of Empire, belief system magpies,.
Yep - but as we know alot about their pagan religion, it's odd that more modern pagans don't seek some sort of continuation, despite trying to claim a link with an actual historical past. It seems that the more historically obscure religions are favoured. As I said, this seems to be because anyone can then conveniently invent what they want. Some even make money from this also. So we have lots of 'druids' but very few proponents of Roman or Greek or Egyptian religions

Why shouldn't people make things up, even attribute spurious histories to their 'new' beliefs? Even the Roman Catholic Church has a belief in the sanctification of objects and Saints through the power of faith. All those fragments of the True Cross, all those toe bones of St Trinian, etc.
And so making stuff up is good, or bad? Should modern pagans simply just copy any possible 'bad' habits of other religions? As alot of modern paganism is a reaction against established religions, it's seems odd to pretty much copy such practices, surely? One could say that trying to reinvent a past is merely an attempt to justify somewhat shaky beliefs, and not anything really all that progressive. It's even worse IMHO to then dress it all up as being 'ancient' and thus claiming some sort of legitimacy from it.

The problem seems to be that modern paganism is seeking to justify itself to some extent by claiming authority from the actual past, but is in reality acquiring the bits it wants and inventing or imagining other bits. It's all well and good acknowledging that your beliefs are largely a modern inventions, but few pagans seem to do that. In reality they do in fact feel the need to justify - legitimise even - their religion in terms of the past. The only problem is, that past is largely invented. So they may as well just as much say it was all handed down to them by Mickey Mouse ;)
 

Pietro_Mercurios

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Jerry_B said:
...

The problem seems to be that modern paganism is seeking to justify itself to some extent by claiming authority from the actual past, but is in reality acquiring the bits it wants and inventing or imagining other bits. It's all well and good acknowledging that your beliefs are largely a modern inventions, but few pagans seem to do that. In reality they do in fact feel the need to justify - legitimise even - their religion in terms of the past. The only problem is, that past is largely invented. So they may as well just as much say it was all handed down to them by Mickey Mouse ;)
And did Mickey Mouse also hand down the Ten Commandments to Moses on tablets of stone?

Your point being? :confused:

Show me a religion which does not do these things?

It's people's belief in the validity of their beliefs which counts. Not the fact that what they believe in might be largely flight of fancy.
 

gyrtrash

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I like what modern-day pagans do, mostly. I like the whole 'environmentally aware' stance of Wicca. Most of the people I know who call themselves Wiccan know that it's largely a relatively recently created thing, and they're happy with that.

For all the 'fluffiness' in some quarters, I think the general outlook they have on life is good. I'm sure there are worse ways of living.

And all the people I know following a 'celtic' or 'norse' path understand they are 'reconstructionists'. They don't profess to follow an unbroken religious tradition since ancient times.
 

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I wish I could believe your last comment but Ive seen so many who think its a real ancient tradition
 

crunchy5

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Kondoru said:
I wish I could believe your last comment but Ive seen so many who think its a real ancient tradition
True but in my experience these are the younger or just folk who dipped their toe in and stayed at that depth most who stay within that belief system soon pick up an education. It's the same with Christians or Hindus your initial experience or education is the fairy tale stuff then if you choose or are taught you move onward and upward through the knowledge base.

Each to their own, I say never dis another's choice of religion or partner, to their face of course, unless conflict is your aim.
 

Jerry_B

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Pietro_Mercurios said:
It's people's belief in the validity of their beliefs which counts. Not the fact that what they believe in might be largely flight of fancy.
Which would be all well and good perhaps, but alot of modern pagans believe that their tradition has ancient roots - which it clearly does not. They also claim legitimacy from this fanciful idea. It's fine with me if they fully acknowledge that such things are completely invented (chaos magick adherents have no problem with this) but many try to make out that their religion is some sort of ancient hand-me-down. Some also make money from this reinvention of the past too, which I find somewhat dodgy.

Having had various conversations with Glastonbury-based modern pagans over the years, I can tell you that alot of them sincerely believe that (a) their religion is ancient, and (b) that Glastonbury is some sort of ancient pagan site. They also tend to get irate when it's pointed out that both of these 'facts' are completely bogus. Ignorance is no excuse IMHO ;)

Anyone who claims legitimacy from an invented past that's been formed to suit their own agendas is on dodgy ground IMHO.
 

Jerry_B

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gyrtrash said:
And all the people I know following a 'celtic' or 'norse' path understand they are 'reconstructionists'. They don't profess to follow an unbroken religious tradition since ancient times.
How can they be 'reconstructionists' when not all that much is known about the religious history of such 'paths'? I wouldn't say it's reconstruction at all - it's invention, based on modern ideals.
 

jefflovestone

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Pietro_Mercurios said:
Kondoru said:
Yes, its pretty funny how the classical pagan stuff is mostly ignored.
Everybody seems to think belief systems have to have some sort of pedigree, signed in triplicate and witnessed by a notary. Official, like. With Authority. :lol:

So what if modern paganism is a mongrel? Show me a belief system that hasn't been made up and given spurious roots, a backstory? ;)

Take Roman Catholicism, with all its borrowed Pagan Gods and Spirits recruited for Saints and Martyrs... Or, modern Evangelicals with their exaggerated reverence for the King James VI Bible with its 17th Century rhetoric.
As I'm partly responsible for steering the course of the discussion in this direction, I'll clarify the point I was trying to make. You're right of course, the pedigree of paganism isn't a problem in itself and, again, all belief systems have some "spurious roots" etc., etc.. The point I was trying to make was about how one group are very quick to point out inaccuracies, inconsistencies and various other theological crumbs and crumbs that are, for whatever reason, brushed under the carpet whilst either being ignorant or denial of their own.

This is just for example, but it's quite rare that, just for example, that Joseph and Mary Christian will know of Gardner, any alleged connections to Clutterbuck and any implied heritage gleaned from that connection.

Now one may ask why this is and why don't Christians 'arm' themselves with this kind of knowledge rather than being locked into a weird 'Hammer House of Horror' take on the occult, witchcraft etc., etc., but that's another discussion entirely.

Yet, many wiccans armed for Christian baiting seem fairly equipped when being able to point out various rewrites, withdrawals, and general histories and origins of many Christian text.
 
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