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The Ragin Pagan 
Member since Jul 10, 2014

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Re: “Speaking of religion: Pagans stir a fuss in Beebe

What by Thor's ruddy beard is all that, dunssssa?

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by The Ragin Pagan on 07/13/2014 at 9:14 AM

Re: “Speaking of religion: Pagans stir a fuss in Beebe

Where my views differ in that - and this is based on what I've personally experienced - is that in today's day and age those who commonly identify as "Pagan" (I can't account for everyone in the world,) come from European cultures. Yes, we worship many pre-Christian gods, include aspects of Shamanism, witchcraft and magic. Yet Hinduism *technically* is polytheistic; I have never heard of a Hindu identifying as Pagan. Those of the Sioux nation are - traditionally - technically polytheistic as well; I have never met a Sioux Pagan.

Why I stand behind the definition that Contemporary Paganism is a Euro-centric belief system is that it is all I encounter. If there is a "Pagan" section of a book store, the books are predominantly Celtic, with inclusions of Greek and Norse. The only time that I truly see all polytheists and non-Abrahamic beliefs called "paganism" is from the lips of Evangelical and fundamentalist Christians.

That said, I also disagree with the notion that prior to monotheism everyone was Pagan. The word did not exist before Rome, and even then it did not mean "Non-Roman" globally; only in the Roman Empire. Our ancestors would not have called themselves "Pagans," they simply would have been. The Norse, or the Scottish, or the Gaulish, etc. Their beliefs simply were as well; intrinsic to their lifestyle and cultural identity. We refer to them as Pagan - and some Christians refer to them as pagan in the pejorative - by frame of reference to our modern view.

Today, I believe, Pagan means something different than the archaic term - the definition that I stand by and define by. The term today (either Neo-Pagan or Contemporary Pagan, though I find the later to be more common and sound a little more "serious,") is a reclaimed term, similar to what Christian was for early Christians in Rome, or "Indian" is for some of the indigenous American tribes.

All that said, I do wish the best of luck to you down in Arkansas with your troubles. I have been drawing focus to your cause within my groups and social circles, so hopefully more attention is paid to this gross offense of religious freedom for all.

Posted by The Ragin Pagan on 07/10/2014 at 6:12 PM

Re: “Speaking of religion: Pagans stir a fuss in Beebe

Zatharus, to further narrow the definition of Paganism (Contemporary) - and note, this is a mixture of my beliefs and what I have persistently encountered within the Pagan Community - it is

A set of polytheistic beliefs based upon pre-Christian cultural beliefs and practices of Europe (sometimes North Africa).

This includes the cultural practices of the Celtic nations, Germanic/Scandinavian, Uralic (Finland and Estonia), Slavic, Greek, Roman, and sometimes Egyptian--though rarely have I personally heard or seen Kemetic practitioners refer to themselves as Pagans; they usually seem to have an associative relationship with Contemporary Paganism.

Also note that in no way is such a definition meant to be a negative thing, but only to give a definitive boundary of community to Contemporary Paganism. Many Pagans that I know - namely Wiccans - have no issue implementing elements of either Hinduism or indigenous American beliefs into their practices, and there's nothing concerning Paganism that says that such practices "can't be done."

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by The Ragin Pagan on 07/10/2014 at 9:18 AM

 

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