Problems with "Pagans"


#1

Just a few comments about the neo-pagan movement.

(1) It always seems based on hodge-podge, catch-what-you-will spirituality. (This makes it appealing to anyone wanting to smorgasbord their spiritual thinkerings and tinkerings).

(2) You always hear conspiracy theory history. I especially like the bit about “millions killed” by Christians. Now, speaking realistically, how do you kill millions of people without such things as atomic bombs, gas chambers or bubonic plague? This charge is simply hyperbole.

(3) It’s just a fancy mask for New Age thinking. Personally, I have conceptual trouble with a religion that just lets you do whatever you want to do.

I don’t buy the “No Harm” clause: philosophically, the discernment of damage and harm always must be understood beyond the mere physical sense.

(4) It’s connected with the glamorization of Olde Mother Englande. It’s almost always the Celts they talk about; never the Vandals or Mongols or Romans. If you’re really into Anglophilia, this “pagan” stuff might twitch your bone.

(5) Romans killed plenty of pagans; I suppose this is “Pagan on Pagan” violence. I’ve read Tacitus’ account of Caesar’s fighting against the Celts.


#2

I don’t know any pagans, but I know a few Wiccans. They go to their church and I go to mine.


#3

So someone believes something different than what you do. No need to attack it, everyone see the world differently.

(2) You always hear conspiracy theory history. I especially like the bit about “millions killed” by Christians. Now, speaking realistically, how do you kill millions of people without such things as atomic bombs, gas chambers or bubonic plague? This charge is simply hyperbole.

Millions killed by Christians: Crusades, Inquisitions, Holocaust (Hitler was a Catholic “doing god’s work” or at least that’s what he believed), kings forcing their religion on the peasants. Have they ever said all at once? I believe it is just as easy to kill a million people one death at a time. That charge is not hyperbole.

(3) It’s just a fancy mask for New Age thinking. Personally, I have conceptual trouble with a religion that just lets you do whatever you want to do.

Ummm, no. That just goes to show you don’t understand teh tenets of the religion.

I don’t buy the “No Harm” clause: philosophically, the discernment of damage and harm always must be understood beyond the mere physical sense.

How is any of what they’re doing harming outside of your belief system? You think they’re harming themselves and others spiritually, because you think that your is the only way, and that al other ways are wrong. That is just as damaging a belief in my opinion.

(4) It’s connected with the glamorization of Olde Mother Englande. It’s almost always the Celts they talk about; never the Vandals or Mongols or Romans. If you’re really into Anglophilia, this “pagan” stuff might twitch your bone.

Because the pagans of today have the closest relation to the Celtic pagans. Why is that something you feel is bad?

(5) Romans killed plenty of pagans; I suppose this is “Pagan on Pagan” violence. I’ve read Tacitus’ account of Caesar’s fighting against the Celts.

Those were two different religions to begin with. Secondly, you really know nothing about pagan religions do you? Third, exactly how is this a problem you have with it?


#4

There is truth in several of the OP’s statements…if they indeed speak of the loosely termed “neo-pagan” movement. There are a lot of people who smorgasboard their way through established religions and construct a “whatever I want it to be” faith. They usually have no name for their path/religion, and often jump from faith to faith as the months pass. They try on labels like some people try on clothes.

However, the majority of people who fall under the religious umbrella of pagan, do have an actual faith and religion they follow, and a name for it. The term pagan doesn’t mean much, other than that they are not a member of the 5 major faiths…Buddhism, Islam, Hindu, Judaism or Christianity.

Sometimes people designate “Pagan”, from “pagan”. Pagan with a capitol P meaning they consider Paganism their religion…usually not organized and with no particular set of beliefs. Pagan, small p, just means you belong to a religion other than the big 5, but your religion has it’s own title, which would be capitalized.

There is no organized “Pagan” religion that I know of, but many legitimate religions that fall under the adjective pagan.

Among pagans, there is a lot of exasperation with the type of person described in the OP. Flaky types don’t get much respect anywhere they go, especially when they claim to speak for the rest of us.

cheddar


#5

That Christians have killed, even murdered, granted. Christ said there would be wolves among the sheep–and at the end of time, the goats would be seperated from the sheep, the weeds from the grain…old adage, “rotting lilies stink worse than rotting dung”

However, that granted lets addres the “Hitler” claim first. Except for a few public-relation statments that had “God” in them, what makes you think Hitler ever though of him self as a believing Catholic past adolescence?–especially when all of his writings and the great majority of his statments indicate he adopted a largely materialist rabid social darwinist racism–with some mish mash of astrology and “mysticism”

In regards to the Crusades and Inquistions, Catholic Answers is a good start, but for a LOT of links go to the link directory at www.phatmass.com and look under those categories—then come back and lecture to us on those complex evnts that have been used to unfairly and viciously.

Now, the number of "witches’ exeuted by the CC, or Protestants, or just secular governments (the last being the majority executioner) is awful, un-Christian, and revolting to our modern sensibility–just ONE victim was too many. However we do get irked when the victim number is exagerated some 10,000%+ over the historical evidence


#6

(1) It always seems based on hodge-podge, catch-what-you-will spirituality. (This makes it appealing to anyone wanting to smorgasbord their spiritual thinkerings and tinkerings).

I have to agree. Unfortunately we have to recreate the religion because it was erased from our history.
.
**
(2) You always hear conspiracy theory history. I especially like the bit about “millions killed” by Christians. Now, speaking realistically, how do you kill millions of people without such things as atomic bombs, gas chambers or bubonic plague? This charge is simply hyperbole.**

Again, I have to agree. Don’t know why people have to vilify another religion or people in order to give their’s more weight.

(3) It’s just a fancy mask for New Age thinking. Personally, I have conceptual trouble with a religion that just lets you do whatever you want to do.

Fine, then don’t do it. :thumbsup: I have a problem with a religion that rules against personalizing my faith.

**I don’t buy the “No Harm” clause: philosophically, the discernment of damage and harm always must be understood beyond the mere physical sense.
**

Not all pagans believe in the “no harm” clause as you put it. But again I’d have to agree - harm is more then just physical. I’m inclined to believe that most pagans understand and agree with that definition of harm.

(4) It’s connected with the glamorization of Olde Mother Englande. It’s almost always the Celts they talk about; never the Vandals or Mongols or Romans. If you’re really into Anglophilia, this “pagan” stuff might twitch your bone.

Mostly it is, isn’t it? Some pagans would find it strange that Christians converted to a jewish based religion. Whatever floats your boat. You might be interested to know that there is a wide variety of pagans who prefer non-celtic religions. I like to think of it as reclaiming my aboriginal faith and since I’m scottish/irish then thats the area that I focus on.

(5) Romans killed plenty of pagans; I suppose this is “Pagan on Pagan” violence. I’ve read Tacitus’ account of Caesar’s fighting against the Celts.
:smiley: I suppose they did, didn’t they? One people from one country waging war against another, when both countries are pagan, would be pagans killing pagans.
I find it more interesting that Catholics killed Catholics of a different ‘flavor’…burned them alive I believe. But I’m sure you can dig up stories of pagans burning pagans of the same religion too…sounds more like it one could cut to the point and merely l say that sometimes people kill people…and sometimes they share religions.

At the end of the day I really see more similarities between human beings then differences. But we like to emphasis the differences in order to define ourselves as different from another group…otherwise we’d all be one big group…like a race of humans or something. :wink:


#7

Why do you assign “Catholic” to Hitler?
Hitler promoted/revived/infused the Norse mysticism in his SS trooper.

Why do you think the worst murderer is “a Catholic doing god’s work”?

Why the mud-slinging? :frowning:

Tak


#8

I apologize, he gets lumped in under the generic term of Christian, not specifically Catholic, used the wrong word. :o

I’m not mudslinging, just pointing out the fact that he was a Christian and what he did he believed was in the name of God.


#9

Because Hitler did actually profess to be a Catholic, and said that his mission was given him by God. That doesn’t make him right or good, but well, it isn’t exactly mud-slinging either; and he was never excommunicated.


#10

Here’s another item, call it

(6) The “pagans” and “wiccans” I have met really get a big personal thrill or buzz out of trying to frighten or scare you, by BEING “pagan” or “wiccan.” They get a thrill out of frightening people or thinking that they are frightening people, by being this scary religion.

There IS a kind of personal power you get by declaring yourself this way, but I think it’s unfair, illicit, illegitimate power. . . of a childish kind. I say this not being mean, but trying to give the best description of how I feel when this stuff is presented to me.

It’s the “ooooh—scary” factor.


#11

Not a single pagan (over the age of 20) I know attempts to be scary. Most of them look like any other person walking through the mall. Every case of someone attempting to look “scary” has been in immature teenagers attempting to make an impression, and they usually don’t even understand what a pagan religion is. those I know that are serious about it on the other hand, they just dress how they like and don’t draw any attention to it.


#12

I can profess that I am God and go out and cheat, lie and kill.

It does not follow that I am God.

A Christian is who obey Christ’s command and his action is the fruit.

I don’t think we are as guillible as to believe any one says that he is a Christian/Catholic is actually one.

Hitler, IMHO, is the scum of the earth. And to say that his actions are examples of a Catholic/Christian is mud-slinging.

Hitler is evil.
If the Devil professes that he is Christ, would you believe it?

Tak


#13

That does not matter in this conversation. Hitler believed what he was doing was in the name of Christianity. He was a Christian in faith, if not in practice. He prayed to the same god you do.

Hitler is, or was until he died, the scum of the Earth. I do not believe his actions are representative of the various Christian churches. However, he killed millions in the name of god. Not in the name of hatred, but in the name of god, that he believed he was doing god’s work by exterminating Jews. This simple truth is not mudslinging, it is clarifying a point I made.


#14

Until I had good evidence to believe otherwise, I’d actually take that statement on face value. And immoral behavior is simply not good evidence for that – were it so, there would never have been any true Christians. Everybody sins.

Hitler, IMHO, is the scum of the earth. And to say that his actions are examples of a Catholic/Christian is mud-slinging.

If you’ll look, nobody’s held Hitler up as a paragon of Catholic virtue. If somebody wanted to smear the Church, it would’ve been far easier to start with Torquemada, a Church-appointed official performing a Church-appointed duty.

Back to Hitler though, his actions are examples of the most blatant evil humanity is capable of. His beliefs, however, were at least nominally Catholic tinted with his own (hopefully) unique brand of crazy. Further, he remained in communion with the Church since he was never excommunicated.

Hitler is evil.
If the Devil professes that he is Christ, would you believe it?

No; however, as they say, even the devil believes in Christ, and this is all that has been claimed.


#15

Correct me if I misunderstand your meaning.

Action is what defined the man.
It does not matter of what he says, what he does is who he is.

If a man decided to kill innocent people, then he is a murderer.
What he professed/believed does not deny the fact that he is a murderer.
He believed he is “doing God’s works” does not follow that God’s works is what he is doing – may be his “God” is a murderous “God”

That’s not my God. My God is the Ultimate Goodness.
Don’t smear his scum onto my God and say that “he prayed to the same god that I do”. That is mud-slinging.

Tak


#16

You’ve got it mostly right up to here for the sake of this discussion. Action defines his moral standing; but belief and profession thereof must also be taken into account.

That’s not my God. My God is the Ultimate Goodness.
Don’t smear his scum onto my God and say that “he prayed to the same god that I do”. That is mud-slinging.

Hitler worshipped the Christian God; there’s no getting around that one. He did not necessarily do it very well; he obviously did not act in accordance with the teachings of that faith; and all around he was a pretty vile, despicable guy. He was still a Catholic. Just belonging to a certain religion does not make one perfect and free from sin (or insanity). Many people have acted abominably while claiming to be Catholics – or even done such things in the name of the Catholic God. That doesn’t make them any better, nor does it make people who do similar things for other deities or none at all ‘good’.


#17

Thank you :slight_smile:
That is my point-- "claiming"
Their abominable actions proved that they are not true Catholic - no matter what they claimed.
They say/claim things to deceive people.
They are wolves in sheep clothing.

Thus, whoever Hitler prayed to, is not God because the God of Christianity is good, merciful and compassionate.

Tak


#18

Whether or not you like to admit it, it was done in the name of Christianity. And please explain to me how believing that Hitler was Christian is slingin mud all over the god you worship. You keep saying I’m doing it, but i don’t see how beliving someone as evil as Hitler was a Christian is so offensive.
Also, Hitler never tried to decive anyone about his religion. He believed in it wholeheartedly. Saying he wasn’t a good Christian doesn’t change the fact that he was one. Many peopel aren’t good Christians, but they still are Christians in name if not in act.

Thus, whoever Hitler prayed to, is not God because the God of Christianity is good, merciful and compassionate.

Tak

Canaanites, Inquisitions, Witch Trials, Albeginsian Crusade? Those things were not good, merciful, and compassionate.


#19

wikipedia on hitlers religious beliefs. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler%27s_religious_beliefs

Briefly he was a confused man. On one hand he wanted to destroy the catholic church. On the other hand he was opposed to state atheism.

Basically the guy was not great genetic material to start with and to use his name to agitate each other is truly bizarre… almost like he what he represented still lives through the words.

Perhaps this thread should be The Problems with “Humans” :frowning:


#20

Oneiron covered most of this, but here goes:

‘Abominable sins’ prove nothing with regards to true faith; was Torquemada, head of the Spanish Inquisition, not a true Catholic? Or Hernan Cortes, who massacred the Aztecs for ‘gold, God, and glory’? Sins make one a sinner, nothing more. They do not automatically cast one into the states of heresy, apostasy, or schism.

Hitler prayed to the same deity you do. However, you (presumably) act justly and kindly, in accordance with the teachings handed down to you, while he did not. This does not make him un-Christian, it makes him a bad Christian.


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