What makes a faith pagan?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Pagan : One Thread

Let's suppose I have a list of 100 faiths and I need to sort them into two piles: pagan and non-pagan. What features of faith X would I examine to know which pile to put it in?

-- Aimless (aimless@national_raffle_association.org), November 23, 2001


Satan worshipers cannot be considered pagan. That is a branch of the Judeo-Christian religion. In order for Satan to be the devil, he has to believe in God. Certain sects of Hindus could be considered pagan, as for Budhists, but not all.

-- Wes The Agnostic (kinsler1@hotmail.com), November 26, 2001.

A faith pagan? Okay, if it's not Christian, Jewish, or Islamic, most people would call it a pagan faith. I prefer to think of it as guilt- free religion.

-- J. MacKenzie M. Horton (mac_xavier@yahoo.com), November 25, 2001.

My goodness! Every faith apart from Christian, Jewish or Islamic? What good is a definition where commonality is defined by negation? Especially if it lumps together Zen Buddhism with animism, Ba'hai with Zoroastrianism, Satanism with Confucianism, and Voodoo with the Irish Sweepstakes?

-- Aimless (aimless@national_raffle_association.org), November 26, 2001.

Ah, but here we're getting to the heart of the problem. Who you call pagan depends on who you are. I'm a Wicca and can call a Christian a Pagan or an Infidel just because they don't believe the way I do. I wouldn't because that would be bloody rude of me wouldn't it.

-- Evil Cordy (evilcordy@hotmail.com), November 26, 2001.

Evil Cordy, you seem to accept that "pagan" is both an exclusively Christian term and a rude name to be called - sort of like being called a lout or a fool or a boor or delusional - you get the idea.

If this is so, why would this forum call itself "Pagan" and why would large numbers of people identify themselves as pagans? Wouldn't this be like advertising for louts to come share their delusional ideas? It doesn't make sense!

OTOH, if "pagan" is an objective and neutral term that can be defined without regard to Christianity, then we still aren't any closer to defining what it means.

-- Aimless (aimless@national_raffle_association.org), November 27, 2001.

Actually, Pagan is the term that the Christians used to describe anyone not of their faith. Many of us have reclaimed and embraced the term.

-- Evil Cordy (evilcordy@hotmail.com), November 27, 2001.

"Many of us have reclaimed and embraced the term."

OK. Great. But other than as a shorthand way of saying "I'm not a Christian", what exactly are you embracing? Unless the term has some further meaning, it's kind of like embracing... emptiness... a not-something rather than a something. I just can't see the point.

If you define yourself purely in terms of that other guy, who you aren't, then you are just accomplishing the opposite of what you want - instead of freeing yourself from your opposite, you're joined at the hip. It's like, instead of having your own unique face and features, you can only present the exact negative image of someone else's face.

-- Aimless (aimless@national_raffle_association.org), November 29, 2001.

Calling myself a pagan is for simplicity's sake. I'm not a christian, jew, etc. I'm not in a coven. I'm not a Satanist (I don't believe such a creature exists). The American Heritage College dictionary defines pagan as "one who has no religion". So, anyone who belongs to an organized religion cannot be defined as a pagan.

-- LetItSnow (snow@lotso'snow.com), November 29, 2001.

I call myself Pagan to make it simple on the other fella as it where. I'm a Wicca of the Sisters of Twilight school of magic. That make it clearer, mate?

-- Evil Cordy (evilcordy@hotmail.com), November 30, 2001.

"That make it clearer, mate?"

Yes. Excellent. It is at least understandable as an affirmative choice. Since your belief includes (apparently) a belief in magic, I'd be very happy to hear more about what that entails - either here or in a thread you start on the subject.

Just to share my current ignorance on that subject, it seems that the essence of believing in magic is believing that some magical power is (at least potentially) under your control and does your bidding. Have you had any success at controlling any magical entities, yet?

-- Aimless (aimless@national_raffle_association.org), November 30, 2001.

I call myself Pagan to make it simple on the other fella as it where. I'm a Wicca of the Sisters of Twilight school of magic. That make it clearer, mate?

-- Evil Cordy (evilcordy@hotmail.com), November 30, 2001.

REAL CLEAR. SISTER OF MAGIC. You a fucking maggot faggot who taken it in da aggot. or Assgotz? BEWAAAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAA


-- Aimlessly wondering about (aimless@nationla.raffle axx), November 30, 2001.

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