Saturday, June 13, 2009

Is America Surrounded by Paganism? Newt Thinks So - Windows & Doors

Is America Surrounded by Paganism? Newt Thinks So - Windows & Doors:

I invite believing Pagans to define paganism and hope that some will do so here. I am pretty certain that any time a non-follower describes any tradition, without at least the active presence of an actual believer or two, something bad is bound to happen. Any doubts? Think about how Judaism has been mangled over the centuries by non-Jews twisting it to meet their needs for a spiritual foil.

My guess is that is what Newt was doing with paganism, and since it's no longer acceptable in most quarters to do that with Judaism, he simply picked on another group which has fewer defenders. It was wrong to do to Jews, and it's wrong to do to pagans.

My thanks to Jason over at The Wild Hunt for the link. - sm


Magaly Guerrero said...

In the past, comments like Newt's used to anger me, then mildly annoy me, now I'm convinced that it is not worth getting upset over ignorance. The best thing is to do things like we are doing now (with blogs, public meetings) just let people see the beauty and common sense of Paganism. Not to get sympathy or anything like it, but to see if they will continue speaking the same way after being "surrounded" by contradictory evidence that make them sound, um... well, ignorant.

sta┼Ťa said...

Magaly, thanks for your comment!

This brings two thoughts to mind... One is that, to borrow a Quaker phrase, we are letting our lives speak.

The other is that the Pew Center found that people are statistically more likely to support marriage equality when they know some lesbians and gay men. (As far as I know, they only polled for LG, not BTQ.) I don't think it's a far stretch that people are more likely to take things like what Gingrich said about Paganism with a grain (or several) of salt if they know some folks who are Pagans -- if, as you say, they see that Paganism is beautiful and common-sense and not, for the most part, what they're afraid it is.

I say "for the most part" -- I know for some fundamentalists, it's a very scary thing that there are people living religious lives that have nothing to do with their "one true god." Some of them are honestly afraid for our souls. (My ex's parents, for example.) I'm deeply grateful to big-F and small-f F/friends of mine who are living reminders that such folks do not speak for all committed Christians.

In terms of Paganism, I think the kind of de-mystifying you're talking about is a Good Thing.

Blessed be!