I am gradually removing, from my Facebook page, all connections I had to pagan organizations like the Asatru Folk Assembly, The Wild Hunt blog, The Troth, Covenant of the Goddess, WRCF, etc etc etc.
Why would I do this?
Because I just don’t think there’s any real need to “be pagan” and still be – inspired by some (but not all) ideas that come out of pagan spirituality.
I’m not a perfect Christian – not by a long shot. I’m not one to sit here and moralize about things and say to pagans “you’re going to burn in hell because you’re worshipping false Gods.” That’s not my way.
But I have found that Christian spirituality can address, and quite well, a lot of the things one finds in pagan spirituality. If one finds inspiration in the natural world, there’s plenty of room for that sort of thing in a Christian walk. Just look at St. Francis – he’s, like, totally the original tree-hugging hippie. Hah!
Ancestor veneration? All Saints Day.
Feminism? First of all, G-d isn’t male OR female; we humans just use that kind of language for G-d out of convenience. I have an excerpt from a book that I’ll have to share here, that goes into the Lord’s Prayer in its original Aramaic, and how it talks about the Divine Parent in a way that isn’t gendered. Second, Christians believe that Yeshuah gave his life for *all* people. Not just men. That is the crucial point. “There is no Jew or Greek, no slave or free, no male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus,” St. Paul wrote in his letter to the Galatians. That means, quite simply, that in G-d’s eyes, it’s not about ethnicity or economic class or gender – it’s about one’s identity as a member of the mystical body of Christ. So therefore people of all ethnicities, all classes and all genders become one family. It is a big tent. This way isn’t based in ethnicity or gender or class. It transcends those things. Those earthly categories can shift and change anyway as time passes. This is kind of a Buddhist insight, but they pass. All Things Must Pass. Look to what doesn’t pass away – G-d.
Oooh, easy, I’m gettin’ preachy. Gotta stop that.
Have Christian people, in the past, done some awful things in the name of Christ? Yes, they have. But as St. Paul put it: “We hold a treasure in earthen vessels, that the exceeding power may be seen to be that of G-d and not ourselves.” What he’s saying there is that it just goes to show how limited and fallible human nature is, and it emphasizes how perfect G-d’s nature is. People are going to do completely stupid shit at times. That’s just being human. The fallibility of the human person does not impugn the core message, however – that G-d loves us madly, more than we can ever comprehend.
And as I have read Diana Butler Bass’s book “A People’s History of Christianity” I have come to see that in the Christian world, things have changed over the last 2K years – and yes, a lot of the change has been for the better. Things have improved. Things aren’t 100% perfect now, and they may never be, but there is that movement towards holiness/wholeness.
So, I just don’t really see the need to maintain contact with those pagan organizations any more. I see no point.