Misconceptions About Pagans

In the past few months I’ve found that a number of my commenters/readers don’t know very much about Wicca, or Paganism as a whole.

Not knowing isn’t nearly as bad as having misconceptions about a topic though, especially as some people hold strange beliefs about Pagans that are, for the most part, unfounded and blatantly intolerant. Thus, today I’m going to go over some of the “complaints” or uneducated notions I’ve heard/been told about the Pagan religious path.

*Please note that this is not a catch-all, and if I miss a unique belief it doesn’t mean that I think it’s unworthy of mention. Also, feel free to add more information, clarifications, or links in the comments so long as they don’t go against my Comments Policy.*

Paganism isn’t a real religion.
This is untrue, and is usually an argument used by fundamentalists of other faiths to attack the fact that the US allows citizens to be of any religion (or not) as they see fit. Such statements have been used to deny Pagans the use of buildings/parks for religious services, to have pentacles/other religious symbols engraved on their tombstones, to remove Pagan symbols from otherwise inclusive holiday dioramas, or to create unnecessary tension when Pagan children request religious days off from school. People who attempt to use this argument should be aware that the federal government of the US has at least recognized Wicca as a valid religion since 1986, in the case of Dettmer v Landon.

Paganism is too new to be a proper faith.
This is a statement that was said to me personally in a theology class in college by a fellow student. He was of the opinion that a religious belief system can only be counted as “real” if it’s been in existence for X number of years…in his definition, 500. Not only is this a completely arbitrary amount of time, but it just seems odd. So Hinduism and Zoroastrianism are more of a religion than Christianity or Islam, simply because they are older? I can think of many followers who would be angered by this assumption. The truth is that modern day Paganism is a relatively new religion that borrows from a significant number of previous religious practices and concepts, even ones that are commonly thought of as “extinct”.

Paganism is a cult.
Also untrue. A cult is “a religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader”.
Not only are there too many sects of Paganism for it to have one leader, but as a whole we have no central hierarchy or dogma. Many of our traditions adopt specific beliefs and rituals or have an internal structure, but you’d be hard pressed to find a Pagan group that believes it has some special knowledge or is “the one way”. Indeed, most of us think that there are many paths to the divine and no single one is better than the other. Spirituality, after all, is a very personal thing and what fulfills one person shouldn’t be expected to fulfill everyone.

Pagans have no rules/Pagans only do what “feels good”/Pagans have no moral compass
I usually see these opinions on evangelical or fundamentalist Christian websites, though every once in a while they’ll be found on “family centered” sites as well. The truth is that Paganism does have rules and ethics such as the Three Fold law or the Wiccan Rede, but they do not come from a belief in sin or that humans are inherently flawed and must subscribe to a certain religious system in order to be fixed or “saved”. To us, the concept of a Fallen humanity is purely a mythological one…we typically give the story of Eden the same weight as that of Pandora’s Box. They are tales told in ancient times as an honest attempt to explain various aspects of the world, but are not to be taken literally or as factual history. However, most Pagans do have a moral code of ethics for the same reason most atheists do: Morality doesn’t come from one’s deity, but from society as a whole. Hence why Hammurabi’s Code (and other laws) were able to be written before Judaism, Christianity, Islam, or most other modern religions were even a twinkle in their founders eyes.

Pagans worship Satan/Lucifer.
Oldest accusation in the book, but also the one that makes the least sense. Pagans have our own mythos and Gods, why would we need to borrow from anyone else’s? We cannot worship something we don’t believe in, and Pagans do not have a singularly evil god in any pantheon I can think of. Some, like myself, don’t even subscribe to a set of gods…we believe in the Goddess and the God, no others. The concept of le-satan-lo, as it’s known in Hebrew is that of an Adversary who initially works for Yahweh (as in the story of Balaam and his donkey) but then changes in the New Testament to someone who actively works against Yahweh/Jehovah. This is actually quite a fascinating topic unto itself, and more information can be found at one of the links at the bottom. As it stands, Pagans view Satan/Lucifer as a made-up character with many mythological roles including that of a trickster, a principal of opposition, a questioner of strict authority, or even a suffering “hero” (similar to the story of Prometheus). While members of the Church of Satan and the Temple of Set are entirely free to call themselves Pagans if they wish, the few I’ve had a chance to speak to do not. The Satanists that most people immediately think of don’t even actually belong to either of these groups…they are more accurately defined as a renegade Christian who worships the concept of evil as portrayed in his/her myths.

Pagans perform weird rituals.
This one always makes me chuckle a bit. It’s odd to think that our forms of ritual and prayer are any more “weird” than anyone else’s. If you’re a follower of any religion, try this next time you attend a service: Imagine you’ve never set foot there before, and have no idea what any of the tools are that your fellow worshippers are using. Why are you praying in a certain direction? Why did you take a sip of wine? Why are you going into an ornate closet to talk to a man? Why did you eat a piece of bread just now? Why did you dab your fingers in that bowl of water? Why are you kneeling on a rug? See…anything can be strange if you have no context.

Pagans are all New Age.
No. Just no. Various ones certainly are. My mother is, much to my chagrin. There’s this constant undercurrent of belief…not helped at all by Hollywood…that all Pagans are into tarot card readings, crystals, homeopathy, seances, etc. Sorry, but we are not all like that and as far as I know there are 0 sects that would ever require their coven/grove/group to dabble in such things. It is safe to assume that if you know a Pagan who enjoys such activities, it is completely independent from their faith. Just as a bye-and-bye, I’ve yet to meet any Pagan who doesn’t believe in the Theory of Evolution or other scientifically proven answers for the multitude of questions people usually have about our universe. The issue is that pseudo-science is sometimes accepted more readily in Pagan circles than it should be.

Paganism is a feminist religion.
Quite a number of people tend to believe this, but I see no reason to. Just because a religion worships the Divine Feminine doesn’t mean they forget about or deny the Divine Masculine. There are sects such as the Dianics who often only worship a Goddess, or Strega which tends to be more matriarchal in practice, but these are exceptions, not the rule. Just as the chalice or bowl is often found on a Pagan altar to represent the female presence, so too is the wand indicative of the need for male presence. I myself use a golden tapered candle to represent the Divine Masculine and a silver one for the Divine Feminine. Both the Lady/Goddesses and Lord/Gods required to have balanced energies for proper spellwork and prayer, and just as women turn through Maiden-Mother-Crone, so to do men become Youth-Father-Elder. The cycle of life for most fauna and a significant number of flora relies on “women” and “men” to continue. Given that ours is a nature-based path, why wouldn’t it be a faith of equality?

Hopefully this post has been educational and thought provoking, but if any readers want more information I’ve put some links below. Of course, anyone is free to ask questions here too.

Helpful Links

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/wiccaandpaganismbasics/tp/Craft_Tools.htm

http://www.witchvox.com/_x.html?c=trads

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dettmer_v._Landon

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/wiccaandpaganismbasics/a/Rule_of_Three.htm

http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usfl&c=basics&id=2876

http://www.churchofsatan.com/

https://xeper.org//

http://m.phys.org/_news75128924.html

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55 thoughts on “Misconceptions About Pagans

  1. What interesting and often contradictory comments. Paganism is a cult — and it has no rules?
    But I agree that it is feminist. People just don’t know what feminist means. Or don’t care about, or want, equality. I have never met anyone who is Pagan who didn’t believe in gender equality.
    Feminist just means that you believe in the equal worth and dignity of women and men, and feel that opportunity should be equally offered, Regardless of gender.
    Paganism was the last remnant of gender equality in Europe. Maybe that’s why it became the most demonized of religions — by patriarchal forces that feared equality.

  2. Most of these comments don’t come from the exact same person, so they probably don’t have any idea that what they say contradicts another opinion.

    Yes, every Pagan I’ve ever known (self included) was for gender equality. I’d probably disagree with your definition of feminism though…it does work for gender equality, but from my experiences with it, feminism is a woman’s movement first and foremost. Feminism has done a splendid job of getting women the right to vote, ability to attend universities, pursue any job they’re qualified for, and granting more bodily autonomy in regards to reproductive rights. But I’ve not yet heard of a strictly feminist organization that has been working to be sure women who falsely report sexual assault are adequately punished, to create safehouses for male victims of domestic abuse, ways for male victims of rape to get resources, or fixing the current behavior of family courts. I think that once feminists start doing things that actively benefit both sexes, more people will agree they are egalitarian.

    Paganism as it stands now was created in the early-mid 1930s, but yes…both Neopagan beliefs and the original religions they’re based on were more equal than the ones we currently have.

  3. Thank you for stopping by, Nav. I took a quick read through your link…I’ve never heard of pagan metal bands before. Now I’m going to have to search for some to listen to. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I teach women’s studies, which is the feminist arm of academia, so I do know the actual definition. It’s even on the test.
    And there are men who fight for men’s rights. I believe men should be treated fairly. But while I expect them to support women’s rights, I don’t expect them to spend their time and energy fighting for women’s rights.
    A number of men’s rights activists have told me that I should spend equal time talking about things that are unfair to men.
    The odd thing is that I do spend some time on their issues. But they don’t spend ANY time fighting for women’s rights. They are completely focused on themselves.
    The argument that women should spend our time fighting for men’s rights is an attempt to dilute our energy — insisting we spend our energy fighting for the rights of the more powerful group in order to take energy away from efforts toward empowering the less powerful group.

  5. Ok, fair enough about the definition. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Hmm, I can see your stance. This is just my take on it, but the MRAs I have spoken to don’t necessarily want women/feminists to stop working for women’s rights (yes, some do but not the ones I am talking about). Instead, they just want things to be fair and for women to understand their point of view…namely, that while it’s not always easy to be female, that there are times when being male isn’t all that great either. I’ve spoken to feminists who deny that being a man is anything less than being served life on a golden, gem-studded plate…that it doesn’t matter that a man can be a homeless war veteran who lost both his legs and was raped while a prisoner of war, he still sits high and mighty on male privilege (slight exaggeration of an example, but not by much).

    I’m not trying to be difficult, but look at it this way; You said yourself that you don’t expect men to fight for women. Now, most MRAs don’t expect women to fight for men either. From my view in the middle, I find it strange that men/women can’t simply band together to create a movement of pure equal rights. Shouldn’t something like this, a movement that is comprised of the best of both worlds, be able to change society at every conceivable level? Why is it so impossible to get moderate mras and moderate feminists to cooperate?

  6. I suspect it’s because people work from their passions. And wounding tends to create passion. So while we hopefully support each other, no one has the time and energy to spend on every issue out there.

    I mean, do we really expect black people to spend half their time bolstering the rights of white people? Of course black people should want fairness for whites, too. But it seems crazy to expect them to spend half their time working on equal rights for white people. And then add in all of the other races they could fight for and they will have very little time left for their own issues.

    Sometimes I feel guilty that I’m not involved in every single issue that is hurting someone. And then I realize that I simply don’t have the time and energy to be able to do that. It isn’t humanly possible. So I’m fine if each of us focus our energy on the thing that we’re most passionate about, while also supporting the rights and well-being of others.

  7. I had the Manowar “Battle Hymns” albums when I was in high school (30+ years ago), which I had purchased out of curiosity. Very heavy and dark, perhaps more so than Black Sabbath or Motorhead. MoW proved to not be my cup of tea, as I was more a Queen, Led Z, and Deep Purple guy at the time.

    I’ve since branched out, a little. Bach, Brubech, Clapton Unplugged–anything good, really.

  8. @BroadBlogs
    I am one of the MRA’s that expects feminists to fight for men’s rights. Let me explain my position so that it can be better understood.
    Unlike race, gender is not oppression. Gender roles are interconnected interdependent divisions of labor that places obligations and restrictions on both men and women. Women are in the workforce in force, but men are not doing homemaking. The burden of child care is almost exclusively on women not because of “Patriarchal privilege” but because the interconnected interdependent divisions of labor we call gender roles exclude men from these activities.
    If the very reasonable feminist goal of greater female participation in the workforce is to be achieved, first the obligation of caring for children needs to be more equitably distributed. Because this obligation is part of interconnected interdependent divisions of labor, not the oppression of women, this inequality needs to be addressed as Men’s Rights.
    Just as Women’s Rights, the legal and social restrictions excluding women from paid work, needed to be addressed first. Women’s Rights needed to be addressed by both Men’s Rights Activists and Women’s Rights advocates. This was needed so that women could earn enough to support their husbands. Now that many women ARE earning enough to support their husbands it’s Men’s Rights turn. Both Men’s Rights advocates and Women’s Rights Advocates need to focus on Men’s Rights.
    The Men’s Rights Advocates should do so because they are Men’s Rights Advocates.
    The Women’s Rights Advocates should do so because changing the gender role of men will allow men to take up the supporting roles needed allow women the option of singular focus on career without completely abandoning even the hope of family. Women’s Rights Advocates should focus on Men’s Rights at this point in time because it’s exclusion of males from traditionally female roles that is holding women back, and the exclusion of males can’t be addressed in terms of Women’s Rights.

  9. “…but they do not come from a belief in sin or that humans are inherently flawed and must subscribe to a certain religious system in order to be fixed or โ€œsavedโ€.”
    ________________________
    If human beings were inherently good – without sin – un-flawed – in no need to be fixed – then how do you account for the evil human beings all too willingly commit?

  10. If the “Divine” is feminine that why does the Father Above get all the blame every time a natural disaster strikes as in it was an act of God should it not be an act of the goddess, mother earth, mother nature etc.?

  11. @DaPoet

    Hi, haven’t seen you for a while hope you have been doing good.

    Both your questions are excellent. Let me clarify…

    1. While we don’t believe in the concept of original sin or the idea that human beings are inherently flawed, this doesn’t mean that we are inherently good. Rather, humans (like any other animal) have the potential for both good or bad actions. We are born a blank slate, with a neutral value (a number of Pagans believe we carry a form of karma over, but most do not). If a person is willing to commit evil, that is a personal failing. If a person is willing to commit good, that is also personal. It has nothing to do with the God or Goddess, it has to do with the morality of that individual.

    2. I don’t know why people blame their God for natural occurrences. I don’t blame or feel hatred toward the Goddess or God when they happen, that would be weird. Tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, disease…these are all a part of natural forces at work. They have no sentience behind them, no capacity to be bad or evil, we just perceive them to be such due to the lives that are lost. But nobody ever said that nature was full of rainbows and sunshine and lions playing with lambs…or if they did, they are profoundly stupid. Natural disasters are needed to keep populations in check. That’s all there is to it.

    To blame either the Divine Masculine or Divine Feminine for something like what I mention above is strange to me.

  12. A possible explanation for the “pagans have no rules” trope: a misinterpretation of Aleister Crowley’s Thelema doctrine “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law”. This is taken by people with little understanding to mean “Do whatever you want”, and therefore a license for hedonism. That could not be less true: “will” in Crowley’s dictum, means one’s true will, or path in life, and therefore the doctrine urges people to follow their higher selves (Crowley called it the “Holy Guardian Angel”, not to be confused with the cute winged angels common to Christianity). To fritter away one’s life in pursuit of meaningless feel-good-for-the-sake-of-feel-good things is antithetical to the purpose.
    That’s just my theory. It’s entirely possible I’m just talking out of my hindquarters.

  13. Very true, Eddie.

    I’ve read his Satanic Bible, and it’s not bad in any sense of the word. It’s a religion in the same way Buddhism is, since they have no Gods either. I hardly think that following ones true path, accepting that humans are animals, understanding the potential of our psyche and duality of our nature is “evil”.

    Wicca has a similar line in our Rede:

    These Eight words the Rede fulfill
    An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will

    Nevermind the 22 other stanzas before this one…they just explain it more fully, clarify it, and give advice on how to celebrate the Deities and mark the Sabbaths. Nothing important, right?

  14. Tarnished,
    Excellent explanation of paganism. Yes, many people have the unfounded misconceptions you described; your article, along with your links, dispels them quite well.
    Paganism should certainly be considered a serious religion; children of pagan families and employees should be granted time off school and work to celebrate their special days.
    But here’s where I lost you: You stated”…………………” the Theory of Evolution or other scientifically proven answers for our questions about the universe.”
    Now my religion is Creationism. By saying that Evolution is proven, you’re saying that my religion is disproved. NO. Evolution cannot be tested for reproducible results and is not based on any scientific facts. See chapter 4 in my book http://www.wowedbytruth.com
    Creationism isn’t science either, but Christian believers can be either Creationists or Evolutionists; they’re not bound to one or the other.
    And yes, your paganism is very very feminist. And I would say that Christianity is also nature-based; natural law has always been a principle. And I would say that natural law does not support interchangeable gender roles between men and women. Since men, on average, are much more powerful, and have ten times the testosterone flowing through their body; this suggests their leadership role, as it has always been.

  15. @KC

    I disagree that Paganism is feminist (obviously) as it is not female superior but rather equal between the two sexes. One does not have to be strong or tall or have more testosterone in order to provide spiritual guidance to others…hence, Paganism has both High Priestesses and Priests.

    The notion that the Theory of Evolution is somehow unscientific I also reject (and would recommend you read talkorigins.org), but you are entitled to your opinions. Thanks for sharing.

  16. @Tarn.
    Feminism, defined by Wikipedia, is an ideology aimed at defending the equality of the sexes (as opposed to patriarchy).
    I’m not saying that Evolution is unscientific per se. Adherents attempt to use science to promote Evolution. But adherents to Creationism also use science to promote Creationism.
    Now Evolution is no more scientifically PROVEN than Creationism is scientifically proven. The problem lies in the fact that schools and the general media are biased against Creationism in favor of Evolution.

  17. @KC

    If you are using equality of the sexes to define Feminism, then yes it would be. In my own definition I’d say it was egalitarian…but I’ll accept this so we don’t have to split hairs. Patriarchy has no place in religion imo, because both men and women are spiritual beings. To say that a person is better suited to teaching spiritual lessons due to a mere biochemical difference is something I revolt against and will never be able to accept. Nor would I be able to accept that men cannot be perfectly adept at childcare or being a househusband. Yes, men and women have physical and mental differences…but as both of us know they don’t always line up correctly. In the modern Western world there is no reason to force a square peg into a round hole, and even in ancient times there were people of both sexes who fit better in the opposite mold.

    I’ve read studies, listened to lectures, and visited museums made to promote the Creationist viewpoint. I’m sorry, and I mean this in a gentle way, but the “science” they use is incorrect and doesn’t match up with what the other 98% of scientists say. Some lecturers even quotemine, change charts/graphs, or use pseudoscience or unproven hypotheses to attempt to mislead their followers into thinking Creationism is just as scientifically valid as Evolution. It just isn’t…again, I’m sorry if this hurts you. But the Theory of Evolution wouldn’t even be *called* that by the scientific community if it wasn’t proven. A “Theory” is a hypothesis graduation point…where is the Theory of Creationism?

    Schools in the US (where I live) are not nearly as biased against teaching Creationism in the classroom as they should be. I recently read that something like 30% of our schools teach that Christian creationism is on par with evolution! This to me (again, you can think what you wish) is just pathetic.

  18. @Tarn.
    I just consulted the dictionary; it also defines feminism as equality of the sexes. And yes, sometimes people don’t match their birth gender. But I don’t want a parent and a parent, I want a mother and a father. Marriage is a sacrifice; different people make different sacrifices.
    My position has absolutely nothing to do with Biblical Creation, Ken Ham’s museum, or the Genesis account. I make this clear in chapter 4 and in my chapter entitled Is God a Paperback Writer?
    Today’s scientific community is dominated by atheists and agnostics, many of whom seek to get rid of traditional religion. That’s why there is no “Theory of Creationism.” Creationist scientists paved the way for today’s scientists.
    Up north, 0% of schools teach that Biblical Creationism is equal to Evolution. It’s illegal to teach Creationism!

  19. @KC

    Eh, I have enough friends and customers who have been more than adequately raised by gay/lesbian parents that having a female-bodied mother and a male-bodied father doesn’t seem to make a lot of difference. At least, none of them think so. I agree that parts of marriage are a sacrifice (sacrifice of freedom, having your own finances, personal time) but it should also be a loving contract between adults that benefits both them and their children…if any. Therefore, if the woman has a $100,000 a year career and the man is a househusband, that should be acceptable to society so long as said woman/man are happy with the arrangement.

    Ah, ok. I will have to read your chapter then. I had trouble connecting to your site before, but will try again in a while.

    Yes, a lot of scientists are atheists and agnostics…a few of my customers, acquaintances, and relatives are as well. Why do you say they wish to get rid of traditional religion? Even outspoken atheists like Matt Dillahunty are fine with religious beliefs so long as they harm nobody and aren’t allowed to influence our secular laws. Heck, I don’t even want *my* religion to be taken into account when bills and laws are being made! Religion of any kind has no place in our town halls or government buildings.

  20. @Tarn
    Per your third paragraph: This is my point exactly! If a particular religion (cultural system or set of duties) is not allowed to influence secular laws or decisions, it is rendered impotent.
    Every single one of our laws is based on somebody’s beliefs and values. If not, why not???!!!
    So if our laws cannot be influenced by Christianity, they may be influenced by another system. But if our laws cannot be influenced by non-Christian systems either, then every single one of our laws will be based on the beliefs and values of atheists and agnostics. They will rule the world!
    If not, why not???!!! What other option do you suppose that there is?
    I would like to continue the more touchy aspects of this and other subjects on my own blog, but cannot set up a WordPress blog for whatever reason. Is WordPress still free? If so, is free any good? Do you pay for your site? How to set up, etc. Thanks.

  21. @KC

    I’m afraid I see little cause for alarm with our laws and justice system being rendered completely secular. What troubles you so?

    Yes, WordPress is still free, unless you want to spring for a dot-com address rather than a wordpress-dot-com one. There are fonts and designs that cost money to use, but if you stay away from these premium options it’ll still be good. For example, this site I operate costs me nothing and had no startup fee. I don’t have internet in my home, so 99% of the time I use the WordPress app on my phone…like I’m doing now to respond to you. The official app is quite easy to use, and allows you to receive notifications from your blog if someone likes it, shares it, or comments. So long as you don’t mind typing on your phone, you can write entire posts, put tags, place pictures or graphs, and determine when you wish for it to publish. This is also free, in case you’re wondering. If you have more questions, let me know and I’ll try to assist you.

  22. I respectfully suggest you may be confusing Aleister Crowley with Anton LaVey, who authored the Satanic Bible. Easy mistake to make, seeing as how they were both relentless seekers with a flair for self-promotion and embellishing their pasts. ๐Ÿ™‚ Both of them also had unfortunate psychic influences on people close to them: associates of both LaVey and Crowley were notable for either going mad or committing suicide.
    Crowley was actually a mentor to Gerald Gardner, the founder of modern Wicca. It’s quite possible that the Wiccan Rede derives at least in part from the Law of Thelema.
    The second part of the Law, by the way:
    “Love is the law, love under will”
    Few people remember that either, because it’s just not as attention-getting or easy to follow as “Do what thou wilt”.

  23. @Eddie

    Why yes, that is true. How careless of me…I do recall that Crowley worked with Gardner and even Gardner’s “apprentice” too, who went on to found Alexandrian Wicca.

    People excel at remembering what is convenient for them, eh? I suppose it *is* easier to say that Religion X teaches Y and Z if one remembers to not research the entire thing…

  24. @Tarn
    My whole point is that having all laws and the entire justice system rendered completely “secular”, as if that’s some type of neutral term, is fallacious.
    Every single law stems from somebody’s beliefs and values; some values are identical, which are therefore not a problem. Others are radically different, an irreconcilable problem.
    Some group is going to enforce their values on everybody else and call it “secular”, as if that’s a neutral term. The only thing this guarantees is that Christian values will not only not be enforced, they will be eroded.
    This doesn’t trouble me, as more than half my life is over, and I’ll never have a family; it’s a minor concern. It just irritates me.
    I have no idea how to get WordPress. The thing they say to use to set it up doesn’t work.

  25. @KC

    The values that are truly “Christian”, as in they overlap with no other religion, are mostly ones I can do without. Ergo, getting rid of “Christian” values doesn’t matter all that much to me. Getting rid of decency, common moral codes, honesty, love for oneself and ones neighbors, empathy, the golden rule, tolerance for unimportant differences…if there was a group seeking to do *this*, then yeah, I’d have a huge problem. Atheists are not trying to do so, thus I have no issue with them.

    At least they have never told me I’m going to burn forever in a lake of fire, or that I “must be” so spiritually lost and depressed by choosing Paganism over Christianity. Nor has an atheist ever left my young siblings alone in our house when they are meant to be babysitting…Yes, we had a 17 year old Christian babysitter who found my family’s religious books one day. She walked back home out of “fear for being near demonic literature”, leaving my 12 year old brother and 10 year old sister alone in our house. Luckily, I got home from school about 20 min after she left…but these are the types of people I talk about when I speak of intolerance.

    What site are you going to for WordPress?

  26. @Tarn, excellent comments.

    Here’s what I’m addressing: Abortion (this is killing; “fetuses” have functioning organs, limbs, eyes, ears, mouth, beating heart, breathing, etc.), adultery (which was illegal two centuries
    ago), “no fault” divorce which destroys families, pornography, prostitution (now legal in Canada), able bodied and able minded people who leech off welfare, gambling, etc. etc.

    Conservative Christianity would seek to make these things which violate decency, morality, honesty, love, and the golden rule, illegal.

    The majority of Christian believers are hypocrites; I have no Christian friends whatsoever. But the vast majority of “gold” is fool’s gold (pyrite); the vast majority of “diamonds” are zerconiums or glass. True Christians exist; we cannot use hypocrites to refute Christianity.

    I do not believe in the infinite punishment you’re referring to; I’m an Annihilationist. Other believers are getting away from the idea of infinite punishment and adopting Annihilationism too. Unfortunately, Christendom was influenced by this ancient Greek idea of infinite punishment; Jesus didn’t teach it.

    The idea of being attacked by “demonic literature” is completely foreign to historic Christianity.

    I was going to en.wordpress.com Both my mother and I did everything to make it work; worthless.

    I have the blog wowed-by-truth.1109484.n5.nabble.com/ Maybe we can connect there

  27. @KC

    Hmm, okay. I wouldn’t want to get rid of the option for abortion, but the vast majority are done within the first trimester anyway.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/graphic/2009/06/02/GR2009060200592.html

    I believe that abstinence-only education needs to be abolished from our school systems, as then people of all ages/sexes will have much superior knowledge about the contraception available to avoid unwanted pregnancy in the first place. More proper contraceptive use = Less abortions.

    Adultery is a weird topic, I’d much prefer that people not get married until they are absolutely ready for it, or agree on having an open marriage for one or both partners.

    I confess to not knowing the exact law regarding “no fault” divorce, other than it means you can divorce without having to prove abuse was done in the marriage. Again, perhaps if society didn’t make men or women feel as though marriage is a “requirement” to a happy and fulfilling life, we wouldn’t have people who suddenly decide they’re “unhappy” when middle age hits.

    I fine with pornography and erotica, and make daily use of both in addition to simple mental fantasies. I have no qualms with sex workers of either sex, and would like to see prostitution legalized in all states, and for there to be mandatory STD testing of both clients and purveyors. What I’d instead like to see gotten rid of is the sex trafficking and forced or underage porn trades.

    Gambling, sure why not. It’s a frivolous and unnecessary pastime that can cause severe addictions.

    Welfare leeches? Okay, I’m with you there too.

    Careful there, KC…you’re dangerously close to using a “no true Scotsman” fallacy. Baptists, Mormons, Lutherans, Evangelicals, Catholics, Born-Agains, Episcopals, and Jehovah’s Witnesses are *all* part of Christianity.

    Huh…in my case most of my friends are Christians of one sort or another.

    I will take a look at WordPress for you when I’m at an actual computer tonight.

  28. @tarnished…
    While it may seem a strange question I wonder if you’ve read any of Terry Pratchett’s work. He has some interesting notions on the relationship between sentient beings and their gods and expresses them in amusing and easily readable ways.

  29. @Greg Allan

    No, not a strange question at all!
    As a matter of fact, I do enjoy Terry Pratchett’s novels (I love Discworld), as well as Piers Anthony (notably his Xanth and Incarnations stories). Oh, and Good Omens was a fantastic read too, but then I would expect no less from a collaborative work of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

    As an aside, I also relish the works of Margaret Weis, Anne McCaffrey, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, and Philip K. Dick.

  30. @Tarn,
    In the first trimester, babies have all their parts as I just mentioned; http://www.baby2see.com/development/first_trimester.html “Secularists” have made their killing legal.
    I agree, more proper contraceptive use= less abortions. But there should be NO abortion (murder). Talk about picking on someone smaller than yourself.
    Adultery is “weird”? Adultery is a hurtful, terrible betrayal that rips families apart. “Secularists” have made it legal.
    “No fault” divorce means you can suffer a divorce for no reason whatsoever; your spouse can divorce you a week after marrying you just because they feel like it. I suffered through this nightmare which “secularists” made legal.
    Pornography is highly addictive for men; it harms marriages by presenting distorted, unrealistic expectations. Porn stars go through abortions from that, and have high rates of drug addiction and suicide. And there’s lots of disgusting, sadistic porn out there, which you might not be aware of, which “secularists” have made completely legal.
    Now whose son or daughter should be working as a prostitute? Mine? Yours? Somebody we don’t know so we don’t have to deal with how degrading it is?
    Gambling completely wipes out people’s life savings. If they are the head of the household, it destroys the whole household. “Secularists” have made it legal.
    “Secularists” have created the welfare disaster, etc. etc. etc.
    So should we allow society to be “secularized” (be atheistic) and allow immorality to run rampant, or should we keep it in check by enforcing Christian values?
    I’m innocent of the no true Scotsman fallacy if I refer to people who never go to church, never pray, never read Scripture, and have no idea what Christians are supposed to believe or practice; then they are just in name only.
    Yes, there are true Christians in Baptist, Lutheran, Evangelical, Catholic, Episcopal, Orthodox, Presbyterian, Methodist, and a hundred other churches. But each group also has its hypocrites.
    Jehovah Witnesses aren’t Christians; they have a different god; one person in the godhead=Jehovah, Jesus=Michael the archangel. Christian belief=Jesus is God, God is a trinity.

  31. @KC

    I agree with you about the gambling and no fault divorce. Adultery is bad, but I’m a proponent of open relationships, which you probably consider to be harmful as well…not sure where you stand on that? The entire welfare system is a wreck and needs to be seriously looked at.

    I am still pro-choice in regards to abortion. I am aware that there is illegal and/or honestly sadistic porn, but that doesn’t mean the porn is innately “bad”. If people don’t want to see actors and actresses with unrealistic bodies they can watch amateur porn (which I prefer anyway). Regular movie stars also get addicted to drugs at a disgustingly high rate…it’s hardly limited to porn stars/models, and various adult film studios now have random drug testing to combat this.

    I’m never going to have children, but if a son or daughter of mine wanted to become a legal sex worker (prostitute) I’d be fine with it. Have you ever spoken to any sex workers? I have, and not a single one thought their job was degrading or horrible.
    In short, we agree on some topics and disagree on others. Also, why should it necessarily be *Christian* values that the country follows? Why not Muslim, Wiccan, Jewish, Zoroastrian, Hindu or Buddhist?

  32. Tarn: “I agree with you about gambling, no fault divorce, and adultery.” Then why don’t you oppose secularism, which promotes gambling and no fault divorce, and which has made adultery legal?
    Open relationships benefit various individuals pleasure-wise, but don’t benefit society as a whole; stable monogamous families do. And they don’t benefit health (STDs). Actually, it doesn’t matter where I stand; where does God stand?
    “The entire welfare system is a wreck and must be seriously looked at.” Now who promotes the welfare debacle; religious, or secularists?” Regardless, let’s do more than look at it; let’s demolish it before it demolishes society.
    “I’m still pro-choice per abortion.” And you’re still pro-choice about permanently shutting down other human being’s brains and hearts without their consent.
    “I’m against bad porn, but not my kind of porn.” By leaving it to secularists, we have no choice but to have both. And some children will always find a way to see Internet porn of all types.
    “Regular movies stars also get addicted to drugs and get STDs at a disproportionate rate.” That’s a poor comparison; porn stars and “regular” movie stars are both secularists. Drug addiction and STDs are almost unheard of among devoutly religious TV and movie stars.
    “If a son or daughter wanted to become a prostitute I’d be fine with it.” I’m dumbfounded. I suggest that you speak to a large cross-section of parents.
    “Have you ever spoken to any sex workers? I have, and not a single one thought their job was degrading or horrible.” I’m intimately familiar with numerous sex workers, besides speaking to them. And you can’t know what people are thinking without being a mind reader. People denying their degradation is a natural human impulse.
    “Why should it necessarily be Christian values? Why not Muslim, Wiccan, Jewish, Zoroastrian, Hindu, or Buddhist?” Muslim: If you oppose people having their limbs chopped off for crimes, polygamy, and women needing to be covered from head to toe, you’ll know why. Wiccan: There’s little difference between Wiccans and secularism as I explained. Jewish: This is a racial supremacist religion based on blood lineage. Zoroastrianism: If you know anybody who follows Zoroaster, I’ll discuss it. If not, it’s a red herring. Hindu: The religion of Indians. How is India doing by the way? Buddhist: Close to Christianity, but adherents seek to establish their own righteousness, instead of seeking God’s righteousness.
    “If I can reasonably be shown to be wrong, I’m willing to change my position/s.” Does that mean only people you think are cool, or does that include socially backwards 46 year olds who have dedicated their lives to seeking the truth?

  33. First, here’s a site you should read. I think we’re confusing the definition of secularism.

    http://www.secularism.org.uk/what-is-secularism.html

    Stable families do benefit society, but I’d argue this does not necessarily mean two completely monogamous parents. STDs are an issue only if one or more partners *has* an STD that others can get. Otherwise it’s a moot point.

    Nobody knows where God/the Gods stand…or if they even truly exist. If we knew with 100% certainty, there’d only be one religion.

    The welfare system shouldn’t be demolished, it should be overhauled to prevent those who take advantage of it.

    I’m against someone being literally forced to carry a *potential* person in their body and undergoing drastic physical/chemical/lifestyle changes, being discriminated against for employment, needing to purchase more clothing/nutritional supplements they might not be able to easily afford, and having the chance of blood clots, severe pain, hemorrhaging, vaginal tearing, or even death when they don’t want to. Carrying a healthy baby to full term is *never* to be taken lightly.
    Besides, are you a vegetarian or vegan? Why are you accepting of the idea of murdering other sentient, feeling, already born and living creatures that have their own instincts/goals/pleasures/etc?

    I never said this, but yes…I’m fine with any type of porn that involves complete consent and compensation in addition to safe sex procedures. Secular values have little, if anything, to do the adult film industry.

    How are porn stars and regular movie stars all secularists when the vast majority subscribe to some form of religion?

    I have, and I know my views about sex workers isn’t what the mainstream media endorses. I don’t care, my opinions and beliefs are my own.

    Now this is rather arrogant…You’re essentially saying that even though I’ve spoken to escorts and sex workers, and they’ve explained that they don’t feel their jobs are degrading at all, that each one was subconsciously *lying* through her teeth? And not only that, but you…who do not know them and are not telepathic…somehow know *better* than they in regards to their beliefs? Wow. I’m sorry KC, but this is crap. You might be correct that some sex workers don’t like their job and simply try to save face, but to say that every free-thinking, sentient, adult man or woman who is a prostitute needs to be told how to feel is utter bs.

    So, in other words, Christianity is best because you believe so and it’s what you currently practice as it adheres well to your own worldview. Got it. I suggest you tread carefully on my blog when you attempt to speak of other religions and classify them in overly simplistic ways. Thank you.

    Yes, I’m willing to be proven wrong with scientific facts. Religions are not inherently factual as they are primarily based on faith. I don’t care if someone is “cool” or not, and I’m not an ageist. If you must know, my lover is roughly your age, so telling me you are 48 does nothing. Things like age, ethnicity, sex, gender, or class are not something I take into consideration when reading scientific studies or listening to another’s life experiences.

  34. Someone once said (if anyone can attribute this correctly, please do): The choice to have an abortion must belong to a woman, because it cannot belong to anyone else
    That’s really all that need be said.

  35. I agree, especially in the very early stages. Late-term abortion is illegal, and we are getting better and better at having ICUs that can help infants that have to be c-sectioned for their health/the mother’s health…but one has to remember that the fetus still depends on the mother’s body till that point. We do not force siblings or parents to give up organs to each other even if it means saving that life…and that’s a procedure that would have 2 already-living people surviving. So why do people feel it’s acceptable to force a woman to use her body as an incubator for a potential human who has no goals, relationships, dependents, friends, or true consciousness? Yes, they might if they survive to full term (which incidentally, a good number of pregnancies end in natural abortions aka miscarriage) but they rely on someone else’s body before that.

    I often wonder if anti-choice people are simply against modern abortion with it’s chemicals and vacuums. If we went back to how abortions *used* to be done, with massage and edible herbal remedies that eased the grape-sized fetus out like a heavy bout of moon blood…would they be so against it?

  36. Tarn: “Read this site. I think we’re confusing the definition of of secularism.” Good clarification. Here are my comments on its definition: “Secularism is strict separation of State and religious institutions ~ it’s about equal access to public services ~ it’s about democracy.” I agree absolutely.
    “Secularism is about fairness, free speech and expression, and making sure the State doesn’t interfere in religious affairs.” In theory, not practice. Secularism is often unfair. In Canada and Europe, secularism now interferes in free speech and expression, punishable by jail and fines. The Sate interferes in religious affairs whenever schools teach anti-Christian principles, whenever taxpayers must fund anything anti-Christian, and whenever it enforces anti-Christian laws.
    “Stable families benefit society, but doesn’t necessarily mean two monogamous parents. Stds are an issue only if one or more partners has an std that others can get.” Non-monogamy always hurts family stability and puts others at risk for stds.
    “Nobody knows for where God/the Gods stand or if they even exist.” NO. We can know that God exists and where He stands beyond a reasonable doubt. See chapters 3,4,6, and 14 in my book Wowed by Truth.
    “If we knew with 100% certainty, there would be only one religion.” I don’t like the term 100% certainty; few things in life are. I use the term “beyond a reasonable doubt.” That’s always valid in any court of law for anything. And there is only one religion that completely rejects self-righteousness for God’s righteousness.
    The “hundreds of religions”, agnostic in nature, are all ONE; human systems of self-righteousness. Anti-religion is the other side of this same coin of humanism. Judaism is racial supremacist, Islam and Hinduism harbor class discrimination; all three are primarily ethnic systems. Since we’re not Jewish, Indian, or Middle-Eastern, these are red herrings. Our argument is humanistic systems/anti-religion/secularism VS. Christian systems.
    “The welfare system shouldn’t be demolished, but overhauled to prevent abuse.” I regret saying demolished; I like what you say about overhauling the system.
    I’m against someone being forced to carry a person in their body, undergoing physical/chemical/lifestyle changes, being discriminated against for employment, needing to purchase supplies they cannot afford, and having the chance of severe pain, bodily damage, or death.”
    Your position has two problems. One: all those risks don’t justify purposely stopping another human’s heart, brain, and body permanently and without their consent. Two: pregnancy never comes about by magic. We always know when we are exposing ourselves to possibly getting pregnant. And no, Christianity has always opposed abortion, not just modern abortion. Kill burdensome people? Nazism.
    “Secular values have little, if anything, to do with the adult film industry.” Correct; secularism isn’t a system of values; it’s a lack of religious values. “How are all porn stars and regular movie stars all secularists when the vast majority subscribe to some form of religion?” Because they all support the dominance of secularism over religious values, subscription or no subscription.
    “My views about sex workers aren’t what the media endorses; I don’t care.” I’m confused by that statement. None of my views are what the media endorses; the media presents a pack of lies.

  37. Pardon my having a 2nd consecutive post: I just noticed something you added:
    Please don’t accuse me of being arrogant. I don’t accuse you of being so. You have never met me in your entire life. And if you haven’t read my book, which has many excerpts from my life, then you don’t know me at all.
    And many many prostitutes are very regretful of their lifestyle choice. This is well-documented.

  38. @KC

    What schools teach anti-Christian principals? What laws are anti-Christian? How does secularism interfere in religious affairs or force taxpayers to fund anti-Christian things? I’ve never seen this in action, as far as I can tell though I’ve often seen Christians attempt to do so, especially in regards to hospitals that are run by Catholics but still ask for taxpayer and government funding.

    Non-monogamy does not *always* hurt families. I know of several that do not, either personally or through friends/customers. Again, STDs are only a risk if the people involved have STDs.

    I’ll try to access your site again, but unless you have some tremendous evidence that nobody has ever shown the world before…I’ll admit I’m a bit doubtful that you can prove the existence of *any* God.

    Why do you feel that Judaism and Islam, both of which have holy texts that honor the same God as Christianity, are religions of self-righteousness? After all, the bible endorses slavery…is this not also a caste system? Acknowledging other faiths that neither of us practice is hardly a red herring. I’m not attempting to lead the conversation astray, I’m trying to be inclusive of the major possibilities.

    We are not going to agree on the topic of abortion, though I thank you for letting me know that Christianity is against all forms of it. I find it odd that it would be though…the Christian God, according to the bible commanded his people to slaughter men, adult women, children, pregnant women, infants, and even livestock on various occasions. If the Christian God was so against the ending of a potential human the size of a pea, why would He order entire villages/tribes to be massacred even unto the innocents? Seems hypocritical to me.

    We probably won’t agree about people in the film industry either. Are you ready to tell Adam Sandler that he’s more secular than Jewish? Or that Gary Cooper was only partway Catholic?

    Let me clarify: The general consensus of American media is that actual prostitution is wrong (although nearly everything up to that point seems acceptable). I’m of a different opinion, much like ThatIncel is, but I’d say both men and women could hire the services of sex workers, not just men.

  39. @KC #2

    Sorry, but it *is* arrogant to claim you know someone else’s feelings/thoughts better than they. It’s essentially saying;

    “I know you *think* you believe X, have strong feelings about X, and have decided upon a lifestyle that allows you to do X…but trust me, you don’t *actually* like X.”

    If I do this, I fully expect…and want…people to call me out on my arrogant behavior. Please, if you see me writing anything that states I know a person better than they know themselves, feel free to give me a verbal slap upside the head. I doubt you’ll have the chance to though, as I strive to never do such.

    You’re right, I haven’t met you nor read your book. But then, I never claimed to or claimed to understand your thoughts in a superior way to yourself. I was responding to the fact you said this about others.

    Many prostitutes *are* regretful, yes. Especially the ones who felt they had no other job to turn to, or got suckered into it by manipulative pimps, or decided to do so at a young age as runaways. But there are also many who truly enjoy their jobs, love having sex, take pride in being sought after, and are happy to please their clientele. This is well-documented also: I suggest you watch the HBO series “Cathouse” or ask to speak to any of the sex worker contractors who are employed at The Bunny Ranch in Nevada. I have done both, as well as personally known 2 escorts and 1 former prostitute (who quit her job to become a loving wife and mother).

  40. KC said:
    Please donโ€™t accuse me of being arrogant.
    KC also said:
    We can know that God exists and where He stands beyond a reasonable doubt.
    If the shoe fits…

  41. @Tarn: Sorry if my generalizations about religions were too general. But it’s virtually impossible to describe religions to everyone’s satisfaction. (My intro to chapter 2.Clash of Ideologies)
    “What schools teach anti-Christian principles?” All of them: Evolution, lifestyle equality, no gender differences. “What laws are anti-Christian?” Legalized adultery, gambling, “no-fault” divorce, same-sex marriage, sadistic porn, abortion, tobacco ads, etc.etc. “How does secularism interfere with religion or force taxpayers to fund anti-Christian things?” We pay trillions for crazy wars; adoption agencies can’t refuse same-sex couples; free speech condemned in Canada/Europe. “Christians often force their values.” But if Christianity is right, that’s good.
    “Non-monogamy doesn’t always hurt families.” And uncooked chickens don’t always have deadly bacteria. Coked chickens and monogamy for everyone, eh? “STDs are only a risk if those involved have STDs.” Baloney. I caught STD from my wife; different bodies with different chemicals can cause bad reactions. And what you’re saying doesn’t make sense; you’re proposing an infinite row of dominoes; how did the first people to get STDs get them? And promiscuity dramatically increases STD rates.
    “Without tremendous evidence, I’m doubtful you can prove God’s existence.” I can’t “prove” God’s existence to those who don’t want to believe. But I have evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to people who don’t want to escape morality and the idea that they are the center of the universe, not God.
    Judaism (racial supremacy) and Islam (class-ism,etc.) have not the Christian God. They have one person in the Godhead; Christian=the Trinity. Judaism=Jesus was an evil man; Islam=Jesus was only a prophet; Christian=Jesus was God.
    “Acknowledging other beliefs is not a red herring.” Okay, but lets not discuss beliefs from the BCs, such as Mr. Zoro, ancient Norse gods, or obscure stuff like UFOism. We will both waste our time.
    “The Christian God, per the Bible commanded mass slaughter and slavery.” That’s the Jewish God and the Jewish Bible. Sadly, Christians call it their book. This so-called “Old Testament” was separate and apart from Christian Scripture for one thousand two hundred years.
    “Potential humans the size of peas, grapes, etc.” So if you were shrunk with a shrinking ray, it would be okay for me to kill you?” And not *potential* humans. Fetuses become adult humans, never plastic bags, flowers, pebbles, etc. “Would you tell Adam Sandler he’s more secular than Jewish? Or Gary Cooper he’s only partway Catholic?” Yes, and they’d probably agree with me.
    “You say prostitutes subconsciously lied about their jobs being degrading.” NO, I never said that. I’m saying that they may have said it was okay without thinking deeply about it. But after counselors have probed, many prostitutes admitted the degradation. “Consider the good old Bunny Ranch.” Okay, now consider the good old Marlboro man and his wonderful cigarettes.
    “It’s arrogant to claim you know someone feelings/thoughts better than they.” I agree, but what has this to do with me? See my chapter 25.Communication Breakdown. “Call me out if I’m arrogant.” No, I can’t analyze people through a blog. And it doesn’t matter if they’re arrogant or not (ad hominem), only their arguments count.

  42. @KC

    It’s not so much that your descriptions of these other religions were too general…I just think they’re incredibly incomplete and at least partially incorrect.

    I personally don’t know any schools that teach that sex differences are nonexistent, but I’ll take your word for it. Evolution is not “anti” anything…it’s the best explanation with the most scientific evidence for why the world is as it is. Lifestyle equality…? What do you mean by this?

    Adultery is not so much legalized as generally unpunishable by fines or serving prison time. There’s no law in place that I know of specifically stating that adultery is legal. A number of religious sects, not all of them Christian, are against gambling and tobacco use…some are even against alcohol consumption. These are hardly just “against” Christians, and nobody is forcing Christians to partake of casinos, tobacco, alcohol, or porn anyway. I disapprove of tobacco use myself. I think smoking or chewing tobacco is absolutely revolting and heinous, and I hate the fact that so many advertisements are directed towards teens and young adults. But I understand that I’ve no way to tell anyone else what to do with their own body. My neighbor smoking himself to death has no direct bearing on whether *I* smoke or not. Are you saying legalized tobacco sales are “anti-Tarnished”?

    Most people don’t want wars…again, not specifically “anti-Christian”. Adoption agencies are funded in part (if not wholly) by the government/taxpayers and it is literally their entire purpose to place children in homes that will provide love, shelter, nourishment, educational opportunities, and everything else parents can give. To deny a child a chance at a better life simply due to the couple being homosexual is cruel and shows that the agency in question is willing to put their personal beliefs above that of their charges well-being, which is disgusting. I don’t think free speech is condemned as much as hate speech is illegal.

    I suppose if Christianity, in every one of it’s hundreds of forms, could be proven to be the absolute best set of values then a case could be made that they should be adopted by society at large. But even then, forcing every citizen to conform is rather Orwellian, don’t you think?

    No. If one was to eat a raw chicken without testing it beforehand, you wouldn’t know if it has salmonella or not, and you’d be a moron. If you go into a polyamorous relationship without any boundaries or respect for you’re partners/spouses, you’re also a moron. Thus, you cook/test chicken before you eat it, and you act like a rational, caring adult in a poly relationship. Going in half-cocked to *any* situation is foolish and stupid.

    I’m sorry to hear you caught an STD from your wife, but it wasn’t from “chemicals” in your bodies having bad reactions to each other. STDs are either bacterial or viral in origin, same as something like meningitis. They came about in the same way non-sexually transmitted diseases did…evolution of traits/mutations that led them to being viable in various hosts. If two guaranteed virgin partners are 100% monogamous, have never shared needles, never had a contaminated blood transfusion, never had unprotected oral sex, and never got vaginal/penile fluids in open sores or any mucous membranes…there is NO risk of STDs I’m aware of. Are you willing to say which STD it was, and did your doctor literally say that you got it from “chemical reactions”? If so, I’d really like to know about this so I can do further research and ask my own doctor some very important preventative questions.

    Promiscuity does increase the spread of STDs, but this has more to do with human stupidity and machismo attitudes about condom use than actually having numerous partners. I am my lover’s 13 sexual partner…he is 48, and started having sex at age 17. He has never gotten an STD in his life because he wasn’t an idiot, and he always used the proper protection.

    Not all Christians believe in the trinity the way you do. Jews believe Jesus was “evil”? That’s a new one…I’ve been friends with numerous Jews, and my great-grandmother was a German Jew. Never have I heard they believe him to be an “evil” man…most have told me they consider him a rabbi with fables attached to his name post-humorously. Yes, Muslims believe both Jesus and Mohammed were prophets. Sorry, but most theologians would say that Allah, Jehovah, and Yahweh all refer to the same god. If you personally don’t wish to believe that, it’s up to you…I’m just telling you what I’ve read in my studies of this subject.

    Lol, it’s funny you mention the Norse pantheon as “obscure”, as 1 of my coworkers is a Pagan who worships them. This is why I said that other less well known religions were “red herrings”.

    So now you are saying the Old Testament is not Christian? Okay…but then you don’t see the need for the Ten Commandments or the chapters in Leviticus that allegedly support your condemnation of homosexual marriage? I’m very confused by the beliefs you hold now…

    No, it would not be okay to kill me because I would still be a thinking, feeling, self-aware, sentient being. It is for this same reason I do not kill and eat other beings that are smaller than me…I don’t believe I, as an intelligent creature capable of empathy and with the means to survive without eating flesh, have a right to slaughter anyone else who can suffer. Current findings show that a fetus’s brain seems to only be developed enough to feel pain (and be capable of more than reflexive movement to outside stimuli) once it is around the 24 week mark. That’s 6 months of only exceptionally primitive and non-thinking brainwave activity…much like someone who is on the edge of being considered brain dead. An incredibly small amount of abortions are performed at or after this time as late term abortions are illegal unless something is catastrophically wrong. http://reason.com/archives/2013/07/12/do-fetuses-feel-pain

    I never meant that fetuses could transform into something utterly different, and you know it. But until they have a brain and body capable of surviving outside of the womb, they are not a complete person unto themselves. If say, at 8 weeks, a miscarriage occurs, the woman’s body did not commit a murder…a growing being that could have potentially been a full human being was gotten rid of for some reason, most likely due to physical inadequacy or trauma.

    I doubt that either Sandler or Cooper would agree that they don’t hold their religion in high regard in their lives. It’s possible I suppose, but unlikely.

    I doubt that, given the controversy surrounding it every single day, that a sex worker would *not* have thought deeply about their job. What counselors? What studies? Did they interview prostitutes who *wanted* to be sex workers, or ones who never thought they’d have that life/didn’t want it?

    What does the late Marlboro man have to do with this? He was an actor for cigarette commercials during a time when the effects of tobacco and other cigarette ingredients were not well known to the public (and even some of the private sector). He died from lung cancer, I hear. The women who work at the Bunny Ranch are all over the age of 18, are hired as private contractors who decide what types of sex they’re comfortable offering, and are required to pass STD testing at all times. They are adults who can come and go as they please, keep the majority of their money, and are fully aware of any and all risks their line of work entails. What was your point here?

    It has to do with you because you stated that you believed you knew sex workers thoughts better than they. You may not be able to actually analyze anyone through a blog (if you can psychologically analyze anyone at all), but you can see if someone’s argument is illogical, invalid, trollish, arrogant, or sound pretty well I should think. That’s what reading comprehension is about; the ability to glean information through the written word without ever needing to meet the author. Calling someone out for an arrogant statement is hardly an ad hominem attack. I was not trying to cast doubt on your character or abilities by letting you know that speaking for someone else is typically thought of as arrogance…I was saying that statement of yours was arrogant, not you as a whole.

  43. @Tarn: Way too many words; you typed 1,500 this post; I type at a noisy coffee shop, and am learning disabled. I re-write and re-type your words to think how to respond.
    “Your descriptions of religions are incredibly incomplete or partially incorrect.” You’re probably right; no time to study 1,000 different religions, especially with little or no documentation to back them up. Jesus Christ claimed to be God; many volumes back His teachings up. I’m happy to know more about what you believe too.
    I should have said that schools teach that there’s little difference between the sexes; it’s still hokum. Evolution is anti-historical Christianity, which was Creationist. Evolution violates numerous scientific principles; it’s scientifically impossible. Lifestyle equality=alternative lifestyles “equal” to traditional marriage. Adultery: if something is non-punishable, but was punishable, then it’s clearly legalized.
    “A number of non-Christian religions also oppose vices.” Yes, and anti-religion, neo-paganism, and secularism are mostly for vices being legal. “Nobody forces anybody to partake of vices.” So?; they’re addictive, immoral, and unhealthy. “I’m against tobacco, but my neighbor smoking himself to death doesn’t affect my life.” Your attitude saddens me. Let’s care about our neighbors, by making vices illegal. My father and my friend smoking themselves to death has a direct bearing on my life.
    War was specifically anti-Christian per the early Church. Islam and Judaism were originally pro-war. Free speech is nonsensically redefined as hate speech and is thereby made illegal. Therefore free speech is becoming illegal. “If Christianity could be proven to be the absolute best set of values, a case could be made that they should be adopted by society at large.” They are, without a doubt.
    “It’s the purpose of adoption agencies to place children in homes that provide everything parents can give.” And to provide both a mother and a father. Actually, to deny a child either a mother or father is cruel. Jesus Christ defined marriage as between one man and one woman, no exceptions. Were His “personal” beliefs disgusting?
    “Promiscuity increases the spread of stds, but is more human stupidity than numerous partners. My lover never got an std because he wasn’t an idiot…………..” Promiscuity is still a big factor in spreading stds. Some rare people never get stds because of their unusual immune system. And women like cunnilingus; you’re not going to plastic wrap your face for protection. “Stds are either bacterial or viral in origin.” Okay. “With two absolute virgin partners, no needles, no transfusions, etc. there is NO risk of stds.” Baloney. One can get bacteria or virus from the surrounding area and pass it to their partner. Again, how did the first people to get stds get it? And I have no sympathy for polyamoury, especially when so many have nobody.
    “Not all Christians believe in the Trinity.” Then by definition they’re not Christians, as four sided objects are not pentagons. “Jews believe Jesus was evil? That’s a new one.” Jews won’t likely say that before non-Jews. It’s not a new one, it’s an old one from the Jewish Talmud; irrefutable. Jehovah and Yahweh can refer to the same Christian God, but this depends on how those terms are used. If used in reference to a member of the Trinity, they’re the same, if not, they’re different. Allah is never the Trinity; he’s different.
    “Lol, it’s funny you mention the Norse pantheon as “obscure”, a co-worker worships them. That’s why less well-known religions aren’t red herrings.” My parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents would probably laugh out loud if they heard about your co-worker. What logic/documentation does he use to back his beliefs? None=red herring.
    “So you’re saying the Old Testament is not Christian?” Correct. “Then you don’t see the need for the Ten Commandments or verses in Leviticus……………….” Correct. “I’m very confused by the beliefs you hold now.” I never changed any of my positions since typing to you and none of my positions contradict another position.
    “It would be wrong to kill me……………” And you know that “fetuses” become thinking, feeling, self-aware, sentient human beings the same as you. “Current findings show that fetus brains seem to only feel pain around the 24 week mark.” I see; and http://www.doctorsonfetalpain.com makes a stronger case that they do feel pain. “Until fetuses have a brain and body capable of surviving outside the womb, they are not a complete person……” Babies after birth also lack a brain and body capable of surviving outside the womb; they are entirely dependent on their parents. So we can kill them too? Abortion is still purposely stopping an innocent human’s heart, brain, and body permanently and without their consent.
    Both the Marlboro man and Bunny Ranch ads make a bad product look good. “Bunny Ranch women are clean happy adults.” And they prey on men’s sexual compulsion, help break up marriages, reduce the human body to a piece of meat, fail to maintain stable families, and don’t work on a sliding scale so poor men can afford them.
    “You said you knew prot’s thoughts better than they.” Either you misunderstood what I typed, I made a mistake in typing, or both. And if you say I’m arrogant when I say I’m not, you’re doing the same thing you accuse me of; saying that you know my thoughts better than I know them. An entire chapter in my book is dedicated to refuting the idea that we cannot properly read others. And it doesn’t really matter what prots think; they simply need to repent. “You may not be able to actually psychoanalyze anyone through a blog.” Moreover, you CANNOT.
    “You can see if someone’s argument is illogical, invalid, or sound pretty well.” Yes, unless you’re blinded by your own position. And if someone is not purposely conveying their emotions through writing, or lacks the skill to properly convey their emotions, then reading comprehension is void. Unless it’s extreme, as noted in the next paragraph:
    I re-thought the No True Scotsman; a Christian’s behavior caused it; I didn’t see it coming. I’m guilty, but happily repent. Yes, many are paranoid, mean, nasty, etc. I’ll be more careful with my e-mail address now; it sounded like I was contacted by the Mafia. Maybe I should stop calling myself a Christian; a Jesus man maybe? Please seriously consider Jesus.

  44. @KC

    I’m not able to give an adequate response to your comment here till next week due to things happening at my job…I’ll just be too busy.

    However, I’m also wondering if there is any point, or if our back-and-forth is eventually just going to be as long as a novel. I believe it is evident at this moment that you have very strong faith in your type of Christianity, believe it to be the best religion, and thus feel it should be used by everybody…including schools, scientists, and lawmakers. (Correct me here if I’m wrong.) While I don’t necessarily think there’s a problem with having such strong faith, you should know that I cannot realistically match the fervor with which you type.

    Pagans, in general and myself included, do not believe our faith is the “only way”, unlike Christians such as yourself. I don’t believe there’s evidence enough to believe in the Judeo-Christian god and so I don’t…even though I was raised as a Christian and went to church every Sunday. (So yes…I considered Jesus during my childhood bible studies, and I do every time I have a religious conversation with a Christian. Just because I’m Wiccan doesn’t mean I stopped “considering”.) My point is this:

    You hold that your version of Christianity is 100% true, good, divine, moral, and should be used to shape society for the better.

    I hold that while I’m happy to be Wiccan and find spiritual satisfaction from it, I do not for a moment think it is the best faith for everyone, nor do I think my beliefs should be used to shape society. This is because I truly believe there are numerous paths to spiritual satisfaction, and no single religion is the “correct” one. 1 size does not fit all, in other words.

    So far we have exchanged many reasons for why we believe X, Y, and Z…including studies and personal experiences. As of right now, I know that we don’t agree on much of anything, and that’s fine. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But whereas I like to have discussions to simply flex my mind and exchange ideas, you seem to be desirous of converting me to your stance and/or belief system (especially given that you end by asking me to consider your religion).

    I don’t know if I feel comfortable or willing to continue a conversation with someone who wants me to give up my faith, which I love as much as he loves his own. By asking me to “seriously consider Jesus” it comes off as “your religion is faulty…think of using mine instead.” This may not have been your intent, but it’s how I read it.

    Oh, and my coworker who prays to the Norse Gods is also a Pagan…his sect is called Asatru, whereas I’m an Eclectic Wiccan. It may be that your family would “laugh out loud” to hear about him or myself, but you should know that we wouldn’t do the same to you. The majority of my dear friends are Christians, and one is even a deacon they do not mock my religion, and I don’t mock theirs.

    And this is, sadly, where we are very different indeed.

  45. @Tarn: I understand; I also wonder if we’re going to write a novel here.
    “You have very strong faith in *your type* of Christianity, believe it’s the best, and thus feel it should be used by absolutely everybody. You hold that *your version* of Christianity is 100% true/divine, and should be used to shape society for the better. (Correct me if I’m wrong.)” Yes, I agree. HOWEVER I take exception with being characterized with “my type” of Christianity. My goal is conforming to the original Christianity of the early Church. If I’m not, I stand corrected.
    “Pagans are not exclusive, unlike yourself. I’m a happy Wiccan, find spiritual satisfaction from it, but don’t think it’s for everyone or should be used to shape society. I truly believe there are numerous spiritual paths; no single religion is “the correct” one.” You explain yourself very well. But you CANNOT fault me for my exclusive-ism. My faith demands it of me. (Was Jesus’ Religion Exclusive? p.47-49 in chapter 6).
    “Whereas I flex my mind and exchange ideas, you seem desirous of converting me to your stance and/or belief system. Asking me to “seriously consider Jesus” comes off as “Your religion is faulty, use mine instead.” Sounds like an either/or fallacy. I intend to do BOTH. And I cannot convert anyone. I can try to influence people, who can either allow that influence to work on them, or they can shut me out. You CANNOT fault me for evangelizing. 2,000 years ago, most of the world was pagan, and the disciples were sent to evangelize everyone with Christianity. It’s still valid per Christ’s Great Commission.
    “My pagan co-worker worships Norse gods. Most of my friends are Christians; they do not mock my religion, and I don’t mock theirs.” And I’m not mocking anybody. I’m not calling anyone names either, as I was called names in one of your threads.
    “Sadly, we don’t agree.” We may never agree, but we can both get something out of this. I’m teaching you what original Christianity is, which can dispel friction/misunderstandings between Christians/Pagans. And you’ve influenced me to edit my book. I’m going to drive home the point that non-Christians are often nicer than Christians, and that Christians really need to shape up. This should also help create harmony.

  46. @KC

    By “your type” of Christianity, I simply mean the one you subscribe to…Original Christianity, I suppose. This differentiates it from say, Mormonism, Catholicism, or Lutheran beliefs. I know you said before that you believe in Annihilation, but as I don’t know what your actual sect is called, it’s “your type”. For example, my friend who is a deacon is a Christian…but holds relatively few of the same beliefs as you.

    I don’t fault you for your religious exclusivity, as it’s well known that Jesus said he was the way/truth (or that the words are consistently attributed to him, at the very least). It just shows how difficult it can be to find middle ground between Pagans and fundamentalist Christians. It’s like being shown a paint swatch of a dubious color. A Pagan could say the color is bluish-purple with a hint of maroon…whereas a Christian insists it is teal and cannot possibly be anything else.

    If your intent is to attempt conversion, I’m going to “shut you out”, definitely. Not as in banning you or not speaking to you…but I already know from much previous experience that Paganism is for me and Christianity is not. I don’t “blame” you for evangelizing…it’s part of your religion. Again, it’s just very different than mine, which sees no need to do so. Since many paths are valid, why try to convince someone that Paganism is better? I do wish, sometimes, that more Christians respected this…there were numerous occasions when my younger siblings were taken to church the morning after a sleepover *without* my mother knowing about it. Imagine the reverse happening, and the fits the other parents might throw, knowing their child had participated in a ritual not of their faith! This is why any coven worth going to will all-out refuse members who are under 18.

    Sorry, but I fail to see how laughing at someone’s deeply held religious beliefs is *not* mocking them? Are you saying that next time the Protestants down the road come to my door, it’s acceptable for me to chuckle as they attempt to preach to me?

    If you wish to continue our conversation, I’m fine with that, so long as you understand that I’m not going to be susceptible to conversion. Other than that, I’m willing to keep talking about differences and agree to disagree.

    Perhaps I should create an open thread though…hmm.

  47. Look on the bright side Tarn. Your writing these patient replies must be doing wonders for your karma…so, that’s nice.
    “You CANNOT fault me for evangelizing.”
    errm, yes ‘we’ can (the general ‘we’, I do not claim to speak for Tarn on this or any other matter).
    Someone who does not believe in your god can absolutely tell you that they are not interested in hearing about him/her/it/them/whatever. When you persist beyond that point you are what polite society calls a boor ( http://www.thefreedictionary.com/boor ). In impolite society (in less PC/happier times), perhaps you’d end up in the pot with a few local vegetables and some appropriate seasoning. Fava beans and a nice Chianti perhaps? nom nom nom
    Modern legal realities mean that it has become unfashionable to indulge in culinary experimentation on true believers, this may explain the sparcity of dinner invitations that you receive…or maybe people who don’t share your ideological zeal don’t find you to be a fun dinner guest.
    Could it be that an inability to respect someone else’s opinions and a lack of courtesy in letting matters drop at that point is harming your social life?
    just a thought.
    I will be leaving it there as matters ideological hold little fascination for me and I lack the (overly) good manners to spend endless time on discussing them when no resolution is possible. And at my age I’m pretty sure that my karma is set anyway.

  48. @Spawny

    Well, patience *is* a virtue. Though I’m not sure this pertains to me either since I also don’t believe in the concept of “sin”…

  49. @Tarn/Spawny: I believe that continuing the conversation helps us understand each other. More understanding=more respect=more caring=more peace and harmony, does it not? An open thread would be nice for that purpose. @Spawny: p.s. I taste terrible.
    @Tarn: I believe I follow the original Christianity of the early Church. Since no church on Earth I know of mirrors the early Church, I don’t call any church today my own. I attend a church I won’t name because it’s local with numerous service days and times. I don’t contribute financially.
    I differ from the early Church in two ways: I disregard the Old Testament because today it is constantly abused, and we now know it’s unscientific. I subscribe to Ghost Theology (p.66-67 in 8.Ghosts 101). My Annihilation-ism is not dependent on church type. There are Annihilation-ists within many different church groups.
    “My Christian deacon friend holds very few of your beliefs.” By dissecting Christianity into 100 parts, I agree with every major group on more than 55 points, including Anglicans, Catholics, Baptists, Lutherans, Methodists, Orthodox, Pentecostals, Church of God, etc. etc.
    “Don’t fault you for your religious exclusivity or your evangelizing; they’re part of your religion.” Thank you. We’re making progress in understanding each other. “……………Fundamentalist Christians.” I’m NOT a Fundamentalist; don’t know if you know that. “Pagans and Christians cannot find middle ground between their beliefs.” I agree wholeheartedly. “I’m not open to conversion.” I accept that. “Pagans are never exclusive/never evangelize because……………” I understand perfectly.
    “My younger siblings were taken to church without their mother’s knowledge. Imagine the reverse happening, and other parents having fits, knowing their child participated in rituals not of their faith!” Okay, now imagine the parents being totally accepting like my parents would be. We agree that either way, it’s wrong to override the parent’s decision.
    “Laughing at someone’s religion is mocking them.” I wasn’t laughing at anyone; re-read my post. Anyway, laughing is NOT mocking. It’s normal to find humor in things we’re unfamiliar with, and hence laugh. Let’s not have the Nazi thought police stopping people from laughing. “When the local Protestants attempt to preach to me, it’s acceptable to chuckle at them?” Of course it is. Wrong= A) Mocking: using a caricature to make fun of someone in a cruel way. B) Ridicule with the intention of making fun of someone in a cruel way. Right= C) Ridicule tied to reductio ad absurdum in order to quash falsehood D) simple laughing. I’m shocked at your attitude. Isn’t that dangerous and oppressive? With humility, we accept laughing, ridicule, and even mocking, do we not?

  50. You taste terrible?
    Fava beans and a nice Chianti would be a waste then, but…
    Never fear!
    There’s always curry and a beer…

  51. Just pointing out an issue of semantics. Your cited definition of cult isn’t accurate, as that is modern perception. A true cult is a sect within an existing religion. For example, Christianity was originally a cult, as an adherent had to be Jewish first to become a Christian (Peter’s rules). Later, when they admitted Gentiles, it became its own religion.
    Good post, just wanting to clarify a personal pet peeve of mine.

  52. @Fitzgerald

    Yes, the definition I was using is the more current (or if you prefer, popular) one. It is worth noting that this is not the only way this term is used, so thanks for pointing it out to readers not in the know.

    Appreciate you stopping by.

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