Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Damn heathens...

So there are apparently some Christian Scots who are all up in arms about a gathering of the enemy on their home turf: "Scottish pagan gathering spells worry for some Christians".

Without getting into petty squabblings which in my opinion would end quite nicely with the phrase "we were here first" from the pagan camp, what could be wrong with this communal gathering? I may be biased (being sympathetic to the pagan cause as those who know me well will attest), but in my experience those of a pagan faith are more friendly and open-minded than those of a more "mainstream" religion. Too open-minded, sometimes - to the point that their reason deserts them and they end up believing that a stick waved in a particular way at a particular time can cure their ills; but open-minded nonetheless. Even where they are more dogmatic, in their core beliefs regarding the unity and harmony of the world, there are more beneficial ideas than you might find in the largely anthropocentric religions widespread today.

The Rev Graham Swanson of Elgin Baptist Church, told the newspaper: "I have grave concerns and reservations about this event taking place. As a Christian I believe the Bible warns us about dabbling in such things as witchcraft."

But has he ever stopped to wonder why the Bible says that? It's not because God said "witchcraft" was bad - it's because that's what Christianity's rivals were doing when it was written. It's quite astounding that we are today still exposed to anti-pagan propaganda that has been put forward by Christianity for thousands of years - possibly the most effective campaign of misinformation in the history of humanity.

As a personal note, I'll admit that paganism is my sacred calf - although I'm a practicing and fervent sceptic, I happily immerse myself in the mythology of paganism (Nordic by preference). This is not to say that I head off to Stonehenge and dance naked when it's Solstice time - or even believe in the gods; it's rather a way of defining myself. I may post about this in more detail some other time - it requires some serious thought to get my ideas in order on this.

So, briefly back to the topic at hand, why might one be tempted to support a pagan gathering rather than a Christian one as such? I think that there is a communal spirit to paganism that is not as commonly found in Christianity, and the best thing about it (to my mind) is that, despite being misguided on a great many things, paganism is a far more friendly way to spend your free time. For one thing, they are far less judgmental - and in my experience are far more likely to forgive than the Christians. Perhaps we should follow the Reverend's example and start protesting about Church picnics and such, claiming them to be gatherings of a sinister cult.

Tip of the laurel wreath to The New Humanist

No comments: