Tag Archives: christianity

Druids and the Church

Druidry and Christianity have a very interesting sort of relationship. There are folks who do both, and most of the folks who only do one find this a bit perplexing. And no, I have no idea really how it works, but so long as it does work for people, then fair enough.

Churches have a very strong physical presence in a lot of communities. They are a hub point for activity, as well as the focal point of worship and religion. Contemporary druids do not, usually, have anything comparable. There aren’t enough of us, we don’t have the financial backing, and there is the whole issue of liking to do it in the trees. Groves are good for rituals, but less good for playgroups, jumble sales, coffee mornings and all the other social glue that holds church communities together.

I’ll freely admit that every now and then I get an attack of building-envy. Churches tend to have very good acoustics too, they are fabulous places to sing. Often they have interesting windows and art work to explore. In rural places, churches are often where the local history, archaeology and myth wind up. If you want to find out about a place, poking around in the church will give you a good place to start. Then there’s the graveyard – frequently a wildlife haven and full of ancestors – ancestors of place, if not bone or tradition.

If you’re getting the idea that I love churches, you’d be right. But the trouble is Christianity doesn’t speak to me and never did. I am very fond of many lovely Christian people, and I have a lot of respect for what they do, but I’m never going to be going that way.

The trouble is, being a Druid, by definition involves having a community to be a Druid for. Which is fine and dandy if there are plenty of pagans about. But what do you do if you are the only pagan in the village, or your part of town? The private, solitary aspects of Druidry you can do anywhere, but the community aspect means people.

When I was in Redditch, I had a good relationship both with the nearest vicar, and my son’s school (which was a faith school). We were entirely open about the paganism. I’ve sung in the church (because I love mediaeval music) and supported church events. It depends a lot on the nature of your vicar, but many have an attitude that the church exists for the community, first and foremost. Being openly pagan, non-confrontational and interested in giving service, I found it easy enough to find a place.

My new home, unshockingly, turns out to have a church in viable walking distance (this being the UK, I’d be hard pushed to live somewhere this wasn’t true of). It’s a significant hub of local life. I love the graveyard, and have snuck into the building when no one else is about. Empty churches can be very lovely places to meditate on a rainy day. In time, I’ll start offering all the things I’ve given in other places – music, harvest loaf making, help with practical things. All the community and craft aspects. If the community I’m in turns out to be light on pagans, and more Christians, then to serve, as a Druid, I need to find ways to serve within a Christian-defined context. It can be done.

Muslim Mosque and Religious Intolerance—Where Does it End?

Building a Muslim mosque in New York close to the 9/11 ground zero site has raised some serious issues as well as anger. I can understand the anger some people have over this issue. My feelings are a little mixed and I wonder why anyone would even think that building a Muslim mosque in that area would go over well. That being said, I am also scared at the level of intolerance that this country is showing now.

I will admit that I am no fan of the Muslim religion, but I feel that way about other religions as well. One can argue that the Koran says that Muslims should kill those who do not share their beliefs and so Muslims are dangerous, but the same can be said about the Bible and Christians. I am very familiar with the Bible, but admit I know very little about the Koran. The Bible is one of the most violent books I have ever read. What about all of the atrocities committed by Christians throughout history? Who can forget the crusades of the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries—the religious military campaigns in the Middle East—Christians killing Muslims in an attempt to take the holy land from them. And what about all the poor women and some men accused of witchcraft and killed during the European witch hunts from the 14th to the 18th centuries? What about Christians bombing abortion clinics? Do we abolish Christian churches because of a few radical Christians? Or what about all the reports of Catholic priests molesting children? Do we punish all of that faith because of what a few deviant priests did? Is it okay to kill in the name of religion as long as it’s the RIGHT religion?        

I don’t see anything different with the Muslims that flew planes into the World Trade Center and any other acts committed by radical religious nuts. The 9/11 Muslims don’t speak for all Muslims. So is it right to punish other Muslims for what those few did? Where does it end? I feel there is a certain faction in this country that wants America to be like Iran where only one religion is worshipped—and that would be the Christian faith. These people are truly un-American and seek to destroy the freedoms of being an American and the principals that this country was founded on. They can call President Obama a Nazi, a Socialist, a Muslim, or whatever, but he defended the religious freedom in America by saying that they have a right to build their Muslim mosque. The way I see it, today these people want to drive out Muslims, and tomorrow they will be burning pagans or anyone that doesn’t follow their religious agenda. This scares the hell out of me and I hope this country wakes up and realizes that things could get much worse.

Any thoughts on this?

Kelley Heckart

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Hot Topics: Jesus was a Witch!

 

Another hot topic brewing between Pagans and non- Pagans are our lovely Christian Witches. This seems to either piss off or appall many –for that, I am slightly confused. But then again, I can see where both sides are coming from. So, let’s take a look at that now.

 

Some Pagans have found a comfortable balance between Christianity and Paganism. They have taken what seems and feels right of one faith and blended it with another. Those that I have spoken to, seem to hold onto Jesus, and his teachings, but disregard God particularly the one in the Old Testament. Basically, these people hold onto the love of Christianity while merging it with a Nature path, one that includes the Goddess and a more kinder God.

 

Those who are against–

Well the majority of Christians really get ticked off about this and to be honest, most Pagans are rather floored as well. When one becomes a Pagan, they usually see the nonsense in Christianity for various reasons…and I think its common sense as to why Christians are annoyed.

 

But should they be?

 

How many times have we heard that the bible, the entire backbone of Christianity, was simply ripped off from ancient Pagan religions? How many times have we read, studied, and found that truth out for ourselves?

How many ancient orders actually had their own version of Paganism and Christianity—creating a perfect blend—long before Constantine sold the soul of Rome? Of course in some of those societies, Mary Mag was a Priestess, Jesus a Priest, and or sometimes they both represented the Goddess and God. Either way, mixing Paganism and Christianity is not so far fetched.

 

And to those who do, Jesus is, well, a witch. It makes perfect sense in the minds of those who believe it. And when broken down and explored, is really no more far fetched than Christians believing he is the Son of a God, and a mortal woman, conceived without the act of sex itself—see, magic, sorcery, and probably a little of the Nephilim or Grigori going on there, I think.  lol

 

We have to remember that the beauty of Paganism is that we can create our own path and center ourselves around the things that bring us joy and peace. And while some things may seem shocking at first, if we do what Pagans do…explore and enlighten ourselves on further knowledge, educate ourselves, then that which has shocked us, is not so shocking after all.

 

And we need to remember that as Pagans, we are thought to be as shocking as well….so we really don’t need to bring that to our own circle…two wrongs never really making a right. I mean if we can’t practice religious tolerance then aren’t we no better than the dominant religions we strayed from…sought to avoid…found absolutely no reasoning with? Something to think about.

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