Pagan Thoughts on Christmas Day
Author: Lupa [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: December 9th. 2007
Times Viewed: 2,089
every year I've been pagan, I've been struck by just how much religious
tension this busy season creates, including in the pagan community.
never ceases to amaze me how hypocritical some--not all--pagans can be.
They moan and whine and complain about how incredibly persecuted they
are by THE EVIL CHRISTIANS!!!! And then they go and brag about how,
when a well-meaning person handed them a religious tract in all
politeness, they literally threw it back at the person with a few
Or, for that matter, when during this time of
year I hear pagans doing their best to convince Christians that their
holiday is really pagan, and somehow that invalidates Christianity.
Christianity drew from older religions--that's NORMAL. All religions
pulled from traditions older than they. Wicca drew from ceremonialism
more than it drew from any genuine Ancient Cult of Wytchcrafte. Even
religions that are being reconstructed still have even older
origins--no doubt the Celts, way back when, had a belief system that
was hybridized from even older cultures. It's just the way it works.
does not mean more legitimate. Just because neopaganism is, as a whole,
less than 100 years old, doesn't mean it's not as legitimate as
Christianity. Unfortunately, some pagans still feel the need to get
into a "mine's older" competition to try to make themselves feel more
secure in their religion.
And, of course, there's the hypocrisy of eclecticism.
hear pagans talk about how you can't combine elements of Christianity
with paganism, and then in the next breath they'll talk about various
bits and parts of Native American cultures that they're ripped right
out of context (never mind the protestations of the cultures being
Neopaganism has taken inspiration from Hinduism,
Buddhism, various indigenous cultures, and gods know what all else--but
if you dare speak of Christian Wicca, suddenly pagans are up in arms!
We have no problem ignoring the claims by
members of indigenous religions that you can't take parts of their
beliefs out of context, yet we listen all too well to the same basic
ideas about Christianity.
We blithely go about ignoring the
inconvenient parts of all sorts of religions, but if someone chooses to
ignore certain parts of Christianity in order to integrate more
compatible aspects that ring true to them, suddenly it's heresy!
Is anyone else registering the double standard here?
speaking of picking and choosing, some pagans *love* taking certain
elements of Christianity out of context, but HATE having parts of
paganism treated similarly. Case in point--some pagans will talk about
the parts of the Bible where YHWH is a major jerk, but ignore Jesus
talking about loving thy neighbor, and use that to justify their
But woe to the newspaper reporter who dares
to focus a little too much on the traditional Great Rite in their
article about the poor pagans!!! PERSECUTION!!!!
Christianity is okay in the press, but any journalistic critique of
paganism is automatically--you guessed it--persecution!
we're at it, let's talk about pagan parenting. I've seen several posts
online from pagan parents who are absolutely terrified that their
teenaged child is getting interested in--gasp--CHURCH!
the kid has a boyfriend or girlfriend who's Christian, and wants the
little pagan to go to Youth Group one night, just for the fun of it. Or
maybe little Morgan or Raven has suddenly shown interest in learning
more about Christianity. Holy moley! Pull out the athame and the sage
smudge and the quartz crystals, honey, we have to make sure that our
baby doesn't cross over to the Dark Side!
Because you know
what our Christian parents did to us when we started showing interest
in paganism--they pulled out the Bible and the holy water and did their
best to keep us away from the evils of paganism!
If your child becomes Christian, s/he will surely become a fire-breathing fundamentalist who'll never speak to us again!
I'm not a parent, and never will be. But it seems hypocritical that a
few pagan parents will do the exact same thing to their kids that their
parents did to them, only with the religions reversed.
that's not all pagan parents, but I have seen a couple of cases like
this online just in the past month. Seems to me like these parents are
trying to pass their own baggage on to their kids and find a new
shoulder for those big old chips.
Regardless of whether we're
parents or not, pagans have got to get over the prejudice against
Christianity. There are some real hypocrites among us.
long since lost track of how many pagans I've heard talking about how
we're justified in hating Christians because of the Burning Times, or
Salem, or because supposedly all Christians are out to get rid of the
neopagans and Congress will be outlawing us any day and Homeland
Security is targeting pagans and we're oh-so-persecuted!!!
not going to deny that discrimination and bigotry happens. I've seen
custody cases where paganism was a major issue. I'm well aware of the
situation with Tempest Smith, the girl who committed suicide a few
years ago because she was tired of being teased about being, among
other things, Wiccan.
And I know people who have had really
negative experiences being raised Christian-- when my husband Taylor
lived with his mom as a teenager, she found out he was into magic from
one of his friend's parents and made Taylor burn all his magical books.
And while my parents accept that I'm pagan and know that I'm an author,
my mother still guilts me about going back to church.
some people choose to remain closeted at work or school or elsewhere
because it makes them feel safer--I see no problem with that.
But this is no excuse to paint all Christians with a broad brush.
Yes, there are Christians who are real jerks out there.
there are PARTS of the religion that get misinterpreted to justify
everything from hating non Christians, to gay-bashing, to abuse of
Yes, there Catholic priests and other clergy who molest children.
Yes, there are Christian bosses who make excuses to get rid of pagan employees.
But that's not the whole of the religion of Christianity. It's not even the majority.
more than teenaged "elders" talking about using belladonna, or racists
misusing Asatru, or plastic shamans, or "coven leaders" who entice
people into "sex magic" for their own lustful purposes, are examples of
paganism as a whole. The idiots and the crooks are the ones you
generally hear the most about, because they're some of the ones making
the most noise!
We have got to get over the persecution complex
as a subculture. Christianity isn't the problem--bigots, regardless of
flavor, are. Look at the recent situation with getting pentacles on the
graves of Wiccan soldiers killed in the line of duty--the majority of
Christian voices you hear are in *support* of the pagan effort!
I remember back a few years when the pagan group at Ft. Hood was in the
news, the Army Times ran six letters one week in response to an article
on the group. Five of the six were in favor, and four of those
five--were from Christians.
It saddens me that in the decade
I've been in the pagan community that I still see the same patterns and
accusations. So many of us refuse to let go of our individual bad
experiences with being raised Christian; instead, we feed those
negative imprints by trying to find any proof that all Christians are
horrible people, and that Christianity is inherently an evil religion.
do unto others what we hate having done to ourselves. It does a major
disservice to the many, many Christians I have met over the years who
know I'm pagan and accept it--and, most of the time, don't even really
care what religion I am.
They might be quieter than the
televangelists and the street preachers and the others who abuse a
perfectly good religion, but in my experience in both small towns and
metropolitan areas, they are the majority.
Christianity isn't our enemy. We aren't the enemy of Christians.
Intolerance, ignorance, and bigotry--THOSE are the common enemies, regardless of what religious garb they wear.