Pagan Christian? WHAT!

A sound hovered around my dream, but I ignored it. I was dreaming about a Dominican cake as big my pillow. I would allow no one to come between my frosty bliss and me.

Ring! Ring! Ringggggggggggg!

Poof, my cake vanished. I was pissed!

“What!” I wanted to strangle whoever was at the other end of the line. I put my glasses on and looked at the clock on my nightstand. 

“It’s freaking 3:00 am, who the heck is this?”

“Mags? It’s Dana!” Whoever Dana was she was very excited about being herself.

“Wh… who?” I was just confused… and mad about my missing cake.

“Dana, from Flushing High School? Ohmigod! It would suck so much if I got the wrong number. This is Magaly, right?”

I should probably lie, I thought. Then I remembered that damn promise I made at Living Simply, to go without lying for an entire week. It was my first day at it. I couldn’t let myself fail that quickly. 

“This is Magaly, but I still don’t know who you are or why you’re calling me so early in the morning.”

“It’s Dana Meléndez!” She was excited about her last name too.

The image of a pretty girl wearing a long blue dress and reading a Bible during health class came to mind. “Dana? It… it has been a while, um…” I mean, what was I supposed to say? I haven’t spoken to the girl since high school—nearly 15 years!

“I know!” Geez, she still sounded excited. “Something coooooool happened to me and I told myself, Dana you need to call Magaly. I was sooooooo glad your dad works nights because it took me forever to find him and then get Jocelyn’s number, so that she would give me your number. Your dad wouldn’t give it to me, and I had to call Jud about a thousand times before she understood it was important. Can you believe the…”

Why me my dear gods? My thoughts interrupted her blabbering. Please make her go away and I will…

“Mags? Are you listening?” Her blabbering interrupted my thoughts.

“Yes.” I answered.

“Good!” She didn’t notice the hint of annoyance in my voice, so she continued. “I called you because I wanted you to be the first to know that I’ve become a Pagan Christian! Eclectic, just like you!”

“Pagan Christian? WHAT! No, no, no, no… I’m not that!” I turned on the light. I was wide awake.
***
My old high school friend—and I’m using the term rather loosely, couldn’t understand what I meant. She argued that in the past I’ve said that I believe in Christianity, Paganism and a bunch of other religions, so why couldn’t she believe in just two religions? I clarified, that I respect the beliefs of those who choose to be Christians. I believe that Jesus taught some very important lessons. I’ve have integrated some of those lessons into my believe system, but I’m by no means Christian. In fact, most of the Christian teachings I’ve integrated into my eclectic vault are there because they are common to many spiritual philosophies.

For instance, “Jesus taught about love and compassion as did Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Joseph Smith… so should I call myself a Pagan-Hindu-Evangelical-Mormon?” I asked my friend and cut her off before she could answer. “No, I shouldn’t. Love and compassion toward others, and myself, are big in my moral scheme because as a Pagan—and as an ethical individual—I know to treat others like I want to be treated. I want love and compassion in my life, so I try to give away as much as I can. It simply feels good to be loving and compassionate.” Even to those who wake you up at three in the morning.

I didn’t want to make my old high school mate feel bad, but I needed to make things clear: There is no place in true Christianity for someone like me. The Christian God is a “jealous God” who demands to be the only god or else. “I like Hekate, Sin, Yemayá, Morrigan, Anaisa… and many others. I believe in a Wild Old Power that possesses male and female aspects, so can you see why I can’t be Christian?” She tried to mumble something, but I didn’t let her start—the girl would probably keep me awake for weeks. “Dana, I respect my friends and family who follow the Christian path, but I am not a Pagan Christian.”

28 comments:

  1. Hanging up on her would not have been lying.

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  2. Janicu's answer made me laugh. But it's true.

    I've hear of people who consider themselves Christian Pagans and others who call themselves "Jewitch".

    For me, I don't think the religions really fit together. Maybe it's easier to raise kids in a mixed marriage by trying to combine? I don't know.

    I can't see that someone would try to be a "Mormon Muslim" or a "Jewish Hindu", so trying to be a Christian Pagan? Not so much.

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  3. Hahaha love it Magaly, but I would so like to hear, what this obviously night crawling "mate" had to say to your explanation. You cut the story off :)))

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  4. you can as u said integrate certain things into your belief but not really believe in both...if u do i guess u don't know much on either subject....

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  5. Pagan Christian? Isn't that like writing a Middle Grade Erotica? *scratching head* Sounds like your friend didn't know she's only allowed a sip of the sacrament. Not an entire congregation's worth.

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  6. Janicu, I wanted to—badly—but I would feel terrible about it later, so I actually ended up talking to her for about 1 hour. My head was killing me when we were done.

    Mrs. B, I’ve heard a lot of things that just don’t make sense. I, for instance treat my religiosity like I treat my food there are many things that taste scrumptious, but mix them and they are gross!

    Noor, I’m not surprised. You had to go there, didn’t you? LOL. Well, the rest of the conversation was centered on the fact that Dana and I had never been friends. In fact, she hated my guts in high school. She liked a guy who like me and I… well, I liked me too in high school and that’s about it. I was so in love with Gabriel García Márquez, Jorge Luis Borges, Isabel Allende and Greek mythology that I didn’t care much for guys. Actually, let me rephrase that I was in love with my math teacher because he is the most intelligent man I’ve ever met. We even had a joke, he said that he would marry me if I kept an A average through high school, well I went back to visit after a few years and he announced the wedding hehehehe. Anyway, this girl wants to be friends NOW because there is a high school reunion coming up and things have changed a bit for her. Let’s just say that she won’t have many people to hangout at the party. I don’t feel bad about saying this here because when she hanged up she told me “that’s exactly why I didn’t like you Mexican ass.” I’m dead serious. I almost told her uncultured behind that I was Caribbean, not Mexican, but the poor thing wouldn’t know the difference.

    Equidae, you are so right. Many people think that being eclectic is just using whatever you like without thinking about it and that is not the case. You can not 'believe' in two concepts that contradict each other so completely; that is just nonsense.

    Marcia, we would both waste our time trying to explain certain things to my so called friend. BTW, Judely (the one who is actually my friend) called me to ask me why Holy Mother Meléndez was asking for my number. Yes, Dana and the rest of us were THAT close.

    Dana, if you are reading this. Do leave my friends alone—please. And if you leave me another religious song in my voicemail, I will call my phone company!

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  7. This is an interesting topic, not only on your blog but in other communities as well, for example youtube. Perhaps if you go on there and type in a search for Christian Wicca, you can find some of the videos people have posted explaining their path. I found out that recently there was a "drama fest" on youtube over Christian Wiccans, and thats why they started posting their videos explaining their path, but maybe that will lend some insight... Good post though :D

    *~Nik.

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  8. Is that so? Did it make any sense? I would think that it has to be difficult. My mother is Caribbean Catholic (a Roman Catholic with a witchy twist ;) But if you tell her that what she does is magic or Brujería she would probably poke your eye out.

    How interesting... I'm going to do a little search. If you find an interesting one send it my way. It will be fascinating to see....

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  9. My mom combines Christianity and Paganism. I really don't know how to explain it, though. Truth is, even though we've talked religion a lot, she tends to avoid discussing her own personal beliefs.

    Thing is, there are "liberal" Christians who don't take the Bible literally and stuff. Being raised that way, it just seems natural to me, and I have to stop and think about why people would think that Paganism can't mix with Christianity.

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  10. From my perspective I would have to agree that Christianity and Paganism don't really 'mesh'.
    I have come across Christian Witches but then they use witchcraft as an addition to and expression of their faith in God, they are not trying to mix two considerably different belief systems.

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  11. Sarita, It would be just difficult if not impossible to "entirely" be a Pagan Christian, for it would imply to believe in everything both religions preach. Like most people and Michael just said, you can use certain aspects of one and probably have the other as a base. For instance, my mother is Catholic and many Caribbean Catholics practice magic and have idols, even when in Christianities both things are a considered a sin. But Christianity in the Caribbean is mixed with African beliefs that support these type of things, so many reconcile the two by calling something else--some almost act as if they don't really do it. I don't know if this is very clear, but you know what? I'll write a post on Eclecticism and Syncretism later. I believe this might clarify some things.

    Michael, you and I agree completely. You can kind of believe parts of the two, especially those parts that are very similar, but it would be too difficult to mix the two. Still, I would really like to hear (or read) someone who can give an explanation of how to believe in both. That would be an interesting read indeed.

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  12. Michel, you can smack me later for butchering your name ;(

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  13. I know I'm the odd duck out here, but ... why not? The bible reads, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" but it says nothing about BESIDE me. I'm of the "all gods are one god" camp, so if an individual is comfortable calling themselves a Christian-Pagan or a Jewitch, what's so wrong with that? It is THEIR own personal belief system, so what does it really matter to any of the rest of us what they choose to call it. Now, I can see where there might be some problem with Wiccan-Baptist or Jehovah's Witness-Asatru, but those are actual religions, not catch all spiritual umbrellas like Christian (there are so many Christian religions that it's not fair to any of them to assume they're all alike) and Pagan (again, so many different Pagan religions it's not fair to assume they are the same). It's like telling somebody who identifies with their cultural heritage (as so many in the USA like to do) that they can't be Italian-American (or whatever - pick you hyphen) but have to be either Italian OR American and not both.

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  14. Leisl, I'm a huge advocate of tolerance--that is the foundation of Pagan Culture. But I'm a logical being as well--leave it to the math/philosophy geek to want to be both :)

    My problem with "Christian-Pagans" comes when the Bible says things such as "Thou Shalt Not Suffer A Witch To Live." Exodus 22:18. How does a Christian Witch deals with this statement? Does s/he ignore it? Does s/he comes up with his/her own interpretation? Christianity is mostly--if not exclusively--an all or nothing believe system, so how can one pick and choose and still remain faithful to it?

    Thanks so much for this great perspective. I'm very curious about this. I'll definitely do some more research...

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  15. My mom sounds like your mom. I once caught her boiling a pot of water on the stove and my dad's coat was hovering over it. I was like "brujeria!" She said "No I'm Catholic!." She once started saying a rosary in front of my Ancestor altar and then told me messages from my muertos. My mom used to see spirits in the Philippines all the time, so I think I inherited my sight from her. She once put coins on my statue of Yemaya. Well I took her to a reading from my godfather with the caracoles and homegirl knew the procedure! It turns out she got a reading from a santera years ago when my dad was cheating on her. The shells fall on the pattern and suprise suprise Hija de Yemaya!
    Funny thing prima, the path of Yemaya she has is the bruja, Yemaya Ogunte, the warrior with the sword of Ogun who is always stirring up spells in her pot! Swamp witch indeed. Maybe our mothers should have lunch together.

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  16. Oh my dear Magaly, if you really wanted to fuck with her head you could have pointed out the thousands and thousands of ways in which the christian faith,or really any organized faith, have rituals and dogma that are really no different than a pagans approach to faith. What pagans call ritual magic chirstians call mass, a prayer and a spell, the saints and the different gods of the pagan pantheon, and the list goes on and on.
    You should have told her she's been a christian pagan all along and that nothing has changed and certainly nothing worthyof a 3 am phone call.

    Plus I also would have just hung up or disconnected the phone.
    But your a dear to try.

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  17. I have met a few who say they're Pagan Christians but I think they've created their own hybrid which stands in a category of its own.
    As much as I respect the path of Pagans I think its core is utterly incompatible with Christianity. Christianity is centred on Christ, on the affirmation that Jesus is the deepest most profound revelation of God, way beyond what nature reveals. Christianity may be open to Pagan trappings, such as the way we celebrate certain holidays, but I can't see how either path can get past that core incompatability.

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  18. This is my opinion of Christian Witches/Pagans and the like.

    http://hystericaljugglings.blogspot.com/2009/02/some-things-i-just-think-are-weird.html

    You are much more tolerant than me, but if I get 3am phonecalls from NotFriends from school, they will get told to F.Off.

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  19. Wish I could remember...when the bible talks about a witch, it is not the same definition as the witch of which we think...I'll try to find the references and let you know...Thanks for your site...

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  20. I believe they were discussing a poisoner...problems with translation back then...

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  21. Anonymous7/27/2009

    A Pagan Christian? I believe Christians are more Pagan than they even know. Considering how much the church has borrowed from Paganism, i think most would be devastated to know that so little is original.

    I just don't think you can mix the two in a mainstream religious view. There are fundamental differences in areas such as forgiveness and punishment that are in conflict. I just don't see a resolution between the two.

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  22. I found a comment you left on one of my blogs that I very rarely visit, and I'm glad I followed the link here.

    Is a pagan christian like a liberal conservative? or a sadly happy person? (Actually, that's not a good example. I do know people who are sadly happy, and others who are happily sad.)

    Me? I only believe in the trickster gods, though I don't know if you can separate one out of the whole pantheon.

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  23. Filho de Logunede, I think our moms would have a very interesting lunch. And no matter what we say they will swear in front of all their saints that they are devout Catholics, even if the witchiness is evident lol.

    Cogent Ascending, this is so funny! You are always giving me ideas for posts. I have to write about my very interesting conversation where I tried to explain to a Catholic friend how magic works. I told her that it was just like praying, the difference is that we Witches put more choreography into to it. She got mad and gave me a dirty look.

    Matt Stone, “Pagan trappings” indeed. I also agree that when one looks at both belief systems carefully the contradictions are so great to remain true to both.

    MouseDemon, I loved the post. Like you, I have never found anyone who can tell answer my questions or take care of the contradictions. If you get lucky one of these days, do let me know.

    Judy, you make a great point; the Bible is open to interpretation. The thing is that there are too many people that take its teaching too literally, to the point that they forget to think. If you find that passage, do point it out to me.

    Pat Bertram, it is great to see you here. I love your writing; especially its dark humor. I really like my trickster gods. When it comes to shape shifters forget werewolves, Loki is the way to go.

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  24. Very interesting post. The cake the size of a pillow made me laugh but you were so much more kind than I think I would have been if someone I knew from high school called at 3am. Who calls someone at 3am they haven't spoken to for 15 years? I suppose I would be considered a liberal Christian but can you even be both of those? I know many people if they knew some of my beliefs on social issues and the fact I do not attend church would say I couldn't be Christian, but I do believe in God and living a moral life. My husband is an atheist.

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  25. Jennifer, I believe that religion--any religion--lives in people's hearts. There are so many churchgoers/ritual doers out there who aren't 'good' people. Like you, I do what keeps me comfortable and mildly sane ;)

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  26. Jennifer, I believe that religion--any religion--lives in people's hearts. There are so many churchgoers/ritual doers out there who aren't 'good' people. Like you, I do what keeps me comfortable and mildly sane ;)

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  27. Connie Mitan12/29/2011

    I'm kinda behind and just now seeing this, but it's certainly an interesting take on the whole thing. Thanks for sharing with us at Pagan Blog Prompts!
    ~Sunfire

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  28. We are wicked interesting around here :-D

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