Are You Nature Loving, Spiritually Inclined, Religious…?


The day after I published “a [P]agan church where Christianity [is] very much in the centre,” a friend and I had a delicious intellectual discussion that was garnished with a bit of shouting and a lot of cackling—I did most (okay, all of) the cackling.

Here is the tale:

“Just read your post,” she said. Let’s call her Nun.

“Any thoughts?” I said.

Nun stayed quiet for a while. Then she said, “I think a lot of Pagans will convert. Paganism is too disorganized. People liked to be lead.”

Wow, Nun, you sound like you’ve been watching Avengers a bit too much. You do know that Marvel’s weak and totally nuts Loki is very little like the Trickster God of Norse mythology, right?

“What are you talking about?” she said.

“Nothing,” I said, in a sugary voice. “Just saying that you might not know Pagans as well as a PhD. in religious studies makes you think you do.”

The shouting begins…

“That’s very condescending, Ms. Witch!”

The cackling joins the shouting…

“Mayhap, Mrs. Nun-Used-to-Be, but the patronizing tone doesn’t make it untrue.”

“Many Pagans are just afraid to be Christians,” she said.

I cackled, for a long, long, long—

“Magaly!” she shouted.

“Sorry, Nun, I was just giving you time to see how ridiculous that sounded. To say that Pagans are afraid to be Christians is just like saying that a gay guy doesn’t want to be straight because he is terrified of societal acceptance. Silly, silly, Sister.” *cackles*

“You’re impossible,” she said.

“Maybe,” I said, “but I’m also right, and you know it.” Then it hit me. “You know what? I’ll even say that many people, not just Pagans, care little about organized religion. They might be spiritual, love Nature; they might even believe in some sort of god-concept, but they are not all that religious.”

“Say what you want,” she said.

“I did. I said you’re wrong, I’m right, and my hotness is legendary.” I can be really obnoxious when my friend’s babbling annoys me. “So, what about the bet? The winner picks the next fictional book the loser has to read. And because it’s fiction, you can make me reread the Bible.” Like I said, my Wicked Luvs, really obnoxious.

“Fine,” she said, ignoring my bit of Bible jabbing, “you’re on.”

Thirty more minutes or so arguing, and we decided on the questions to ask and the five possible answers.

My Predictions – Many people love the planet that feeds them, even if they don’t always show it. And they tend to be spiritually inclined, but aren’t all that religious.
Nun’s Predictions – Most people dislike making decisions or assuming the responsibilities that come with their choices. When offered anonymity, most of them will confess to being religious, or at least to want some kind of organized religion in their lives.

The table below reflects what 31 of the Wickedest of all my Darling Luvs said
And because I love Nun to pieces, I thought she should read something hilariously yummy, like, Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff,Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore. Yes, you’re probably right, I’m cackling as I typed the title ;-D

Notes (just because I suspect that some of you might be as nosey curious as yours truly):
1. Nun and I met in college. She used to be a nun, but fell in love with someone other than Jesus. They got married. She continues to follow the Christian faith, but not as a Catholic.
2. Nun argued that my sample wasn’t a good one because most of the people who follow my blog are Pagans. I told her that to conduct a poll where we asked non-Pagan individuals questions about Pagan behavior would be as ridiculous—and insensitive—as letting men make decisions about women’s uteruses. She agreed. I gloated. She called me impossible. I agreed.
3. I will reread Lamb with Nun, and might publish a post about our combined experience.

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42 comments:

  1. “I did. I said you’re wrong, I’m right, and my hotness is legendary.”

    I'll have to remember this line for when me and my Dh disagree. lol

    You know I agree with you, so I won't go into more detail on that other than to say.. I'm a control freak. That's why I'm eclectic. Putting me in a box and calling it religion doesn't work.

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    1. "Putting me in a box and calling it religion doesn't work." That is true for so many people. Even some who are part of some religions. You see them "sitting" in, and shifting around like the faith is an ill fitted suit. Aw, if they could only go around believing naked...

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  2. Well, your hotness really is legen... (wait for it).... dary!

    Since I'm a gay pagan/witch/religious Wiccan, I can verify for Ms. Nun that I absolutely am not afraid to BE Christian, but many who claim to be Christian scare the heck out of me. The various denominations of Christianity rejected me for being who I am, and thankfully sent me into the arms of the Goddess where I've been happy ever since.

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    1. It's true, damn it! LOL

      I'm right with you, there are many people who call themselves Christians who make me want to run for the hills. They walk up to you, saying how everybody is welcome to the house of their Lord, and if you stay around there long enough they smash you in the face with some craziness about how you are dirty and unworthy until they can get their hands on you and clean you up. Run, Witch, Run!

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  3. Better, many Christians are afraid to admit they have rather Pagan spiritual feelings.
    I find Pagans very confident and strong actually. We were already discussing the religious questions many times here. Not even questions, but the issues created by the people themselves.Let us be us...

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    1. Many people are afraid of many things. Most Pagans I know aren't afraid to admit their fears (and most times, embrace them, too). So yes, I think this is a case of the spoon calling the knife dull.

      Things would be much easier (and civil) for everyone, if we just let each other live our own lives.

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  4. She may be right for some, but since no one is saying that Paganism (or Christianism) is right for everyone... the only thing I want is for everyone to the right path. and to let others follow their own path. (That second one seems to be more difficult.)

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  5. Here are my personal cynical, rock hard ten cents ***warning harsh stuff***:
    If I had to be lead by ANY religious leader I would kill myself. Organized religion is the main cause (excuse) for every kind of suffering on earth. There is no such thing as a "god". To believe in any "god" is to be utterly deluded, you might as well believe in a holy teapot. But humans are weak, stupid, scared, vicious and deluded. So it doesn't surprise me that many turn to leaders or "gods" to find direction. Then they don't have to think for themselves.

    The godless Feminist

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    1. When it comes to living with nature though, I do - in a big way.
      Not with spirits or the goddess or supernatural beings of any kind. I don't light incense, worship statues or do incantations, because to me that has nothing to do with nature, only with the human psyche.
      But I grow things from seed, I tend to the plants, I take care of them when they are ill, I harvest them daily during the summer months, thankful (but NOT to "god") for their gifts to out table. I give away vegetables to my loved ones. I cuddle with my cats, I listen to the birds singing. I sometimes inadvertently feed our giant hedgehog, by forgetting to put the trash into the plastic trash bin. I watch the deer play in the garden (then I chase them away). And by Halloween time, I carve my own pumpkins, and give more away to whoever wants them.
      I can do all of this, I can find joy and tranquility in this, while still believing in nothing.

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    2. And that is the reason why the world can be such a lovely place. You are aloud to believe anything you want, for no one can get inside your mind to take them out--they are yours; that's your private space.

      I don't worship statues, but I do love symbols of all kinds. I have a statue of a pregnant woman gifted to me by a boy who told me that "not all mothers carried their children in their bellies." I keep it in my altar as a reminder of how the world should work: differently for everyone. Would I forget about the ways of Nature or how we can be family without sharing blood if I put the statue away? Of course not, but every time I look at it, it makes me smile. It's like the union symbols some people share, they aren't what make the union strong, but when you look at them they remind you that you are part of something a little bigger than just you. Yet, that doesn't mean that you, on your own, aren't just as grand ;-)

      "I love the scent of incense, the feel of the wee pebbles I collect from places around the world, the ugly watch that sits on top of the urn where I keep my little brother's ashes (it used to be his favorite, but its really ugly lol), the dream catcher I got from Stacy... I love many things. I find joy and tranquility in them, while still believing that to be me all I need is me.

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    3. I love your reply, and apologize for the snappiness of my first comment. I am in a bad pace right now (it's been forever, it seems) and I have a tendency to lash out at everything and everyone (deserving or not) when I get stressed. I agree that symbols work, I too collect and display little trinkets to remind me of loved ones, or that just make me feel good to look at.

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    4. No need for apologies, my dear Ms Misantropia.

      Some time back you asked me something along the lines of, "Why do you keep those people in your life?" (the ones who say mean things at time...) and I will say we all need a safe heart to yell at when we are feeling crappy. How terrible would it be, if we always had to scream in empty rooms, solid walls...?

      Friends let friends be themselves. And on the tough days, friends let friends be a little nasty if they must be; if they need it to step into another day without having their heads explode. Then friends tell friends, "You were a jerkwad for a bit, but I still think you're cool. Remember that the day I act like an ass." ;-D

      I wouldn't like you half as much, if you weren't exactly who you are.

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    5. Sweet, sweet Magaly :)

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    6. Don't say that in public! I'm mean to the bone, remember? ;-D

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  6. I am rather amused by your friend's assertion. I am an ex-Catholic, and while sometimes hymns can make me nostalgic, I can assure you the "desire to be led" is not something I miss - at all.

    I describe my break-up with the Church a lot like being a woman who had been in an arranged marriage and woke up one day to find I had options. That marriage, arranged by my parents from birth, really didn't move me at all. Ritual and form sprang from duty only. When I found the path I would ultimately call my own (something I jokingly refer to as Uyamuya-do, which can translate to the way of ambiguity)I found that which truly, deeply moved me.

    Is it religious in nature? Not the way your friend defines it! I have no leader I am accountable to, no one ruling body makes decisions for me about when to worship, how to worship, what morals I should hold. That's all little ol' me. There are acts I do regularly (one may even go so far as to say I do those acts religiously) but not because someone is standing over me to tell me these are proper acts. Those are between me and my Gods. If they work or help deepen connection, I do 'em. If not, I tinker until I find something that does. Oh sure, there is an aspect of duty that colors these acts. But at their core, love for this world, love of divinity rules over all (read a bit of Rumi, dear Nun, and you'll see what I mean). And no human made institution has dominion over that.

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    1. LOL - I always forget something. BTW Magaly, I loved Lamb. It was a great book, irreverently joyful, which is just the way I like things!

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    2. Your Uyamuya-do fits you well, my Kestril. It makes you bright and loving, true to yourself and happy. What else can a human being ask for?

      I sat here for a while trying to figure out what I missed about the Church. Don't laugh, but all that came was the pastries we got to buy after services were over *sigh*

      And yes, Lamb totally rocks! Hey, maybe we can reread it together *cough, cough*

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  7. " Most people dislike making decisions or assuming the responsibilities that come with their choices. When offered anonymity, most of them will confess to being religious, or at least to want some kind of organized religion in their lives."
    Um...no. I was raised in Christianity, but my parents taught me to always question question question. We left several churches because the "leaders" were changing The Message ever so slightly to support their agendas. I have no desire for organized religion in my life. I delight in reading about spirituality in all cultures, finding the common themes in different paths, seeking my own connection with the world and The Divine. While many of my values are not so different from my Christian friends', and my life would be easier if I just went along with the crowd, my own conscience won't allow it. It would be a sham, a farce, hypocrisy. What one learns about human spirituality and religion at university does not necessarily extrapolate to real world application. To walk outside and have the breeze play with my hair, the sun kiss my skin, to have the sea wrap me in herself, and to feel the earth solid beneath my feet...that is my Truth. That is a gospel that cannot be twisted by humans. I don't want or need anything more.

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    1. "To walk outside and have the breeze play with my hair, the sun kiss my skin, to have the sea wrap me in herself, and to feel the earth solid beneath my feet...that is my Truth. That is a gospel that cannot be twisted by humans. I don't want or need anything more."

      Sexy Sister Sarah, your words are making my heart dance.

      Also, one of these days, I have to share a page from a book about philosophy of religion. It contains a list of religions (can't remember how many) and their versions of the Golden Rule--they all say the same thing, even if in different ways.

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  8. Anonymous7/01/2013

    LOL over here. I spent 40 years as a Christian with a father who was an Elder and preacher trying to find my way out. Questioned everything and finally at 40 years old, was able to break the ties and find my home as a Pagan. I guess what I am saying is, I am not afraid to be a Christian but why for the love of the Goddess would I want to????? Been there, done that.

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    1. I think that too many of us go around misinterpreting the whole "Do unto others as you would have them do to you" bit. Some of us forget that is not the word of the letter we must follow here, but the spirit. I might not like the exact same thing you like, so I must take time to get to know you and do unto you what makes you happy. Not what makes me happy, for I would only be doing unto me.

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  9. Afraid to make decisions? She is kidding, right? Live your life....feel the freedom of making your own choices. And this argument is just about tired and worn out.
    Ha
    Hugs
    SueAnn

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    1. I think that some human beings are very willing to forget what is what makes humanity so special--our ability to think critical and make decisions for ourselves.

      No, she's not joking. We've been best friends for a long, long, long time, so I get her ways. And have been wondering for a long time, how it is that she can't see past her own eyes.

      Maybe one day...

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  10. I keep hoping that I can find a home in the church. I love the ritual and the power of the Eucharist but the harder I look the thicker I find the wall that keeps me out. Rather than accept the Divine Feminine and mortal women the they will pull the walls down upon themselves. This was not the message that Jesus brought.

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    1. It is very strange, indeed, Francie. For a group that speaks so much of love and acceptance, the Church doesn't seem to understand the meaning of the words. So much exclusion can't be loving.

      I think the Church left Jesus somewhere in the past. Every time I read about how 12-year-old Jesus was treated when he asked questions... Every time I read how grown up Jesus was treated when he defended the needed... Every time I see how a loving message has been bastardized, I wonder how people believe in the Church. It's very strange to me.

      Maybe it's all about keeping it simple, and letting your mind and soul be your Church. Then join a dancing group or geocaching group for community... or start blogging lol

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  11. Hahahaha...you are a wicked wicked witch. I look forward to reading how your poor friend copes with your choice of reading :D XXX

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    1. Yep, something wicked my way came... and it stayed ;-D

      I think she's going to like it. We fight all the time, but deep inside we enjoy it. Well, maybe I enjoy it more than she does. The fact that she's so devout gets on the way of a good argument at times.

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  12. I am an atheist, but I have a keen interest in religious history and particularly in the religions of indigenous peoples.

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    1. I'm not religious, but I'm enchanted by the way society views religion. The things that are done in its name, how it has evolved, how it hasn't...

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  13. "To say that Pagans are afraid to be Christians is just like saying that a gay guy doesn’t want to be straight because he is terrified of societal acceptance."

    "The winner picks the next fictional book the loser has to read. And because it’s fiction, you can make me reread the Bible."

    - I'm still laughing so hard that an intelligent response is impossible. -

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    1. Sometimes a good burst of laughter is as intelligent of a response as anyone needs. For, indeed, my dear Eala, the things we say to each other (and the things we go around believing) are sidesplitting hilarious ;-D

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  14. I'd have to say I'm both Nature loving and spiritually inclined, as far as religion and needing to be led goes I suppose that's fine for lost sheep, but I prefer the disorganization of my own drummer. I don't need someone (who let's face it isn't all that qualified)telling me whether or not I'm living my life appropriately. How would someone other than me know how my life is supposed to be led??

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    1. You know, one of the phrases I dislike more in the world is: "I might know you better than you know yourself." When I hear it, I call bullshit. No one knows you better than you. It might happen that certain people see the outside (and bits of the inside) better, but we know it's there. Even if sometimes we rather keep it to ourselves.

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  15. Darn it! I missed the poll. I want to vote for the Nature loving, Spiritual Inclined who doesn't want to be in a box.

    Boxes are so restricting and they don't allow you to grow or see anything other than the box you're confined in.

    I don't want to be a Jane-In-The-Box. I know a few Jacks & Janes in their respective boxes. Sometimes, I wish that they would take the red pill and wake up, but they made their choice.

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    1. And that's what is all about: choices. Let's hope that we always make the ones that best for us, and if they aren't, well, we'll try again. Lift is supposed to be about living, after all ;-)

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  16. I'm late, but I just wanted to say, I am Nature loving ;o) I would have love to been on the phone, listening to your conversation! I would have been doing lots of cackling too ;o) Hugs ;o)

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    1. I think you'd love Nun quite a bit. I do. She is her own riot. A great girl, with very definite views. It's one of the things I love best about her, she sticks to her guns (even if every now and then they fail to fire true lol).

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  17. Just went to Amazon & bought Lamb... I can't wait to get off work so I can grab a bottle of cider, kick back, read & laugh my ass off. Thanks for the book suggestion! =D

    XOXO

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    1. Get ready to laugh like a mad woman. There are some kind-of-sad scenes, too. But you'll mostly laugh and nod, methinks ;-)

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  18. I am not afraid of Christianity because I came from it. I hate how a lot of Christians and Catholics where hypocrites and that everything was evil. That is what turned me away. I am Nature loving and Spiritual person.

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    1. Most often than not, the doctrine is not what's broken but the people who bastardize the teachings. It's rather sad, isn't it?

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