Your Religious Mythology Is as Real (and Weirdly Rich) as Everyone Else’s

The other day, I sat back and listened—perhaps grinning—as a Wiccan man and a Catholic woman verbally ripped each other’s heads off. The argument started as a fairly common spiritual discussion: the Catholic suggested that miracles are holy because they come from the Christian God, and the Wiccan stated that so is magic because its power is a gift from the God and Goddess.

The tension was there, but I didn’t think it would ignite anything more than a few hot glares…

…then the Wiccan called the Christian God a “schizophrenic sadist,” and the Catholic told him that the “God and Goddess are sexual perverts.”

I didn’t say a word. Don’t be so proud of my show of restraint, my Wicked Luvs, I was just too shocked to make an intelligible sound. I mean, I wasn’t the only one listening—there were dozens of people within hearing range while these two yelled at each other. The words “ritual orgy,” “child molestation,” “genocide,” “zombie,” “horned beast” and many others were shot back and forth.

To be honest, I got bored after a few minutes. I went back to reading Stephen King’s Lisey’s Story. I didn’t look up from the book until the argument changed from whose god was the kinkiest to whose religion was “just a myth” and whose was “real.”

I almost joined the conversation, but changed my mind. Sometimes, listening in silence is best. If I had taken part in the argument, I would have asked the two people, “How can you believe in the miraculous nature of your god, but say that the holiness of someone else’s is impossible?”

To me, all religions begin as myths that people feed with faith until they become something else. Defining the reality of a religion requires a lot of imagination, (miracles, magic)...  But this doesnt make the belief system less real for those who follow it. Your thoughts, my Wicked Luvs?

55 comments:

  1. The elephant at the back must have an entirely different view of life from the one at the front.

    I think faith comes in all kinds of sounds, from the background hum to the constant in-your-face blaring. Converts are different, though. The best way to deal with converts is to remember they are in love, and therefore the new born-again faith (whatever it is) is a loud and insistent kind of music. They can't hear anything else.

    Yes, I know this doesn't answer the question.

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    1. I think you answer the question rather well.

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    2. Yep. Summed it all up quite nicely in your first line. :)

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    3. Lol! Thank you, both of you!

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    4. No, m'luv, thank you.

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  2. I agree with you, and it just makes me laugh to see people, even among different Pagans and Witches, getting into verbal throw downs about faith. I'm just sitting over here going, "How can you expect respect for your faith, yet so easily discount someone else's?" That's not how it works, and yet so many are blinded by their own ignorance and hatred to see it any other way, and that's just sad. But life's not fair and it gives us something to blog about, reflect, and hopefully learn something. Thumbs up.

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    1. It's ridiculous, isn't it? You would think that something as personal as spirituality would be left alone.

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  3. Oh..haha...my "thoughts" on this matter are probably well documented by now, but these "my god could kick your god's butt" fights are absolutely hilarious!
    I love your comment: "But this doesn’t make the belief system less real for those who follow it". That's what doctor's tell crazy people, and I think that about sums it up :)

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    1. I'm pretty sure I heard that laughter LOL

      I had a philosophy of religion professor who used to say that the only difference between religiosity and madness was that one of the two groups of mad believers follow felt divine while they were raving... so you might be onto something.

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  4. I totally agree w/you... I was always told not to get into a discussion about politics, sex or religion... those 3 topics always light up a debate..Did u notice how low and childish their remarks got? lol... worse than high school...

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    1. That is what surprises me the most. That if the things certain people say to each other were written down, and no one revealed the age of the speakers, it would be easy to assume they were children; really mean, disrespectful brats.

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    2. I think there's a special sort of mean-hearted childishness that only adults can achieve, and it sounds like your protagonists reached it. Most of the kids I've heard taunting each other don't have the vocabulary/theological understanding to be so specific in their insults. Then again, I don't know any kids who care what the other kids' religions are (but I don't know very many kids at all, outside my son's friends).

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    3. Katy, I didn't mean that literally--of course most children don't have the vocabulary or understanding of the issue to act that way on purpose. I'm talking about the damage the words cause and the lack of compassion with which they are told. Most children don't think that far ahead, they offend and hurt (most times without meaning to) just because they want to get their way.

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  5. sounds like you and I were pondering the same things for different reasons......this is pretty much the message I was feeling yesterday too and tried to convey :) great minds and all that lol

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    1. Now you see why I was cackling so loud! Great minds, indeed!

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  6. Exactly. People can be so fervent in their belief and yet they think that people who hold other beliefs are shallow.

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    1. My made up god is realer than your made up god.

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  7. There is no greater tribute to human creativity and imagination than all the spiritual pantheons and beliefs that we have created since time immemorial. Each should be acknowledged and celebrated for those qualities alone. Literal truth is irrelevant.

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    1. Exactly! Can you imagine who wonderful we would be as a society if we were to embrace at least half of the good things from each religious path?

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  8. My truths are your lies, and your truths are my lies.

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    1. Maybe they believe that if your truth makes sense, then the sense of theirs is stolen or something. Makes no sense.

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  9. Well said, Magaly. All paths lead to enlightenment, as the Buddha said. Sometimes I am surprised not at how many religions there are, but by how few because each person must find their own way to the Creator/Creatrix.

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    1. I think that if we all were a little braver, a little more accepting, and respected each other just a bit more then we would have as many spiritual paths as there are people. And there would be more happy people, too.

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  10. Back in the 12th century Peter Abelard wrote that all faiths were equally valid, as the divine revealed itself to all peoples in a manner that they could comprehend. (Pope should have listened to Abelard instead of St. "My Way or the Highway" Jerome).

    The insecure go for one-upmanship in religion (and politics).

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    1. Indeed. We are individuals, and each of us sees the world different. Why shouldn't our spirituality be the same? Makes no sense.

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  11. I never, ever saw the need to enter into pissing matches about the power or truth of other folks' faiths. It's kind of pointless and I could spend my time more enjoyably by flossing my neighbor's cat. I may not agree on the fine points that make up their faith. I may not even particularly like it all that much. But since I'm pretty secure in my own brand of faith (which admittedly may be nothing more than the delusions of some high functioning but as of yet undefined version of some disorder or another) I'm OK with letting people be until their faith interferes with my life directly.

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    1. "But since I'm pretty secure in my own brand of faith (which admittedly may be nothing more than the delusions of some high functioning but as of yet undefined version of some disorder or another) I'm OK with letting people be until their faith interferes with my life directly." I had to repeat that and giggle uncontrollably for a minute or two.

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  12. It amazes me how most people cannot defend their belief without trashing another's. I have found that most people who enter into this argument come out looking foolish because they are uneducated, or worse, wrongly educated in other beliefs. If you're trying to tell me why my belief is wrong by stating backwards, ignorant non-facts then you sir are an idiot, and in turn making a mockery of your own beliefs.

    I believe everyone should know and understand why they believe what they believe (I'm not a fan of sheep). I also think you should have some knowledge of something before you argue as to why it's wrong.

    My belief in something in no way detracts from your belief in something else. Those who do not share my belief are not bad or stupid (at least not because of their belief), they are just different. Difference is NOT a bad thing. Ignorance and self righteousness are.

    Will we ever be able to just accept that differences are good?

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    1. It reminds me of the whole non sense of people opposing same sex marriages, saying that it does something to the sanctity of their own marriage. Spirituality and who you want to share the rest of your life two should be up to the adults involved in the issue. Everyone else should worry about their own affairs.

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  13. I agree Magaly ;o) All faiths should be respected, as my mom said, we are all going up the same mountain, but we are just taking different paths ;o) Big Hugs ;o)

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    1. ...and when I get to the top of the mountain, I will dance :-D

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    2. Me too ;o) I will join you ;o)

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  14. I think your opinion is perfect -- it's rational, tolerant, and realistic. Too bad so many in this world don't have an open mind but are stubbornly tied to rigid old dogmas. I wonder if in the future, it will become politically incorrect to subscribe to any religion, since they all cause dissent and are divisive. Great post -- really made me think. Have a nice weekend! :-)

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    1. A world were religiosity is illegal... now, that would be a fun story to write ;-)

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  15. You are right of course and all religions lead to the same destination only the paths are different. I can't say that enough to all those that I know :)

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    1. Maybe one day we'll be able to stop kicking that dead horse...

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  16. Sometimes saying nothing is the best. I have found arguments involving religion (or politics) never come to a good end.

    I try to respect all faiths, just wish they would do the same.

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    1. "I try to respect all faiths, just wish they would do the same." Yep. Mhm.

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  17. And this is the sort of discussion I always listen to politely and hum "Always look on the bright side of life" *whistle*

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    1. I totally get it. But I'm nosy, so I always have to cut it open, peel it apart and see what's in it ;-D

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    2. Oh, sometimes I whistle while I'm doing it!

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  18. I fully agree, my sweet. Mythology has been a necessary part of humanities existence since time began. It doesn't matter so much what our own heart's follow, or our minds believe, as the way we conduct ourselves in relation to one another, our earth and all living creatures. And honestly, when it comes right down to it, we are all just trying to get to our spiritual home, whatever or wherever that may be. NO judgments have a place there. All my love to you, Mina

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    1. Our world and our lives would be so rich if we just respected each other. Maybe one day...

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  19. I always liked Robert Anton Wilson's approach. Truth is what you can get away with. If you can't get away with it, it ain't true.

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  20. I have not as yet gotten into one of these 'discussions'...mainly because I don't debate well...however, if I don't hold your religion against you, why would you hold mine against me? Hopefully, I would not resort to name calling

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    1. I love debate. I'm usually the person who really pisses people of because, well... I agree with your notion: "if I don't hold your religion against you, why would you hold mine against me?" I believe it should apply to the way we view so many things in life. If my way of living makes me happy, then someone else's should make me happy for them. I don't care if I don't understand it. As long as they cause me or mine or anyone else for that matter any harm, then more power to them.

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  21. Recent converts in anything are usually very self righteous and adamant....look at non smokers...

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  22. This has sort of been my "come to Jesus" thought on it, too. I plan to do a post on this in more detail, but during the month of October we had a family pow wow with the in laws. They are devout Christians, as was hubby until about 2 1/2 years ago. We are both, now, atheists. It was......interesting, to say the least. But, at the end of it all, we just resigned ourselves to the notion that while Gods, and religions, and faiths, and myths aren't real to us they are very real to those who follow them. We don't want to be...."those atheists".

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    1. Right on. Every thinking adult should have the right to believe whatever they want, as long as their beliefs don't interfere with my belief that I should not be bothered by them LOL

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  23. I have found that such screaming matches are based on fear (of being ignored, of having to think critically, of losing power). The first I find easiest to deal with. Speaking with respect & active listening usually works. The latter two are dangerous. The second as the willfully ignorant are likely to physically strike out at what disrupts their ability to live fog-bound. The third as they are most likely to be involved in putting forth legislation that hampers my lifestyle. I do not engage either group publically as they don't really care to discuss the issue of what is spiritually relevant & why. The third group I will engage in the court of law. The second group I keep my eye on.

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    1. A person who welcomes ignorance is indeed someone to be afraid of; one just never knows...

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  24. You know I was raised in a Baptist household...and we both now know the statement that must have put a barrier between us so many years ago. *by the way, my niece is now 12...you know the lil toddler...so yea..soooo many years ago*. I'd like to believe I've matured...and in doing so...I am no less solid in my faith. In fact, I am even more so rooted in the core of my beliefs. However, I stand by a simple truth that none of us knows anything beyond the fact that we live and we die. I "believe" in *my* God...but I find no earthly rhyme or reason to argue the absurdity of the existence of any other God...in order to prove the validity of my God. Live and let live.

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    1. Oh my Mila, time is such a precious thing... especially when we use it wisely. I think we've both grown. In those days, I probably wouldn't have known just how to explain that there was room for both belief systems. Also, it is possible that you might not have been ready to accept the explanation. We have to live one day at a time, learn from experience, and do things when they feel right. I'm glad for those years--happy!--and for the chance to think of them, today.

      I bet that adorable girl is a hand and probably three arms full. I still smile when I remember her dimples ;-)

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