If you know me from Facebook, you know that I like to talk about this Catholic forum that I occasionally post on. A while back, I started an “Ask a Pagan” thread, because I noticed there were a lot of misconceptions regarding what Paganism was and was not, and even though some part of me knew that starting such s thread was going to be an exercise in butting one’s head against a wall, I decided to do it anyways. One thread grew into a collection of threads.
The results are here for your
You know, if I were to rate the experience overall, I would say it’s been a success (and by “success” I mean other members have told me that they see Pagans differently, or are interested in reading more about our traditions) and I’d totally do it again
just for the lulz. I don’t think I represented my tradition as well as I should have (let’s face it, non-Pagans generally can’t tell a Wiccan from a Hellenic reconstructionist) but I’d still do it again.
That said, here is a sampling of questions I received, they range from the innocuous:
“What is Vanatru/Vanic Paganism?”
“Can you tell me about X tradition/practice?”
“Is your religion compatible with science?” (Yes, although science and religion are different projects, IMHO.)
“Have you read Harry Potter? Are there real spells in Harry Potter?” (Yes, I’ve read all the HP books. Some of the things in Harry Potter are based on real life myth and folklore, but the spells aren’t real. Also RAVENCLAW FTW!)
“What’s your take on Hallowe’en?” (YOU WILL PRY HALLOWE’EN FROM MY COLD DEAD HANDS (which would be very seasonally appropriate)! Seriously, I love Hallowe’en!)
to the well-meaning but misinformed:
“Why is the Rede and the threefold law necessary?” (I’m not Wiccan, dammit!)
“Do you sacrifice animals?” (Very few do, most don’t….)
to the mildly confrontational:
“If Jesus didn’t exist, why did your gods allow a fake religion to wipe them off the map?”
“Your gods’ temples and scared places have crumbled to dust and are forgotten. Your gods’ priests and followers are but faint specks in history. Your gods have been reduced to comic book characters. Why would you worship such weak and flaccid beings?” (Yes, this is a direct quote. Yes, I am terribly amused by the suggestion that a being like Freyr is in any way “flaccid”.)
“Why be a pagan when you can be a monotheist (Christian, Jew, Muslim)?” (Seriously, who doesn’t know what a monotheist is these days? Secondly, because the world makes more sense when you think of it as being designed by committee. 🙂 )
“If enlightened by the truth of monotheism, especially the Truth that is Christ, are you prepared to leave your traditions and pagan beliefs (in this regard, are you open-mined enough to consider Christianity)?”
“Why worship creation when you can worship the creator?”
“What do these pagan ‘gods’ do at the name of Jesus?” “Are you repulsed by the cross?” (Yes, I swear this is a direct quote.)
1) I’m not a vampire
2) I suspect if I mentioned Jesus’ name any of my deities would be like “Yes? What of him?” and maybe they’d admit to sharing a drink with him on Sundays.
“Would you say you chose to be pagan because its fun? Christianity isn’t fun, it’s hard, hard work.”
Do you know what I did when I was Christian? I went to church on Sundays. Do you know what lots of Pagans do? “OMFGs is it Friday already?! I need to do my weekly special offering! (On top of the ones I do every day.) I should meditate, even though I don’t feel well. What’s that, god/dess o’ mine? You don’t want me to do something I really want to do because you want more quality time?” And you know what? I bet it’s even worse if you’re a priest/ess or a spirit worker, then you are actually expected to help people.
To the “that’s not a question” questions…..
“Pagans worship things like goat heads….” (If I’m going to worship a goat, I’d worship the whole goat, thank you. All hail the mighty goat, eater of everything!)
“I will pray for you.”
“Will someone cleanse this demonic nonsense from this site?” (OH NOEZ THINK OF THE CHILDREN!)
“Pagans aren’t really Pagans because they don’t expose children/fear their deities enough/do things exactly the way that their ancestors did.”
“Doctrine of demons. Lucifer is your god even if you think all sorts of “technical” terminology and differentiation between one demonic teaching and the other is somehow significant.
There is no more importance in your words other than – it is of the devil. The poor souls, oppressed, obssessed and possessed by demons – are full of this dribble.” (Another direct quote–can you feel the Christian love?)
There are a bunch more I could list, but those are some of my favourites.