The title of this post probably seems rather strange, but it serves a purpose in providing a strange sort of analogy. Recently, I was involved in a discussion surrounding secular Paganism, something I heard of before but ignored because “Who cares?” But during this conversation the way it was explained to me was “utilizing pagan teachings but not believing in deities or the supernatural.”
Now I’m not saying you need to watch Ghost Hunters or stand in a fairy ring in the morning while butt naked but can someone explain to me how you’re pagan if you’re not involving pagan deities in your spirituality? Can someone also explain to me how one can be pagan but have no spirituality at all? Modern paganism (and past paganism) put a pretty big focus on deities, spirits, and the unknown so…where is their paganism tho?
During this conversation I made a comment that made a few people kind of upset;
Secular paganism sounds like some shit created so that people don’t have to deal with being accused of believing in “woo” by Atheists.
There are plenty of people who live by “pagan teachings” (whatever the fuck that means) and generally they could be considered philosophers. I read the writings of Stoics (and ask questions of them) because I’m ridiculously flawed and the meds can’t always fix crazy, but that doesn’t make me a Stoic, it makes me a grimy voyeur. Those who practice are quite fine with stating that someone isn’t a Stoic unless they actively practice but they don’t consider themselves part of Religio Romana just because they’ve read Meditations.
And this is also part of my whole thing about the Pagan community just accepting anyone. These people aren’t pagan in any sense of the word, at least not the people responding to my comment. They’re interlopers, feeding off of the fact that the pagan community will accept them regardless of the fact that they have absolutely nothing to do with paganism at all.
It’s like skipping lunch (actual pagan practices) to get to dinner (elbowing themselves into the pagan community).
Here is the Wikipedia entry:
Secular paganism is a form of Neopaganism in which the worshiper accepts pagan teachings, but rejects the belief in any deities. Secular pagans prefer to view gods and goddesses as metaphors for different events in the human life, rather than literal deities that created earth. Instead they focus on the positive teachings such as respect for all living creatures and the earth itself.
Respect for nature? That’s called the Green party. Vote accordingly.
This is why I call myself a polytheist because the word pagan has no meaning. Paganism is a term coined for people who followed religions other than Christianity. Note the key word there is “religion.” If you’re just working off metaphors and donations to Sierra Club, that doesn’t make you pagan it makes you a chill person someone would probably smoke weed with.
They can do what they want though. I know my opinion means nothing but these are my words and thoughts.
Over and out.