Mixed up Pagans

In another thread here in the Pit, OpalCat (after personally attacking me) attempts to set me straight that Paganism is NOT a religion.

In fact OpalCat ranted:

“A few things… first of all “Pagan” is not a religion, it is a category. There are pagan religions which are certainly real religions, but “Pagan” or “Paganism” are not, in themselves, religions. I doubt someone with C#3’s intellectual capabilities would be able to grasp the difference though.”

Well now…I wish you mixed-up Pagans would get together and get it straight because you are confusing the fuck outta me. (Maybe you can have a convention in Las Vegas or something)

The following are excerpts from a SINGLE thread on this board from several others that CLEARLY show that at least THEY think that Paganism IS a religion:


“bernard, neither withcraft specifically, nor pagan religions in general, have a central governing body like the Catholic Church does”


“A new pagan usually performs a dedication ceremony (or has one performed for them if they’re joining a circle or coven), but it’s not as necessary as, say, baptism is to a Christian.”


“As with any religion, you shouldn’t just jump in blindly. Study what you can, and make sure it’s right for you. And if you find that Paganism, Wicca, or some other form of polytheism is right for you, well, great.”


“Maybe it’s time to point out what it is people lose when then choose most religions-The ability to say,“I don’t know.”
On the other hand, if I WERE to choose a religion, the modern version of Paganism(THERE’S a twist!) appeals to me more than most. The rites are fun, the people are pleasant, and any religion that highly irritates right-wing christians can’t be ALL bad.”


“They can be found in the yellow pages under Religion-Pagan or Religion-Other.”

“Re the rede: There’s a tendency fo those beginning in Paganism to see the Rede as a sort of commandment. It’s not really (as I see it); it’s a rule of thumb.”


“I’m not surprised you have such strong problems with Paganism. After all, it’s not your religion, so you disagree with its tenets.”
…so there you go…either OpalCat is wrong, they are wrong, or as I suggest earlier, they outta get their fucking story straight doncha think?

Contestant #3

Paganisim is a philosophy, the same as Christianity or Judaism et all. Within that philosophy there are sects just as there are Roman Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox and so on. As far as trying to determine what is a religion or not, who really cares? People believe what they believe and thier good with thier god and you’re good with yours, so life is good.

look at it this way…using OpalCat’s definition of Paganism as a catagory, then using the phrase “Pagan religions” is a generalisation (sp) for those specific religions.

for example…

“bernard, neither withcraft specifically, nor pagan religions in general, have a central governing body like the Catholic Church does”"

certainly sounds better than

“bernard, neither withcraft specifically, nor Wiccans, Hindus, Shintos,Drudism, Revivalist Chinese, Voodoo, Tribal Afican, nor any other polytheistic religion I overlooked have a central governing body like the Catholic Church does”

It seems to me if paganism is a catagory of various religions and beliefs, then the term can be used as a catch-all for any of the religions or beliefs that would qualify, as long as the context it is used is clear.

If I’m wrong on this, it’s because I don’t know much about Paganism. I’m just offering my own interpretation of what OpalCat, Auraseer and others have posted on the SD.

You say “cheesy” like that’s a BAD thing.

I think that a lot of the confusion surrounding this issue is in the very nature of the beast of paganism. There is no central controlling body amongst pagans. Pagans can be anything from polytheists to atheists. Buddism is considered a pagan religeon. Saying that you’re a pagan is the antithesis of but analagous to saying someone is a man of god (it’s an old saying, so don’t get bent out of shape if you’re a woman). You can use this term equally when describing a jew, christian, or muslim. Although they have different religeons they are Abrahamic in origin. So pagan is used to describe people of non Abrahamic religeons, but not the specific religeon itself.

Confusion is increased by the influx of new age religeons popping up and looking for legitamcy. Since most people who are not pagan do not differentiate between the various beliefs among pagans, it is easier to go along with their deffinition than to try to explain the difference. Also, there is strength in numbers, so lumping everyone together might actually strengthen their position.

I tried to keep out of the whole mess by claiming that I had no religeon whatsoever (not even atheist), but then I was labelled a secular humanist. Go figure

What’s next Hell’s Angels?

What’s up with these motorcycle gang obsessions?

I thought the Hell’s Angels were originally a World War 1 fighter squadron.

It’s important to distinguish between pagan religions and Neo-Pagan religions. Neo-Pagan religions are a specific group which includes Asatru, Wicca, Norse, Druidic, and others of that type. Pagan religions are non-monotheistic religions in general; this term can sometimes be derogatory. Due to a sort of reverse synecdoche, “pagan” (or more commonly, “Pagan”) is sometimes used incorrectly to refer to Neo-Pagan religions, to which I must plead guilty as charged.