Religious Discriminations

Why, may I ask, are people of Pagan religions discriminated? I’ve done research on Pagan religions such as Wicca (Witchcraft) and the common misconception that they are Devil worhshippers is entirely not true. I have friends who follow this religion and are forced to keep it quiet due to discrimination. People think it is a bad thing, society is scared of it and I think it is just because people don’t know what it is and assume it is bad, does anyone else share any of my views?

I am quite familiar with the Wiccan religion, and it a nature based religion, and no way promotes devil or satan worship. People show their ignorance by assuming otherwise. Satan is a product of Christianity. If you are not a Christian, you probably don’t believe in Satan. I think people tend be be frightened of things that they do not understand, as well as things that are different from what they were taught and what they believe.
“If it hurt none, do what thou will”

Do a search under “Wicca”, there’s a whole bunch uder that topic in the General forum. There was some antagonism between Wiccans and Christians mentined.

Since it was your first post, I’ll find it. Go here:

Several things come together to cause this problem.

There are a number of Christians who believe that all worship of anyone other than their concept of God is actually Satanic in nature. (They include Hinduism, their incorrect concept of Buddhism, and even Islam—among others–in this category.) Under this thought process, any non-Christian religion (excepting Judaism) is Satanic.

The Wiccans or Neo-Pagans had the misfortune (lack of foresight?) to use language that relied on the word “witch” to identify some of their practitioners. Witch was the word used by the bible translators to describe the necromancer of Endor whom Saul consulted. It is also the word used to describe various participants in actual Satanic rites in the late Mediaeval and Renaissance periods.

When someone starts out believing that all non-Christian religions are inherently Satanic and they then encounter a religion in which participants describe themselves using a word linked to Satanism, they are not generally open to correction on their error.



Not only are non-christian religions (i.e. “pagan”) being discriminated. Atheists are
non-believers, and we are also put apart, so to speak. But this situation is most
noticeable in countries like the USA, where even politicians are openly religious, and (as far as I know) in some states people can not hold a public office position if they don’t have religious believes (please correct me if I’m wrong).

In other parts of the world there is more tolerance (not everywhere, I admit) towards
other creeds.

So, I have to ask you this: WHO is discriminating WHO, and from what, according to you? In my own experience, with a few exceptions, everybody discriminates everyone else.

Men will cease to commit atrocities only when they cease to believe absurdities.

Tomndebb’s reposonse reminded me of an incident from my youth:
When I was in junior high, aged 12-13, there was a chocolate shop near the school. I would often stop in after school and pick up a piece of Swiss Chocolate (a weakness I still possess). The owner of the shop referred to himself as ‘a Born Again Christian’ who had ‘seen the light’. I was raised as a Roman Catholic and at that time I was working toward my Confirmation.

At first, he discretely inquired into my beliefs. Soon, he as trying to ‘save’ me from the ‘ways of the devil’. I remember vividly him giving me a speech about how all ‘rituals’ are ‘tools of Satan’, while holding my already paid for chocolate behind the counter. I can still see the fanaticism in his eyes, it frightened me far more than his words.

Needless to say, after that speech, I never went back to that store.

I never told my parents about my experience, but I did tell Father Jack, the youngest priest at my church (the one all the kids liked). The priest looked sad as I relayed the story, and somewhat concerned. He advised me to be tolerant of other people’s beliefs, even when they conflict with your own. He also suggested (as if I needed any encouragement) staying away from the store.

About three months later the chocolate shop went out of business, and I breathed a sigh of relief.


Happy to oblige, E1! You’re wrong. The US Constitution prohibits any laws that discriminate between religions (or the lack thereof).

That said, it is true that it is unlikely that an athiest would be elected to office in many places because the people there just don’t like athiests. On the other hand, there are also places where an overly devout theist wouldn’t stand a chance.

Very few nations have the kind of religious diversity we have here in the USA. You don’t see this kind of religious friction in places like Latin America where almost everybody is Catholic, or in places like England, Iceland, Israel or Saudi Arabia where they have state religions.

…see above for full quote…
I’m relieved. Now I won’t have to get into politics. On weekdays I’m an atheist and on sundays I’m an agnostic. To Jehova’s witnesses I tell I’m mormon. But I came from a boring branch of Christianity, had to give it up even just for the boredom.

Don’t be so quick, Papa–in Texas, atheists are not permitted to serve on juries.

If this is true, why hasn’t this law been challenged and overturned in the courts? I wonder if the Atheists in Texas just know a good thing when they see it, and are just keeping quiet! :slight_smile:

Beats me, but actually, you cannot even hold office in Texas if you are an admitted atheist. According to the Texas Constitution, Article 1, Section 4: No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, in this State; nor shall any one be excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments, *provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being. *

I can’t believe it’s gone unchallenged. I do know that American Atheists used to be headquartered in Texas, but met with so much antagonism, they moved to New Jersey.

>>You don’t see this kind of religious friction in places like Latin America where almost everybody is Catholic, or in places like England, Iceland, Israel or Saudi Arabia where they have state religions.<<


Shopping is still cheaper than therapy. --my Aunt Franny

Yeah, yeah, I know, Rowan! I was referring to citizens of Israel, who are overwhelmingly Jewish, and not the Muslims and Christians in the occupied territories. But now that I think of it there is plenty of strife between the several factions of Judaism itself.

The great thing about our State of Texas is we have lots of old and stupid laws. Some of them are still enforced. Some are not. Technically it’s against the law to be “useless” in Texas. Oral sex is illegal, and so is any position other than on your back man-on-top missionary style. Sadly, they’re trying to use the sodomy laws to prevent gay couples from adopting, because they are guilty of sexual crimes. As for atheism, in the big cities, nobody cares. But, Texas is a state of little hamlets, and if you want to be governor, you’d better be Christian.

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
– Henry David Thoreau

I am an atheist, and I think California should follow Texas’ lead and not allow us heathens to serve on juries.

but seriously…I never volunteer the fact that I am atheist unless I’m asked, mostly to avoid an arguement that I don’t feel is worthy of my time.

One of my oldest friends is Catholic, another is Wiccan, my best friends parents are both Methodist ministers whereas she is decidedly an agnostic, prior to that she studied Wicca. I was raised a Prodestant, became theologically confused as a teenager, attempted to “be” Wiccan because it sounded cool and then scratched religion altogether because I still couldn’t decide and now the closest thing I have to religion is Astrology. Not the daily newspaper horoscope kind, I like to consult the Tarot and figure the charts, etc. I don’t make any sort of weekly practice of it or anything and I certainly don’t go around spouting things like, “Oh, Blank, your Moon is in Cancer this week, steer clear of black cats and water!” I get really tired of hearing that “God will show you the way” and “Just say your prayers and everything will turn out”, etc. I’ve always had a hard time believing that getting up early on a Sunday and tossing a five-spot into the colletion plate would make me a better person. Being married to a person who is addicted to all things science doesn’t make it any easier, either, because then I get to be educated about Darwinism and the Big Bang Theory and all that and these things that can be proved (or at least logically theorized) are a lot easier to swallow than what the Bible gives me. I haven’t done much studying of other religions, but from what I understand, when you strip them to the bare bones, they’re all basically the same: one diety, one book, thousands of insta-believers. I don’t fault anyone for embracing religion, to the contrary, I admire it. I’m not strong enough to just take things on faith. I do believe that there was a man who called himself Jesus Christ, who had his entourage and wandered around the world speaking of God and Creation and the like, but I’m not entirely sure he wasn’t just leading the first cult.

Kut Vonnegut would approve, after he gave up on science. Could we base a religion, well maybe a philosophy, on Killgore Trout?It would be no sillier than Scientology.

<< I haven’t done much studying of other religions, but from what I
understand, when you strip them to the bare bones, they’re all basically
the same: one diety, one book, thousands of insta-believers. >>

Yeah, you sure haven’t, Chris. One diety, indeed, heck, the Southren Babtists eat mostly grits and collyard greens, while Jews and Muslims can’t eat pork, and …

On the serious side, that’s a gross over-simplification. You might as well say that all government systems and all politics are the same, because “when you strip them to the bare bones,” we’re all human beings.

But just to answer on a superficial level: Hindus do not have one deity, and Buddhists do not have one book. The differences between (say) Lutherans and Methodists may be fairly minor, but the differences among the great categories – Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Wiccan, Hinduism, Atheism, etc – there are profound differences in terms of answers to the questions:

  • What is life all about?
  • Why should one do good? (or even, should one?)
  • How should people interact and interrelate?

The line about “all religions are the same, deep down inside” is typically used to promote the notion of the common brotherhood of man. It’s a false comment, although used to promote a good end (namely, to stop people from killing and robbing each other in the name of religion.)

In one sense, though, Dex, all religions are exactly the same: They are purely speculative.