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Just because I'm Pagan ...

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Crystal Dragon:
Gotta love Mercury Retrograde for digging up odd thoughts from the ole noggin.  For some reason I was thinking about this today ... I’ve seen a good number of posts on various forums where folks seem to have a number of misconceptions about what it means, and doesn’t mean, to be Pagan.  And since I actually have a few moments to jot down some of my thoughts, I figured I’d add them here.

Just because someone is Pagan doesn’t mean they must be a vegetarian or vegan.  Food choice is a choice people make (for the most part) regardless of religion.  I personally love a good steak from time to time.  But because one enjoys meat (humans are omnivorous by design) does not mean they agree with or condone animal cruelty.  The two are not mutually exclusive, though it seems that many think they should be.

Being Pagan also doesn’t mean that one must buy into the media’s idea of global warming.  Climate change happens.  It happens in cycles and even the best scientists will admit that there are facets to these cycles that no one understands.  Humans are not the primary factor in climate change, though I see many arrogant enough to believe this.  Volcanic eruptions actually spew more of the offending material into the atmosphere than all the vehicles that have ever been on the road since automobiles were invented. 

Now, this doesn’t mean we don’t need to be responsible people.  We should all strive for balance in everything we do regardless of our chosen path.  We don’t need to live in some commune to be responsible either.  If you choose to drive a car (or truck, or motorcycle) make sure it’s in good working condition and meets the smog requirements.  Don’t dump hazardous waste (including batteries, fluorescent light bulbs, and solvents) in the trash.  Do recycle if you are able.  If you can afford organic and free range foods, by all means eat them … they are better for you, many markets only buy from local growers so you’ll be supporting your local economy, and the animals are treated better.

Treat other humans as you wish to be treated … both in person and online.  We don’t always agree, even with our own friends and families, but there’s no need to berate someone for their choices.  And just because I’m Pagan doesn’t mean I must automatically agree with someone else who’s Pagan on any subject. ;)

I couldn't agree more!  Thanks for posting that.  I'm sure I'll have something to add when it isn't time for me to be heading to bed.  :whistle:

Crystal Dragon:
 :rotflmao: Guess you better get some sleep then. :whistle:

:cutie:  Who?  Me?

I was thinking about this some more this morning.  It is probably going to end up off on a tangent somewhere very different than where I started.  I'm generally pretty good at that.  :whistle:

One of the things that I've come to realize is that you don't need to do X,Y and Z to be Pagan/Wiccan/Christian/whatever spiritual path you follow.  Yes, each belief system usually has a certain set of guidelines that, in general, define the faith.  It is sort of a requirement to believe in Christ to be a Christian.  The problem comes when nobody can actually agree on what those guidelines are and where they fall.  At what point can you blur those lines and still fall within the umbrella of that particular belief?

With your more established faiths that have been around for as long as we can remember, they have had the chance to endure those kinds of questions and the guidelines that define the faith are pretty clear.  With Paganism, you don't have that kind of background.  It also makes it even more difficult when there are so many different flavors of Paganism.  There is also no higher authority one can go to when a question of boundaries arises. 

That doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with being Pagan.  It just means that, by its very open ended nature, it is a very personal belief system.  There really isn't anyone there to tell you exactly what the boundaries are.  You have to explore and find them for yourself.  That also means that a boundary you find here isn't necessarily going to be there for the next person, because those boundaries are personal, not universal.

It has been my experience that people tend to color everything based on their own experiences.  If they find a boundary in their faith, something like being vegetarian or vegan, they think that all others that follow a similar path must have also found that boundary and should abide by it, even more so if they find this boundary to be a blazing neon of obvious. 

What they forgot, or failed to see, is that it is personal.  In the end, that is what faith, belief or religion is, a personal experience of the divine.  We each walk a slightly different path.  We each see the world through different eyes and we each experience the divine in our own ways.  Just because they may be similar, does not mean that they are all the exact same.

Okay.  I'm done rambling.


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