So, all this talk about religion and atheism piqued my interest and I have read a number of the articles written by fellow News24 readers... granted I didn't read ALL the comments, as that would have taken far too long. However I certainly would like to add my 2c as I feel that this is a very current albeit controversial topic and I would like to my views as a Pagan into the mix.
Now, for those of you that don't know what Paganism is - let me give you a very brief introduction:
In the present day, the Pagan tradition manifests both as communities reclaiming their ancient sites and ceremonies (especially in Eastern Europe), to put humankind back in harmony with the Earth, and as individuals pursuing a personal spiritual path alone or in a small group (especially in Western Europe and the European-settled countries abroad), under the tutelage of one of the Pagan divinities. To most modern Pagans in the West, the whole of life is to be affirmed joyfully and without shame, as long as other people are not harmed by one's own tastes. Modern Pagans tend to be relaxed and at ease with themselves and others, and women in particular have a dignity which is not always found outside Pagan circles.
Modern Pagans, not tied down either by the customs of an established religion or by the dogmas of a revealed one, are often creative, playful and individualistic, affirming the importance of the individual psyche as it interfaces with a greater power. There is a respect for all of life and usually a desire to participate with rather than to dominate other beings. What playwright Eugene O'Neil called "the creative Pagan acceptance of life" is at the forefront of the modern movement. This is bringing something new to religious life and to social behaviour, a way of pluralism without fragmentation, of creativity without anarchy. Here is an age-old current surfacing in a new form suited to the needs of the present day. Courtesy of Prudence Jones
And before those of the Christian faith start bleating about Pagans being devil worshippers – may I remind you that as we do not believe in the Christian God, we do not believe in the Christian Devil either.
I am originally from Europe, landed here back in the 70’s – the way of life in SA was very different to what I was used to back home, namely apartheid, intolerance to foreigners and an almost fanatical outlook on religion made me ask the ‘What were you guys thinking’ question to my parents on a regular basis. Yet it was these three things that put me onto the path that I find myself on today. As a side note I am married to an atheist. To answer your question, we were married in court and neither son was baptised – they were both given the choice to follow their own religious beliefs and have both chosen to worship the deity Online Gaming J
But I digress…
Arguing about religion is about as effective as the Chicken and Egg argument, bottom line is both religion and science can neither conclusively proof or dis-approve the existence of God. I’m all for tolerating another man’s beliefs without dissing those beliefs, however that said those of the Christian faith have been bashing the rest of us for 2000 years cannot shout foul now that those who do not blindly follow the same faith speak out.
As a Pagan I have no clue how this planet we live in came about, nor do I particularly care – as a temporary resident I am expected to enjoy the beauty and abundance of what nature has to offer responsibly. Sadly though the majority of my fellow temp residents have chosen to overpopulate, rape and plunder the natural resources to the point where I don’t even know how much longer we can sustain.
We are all just squatters here, perhaps our time would be better spent on figuring out ways to sustain long term so that our children and their children can enjoy the beauty we have enjoyed, not the wasteland they will have if we continue as we are.
Thank you for taking the time to read the ramblings of a middle aged matriarch.
Peace to all.