Feast of The Good Galileans (or Star invents a Holiday)

There are days when I really hate Christians. I loathe them on those days. My wrath swells and my rage increases. I hate their dismissiveness. I hate their blindness to their own privilege. I hate their double standards. I hate their elitism and snobbery. I hate their bland platitudes, and their church clothes. I hate their taking over restaurants on a Sunday and that they dictate my shopping habits with their blue laws. I hate the fish plaques on minivans and the Jesus bumperstickers. It’s not even a rational thing. I just hate ‘em some days, and paint them all unpleasant with a brush as broad as a barn. I just want to read Julian the Philosopher and hate ‘em.

Thankfully, those days don’t often come along. I’ve got lots of Christian friends, family and coworkers. They are all amazing and wonderful people. They accept my faith, respect my religion and generally don’t treat me like a second-class citizen. They are my antidote to the hate that occasionally springs up when I feel a Christian has done me or my faith a wrong. It occurs to me that I could wallow in the hate when it happens. I could watch atheist comedians and scribble Lenny Bruce jokes in the margins of my bible. I could treat the Christians in my life nasty on those days I’m filled with anger. I could participate in National Blasphemy Day and draw pictures of Mohammed and the Pope lighting their farts on fire.

Instead, I think I’ll listen to what my teachers tell me and embrace love instead. I’ll try positive reinforcement to improve my relationships with the wonderful Christian folks I know. I will invent a holiday.

The Feast of the Good Galileans, held on September 30th, is the one day a year when we reach out and thank our Christian (and other monotheist) friends, family, neighbors and coworkers for being awesome people who love and respect us. Go ahead and try it. Thank that cousin that sticks up for you when it’s time to say grace at Thanksgiving. Thank that coworker that was willing to trade days so you could get a Pagan holiday off. Thank the friend who treats you like a moral, decent human being, both before and after they learned you were Pagan.

I’m going to thank some folks right here:

  • My oldest sister, a nominal Christian, who thinks I’m weird and loves me anyway.
  • My Southern Baptist minister cousin who doesn’t get how I love CS Lewis without being Christian, and loves me anyway.
  • My former coworkers and dear friends who thought I was no weirder after they learned I was Pagan, and never made an issue of it.
  • Elizabeth Scalia, aka The Anchoress, for always getting the we’re all far more alike than we are different.
  • Max Lindenman for pointing out that sometimes Christians really do get just how weird they are, just like the rest of us.
  • Fred Clark, aka the Slacktivist, for caring about a lot of the same things as we do, and seeing we also have a point to make.
  • Matthew Fox, who didn’t think being Christian meant that he shouldn’t hang out with Pagans like Starhawk.
  • John Shelby Spong, for really getting why women struggle with Christianity and the images of Biblical women.
  • David Charles, who probably had no idea that annoying woman who e-mailed him almost two years ago would still be annoying him today, waving her Pagan flag.

Christians aren’t always aware of their privilege, or how difficult it can be to belong to a minority religion. Sometimes they say things or do things that drive us insane without even realizing they are causing frustration, pain or anger. They’re like fish who’ve no idea what water is because they’ve never been on dry land.

So reach out to the Christians who stick up for you, who treat you like a decent moral person and who do their best to include you. Let them know they appreciated. Take them out to dinner or invite them over for a meal. Educate them through positive reinforcement Pagan-style, with food and hospitality. Let’s make it a mark of honor to have a lot of people to be thankful for every September 30th. Instead of snarking out with Julian, let’s celebrate the Feast of the Good Galileans!

About Star Foster

Polytheistic Wiccan initiated into the Ravenwood tradition, she has many opinions. Some of them are actually useful.

  • Pent69

    Thank you Star for this one. My family has been wronged very recently by xians who believe they are so much holier than everyone else. This reminds me to say thank you for the seemingly few wonderful Christians I know

  • http://twitter.com/ouranophobe Áine

    I like it!  Thanks for the reminder to reach out to folks in friendship and gratitude, what a great idea!!

  • Pent69

    Thank you Star for this one. My family has been wronged very recently by xians who believe they are so much holier than everyone else. This reminds me to say thank you for the seemingly few wonderful Christians I know

  • http://twitter.com/ouranophobe Áine

    I like it!  Thanks for the reminder to reach out to folks in friendship and gratitude, what a great idea!!

  • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

    Yeah. And, like, you know, what about all the good things the Nazis did? How come no one ever mentions that?

    • Nicole Youngman

      Ooooh, AP, that’s probably the fastest zero-to-Godwin I’ve seen in ages! ;) 

      • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

        Uh, you do realize, Nicole, that that the Nazis, up to and including Adolf himself, were Christians?

        Also, many prominent historians have noted that the Final Solution was merely the culmination of centuries of violence against Jews by Christians in Europe. See, for example, the Introduction to Christopher Browning’s 2007 The Origins of the Final Solution. Also see Chapter One of George M. Frederickson’s “Racism: A Short History“. That chapter is titled “Religion and the Invention of Racism”, and in it Frederickson argues that racism (including the modern, racialist version of anti-Semitism associated with Nazism) is a relatively recent historical phenomenon specifically associated with modern western European Christianity.

        • Nicole Youngman

          As much as I admire your scholarly bent, the logic is deeply problematic here. The fact that Nazis were some kind of twisted xian does not, of course, make all xians Nazi-ish, therefore your comment above makes zero sense, particularly in the context of what Star is talking about in the first place.

          • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

            Speaking of problematic logic, your assumption that the Nazis must have followed some kind of “twisted” Christianity is a textbook case of circular logic. Only by presupposing that Christianity and Nazism are incompatible have you been able to arrive at the conclusion that … they are incompatible.

            The Nazis themselves were Christians. The people who voted for the Nazis were Christians. The “intellectuals” who developed the theories about race embraced by the Nazis were Christians.

            This was also the case with fascist movements in other countries besides Germany. The Spanish fascists were fanatic Catholics. Italian fascists tended to be less fanatic than the Spanish, but they had the full support of the Vatican. In the United States the Ku Klux Klan were fanatic Protestants. Robert Paxton, author of “Anatomy of Fascism” (which is one of the best Introductions to the serious scholarly study of fascism) writes in that book that “It may be that the earliest phenomenon that can be functionally related to fascism is American: the Ku Klux Klan.” [p. 49]

            None of what I am saying here amounts to “scholarship” or having a “scholarly bent”. It’s just that I choose to limit what I say to subjects that I have some knowledge of.

          • Jack Heron

            Apuleius, we know the Nazis were largely Christian. As were the people who voted for them – most Germans were at the time. The question is, did Christianity influence their Naziism? And if so, does that hold implications for Christians who aren’t fascists? Those questions are more complex than simply ‘bad guys were Christian, therefore Christians are bad guys’.

            You can take a bunch of Christian Nazis and conclude that Christianity is fascist. Or you can take a bunch of Franciscans and conclude that it’s environmentalist. Or you can take a pile of Benedictines and conclude it’s literary and ascetic. Or perhaps, just perhaps, you could
            take the lot and conclude that people and religion are complicated and varied. And that’s what Star’s article (you know, the one we’re supposed to be commenting on) talks about.

          • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

            Jack Heron: “The question is, did Christianity influence their Naziism”

            As I already stated above, many scholars have concluded that there is a strong connection between Christianity and the modern cultural phenomenon of racism, including especially the racialized version of anti-Semitism that was the core of Nazi belief. See in particular the works of Christopher Browning and George M. Frederickson that I referred to above.

            A great deal of the evidence comes from the Nazis themselves. There are three major works in which Nazi race theory is explicitly developed: Houston Stewart Chamberlain’s “Foundations of the Nineteenth Century” , Alfred Rosenberg’s “Myth of the 20th Century”, and, of course, Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”. Each of these works is explicit and enthusiastic in its promotion of Christianity.

            Also see Richard Steigman-Gall’s “Holy Reich: Nazi Conceptions of Christianity“. One of the things that comes out in Steigman-Gall’s book is that not only were the Nazis Christians, but they had a decided preference for modern, liberal Christianity. The Nazis warmly embraced both the Social Gospel and the Higher Criticism, and they were strong proponents of ecumenism across Christian denominations (all the better for Christians to unite against their common enemy: the Jews).

          • Jack Heron

            Yes, Apuleius. I already agreed with you – the Nazis were largely Christian, they talked about it a lot and they claimed Christian grounding. But how does this affect the vast majority of Christians who are not fascists? And why do you find this group of Christians more indicative of the religion than the Carmelites, or the Quakers, or the Methodists?

          • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

            The Quakers were so far up to their necks in the genocide of the Native Americans that in the latter part of the 19th century it was common for people to refer to the systematic “pacification”, relocation, and extermination of the Indians as “the Quaker Policy”. Naturally, the Quakers’ job was to put a nice Christian smiley face on things, while doing their best to turn savage Injun Heathens (the ones who survived, anyway) into well-behaved semi-civilized Christians. And it was the Quakers who spear-headed the organized kidnapping of Native American children in order to raise them as good Christians (this went on well into the 20th century).

            Methodists are the theological offspring of John Wesley, who bemoaned the denouement of witch-hunting: “The giving up of witchcraft is the giving up of the Bible. With my last breath I will bear testimony against giving up to infidels one great
            proof of the invisible world, witchcraft.” And they are the theological progenitors of Sarah Palin and Pat Robertson.

            My point is that the Nazis weren’t just Christians, they were fairly typical representatives of what Thomas Paine referred to as “this thing called Christianity.”

          • Windweaver

            Apuleius… There are many religions in the world that have been victims of corruption in doctrine. Nobody is arguing the fact that there are many very bad “Christians” running around out there. The point that Star is making, is that there are some good Christians as well. People that accept us as we are without trying to convert us, or condemn us.

            Just because there are many examples of bad Christians doesn’t mean that all Christians are bad. When you read a story in the mainstream news services about someone that’s Pagan, is it someone that’s an accurate representation of Pagans, or is the the person you would least choose? 

            I have met many open minded Christians and Jews that were not only accepting of our beliefs, but were willing to stand up and support our right to practice our religions.

            I’m as Pagan as they come… My wife is one of those “good Christians”. She accepts my religion and doesn’t mess with me about it. I accept her religion and don’t mess with her about it. We’ve been married for almost six years without even a disagreement…

          • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

            Windweaver: Christianity has not been corrupted. Jesus preached intolerance and his followers have been true to his teaching.

            Jesus also taught that “by their fruits shall ye know them.”

            As to your wife I have absolutely no doubt that she is a wonderful person and fully supportive of you. Christians are, after all, human, and human nature is basically good and compassionate and generous. Thank the Gods. Individuals should always be judged as individuals, and groups (including religions) should always be judged as groups.

          • Rua Lupa

            I know a few Quakers personally, they are very much not how you describe them. In fact, these individuals are as active in their Quaker practices as the local Native Practices – which is how I met them.

            I have never heard of Quakers being involved in the residential schools. Being Canadian may be why. In the tellings I heard personally from the elders who have survived the residential schools, those who headed it were Lutheran, and they don’t hold grudges against most other Christians. Most only dislike the Lutherans from my experience.

          • Acquit

            But what about the Neo-Pagan part of Nazism, especially the leaders of the 3rd Reich.  Check out CK Jung’s essay “Wotan” to see a contemporary (pre-WWII) view of Nazism as expressing the Teutonic pagan archetype.  Nietzsche, whom the Nazis viewed as their intellectual inspiration, was an atheist.  The Germans who voted for the Nazis were overwhelmingly Christian, but the Nazi leaders (like many contemporary American politicians) only used Christianity to further their own ends. 

          • LezlieKinyon

            I so agree. I live in California, home to far more than our fair share of infamous  mass-murderers. By AP’s logic, all of California should be branded by with the same iron.  This is merely conflation of the subject & indulging in baiting in hopes of sparking a fight. Personally, I will leave such underhanded debate ploys to the current crop of politicians inhabiting the White House, it is unworthy of all of us here. Therefore, I must question AP’s motives in posting such a hate-mongering and specious comment.

  • http://egregores.wordpress.com Apuleius Platonicus

    Yeah. And, like, you know, what about all the good things the Nazis did? How come no one ever mentions that?

    • Nicole Youngman

      Ooooh, AP, that’s probably the fastest zero-to-Godwin I’ve seen in ages! ;) 

      • http://egregores.wordpress.com Apuleius Platonicus

        Uh, you do realize, Nicole, that that the Nazis, up to and including Adolf himself, were Christians?

        Also, many prominent historians have noted that the Final Solution was merely the culmination of centuries of violence against Jews by Christians in Europe. See, for example, the Introduction to Christopher Browning’s 2007 The Origins of the Final Solution. Also see Chapter One of George M. Frederickson’s “Racism: A Short History“. That chapter is titled “Religion and the Invention of Racism”, and in it Frederickson argues that racism (including the modern, racialist version of anti-Semitism associated with Nazism) is a relatively recent historical phenomenon specifically associated with modern western European Christianity.

        • Nicole Youngman

          As much as I admire your scholarly bent, the logic is deeply problematic here. The fact that Nazis were some kind of twisted xian does not, of course, make all xians Nazi-ish, therefore your comment above makes zero sense, particularly in the context of what Star is talking about in the first place.

          • http://egregores.wordpress.com Apuleius Platonicus

            Speaking of problematic logic, your assumption that the Nazis must have followed some kind of “twisted” Christianity is a textbook case of circular logic. Only by presupposing that Christianity and Nazism are incompatible have you been able to arrive at the conclusion that … they are incompatible.

            The Nazis themselves were Christians. The people who voted for the Nazis were Christians. The “intellectuals” who developed the theories about race embraced by the Nazis were Christians.

            This was also the case with fascist movements in other countries besides Germany. The Spanish fascists were fanatic Catholics. Italian fascists tended to be less fanatic than the Spanish, but they had the full support of the Vatican. In the United States the Ku Klux Klan were fanatic Protestants. Robert Paxton, author of “Anatomy of Fascism” (which is one of the best Introductions to the serious scholarly study of fascism) writes in that book that “It may be that the earliest phenomenon that can be functionally related to fascism is American: the Ku Klux Klan.” [p. 49]

            None of what I am saying here amounts to “scholarship” or having a “scholarly bent”. It’s just that I choose to limit what I say to subjects that I have some knowledge of.

          • Jack Heron

            Apuleius, we know the Nazis were largely Christian. As were the people who voted for them – most Germans were at the time. The question is, did Christianity influence their Naziism? And if so, does that hold implications for Christians who aren’t fascists? Those questions are more complex than simply ‘bad guys were Christian, therefore Christians are bad guys’.

            You can take a bunch of Christian Nazis and conclude that Christianity is fascist. Or you can take a bunch of Franciscans and conclude that it’s environmentalist. Or you can take a pile of Benedictines and conclude it’s literary and ascetic. Or perhaps, just perhaps, you could
            take the lot and conclude that people and religion are complicated and varied. And that’s what Star’s article (you know, the one we’re supposed to be commenting on) talks about.

          • http://egregores.wordpress.com Apuleius Platonicus

            Jack Heron: “The question is, did Christianity influence their Naziism”

            As I already stated above, many scholars have concluded that there is a strong connection between Christianity and the modern cultural phenomenon of racism, including especially the racialized version of anti-Semitism that was the core of Nazi belief. See in particular the works of Christopher Browning and George M. Frederickson that I referred to above.

            A great deal of the evidence comes from the Nazis themselves. There are three major works in which Nazi race theory is explicitly developed: Houston Stewart Chamberlain’s “Foundations of the Nineteenth Century” , Alfred Rosenberg’s “Myth of the 20th Century”, and, of course, Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”. Each of these works is explicit and enthusiastic in its promotion of Christianity.

            Also see Richard Steigman-Gall’s “Holy Reich: Nazi Conceptions of Christianity“. One of the things that comes out in Steigman-Gall’s book is that not only were the Nazis Christians, but they had a decided preference for modern, liberal Christianity. The Nazis warmly embraced both the Social Gospel and the Higher Criticism, and they were strong proponents of ecumenism across Christian denominations (all the better for Christians to unite against their common enemy: the Jews).

          • Jack Heron

            Yes, Apuleius. I already agreed with you – the Nazis were largely Christian, they talked about it a lot and they claimed Christian grounding. But how does this affect the vast majority of Christians who are not fascists? And why do you find this group of Christians more indicative of the religion than the Carmelites, or the Quakers, or the Methodists?

          • http://egregores.wordpress.com Apuleius Platonicus

            The Quakers were so far up to their necks in the genocide of the Native Americans that in the latter part of the 19th century it was common for people to refer to the systematic “pacification”, relocation, and extermination of the Indians as “the Quaker Policy”. Naturally, the Quakers’ job was to put a nice Christian smiley face on things, while doing their best to turn savage Injun Heathens (the ones who survived, anyway) into well-behaved semi-civilized Christians. And it was the Quakers who spear-headed the organized kidnapping of Native American children in order to raise them as good Christians (this went on well into the 20th century).

            Methodists are the theological offspring of John Wesley, who bemoaned the denouement of witch-hunting: “The giving up of witchcraft is the giving up of the Bible. With my last breath I will bear testimony against giving up to infidels one great
            proof of the invisible world, witchcraft.” And they are the theological progenitors of Sarah Palin and Pat Robertson.

            My point is that the Nazis weren’t just Christians, they were fairly typical representatives of what Thomas Paine referred to as “this thing called Christianity.”

          • Windweaver

            Apuleius… There are many religions in the world that have been victims of corruption in doctrine. Nobody is arguing the fact that there are many very bad “Christians” running around out there. The point that Star is making, is that there are some good Christians as well. People that accept us as we are without trying to convert us, or condemn us.

            Just because there are many examples of bad Christians doesn’t mean that all Christians are bad. When you read a story in the mainstream news services about someone that’s Pagan, is it someone that’s an accurate representation of Pagans, or is the the person you would least choose? 

            I have met many open minded Christians and Jews that were not only accepting of our beliefs, but were willing to stand up and support our right to practice our religions.

            I’m as Pagan as they come… My wife is one of those “good Christians”. She accepts my religion and doesn’t mess with me about it. I accept her religion and don’t mess with her about it. We’ve been married for almost six years without even a disagreement…

          • http://egregores.wordpress.com Apuleius Platonicus

            Windweaver: Christianity has not been corrupted. Jesus preached intolerance and his followers have been true to his teaching.

            Jesus also taught that “by their fruits shall ye know them.”

          • Rua Lupa

            I know a few Quakers personally, they are very much not how you describe them. In fact, these individuals are as active in their Quaker practices as the local Native Practices – which is how I met them.

            I have never heard of Quakers being involved in the residential schools. Being Canadian may be why. In the tellings I heard personally from the elders who have survived the residential schools, those who headed it were Lutheran, and they don’t hold grudges against most other Christians. Most only dislike the Lutherans from my experience.

          • Acquit

            But what about the Neo-Pagan part of Nazism, especially the leaders of the 3rd Reich.  Check out CK Jung’s essay “Wotan” to see a contemporary (pre-WWII) view of Nazism as expressing the Teutonic pagan archetype.  Nietzsche, whom the Nazis viewed as their intellectual inspiration, was an atheist.  The Germans who voted for the Nazis were overwhelmingly Christian, but the Nazi leaders (like many contemporary American politicians) only used Christianity to further their own ends. 

          • Anonymous

            I so agree. I live in California, home to far more than our fair share of infamous  mass-murderers. By AP’s logic, all of California should be branded by with the same iron.  This is merely conflation of the subject & indulging in baiting in hopes of sparking a fight. Personally, I will leave such underhanded debate ploys to the current crop of politicians inhabiting the White House, it is unworthy of all of us here. Therefore, I must question AP’s motives in posting such a hate-mongering and specious comment.

  • Jack Heron

    Thanks, Star! As a Christian who’s rather more fond of paganism than is entirely orthodox, it’s good to see my less tolerant coreligionists haven’t entirely blown our chances of proper dialogue with pagans.

    (I object to ‘church clothes’ too  – what’s so fittingly Christian about a suit? I’d like curial robes provided for the whole congregation, but my vicar informs me this would be ‘too fabulous for the elderly members’)

  • Jack Heron

    Thanks, Star! As a Christian who’s rather more fond of paganism than is entirely orthodox, it’s good to see my less tolerant coreligionists haven’t entirely blown our chances of proper dialogue with pagans.

    (I object to ‘church clothes’ too  – what’s so fittingly Christian about a suit? I’d like curial robes provided for the whole congregation, but my vicar informs me this would be ‘too fabulous for the elderly members’)

  • http://profiles.google.com/cosettefromjupiter Cosette Paneque

    September 30 is taken. It’s the feast day of Gregory the Illuminator, Honorius of Canterbury, and St. Jerome. 

    Don’t bet on October 1 either. It’s the feast days of Blessed Edward James and Thérèse de Lisieux.

    October 2 is taken also as is pretty much every single day of the Christian Gregorian calendar. I don’t think they need another day. Pagans could use a few more though.

    • http://www.wiccanweb.ca Makarios

      How about the feast of St. Brighid of Kildare, in February? Since she is both a Pagan Goddess and a Christian saint, that might be appropriate.

      • http://profiles.google.com/cosettefromjupiter Cosette Paneque

        Works for me! I can compromise ;-)

      • Rua Lupa

        I like that idea, but does it work for pagans that are not involved in Celtic practices?

  • http://profiles.google.com/cosettefromjupiter Cosette Paneque

    September 30 is taken. It’s the feast day of Gregory the Illuminator, Honorius of Canterbury, and St. Jerome. 

    Don’t bet on October 1 either. It’s the feast days of Blessed Edward James and Thérèse de Lisieux.

    October 2 is taken also as is pretty much every single day of the Christian Gregorian calendar. I don’t think they need another day. Pagans could use a few more though.

    • http://www.wiccanweb.ca Makarios

      How about the feast of St. Brighid of Kildare, in February? Since she is both a Pagan Goddess and a Christian saint, that might be appropriate.

      • http://profiles.google.com/cosettefromjupiter Cosette Paneque

        Works for me! I can compromise ;-)

      • Rua Lupa

        I like that idea, but does it work for pagans that are not involved in Celtic practices?

  • kenneth

    There are some good ones, even if they are anomalous! :)

  • kenneth

    There are some good ones, even if they are anomalous! :)

  • Jim Baker

    This is far too appeasing for my taste and beliefs. (Although I did quite like the first paragraph :-)

    It is simplistic to point out that we may find good humans almost anywhere. They still accept the doctrines, many of which could be described as ‘evil’.
    Perhaps this is not the place to go into the history, but you are talking about the belief system that gave us the Inquisition, the killing of witches, the championing of war, the oppression of the masses, the discrimination against women and gay people. In recent days we found out about the child abuse that has been going on for hundreds of year, there’s a nice one.And you want to snuggle up and have a hug?

    Tolerance is NOT always good, (do you ‘tolerate paedophiles?). The bad in the world should not be tolerated by us that know better(?). It should be actively opposed.

    Just my personal opinion of course.

    • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

      No one ever advocates tolerance of intolerance itself, for example. Nor does one find much advocacy for tolerating homophobia, or racism, or sexism. Any ideology that preaches intolerance is exempt from tolerance.

      In other words, tolerance must be mutual or it becomes, at best, pointless.

    • Rua Lupa

      In large enough groups, you always get bad apples, and sometimes those bad apples band together to support their prejudices and ignorance. This happens everywhere regardless of what the group stands for. Often the atrocities that have happened in the deep past have been forgotten and sometimes excused as the belief you practice has moved on from those times, why not those of Monotheistic beliefs then? Remember monotheism, for the most part, is still a fairly new belief compared to non monotheistic beliefs. And its history is therefore more fresh in our memories.

      We all have dark happenings in our pasts. Violent Tribal Rivalries, Genocides, Slavery, etc.

      • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

        With Christianity the problem is not “bad apples”. The problem is, for starters:

        1. the leadership of the Catholic Church down to the present day.
        2. the leadership of the Protestant reformation (who were more intolerant than the Catholics), including the leaders of the various Protestant sects that arose in England and from which most American Protestant sects arose.
        3. the leadership of the various Orthodox churches (who for the most part still openly seek to reinstate outright theocracy).

        The vast majority of world’s Christians today voluntarily choose to belong to sects that follow the teachings of the above three groups.

        • Jim Baker

          This seems to me have been a useful discussion and one that should not be shied away from; perhaps it often is. Just a few comments,

          The Nazi stuff seems too delusional for serious comment. I think we all know that a banana is not a iPod…

          Comments alluding to my views are for the most part fair and reasonable; indeed, I would agree with much of it. However, my point may have been slightly misunderstood. 
          I am taking a rather “pure” view concerning christianity; the beliefs (actual doctrines), the practices (as laid down in their special book), and the practical outcomes that we have seen historically and in the present day (homophobia is an easy example here). 

          We all know some wonderful people who happen to be christians, many of whom ignore (deny) the teachings of their church (eg contraception), do does that make the religion OK? Of couse it does not.  

          cristianity is bad IMO because of its doctrines, beliefs and practices, the fact that many ignore these but still claim to be christians is intelectual  dishonestly of the highest order. Let them leave and be pagans, humanists or whatever; for those are their true beliefs.

          However I do not condemn these bad christians/good humans, I condemn their foul religion and refuse to cuddle up with people that espouse that label.

  • Jim Baker

    This is far too appeasing for my taste and beliefs. (Although I did quite like the first paragraph :-)

    It is simplistic to point out that we may find good humans almost anywhere. They still accept the doctrines, many of which could be described as ‘evil’.
    Perhaps this is not the place to go into the history, but you are talking about the belief system that gave us the Inquisition, the killing of witches, the championing of war, the oppression of the masses, the discrimination against women and gay people. In recent days we found out about the child abuse that has been going on for hundreds of year, there’s a nice one.And you want to snuggle up and have a hug?

    Tolerance is NOT always good, (do you ‘tolerate paedophiles?). The bad in the world should not be tolerated by us that know better(?). It should be actively opposed.

    Just my personal opinion of course.

    • http://egregores.wordpress.com Apuleius Platonicus

      No one ever advocates tolerance of intolerance itself, for example. Nor does one find much advocacy for tolerating homophobia, or racism, or sexism. Any ideology that preaches intolerance is exempt from tolerance.

      In other words, tolerance must be mutual or it becomes, at best, pointless.

    • Rua Lupa

      In large enough groups, you always get bad apples, and sometimes those bad apples band together to support their prejudices and ignorance. This happens everywhere regardless of what the group stands for. Often the atrocities that have happened in the deep past have been forgotten and sometimes excused as the belief you practice has moved on from those times, why not those of Monotheistic beliefs then? Remember monotheism, for the most part, is still a fairly new belief compared to non monotheistic beliefs. And its history is therefore more fresh in our memories.

      We all have dark happenings in our pasts. Violent Tribal Rivalries, Genocides, Slavery, etc.

      • http://egregores.wordpress.com Apuleius Platonicus

        With Christianity the problem is not “bad apples”. The problem is, for starters:

        1. the leadership of the Catholic Church down to the present day.
        2. the leadership of the Protestant reformation (who were more intolerant than the Catholics), including the leaders of the various Protestant sects that arose in England and from which most American Protestant sects arose.
        3. the leadership of the various Orthodox churches (who for the most part still openly seek to reinstate outright theocracy).

        The vast majority of world’s Christians today voluntarily choose to belong to sects that follow the teachings of the above three groups.

        • Jim Baker

          This seems to me have been a useful discussion and one that should not be shied away from; perhaps it often is. Just a few comments,

          The Nazi stuff seems too delusional for serious comment. I think we all know that a banana is not a iPod…

          Comments alluding to my views are for the most part fair and reasonable; indeed, I would agree with much of it. However, my point may have been slightly misunderstood. 
          I am taking a rather “pure” view concerning christianity; the beliefs (actual doctrines), the practices (as laid down in their special book), and the practical outcomes that we have seen historically and in the present day (homophobia is an easy example here). 

          We all know some wonderful people who happen to be christians, many of whom ignore (deny) the teachings of their church (eg contraception), do does that make the religion OK? Of couse it does not.  

          cristianity is bad IMO because of its doctrines, beliefs and practices, the fact that many ignore these but still claim to be christians is intelectual  dishonestly of the highest order. Let them leave and be pagans, humanists or whatever; for those are their true beliefs.

          However I do not condemn these bad christians/good humans, I condemn their foul religion and refuse to cuddle up with people that espouse that label.

  • LezlieKinyon

    http://youtu.be/zdV4NW7El5o
    A little reminder…

    The trick is not to create your – or our community’s identity in relation to what All Those Other People are doing.

  • Anonymous

    http://youtu.be/zdV4NW7El5o
    A little reminder…

    The trick is not to create your – or our community’s identity in relation to what All Those Other People are doing.

  • Windweaver

    Great article Star! As a Pagan who’s wife is one of the “good Christians” that you’re talking about, I enjoyed seeing someone taking a stand of acceptance from our side. I’ve been active in the Pagan community for over twenty years, and over that last while I’ve seen a tendency coming up that alarms me a bit. I’d say that it can best be described as “Pagan Fundamentalism” and since we all know that fundamentalism in any form is a dangerous thing, it’s something that we should fight.

    I’m sure we have all been victims of stereotyping at some time or another. The problem arises when we ourselves begin stereotyping others…

    Not all Christians are the same. Some are bad, some are good, but to lump them all together is to commit a grave injustice. Not all Christians are trying to convert or condemn us, and some are quite accepting of our ways.

    Let’s not commit the same offense against them that’s been committed against us…

    • http://profiles.google.com/cosettefromjupiter Cosette Paneque

      What is “Pagan Fundamentalism”?

      Fundamentalism is the strict adherence to specific theological doctrines. I think anyone would be pretty hard up to find Pagans with an unwavering attachment to a set of beliefs and practices. But this phrase, “Pagan Fundamentalism” has become a hyperbolic buzzphrase often used when a Pagan becomes critical. Criticism is not fundamentalism and Pagans have every right to analyze and be critical of a religion that is largely responsible for a tremendous amount of oppression. I go further to say that Pagans who love their freedom and value the separation of church and state have a duty to be watchful of REAL fundamentalists who would like to turn the US into something of a theocratic nation.

      We all know Christians and have them in our lives. We all know that not all Christians are any one way. Do we really need to put that as a disclaimer every time we talk about Christianity? It should be a given and the constant flagging “but not all Christians” is a persistent attempt to detract from larger conversations and trivialize the problems we face.

      • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

        Fundamentalism is only a problem when the fundamentals are a problem.

      • Windweaver

        I’ll give you an example of what I’m talking about…

        Some years ago I was a member of a Druidic organization, that has a hierarchical structure. They had a number of guilds within and one of those guilds was the liturgists. During online discussions one day, someone asked the head of the liturgists guild what his credentials were for running this guild. His answer was that he had been an Episcopal priest for fourteen years.

        Suddenly many of the people in the organization fired up on him, and started attacking him on list. It came to the point that not only did he leave the organization, but so did a number of other people that were offended by the attack on him.

        This is the sort of thing that I’m talking about when I use the term “Pagan fundamentalism” I use this term because that is precisely the behavior pattern that is most dangerous about any form of fundamentalism, the unwillingness to be accepting and open minded.

        • Rua Lupa

          I was first surprised at the head of the liturgist guild’s response, but then thought that, “well, it takes a lot of organizational skills and they obviously have a lot of experience in this sort thing.”

          I think people often don’t analyze their knee-jerk reactions before getting involved, and think that because they feel that their reaction is a justified one, that they have no reason to reconsider their words.

          It is a fair warning you share Windweaver, as I’ve seem my share of this fundamental behaviour, albeit more restrained, but still there and in need to be conscious of.

  • Windweaver

    Great article Star! As a Pagan who’s wife is one of the “good Christians” that you’re talking about, I enjoyed seeing someone taking a stand of acceptance from our side. I’ve been active in the Pagan community for over twenty years, and over that last while I’ve seen a tendency coming up that alarms me a bit. I’d say that it can best be described as “Pagan Fundamentalism” and since we all know that fundamentalism in any form is a dangerous thing, it’s something that we should fight.

    I’m sure we have all been victims of stereotyping at some time or another. The problem arises when we ourselves begin stereotyping others…

    Not all Christians are the same. Some are bad, some are good, but to lump them all together is to commit a grave injustice. Not all Christians are trying to convert or condemn us, and some are quite accepting of our ways.

    Let’s not commit the same offense against them that’s been committed against us…

    • http://profiles.google.com/cosettefromjupiter Cosette Paneque

      What is “Pagan Fundamentalism”?

      Fundamentalism is the strict adherence to specific theological doctrines. I think anyone would be pretty hard up to find Pagans with an unwavering attachment to a set of beliefs and practices. But this phrase, “Pagan Fundamentalism” has become a hyperbolic buzzphrase often used when a Pagan becomes critical. Criticism is not fundamentalism and Pagans have every right to analyze and be critical of a religion that is largely responsible for a tremendous amount of oppression. I go further to say that Pagans who love their freedom and value the separation of church and state have a duty to be watchful of REAL fundamentalists who would like to turn the US into something of a theocratic nation.

      We all know Christians and have them in our lives. We all know that not all Christians are any one way. Do we really need to put that as a disclaimer every time we talk about Christianity? It should be a given and the constant flagging “but not all Christians” is a persistent attempt to detract from larger conversations and trivialize the problems we face.

      • http://egregores.wordpress.com Apuleius Platonicus

        Fundamentalism is only a problem when the fundamentals are a problem.

      • Windweaver

        I’ll give you an example of what I’m talking about…

        Some years ago I was a member of a Druidic organization, that has a hierarchical structure. They had a number of guilds within and one of those guilds was the liturgists. During online discussions one day, someone asked the head of the liturgists guild what his credentials were for running this guild. His answer was that he had been an Episcopal priest for fourteen years.

        Suddenly many of the people in the organization fired up on him, and started attacking him on list. It came to the point that not only did he leave the organization, but so did a number of other people that were offended by the attack on him.

        This is the sort of thing that I’m talking about when I use the term “Pagan fundamentalism” I use this term because that is precisely the behavior pattern that is most dangerous about any form of fundamentalism, the unwillingness to be accepting and open minded.

        • Rua Lupa

          I was first surprised at the head of the liturgist guild’s response, but then thought that, “well, it takes a lot of organizational skills and they obviously have a lot of experience in this sort thing.”

          I think people often don’t analyze their knee-jerk reactions before getting involved, and think that because they feel that their reaction is a justified one, that they have no reason to reconsider their words.

          It is a fair warning you share Windweaver, as I’ve seem my share of this fundamental behaviour, albeit more restrained, but still there and in need to be conscious of.

  • David

    Apuleius/Curt/whatever name you want to call yourself, can you please abandon Paganism and go see a psychiatrist, because you seriously do have issues.  Every forum, every blog, and every website I’ve seen you on, you always rant and rave about the evils of Christianity, and Islam (or, Monotheism, in general).  You link Christianity with Nazism, you say Jesus taught “intolerance” (what, because, he didn’t bow down and kiss the asses of the almighty Pagan Romans?), you seem to be ignorant of the fact that there were Neo-Pagan Nazis, those Nazis that believed Christianity was a “Jewish invention” used to “enslave gentiles”.  I studied the Holocaust at Uni , and, you know what, one Nazi kid, while in a classroom, saw a Crucifix that belonged to his teacher, and he threw it down, shouting “lie there you filthy Jew”.

    You accuse Christians of “inventing racism”, I suggest you take a look at the book ‘The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity’, http://press.princeton.edu/titles/7737.html, although, I’m sure you’ll find some way to “justify” Pagan racism, or by ignoring it altogether. 

    Also, read ‘The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and Their Influence on Nazi Ideology’ by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, also, I know how much you’re in love with Hinduism (or, at least, the Hinduism as presented by right-wing Hindu Nationalists), then, you might like to read ‘Hitler’s Priestess: Savitri Devi, the Hindu-Aryan Myth and Neo-Nazism’, again by Goodrick-Clarke.  Actually, you may like her, she’s anti-Christian, like yourself, she seems to be anti-Monotheistic too (at least, the Monotheism that originates with Jews), here’s an article on her, http://www.savitridevi.org/article-fowler-paul.html.

    BTW, if Christianity was the main motivator behind Nazism, then, explain this marching song sung by the Hitler Youth:

    We follow not Christ, but Horst Wessel, Away with incense and Holy Water,The Church can go hang for all we care,The Swastika brings salvation on Earth.Hitler once said, to his critics I believe, that it does not matter if they like him or follow him, for he had their kids – as long as he could control the kids of Germany (and other areas), he didn’t care what the adults thought, if Hitler was so “Christian”, if Nazism was a “Christian” ideology, why would the Hitler Youth be singing a blatantly anti-Christian song?.BTW, this is a good article on Hitler and religion, http://www.bede.org.uk/hitler.htm, although, no doubt Curt/whatever you’re calling yourself, will find ways to poke holes in it, or even ignore it, as the author is a liberal Catholic (and his sources are actual historical ones, not ones that come from weird American Evangelical Apologetics).

    BTW, here’s a Pagan article on Himmler and Neo-Paganism, 
    http://www.whitedragon.org.uk/articles/himmler.htm, which is again an excellent article. Now, I’m trying to excuse the Church for it’s part, the Catholic Church, and other parts of Christiandom did play their parts which led to the Holocaust, and the evils of Nazism, but, they were not the only players and actors who contributed, as shown above, there was Pagan elements of Nazism, there even Hindu contributions, there were even Buddhist elements, and a lot of Occult elements.  People like you Apuleius really sicken me, because it’s people like you that project darkness onto everyone and everything, and never shine the light on your own skeletons, Pagans like you, Apuleius/Curt would love to believe Christians are completely guilty of the Holocaust and Nazism, because it takes away the blame from other groups as well, just like the Pope likes to blame Nazism and the Holocaust on Neo-Paganism or Athiests, and how some people just blame the Occult, but, the fact is all of those factors played their part in the rise of Nazism and the brutal and pure evil destruction of the Jews.I’ve read your blog, and your website, and, quite frankly, all you do is pick and choose quotes to prove your point that Christianity “is evil”, Islam is evil and Monotheism is “evil” (despite the fact that Jews and Ba’hai’s are both Monotheistic, and, yet, have never attempted carried out campaigns of conquest (and, just in case Curt, you, or anyone else tries to bring up the “Conquest of Canaan and the massacre of the Canaanites”, there’s no archaeological evidence that Jews have exterminated the Canaanites)).  Anti Semitism has a long history even before Christianity, it was the Greeks of Alexandria who first came up with the blood libel charge against the Jews, Roman and post-Alexander the Great Greeks attempted to put down Judaism (either by directly massacring Jews and outlawing Judaism, or indirectly trying to make Judaism appear “superstitious” and for young Jews to become Hellenic or Roman, just like the British attempted to do in India, but, I’m sure you’ll ignore that, and, you’d probably even defend Roman and Greek aggression against the Jews (afterall, Jews are “icky Monotheists” in your eyes, so, they don’t deserve much admiration).  Also, Zoroastrianism was persecuted when it was first preached by Zoroaster (Zoroaster was even stabbed in the back by a adherent of the pre-Zoroastrian Persian religion, so religious violence was hardly something that came about with Christians or Muslims).  Also, the Roman Emperor Septimis Severus, before Jesus was ever born, displayed a intolerant and brutal attitude to the native Egyptians, by closing down their Temples, and, effectively, making the religion of the Egyptians illegal to be practiced, at least, by native Egyptians.  Also, the Roman treatment of Christians was brutal (although, not that you’d care, in fact, you’re probably of the view they deserved what they got, and, no doubt, if you were in ancient Rome, you’d grab every Christian you could find and chuck them in the Gladiators arena, in fact the Roman persecution of Christians, in my view, parallels the later persecution of Witches (real and alleged) by the Church, and secular States (both were forced to renounce their God(s), both were forced to make some type of oath before the powers of the State, both were killed or tortured horrifically if they refused).You seem to adopt a very dualistic mindset when it comes to Christianity and Islam, and Monotheism in general (despite posts where I’ve seen you take a negative stance on dualism), for you, everything evil in the world and the Universe has its origin in either Christianity, Islam, or Monotheism (or Judaism), and everything good in the world must have its origin in Paganism (and, for you Paganism seems to be a very broad category, basically anything that isn’t Monotheistic or Abrahamic).  For you, if you read about or see a good Christian/Muslim/Jew/Monotheist, they must be good because they’re going “contrary to their religion” or because “they must be a secret Pagan that doesn’t know it”, if someone does something evil, even if they’re a Pagan, you’d probably just shrug it off and say they must be influenced by Christianity/Islam/Monotheism.Sorry to burst your bubble, but, the world very rarely, if ever, works out in such a black and white way, everything has its positive and negative side, it’s light and shadow sides, Christianity/Islam/Judaism/Monotheism/Zoroastrianism/etc are no different.  For every Christian that has committed acts of unspeakable cruelty and helped spread darkness, there have been Christians who have been amazingly compassionate, who have contributed a lot of light to the world, sadly, those people rarely get mentioned, especially in our modern age, where if it doesn’t feature death/destruction/sex/cruelty/, it doesn’t get mentioned (because it’s so much easier for the Media to paint all Muslims as being “intolerant, fanatical and bigoted”, it’s easy to paint Islam as a “death cult” dedicated to the destruction of the West and “everything good”, it’s so easy to really paint demonize another group or culture or religion.  Curt/Apuleius, I read a quote by Carl Jung that I really think you need to take on board, he said, if you want to help save the world, stop projecting your darkness onto others, while it might not seem like you’re doing much, you’ll actually be helping the world a lot.  Unfortunately, it’s something that is probably the hardest thing you can do.  I do know you’re practitioner of Buddhism as well as a Pagan, and when I used to read your blog, I used to really enjoy your posts on Buddhism, so, maybe you might want to actually make Buddhism a part of your life, instead of something you do in some nice Buddhist retreat or in a Zen Buddhist center, here are the Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path, http://www.thebigview.com/buddhism/eightfoldpath.html:[QUOTE]3. Right SpeechRight speech is the first principle of ethical conduct in the eightfold path. Ethical conduct is viewed as a guideline to moral discipline, which supports the other principles of the path. This aspect is not self-sufficient, however, essential, because mental purification can only be achieved through the cultivation of ethical conduct. The importance of speech in the context of Buddhist ethics is obvious: words can break or save lives, make enemies or friends, start war or create peace. Buddha explained right speech as follows: 1. to abstain from false speech, especially not to tell deliberate lies and not to speak deceitfully, 2. to abstain from slanderous speech and not to use words maliciously against others, 3. to abstain from harsh words that offend or hurt others, and 4. to abstain from idle chatter that lacks purpose or depth. Positively phrased, this means to tell the truth, to speak friendly, warm, and gently and to talk only when necessary.[/QUOTE]How can you claim to practice Buddhism when you blatantly violate the Buddha’s own path, especially the precept to abstain from harsh speech.  Also, don’t go into a “noble speech” about how you sometimes have to be harsh when confronting “evil”, the fact is, how would you feel if you came across a Christian or a Muslim who wrote exactly the words you used to describe Christianity, but, he applied it to Paganism?, my guess is you wouldn’t be a fan, and some people would no doubt be hurt.  I don’t know your background, Curt/Apuleius, I don’t know if you were raised in some hardcore fundamentalist Church, or if you were abused as a child, or if you’ve lose someone close to you, and you blame some Church for it, or whatever, but, the fact is, you can never generalize.  Do you think Martin Luther King Jr. was a “Nazi”?, do you think many Progressive Christians who fighting against the Religious Right, just as much as you are (and, in fact, I’d say they’re hated more than Pagans and non-Christians by the fundamentalists), do you think any friends or neighbours you have that you cherish are “Nazis”?, if a friend asked you to be a Godfather to their child, would you refuse and say “no sorry, I refuse to set foot in your Nazi fascist Church”?, if you would, then, I’d say, there’s not much hope for you (and, considering Buddhism stresses being born as a human is something rare and should be cherished, something I agree with, you may want to consider how that’ll affect your rebirth), if not, then, think before you say something, think before you type something.  What if a LGBT Christian, who may be feeling depressed because of homophobic bullying they’re receiving, and they happened to read this blog somehow, what if they couldn’t take all the bigotry they were receiving (people attacking their sexuality or gender identity, then people attacking their religious identity), that they decided this life wasn’t worth living?, you might think that’s a far-fetched scenario, but, it’s not that out-there, as the internet does make the world a smaller place, that words, even if they’re typed can be far more deadly than a knife or a bullet ever could, or, would you care about that hypothetical LGBT Christian?, would your response be “well, it’s one less Christian”? (if so, my response to you is not something I would share on website where minors could read).To anyone who thinks it’s ok to demonize Christians or Muslims, or really anyone (and this just doesn’t apply to Pagans, anyone, regardless of your beliefs should take heed), this excellent blog post by Pax on the Pagan Values blog is excellent, and is titled ‘Hate is not a Pagan value’, http://paganvalues.wordpress.com/2010/03/18/hate-is-not-a-pagan-value/.  I’m sure those that have their anti-Christian or anti-Muslim neuroses too deeply embedded in their psyches will find ways to ignore what she says, to poke holes in it, but, to those that have either overcome those neuroses or don’t have them, definitely give it a read.Personally, if more people did think about the effects their words, this world would be a better place – sadly, I doubt they will – I will still have to see Pagans demonizing Christians and Christianity, along with Islam and Muslims, with Christians doing the same to Pagans, and others, Muslims doing the same, Atheists doing the same to anyone who isn’t a Atheist, and so on. I’m sorry to Star Foster for posting such a long post, and going OT in regards to what she was saying, and, in regards to Star Foster’s topic, I completely agree with you.  I’d also say Paganism and Christianity do have more in common that what some people think, afterall, the poster above is living proof we (Pagans) have our own ignorant fundamentalist lunatics, just like the Religious Right (if Curt/Apuleius were a Christian, he’d be ranting about the evils of Paganism and Polytheism, showing how Pagan cultures were all bad, and never admitting the dark side of his own religion, likewise, if he were a Muslim, and, if he were an Atheist, he’d be ranting and raving about the evils of all religion).  Again, sorry Star Foster for going OT.

    • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

      David, Jesus taught that his was the “only way”. He encouraged his disciples to “shake the dust from their feet” when leaving a household or a village where his ideas were not well received. He stated that those who did not accept his teachings were “condemned”.

      He also taught that “by their fruits shall he know them.” Christianity’s “fruits” are well known. Its history of bloodthirsty violence against all other religions, and just as vicious violence among themselves, is so well known that I see no reason to rehearse it here.

      • Jack Heron

        I don’t believe that Jesus was like you say he was. Neither do most of
        the Christians I know. Neither does the church I belong to, the
        Christian writers I enjoy or a goodly number of notable saints.

        To insist that everyone sees Jesus and Christianity your way is normally the province of fundamentalist Christians – I’m sure they’re glad to have you on board.

        • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

          “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

          “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town.” Matthew 10:14
           
          “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:16

          • Jack Heron

            Yep, nobody comes into the Father’s presence without the Son’s intervention. What of it?

            People aren’t listening to you? Forget about it and move on. Pretty sensible.

            The ending of Mark is interesting, because most manuscripts don’t have anything after verse 8. The scholarly consensus is that there probably is more, but as to whether the verses 9 onwards were the intended ending is subject to debate. On the matter of belief and baptism (which did not refer to a sacrament of the Church back then, but instead to a cleansing in the eyes of God), Jesus also said “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father’ (Matthew 7:21) and spoke several parables (usually set in fields and orchards) about people being given unexpected rewards; about outsiders being invited to feasts; about one wage for all workers, even those who arrived late or who weren’t at roll-call and so on.

            The question of whether non-Christians can be saved is actually a lively debate and has been so since at least Origen in the 2nd/3rd century. Needless to say, I don’t believe salvation depends on ticking doctrinal boxes.

            Criticize Christianity? Go ahead, there’s much to criticize. Criticize Christians? Go ahead, there even more to criticize there! But why these black-and-white absolutist declarations of the utter depravity of every Christian idea and group?

      • Nemesis

        So that’s the extent of your reply? Someone’s slipping. Just sayin….

  • David

    Apuleius/Curt/whatever name you want to call yourself, can you please abandon Paganism and go see a psychiatrist, because you seriously do have issues.  Every forum, every blog, and every website I’ve seen you on, you always rant and rave about the evils of Christianity, and Islam (or, Monotheism, in general).  You link Christianity with Nazism, you say Jesus taught “intolerance” (what, because, he didn’t bow down and kiss the asses of the almighty Pagan Romans?), you seem to be ignorant of the fact that there were Neo-Pagan Nazis, those Nazis that believed Christianity was a “Jewish invention” used to “enslave gentiles”.  I studied the Holocaust at Uni , and, you know what, one Nazi kid, while in a classroom, saw a Crucifix that belonged to his teacher, and he threw it down, shouting “lie there you filthy Jew”.

    You accuse Christians of “inventing racism”, I suggest you take a look at the book ‘The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity’, http://press.princeton.edu/titles/7737.html, although, I’m sure you’ll find some way to “justify” Pagan racism, or by ignoring it altogether. 

    Also, read ‘The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and Their Influence on Nazi Ideology’ by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, also, I know how much you’re in love with Hinduism (or, at least, the Hinduism as presented by right-wing Hindu Nationalists), then, you might like to read ‘Hitler’s Priestess: Savitri Devi, the Hindu-Aryan Myth and Neo-Nazism’, again by Goodrick-Clarke.  Actually, you may like her, she’s anti-Christian, like yourself, she seems to be anti-Monotheistic too (at least, the Monotheism that originates with Jews), here’s an article on her, http://www.savitridevi.org/article-fowler-paul.html.

    BTW, if Christianity was the main motivator behind Nazism, then, explain this marching song sung by the Hitler Youth:

    We follow not Christ, but Horst Wessel, Away with incense and Holy Water,The Church can go hang for all we care,The Swastika brings salvation on Earth.Hitler once said, to his critics I believe, that it does not matter if they like him or follow him, for he had their kids – as long as he could control the kids of Germany (and other areas), he didn’t care what the adults thought, if Hitler was so “Christian”, if Nazism was a “Christian” ideology, why would the Hitler Youth be singing a blatantly anti-Christian song?.BTW, this is a good article on Hitler and religion, http://www.bede.org.uk/hitler.htm, although, no doubt Curt/whatever you’re calling yourself, will find ways to poke holes in it, or even ignore it, as the author is a liberal Catholic (and his sources are actual historical ones, not ones that come from weird American Evangelical Apologetics).

    BTW, here’s a Pagan article on Himmler and Neo-Paganism, 
    http://www.whitedragon.org.uk/articles/himmler.htm, which is again an excellent article. Now, I’m trying to excuse the Church for it’s part, the Catholic Church, and other parts of Christiandom did play their parts which led to the Holocaust, and the evils of Nazism, but, they were not the only players and actors who contributed, as shown above, there was Pagan elements of Nazism, there even Hindu contributions, there were even Buddhist elements, and a lot of Occult elements.  People like you Apuleius really sicken me, because it’s people like you that project darkness onto everyone and everything, and never shine the light on your own skeletons, Pagans like you, Apuleius/Curt would love to believe Christians are completely guilty of the Holocaust and Nazism, because it takes away the blame from other groups as well, just like the Pope likes to blame Nazism and the Holocaust on Neo-Paganism or Athiests, and how some people just blame the Occult, but, the fact is all of those factors played their part in the rise of Nazism and the brutal and pure evil destruction of the Jews.I’ve read your blog, and your website, and, quite frankly, all you do is pick and choose quotes to prove your point that Christianity “is evil”, Islam is evil and Monotheism is “evil” (despite the fact that Jews and Ba’hai’s are both Monotheistic, and, yet, have never attempted carried out campaigns of conquest (and, just in case Curt, you, or anyone else tries to bring up the “Conquest of Canaan and the massacre of the Canaanites”, there’s no archaeological evidence that Jews have exterminated the Canaanites)).  Anti Semitism has a long history even before Christianity, it was the Greeks of Alexandria who first came up with the blood libel charge against the Jews, Roman and post-Alexander the Great Greeks attempted to put down Judaism (either by directly massacring Jews and outlawing Judaism, or indirectly trying to make Judaism appear “superstitious” and for young Jews to become Hellenic or Roman, just like the British attempted to do in India, but, I’m sure you’ll ignore that, and, you’d probably even defend Roman and Greek aggression against the Jews (afterall, Jews are “icky Monotheists” in your eyes, so, they don’t deserve much admiration).  Also, Zoroastrianism was persecuted when it was first preached by Zoroaster (Zoroaster was even stabbed in the back by a adherent of the pre-Zoroastrian Persian religion, so religious violence was hardly something that came about with Christians or Muslims).  Also, the Roman Emperor Septimis Severus, before Jesus was ever born, displayed a intolerant and brutal attitude to the native Egyptians, by closing down their Temples, and, effectively, making the religion of the Egyptians illegal to be practiced, at least, by native Egyptians.  Also, the Roman treatment of Christians was brutal (although, not that you’d care, in fact, you’re probably of the view they deserved what they got, and, no doubt, if you were in ancient Rome, you’d grab every Christian you could find and chuck them in the Gladiators arena, in fact the Roman persecution of Christians, in my view, parallels the later persecution of Witches (real and alleged) by the Church, and secular States (both were forced to renounce their God(s), both were forced to make some type of oath before the powers of the State, both were killed or tortured horrifically if they refused).You seem to adopt a very dualistic mindset when it comes to Christianity and Islam, and Monotheism in general (despite posts where I’ve seen you take a negative stance on dualism), for you, everything evil in the world and the Universe has its origin in either Christianity, Islam, or Monotheism (or Judaism), and everything good in the world must have its origin in Paganism (and, for you Paganism seems to be a very broad category, basically anything that isn’t Monotheistic or Abrahamic).  For you, if you read about or see a good Christian/Muslim/Jew/Monotheist, they must be good because they’re going “contrary to their religion” or because “they must be a secret Pagan that doesn’t know it”, if someone does something evil, even if they’re a Pagan, you’d probably just shrug it off and say they must be influenced by Christianity/Islam/Monotheism.Sorry to burst your bubble, but, the world very rarely, if ever, works out in such a black and white way, everything has its positive and negative side, it’s light and shadow sides, Christianity/Islam/Judaism/Monotheism/Zoroastrianism/etc are no different.  For every Christian that has committed acts of unspeakable cruelty and helped spread darkness, there have been Christians who have been amazingly compassionate, who have contributed a lot of light to the world, sadly, those people rarely get mentioned, especially in our modern age, where if it doesn’t feature death/destruction/sex/cruelty/, it doesn’t get mentioned (because it’s so much easier for the Media to paint all Muslims as being “intolerant, fanatical and bigoted”, it’s easy to paint Islam as a “death cult” dedicated to the destruction of the West and “everything good”, it’s so easy to really paint demonize another group or culture or religion.  Curt/Apuleius, I read a quote by Carl Jung that I really think you need to take on board, he said, if you want to help save the world, stop projecting your darkness onto others, while it might not seem like you’re doing much, you’ll actually be helping the world a lot.  Unfortunately, it’s something that is probably the hardest thing you can do.  I do know you’re practitioner of Buddhism as well as a Pagan, and when I used to read your blog, I used to really enjoy your posts on Buddhism, so, maybe you might want to actually make Buddhism a part of your life, instead of something you do in some nice Buddhist retreat or in a Zen Buddhist center, here are the Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path, http://www.thebigview.com/buddhism/eightfoldpath.html:[QUOTE]3. Right SpeechRight speech is the first principle of ethical conduct in the eightfold path. Ethical conduct is viewed as a guideline to moral discipline, which supports the other principles of the path. This aspect is not self-sufficient, however, essential, because mental purification can only be achieved through the cultivation of ethical conduct. The importance of speech in the context of Buddhist ethics is obvious: words can break or save lives, make enemies or friends, start war or create peace. Buddha explained right speech as follows: 1. to abstain from false speech, especially not to tell deliberate lies and not to speak deceitfully, 2. to abstain from slanderous speech and not to use words maliciously against others, 3. to abstain from harsh words that offend or hurt others, and 4. to abstain from idle chatter that lacks purpose or depth. Positively phrased, this means to tell the truth, to speak friendly, warm, and gently and to talk only when necessary.[/QUOTE]How can you claim to practice Buddhism when you blatantly violate the Buddha’s own path, especially the precept to abstain from harsh speech.  Also, don’t go into a “noble speech” about how you sometimes have to be harsh when confronting “evil”, the fact is, how would you feel if you came across a Christian or a Muslim who wrote exactly the words you used to describe Christianity, but, he applied it to Paganism?, my guess is you wouldn’t be a fan, and some people would no doubt be hurt.  I don’t know your background, Curt/Apuleius, I don’t know if you were raised in some hardcore fundamentalist Church, or if you were abused as a child, or if you’ve lose someone close to you, and you blame some Church for it, or whatever, but, the fact is, you can never generalize.  Do you think Martin Luther King Jr. was a “Nazi”?, do you think many Progressive Christians who fighting against the Religious Right, just as much as you are (and, in fact, I’d say they’re hated more than Pagans and non-Christians by the fundamentalists), do you think any friends or neighbours you have that you cherish are “Nazis”?, if a friend asked you to be a Godfather to their child, would you refuse and say “no sorry, I refuse to set foot in your Nazi fascist Church”?, if you would, then, I’d say, there’s not much hope for you (and, considering Buddhism stresses being born as a human is something rare and should be cherished, something I agree with, you may want to consider how that’ll affect your rebirth), if not, then, think before you say something, think before you type something.  What if a LGBT Christian, who may be feeling depressed because of homophobic bullying they’re receiving, and they happened to read this blog somehow, what if they couldn’t take all the bigotry they were receiving (people attacking their sexuality or gender identity, then people attacking their religious identity), that they decided this life wasn’t worth living?, you might think that’s a far-fetched scenario, but, it’s not that out-there, as the internet does make the world a smaller place, that words, even if they’re typed can be far more deadly than a knife or a bullet ever could, or, would you care about that hypothetical LGBT Christian?, would your response be “well, it’s one less Christian”? (if so, my response to you is not something I would share on website where minors could read).To anyone who thinks it’s ok to demonize Christians or Muslims, or really anyone (and this just doesn’t apply to Pagans, anyone, regardless of your beliefs should take heed), this excellent blog post by Pax on the Pagan Values blog is excellent, and is titled ‘Hate is not a Pagan value’, http://paganvalues.wordpress.com/2010/03/18/hate-is-not-a-pagan-value/.  I’m sure those that have their anti-Christian or anti-Muslim neuroses too deeply embedded in their psyches will find ways to ignore what she says, to poke holes in it, but, to those that have either overcome those neuroses or don’t have them, definitely give it a read.Personally, if more people did think about the effects their words, this world would be a better place – sadly, I doubt they will – I will still have to see Pagans demonizing Christians and Christianity, along with Islam and Muslims, with Christians doing the same to Pagans, and others, Muslims doing the same, Atheists doing the same to anyone who isn’t a Atheist, and so on. I’m sorry to Star Foster for posting such a long post, and going OT in regards to what she was saying, and, in regards to Star Foster’s topic, I completely agree with you.  I’d also say Paganism and Christianity do have more in common that what some people think, afterall, the poster above is living proof we (Pagans) have our own ignorant fundamentalist lunatics, just like the Religious Right (if Curt/Apuleius were a Christian, he’d be ranting about the evils of Paganism and Polytheism, showing how Pagan cultures were all bad, and never admitting the dark side of his own religion, likewise, if he were a Muslim, and, if he were an Atheist, he’d be ranting and raving about the evils of all religion).  Again, sorry Star Foster for going OT.

    • http://egregores.wordpress.com Apuleius Platonicus

      David, Jesus taught that his was the “only way”. He encouraged his disciples to “shake the dust from their feet” when leaving a household or a village where his ideas were not well received. He stated that those who did not accept his teachings were “condemned”.

      He also taught that “by their fruits shall he know them.” Christianity’s “fruits” are well known. Its history of bloodthirsty violence against all other religions, and just as vicious violence among themselves, is so well known that I see no reason to rehearse it here.

      • Jack Heron

        I don’t believe that Jesus was like you say he was. Neither do most of
        the Christians I know. Neither does the church I belong to, the
        Christian writers I enjoy or a goodly number of notable saints.

        To insist that everyone sees Jesus and Christianity your way is normally the province of fundamentalist Christians – I’m sure they’re glad to have you on board.

        • http://egregores.wordpress.com Apuleius Platonicus

          “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

          “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town.” Matthew 10:14
           
          “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:16

          • Jack Heron

            Yep, nobody comes into the Father’s presence without the Son’s intervention. What of it?

            People aren’t listening to you? Forget about it and move on. Pretty sensible.

            The ending of Mark is interesting, because most manuscripts don’t have
            anything after verse 8. The scholarly consensus is that there probably
            is more, but as to whether the verses 9 onwards were the intended ending
            is subject to debate. On the matter of belief and baptism (which did not refer to a sacrament of the Church back then, but instead to a cleansing in the eyes of God), Jesus also
            said “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of
            Heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father’ (Matthew 7:21) and
            spoke several parables (usually set in fields and orchards) about people
            being given unexpected rewards; about outsiders being invited to
            feasts; about one wage for all workers, even those who arrived late or
            who weren’t at roll-call and so on.

            The question of whether non-Christians can be saved is actually a lively
            debate and has been so since at least Origen in the 2nd/3rd century.
            Needless to say, I don’t believe salvation depends on ticking doctrinal
            boxes.

            Criticize Christianity? Go ahead, there’s much to criticize. Criticize
            Christians? Go ahead, there even more to criticize there! But why these
            black-and-white absolutist declarations of the utter depravity of every  Christian idea and group?

      • Nemesis

        So that’s the extent of your reply? Someone’s slipping. Just sayin….

  • Rua Lupa

    I enjoyed this read Star. I like your creative approach to making a bridge between different groups of people, and it sounds like it could become a regular thing, but on a more personal scale. Like hosting a gathering of friends for a traditional dinner on that day. If you have enough of these sorts of personal gatherings in a neighbourhood, it could become a block party of sorts, each home open to neighbours and sharing their traditional foods and tales. :D

  • Rua Lupa

    I enjoyed this read Star. I like your creative approach to making a bridge between different groups of people, and it sounds like it could become a regular thing, but on a more personal scale. Like hosting a gathering of friends for a traditional dinner on that day. If you have enough of these sorts of personal gatherings in a neighbourhood, it could become a block party of sorts, each home open to neighbours and sharing their traditional foods and tales. :D

  • http://thesatyrsthicket.blogspot.com Nicholas Farrell

    Having finally been able to get past the first paragraph of hate-mongering, I was able to read the rest of the article. If the point of the article was one of love and appreciation, why start with hate? The first paragraph sets the mood for the rest of the article. It is a summary of what you intend to cover and how you intend to cover it. While I did like the rest of the article, for me, it is still marred by the ferocity of the first paragraph. Some may ask why I must focus on the negative aspect of the article. I ask why it was in the article at it’s forefront in the first place? Repeating myself, I know, but undoubtedly I will again.

    • Cara

      Sometimes authors use the first paragraph as a contrast, a
      growth point, or ‘humanizing’ area (I’m human like you, I feel
      bad/wrong things too)

      Often it’s used when the author sees people
      acting in negative ways (see Apuleius Platonicus comments for an example) and hopes to encourage them to not be asshats – but
      first they need to get their attention. “See, I sometimes feel just like you.  I get it.  But perhaps we should try to get past that and act like loving, sane humans.” 

  • http://thesatyrsthicket.blogspot.com Nicholas Farrell

    Having finally been able to get past the first paragraph of hate-mongering, I was able to read the rest of the article. If the point of the article was one of love and appreciation, why start with hate? The first paragraph sets the mood for the rest of the article. It is a summary of what you intend to cover and how you intend to cover it. While I did like the rest of the article, for me, it is still marred by the ferocity of the first paragraph. Some may ask why I must focus on the negative aspect of the article. I ask why it was in the article at it’s forefront in the first place? Repeating myself, I know, but undoubtedly I will again.

    • Cara

      Sometimes authors use the first paragraph as a contrast, a
      growth point, or ‘humanizing’ area (I’m human like you, I feel
      bad/wrong things too)

      Often it’s used when the author sees people
      acting in negative ways (see Apuleius Platonicus comments for an example) and hopes to encourage them to not be asshats – but
      first they need to get their attention. “See, I sometimes feel just like you.  I get it.  But perhaps we should try to get past that and act like loving, sane humans.” 

  • Nemesis

    Star says “There are days when I really hate Christians. I loathe them on those days.”

    Yes, I suspect those days are Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

  • Nemesis

    Star says “There are days when I really hate Christians. I loathe them on those days.”

    Yes, I suspect those days are Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.


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