First a quick run through on awesome Pagan things going on in the world:
Patrick McCollum received the Mahatma Gandhi Award for the Advancement of Religious Pluralism from the Hindu American Foundation. He will be attending the American Academy of Religion’s Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA on Samhain weekend along with Chas Clifton, Helen Berger, Margot Adler, Michael York and other Pagan scholars, movers and shakers. You only need to pay admission to access certain portions of the conference, so it’s worth while to stop by and check it out if you’re in the area. I will be there, sans pink hair.
Next up here at Patheos is a really fabulous series called “What Do I Really Believe?” Want to participate? Follow the guidelines below and shoot a response (please include a photo and short bio if you can) to the question to me at sfoster at patheos.com:
Every week we will have a question on what people really believe regarding a topic. We’re asking the questions of writers/leaders in different faith communities and once posted, we will have space for readers to respond to the question as well.
If you are interested here’s the guidelines:
— target 250 words
— speak from the heart, from your personal perspective (aka “I think I will see my ancestors again” as opposed to “the lore teaches”
Just take 5 minutes to speak from your heart and shoot it over to me. For this series honest, authentic, and heartfelt mean more than academic, polished and logical.
Week 1 Question.
What really happens when we die?
Your best friend is crushed when his 10-year-old son dies of cancer. He tells you that he is comforted, at least, that one day he’ll get to see his child again in heaven.
Later that day, you begin to wonder… Is there life after death? Are heaven and hell real places? Do our souls continue to exist in some form?
What do you really believe?
We’re trying to do a Pagan complimentary series alongside this for the Pagan Portal with a question about different Pagan faith traditions each week. Click here for more info.
Not so very long ago I did a “13 things” post on Catholicism. I had assumed from the get-go that one of those favorites would be Mother Teresa. Yet as I did my research for the post I had second thoughts. As a child and a Christian teen I adored Mother Teresa but as a Pagan adult I found her suddenly cold and unfeeling. I skipped over her on the post and didn’t give it much thought until I read Stephen Fry’s latest blog post.
Now Stephen Fry, as well as being a terrifically sexy actor and popular tweeter, is also a famous atheist, hobnobbing with the likes of Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins. A genuinely awesome human being, Stephen Fry could almost convert me to non-belief. As I’m reading about his feelings of tolerance towards Catholics who are welcoming the pope to England while being opposed to the “head of state” visit being footed by the taxpayers, it occurred to me that when it comes to values I’m much closer to Stephen Fry’s way of thinking than Mother Teresa’s.
And if Stephen Fry hobnobs with Christopher Hitchens, maybe I should give those arguments Hitchens made against Mother Teresa another look-see. As a Pagan, I find her work appalling. Truly appalling. To make a cult of suffering and to be so unfeeling towards the people who need your help the most is abhorrent. She represents the worst of religion.
What do you think? Do you agree with Hitchens? (Pt 1 of 3)
What about Penn and Teller? This is their exposé of Mother Teresa, NSFW, or small children, due to language.