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July 8th, 2004


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03:10 pm - New Essay
Just posted this to Dedicants, but I also want a broader, more personal set of responses to this essay:

Creating the Desire for Worship

Let me know what you think, please. I'd like to clean it up for Oak Leaves.
Current Mood: anxiousanxious
Current Music: "My Lovely Lady", -JB

(22 comments Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:rfunk
Date:July 13th, 2004 08:28 am (UTC)

Re: book(s) of pagan prayer

(Link)
I've never, ever come across a religion that doesn't make offerings.

Like I said, as far as I've seen it's not really a big part of Wicca the way it is in ADF. (But then I'm neither, so I could have missed it.)

I believe that ADF is only mentioned in one place in the book: the back cover.

Sure, but he doesn't have to mention ADF for the belief system to be based on ADF teachings. (C.S. Lewis never mentions Jesus or Christianity in "The Lion, With Witch, And The Wardrobe", but that book is universally recognized as a very Christian book.) It's not a bad thing for the book to be based on ADF, but that's why someone outside ADF might see parts of it as outside their own belief system.

His arguments for why Pagans should make offerings are based on the idea that Paganism is not a religion based on belief, but based on actions. Right action is what endears us to the Gods, not belief. Part of that right action, according to him, is the idea that you should be hospitable and make offerings to the deities you invite, just as the ancients did.... Cei sees this as a lack within Paganism, that we don't make offerings enough, and he states that we are very likely to have better relationships if we do.

But the point is that all that comes directly from ADF belief. That's fine, but they don't necessarily mean as much to someone outside ADF.

Many Pagans don't care what the ancients did. Many Pagans aren't looking to endear themselves to the Gods, but just to coexist peacefully with them. Many Pagans base their Paganism on what they believe, not on what they do. Now maybe according to ADF these are bad pagans or just not getting all they could out of it, but ADF isn't the only measure of that.

Of course, there are lots of "Pagan" books out there whose points of view come straight from Wicca, containing beliefs that a Druid would find foreign. Everyone has their point of view.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:July 13th, 2004 08:55 am (UTC)

Re: book(s) of pagan prayer

(Link)
Sure, but he doesn't have to mention ADF for the belief system to be based on ADF teachings.

Interesting point: Cei has actually been one of the big players in ADF for a long time. He's been in for, I think, about 20 years. Rather than reflecting ADF teachings, the ADF teachings probably reflect him to some extent.

Many Pagans aren't looking to endear themselves to the Gods, but just to coexist peacefully with them.

Honestly, I fail to understand how such a relationship is even remotely fulfilling. No judgement on it, really, just a lack of understanding.

Many Pagans base their Paganism on what they believe, not on what they do.

If I believe in "harm none," but I don't act on that, that's okay? Christianity has "salvation through faith alone" (if you're Protestant), and that means, in the most simple sense, that no matter what you do, if you have faith, you don't need actions.

I think Pagans place their weight on actions and practices, rather than on beliefs.

Belief in the Gods is all well and good, but it doesn't build a relationship. What we do with and for the Gods does.

Now maybe according to ADF these are bad pagans or just not getting all they could out of it, but ADF isn't the only measure of that.

Nah. They just have a different path. ADF is far from perfect, and we have our share of bad Pagans, but we decide on those through their actions in relation to us, not through what they believe. After all, the number of Wiccans in ADF alone should show just how little we care what a person believes.
[User Picture]
From:rfunk
Date:July 13th, 2004 09:37 am (UTC)

Re: book(s) of pagan prayer

(Link)
the ADF teachings probably reflect him to some extent.

Which makes "his writing shows an ADF worldview" almost a tautology.

Many Pagans base their Paganism on what they believe, not on what they do.

If I believe in "harm none," but I don't act on that, that's okay?

You're talking about ethics, which is separable from religion.

I'd argue (as a non-Wiccan) that "harm none" isn't the basis for Wicca, but rather the ethical component of it. (If that were the basis of Wicca I might be more willing to call myself Wiccan.) The basis (if I may be so bold as to state a generic basis of Wicca) is a worldview of male and female deity coming together to produce all that is part of the natural world, and that natural world being sacred. I'd argue that the latter belief is what generally defines Pagans.

I think Pagans place their weight on actions and practices, rather than on beliefs.

Some do. Some don't. Those who don't may (hopefully) still act ethically; that's a separate question.

If you're talking about actions and practices relating to other people in everyday life, then I consider that a question of ethics rather than religion. If you're talking about actions and practices relating to deities or spirits, that's religion, and that's where different Pagans may have very different emphasis about actions vs beliefs.

After all, the number of Wiccans in ADF alone should show just how little we care what a person believes.

How many Christians are in ADF? :-)
The basic belief systems in ADF and Wicca and other forms of neo-paganism are close enough that they are fairly compatible despite the occasional disagreement or misunderstanding. The belief system of Christianity is quite incompatible with that of pagans, as far as I can see, despite some efforts to reconcile them. On the other hand, the ethical systems of Paganism and Christianity can be quite compatible.

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