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CHLow: Dark/Light Neopaganism

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.pagan,talk.religion.misc,alt.religion.christian,alt.satanism
From: (Felis Uncia)
Subject: Re: CHLow: Dark/Light Neopaganism (Was Re: Dark roygbiv Light)
Date: Sun, 31 Dec 1995 07:37:28 GMT

Mandrake .....the Bard ( wrote:

:    I must say, not only do I feel this statement is inaccurate, I take 
: offense at the suggestion. Paganism includes many faiths and 
: philosophies, but none of them have any relation to Satanism.

On the contrary.  Neopaganism and Satanism share many fundamental 
principles (e.g., a belief in more than one valid approach to truth and 
spirituality/deity; refusal to let external groups such as Christianity 
define their religious beliefs for them; a questioning approach to 
conventional morality; &c., &c.)  The two religions have much in common.  
There is even some conjecture as to the possible 'Neopagan' status of at 
least one self-descrbed 'Satanic' organization, the Temple of Set.  I 
refer you to the alt.satanism FAQ file for particulars, as well as the 
newsgroup itself for specific questions regarding the matter.

:    For one thing, not only is Paganism not a negation of christianity, it 
: has absolutely nothing to do with christianity. That's the problem you 
: and the christians both seem to have a problem grasping. 

Yet time and time again, we see Neopagans measuring their religion and 
beliefs against the standards of Christianity.  There are folk who claim 
to be Pagan and still acknowledge and/or venerate Christian deities.  I 
suggest that Neopaganism, as currently practiced, has rather a great deal 
to do with Christianity.  Perhaps you are in a position where it is 
difficult to see the forest because it is obscured by all the trees.

: You can't compare Pagan values to christian values because they are 
: completely unrelated. 

This is a false statement.  Many Neopagan values are, in fact, lifted 
wholly from Christianity.  They may or may not be thinly whitewashed, 
depending upon the group and/or individual in question.

: Satanism, on the other hand, IS derived from a negation of the 
: christian religion, therefore it derives from that religion and is 
: unrelated to Paganism.

Not necessarily.  Many Satanists would dispute this.  Again, see the 
alt.satanism FAQ for further details.

:    As to Pagans having anything to do with the christian concept of "God", 
: "Jesus", or saints, WE DON'T. 

Except, of course, for the fact that we borrow from it heavily.  
Otherwise you're entirely correct.

: The Pagan gods and goddesses have nothing to do with the 
: Judeo-christian constructs, and though some may discuss comparing them, 
: they are best left separate. 

Kindly support this statement.  While you're at it, if you're going to 
capitalize Pagan/ism, kindly capitalize Christian/ity as well.  You're 
giving the impression of being rather churlish in your selectivity.

: Our religions belong to different worlds of thought, 

Kindly support this statement as well.  

: and I take great offense at your comparing them. 

That is your perrogative, as it is his perrogative to compare them.  
Personally, I think taking such great offence is rather silly, but that's 
_my_ opinion on the matter.  YMMV.

: Remember that Pagan religions pre-date the Judeo-christian ones and 
: therefore predate you. 

And the direct, unbroken Pagan (as opposed to Neopagan) tradition you 
practice is what, exactly?  You can document it's authenticity and 
antiquity?  No, I thought not.

There's not a single 'Pagan' (i.e., 'Neopagan', unless you're claiming to 
be Buddhist, Hindu, &c.) religion that can verifiably establish existance 
prior to the early twentieth century.  Even Gardner claimed that 'the 
religion of the Witches' had degraded and lost much of its liturgy and 
practice.  The antiquity of our beliefs is a popular myth, but it is a 
fallacious one, and our religions are, at best, an attempt at 
reconstruction of what we believe to be the beliefs and practices of the 
historical Pagans, adjusted to suit our current preferrences and heavily 
influnced by Judeo-Christianity.  This does not mean that they are 
without merit.  It does mean that your claims above are, at best, 

: We have no relation to you.

Nonsense.  We are related on many levels and in many ways.  Your anger 
does not change this.

:                                      Mandrake .....the Bard

---Ounce (Felis uncia)

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