Saturday, August 25, 2007

Initiation

Numerologically, today is a 6. That indicates strong parental love and a wish for all things to be settled. It seems appropriate for this blog.
In the past initiations were rites of passage that happened in a serial, consecutive way at certain stages of life. When Elders judged they were ready, candidate youngsters were brought through their rites of passage to become trusted members of the group. Nowadays with our diverse and fluid population, people coming into pagan/Wiccan groups are by and large strangers. How can we then trust them and work with them without insisting they go through some membership rite of passage? If we don't do such rites, or do them without sufficient preparation, we should be less than surprised when the neophyte lets us down.
The idea of inner and outer circles has been with us since time immemorial. Sensible groups bring a neophyte into an outer circle and after some months when they're ready the group can have them make some vows and dedicate themselves.
What criteria should we expect them to fulfill before we admit them to the inner circle? The first and most obvious one is what we might call
* consistency. Are they regular, dependable working members of the outer circle, or are they just party animals, showing up when it suits their whim?
The next question is:
* Have they reached any stage of enlightenment?
* Do they now have a strong belief system that they can more or less articulate?
* How closely does the system resemble that of the group?
Notice we do not want people who just parrot the group's precepts. We need people who are thinking and maybe can enhance / enrich our own set of beliefs.
* If the group is attacked, will the neophyte be able to help repulse such attacks?
In earlier times this was a matter of physical, not mental or psychic, stamina and agility. Thus a part of Gavin's initiation required him to walk around Cornwall (the Cornish peninsula) carrying his camping gear along the Red Route as it is called today -- which implied genuine physical risk.
Such tests have fallen out of favor on the grounds that "somebody might get hurt". Because Gavin passed, though, he naturally thinks it should still be used, as do leaders of some other groups. Yvonne thinks that a kinder, though just as stringent, test should be used, perhaps focused more on the mental capacity of the neophyte. Similarly, in earlier time the candidate was scarred to show that s/he was indeed an initiate. Gavin wears that scar on his wrist to this day. Currently we use a multi-level secret password to weed out instantly those who falsely claim to be initiates of our path.
If the "in" group practices a sex-magical path, then naturally the ability and willingness of the candidate to follow that path should be tested. The candidate must be over eighteen and free of STDs.
The candidate should meet these criteria. In return, the group owes it to him/her to see that s/he is fully informed of all requirements for initiation. For almost 50 years we have scrupulously, publicly followed this guideline.
No surprises! is the underlying guideline here. The second stanza of the song is,
If you don't like it, you can't have any.
Merry meet, and merry part. Blessed be. GY

21 comments:

The Pagan Temple said...

"At least eighteen and free of STDs".

Good, you said it, now I hope that settles it.

I hope you keep this blog going, as I want to put you on my blogroll. I don't want to do that if you are just going to post a few times here and there and then just drop it.

By the way, the best way to put pictures on your blog is, first, upload the pictures to your computer. It should end up putting them in something called "My Documents" if you have Microsoft.

Then, when you want to put a picture on your blog, you click on the little icon that will show up at the top of the box where you type your posts.

This will bring up a window, where you can set how large you want the pictures to be, and whether you want them in the center, left, or middle of the post. I usually use "large" and "middle".

You will also see an icon called "browse". When you click that, this will bring up a small window which you can use to find the picture you want to upload to the blog according to the title you've given the picture.

When you find the picture on the list, just click on it, then click on "OK", which will bring you to another page. You will see something that says to upload the picture.

When you click that, after a brief interval (depending on how well blogger is doing that day)it will let you know the picture has been uploaded and ready to publish to your blog. When you click the icon for that, the post is complete.

Whatever text you want to incorporate into the post should be typed before you upload the picture, by the way.

Also note, if you do more than one picture in a given post, the last one you do will be at the top of the post. The first one you do will be at the bottom.

Or, if you want text between the pictures, you can copy the text lines separately in Microsoft Word, then paste them where you want them under the relevant picture, then after you are through publish.

ajdrew said...

Somebody said: "For almost 50 years we have scrupulously, publicly followed this guideline."

Publicly eh?

In 1972, they published instructions on how and why one should molest, intoxicate, and rape children in the name of Wicca:

http://ajdrew.blogs.pagannation.com/defrost-please-read/

They also provided clear instructions for how to handle things if the initiate is under the age of 18 and is to be sexualy initiated (and apparantly passed around):

http://ajdrew.blogs.pagannation.com/2007/08/22/wiccan-dead-beat-dads-encouraged/

I wonder why it is they included the word "publicly" in that statement.

Pagan Temple - No it does not set anything right. They clearly encouraged the molestation, intoxication, and rape of children. Now they make a rather unclear statement about that FACT. Nothing is settled.

Gavin Frost, have you sexualy initiated someone under the age of 18 years of age?

Yvonne Frost, have you sexualy initiated someone under the age of 18 years of age?

Both of you - If you have not, why were those instructions included in the original teachings of the Church and School of Wicca?

Answer the questions if you have the fortitude to do so.

The Pagan Temple said...

AJ-

Whatever they may or may not have said in 1972, I have no idea. Like I told you before, the sixties and early seventies were a time when a lot of crazy ass ideas and theories were being discussed.

Let's go after Benjamin Spock. Why not? His ideas have done far more harm to children than this one little obscure passage from one book, and even worse than that, many people hold to Spocks permissive ideas to this day.

How many people believe in what you insist is the Frost's theories? Uh, I have an idea you could take everybody in America that believes in that and give them their own town in West Virginia, and it would be one of the ten smallest towns in the state. And, despite the mountainous nature of West Virginia, there would be plenty of room for expansion.

Spocks crazy and permissive ideas are believed by as many as one fourth or maybe even one third or more of the country. Why does that not bother you? Is it your position that it's all right to ruin kids lives as long as adults aren't having sex with them?

If Gavin might have believed this idea in 1972 or not, I don't know. He says now he does not. Eighteen years old. That's what he says NOW.

Just to make it clear, though, just on the off chance you are right and Gavin and Yvonne really do still believe that-Gavin and Yvonne, you old hippies you, the sixties are over.

And AJ-I want to put you on my blogroll too. I don't mind you criticizing the Frosts. Really, I don't. No one is above criticism.

But please-tone it down a notch. Every blog on your post, with a few exceptions, is all about the Frosts. Why? we get the point. You don't like them. Can't you limit it to say one out of every six posts about the Frosts? Seriously, bro, it's getting old.

Out of all the posts on your blog the last time I was on it, only one post on your main page was not about the Frosts. It was about some television hypnotist.

What about all these self-serving politicians that every time they want to convince people to go along with something they ordinarily wouldn't go along with, they invoke that old knee-jerker "we should do it for the children".

What about the drug problem in schools? What about the discipline problem in schools, and with families? What about the sorry state of education? What about the fact that most kids that graduate from public schools are lucky if they know their ass from a hole in the ground? Isn't that more abusive, in the sense that it is an ongoing everyday reality in the lives of children?

ajdrew said...

Pagan Temple said: "Whatever they may or may not have said in 1972, I have no idea."

Yes you do, they still sell the book and I have provided quotes over and over again. Why lie?

http://ajdrew.blogs.pagannation.com/defrost-please-read/

Pagan Temple refers to what I object to as: “one little obscure passage from one book”

You know full well it is much more than a “little obscure passage”. It is page after page of instructions to molest, intoxicate, rape, and otherwise abuse children complete with instructions on how to minimize the chances of going to prison or of paying child support if a girl or woman becomes pregnant. Why do you try to mislead people?

Pagan Temple asks: “How many people believe in what you insist is the Frost's theories?”

Again, why do you try to mislead people? I have not used the word “theories”, what they wrote was an instructional subtitled “How to practice the worlds oldest religion”. Why would you state that this is something that I “insist” when I have provided quotes from the book and made it rather clear that I want folk to read the quotes rather than base things on what I say?

How many people practice what the Frosts have instructed? The Frosts claim to have founded Wicca. Sometimes they are less bold and say they founded Wicca in the United States. At the time of this so called founding, the teachings of the Church and School of Wicca included the molestation, intoxication, and raping of children at an average age of what appears to be 12. Thus, they today claim that my religion was founded on principles which I find obscene. It is a personal insult to all Wiccans.

Gavin Frost does not say he no longer believes what is written in that book. He has not denounced it. Read carefully what he has said here. It is as misleading as your words. He continues to sell the book, he continues to defend the book, he continues to refuse to recant what he wrote in that book, his daughter has stated she is proud of him for this.

What I discuss in my blog should be toned down? Why? I believe this is a rather large issue. Not so much the Frosts themselves, but the level of tolerance for the molestation of children in our community. On the hypnotist, oh my gods he is scary. I feel like I could have a conversation with him and become a Republican, oh hell maybe worse… maybe a Democrat (I don’t much like either).

On the ills of the world, I have addressed many over the years. I have addressed teen suicide, I have addressed homophobia, I have addressed the abuse of sacred sites, I have addressed racism, I have addressed ecology, the list goes on. Mostly I have addressed these things on paper, in books. I created my blog at PaganNation.com because I felt that my fight against the Frosts was far to personal for the mainstream conversations at PaganNation.com

If you were to check http://pagannation.com, you will find conversations I have been involved in over the last month which range from the conduct of children at festivals, gay rights, abortion, guns, drug use, and a host of other topics. My blog primarily addresses the Frosts because that is why I created my blog. As every member of Pagan Nation may have his or her own free blog, I figured my moving the bulk of my discussion on the Frosts to that place would illustrate that I am not trying to speak for all members of Pagan Nation. So naturally, it appears I have no other interests if you only look in the place where I discuss that interest.

Seriously, check out PaganNation.com

The Pagan Temple said...

All right, AJ, I'll do that. In the meantime, think about what I said. Maybe "tone it down a notch" wasn't the right phrase to use. Maybe a more appropriate way to put it would be, talk about other subjects in your blog besides the Frosts. Please note, I didn't say not to ever talk about them or not to criticize them.

My advice stems from the fact that you are, after all, a published author. Perhaps people might be interested in things you might have to say on a variety of subjects. You can still talk about Gavin and Yvonne. If you do a post about them, people aren't going to forget about it if you wait for five or six posts before you do another one.

Whereas what you say on Pagan Nation's main page is just getting buried in the shuffle.

I have a blogging acquaintance, he is on my blogroll. His name is Renegade Eye. When he first started blogging, he was relatively conservative compared to what he is now. He is now a communist-a Trotskyist. I am not, but that is not the point. My point is, it is no shame or discredit to evolve beyond your immediate origins.

Also, I take serious exception to your statement that I am being deceptive. Hoe can I be deceptive? I have never read the book in question.

However, I have read another book by Gavin and Yvonne. Perhaps you are familiar with it. It is called "The Magic Power Of Witchcraft".

In one section, they state how an acquaintance expressed the desire to have sex with a young woman "to help her grow spiritually". That is not so much a direct quote, but it is an accurate paraphrase.

Gavin's (or Yvonne's) response was to the effect there was a certain wrinkled old woman that might benefit as well from such "beneficence" on his part. They could easily tell he was not so eager to follow that route.

The story ended with an observation I have never forgotten. Again, I paraphrase "you can call a skunk by another name, but it doesn't change the smell".

Now, that seems to me to be the philosophy of somebody that has values we can all appreciate.

Again, do a through study on the values and mores of the sixties. This was a time of turbulence and chaos. People believed in all kinds of crazy crap. It was just the times they lived in.

And mind you, I am not even saying this is what this passage was about. I don't know. I am just opining on what might well be a rational explanation you might want to at least consider.

Like I told you, the sixties were a time when drug abuse, sexual experimentation, juvenile delinquency, and outright rebellion, was not the exception, it was the norm. It was the rule of the day.

As for your stating they will not retract, or apologize, what do you expect them to do?

"Hey, Gavin, are you still beating Yvonne?"

Now how in the hell is he supposed to respond to that?

ajdrew said...

Pagan Temple observes: "As for your stating they will not retract, or apologize, what do you expect them to do?"

As you have not read the book, you do not know how clear the instructions are. If they were to finaly recant and stop selling the book, it would not make any difference in what people think of them at this point, the book is rather clear.

The Pagan Temple said...

Then why should they bother? What would be the point? By your own admission, there are going to be the people who will damn them regardless of what they say or do, there will be people who will kiss their rings and kowtow to them regardless of what they say and do, and people like me who want to find some kind of, I like to think, rational middle ground.

Just so you know, I read a book once with a similar theme, at my local bookstore in Covington Kentucky where I lived at the time. It made me sick to my stomach, and I put it down, having just thumbed through it for a few seconds. I don't even recall the name of the book or the author. To be frank, I didn't want to be seen reading it, even in a New Age bookstore.

So again, I do not agree with anything remotely like this. As I said in a comment on a previous post, I don't even agree with removing "intacta",as they call it, at the hands of a qualified surgeon, regardless of the reason that might be given for such a procedure.

Then again, I do believe in circumcision, which if I remember correctly, you do not. In my case, it has nothing to do with a religious matter, it is purely the matter of a health precaution. Circumcision guards against infection of the penis.

I am sorry if I have misstated your position here, but if I have not, should you and I go at each other's throats, as I claim you are taking a position that is "harmful to children"?

Or should we just agree to disagree and recognize there are a variety of Wiccan/Pagan philosophies on a variety of subjects, Gavin and Yvonne being the leaders of their particular branch, but otherwise of no particular relevance to others? (though I certainly hold that they are deserving of respect and their opinions on most subjects worthy of consideration).

If you want to know the truth, there are probably a lot of areas where you will be in agreement with them, where I will not.

Let's talk about "Global Warming", for example. I note that both you and the Frosts think it is a serious concern. The fate of the planet is at stake, to hear you both tell it.

Do you know what I think of "Global Warming"? I think it is a bunch of fucking shit, that is what I think of "Global Warming".

I bet they're a bunch of peaceniks too. Old hippies tend to think that way. What about you, Drew? Are you a peacenik too? Me, I think war is sometimes necessary, and you should go all out to win it and end it, regardless of how many of the enemy or "innocent civilians" you kill in the process.

What about nuclear power? Me, I'm all for it. It's clean and efficient, therefore good for the environment. That's my view. Why do I think yours is somewhat different?

Shall we have a debate on this topic, though preferably in another, more appropriate forum? I think I could probably teach all you old hippies a thing or two.

The Voice of Reason said...

Ka-whack, Ka-whack, Ka-whack...The sound of Drew beating that same old tired horse to death.

Although I have my disagreements with some things said by the Pagan Temple, as he has with things I've said; we both agree on this.

Drew, it's old news, it's tired news, you're getting boring and personally I'm tired of you misleading people with poorly planned and executed attacks on anyone who even looks like they might support the Frosts.

Pagan Temple is right, we get it, you don't like them, you don't like me, you don't like Peg Aloi, you don't like Shadow Hawk, you don't like....and the list goes on and on and on. Move past it.

You've been discredited, walked out on and in general pushed aside as little more than a bother. If you can't discuss the matter at hand like a rational human go play in your own blog.

I'm tired of hearing your claim of insight and knowledge and then in the next breath claim you have brain damage or your easily confused.

Get a life, take up a hobby, go hammer something on the forge, because your opinion is just that nothing more than your opinion. Its a shame you used it to start a Witch War.

Breathe love and light,

Debra Ravenswood, Coordinator
Heart of the Ozarks PPD Picnic
Fayetteville, AR

The Voice of Reason said...

Gavin and Yvonne,

I wholeheartly support constructive discussion on the initiation of our youth into circles/covens. As you stated in another blog, "handing them the car keys is not a rite of passage", but all too often that is all most of our children get.

Most of us do not want to discuss sex or stds with our children. We're too embarrassed so we depend on the school systems to do that for us. I shudder to think that my child may or may not become pregnant or Goddess forbid, HIV infected because I trusted what the govenment refers to as sex education.

I sat in a Cherokee Women's Lodge a couple of years ago during an initiation to womanhood of young lady who had just completed her first moon.

It was a very powerful, moving experience. The young woman was treated with upmost respect, she was honored by her elders, presented with gifts and most importantly valuable knowledge from the elder women.

I myself crawled out of there feeling better about being a woman than I had in decades!

Admittedly unlike the Cherokee, Wicca has no governing body. But you'd think that we could pull a group of our elder women together to set up guidlines for the young ladies and a group of the elder men to set guidelines for the young men.

That is if we could just quit fighting amongst ourselves for a few minutes and take that time to think rationally.

Love and light,

Debra Ravenswood, Coordinator
Heart of the Ozarks PPD Picnic
(See ya'll in September!)

Mom-E said...

Yes- the 60's/70's were a time of crazy ideas, but I have yet to see these authors publically denounce what they had written. They say here in their blog, at least 18, and in a weak forward in a later edition of the book (with text unchanged) but the book says 'at the first signs of physical maturity' and 'at the onset of menses' and uses the term 'child' throughout.

If they want to address the issue, they need to stand up and say that what they wrote in that book was a BAD IDEA and own up to it with apologies to the community for standing behind it so forcefully and waiting so long to *effectively* address the issue.

I AM pleased to see the addressing of some concerns of late, but at the same time- is it a sincere desire to do so or is just trying to cover their behinds now that attention is again being drawn to the atrocities that they have written about? It's coming off as 'too little too late'...

If they want to constructively address the concerns surrounding the book- what about addressing the fact that writing, even then, about the subject was wrong? What about addressing why the book is still being sold and still reflects a position of encouraging child rape? There are still many concerns that are being left unaddressed.

Mom-E said...

Debra,

I am with you 100% on the need for rites of passage for our youth. However, coven-sponsored sex after a live sex viewing with an assigned partner at the onset of menses/at the first signs of physical maturity (which was NOT 18+ even at the time of the writing of their book) is NOT what I would consider appropriate as a rite of passage. Now, or at the time the book was written.

Until the Frosts address those issues, there will be people speaking against them because it is a great concern- particularly among parents.

The Voice of Reason said...

Mom E,

Thank you for you comment.

Did you have any constructive ideas regarding our children and their rites of passage?

We are spending so much time looking back and dragging skeletons out of the closet, we can't move forward with something to help our children. We're more concerned about protecting them from something that does not exist.

Yes, we know everyone is up in arms about what the Frosts wrote 30 odd years ago. We claim to be more enlightened that our parents and more progressive. Well then, lets move past this outdated, over worn, argument that was thrashed every direction possible in the 1970's.

Anyone else have any constructive ideas about how Wiccans can develop a set of guideline for the rites of passage without setting off yet another Witch War?

Debra Ravenswood, Coordinator
Heart of the Ozarks PPD Picnic
Fayetteville AR

Mom-E said...

Debra,

Sure I do- as I'm sure alot of other Pagans have. :) However, I don't think the Frost's blog is the best place to discuss those ideas. (I pop on now and again to read up on the latest, but I hardly visit enough to get into such a serious discussion as this here.) Should you want to visit Pagan Nation and start a discussion, I will be more than happy to continue this there. Or- should you prefer, some other forum removed from the Frosts. (However, as a regular at PN, it's admittedly more convenient for me to post there ;) )

I would be very interested to hear more about your experiences with the Cherokee and do hope that we can continue this elsewhere. :)

The Pagan Temple said...

Okay, since we are discussing rites of passage, and what might or might not be harmful to children, let's discuss one in particular. It's one that, with a great many children, takes place for one to two hours every Sunday morning. Sometimes it might be reinforced for another hour or more later that Sunday night, and in some relatively rare cases, on Wednesday nights.

How harmful can it be for a two year old child, or older, on up until the early teen years, to sit and listen to a Christian minister discuss the idea of "hell".

What kind of rite of passage are they going to undergo when they start entering puberty. They have been brainwashed into thinking that every feeling, urge, or natural desire they experience at that time, is sure to lead them to "the fires of hell" or "eternal damnation".

Talk about fucked up. That is what most Christians believe in. Actually, if you are a true, legitimate Christian, that is exactly what you are supposed to believe in. It's right there in the Bible, which even, in the New Testament, mind you, talks in negative terms about "carnal man" and "natural man".

In other words, the Bible teaches openly that the true nature of mankind is sinful. Not natural, but evil. How did people ever buy into this stuff? IS it any wonder the world is fucked up?

It's going to be centuries at least before the overall damage to the human psyche is remotely healed by this kind of intentional brainwashing.

I say if it's possible to come up with a standard by which children can be eased into adult life in a rational, respectful way, it's certainly something which should b considered. And no, I'm not talking about removing intacta, and certainly not a sexual initiation.

But children need to be taught that there is no shame in their natural urges, which are-well, natural. They should be taught self-respect, and respect for others, etc, and self-discipline, sure.

All this rubbish about how "natural man" is "sinful" or how "carnal man" is spirtually divided, which is what the Bible teaches, needs to be sent packing.

And here's one small way it can be done-

Christian view-The spirit is constantly at war with the flesh, and you must battle constantly in order to strive for spiritual perfection.

My view-the spirit and the flesh should be complimentary, and a healthy balance should be maintained. It won't always be a fifty-fifty balance, but that is the ideal. That is the way of nature.

Of course, that's just my view, but I think I'm on pretty solid ground here. A lot more so than the concept that human nature is by it's nature evil and always at odds with anything good or spiritual.

The Voice of Reason said...

Mom-E,

Thank you for the invitation to Pagan Nation. I'm sorry, but I"m not a member, not do I wish to sift through the acres of bovine fecal material on it to have a "meaningful" discussion.

I am not Cherokee, I was invited to attend a women's lodge by a close friend of mine. So, I really can't tell you anything other than what I saw and experienced. I simply sat quietly and respectfully.

But it was a very powerful an moving ceremony....One that I wish my daughters could have experienced.

Love and light,

Debra Ravenswood, Coordinator
Heart of the Ozarks PPD Picnic

Mom-E said...

Debra,

Then by all means, choose another highly trafficked non-Frost-hosted area in which to have your discussion and let me know where that might be.

I understood that you were not Cherokee and were but a visitor- I was asking about that particular experience.

Now- if you'd like to leave behind the insults and attitude regarding an entire forum of various topics and people who aren't Mr. Drew and carry on a civilized discussion somewhere regarding the subject of initiations and rites of passage for the youth of our community- I look forward to your response.

Mom-E said...

TPT,

As the subject would be that of *Pagan* rites of passage- what does Christianity or the harm it may or may not cause children have to do with anything? Further- how could any rational reasonable thinking individual compare unsavory religious indoctrination with that of child rape?

To me, it seems that what the Frosts suggest in their abhorrant rite of passage/initiation ceremony may well be the result of a horrible Christian upbringing- but it does no one any good (and proposes a significant level of harm) to go even further in the polar opposite direction simply for the sake of going in that polar opposite direction.

The Pagan Temple said...

MOM-E:

I can compare the two very easily, because what Christians teach their children is very much a kind of mental, emotional, and spiritual rape. They just leave out the dildo. The kids are still getting fucked, regardless.

What does that have to do with Wiccan initiation? Everything. That is the world we live in. These are the people that run the world we live in, or at least our particular corner of it.

Drew made the point once that most people at least in America actually worship money. And there is some truth to that, but regardless, the same values apply. Look at how politicians play up to the sensitivities of Christians. They all do it.

And it doesn't matter one whit whether you are talking about liberal Christians, or conservative Christians, or moderate Christians. There is always a politician somewhere ready and willing to pander to one or another faction of them.

The point being, if Wiccan/Pagan children are initiiated and taught according to Wiccan/Pagan principles, they are going to be in many cases diametrically opposed to what a typical Christian child's upbringing consists of.

An initiation is nothing but a ritual. It can be an occasion of great meaning and magic, of course. In the final analysis, however, in and of itself, it has little or no meaning. What is important is the lifetime of learning you are responsible for setting that child's path on.

Anything that doesn't take into account the difference in these two philosophies, and teaches them what lies ahead, and seeks to give them the tools to deal with it properly, is half assed at best. You just can't do that in one initiation ritual. The ritual is just the pretty icing on the cake. The cake is what is most important.

Oh, and one final thing. My last comment to which you responded did not have one thing to do with the Frosts and their so-called dildos, and all the other stuff.

It might come as a shock to you, but not all of us that frequent this blog feel as though we should have to justify our presence here. I don't mind talking about it,and I have talked about it. I will also talk about other things as well without (gasp) mentioning the subject.

I gave my views on the subject once,I don't intend to do so in every comment I make on this blog. If you think I am, you are going to be sadly disappointed.

ajdrew said...

On the issue of rites of passage for pagan and Wiccan children, I think there is already an organization addressing this issue. That organization and thus our children would benefit from further help from folk who are interested in taking an active in this matter rather than discuss it in a forum to make themselves look good. I am of course speaking about Spiral Scouts at http://spiralscouts.org/metadot/index.pl

You see, contrary to what Gavin and Yvonne Frost have indicated, there are organizations which are devoted to our children and the pagan community is addressing such issues. As is often the case with folk who claim there is a deep problem, what they are really complaining about is that they are not in control of what ever it is that they want more control over. They recognize a problem with others are addressing in an effective way, but instead of helping those folk thy create their own version and try to ride on the accomplishments of others.

This is why I am rather put off by folk who create Pagan Pride events with no association to Pagan Pride Project LLC (I think they are an LLC). As there is so much belief in the pagan community that local Pagan Pride Days are sponsored by PPP LLC, I think a local event which is honest about who and what they are would make it clear in their publications that they are not associated with the larger, better known organization.

Lets face it, if I created an organization called “Another Druid Fellowship” and published articles as A.D.F. someone might become upset.

Debra – A non-Drew controlled multi topic high trafficked hugh? Conversing with you is like negotiating over a land dispute in the Middle East. It’s just a forum conversation on the Internet. On your calling the content of Pagan Nation cow shit, why must you be so hostile all the time? Sure, I have many reasons to dislike you and you I, but that should not cause you to attack the many members of Pagan Nation anymore than not liking President Bush would make one attack American citizens. I often find myself in disagreement with members because membership at http://pagannation.com is very diverse. So I resptfully ask that you not randomly attack people you have never interacted with.

This is one of the reasons I have little respect for your Pagan Pride event. The incorporated organization, Pagan Pride Project, has ethical statements, which advise its coordinators that they may not participate in such behavior. When you invent your own event using the same name, you give the impression you follow the same ethics. Well that and the question of accounting irregularities and misrepresentations of what raised funds will be used for. If an event is a sanctioned Pagan Pride Project event, it must meet certain guidelines. If it is just a knock off, it does not have to meet those guidelines despite appearing as if it does. So folk are inclined to support it believing a set of guidelines are in place when they are not.

Mom-E: I agree. I have noticed that many folk who were raised in a Christian home and later became pagan seem to be a bit bitter towards Christianity. I think the phenomena can be likened to the many folk who have been members of the Church and School of Wicca who went on to participate in the Satanic Panic industry where they stated that all Wiccans or pagans do X,Y, and Z. As a community we demand that such is not so, that it is only Gavin and Yvonne Frost’s Church and School of Wicca that those folk are speaking about, but then here we see an example of someone in the pagan community doing the same to Christians.

It is on of my great hopes that my children will not feel a need to rebel in such a way as it alienates a great number of people who might otherwise be powerful allies in their travels through this lifetime.

Pagan Temple: Do you really think it is appropriate to lump all Christians into one group and then make observances of that group so sweepingly? Kind of like saying all black folk love their watermelon isn’t it? Note that usually when I point things like this out, people defend their statements by saying the difference is that their statement is true for x,y, and z reasons. The truth is, the great majority of black folk do love watermelon. This is because watermelon is yummy to almost everyone, white, black or green. It is still a low brow way to discuss a matter.

I have many Christian associates who do not report to being raised as you say they have. Sure, they were given a sense of morals and ethics which indicate that promiscuity is not a good thing, but they were not traumatized when it comes to sex at all. So I know there must certainly be exceptions to your observation and as it seems like a majority of the Christians I associate with, well I might even go so far as to say that your stereotype does not represent a majority, but more likely represents the narrow focus of your rebellion against you own upbringing in a Christian home. Then again, I do not have a wide sampling and most of the pagan folk I interact with on a regular basis are in prison, many for sex

Mom-E said...

Sorry, Temple, but I am not interested in discussing anything on the Frost's blog other than their own works and words. If you wish to discuss initiations and rites of passage- as with Debra, feel free to head on over to a neutral discussion board of your choosing and leave a road sign behind for others to follow. :) The subject is vital to discuss, but IMO this is not the place for it- for me at any rate, as I have no desire to support them even marginally by adding positive discussions to their blog. Not until any sincere discussion from them on the concerns being raised is undertaken at any rate.

The Pagan Temple said...

AJ-

Did you somehow get the impression that I hate Christians? If so, you read me wrong. Not only do I not hate them, I like a good many of them, and respect them. In fact, I tend to like conservative Christians-as people-better than I do so-called "liberal" Christians.

As a matter of fact, I have defended Christians in the following matters-

A. The rights to hold prayers in public schools so long as no specific religion is involved or a specific deity is not invoked.

B. The rights to put up manger scenes in public parks over the Christian holidays.

C. The rights to wear Christian insignias (such as crosses) on their persons at school or at work, the same way over religious groups are shown leniency in such matters in many cases.

D. The rights of Christian children in public schools to have Christian oriented clubs.

E. The rights of Christians to erect "Ten Commandments" monuments in some public settings (though not in schools or government buildings)so long as it is both built and maintained with private, not public, funds.

I could possibly think of other such examples, but the point is, this is a blog comment-not a magazine article. Sometimes, it is hard to get your point across as succinctly as you would like under limited wording. To put it another way, I not only do not hate Christians, I actually tend to quite like most of them. The problem is not the people.

I have an idea that, in a good many matters, I am probably a great deal more conservative than you are.

But that does not change the facts that, quite simply, Christians and Wiccans/Pagans do not agree on certain things.

A true, honest Christian, that really believes in the Bible, literally or othewise, believes-

A.Mankind is a "sinner" from birth, doomed to hell without the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Good works in and of themselves does not save you. Only Christ can save you.

How many Wiccans do you know of that believe this?

B.Mankind is at war, between the spirit and the flesh, and they must strive constantly for the spirit to overcome the flesh.

How many Wiccans do you know of that believe this?

C. Mankind's natural urges are sinful.

How many Wiccans do you know of tha believe this?

D. Mankind was created as a perfect creature, but sinned, and therefore fell from grace, and lost that original perfection.

How many Wiccans do you know of that believe this?

I submit to you that if any Christian does not believe the things I have described, they are not truly Christian.

If I migth be so bold, I might also suggest that any Wiccan that does believe any of this, is not a Wiccan.

I am not saying, teach you children to hate Christians. Far from it. I am just saying, teach your children the proper values, and in the meantime, make sure they have the mental, emotional, and spiritual tools necessary to deal with the world as it is.

Your children are going to be confronted by urges for them to be Christians when they are in school, whether anyone knows of their orientation or not. It's just par for the course that somewhere along the way, a Christian child will approach your child, or any other child, and speak to them about Christ, invite them to church of Sunday School, etc.

When they are told certain things, such as the things I have described above what Christians believe, they should be taught how to respond properly, in a polite, respectful, yet firm way.

They don't have to say something like "Oh, I don't believe in your fucking fake Christ, I believe in the Great Goddess, so fuck you".

No, they just say something like, "well, I think mankind isn't born to sin, he's just what he is by nature, the way nature intended, but he should learn moderation, respect, etc."

It won't end the matter, it won't "convert" the Christian child. But it will be the perfect coping mechanism to help him stand his ground. And guess what? Most children will agree with such a position, because it is sensible. Your child will actually be in the majority. It will be the Christian child that is the oddball.

A true Christian child is to be pitied, not hated.