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wicca and christianity

EDIT: I phrased some of this /very/ poorly and have gone back to change those poor wordings. Thank you. :)

ah, the ever-discussed topic.
the battles, the debates, the clashes between wicca and christianity. we've all heard it a million times.

but today I've taken the time to point out that, beyond all the prejudice, christianity and wicca (along with all other religions, excusing some of course, because let's face it--that's not really positive intent in energy, which is what I'll be discussing, here) are actually quite similar.

I live in a white-dominated suburban rich town (I myself am german, scottish, irish, dutch, british, and pakistani with some native american Dx), and because we are all to lazy to clean our own house, my parents hired cleaners a few years back. they're genuinely wonderful people, a portuguese couple who occasionally bring along some family members to help with the cleaning. my family gets along very well with them, and my mother, who--like me--has atypical depression, connects well with the wife. overall we are good friends, and our compassion truly goes beyond the small amount of english they know.

there is one problem, though--as I've turned fifteen I've become a devout wiccan (which is fine with my parents, as they are very non-religious and open people), I've drawn the cleaners' attention every thursday with the amount of books on wicca and candles and, of course, the wooden astrology wheel that I purchased in salem. they're intense catholics, and--as you may guess--they're not very happy with this.

the wife approached me about a week ago concerning the matter, saying concernedly that my astrology wheel was "the devil" (mind you, they've said the same thing about pokemon to my mother). I told her calmly that it was not devil worship, but she did not seem convinced until my mother spoke with her. I remained calm until the cleaners left, but then I burst out into hysterical tears. no one wants to be called a devil worshiper! and though I didn't think it would, it actually genuinely hurt my feelings, despite the good intentions behind the wife's actions.

I even got the, "wait, is it devil worship?" from my father, who really doesn't care all that much and is supportive of me almost 100% of the time. I was a lot more comfortable explaining to him what wicca was in depth, but sometimes I absolutely hate having to explain that my religion is not devil worship over and over again. I know this is very immature of me--I chose this path, and I am very comfortable with it: it is the opposition that greatly bothers me.

christianity and paganism go way back, hundreds and hundreds of years ago, and many christians (or even pagans) fail to recognize this.
where do you think christianity got the christmas tree, the easter eggs? people celebrate halloween comfortably without realizing that it is possibly the most holy day in wicca. in fact, most people would be perfectly comfortable with the prospect of wicca if it weren't for the word "witch" or "magic".
wicca is a very easy spirituality to judge, and for this I feel as if we may get bullied a lot. the world has become much more close-minded these days, and many fail to realize that when a wiccan casts a spell, they are more-or-less acting out a prayer, not trying to turn someone into a frog. wicca is very complex in the sense that it is stuffed with symbolism that it is up to the witch to decode in his/her own way--there is no wrong interpretation if you are truly thinking in the wiccan mindset--the possibilities are endless, in fact.

I do not believe that Jesus Christ ascended, or that he was the son of god, but that he was a wonderful man who should indeed be appreciated (just not worshiped, per say). Many of my friends are Christians, and though I accept Christianity, they sometimes have trouble accepting me. they will say they are open about my being a witch, but when the topic of wicca comes up they either treat it as though it is not a real faith, or make me feel estranged.
All religions have the same good intentions, if you ask me. I was brought up by a mother from a Christian family and a father from a Muslim society, and I enjoy learning about and appreciating both faiths (though I must admit, I may prefer the Qur'an's subtle satire).

I dream of a world where someday all positive-intent-based religions will be able to correspond in peace--in that sense, there will almost be one positive intent.

so yes, that turned out to be more of a rant about wicca and modern society (though I am speaking of a christian-dominated society anyway), but hell. I think I got my points across.

as always, blessed be
hannah

Comments

( 84 comments — Leave a comment )
chaos_current
Apr. 18th, 2008 01:41 am (UTC)
>as I've turned fifteen I've become a devout wiccan

I think you need to re-read the information page for this community. Eh, actually -- I'm going to just stick with that, you're very young, I'm not going to assume the worst. Re-read the information page.
chaos_current
Apr. 24th, 2008 01:55 am (UTC)
Along with your edits, I would again suggest you re-read the information page of this community.
(no subject) - hanayame - Apr. 24th, 2008 06:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
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snobahr
Apr. 18th, 2008 01:50 am (UTC)
You might want to read a bit about the Catholic church and read a few of the articles out right now about the polygamist Fundimentalist Mormon ranch that got raided (last week? week before? I'm horrible with dates), to get an idea of why your dreamworld will remain a dream - the world has too many individuals for any group of them to deny themselves the heady sensation of having control over so many people.

Where did Christianity get the tree and eggs? When the Church pulled them in, redirecting the worship from those heathen, pagan gods to the One True Faith™. You know the fish-hat the pope wears? It's Babylonian.

Humans, as a whole, seek dominion over everything (and everyone) else. It's human nature, and it's why there will never be one (or just two) religions. Because people can't agree with how and what to worship.

hanayame
Apr. 18th, 2008 04:50 am (UTC)
Where did Christianity get the tree and eggs? When the Church pulled them in, redirecting the worship from those heathen, pagan gods to the One True Faith™. You know the fish-hat the pope wears? It's Babylonian.

That happened to be my point. :)

And you are very right, this is merely an idealism.
I thank you for not judging me by my age, that is extremely thoughtful of you.
markxiii
Apr. 18th, 2008 02:02 am (UTC)
Just out of curiosity, why do you feel that way about Satanism? And wouldn't that be the same as someone invalidating your religion?
darklingnomad
Apr. 18th, 2008 02:22 am (UTC)
Well, she shouldn't count it. Satanism and The Craft are both practices, not religion.
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ladymorgaine
Apr. 18th, 2008 02:22 am (UTC)
Exactly my first thought when I read that. The poster might want to educate themselves regarding Satanism before they dismiss it as easily as those who aren't educated about Wicca, neo-wicca and Paganism dismiss those belief systems.
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crowdog66
Apr. 18th, 2008 03:49 am (UTC)
excusing satanism of course, because let's face it--that's not really a religion--bleh!

Pot, meet kettle. My, what a lovely shade of black you are!

Treat other religions and philosophies with respect and maybe you'll get some in return. As it is, you're setting a pretty poor example of the sort of conduct you demand towards yourself.
hanayame
Apr. 18th, 2008 05:14 am (UTC)
I demand no conduct, I'm not sure where you got that from. I am simply thinking of a world where there is a closer understanding between religions and the overall positive energy is increased (hence the dismissal of Satanism: POSITIVE energy, I'm sorry if I failed to make that clear).
(no subject) - crowdog66 - Apr. 18th, 2008 05:20 am (UTC) - Expand
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moonwolf23
Apr. 18th, 2008 03:57 am (UTC)
Life would be very boring if your wish came true. If you like these people, then you should recognize they care about you and are expressing their concern. Maybe take a good look beyond the catholism and see what Portugual, or the context that your cleaners encounter anything of the supernatural. It may make you understand their concern more.

I also wonder how close you are to them, as you still call them cleaners.
hanayame
Apr. 18th, 2008 05:12 am (UTC)
I absolutely recognize that they care about me, but again, I think some people are missing the point here. My point is not that they are horrible people for this opinion, per say--I am saying I wish overall ignorance about Wicca would go down. This couple was actually aheist originally, which I find interesting as well. My point is not because they were Catholics--I couldn't care less what religion they were, I am focusing on the overall misconception here.

I'm not quite sure why, but for some reason I felt uncomfortable typing their first names on here. I am extremely overcautious and they are not yet legal immigrants, so I just felt more comfortable addressing them as cleaners in this post.
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kittysaysno
Apr. 18th, 2008 04:05 am (UTC)
One religion? Nooo thanks.

You have a lot of learning left to do, especially about the virtues that you claim are so dear to you.

... History, too.
stellamaris
Apr. 18th, 2008 04:20 am (UTC)
o_O

christianity and wicca are actually quite similar.

No, no they're not.

(along with all other religions, excusing satanism of course, because let's face it--that's not really a religion--bleh!)

Way to be dismissive of someone else's religion! I'm sure many theistic Satanists and maybe some CoS members would disagree with you on that point!

christianity and paganism go way back, hundreds and hundreds of years ago, and many christians (or even pagans) fail to recognize this.

Paganism predates Christianity quite a long shot, actually. I've never met a pagan that failed to recognize this. Wicca, however, goes back a few decades. Did you read the community information before posting?


when a wiccan casts a spell, they are more-or-less acting out a prayer

Not really.

but when the topic of wicca comes up they either treat it as though it is not a real faith, or make me feel estranged.

Just like you do to those poor Satanists :(

there will almost be ONE religion.

Fascist much?

I think you still have a lot to learn. You claim to be open-minded, and yet in the same breath you dismiss a whole religion, and then go on to say you dream of a world where there's only one religion? What?

Read more books...books without the little crescent moon logo on the spine. Take a good, hard look at yourself to find out where the inconsistencies lie. Good luck.








crowdog66
Apr. 18th, 2008 04:29 am (UTC)
"christianity and wicca are actually quite similar.

No, no they're not."

Indeed they are not, starting with the "original sin" concept, which is really the point of Christianity -- and of Jesus' death -- and is totally absent in Wicca. And of course one could go on for quite a few paragraphs listing more ways in which the two religions are profoundly not alike.
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hanayame
Apr. 18th, 2008 05:03 am (UTC)
You, along with many others, bring up a point with my dismissal of Satanists. I have read much of the Satanic Bible and just cannot bring myself to fit it with the definition of religion. But as you said, that is a point in which I contradict myself, and I would like to, if you will allow me, retract that statement.

I think you're taking my words a little too literally as far as "in a sense, there will almost be ONE religion"--what I mean by that is that there will be overall positive energy. A greater understanding between human beings. Not so much a utopia with sunshine and lollipops. Besides the fact that this is my idealist romanticism speaking.

Of course I know Paganism predates Christianity by centuries, what I'm saying in the terms "Paganism and Christianity go way back" is not that they originated around the same time (I'm not quite sure where you got that implication), but that Christianity owes many of its customs of Paganism.

Now, addressing the "acting out a prayer" aspect of spellcasting, hey, there are many witches that agree with me, and there are probably many who agree with you in addition.
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pinkpolarity
Apr. 18th, 2008 08:44 am (UTC)
As a Theistic Satanist, this would be the part where I get profoundly pissed off.

1. Not all Satanists are LaVeyans. LaVeyans are atheists. That book is no "religious text" of mine.

2. For pity's sake do some research before you go dissing religions, and, worse, erasing entire religious categories from existence.

3. "Nobody wants to be called a devil worshipper"? Well, those of us who actually *do worship Him* don't mind quite so much.

4. You want "all religions to worship in peace" except mine? Guess that means I don't need to treat you peaceably, eh?

5. The next time someone gets it wrong, try telling them what you *are* instead of stamping your delicate little foot and saying "are not!" It corrects them, and avoids the taste of feet.

6. How about simply asking the cleaners to avoid your room?

7. It's not terribly peaceable of you to accuse Christianity of stealing your religion's shit, also, given that history is considerably more murky, and your particular permutation of Paganism hasn't been around all that long.

8. I see your "positive energy" comment, and reiterate what you're being told and are failing to hear-- you know damned little about my religion.
kittysaysno
Apr. 18th, 2008 01:10 pm (UTC)
Sorta OT, but I'm curious about Theistic Satanism. Where could I go to get a decent jumping-off point for reading up/learning a bit about it, or should I JFGI (just fucking google it)? It all seems to be so misunderstood - I'd like to understand.

Pardon, I'm pre-coffee. I apologize if I'm not entirely coherent.
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babybloodheart
Apr. 18th, 2008 12:09 pm (UTC)
I'll say the same as others have said, but some points I feel really need driven home, Wicca is a teaching path as much as it is a path of constant learning, there is nothing wrong with having to explain your religion to people who do not know about the religion themselves, that is of course if you are passing on the correct information - ignorance is fine, willful ignorance is something else, if you want rid of prejudice and misconception then it's up to you to do something about it by educating people.

I would say as some other people have that you may want to read the community information page, we do not allow people to call themselves Wicca unless they are actually Wicca because quite frankly I believe it is insulting to those who are Wicca and spreads misinformation about their religion, that is not to say that you are not Wicca however there are things that suggest otherwise thus why some people are doubting that claim, also your post is verging on breaking a few community guidelines.

Intolerance is a bad thing, but as far as I can tell you haven't faced prejudice or intolerance, only ignorance, which can be corrected without getting your knickers in a bunch or if not then it can just be foregotten, you cannot make anyone want to understand nor can you hold their opinions against them.

Of course there is then the comment you made on Satanism, it isn't a religion it is a philosophical belief system that actually pre-dates Christianity, however there are plenty of Satanic religions such as COS, TOS and Luciferian as well as Satanic Pagans whose religion you have just said is invalid. If you expect people to be tolerant and informed about your own beliefs then it is only fair that you learn about other peoples before claiming that they are not valid or that they are negative - you're using a lot of this 'positive energy' speak but haven't actually clarified what you mean by that, Satanism may not be sweetness and light but it's basis is on learning and furthering humankind which I personally view as positive whether it fits into conventional understanding - remember Satanism is a left-hand path, that doesn't make it evil or otherwise negative. You've basically just pee'd off our Satanic members.

Wicca and Christianity have very little in common, they don't share any beliefs, doctrines or practices or at least not to my knowledge (I was never initiated into Wicca - practices are oath-bound thus why I cannot be 100% sure nor can anyone who has not been initiated into a BTW coven), when it comes to holidays and traditions Christianity and Wicca are miles apart and how certain things came to be within modern practice within society has nothing at all to do with Wicca.

The church did not 'pull' anything, it's a whole lot more complicated than that with mixing peoples ideas inspiring others, to suggest that such traditions are stolen is ignorance, not a bad thing but this is a common idea with those new to Wicca which often leads to intolerance towards Christianity. Christianity and Paganism are more than hundreds and hundreds of years old, everyone knows this, Wicca is less than one hundred years old with no monopoly on halloween or any holiday traditions.

I've found that Pagans are actually by large the most intolerant of any group of religions, particularly between each other and often towards Christianity and Satanism, it's too easy to fall into that negative pattern and this post suggests you are coming dangerously close to doing that.
vieux_yeux
Apr. 18th, 2008 01:24 pm (UTC)
Everyone's already brought up some great points (research and practice what you preach), but I'm going to add one that no one else has.

At my university, I just represented paganism at an inter-faith forum that also represented Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and Protestant Christians. They were extremely nice people, and we all agreed on a LOT. But you see, these are the people who are already predisposed to have an open mind. The people who truly need this kind of exposure will not seek it out. We agreed that the way to end intolerance was to continue this open dialog, but those who need it most will not be drawn to it. Our experience together was extremely enlightening and all-around amazing, but all we can hope is that people will learn from our example. So once you start accepting all religions as valid for those that follow them - whether or not you agree with them - people will be less inclined to harass you. You don't need to be the same to agree. We all agreed that violence will end once people start seeing Deity in everyone, and thus seeing us as part of a family. Peace is a process, not an end.

One final thought, though some people already touched upon it: Wicca is a religion of balance. You need both dark and light, positive and negative, hot and cold to have this wonderful Universe which we call home.

That's all I've got.
(Deleted comment)
hanayame
Apr. 23rd, 2008 03:04 am (UTC)
I'm definitely working on the thicker-skin thing; trust me, Livejournal definitely helps with that. xD

And you're right; life isn't always going to be so clear-cut that you can give an honest response and expect people to accept it. It's not that simple.
peskipiksi
Apr. 18th, 2008 09:05 pm (UTC)
foxesdaughter's comment: bascially my take on the thing.

I'll add, though, that if you really are getting tired and annoyed of giving the same basic "I'm not worshiping the forces of evil or strangling your cats"-type speech, then you can always stop giving it. There are a couple ways to avoid it:

The polite way: "Thanks for your concern, but my faith is between me and God" (or "the Divine", etc.).

The less-polite way: "I will not discuss my faith with you. The matter is now closed." Follow up by repeating "the matter is closed" as many times as necessary.

That said, I encourage you to keep reading, keep thinking, and by all means, keep talking with people, even when it's uphill going. You sound like you have the brain; you just need more input, which you get with experience. Also, feel free to lj-friend me; I'm always up for a chat. :)

Edited at 2008-04-18 09:08 pm (UTC)
hanayame
Apr. 23rd, 2008 03:05 am (UTC)
Thank you for your support... I'm still reading and learning, slowly getting rid of that hypocrisy I still have shoved up my ass. xD
swisscelt
Apr. 27th, 2008 05:30 pm (UTC)
Gah!
For there to be peaceful correspondence between the religions, there first needs to be understanding. You seem to have some misunderstandings of Christianity-- and possibly other religions-- that I really need to address.

where do you think christianity got the christmas tree, the easter eggs?

Christianity didn't get these things, Western cultures did. To Middle Eastern Christians, the Christmas tree and Easter eggs are as foreign as ikons of the saints are to American Protestants.

people celebrate halloween comfortably without realizing that it is possibly the most holy day in wicca.

I have no idea if it's true that Halloween (or Samhain) is the most holy day in Wicca. However, I do know that Halloween predates Wicca; thus, this statement is irrelevant. It would be like saying that people celebrate Christmas comfortably without realizing that it is possibly the most holy day in Mormonism.

there is no wrong interpretation if you are truly thinking in the wiccan mindset

No. Wicca is not anything goes; that's why I say that I have no idea if Samhain is Wicca's most holy day. I'm not a Wiccan. I don't claim to be of the Wica, and I don't claim to have any special knowledge (beyond what Wiccan friends of mine have shared with me) of what Wiccans believe. To do so is to display quite a bit of hubris.

I do not believe that Jesus Christ ascended, or that he was the son of god, but that he was a wonderful man who should indeed be appreciated (just not worshiped, per say).

And your point is...? If one decides to worship Jesus, or to believe that He ascended as the Son of God, so what? That's their religion; and if you expect respect for your beliefs, you need to show respect for theirs.

What attitude would you like to receive from your Christian friends? Are you prepared to give it in like measure to them? If not, dare I say that you're drawing from the Universe more than you're willing to return to the ground. I don't know your beliefs, but I'm guessing that's probably not a good idea for you.

though I must admit, I may prefer the Qur'an's subtle satire

Okay. I'm curious, though, why you allow for the Qu'ran to be interpreted as satire (a bit of a novel interpretation according to Muslim friends of mine, but oh well), yet you appear to insist on different rules for Christian belief?
fauxrealz
Mar. 28th, 2009 07:07 pm (UTC)
i lol at all of this.

seriously?
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