While I acknowledge that there are many decent and tolerant Christians out there, it is a fact of life that extremists, loud-mouths, and the badly behaved often get the lion’s share of news coverage. While I’m normally content to ignore the occasional wacky thing said by some conservative Christian or Catholic somewhere (lest my blog become a WorldNetDaily watch), occasionally you encounter such a great confluence of anti-Pagan/occult hysteria that you have to point it out.
Let’s start over at Catholic Culture, Dr. Jeff Mirus explains what is “animating” the “dissident” (read: liberal-leaning) Catholic dioceses and communities.
“The leaders in the worst dioceses and religious communities, in addition to having permitted themselves to be shamefully co-opted by the larger secular culture, are frequently animated specifically by personal vice (often homosexuality) or by various hybrid spiritualities with pagan roots (sometimes Wicca).”
Sometimes Wicca! Gasp! Choke! At least they aren’t using… Ouija Boards!
“After a few minutes, I found myself in the board game section. There, to my shock and dismay, amidst the games of Operation, Battleship, and Snakes and Ladders was a pile of Ouija Boards. For those of you who may not be familiar with a Ouija Board, it is a “game” where the players seek to contact spirit entities for guidance. I felt my stomach tighten within me as I imagined innocent children being lured into the occult by this dangerous “game” at a place where children should be safe — a toy store.”
Looks like Baptist pastor Richard Jackson has been watching “The Exorcist” a few too many times. It could have been much worse though, they could have been Hawaiian.
One of the “preachers” told a Korean student that he is going to hell for his Buddhist beliefs and told Hawaiians they are going to hell because they worship false gods and believe in witchcraft, she said.
That lovely bit of racist theology came from the rabidly anti-gay folks at Bema Ministries. It almost makes the routine rantings of the conservative Anglicans at VirtueOnline seem quaint.
“New Age themes of self-deification animated the biennial “Sacred Circles” conference on women’s spirituality at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. on February 13-14. Rather than the masculine “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” of Christian creeds women sought out the “the Feminine Divine” within themselves. But this time, ecclesiastical support was not limited to Protestant denominations. The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, offered continuing education credits through its Center for Spirituality and Social Work to intrepid women journeying towards the Feminine Divine. In contrast to its supporters, the event never purported to be Christian. Instead, the conference was possibly “the largest interfaith women’s spirituality gathering in the world.” Church sponsors included the Episcopal –run National Cathedral, which devoted a paid staffer as the “Sacred Circles” convener, the Episcopal Church Office of Women’s Ministries, which offered scholarships, and Catholic University’s Center for Spirituality and Social Work, which offered academic credit for attendance.”
Shocking! Next think you know Catholic nuns will be tolerating the presence of goddess-worshipers!
Fear of a Pagan planet can be used in an argument against just about anything, even marijuana.
“If we could remove the stigma, they say, then people could love God and love marijuana as well. I am not convinced, nor should you be. Marijuana use fits well with certain religions that worship the earth. Several pagan religions use marijuana to enhance their “spiritual experience.” But this cannot be the case with Christianity.”
Pot as a gateway drug to idolatry? Gateway to ordering a pizza maybe, but Paganism? Still it’s obvious things are getting bad, I mean, Christian cops who claim to see demons roaming their headquarters are getting their guns taken away!
“A cop who allegedly once claimed to have seen a demon in Police Headquarters is suing the NYPD, saying brass stripped him of his badge and gun because he’s too religious … His religiosity “escalated to point where he neglected his job and schoolwork, isolated himself, did not eat and focused exclusively on religion.” He also fasted for weeks at a time, and by the time he was committed to a psychiatric ward, he had dropped 20 pounds … He contends he’s now doing better and wants to be restored to full duty. The medical board rejected his request in December, noting a doctor’s finding that ‘he appeared to identify with God and acted as if he was superior to others and God-like.’”
Yes, this is obviously a man who should be given a gun and allowed to police a multi-religious city.
I suppose the real question is why Christians are so overly concerned with “the occult” and “Paganism” when actual real-live modern practitioners are such a tiny fraction of the population. I think that writer (and fellow Pagan blogger) Gus diZerega hit on it when he said that modern Pagans “represent the rise of something Christian leaders thought they had vanquished long ago”. The fall of (European) pre-Christian paganism was supposed to be Christianity’s first big victory, it is something that many Christians still brag over (because barbarity, inhumanity, and intolerance ended when the Christians took over). But if the Pagans are returning, and according to some hysterical Christians (and overly optimistic Pagans), growing at explosive rates then that could call into question the inherent superiority of the Christian “truth”. A final unraveling of Christian dominance. That seems one of the only logical reasons why this small group gets so much attention from Christian book publishers, evangelists, and various pundits.
*The Wild Hunt