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LibGeek

Paganism as an escape of guilt

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Lately people have accused me of being non-Christian (not to be confused with anti-Christian) in order to escape the guilt associated with sinning.

Of course, I think this is ridiculous. Even if I take my personal notions out of it, it still makes no sense. Reason One: Karma. I firmly believe in it. Reason Two: Morals. They aren't just for Christians. Reason Three: Afterlife. I still believe the way I live will be directly reflected in my afterlife.

Does anyone else get this accusation from people? And if so, how do you deal with it?

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I find that ignoring the ignorant helps! However being an agnostic (in the strictest sense) I doubt I get anywhere near as much flak as you would. Usually that type of person lashes out at others because they are experiencing a crises of there own faith, thus they go out of there way to degrade others.

So with that, perhaps it will be easier to just let the insults bounce off and you to come out as the mature one. Best of luck in your endeavour.

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Ignoring would be nice. However, I work around this people constantly (not a paid job, so I can't complain of religious harassment) and they are constantly making annoying comments.

Normally I'd say nothing but if I'm already frustrated, I know I'm bound to say something I'll regret. I have a tough time not throwing their own religion back at them.

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Laugh.

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I get that kind of thing a lot. Usually I just laugh and make a smart a** remark. I been a Pagan for while, nothing Christians say surprises me. I tell them I don't need a book to tell me right from wrong. I am responsible for my own actions which really what karma is, taking responsibility for this life. "Harm none" works just fine for me. What I love is when they tell me I am going to meet my maker one day. Then I grab a handful of dirt and say we have met and hold out my hand and introduce them to the Goddess. (No I don't throw it at them.) Boy, that makes them mad. ;) As a Pagan it is a duty to have a set of quick remarks for them.

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Ignoring would be nice. However, I work around this people constantly (not a paid job, so I can't complain of religious harassment) and they are constantly making annoying comments.

Normally I'd say nothing but if I'm already frustrated, I know I'm bound to say something I'll regret. I have a tough time not throwing their own religion back at them.

Yes that certainly wouldn't do you any favors, just look at half these forums. Hm, this is certainly a tough situation, knowing what what I know the best advice I can give you is tough it out, or go the law if things escalate. Hopefully it doesn't come to that, and I'm not to sure what the law could do as I'm not familiar with law in your location.

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I get that kind of thing a lot. Usually I just laugh and make a smart a** remark. I been a Pagan for while, nothing Christians say surprises me. I tell them I don't need a book to tell me right from wrong. I am responsible for my own actions which really what karma is, taking responsibility for this life. "Harm none" works just fine for me. What I love is when they tell me I am going to meet my maker one day. Then I grab a handful of dirt and say we have met and hold out my hand and introduce them to the Goddess. (No I don't throw it at them.) Boy, that makes them mad. ;) As a Pagan it is a duty to have a set of quick remarks for them.

Everbody should have a few ready, wity ones obviously.

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I *try* not to be too much of a smart ass. I want them to know I respect their beliefs, though I doubt it will ever be reciprocal.

Thanks for the advice! I know there is no easy out with this one.

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Laugh them off and tell them you'll put in a good word with the Goddess for them.

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Best way to deal with them is not to discuss the issue at all because those who would ridicule you for your beliefs are not looking to learn anything at all nor are they willing to just leave well enough alone.

They want a confrontation so they can prove to you how right they think they are and how wrong you are for refusing to buckle down and believe as they do and on command preferably.

Best thing to do is just say absolutely nothing or give an answer that has nothing to do with what they just said. You can say something like "Yeah, you're right. I think they did say it will rain heavy tonight."

Silence speaks more volumes than you realize. In short don't lower yourself to their level. Sure they're annoying and you wanna kick them clear into next tuesday but be better than them.

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It can be difficult Ryu, especially if you have to have contact with them on a daily basis. Holding the moral high ground is wonderful, but it can be wearying to fend off animosity and ridicule on a daily basis. I know, from experience.

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I *try* not to be too much of a smart ass. I want them to know I respect their beliefs, though I doubt it will ever be reciprocal.

Thanks for the advice! I know there is no easy out with this one.

What's faith if its not tested, right?

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What's faith if its not tested, right?

They test my patience more than my faith. :)

They're group bullying tactics are what bother me the most. Not one of them approach me independently.

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They test my patience more than my faith. :)

They're group bullying tactics are what bother me the most. Not one of them approach me independently.

Well I didn't strictly mean faith of personal belief. An attempt at a poetic sounding piece of advice, and I have failed, and must now weep silently in a corner. :)

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It can be difficult Ryu, especially if you have to have contact with them on a daily basis. Holding the moral high ground is wonderful, but it can be wearying to fend off animosity and ridicule on a daily basis. I know, from experience.

True. Because I am temporarily living with my parents, it is hard for my father to accept that I have no interest in his religion (Lutheranism). He is convinced his new-found religion is the "real" thing and tries to make me feel as if I am stupid for not joining in his system.

So yeah..I agree, it IS hard especially when it comes from your parents.

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What I do when someone attributes to me a view or attitude that is wrong, I just tell them they're mistaken. If they insist and continue to tell me my motives for doing or believing something, then I tell them that I'm pretty certain I know myself much better then they do - they see me, what? A few hours each day, max? Whereas I hang around myself 24 hours a day, every day, for my entire life. I know me better than they know me, simple as that.

Since I'm a believer, this next part wouldn't necessarily apply to me, but I'd also consider turning the question back on them - ask them how they would feel if you told them that the only reason they believe in God is because they are scared to live, and that no matter how often they said you were wrong you kept saying that must be the reason?

Just a thought or two,

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I get that kind of thing a lot. Usually I just laugh and make a smart a** remark. I been a Pagan for while, nothing Christians say surprises me. I tell them I don't need a book to tell me right from wrong. I am responsible for my own actions which really what karma is, taking responsibility for this life. "Harm none" works just fine for me. What I love is when they tell me I am going to meet my maker one day. Then I grab a handful of dirt and say we have met and hold out my hand and introduce them to the Goddess. (No I don't throw it at them.) Boy, that makes them mad. ;) As a Pagan it is a duty to have a set of quick remarks for them.

the best one I use is 'I do not need some devil to take the responsibilities of my own actions, when I do something wrong.. the devil did not make me do it.. I did it myself' that really gets them riled :)

Lib all of us pagans.. and others who believe in a different religion or do not believe in anything at all get flack like this.. half the time I believe most of them just want us to feel the same guilt they do..

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Lately people have accused me of being non-Christian (not to be confused with anti-Christian) in order to escape the guilt associated with sinning.

Of course, I think this is ridiculous. Even if I take my personal notions out of it, it still makes no sense. Reason One: Karma. I firmly believe in it. Reason Two: Morals. They aren't just for Christians. Reason Three: Afterlife. I still believe the way I live will be directly reflected in my afterlife.

Does anyone else get this accusation from people? And if so, how do you deal with it?

Nope, and where I live it is pretty much unthinkable.

Now, if it did happen to me, my reaction would depend on my situation. If I had plenty of time, I´d invite them sit down, have a coffee and talking things over. I´d enjoy taking their ludicrious beliefs apart, and hey, maybe I might convert a few out of their religion. If had no time, I´d simply respond with a smart-ass remark and ignore them.

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whoever said that to you is leaning far, far out of his/her window. Dr. Wilhelm Reich (the early Reich, Psychiatrist, not the later, cloudbusting orgon whacky Reich) wrote a nice essay about how especially christianism IMPLIES guilt in people from very early on, which then leads to all kinds of inner conflicts or neuroses. I post it when i find it somewhere.

I respect believers of any kind, as long as they don't approach me with the "holier-than-thou"-attitude or start to play missionary on me.

i say:

:religion-is-like-a-penis-bw-480x357.jpg

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They test my patience more than my faith. :)

They're group bullying tactics are what bother me the most. Not one of them approach me independently.

Bully is never good, They can only do it if you let them. Bring up bulling in schools in conversation, when they tell you how awful it is, you can ask they why they are doing to you. Being you're doing something your not getting paid for they need you more than you need them. Stand your ground.

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The simple answer is this...Your view is your own and it's no one's concern but you. When asked what your "faith" is...I personally reply that it's a very personal and private matter that I prefer to not discuss publicly. If pressured, I simply tell them that my relationship with the divine is between me and the divine and they need not be concerned with it. (Notice I do not say God or Goddess....instead of divine I might sometimes say "Higher Power")

I am basically grounded in Christianity, but I have read and studied all the religions I can get information on (including paganism) and I find great truths in all of them. I assume I would be a "heretic" to most mainstream Christian establishments...a gnostic by others.

Edited by Jeremiah65

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If you can you should express what you believe and why. I like talking to people one on one so not to make a scene and also tell them how they are being disrespectful even if they dont know it. Smart comebacks and further insults would only further the gap between you. I think we are in a day of bridging gaps between christisn and pagan and you may have a good opportunity to do just that.

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Poke fun at them in return.

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If you can you should express what you believe and why. I like talking to people one on one so not to make a scene and also tell them how they are being disrespectful even if they dont know it. Smart comebacks and further insults would only further the gap between you. I think we are in a day of bridging gaps between christisn and pagan and you may have a good opportunity to do just that.

If someone wants to talk religion to me fine, I can talk about mine for hours. If you want to use yours to bully me, then your going to get back what you give. Karma in this life.

"Lately people have accused me of being non-Christian (not to be confused with anti-Christian) in order to escape the guilt associated with sinning."

People can come up and say that once to me and I'll just tell them why I am happy with my religion. If they come back with the same insult they will get what they are dishing out. People can be very bullying with their religion, Frankly it gets old, bullies back off when when they realize you are not the push over they thought.

Edited by GreenmansGod

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I guess this may be the Pagan "minority report" :)

I read some posts here, worthy posts that contain truths and common decency. Yet there are caveats about not being seen as "anti-Christian", something I think that some posters here may associate with me, I don't know. Yet in my experience in this forum I find that it is not necessary to take an anti-Christian stance, as the fact of being non-Christian, if you are from a "Christian" country or country with Christian heritage, is sufficient to enrage some posters, who seem to think you are a "traitor". Indeed, I have been accused of being the anti-Christ, though I take this as a compliment, not the insult that is intended. My view is that Christianity destroyed the old religions and have suppressed, by violence and social control, any dissenting voices until recent times. It is clear from some posters that they still want to silence any non-Christians, and I begin to see the cry of "anti-Christian" as being as dubious as the cry of "racist", and yes, I have unjustly been accused of that as well, and of course in the last few days a poster levelled a general insult to all Pagans that they are "child abusers". Seems I have picked up the three worst accusations it is possible, Anti-Christ, racist and abuser. In the face of this, why, when it is Christianity that is supposed to be the religion of "peace and love" and "turn the other cheek", should I give a damn about the "sensitivities" of a religion that still shows such strong repressive tendencies. Is two thousand years not sufficient for them? are we to be slaves to their "god" forever? I think not, and will not bend the knee to them. Over the top? unrealistic? maybe, but in the face of the power they still wield, and the insults thrown, I shed no tears for their "hurt feelings". Guilt is theirs, they have been the power for millenia, and they now show fear of losing it, good.

These views are overlayed by my cultural background and the politics from that, and that I still hold, though in a "heretical" form. And no, I do not, despite these words, advocate war on Christians, only their power. I do not care what anybody believes or not believes.

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