Great piece from John Beckett this morning which covers some really good points about how to write about different religions, why the word “religion” should not be used as a synonym for Christianity, and how not all religions fit the “Protestant lens” (the way people tend to use the Protestant paradigm as a way to try to make sense of other religions—which doesn’t work).
“I won’t kneel for their god anymore”
James Gardner Davis has written an amazing reflection on changing paths in response to my guest appearance on the Missing Witches podcast.Continue reading
Readers of Changing Paths may wonder why I chose not to address theological questions like the existence of God, the afterlife, and related questions.
The first part of the book is aimed at people seeking to leave a variety of high-control traditions, which could be anything including fundamentalist Christianity, fundamentalist Islam, high-control new religions such as Scientology, and even high-control versions of Paganism.
For each of these traditions, the theological arguments are different, so rather than devote a large amount of space to them in the book, or write yet another book about why a supreme creator deity does not exist, I wanted to write about extricating yourself psychologically from harmful religious traditions.
Belief in gods?
Talking about your spiritual path
There are different ways to talk about one’s religion: interfaith dialogue, enthusiasm without any underlying agenda, evangelizing, and proselytizing. Each of these has different underlying assumptions and values.Continue reading
The Wiccan Rede
The concept of the Wiccan Rede is frequently and widely misunderstood and misquoted. The full version is “An it harm none, do what thou wilt”. (If it harms no one, do what you want / do your True Will.) I have written about this before but haven’t devoted an entire blogpost to it.Continue reading
Not the messiah
A few years ago, I organized an event where Philip Heselton gave a talk based on his excellent multi-volume biography of Gerald Gardner. He was looking for a title and said that the talk was about the murkier aspects of Gardner’s life. I suggested calling it “He’s not the messiah, he’s a very naughty boy” which I’m sure you will recognize as a line from The Life of Brian by Monty Python. So that was the title of the talk.Continue reading
Haloes, East and West
We just started watching the series Warrior Nun on Netflix. It’s rather enjoyable so far. However I couldn’t help noticing that it is wrong about haloes.
The Tower and the Virus
My first guest column at The Wild Hunt.
I have been anxious for months, years even. I have watched with growing horror the rise of right-wing populism, the melting of the icecaps, the burning of Australia, the beginnings of wars over water and resources, the seemingly inexorable destruction wrought by climate change. The protests of Fridays for Future and Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion gave me some cause for optimism, but it is also obvious that governments have not been doing enough to turn the economy around to stop the production of carbon emissions. So when everyone suddenly swung into action to deal with the coronavirus crisis, it gave me some hope that perhaps now the needful actions to deal with climate change (many of which, it turns out, are quite similar to the actions needed to flatten the curve of coronavirus transmission) would seem doable. It also feels like now everyone else is as anxious as me.
Continue reading at The Wild Hunt.
If you enjoyed this post, you might like my books.
What we have in common
I dreamed that I was in an Anglican or Episcopalian Church in North America and had been invited by the vicar to introduce a hymn. She handed me the order of service which already had a hymn picked out, and it had been annotated to change “him” to “her”, so I introduced it and encouraged people to sing “her” where appropriate if they wanted to. One of the congregation said they didn’t really know the tune for that hymn. So then I suggested we sang Morning has broken and changed “him” to “her” in the second verse, and “God’s” to “Her” in the third verse. Then I woke up.