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Halloween and attitudes towards pagans.

(15 Posts)
ThreeEdgedSword Tue 09-Oct-12 18:40:22

As usually happens around here this time of year, there are a fair few people preaching on the streets about "evil witches" and "devil worship". Now, over the years, I have spoken to a lot of these people (mostly men, for some reason), and a few of them HAVE admitted they know nothing about Wicca or Paganism. They have then researched it, and later said that, while it doesn't entirely fit with their religious beliefs, it doesn't really contradict them either. It is simply a different belief system, in the way Islam or Hinduism is. However most of them spout a lot of nonsense and, when challenged and informed that I am a practising Wiccan and do not worship Satan, the Devil, whatever you want to call him (as his is actually a Christian construct), they tell me I will "burn in Hell for all eternity". Yes, one man actually said that to me hmm.

Who else has had interesting run-ins with these so-called "preachers"? And, on a side note, what are people doing for Samhain?

mrsfuzzy Tue 09-Oct-12 23:15:46

we as a family are pagans and i am incredibly offended when people bang on about witchcraft and the dark arts in relation to paganism. considering many religions including christianity have their roots in paganism, the devil is a christian idea and is not recognized by pagans so much for devil worship! as far as samhain goes we have a bonfire at sun down, give our thanks for the old year and toast with mead, we have a meal of our home grown produce then have a few more glasses of the loopy stuff! new day [nov 1st] is our day to feast and drink, we take the lids oput of school if need be and they catch up through homework etc, we have candles lit on samhain sunset until the following sunset the next day, its alot of fun over all. what do you do on our special day?

Jux Tue 09-Oct-12 23:39:30

DD's a Wiccan. She's been told she shouldn't talk about it by the school sad

LFCisTarkaDahl Tue 09-Oct-12 23:46:21

Well the reason uninformed idiots spout on about the dark arts is because there are different branches of paganism - one of which may do more occult stuff. The pagans I know are the country ones, pantheistic.

Just like if some loon goes on at me (very liberal pro choice Christian) about catholic child abuse or killing abortion doctors.

It's not like there isn't nutters in my religion.

sashh Wed 10-Oct-12 06:18:56

I've been told I'm going to hell. I asked a christian group to turn their music down. I'd gone into the shop near where they were preaching / playing music and it was difficult to have a conversation with the staff the music was so loud.

Apparently if you ask a Christian to turn music down you are doing the work of the (non existant) devil.

Most Christians have no idea of the origins of their religeon. Ask a practising RC why bells are rung at mass.

More fun still ask them where the idea of madonna with child comes from. And if you want an implosian tell them about Mithras.

Jux Wed 10-Oct-12 08:31:20

Sashh, you are very norty! grin

mrsfuzzy Wed 10-Oct-12 10:22:53

good for you sashh, you go girl !! why the hell [pun intended] should a child not be allowed to talk about wicca at school if that is the religion she/he is brought up with?. we don't hush up faiths that have had terrorism linked to them yes, i'm probably going to offend someone, the word pagan means country dweller and the vast majority of pagans worship natures in its various forms, so where is the problem in talking about it? i had a row with my kids school over the data collection forms where you state religion i said pagan and the form was returned as 'other religion' this really worked me up, phoned the school and they said the word was not on their official list and that they werent able to type it in manually. well, its a recognized religion now so get over it those who critize, i don,t slag your ideas off so don't have a go at me about mine mister holier than thou hypocrite, who sash rightly says know next to nothing anyway! sorry... had to get that off my chest, feel so much better now, hope this tirade hasn't put anyone off from contributing,!!

worldgonecrazy Mon 15-Oct-12 11:18:53

It's around this time of year I normally get a few press phone calls. To be fair, the press are not really interested in 'normal' pagans. They want the people who will prance around in robes wearing funny hats, waving wands or staffs and doing what they think makes good TV/Radio. It's this misrepresentation in the media that is the problem. For many people, the only pagans they will knowingly see are those that are willing to do this sort of media interview. They won't see average pagans. That is partly the reason for our bad press.

I've never had a "run in" with a preacher, if they wish to heckle me I just let them get on with it. They are only making themselves look like idiots in front of everyone else.

sieglinde Mon 15-Oct-12 15:22:27

Yes, though not myself a pagan I am an historian of witchcraft, and I really sympathise, OP.

It's not just Xtians, it's general ignorance, I think, and the same journalists like nutty Xtians and extreme Moslems, too.

Sad, but very menacing.

Blessed be to y'all for Samhain.

FlobbadobbaBOO Wed 24-Oct-12 12:33:56

I've not had any run ins with Christians, mainly because I Don't generally tell anyone! Family know, my DH is Pagan in all but name despite coming from a traditional Christian family. Sometimes I get found out in odd ways though. I once wore my goddess pendant to work on Beltane safe in the knowledge that no one would really know what it meant. The next day my Hindu boss gave me a box of chocolates as a Beltane gift grin.
Samhain this year is a dumb supper followed by possible trick or treating then a small ritual in the garden. I'm solitary but the DC's are becoming more interested every year.

Jux Wed 24-Oct-12 22:22:41

We had a phone call from dd's school a couple of weeks ago, to tell us that they had told dd not to talk about her religion. Since she dedicated herself on her 13th birthday she had been calling herself a witch. Among other things, I told them that she wasn't the only Pagan at the school, and that at least one child came from a Pagan family (dd has told me). They were most interested, but I recollected myself in time to say I had no idea of names. (At least I remembered to tell dd to warn those children, so they knew that a couple of teachers were on the look-out.)

I know that her HoY and school counsellor and tutor are all committed Xians, and cannot think of another reason to risk our invoking the law. All the teachers know, and most are just really interested, and ask her lots of questions. She did a presentation in her religious class, the teacher dedicated the whole lesson to Paganism.

Nigglenaggle Fri 26-Oct-12 20:36:56

Flobba what a lovely boss you have! Yes agree with whoever said leave the preachers to their own devices - they just dig themselves deeper! It isnt only pagans who think they're talking (*%$& but I would imagine greater than 90% of the people who walk past!

thegreenheartofmanyroundabouts Fri 26-Oct-12 20:52:47

Well I'm clergy and I have had street preachers being very difficult as they some don't think women should be leaders in churches. I figure if they are having a go at me at least it draws their fire for a bit and they leave other people alone.

FlamingoBingo Wed 31-Oct-12 16:57:06

I love these youtube videos of a sermon by Rev Derreck Younger I came across the other day:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

I've dipped in and out of calling myself a Pagan, but this year I've marked each of the festivals and am actually feeling very drawn right now to Wicca. I don't like labels, but I love how this website describes it as your own path...which is pretty much what I do. I practice yoga, and trust in it as a spiritual practice (am, in fact, training as a yoga teacher) but I don't see any conflict between using yoga as a spiritual practice and being Wiccan.

Tonight a friend an I will cast our first circle and do some ritual together. I am very excited!

MurderOfGoths Thu 01-Nov-12 00:31:07

Never had a problem with street preachers, thankfully. Though when I was at school I was accused of cursing another pupil hmm and was warned by one of the teachers (RE nonetheless) not to let the headmistress know as she was a strict Catholic. Sad when we still have to hide.

Am being driven insane by threads on here talking about Hallowe'en being un-Christian or to do with Devil worship. sad

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