It's been a discussion around the blogs lately about whether the word "pagan" is really a good description of all the people who fall within the description. It's a word that I refuse to use to self-identify, because it comes with a ton of baggage that has nothing to do with my religion at all, and yet, when someone flips down the list - are you Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Pagan, Buddhist, atheist/agnostic, there's not really any choice given. When someone declares "I don't beleive in pagans", whether that person is too ignorant to know what the word means or simply being intentionally ignorant, my faith is still being included (or would, if they actually knew it existed).
We've had similar discussions here about Christianity - you can pull a handful of Christians at random, and chances are you'll have 2 people in the group who don't agree on a single point aside from a guy named Jesus being a savior. Pick the right 2, an they'll go so far as to not just disagree, but insist the other one is doing it completely wrong. Bringing this up upsets some people, because as much as it's obvious there's 30k+ organized denoms of disagreement, plus hundreds of thousands more that are independant congregations unaffiliated with a major denom, nobody wants to be the one to give up the label of Christian.
Coyle did a series of blogs on this, and while I disagree with her second (since it leaves everyone right back where they started, and ignores the working definition of pagan - anyone not Abrahamic, which is applied whether we like it or not), she makes a point in the first - pagan might better be described as paganisms, and Christian as christianities. Are you a pagan, or are you a practitioner of one of the thousands of permutations of paganisms? Are you a Christian, or do you practice ond of the many thousands of christianities?
If someone tells you they are a pagan, does that give you any usable information, aside from them not being an atheist, agnostic, Buddhist, Jew, Christian, Hindu or Muslim? If someone tells you they are a Christian, does that tell you a single thing about what they think or believe about anything, or simply that they are not atheist, agnostic, Buddhist, Jew, pagan, Hindu or Muslim?Answer Question
Answer by JackieGirl007 at 8:10 PM on May. 2, 2012
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