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Patronage and being "chosen"

Most theistic religions have a method for devoting oneself to a deity. In polytheistic ones, some (not all) have a process for devoting oneself to a portion of the available deities above and beyond the rest.

Associated with that is patronage - the belief that a truly devoted follower is singled out by a deity for special treatment, either because they've devoted themselves, or as a sign from the deity that they SHOULD devote themselves to him or her.

One of the many reasons Heathenry is not something grouped in with the Pagan label is that the idea of patronage is frowned on. Rarely is it seen by someone who is not a recent convert from Wicca or neo-paganism, and seems to believe that you can't practice a religion without some story about being "chosen". Or, they mistakenly believe that the claim makes them special or impressive. (it's far more likely to make them a drama queen)

That's not to say there is not an idea of a deity communicating with someone, making their wishes known, or otherwise giving them "a sign". The difference is, that's not something viewed as being singled out for special treatment - it's a message you can take or leave, making you no better or worse than anyone else.

Divine Intervention is also not part of the doctrine - if something good happens to you, it's not because Frigga reached out and made things materialize out of thin air, or Thor smote your foe. You are responsible for your own actions and the good or bad that come of them. The further those actions ripple away, the less they are your responsibility and the more they are the responsibility of others affected by them through their own actions. Nowhere does the hand of any god come into the picture. (this goes hand in hand with praying FOR things - first off, who the hel do you think you are, and secondly, if for some momentous reason they actually did do something, it would be a debt not even your life would repay, just asking puts you in obligation, knowing that it's futile, and basically more like whining)

You decide how you live. Based on how well or poorly you do that, the gods decide what happens to you when you die.

So from your view - is there divine intervention, deities randomly choosing to favor one person while neglecting millions of others for what are often trivial reasons, and answers for prayers, no matter how mundane? And the bigger question - WHY? What makes some random American with a roof and clothes more deserving than the random African living in a corrugated tin shack, being raped by a "husband" who was chosen for her, or a baby in an Eastern European orphanage developing a flat affect over time as nobody picks them up or talks to them for more than 5 minutes of any given day?

Answer Question

Asked by NotPanicking at 1:33 PM on Feb. 12, 2013 in Religious Debate

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • TL;DR

    Answer by FreeForAll at 1:39 PM on Feb. 12, 2013

  • Is it bad I read that as Patronus?

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 2:00 PM on Feb. 12, 2013

  • Those who were chosen Noah, Moses, Job. Those who suffered with Noah the whole world, Moses the Egyptians, Job his family and workers. I can see why some feel this is true and how special are they to be chosen by god.

    Answer by skinnyslokita at 2:04 PM on Feb. 12, 2013

  • I watched a video from one of the shows on the same Christian channel as the 700 Club (at least, I think it's from that channel).  In the clip, the devout woman and her devout husband are sitting at a table talking about how they are blessed with miracles  from their god.  Among those miracles are a pair of shoes that lasted longer than the woman ever expected, a set of tires that also lasted longer than the guarantee said they would, and a never-ending pot of pasta that was magically refilled when the couple's kids had unexpected guests come for dinner.

    Meanwhile, in Africa . . .


    Answer by jsbenkert at 2:27 PM on Feb. 12, 2013

  • Here's the video.

    And still, somewhere in Africa . . .


    Answer by jsbenkert at 2:36 PM on Feb. 12, 2013

  • Oh that video is awesome!! So funny!

    I then watched a video called "Woman get's pregnant by 13 year old boy" (link was right there on the side... I didn't go looking for it) who's mom says "I'm praying my 14 year old son is not your baby's father!" We should get these ladies together.

    Answer by Sebbiemama at 4:36 PM on Feb. 12, 2013

  • I think it's pretty damn arrogant to think some god took a moment to fill your specific plate of food when there is an entire country with starving and dying children in the street. I mean really-how does one reconcile such offensive behavior?? That would make my stomach turn. And I'd want to spit in that gods face for such negatory actions.

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 9:00 AM on Feb. 13, 2013

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