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23 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

Lots of good points there. 

 

If we were all worshiping south Pacific gods instead of middle eastern gods rolled into (force fit more like) a single deity, that would seem quite strange. Why it doesn't seem equally strange for a lot of gentiles to be worshiping a jewish tribal god is very bizarre. It's only because it forced on everyone thousands of years ago and followed across the sea to the America's. But I suppose equally strange could be Japanese and Asian Buddhist's worshiping the Hindu pantheon re worked and re fashioned from Hinduism to Buddhism. In a way I've suspected that people were copying them in the middle east, because Hinduism was an ethnic religion which was picked up by Buddhism and transformed into a world religion, equipped with missionaries and proselytization. This was well under way by the time some people took Judaism, another ethnic religion, and re worked it into a world religion in like fashion, and then went out proselytizing in an almost mirror way to what had happened previously with Hinduism and Buddhism. 

 

So there's two obvious parallels of taking an ethnic religion out to the world trying to win converts, or force converts in a lot of cases. 

 

Sorry for the typos. I don't get a ton of internet time.

 

Right, it's a lot of different things that created that situation. First it was as mentioned the fact that it was very paganized (Also, everybody does this. In Mexico Jesus is Latino. In Africa he's black. Everybody makes their gods look like them. Nobody likes the idea of praying to a god who looks like some other people) The Catholic tradition as practiced in Europe is very different from the Catholic tradition as practiced in Mexico (which is blended with Santeria) etc.  Also, it wasn't an instant thing. Christianization took CENTURIES to complete in Europe. That's kind of a big time scale. There was a lot of lying and dishonesty. And most people's ancestors were polytheistic. There was no "one true organized way" to look at religion. So the idea of "adding Jesus to the pantheon", the vast majority of people had NO idea what that would do to their descendents as the obvious polytheism got stripped away and we were left with an angry male deity.

 

IMO feminism is a reaction not to "men" but to Abrahamic monotheism. Before Christianity came along, Western men were mostly FINE. There were gods AND goddesses. Men and women weren't trying to fulfill the exact same roles but for the most part there was respect and cooperation both ways until Christianity came along, demonized women, stripped them of their spiritual power (in Viking society for example, while the Men had a shamanistic practice for battle to activate the "berserker" aspect of Odin), women practiced a form of magic called Seidr. Men were forbidden from practicing this and mocked if they did so because it was a female art, BUT, many men did anyway because it was said to give the practitioner a lot of power and the women who practiced it had a lot of power culturally and politically. Christianity came along and stripped away a balance of Men having most of the brute physical power and women having most of the spiritual power. They destroyed the cult of Freyja not to mention the other gods and goddesses not just of the Northern European tradition but all the European pagan traditions, and replaced it with an angry single monotheistic god, his lame son, and the "virgin Mary."

 

Feminism is reacting to THAT shit. The shit that made women "lesser". Not Western men in general.

 

But it wasn't an overnight process.It took a long time. A lot of manipulation. a lot of lying. A lot of violence and powergrabbing and making stuff illegal and demonizing the shit out of women, the old gods, etc.

 

The Vikings talked about "White Jesus" and "Red Thor" Though they weren't speaking about race. They meant Jesus was effeminate and Thor was manly... "red in tooth and claw" as it were. Thor's hammers, while they've been found as early as the 6th century in Kent, were worn a LOT during the viking age as a sort of defiant "screw you and your wimpy foreign god" thing. (The thought has occurred to me that my generation may NOT have been the first to come up with the idea of "my god carries a hammer, yours was nailed to a tree. Questions?" I'm pretty sure the same idea occurred to my ancestors which sort of thrills the shit out of me. LOL)

 

But yeah, I think it was a mistake. I think missionary religions are awful in general. They destroy every indigenous culture they touch. I've really gotten to the point where I think creedal religions are goofy. It puts you in a fixed perspective where you can never really grow in your understanding of things. Like Christianity is often so LITERAL. But it HAS to be without the literal talking snake and magic apple there is no original sin. without that what does Jesus need to save anybody from. Without Jesus LITERALLY coming an dLITERALLY dying and LITERALLY rising, the whole religion can't make any claim of exclusivity and aside from "avoiding hell" there is nothing really appealing about it.

 

As Christian as my mother is, I know deep down she's driven by fear that it's true. If she REALLY thought she had a choice and that she wouldn't go to hell and she could conceptualize the gods as in any sense "real", she'd trade in the baby Jesus for Thor so fast it would make your head spin. Because Thor is fucking awesome. Who wouldn't prefer him to Jesus? Who wouldn't prefer Odin to biblegod or Freyja to Mary? I mean it's just no comparison.For me at least the old gods are gods I'd actually want to hang out with that I actually LIKE.

 

Christianity is a slave religion.

 

But yeah, sorry I got so off track. Back to your original point... yeah the fact that it was followed SO long and SO many people were born into it as "the normal thing" I mean I remember growing up feeling like biblegod just felt so FOREIGN. I didn't like him. I SURE didn't trust him. I thought he was a scary psycho. I didn't like Jesus at all. All the stories seemed stupid. I mean all these stories are basically about obeying biblegod. It's just so lame. Like why am I meant to identify with stories from the desert as if it has anything to do with me?

 

The first time I heard the norse myths, I RECOGNIZED these stories. I could identify with these gods and understand what the point of the story was. I didn't have to do a million mental backflips to make it not completely stupid. Even Ragnarok feels current to me. (My theory is that that myth was partly about a people coping with the old gods "dying" as Christianity took over and the hope they would be reborn. And here we are centuries later, Christianity is losing it's death grip and SOMEHOW some of us are finding a way to "return to the old gods". It's very strange and wonderful IMO.)

 

And good point regarding ethnic religions and world religions. Every religion starts out as an ethnic religion that fits a particular people and their culture and way of seeing and being in the world and it only causes destruction and harm to turn it into some "universal creed" and "win" (or force) converts.

 

As you can probably tell I'm a "hard polytheist". I believe in everybody's gods, but that each set of gods is the expression of the soul of a particular people. And I think the world works much better if everyone is allowed to believe or not believe whatever and not handed some set of totally foreign gods or myths and asked to "believe in them."

 

While I DO believe in souls and something beyond this life, that doesn't mean I HAVE to. Like this wouldn't "fall apart" for me if one day I woke up and decided the old gods are just a symbol or in some sense my ancestors but not "literally still around in any spiritual way" beyond whatever genetic legacy they passed forward into time. But with Christianity... it's a creedal religion now... take one brick down and the whole damn thing crumbles. (Which is why I think Christians get SO crazy with people. They KNOW how fragile their belief system is.)

 

Oh and I've had people say... well your most recent ancestors were Christian so you should be that. Well in a couple hundred years their descendants might be Muslim with some "Muslim ancestors", but I can't imagine they would be thrilled for their great great grandchildren to pray to Allah. They would naturally prefer their descendants follow THEIR religion.

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23 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

Lots of good points there. 

 

If we were all worshiping south Pacific gods instead of middle eastern gods rolled into (force fit more like) a single deity, that would seem quite strange. Why it doesn't seem equally strange for a lot of gentiles to be worshiping a jewish tribal god is very bizarre. It's only because it forced on everyone thousands of years ago and followed across the sea to the America's. But I suppose equally strange could be Japanese and Asian Buddhist's worshiping the Hindu pantheon re worked and re fashioned from Hinduism to Buddhism. In a way I've suspected that people were copying them in the middle east, because Hinduism was an ethnic religion which was picked up by Buddhism and transformed into a world religion, equipped with missionaries and proselytization. This was well under way by the time some people took Judaism, another ethnic religion, and re worked it into a world religion in like fashion, and then went out proselytizing in an almost mirror way to what had happened previously with Hinduism and Buddhism. 

 

So there's two obvious parallels of taking an ethnic religion out to the world trying to win converts, or force converts in a lot of cases. 

 

Also, you're an INTJ? Cool. I'm an INFJ.

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4 hours ago, VerbosityCat said:

As you can probably tell I'm a "hard polytheist". I believe in everybody's gods, but that each set of gods is the expression of the soul of a particular people. And I think the world works much better if everyone is allowed to believe or not believe whatever and not handed some set of totally foreign gods or myths and asked to "believe in them."

 

That's something new. We're up to our ears in hard atheists. 😂 I don't recall having any hard polytheists here before. That's what this section is for, exploring the various ways of ex christian spirituality. It's been dead for a while so it's good to have some conversation strike up again. 

 

5 hours ago, VerbosityCat said:

While I DO believe in souls and something beyond this life, that doesn't mean I HAVE to. Like this wouldn't "fall apart" for me if one day I woke up and decided the old gods are just a symbol or in some sense my ancestors but not "literally still around in any spiritual way" beyond whatever genetic legacy they passed forward into time. But with Christianity... it's a creedal religion now... take one brick down and the whole damn thing crumbles. (Which is why I think Christians get SO crazy with people. They KNOW how fragile their belief system is.)

 

I think they do. I've said that it's like throwing water on their sand foundations. No matter how big they've built up castles over time, it all comes crashing down in an instance given a blow to the foundations. Somewhere down inside they know that it's fragile. The apologist's must realize that. Especially as they're backed into a corner. And then the crazy, caged or cornered animal comes out. 

 

5 hours ago, VerbosityCat said:

Also, you're an INTJ? Cool. I'm an INFJ.

 

My girlfriend is INFJ. We had the test going around here on a thread a while back and there were several INTJ and INFJ members. Mostly female if I remember correct, with a few males coming out INFJ.  

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18 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

 

That's something new. We're up to our ears in hard atheists. 😂 I don't recall having any hard polytheists here before. That's what this section is for, exploring the various ways of ex christian spirituality. It's been dead for a while so it's good to have some conversation strike up again. 

 

 

I think they do. I've said that it's like throwing water on their sand foundations. No matter how big they've built up castles over time, it all comes crashing down in an instance given a blow to the foundations. Somewhere down inside they know that it's fragile. The apologist's must realize that. Especially as they're backed into a corner. And then the crazy, caged or cornered animal comes out. 

 

 

My girlfriend is INFJ. We had the test going around here on a thread a while back and there were several INTJ and INFJ members. Mostly female if I remember correct, with a few males coming out INFJ.  

 

hehe, well I mean I can't "logically" believe in "just my gods". That would be goofy. And I also just can't (personally) see any of the gods as just random entities out floating around. While that might work for some, I think it can get pretty superstitious fast. I believe my gods are LITERALLY connected to me in both a soul and ancestral/genetic sense. Part of a larger soul group so to speak. It only makes sense then IF that were true that ALL gods function in basically that same way, that each set of gods and spiritual system comes out of the authentic soul expression of a unique people which is why it works best for THAT people and tends to cause problems when others adopt it. I do pretty much think my parents basically pray to their ancestors, but just don't see it that way. That's just "how I think the connection works" to spirit/the other side/whatever. Like I don't think someone can REALLY pray to "other people's gods" because it's like trying to have a conversation (without any technology) with a person on the other side of the world. You're not even "connected" to that expression. But that's just my opinion and the way I see it. Don't take "hard polytheist" to mean "fundamentalist".

 

I've met some fundamentalist heathens and... it taught me you really can have a fundie anything. It's more about the personality embracing the belief system than the system itself sometimes.

 

For me this is a "functional myth". It's something that works for me, but how "literally" I REALLY believe all of it... I have no idea. Sometimes I'm not sure what is "poetic language" and a more literal belief because I know even literal beliefs are going to be very simplistic and I can't possibly "know" how everything works, you know?  I mean I know the things I see as definitely more metaphorical, like the actual myths, but even a myth taken mythically can have correlations to the real world. That's what makes myth powerful in the first place.

 

Either way... for me the gods function practically as the type of person I admire and want to be like/live up to. Values that reflect my own. (Also it reminds me that in the not-that-distant past on the grand scale of things... there was a WHOLE people who thought a LOT like I do about things. And it just makes me feel less alone because I think so many people have bought into the idea that being spiritual means absurd levels of altruism and just a lot of stuff I find toxic and really "anti-values" like a lot of the bullshit Christianity teaches as moral.)

 

And really less of an obsession with "purity". I hate how both Buddhism and Christianity are so obsessed with being "perfect" rather than being real. I think the pagan way (European since I can't speak to how other pagan systems around the world function), is just a more "true" way of seeing the world. Even if you take EVERYTHING metaphorically, the basic principles of the natural balance of things and not trying to work against or override that natural order at every turn is wisdom we've lost which is going to get us very close to destroying ourselves. (all the pollution and other bullshit)

 

re: INTJ and INFJ it seems fitting to me that a lot of people who would question and leave Christianity would fall along that end of the Myers-Briggs spectrum. And yes it seems INFJ is more common in women and INTJ is more common in men, but both categories are pretty rare personality types. Especially INFJ which is only like 2% of the population.

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