Jump to content

Menu

Non-Christian faith questions.


Guest Cindie2dds
 Share

Recommended Posts

Guest Cindie2dds

I am wanting to learn myself and teach my girls about all faiths. I am particularly interested in non-Judeo/Christian.

 

Can you tell me what you would like others to know, any common misconceptions, favorite celebrations and how you do it, favorite resources, and your opinions are welcomed too!

 

I am a Christian, so I am looking for people of other faiths and traditions.

 

Please, no debating. I am just curious and I don't want to inadvertantly offend anyone. Thanks. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am wanting to learn myself and teach my girls about all faiths. I am particularly interested in non-Judeo/Christian.

 

Can you tell me what you would like others to know, any common misconceptions, favorite celebrations and how you do it, favorite resources, and your opinions are welcomed too!

 

I am a Christian, so I am looking for people of other faiths and traditions.

 

Please, no debating. I am just curious and I don't want to inadvertantly offend anyone. Thanks. :)

 

 

Paganism: An Introduction to Earth- Centered Religions is a very good book discussing a decent variety of pagan schools of thought and practice.

 

As far as what I would like others to know:

1) Not all Witches are Wiccans, and not all Wiccans are Witches.

2) Pagans are not anti-Christian just like Christians are not anti-Pagan.

3) If you ask 10 Pagans what a Pagan is, you will get 12 different answers.

Edited by Audrey
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Cindie2dds
Paganism: An Introduction to Earth- Centered Religions is a very good book discussing a decent variety of pagan schools of thought and practice.

 

As far as what I would like others to know:

1) Not all Witches are Wiccans, and not all Wiccans are Witches.

2) Pagans are not anti-Christian just like Christians are not anti-Pagan.

3) If you ask 10 Pagans what a Pagan is, you will get 12 different answers.

 

Thanks, Audrey. What are your favorite celebrations and what do you do to celebrate?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with the book rec. It is written very respectfully.

 

I would like others to know that:

 

a) Paganism is an umbrella term that covers a huge range of beliefs and practices. The term "Christianity" covers a wide range too, but that's nothin' compared to the range "Paganism" covers. Don't draw conclusions that what one Pagan believes is anything like what another does. As Audrey said, it probably isn't!

b) Satanists are not Pagans.

c) We really do believe that all people need to find their own path, and we really don't need anyone else to follow ours. This means we (as a general rule) are not easy to offend, so ask away :)

d) We already know about Christianity so witnessing won't convert us; please don't try. (This is not a criticism of you as a Christian, Cindie! Just that some people hold the belief that we are Pagan due to ignorance of Christianity and if we were only informed, we'd be Christian. This is incorrect.)

 

We observe the Winter Solstice, pretty much skip the Summer Solstice because Christmas is only a few days later and we celebrate that as a family and cultural holiday. We may or may not remember to notice the equinoxes. We're not from pagan families, so we're building this as we go along. Our kids are only tots, so we haven't got very far along this path yet. Not that dh actually identifies as Pagan, but he is happy to have these ideas and practices developed in our household.

 

Rosie

Edited by Rosie_0801
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Cindie! :) We are Sunni Muslim, I converted in my university years and dh was born and raised Muslim (India origin).

 

common misconceptions

Well there are a lot of those these days. I think the main, and most important, misconception is that Muslims are some kind of homogenous group. In fact, there are many sects in Islam, just as there are in Christianity; and just as much in-fighting, with some saying those in other groups aren't "real Muslims" etc. etc. There are Muslim communities all over the world, and there is an observance range - from people who identify as cultural Muslims to people who are ultra-observant of whatever flavor of Islam they follow.

 

So multiply the number of different sects, to the number of different cultures, to the number of levels of religious observance.... it's not logical to presume there is much consensus in the greater Muslim community. There just isn't; I would venture to guess even among the handful of Muslims we have posting on this board that there is signifcant difference in how we live our lives as Muslims.

 

favorite celebrations

My favorite time of the Islamic calendar is Ramadan. When we were living in the States the communities were always very close; we'd have community dinners every night at the masjid, we did group evening prayers (taraweeh) where we involved all the children, it was great.

 

Now that we're living in a Muslim-majority country, the Ramadan experience is different. The daily schedule shifts -- dh goes into work later and comes home earlier. All my neighbors send dishes to us (and each other) every night; on Eid day itself (the celebration at the end of Ramadan), all the kids in the enighborhood come around to ask for treats (kind of like trick-or-treating). We don't do family prayers at night anymore, but dh takes the kids to the masjid and I have private time each night for my own meditations, which is also great.

 

favorite resources

One book for an introduction to the Qur'an is Thomas Cleary's Essential Koran. I'm sure others will have additional recommendations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Audrey. What are your favorite celebrations and what do you do to celebrate?

 

Samhain, Yule and Beltaine are my favourite celebrations.

 

Samhain we do a bonfire. It is usually quite cold, so the warmth is welcome. It is usually the last chance to revel outdoors (even if only a while) before the deep freeze hits. We keep it just family -- because Samhain is about family. We talk about those who have passed, but our little rule is that we honour the best memories, not get into a big cry fest. :001_smile: I make family favourite foods, but not favourites of those who are still living -- favourites of those who have passed. It's an amazingly sentimental experience. I enjoy it very much.

 

Yule, is much like Xmas, but starts a little earlier. We do a little gift exchange each of the 12 days (Yule through New Year's) instead of one big gift exchange. We have a a few little parties: cookie baking party; tree decorating party; skiing party; New Year's party. These little parties change a bit as we've added other like-minded families to our group of friends.

 

Beltaine also has a big bonfire. We have some Springtime activities for the kids, but it's definitely a more 'grown-up' celebration. If we're lucky and the weather has cooperated, we make a big to-do about bringing out all the farming equipment from storage. If we're not lucky and the weather hasn't cooperated, we'll still start some seedlings (which we also do at Ostara).

 

There are other things, but that's the gist of it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have watched and enjoyed the Understanding World Religions DVD series. It includes these titles:

 

What is Religion?

What is Christianity?

What is Islam?

What is Hinduism?

What is Buddhism?

What is Judaism?

 

We borrowed them from our local library via inter-library loan.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sanatana Dharma/Hinduism/Vedanta

 

The biggest misconception about my faith is that it is based on polytheism which is completely false. While there are plenty of various sects within Hinduism and the practices and some beliefs will vary enormously to where no two Hindu's answers about Hinduism will be the same, the one thing that does not waver across the board is that there is ONE, all pervasive Supreme Being (God/Universe/Nameless) who is both immanent and transcendent, who is both Creator and Unmanifest Reality.

 

Rosie's point about Pagans believing everyone needs to find there own path also holds true in Sanatana Dharma.

 

My family's favorite holidays are Diwali and Holi. Shivratri is also an important holiday with my husband's family.

 

This website has a plethora of links to information about the history of Hinduism, the celebrations, sects, etc.

http://www.hinduismtoday.com/modules/wfchannel/index.php?wfc_cid=20

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Usborne's World of Faith is good. DK has out books on world religions, too. Demi has written many beautiful books covering eastern faiths. Peter Sis' book, Tibet: Through the Red Box is good. Leonard Fisher has a couple of books that deal with eastern faiths. Dance, Sing, Remember is one good book about Judaism for younger children.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

d) We already know about Christianity so witnessing won't convert us; please don't try. (This is not a criticism of you as a Christian, Cindie! Just that some people hold the belief that we are Pagan due to ignorance of Christianity and if we were only informed, we'd be Christian. This is incorrect.)

 

 

 

Rosie

 

 

Oh yes... this one. Also, Pagans don't become Pagans because they "just haven't been to the right church, yet." :lol: That one always made me laugh a little. Additionally, don't assume a Pagan doesn't know a LOT about Christianity. Most Pagans I know IRL actually know more about Christianity than most Christians I know IRL, but that might be because most of the Pagans I know IRL were raised in very evangelical churchy families.

 

On another note: there are some good books written for Pagan families to share the Sabbats. Circle Round is one we used, but it is very, very Wiccan, and almost entirely Goddess-centred, so some Pagans find it unusable for that. Another one that is more about celebrating the Sabbats, with less emphasis toward Wiccan (although I would argue that it is still pretty Wiccan) is Celebrating the Great Mother.

Edited by Audrey
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sanatana Dharma/Hinduism/Vedanta

 

The biggest misconception about my faith is that it is based on polytheism which is completely false.

 

I always thought of Hinduism as being quite sensible when it came to gods. I imagine the different deities to be like separate phone lines to God. Your call will be processed faster if you ring the most relevant department.

 

(No offense intended, I hope you understand.)

 

:)

Rosie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Cindie2dds

Thank you, Rosie. Faith is very personal, and I am very quick to let people know what I believe so it's out there. After that, it's up to the curious to ask.

 

I had never really thought how many different types of "Pagans" there would be. How would you define what you believe yourself?

 

You stumped me a little about the solstice, but then I remembered you were in the Southern Hemisphere! :lol:

 

I agree with the book rec. It is written very respectfully.

 

I would like others to know that:

 

a) Paganism is an umbrella term that covers a huge range of beliefs and practices. The term "Christianity" covers a wide range too, but that's nothin' compared to the range "Paganism" covers. Don't draw conclusions that what one Pagan believes is anything like what another does. As Audrey said, it probably isn't!

b) Satanists are not Pagans.

c) We really do believe that all people need to find their own path, and we really don't need anyone else to follow ours. This means we (as a general rule) are not easy to offend, so ask away :)

d) We already know about Christianity so witnessing won't convert us; please don't try. (This is not a criticism of you as a Christian, Cindie! Just that some people hold the belief that we are Pagan due to ignorance of Christianity and if we were only informed, we'd be Christian. This is incorrect.)

 

We observe the Winter Solstice, pretty much skip the Summer Solstice because Christmas is only a few days later and we celebrate that as a family and cultural holiday. We may or may not remember to notice the equinoxes. We're not from pagan families, so we're building this as we go along. Our kids are only tots, so we haven't got very far along this path yet. Not that dh actually identifies as Pagan, but he is happy to have these ideas and practices developed in our household.

 

Rosie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Cindie2dds
Oh yes... this one. Also, Pagans don't become Pagans because they "just haven't been to the right church, yet." :lol: That one always made me laugh a little. Additionally, don't assume a Pagan doesn't know a LOT about Christianity. Most Pagans I know IRL actually know more about Christianity than most Christians I know IRL, but that might be because most of the Pagans I know IRL were raised in very evangelical churchy families.

 

On another note: there are some good books written for Pagan families to share the Sabbats. Circle Round is one we used, but it is very, very Wiccan, and almost entirely Goddess-centred, so some Pagans find it unusable for that. Another one that is more about celebrating the Sabbats, with less emphasis toward Wiccan (although I would argue that it is still pretty Wiccan) is Celebrating the Great Mother.

 

Well, I think the best way to show people how deep one's faith is would be to walk it daily; after that, the curious will ask. It happens. I'm sure it's happened to you, too. If you truly have not heard, I will ask if you want to know only after I have a relationship with you.

 

Can you clarify something for me. Why would a Pagan find a "Goddess-centered" book unusable? Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Cindie2dds
We have watched and enjoyed the Understanding World Religions DVD series. It includes these titles:

 

What is Religion?

What is Christianity?

What is Islam?

What is Hinduism?

What is Buddhism?

What is Judaism?

 

We borrowed them from our local library via inter-library loan.

 

Thank, Natalie.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Cindie2dds
Hi Cindie! :) We are Sunni Muslim, I converted in my university years and dh was born and raised Muslim (India origin).

 

common misconceptions

Well there are a lot of those these days. I think the main, and most important, misconception is that Muslims are some kind of homogenous group. In fact, there are many sects in Islam, just as there are in Christianity; and just as much in-fighting, with some saying those in other groups aren't "real Muslims" etc. etc. There are Muslim communities all over the world, and there is an observance range - from people who identify as cultural Muslims to people who are ultra-observant of whatever flavor of Islam they follow.

 

So multiply the number of different sects, to the number of different cultures, to the number of levels of religious observance.... it's not logical to presume there is much consensus in the greater Muslim community. There just isn't; I would venture to guess even among the handful of Muslims we have posting on this board that there is signifcant difference in how we live our lives as Muslims.

 

favorite celebrations

My favorite time of the Islamic calendar is Ramadan. When we were living in the States the communities were always very close; we'd have community dinners every night at the masjid, we did group evening prayers (taraweeh) where we involved all the children, it was great.

 

Now that we're living in a Muslim-majority country, the Ramadan experience is different. The daily schedule shifts -- dh goes into work later and comes home earlier. All my neighbors send dishes to us (and each other) every night; on Eid day itself (the celebration at the end of Ramadan), all the kids in the enighborhood come around to ask for treats (kind of like trick-or-treating). We don't do family prayers at night anymore, but dh takes the kids to the masjid and I have private time each night for my own meditations, which is also great.

 

favorite resources

One book for an introduction to the Qur'an is Thomas Cleary's Essential Koran. I'm sure others will have additional recommendations.

 

Wow, thanks, Kate.

 

It's a shame when people of the same faith can't get along; I know.

 

I think I have a misunderstanding about Ramadan. I thought there was a lot of fasting involved. It sounds like it's a feast! Is there a different type I am thinking about? I love the community aspect of it. I think getting together to celebrate is such a wonderful time for you and your family.

 

I've also had people ask for somewhere private to pray on the airplane before because it was time. I probably had a look on my face like :001_huh: because all we have is a bathroom, and a not very clean one at that. Why would someone need to pray at a specific time? What is the "most Holy" time of year for Muslims?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I always thought of Hinduism as being quite sensible when it came to gods. I imagine the different deities to be like separate phone lines to God. Your call will be processed faster if you ring the most relevant department.

 

And, to illustrate the "10 Pagans = 12 answers" :D, I believe my calls are going to actual separate companies rather than departments of the same company. I'm going to call the plumber when I have a leaky faucet, the doctor when I'm ill, the bakery when I want a cake. The baker may know a few home remedies, but it isn't his specialty.;) Essentially, I believe that if there is any sort of underlying ultimate ground of being from which both we and the Gods sprang, it is as far removed from human life and relevant to our daily existence as the Horsehead Nebula is to an ant in my front yard. We are Hellenic Neopagan Unitarian Universalists, with influences from Shinto/Buddhism/Reform Judaism, so a tiny, tiny, tiny minority religion:001_smile: (we're even really fringe among the UUs *and* among the Neopagans!). For more info on Unitarian Universalism (since the Neopagan aspect has been addressed to some degree), check out http://www.uua.org.

 

Another thing I would add to the "misconceptions" list: The vast majority of followers of non-Abrahamic religions are not going to consider the Bible (either the Hebrew, Christian---Catholic or Protestant, or Muslim versions) to be authoritative, so "The Bible/Tanakh/Koran says....." is not a compelling argument.

 

For the major religions, I like DK's "A Faith Like Mine," "Children Just Like Me," and "Children Just Like Me: Celebrations." I also like Ganeri's "Religions Explained: A Beginner's Guide to World Faiths." I've started organizing a series of comparative religion field trips for our homeschool group to various faith communities in our area---very interesting. There are also a couple of interesting Girl Scout awards related to interfaith study (a patch from a council in Texas and a tryit/badge/IP from one in the upper Midwest). If anyone's interested, I can give the links.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Cindie2dds

Thank you for the link. I am having a hard time wrapping my head around it since I always thought Hindu was polytheistic also. I've got some research to do. :)

 

Sanatana Dharma/Hinduism/Vedanta

 

The biggest misconception about my faith is that it is based on polytheism which is completely false. While there are plenty of various sects within Hinduism and the practices and some beliefs will vary enormously to where no two Hindu's answers about Hinduism will be the same, the one thing that does not waver across the board is that there is ONE, all pervasive Supreme Being (God/Universe/Nameless) who is both immanent and transcendent, who is both Creator and Unmanifest Reality.

 

Rosie's point about Pagans believing everyone needs to find there own path also holds true in Sanatana Dharma.

 

My family's favorite holidays are Diwali and Holi. Shivratri is also an important holiday with my husband's family.

 

This website has a plethora of links to information about the history of Hinduism, the celebrations, sects, etc.

http://www.hinduismtoday.com/modules/wfchannel/index.php?wfc_cid=20

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Cindie2dds

Karen, this is great. I'm going to break it down to ask questions.

 

This explains a lot, thank you. I guess it would very are to generalize where Pagans are concerned. I would have before this thread.

 

And, to illustrate the "10 Pagans = 12 answers" :D, I believe my calls are going to actual separate companies rather than departments of the same company. I'm going to call the plumber when I have a leaky faucet, the doctor when I'm ill, the bakery when I want a cake. The baker may know a few home remedies, but it isn't his specialty.;) Essentially, I believe that if there is any sort of underlying ultimate ground of being from which both we and the Gods sprang, it is as far removed from human life and relevant to our daily existence as the Horsehead Nebula is to an ant in my front yard.

 

See, I guess I'm having problems defining "Pagan" and "Neopagan" which you said was covered must have flown over my head. What's the difference between them? Also, can you explain "Hellenic Neopagan" or sum up; so to speak?

 

We are Hellenic Neopagan Unitarian Universalists, with influences from Shinto/Buddhism/Reform Judaism, so a tiny, tiny, tiny minority religion:001_smile: (we're even really fringe among the UUs *and* among the Neopagans!). For more info on Unitarian Universalism (since the Neopagan aspect has been addressed to some degree), check out www.uua.org.

 

Thank you for addressing the misconception. I completely understand that my Bible will have absolutely no relevance to you since it is not your faith. I am very glad you pointed this out because that's were a lot of misunderstanding comes from.

 

 

Another thing I would add to the "misconceptions" list: The vast majority of followers of non-Abrahamic religions are not going to consider the Bible (either the Hebrew, Christian---Catholic or Protestant, or Muslim versions) to be authoritative, so "The Bible/Tanakh/Koran says....." is not a compelling argument.

 

Thank you for the book list and I would love to have a homeschool group here to have a comparative religion field trip or an interfaith study. It's going to have to be online because finding a secular homeschool community here is very, very hard.

 

May I have the links, please?

 

For the major religions, I like DK's "A Faith Like Mine," "Children Just Like Me," and "Children Just Like Me: Celebrations." I also like Ganeri's "Religions Explained: A Beginner's Guide to World Faiths." I've started organizing a series of comparative religion field trips for our homeschool group to various faith communities in our area---very interesting. There are also a couple of interesting Girl Scout awards related to interfaith study (a patch from a council in Texas and a tryit/badge/IP from one in the upper Midwest). If anyone's interested, I can give the links.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Cindie2dds

Samhain we do a bonfire. It is usually quite cold, so the warmth is welcome. It is usually the last chance to revel outdoors (even if only a while) before the deep freeze hits. We keep it just family -- because Samhain is about family. We talk about those who have passed, but our little rule is that we honour the best memories, not get into a big cry fest. :001_smile: I make family favourite foods, but not favourites of those who are still living -- favourites of those who have passed. It's an amazingly sentimental experience. I enjoy it very much.

 

This sounds lovely. It reminds me of what we used to do for All Souls Day. What a beautiful way to remember special people. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, thanks, Kate.

 

I think I have a misunderstanding about Ramadan. I thought there was a lot of fasting involved. It sounds like it's a feast! Is there a different type I am thinking about? I love the community aspect of it. I think getting together to celebrate is such a wonderful time for you and your family.

It is about fasting, but at the end of each day there is a lot of mini-celebration that has grown around breaking the fast. There are lots of cultural traditions -- different foods and dishes that different countries traditionally serve. It's easy to get caught up in the food of it all instead of the fasting; but for me I like how it's a time of personal renewal and community togetherness. We were in Saudi one Ramadan and we were driving somewhere outside of Makkah when it was time for breaking the fast; they had people outside at the street corners handing out little snack boxes to passing cars so people could break their fasts.

 

But there are generally lots of articles and commentaries every Ramadan urging people to be mindful of the religious aspect of the month. Many people actually gain weight during Ramadan!

 

 

I've also had people ask for somewhere private to pray on the airplane before because it was time. I probably had a look on my face like :001_huh: because all we have is a bathroom, and a not very clean one at that. Why would someone need to pray at a specific time?

 

There are five required prayers every day -- at dawn, midday, mid-afternoon, sunset, and evening. If you are traveling you are permitted to combine some of them, like do the midday and mid-afternoon prayers together; but you're supposed to figure out a way to do them and not skip them altogether. Generally on a plane dh and I will do our prayers at our seats -- you can do it in a sitting position if you have to. I don't know that I would really consider any floor space on an airplane particularly clean, lol.

 

Each prayer has a small range of time to do it in, so it isn't like you *must* do it at one specific time, you generally have an hour or two to get it done. There are prayer timetables available on the internet, or you can buy them; they print the prayer timings in our local papers. We can hear the call to prayer at our house, and also the local tv stations will break at a prayer time and play the call to prayer when the time comes in. There are also computer programs you can download, and have your computer play the call to prayer at the right times in your home; or buy an alarm clock that does it. Lots of options, lol.

 

What is the "most Holy" time of year for Muslims
Ramadan. Hajj is comparable, but if you aren't actually going on Hajj it perhaps doesn't carry as much weight with you, kwim? There are two 'Eids, or holidays, one at the end of Ramadan and one at the end of Hajj.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Cindie2dds

Thank you for clearing up my questions. Misconceptions happen so often between faiths. I am so glad we have a place for discussion. Thank you, Ladies! :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had never really thought how many different types of "Pagans" there would be. How would you define what you believe yourself?

 

 

I identify as a Western Taoist, non-deitied, season based, kitchen witchey (but with spells) wannabe, solitary Pagan.

 

To break it down:

~Western Taoist- What you have when you take the Chinesey bits out of Taoism. Read the Tao of Pooh for more info.

 

~Non-deitied- Self explanatory, I believe Gods exist in people's heads and there aren't any in mine. I have a deity equivalent, and that's my interpretation of the Tao.

 

~Season Based- I believe a lot of modern people's feelings of drudgery come from trying to make everything neat, tidy and samey. If everything is the same, there is nothing to look forward to. The Church calendar of observance is not relevant to me, the turning of the seasons fills the same need in me.

 

~Kitchen Witchy (not with spells) wannabe- I feel that to grow further along my spiritual path, I need to explore gardening, herbalism, nutrition and learn to practice them. The spell-less bit comes from some who identify as Kitchen Witches going in for spell casting and that isn't my cup of tea.

 

~Solitary- I'm not part of a religious community.

 

~Pagan- a useful summation word :)

 

Can you clarify something for me. Why would a Pagan find a "Goddess-centered" book unusable? Thanks!

 

For the same reason the Jews find the New Testament unusable. (I assume that's their view, I've not asked any personally!) They would have no use for a text focusing on Jesus as the Messiah if they don't believe he was. I have no personal use for a text focusing on the Goddess because I don't believe in one. It'll come in handy when teaching other types of pagan belief as part of our comparative religion study, but that's not what you meant.

 

See, I guess I'm having problems defining "Pagan" and "Neopagan" which you said was covered must have flown over my head. What's the difference between them? Also, can you explain "Hellenic Neopagan" or sum up; so to speak?

 

 

It depends on the context the words are being used, I think. "Pagan" is a shorthand for "Neopagan" if talking about modern religion, though some people say they are worshiping exactly as their ancestors did so what they are doing is not a revival but a continuation of centuries old practice. One could debate that, but it wouldn't be very worthwhile, I shouldn't think. A Hellenic Neopagan would be a modern person following the ancient Greek gods. The ancient Greeks were pagans, people reviving what they did in the modern day are Neopagans, Neo meaning 'new.' The jargon is discussed in the book Audrey linked earlier, and I can only repeat that recommendation.

 

:)

Rosie

Edited by Rosie_0801
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Cindie2dds
~Season Based- I believe a lot of modern people's feelings of drudgery come from trying to make everything neat, tidy and samey. If everything is the same, there is nothing to look forward to. The Church calendar of observance is not relevant to me, the turning of the seasons fills the same need in me.

 

~Kitchen Witchy (not with spells) wannabe- I feel that to grow further along my spiritual path, I need to explore gardening, herbalism, nutrition and learn to practice them. The spell-less bit comes from some who identify as Kitchen Witches going in for spell casting and that isn't my cup of tea.

 

I have been making seasons, and the surrounding celebrations, a very important part of our daily life and part of our school. Getting back to nature has been huge for me this year. This also includes getting messy in the kitchen, the garden and dirt in general. I find it very centering to be closer to nature and the creation (for me).

 

I will check out the book Audrey recommended. I've already done the "look inside" and it is very respectful. Thank you for taking the time to respond so thoroughly and with your wit still intact. ;)

Edited by Cindie2dds
clarification
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I think the best way to show people how deep one's faith is would be to walk it daily; after that, the curious will ask. It happens. I'm sure it's happened to you, too. If you truly have not heard, I will ask if you want to know only after I have a relationship with you.

 

Can you clarify something for me. Why would a Pagan find a "Goddess-centered" book unusable? Thanks!

 

 

Well, there are many different kinds of Pagans, but some are goddesses only, where many others incorporate both the God and Goddess. This particular book is fine with me because well... I don't do gods or goddesses, so we skip our way through that. Some others might be offended at the exclusion of the gods, though. It's also very mainstream Wiccan, and not all Pagans will want to delve through that. I'm sure the Hellenists and Asatrus, for example, would find very little useful in it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading these posts. I am heartened to see that people of such different faiths can have open discussion about their curiosity and thirst for knowledge about other religions and non-religions. It has always perplexed me as to why many Christians have such a hard time with this and why they don't want their children to know about other religions. I intend to educate my children about as many as I can. We have already studied Buddhism (PBS did a good job on their series for 5th grade and up). We discuss the Tao and Confucius, a little about Shintoism. My children are too young to appreciate Hinduism and its intricacies and I need to learn much more about the Muslim faith to introduce it. As we go through the West, we discuss the pagan religions along with our history. None of this threatens my faith, and ultimately they must choose their own. Thank you for starting, and hopefully continuing posts like these. It keeps us all thinking and conversing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I always thought of Hinduism as being quite sensible when it came to gods. I imagine the different deities to be like separate phone lines to God. Your call will be processed faster if you ring the most relevant department.

 

(No offense intended, I hope you understand.)

 

:)

Rosie

That is kinda the way I look at my Catholic patron saints.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am wanting to learn myself and teach my girls about all faiths. I am particularly interested in non-Judeo/Christian.

Can you tell me what you would like others to know, any common misconceptions, favorite celebrations and how you do it, favorite resources, and your opinions are welcomed too!

I am a Christian, so I am looking for people of other faiths and traditions.

Please, no debating. I am just curious and I don't want to inadvertantly offend anyone. Thanks. :)

 

I love this thread. I think it's wonderful that you're teaching your girls about other faiths. Oftentimes, unfortunately, people tend to develop tunnel vision and think that their religion is the only one.

We're Baha'is. A common misconception is that we're an Islamic sect. We're not. We believe in:

the oneness of all religions

the oneness of mankind

the oneness of God

We have many celebrations and are the 2nd most widespread religion in the world.

We do not feel that ours is the only religion, nor that it will be the last one.

Rainn Wilson's interview here (from "The Office") says it well. A good quick read. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

See, I guess I'm having problems defining "Pagan" and "Neopagan" which you said was covered must have flown over my head. What's the difference between them? Also, can you explain "Hellenic Neopagan" or sum up; so to speak?

 

Sorry, the terms are often used interchangeably as Rosie said. Personally, I prefer Neopagan because the way in which I relate to the Gods is in the context of my 21st century life. I'm not identically recreating the worship patterns or experience of a 5th century BCE Athenian or Spartan, for instance, and could never fully because I don't live in that society. It's similar to the way in which a modern Christian in the US does not, even if she tries, have an identical experience of her faith as a 1st century Christian in Judea or a 12th century one in France (or even a 21st century one in some areas of the world). There are lots of core similarities, but they aren't identical.

 

Hellenic---following the Olympians, in the understanding of Them that has come through our Western heritage. I'm a hard polytheist--the Gods are separate and distinct, not facets of anything. They are part of the Universe, just as we are, not omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent or omnibenevolent and not transcendent. No single inspired text---the writings of the ancients are a place to start---humanity's attempt to use limited human language to describe their experiences with that which is beyond common human experience. They are not literal descriptions of specific events in history. Our current personal experiences are also important in guiding worship. No salvation plan because there is no concept of an original sin from which we need redemption. The world (and humanity) is not fallen, it simply is. No concept of imitatio dei as in Christianity---the Gods are not pattern cards for us to follow, that would be hubris and definitely frowned upon:). People are people and the Gods are the Gods---the spheres overlap at times, but the same rules do not apply.

 

Unlike many religions under the umbrella "Paganism," we don't do spells or magic---we do piety :).Worship takes the form of prayer, pouring libations of water, wine, oil, etc, and offerings of food, time, effort, etc (no animals ;)). For community, we attend a Unitarian Universalist church. As far as I know, we are the only folks in our state who would be considered Hellenic Neopagans. http://www.hellenion.org/ will give you a bit of an idea, but we aren't actually members of the group so our practices are a bit different (we're not even mainstream Hellenic Neopagans, of course;))

 

Our holidays are a mix of cultural ones (Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, July 4th, etc) and seasonal (solstices, primarily) and the seasonal ones we try to make as relevant to the ecosystem in which we live as possible rather than tying it to that of some other area. For instance our climate and seasonal activities in the southern US at Beltaine (May 1) are going to look radically different than Audrey's up in Canada or Rosie's in Australia at the same time.

 

May I have the links, please?

Religions Around the World patch (Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas) http://www.girlscouts-swtx.org/gssa/Council_Patch_Programs.asp?SnID=1899354383

Passport to Religions tryit/badge/interest patch (different age levels) (Girl Scouts of Chicago---here's the link to order the award once completed http://www.shopgirlscouts.com/products.taf?parent_id=N8)

http://www.shopgirlscouts.com/publications/PassportRequirements.pdf

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, there are many different kinds of Pagans, but some are goddesses only, where many others incorporate both the God and Goddess. This particular book is fine with me because well... I don't do gods or goddesses, so we skip our way through that. Some others might be offended at the exclusion of the gods, though. It's also very mainstream Wiccan, and not all Pagans will want to delve through that. I'm sure the Hellenists and Asatrus, for example, would find very little useful in it.

 

I own copies of both Circle Round and Celebrating the Great Mother and find them occasionally useful in small parts:). It is indeed very mainstream Wiccan (the majority faith under the Paganism umbrella in the US is the modern religion of Wicca, albeit there are almost innumerable forms of practice in that group).

 

As Audrey says, there are all kinds of understandings of deity in various Pagan/Neopagan religions. Some are as monotheist as Christians, but their single deity is a Goddess. Another monotheist view is that all Gods and Goddesses as facets of a non-gendered Ultimate Being/Ultimate Reality. Some (most Wiccans fall here) are a form of duotheist---a God and a Goddess (sometimes called the Lord and the Lady) who are separate and distinct co-Supreme Beings with all the Gods and Goddesses known to humans seen as facets of these two. Some are hard polytheists as I've described. Some, as have been mentioned, are agnostic or atheist.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Cindie2dds

Thank you, Negin. I am embarrassed to say I have never heard of Baha'i. I really appreciate the links.

 

I love this thread. I think it's wonderful that you're teaching your girls about other faiths. Oftentimes, unfortunately, people tend to develop tunnel vision and think that their religion is the only one.

We're Baha'is. A common misconception is that we're an Islamic sect. We're not. We believe in:

the oneness of all religions

the oneness of mankind

the oneness of God

We have many celebrations and are the 2nd most widespread religion in the world.

We do not feel that ours is the only religion, nor that it will be the last one.

Rainn Wilson's interview here (from "The Office") says it well. A good quick read. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Cindie2dds
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading these posts. I am heartened to see that people of such different faiths can have open discussion about their curiosity and thirst for knowledge about other religions and non-religions. It has always perplexed me as to why many Christians have such a hard time with this and why they don't want their children to know about other religions. I intend to educate my children about as many as I can. We have already studied Buddhism (PBS did a good job on their series for 5th grade and up). We discuss the Tao and Confucius, a little about Shintoism. My children are too young to appreciate Hinduism and its intricacies and I need to learn much more about the Muslim faith to introduce it. As we go through the West, we discuss the pagan religions along with our history. None of this threatens my faith, and ultimately they must choose their own. Thank you for starting, and hopefully continuing posts like these. It keeps us all thinking and conversing.

 

Thank you for your support. I was a little nervous about starting this thread. "None of this threatens my faith, and ultimately they must choose their own." This is how I feel. While I know exactly what I believe and am at peace, my girls will need to come to the same place on their own.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have heard an interesting way to understand Hinduism, and would love to hear if this is accurate! It compares God to a disco ball, and all of the minor gods are simply the reflections of his many facets. I know - kinda irreverent - but it really helped explain Hiduism (and the fact that it is actually monotheistic) to my dc:D Along this vein, I have also heard that Christianity and its "Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost" are misunderstood by other cultures as polytheistc in the same way Christians misunderstand Hinduism.

 

I'm a deist, not much to know about this one. There are a lot of different beliefs among deists, many are very inspired by the Christian background the famlies grew up in. I'm a straight forward "there is a God, He is good, follow the Golden Rule and everything else will take care of itself." Most deists believe in evolution with a divine creator starting whatever happened in the big bang. Most believe that God cares, but that He does not intervene, He does not break the physical rules He set in creation, and that usually something we believe is/was a miracle is science that hasn't been understood yet. We believe the proof of God can be found through nature and with the Reason He gave us and that there are no divine revelations given to mankind. I also believe that all faiths are simply each culture's/family's way of understanding the same God - their own spiritual pathway, and that all are valid if they help someone find faith and goodness.

 

ETA: We celebrate most secular and Christian holidays. I considered myself a Christian until just about four years ago, and my kids have been brought up in a "Christian Deist" way. I find the history of holidays fascinating, and celebrate them more in the culture aspect that they have.

Edited by SailorMom
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I always thought of Hinduism as being quite sensible when it came to gods. I imagine the different deities to be like separate phone lines to God. Your call will be processed faster if you ring the most relevant department.

 

(No offense intended, I hope you understand.)

 

:)

Rosie

 

No offense taken! It's as others have already put it, no two answers are the same. That said, I personally, do not feel this is exactly correct. There are several Hindu gods ,the devas and devis, but one usually picks one as their personal god (Ishta Deva/Devi), ishta comes from the root word love in Sanskrit. This is the god that one feels most connected with as a guide to God/Supreme Being. When praying and meditating, it is far easier to have an image to focus upon. For example, when I pray I focus on the feet of my Ishta Deva, in a sense I am bowing down, a symbol of shedding pride and praying with all the love and compassion I have for God.

 

So I wouldn't really pray to one for one thing and another for another thing.

 

Thank you for the link. I am having a hard time wrapping my head around it since I always thought Hindu was polytheistic also. I've got some research to do. :)

 

Sanatana Dharma can be very easily misunderstood, this is because it requires a seeker of the faith to really delve deep, it is very difficult skim the surface and get a good picture of the faith.

 

Here are a couple of links that might help you to understand better.

 

http://hinduism.about.com/od/basics/a/hinduism.htm

http://studentorgs.utexas.edu/hsc/subpages/factsmisconceptions.html

 

There are multiple scriptures in Hinduism, here are a few quotes that explain that God is One:

 

“Ekam evadvitiyam" meaning" He is One only without a second.

[Chandogya Upanishad 6:2:1]

 

"Na samdrse tisthati rupam asya, na caksusa pasyati kas canainam" meaning "His form is not to be seen; no one sees Him with the eye."

[svetasvatara Upanishad 4:20]

 

"Ekam Brahm, dvitiya naste neh na naste kinchan" which means

"There is only one God, not the second; not at all, not at all, not in the least bit."

[brahma Sutra]

 

I have heard an interesting way to understand Hinduism, and would love to hear if this is accurate! It compares God to a disco ball, and all of the minor gods are simply the reflections of his many facets.

 

I like this analogy:001_smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for your support. I was a little nervous about starting this thread. "None of this threatens my faith, and ultimately they must choose their own." This is how I feel. While I know exactly what I believe and am at peace, my girls will need to come to the same place on their own.

 

I wish parents shared your viewpoint incuding, my parents included.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Cindie2dds
I have heard an interesting way to understand Hinduism, and would love to hear if this is accurate! It compares God to a disco ball, and all of the minor gods are simply the reflections of his many facets.

 

That's interesting. I love visuals. I can wrap my head around that much easier.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Cindie2dds

 

 

"Ekam Brahm, dvitiya naste neh na naste kinchan" which means

"There is only one God, not the second; not at all, not at all, not in the least bit."

[brahma Sutra]

 

Thanks for the links and the clarification. The above quote is not at all what I expected from the Hindu faith. I obviously have a lot to learn.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Cindie2dds
I wish parents shared your viewpoint incuding, my parents included.

 

While I am a Christian and am very happy with the Church, I know it is ultimately their decision how they choose to live their lives. We are raising them with the faith my husband and I have chosen and the rest is up to them. However they choose to live their lives, I just hope and pray we will always be a huge part of it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While I am a Christian and am very happy with the Church, I know it is ultimately their decision how they choose to live their lives. We are raising them with the faith my husband and I have chosen and the rest is up to them. However they choose to live their lives, I just hope and pray we will always be a huge part of it.

You're one special mama!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to confuse you a little further ;) I am a witch, but not a Wiccan. Both fall under the umbrella term "pagan". Wicca is too much like organized religion for me. :D I mark the wheel of the year by the traditional agriculture/season-based celebrations: Samhain, Yule (Winter Solstice), Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Litha (Summer Solstice), Lughnasa, and Mabon, which are really in tune with our lives since we grow a lot of our own food and try to live as much as possible in sync with the cycle of nature. The two previously mentioned books, Circle Round and Celebrating the Great Mother are both excellent resources, though I much prefer the latter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Cindie2dds
Just to confuse you a little further ;) I am a witch, but not a Wiccan. Both fall under the umbrella term "pagan". Wicca is too much like organized religion for me. :D I mark the wheel of the year by the traditional agriculture/season-based celebrations: Samhain, Yule (Winter Solstice), Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Litha (Summer Solstice), Lughnasa, and Mabon, which are really in tune with our lives since we grow a lot of our own food and try to live as much as possible in sync with the cycle of nature. The two previously mentioned books, Circle Round and Celebrating the Great Mother are both excellent resources, though I much prefer the latter.

 

Hi, Kelli! Thanks. By the way, I love your blog!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know you're asking about faith, but there is a common misconception that atheism is a faith. It drives me crazy. :tongue_smilie:

 

Atheism is not a faith. Atheism is not a denial of a god or gods. Disbelieving something for which there is no proof is not the same as having faith in something for which there is no proof of existence.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Cindie2dds
I know you're asking about faith, but there is a common misconception that atheism is a faith. It drives me crazy. :tongue_smilie:

 

There's a perfect misconception right there! I assumed atheism was a faith. Thanks for clearing that up, Moira. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know you're asking about faith, but there is a common misconception that atheism is a faith. It drives me crazy. :tongue_smilie:

 

Atheism is not a faith. Atheism is not a denial of a god or gods. Disbelieving something for which there is no proof is not the same as having faith in something for which there is no proof of existence.

Agreed.

 

There's a perfect misconception right there! I assumed atheism was a faith. Thanks for clearing that up, Moira. :)
It still surprises me when I find someone who sees it as a faith. :001_smile: It's more of a neutral position, for people who have yet to see sufficient reason to move beyond it. The default is that there are no gods, and if and until sufficient evidence surfaces to show otherwise, atheists just stay at that default-neutral position. Most atheists don't even say "There are no gods". They say "I've seen no reason to believe in any--no evidence--so I don't believe." Its logical equivalent on the believing end wouldn't be "There are god(s)" but rather "I have sufficient reason to believe in one or more--I've experienced something that is evidence to me--so I do believe." (Belief vs. knowledge is a key distinction here.)

 

Some believers counter by saying that the default-neutral position should be belief until proof (or its absence!) knocks the belief down, and there are those who reject the faith of their childhood due to lack of evidence. But many atheists would say in reply, "Which god(s), which religion should I start with?"

 

Not sure if that clears things up any. I tried. Can I blame it on the heat? :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Cindie2dds

 

Some believers counter by saying that the default-neutral position should be belief until proof (or its absence!) knocks the belief down, and there are those who reject the faith of their childhood due to lack of evidence. But many atheists would say in reply, "Which god(s), which religion should I start with?"

 

Not sure if that clears things up any. I tried. Can I blame it on the heat? :lol:

 

Well, I had to read it twice, only because my brain is in summer mode too.

 

I completely agree, though, if you aren't sure what your truth is, the default should be neutral. Otherwise, where would you start is a great statement. If you asked some one of a particular faith, it would, of course, be theirs. That wouldn't really be neutral, now, would it? :tongue_smilie:

 

Ugh, don't get me started on the heat. Puddles in the bra before 9 am should be illegal!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...