Church driving gay into Neopaganism?

Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine said:
Majority? I'm not exactly sure if Wicca makes up the majority of pagans/neopagans. I personally think that Wicca is immediately thought of because of all of the publicity (and pseudopublicity) given to Wicca. In fact, many people associate witches with Wicca, yet not all witches are Wiccan and not all Wiccans witches. One can pretty much blame the media for the confusion imho. I mean, look at Charmed and similar shows/movies. I remember an old live action show from September, 1975 - May, 1977 titled Isis that fiddled around with kemeticism (sort of.)
Well, I don't mean a majority people-wise. I really doubt that the majority number of pagans are Wiccans, but the publicity they get makes them a majority in the manner that other pagan paths tend to be measured against it. That's the way I learned it, I might be wrong.
Sisetekh said:
Well, I don't mean a majority people-wise. I really doubt that the majority number of pagans are Wiccans, but the publicity they get makes them a majority in the manner that other pagan paths tend to be measured against it. That's the way I learned it, I might be wrong.

I think the assumption of being in the majority is because there do seem to be more Wiccans actively "coming out of the broom closet" than those of other Pagan paths. It's not really that surprising. Seeking publicity was one of Gerald Gardner's hobbies, and it was also for Alex Sanders. More recent examples (Laurie Cabot, etc.) are just following that pattern. And the media does like colourful public characters!
Hello, There is a great book, "Blossom of Bone" which deals with the history of GLBT spirituality and religion in a historical context. One of the ideas in the book is that the official "Church" has always been anti GLBT. In the ancient world in many of the matrifocal cults, GLBT people acted as priests and priestesses, diviners, and as sacred prostitutes. Some of the most hated were the transgender Galli , folowers of Cybelle. Much of Gnostic Christianity was also open to GLBT people. Moving to the Middle Ages, Aurther Evans postulates the word "******" is from the wood bundle that heritics carried to their burning. The vulgur word bugger, is a corruption of the name of a heritical sect associated with the Cathars. Heresy and Sodomite were almost synonymous charges. The book is by Randy Conners, if memory serves me. When I was a young spiritual gay man I tried to conform to the Christian belief and practice. You can only pretend for so long. Important things like honesty and love intrude. I stopped all spiritual and religious activity for 15 years. When I turned 40 I meet a Wiccan Priestess (Dianic) and she show me a path GLBT people could follow. And so I did. I never become Wiccian, I tried Radical Fairie, Reconstructionist and others. I pretty much feel my spiritual path is as a Gnostic/magickal Christian. Funny how things work out. I guess I'm just a heretic. and by the way Wicca is the largest Neopagan religion in America by leaps and bounds. Don't know about the UK.
Dear All

I find the attitude of the Church amazing bearing in mind it is written that 50% of the clergy are gay.

Whilst doing some research on the 'Secret Gospel of Mark' which is about Jesus spending a week with one man alone night and day. I came across this scholar and his website, he has gone back to the original Greek and Hebrew translations. An interesting read when one has the time.

A scholarly and positive response on what the Hebrew and Greek Bible says concerning gays.

For he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” (Romans 13:8
KJV). Three of the commandments have to deal with honouring God and the other seven commandments deal with loving our neighbor as ourselves. Our neighbor is anyone we associate with and come in contact with. The purpose of the ten commandments were to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves. If we have done these, than we have fulfilled the Law according to Paul. In (1Corinthians 6:12 KJV) Paul said this: “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient (beneficial): all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any (become its slave).” Christians are picking and choosing what things to judge, that God has freely given us. As long as we as Christians love God and our neighbor as ourself, we are fulfilling the Law.

Love beyond measure

Dear Spiritman

"and by the way Wicca is the largest Neopagan religion in America by leaps and bounds. Don't know about the UK."

There does seem to be a trend and fashion here in the UK, especially amongst the young as they struggle to find a hole to fit into, mainly due to a lack of belief in God and/or rebellion against Christianity.

There is also rebellion rising against spiritual teachers and guru's, people are accessing the guru/wisdom within at last. (although I have noticed this more on US forums)

The last wave become ecologists and when speaking to the young ones now their connection to nature appears to be their main motivation for calling themselves wiccans. But on the whole in my experience, it is un-organised and very much an individual and sole choice. Many are finding spiritual communities on the internet so that they can be a part of a family and enjoy the feeling of belonging.

I feel we are beginning to see a whole new movement emerge, different from Wicca, this is a movement from the heart of experience, living in tune with everything in creation. It will be interesting to see this continue to blossom and how it will benefit the world and its children.

Love beyond measure

The biggest problem with "church" is that church can be a place where an individual gets abused for whatever they are doing that isnt "perfect", whether it is because you are gay, fat, not rich enough, not available enough, etc.

But it is interesting to notice that alot of neo-pagan movements are higher on the "gay" numbers, and I was under the impression that this was because neo-paganism had a different basis for morality than the western religions had. Whenever I visit a neo-pagan sight, I seem to come across alot of things that Christianity would frown on deeply about sexual issues - group sex has come up, trading partners has come up, being ok with same-sex relationships, and "feminist" issues in goddess worship. I would think that people who have these lifestyles for what ever reason would want to gather with people they could share their experiences with on an equal basis, for the same reason that when I had small kids I didn't really want to hang out with people in their "40's" because we had nothing in common, and now that I am in my 40's and my kids are older, I really cringe at having to hang out with people who have young kids - been there, done that, don't want to re-experience that again, sort of thing. I also noticed that for myself, I am not "attracted" to tv shows that display lifestyles I am not experiencing, even though I have tried to watch and understand them in order to be "fair" and see if they have any value - for example, I used to just love to watch that show "A Different World" about African American kids that went off to college. I am not Black, but I heavily identified with their problems because I was a college student, and even though I was married, and most of the characters were not, they still had alot of problems and challenges I identified with. I also Identified with the Cosby Show, because of the "family" experiences it presented and, though not Black, I did have a family. But the new African American Show about 3 single girls, I don't really feel attracted to that show because I don't have their problems. Same situation with Ellen DeGeneres' show that made homosexuality jokes that was removed from the air - I think the ratings went down because the major population is not gay, and simply did not understand the jokes. I know that I did not understand them, and found my self saying, "hm, wonder what was funny about that..." and trying to figure it out for the next few days. Her humor about things that applied to me were indeed funny. And like now I watch Seinfeld, which I love, and I don't know why I identify with it, maybe because the characters get themselves into so much trouble which I find myself doing, while Friends is more about relationships with singles, which I, as a married person do not experience. I think that gay people just need other gay people to interface with about their specific problems, and no matter how empethetic I am, I can not identify with those problems and have never experienced them. This brings us to Church again - there are no "gay" support groups that I know of in most churches. There used to not be divorce support groups either, or unwed mom support groups, alcohol/addiction groups, etc, but that has changed. I think that alot of people still believe superstitions about gay people, like that they might just actually be pedofiles (I have no idea why straight people believe this, but I have heard it before, several times), or that gays will try to teach children that it is ok to experiment with being gay, when parents want their children to not consider that lifestyle in a church setting especially. So there is alot of fear that "the gay people will run away with my children" sort of thing going on. If I were gay, I'd be offended by all this and start my own group! And I think that is what should happen - gay Christians have their trials to stop their sins, whatever they are just like everyone in Christendom does. They need to have congregations where they can feel accepted and get support for their problems. Christianity is a long way from yielding to this need, so people are seeking help in other religions. Unfortunately Islam prob. does not offer this type of support, and neither does the strict portions of Judaism, so what is a person to do? You end up choosing the alternative lifestyle not only in sex, but in religion as well, what else can you do? To me being anti-gay at church is exactly like being anti-smoker, anti-teen pregnancy, anti-divorce, and all these things happen to people who attend church. While the Bible teaches against such things (for our own good), it does not condemn anyone to hell who believes in Christ, no matter what he or she has done or is doing. Christ will "fix" everyone to perfect in heaven. Until then, we just have to accept ourselves as unperfect, and we are all unperfect.
Well. I'm Pagan, and I just so happen to be bisexual, but that's not why I'm Pagan. I am Pagan because I'm drawn to it, it makes sense to me. I haven't rejected Christianity, nor do I feel it rejected me. I simply find I can't agree with it's teachings. It's not for me. Simple.

However, I do find that neo-Paganism attracts a lot of people who are different for whatever reason. You could say it attracts 'mis-fits', or you could say it attracts strong people who prefer to govern themselves rather than be dictated to by a church, which at the end of the day is run by people. And people are not perfect. They have faults and prejudices and ideas that are going to be different to the next person's.

I do appreciate the fact that Pagans are usually very welcoming of gay/bi/trans people, that's great. Though I think if I was someone who identified with Christianity and happened to be bisexual, I wouldn't let it stop me.

And I'll just add in response to an earlier post that I'm bisexual because it's the way I was made, not because I'm rebelling, and I'm not Pagan because I'm rebelling either!:)

I can only be me.
I was quite surprised after reading Janet and Stewart Farrar's The Witches Bible, where they actually condemned gay covens, as to being unbalanced, etc. Their view is that wicca is a fertility religion, at least thats how I understood them. They dont believe in all male or all female covens.

I don't use the term Pagan to describe myself, but traditionally I do fall into this category. I am native american. In our ceremonies, there is a sacred place for those who are 'two-spirited". In pow wows, there are places for men and women who dress in a combination of traditonal male, female attire. Usually these people have the place of medicine person or seer, visionary. Their medicine quite powerful, and greatly respected.
Wendigo said:
I was quite surprised after reading Janet and Stewart Farrar's The Witches Bible, where they actually condemned gay covens, as to being unbalanced, etc. Their view is that wicca is a fertility religion, at least thats how I understood them. They dont believe in all male or all female covens.

While they might have felt that way when they wrote that book back in the early eighties, I don't think that this is their current feeling.

Stewart Farrar passed away and Janet is now married to Gavin Bone (who she continues to write with.) I've chatted with them both over the internet and found them to be inspiring, open, and very accepting people.

In fact, I think Janet (and Stewart before he died) actually regretted publishing "The Witches Bible" in a way because so many people have taken it as authoritative when they feel that witchcraft always was, still is, and should be a very organic and variable thing. Janet and Gavin's latest book, "Progressive Witchcraft," actually emphasizes this point.

So I doubt Janet and Gavin would have any problem with single-gender covens today.
Greetings all,

I think when we say 'Christians' (As this is a big group of people), driving the LGBT people into neopagan followings is abit severe. Before i was a Wiccan, i was a very deep Christian, but i had learned from a young age that the bible may not be all its cracked up to be, (Absolutly no offence to anyone who does believe in it) But how can a 'God' or 'Higher Being' condemn their own creation for turning out to be LGBT? The 'Higher Being' has put the ability for people to choose to be gay, why give someone the option, then punish them for choosing...?

My very close friend is gay, and is looking to marry her partner later this year. when i was talking to a college at work about this, she turned her nose up and said she didn't want to her about that sort of filth...she is a Roman Catholic. And although i thought people were being more open minded these days, you can't change a religions beliefs just because others are more accepting and understanding! When you are brought up believing something, it is hard to change your ways, especially the severity of some beliefs upbringing.