Keep a Good LOOK out: Realizing the Grass Isn’t Always Greener

I have an obsession.  Okay, let’s be real, I have multiple obsessions (one of them happens to be couponing, but that’s a different story for a different day). w175 The obsession I’m talking about here is the Christian Satellite Network.  They play on one of the local radio stations here in South Carolina (like they do in most places across the country), and most of the time it’s pastors and ministers delivering various messages.  They’ll occasionally play some sort of praise music, and that’s fine… I can deal with gospel-ly rock songs every once in awhile.  Now, I like some Christian rock bands (Skillet, Barlow Girl, and a few others) when they aren’t being super preachy, but the stuff on CSN is super preachy (for obvious reasons).

Often times, when people find out that I have an obsession with CSN, I get the raised eyebrows, slightly tilted head, dagger-to-my-soul stare followed by questions like, “But aren’t you pagan?”  and “How you can stand to listen to that stuff?  It’s so annoying, and they’re so… not liberal.”

To which I genuinely reply, “All creation sings of wisdom and God, or, in my case, the Gods.  They may read from the Bible and base what they preach on the Bible, but there are still some really good spiritual truths in the messages: love your neighbor, but your trust in the Gods, etc.  I just don’t listen to all the non-Protestant Christian hating and gay hating that goes from time to time.  It’s not very often that it pops up on the radio.

To be truthful, though, the thing that really does it for me is their voices.  There is something about a good minister or pastor’s voice that calms me down and helps me ground and center and unwind after a really busy, hectic, crazy day.  It’s not all ministers, but the two programs that are usually on when I leave work have two ministers whose voices are really calming.

Sometimes, I’ll listen to Howard Hanger, who (in my opinion) is probably one of the best ministers out there, but that takes up data on my phone and I can only get one message a week.  But that’s off topic.

VID519A-389x550-PopCulturePaganism-500x550Where I was getting at was this: there is a commercial that comes up on CSN for a documentary called Pop Culture Paganism: Neovampirism, Wicca and the Occult.  You can get it from them for a suggested donation of blah, blah, blah or you can just watch it online for free.

One of the things that they teach us in our Education Preparation classes is that we have to determine what our students currently know and believe to be true about a topic.  We then use what they already know to add to that information or challenge them to change their views.  I think that this is something that is true of all things.

When I am approached by (or when I approach) someone who is a firm believer in Christianity to a point where I’ve become a delusional worshiper of Satan to them, I need to know where they’re coming from, what they already believe, and think about Paganism before I can attempt to have a conversation about what I believe in hopes of changing their minds, or at the very least, give them something to think about later.

So how do I do that?  I watch videos like Pop Culture Paganism.  If you decide to watch this video, I’m going to advise you right now to detach yourself from it as much as possible.  If you get angry about people talking smack about your faith, you may not want to watch this video.  It will turn into an hour and seven minutes that you’ll never get back.

Now, with that being said, I’m going to ruin the ending for you: Paganism is bad, it’s literally devil-worship, we know because we were in it, but Jesus can and will save you and these people, but we have to tell them so they know!

It was about what I expected it to be.  They talk to some pagans who are still practicing pagans, and for the life of me, I cannot figure out why these people would agree to talk to a group of Christians who were obviously going to talk poorly of them and video tape them in the process.  They talk to a lot of ex-pagans who left the faith after getting “in too deep” and realizing they were worshiping Satan.

One of the things that one of the ex-pagan women said really made me start to think.  It was towards the end of the film and she said, “Every person out there who is involved in the Occult is unhappy.  They won’t tell you this, though, they’ll make it seem like they’re life is perfect and they’re happy all the time, and that’s because that’s what they’re told to tell you.  But trust me, it’s not true.  They’re all miserable and unhappy and stressed.  They’re lives aren’t going well, and it’s because they’re trapped in this really dark place.”

And the first thought in my head, during this completely stressful time in my life called the end of the school year, was “Well, I’m stressed out.”  They go into talking about how Jesus and the Christian God can and will fix all that, and it started to give me a headache.  How can these people truly go through each and every day without an ounce of stress in their lives?  And I honestly feel like the answer is this: they can’t.

My brain started running off at a mile a minute as the credits started rolling on this video.

If I converted to Christianity, then all my problems are going to go away?  All the stress in my life is simply going to evaporate into thin air?  I’ll never have another care in the world?  This video is saying that Paganism is led by the devil, and the reason I feel stress is because the devil is doing evil things in my life, but if I convert to Christianity… then that won’t happen anymore and I won’t be stressed out over end of the year stuff, or money, or foster kitty vet visits, or graduate school work, or budgets, or laundry, or cleaning, or making dinner or anything.  Ever. Again.

And then I heard the Gods speaking to me, as they usually do when I’m willing to listen, and they said, “If you were to convert to Christianity to get rid of your stress… so that you can have a carefree life… you’d be awfully materialistic.”  Not that I was planning on converting, but I was working through the message they were sending to people, trying to figure out what it was they were saying (the film, I mean).Ankh

BAM!  That’s when it hit me.  I’m still going to be stressed.  I’m still going to have my own anxieties and worries about my day-to-day life.  The grass isn’t any greener on the Christianity side of the fence than it is over on the Kemeticism side of the fence.  The Gods aren’t going to shower you with gifts and blessings (which always, when you hear people talk about them, tend to be highly materialistic in nature) unless you are doing something to deserve them.

I’m not doing what I need to do to deserve having a stress free life.  My desk at work is cluttered.  The Gods aren’t going to make me feel all carefree about that because it needs to not be a disaster area. My coupon book needs to be reorganized, but I haven’t had time to do that yet because I’ve been busy finishing up my room for the end of the year.  I’m going to feel stressed about missing out on some banging deals because I haven’t organized like I should. 

I realize where I have come up lacking in my own life and the negative repercussions for my actions and behavior.  Conversion to a different belief system isn’t going to fix that.  The Christian God isn’t going to swoop in and fix all my problems, just like the Ancients aren’t going to fix them… Unless I start the process.

We need to start taking personal responsibility for our own lives and realize that the Gods (or God, which ever) isn’t going to magically swoop and and take all our problems away just by conversion.  The rosy picture that these videos and tracts and messages paint isn’t true, and it’s time that we start realizing that and standing up for ourselves, our faith, and our Gods.

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Posted on June 6, 2014, in Belief, Faith, Pagan Blog Project, Paganism, PBP, Religion, Spirituality and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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