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odubhain
June 24th, 2008, 08:07 AM
The founder of Clannada na Gadelica (also known as John Wright) is now a Christian and is attempting to teach Pagans about Christianity as indicated on his new website:

http://www.aloveoffering.org/


Only the truth will be here. I am not trying to convert you. That is between you and G-d. I only ask my brothers and sisters who are still in the Pagan community to read this website with an open heart and an open mind. If you have a question or concern write. I love you and we'll work through communications glithces. Just keep that open mind and heart as you read.

Wright makes the following claims on the site:


When I was putting together the Clannada I committed myself, and the project, to giving only the best information available, using only the most reliable sources. It was a commitment to the truth. As a result, the Clannada na Gadelica became one of few places where people knew they could go for the actual, no holds barred facts about Celtic cultural traditions. Because of its tenacious quest for the facts, the Clannada was very influential in the development of modern Celtic paganism. In that era even the Irish government had a link to that mostly pagan website.

One wonders at the effects on how the essays of the Clannada will be received now that Wright has repudiated Paganism.

Perhaps these essays will stand apart from is religious choices in much the same way that Tim Cross's book, _The Sacred Cauldron_, stands on its own in spite of Tadhg Mac Crossan's own conversion?

Searles O'Dubhain

Halstrom
June 24th, 2008, 11:40 AM
I don't think that the works of John Wright will be invalidated just because he converted to Christianity. Drew Campbell was quiet important in the beginnings of Hellenismos, and later he converted to Christianity. However, his writtings are not looked upon any less because of his conversion. Sure his book Old Stones, New Temple is hard to find under $200, but that still hasn't diminished the work that he has done.

IMO, the John Wright's work shouldn't be written off just becuase he converted to Christianity.

odubhain
June 25th, 2008, 12:23 AM
I don't think that the works of John Wright will be invalidated just because he converted to Christianity. Drew Campbell was quiet important in the beginnings of Hellenismos, and later he converted to Christianity. However, his writtings are not looked upon any less because of his conversion. Sure his book Old Stones, New Temple is hard to find under $200, but that still hasn't diminished the work that he has done.

IMO, the John Wright's work shouldn't be written off just becuase he converted to Christianity.

I wasn't suggesting that his conversion to Christianity lessened his writings. However, his professed belief that Pagans are on the wrong path might cause some concern, especially since he was so strong that Paganism was right and Christianity wrong in his former days.

Generally, I believe that writings should stand or fall on their own words and meanings as supported by facts and logic. In some cases, one has to wonder how people can repudiate their own facts and logic through a change of choices and attitudes rather than logic or discernment.

I still like parts of Cross's book even though he has chosen another path. I wish he would publish the expanded version of it that he wrote (and which was 'dumbed down' by Llewellyn.

I like parts of what Wright has written as well (how could I not since he and I co-wrote some of the articles?). This inspite of personal animosities I might have for him based on his rejection of Druids and conflicts with me personally regarding freedom of speech (as well as other matters).

Searles O'Dubhain

David19
June 25th, 2008, 11:38 AM
I don't think that the works of John Wright will be invalidated just because he converted to Christianity. Drew Campbell was quiet important in the beginnings of Hellenismos, and later he converted to Christianity. However, his writtings are not looked upon any less because of his conversion. Sure his book Old Stones, New Temple is hard to find under $200, but that still hasn't diminished the work that he has done.

IMO, the John Wright's work shouldn't be written off just becuase he converted to Christianity.

QFT, I agree with you.

David19
June 25th, 2008, 11:41 AM
I wasn't suggesting that his conversion to Christianity lessened his writings. However, his professed belief that Pagans are on the wrong path might cause some concern, especially since he was so strong that Paganism was right and Christianity wrong in his former days.

Generally, I believe that writings should stand or fall on their own words and meanings as supported by facts and logic. In some cases, one has to wonder how people can repudiate their own facts and logic through a change of choices and attitudes rather than logic or discernment.

I still like parts of Cross's book even though he has chosen another path. I wish he would publish the expanded version of it that he wrote (and which was 'dumbed down' by Llewellyn.

I like parts of what Wright has written as well (how could I not since he and I co-wrote some of the articles?). This inspite of personal animosities I might have for him based on his rejection of Druids and conflicts with me personally regarding freedom of speech (as well as other matters).

Searles O'Dubhain

If, when he was a Pagan, he had the view that Paganism was "true" and Christianity was false, and now says the reverse (that Paganism is "wrong" and Christianity is "true"), then I'd say, it's likely his own problems, not the religions, he's obvously a fundamentalist, whatever religion he is.

I'd say, don't judge Christianity by his articles now, just like I wouldn't want other people to judge Paganism by his writings when he was saying Christianity was "wrong" and Paganism was "true". If you can get something out of it, then fine, use it, but just forget about the rest.

DandelionDame
June 25th, 2008, 01:29 PM
The founder of Carmina Gadelica...

Sorry, I'm confused - do you mean the Clannada na Gadelica?

_Banbha_
June 25th, 2008, 02:17 PM
DandelionDame: Yes, I think so. :)


The founder of Carmina Gadelica (also known as John Wright) is now a Christian and is attempting to teach Pagans about Christianity as indicated on his new website:

http://www.aloveoffering.org/



Wright makes the following claims on the site:



One wonders at the effects on how the essays of the Clannada will be received now that Wright has repudiated Paganism.

None that I can imagine among Recons. CR does not have issues with Christianity that some neo-Pagan's have at times.

When a man has focused on accuracy in his research, I don't see what religion or even the lack of it would have to do with anything. I think the only concern with CR's would be: is he keeping Clannada na Gadelica on line, because that would be a loss. Personal choices about religion are not really relevant.

Seren_
June 25th, 2008, 03:40 PM
I have to agree with Banbha...

I was under the impression that Clannada na Gadelica was open to both polytheistic and Christian traditionalists, anyway, so is there a conflict? From what I've heard there are no plans to change the focus of CnG, but that's not from the horses mouth so to speak (though I've no reason to doubt the source).

odubhain
June 25th, 2008, 08:14 PM
Sorry, I'm confused - do you mean the Clannada na Gadelica?

Yes. That's what I meant though it has been many years since I was on their board.

Chalk it up to an early morning brain cloud. :-(

Searles

odubhain
June 25th, 2008, 08:16 PM
I have to agree with Banbha...

I was under the impression that Clannada na Gadelica was open to both polytheistic and Christian traditionalists, anyway, so is there a conflict? From what I've heard there are no plans to change the focus of CnG, but that's not from the horses mouth so to speak (though I've no reason to doubt the source).

I was just thinking about Wright's demonizing of Pagan spirits and worship in his new essays.

It's just high irony to me.

Searles

DandelionDame
June 26th, 2008, 08:47 AM
Yes. That's what I meant though it has been many years since I was on their board.

Chalk it up to an early morning brain cloud. :-(

Searles
:smile: Thanks - understood.

skilly-nilly
June 26th, 2008, 12:04 PM
I think that the distinction isn't in personal belief but in what one promulgates as indisputable truth.

Same as in the 'Robert Graves' thread
http://mysticwicks.com/showthread.php?t=193472

When John Wright converts, it's personal belief and shouldn't really influence the personal beliefs of others until (or if) he then preaches his personal belief as indisputable truth. Nor does it change what he said/wrote/believed in the past until (or if) he repudiates it and then it's a question of whether his argumentation repudiating his past beliefs is convincing or not. The bald statement--'this is my now-belief, conform to it'-- is inherently ridiculous.

Same as the ever-recurrent Robert Graves argument. He wrote a visionary work as if it were a text. Many people take his personal belief as indisputable historic fact when it is clearly not the case. Their bad, surely. But it's hard to counteract the presentation of inspiration/fantasy/poetics as valid fact when he is so convincing.

I agree with what odubhain says elsewhere
"All insights, imbas, awen, gnossis or inspiration should serve as an impetus to studying one's traditions" but I think there is a trap set in there ready to snap shut on the unwary explorer.
Research is always a good. Having visions is desirable. There is a line between the two that cannot (imo) be crossed. There will necessarily be visions not attested to in lore, there will be lore that contradicts vision, and there will be the odd time when vision and lore are in agreement. The attested-to vision is not then a 'better' vision than the contradicted or un-attested one; it cannot be more true than it was before. It's comforting and exhilarating when that happens, but gnosis remains personal and historically-researched fact remains impersonal.

Arguing or conflating the 2 only leads to horrible mix-ups like the 'Celtic Tree Calendar' or 'Ogham as a divinatory aid'.

Historic fact is referencable, arguable, and wholly C-R; 'I had a vision' is indisputable and less so.

odubhain
June 30th, 2008, 07:27 AM
It's a shame to see that happen, a respectable community leader forsake his community and spirituality.

I think it's all a matter of him not finding his internal truth. He seems to be looking for it through change. I don't know all the factors influencing him but it seems to me that maybe one can see parallels to how some earlier Celtic leaders changed their allegiances and practices to Christianity.

Some may have been based on a search for spiritual fulfillment while others may have sought some form of advantage to themselves in doing so. Humans have an almost infinite ability to rationalize their actions to themselves if not to others.

Time and right actions will demonstrate the truth of his choices for himself, his family and his life. The Christian deities and mythologies are powerful ones though they are not the only powers/ways worthy of honoring as the Druids taught.

Early forms of Celtic Christianity did not demonize the gods though some forms of Christianity inherently make this parctice a part of their dogma. One hopes that CR folks and Druids won't follow that same path with Christian gods and ways (though history has shown that many forms of Christianity have this hidden tendency to intolerance of the ways of others built within them, even of other Christian and mono-theistic ways).

Wright seems to be trying to give the appearance of being open to Pagan folks and their ways but one should be cautious and remember the stories about the frog and the scorpion at the river or the snake and the monk who went to the top of the mountain. Understand the nature of a person before embracing them if at all possible and in spite of appearances.

Intuition does not always see through illusion and subterfuge. Not everyone who believes and acts differently is wrong. Sometimes people change (even leaders) and then the people around them receive the blessings or the curses of true or poorly considered choices.

I was initially taken in by Wright when he ran the Clannada because I thought he and I shared a vision about modern Celtic spirituality. I rejected him when his approach and practices became cult-like and controlling in the worst ways. I hope that his new presentation of himself and his professed beliefs is more open, reasonable and considerate of others.

Searles O'Dubhain

Faol-chu
July 22nd, 2008, 08:10 AM
You know, I recall that Wright did not have a particular problem with Christianity. Shortly before Clannada went defunct, he called on several occasions for people to accept solidarity with Christian Gaelic language speakers. (A sentiment with which I agree, actually.)-
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What really strikes me here is is seeming wholehearted throwing out of everything he learned during his time researching and writing the Clannada articles. On the Clannada site, there was this whole thing about how the Gaelic worldview was 'tripartite' in nature....and that Christianity was dualistic. Now I see him writing about the Gaelic worldview's "dualistic" aspects (which, really, both views have existed all along!).-
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He seems to be going after this with the same fire that he went after his research in to Gaelic tradition. On the one hand I am tempted to say "good for him"...because his energy is amazing. -
On the other hand I wonder where is wife and child are and how they feel about this roller coaster ride he's apparently been taking them on for 30 odd years now.-
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Perhaps this is an 'evolution' of sorts for him. -
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I think he's likely been searching for spiritual fulfillment for a long time now. Maybe he's finally found it. -
It seems more likely to me, though, that he's (still?) searching for such a thing in the wrong place....in 'tangible' things like books and his ability to convince others of the "rightness" of his ideas. -
Perhaps it was this desire to manipulate that led him to paganism, in the first place.(?) If so, the more things change, the more they seem to stay the same.-
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I do not know whether to cheer him or be sad for him.

childofbast
July 22nd, 2008, 06:27 PM
This kind of saddens me.

~Melanie