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Thread: Questionnaire for Ex-Christians

  1. #71
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    My son and I discuss Christianity a lot, as he is surrounded by a Roman Catholic family, and for many years went to a Christian Pre-School.

    While I reject Christianity as being "false" for me, I don't feel it is my place to make that decision for my son. I share my views, he shares his.

    As it is now, he very much prefers *my* religion, and that's where it stands.

    He's six - and he tells me -

    "I worship the Gods, mommy." He has a special affinity for Aphrodite and Artemis.

    It makes me smile to see him worship, to scream out a "Hi Hermes!" during ritual.

    I see nothing wrong with raising a child within your own belief system. There is also something to be said for helping them find their own way should they reject it.
    "The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common:
    instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views,
    which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that need altering."


  2. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnowyMoon View Post
    I resemble this remark too. Yep, yep.
    Drove my mother nuts, especially when I told her the trees talked back. Took me to a counselor and they drugged me up for ADD. Guess I wasn't nutty enough to be schizo.
    Blessed Be, in both Light and Darkness.

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  3. #73
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    1. What denomination of Christianity did you start in?

    Catholic

    2. How old were you when you left for something else?

    It was fairly gradual. I always had an interest in the occult/paranormal, and as a teen (around 16-1 is when I really started to get into it. My first real occult book was Awakening Your Goddess by Liz Simpson. That was the book that officially got wheel turning. I started getting more serious about divinatory and/or craft practices during my mid-twenties.

    3. Why?

    I never got anything out of going to church. As a matter of fact, it was incredibly boring for me. Church wasn't something that I loved or even WANTED to do, it felt more like something that I HAD to do. I always dreaded Sundays. It wasn't until I got older that I started to have serious questions about the church, its teachings, so on and so forth.

    4. What was your first interest and how did you pursue it?

    My first real practice was in divinatory practices.
    My first foray was in 7th grade. I had this gorgeous iridescent marble, and I wanted to put it into good use: I decided that I wanted to make my own version of a talking board. You had to let the marble drop down on the board, and whatever symbol it rolled near was your fortune.

    5. Are you in the same path now? (If not, why?)

    For the past couple of years or so (from my early 20's and later on), I have incorporated witchcraft, Egyptian lore/myth, as well as some of the Egyptian deities (such as Isis and Osiris).

    6. Will you raise your kids in that path? (If not, why not?)

    If I do end up reproducing, I'll share my spiritual practices with them. Ultimately though, what they'll choose to do is strictly up to them.

    7. How did your friends and parents reacted?

    As far as friends go, a majority of them are pretty sure that I'm not Christian, but only very few people know about my practices.
    I didn't plan on telling my parents, especially my extended family. My parents found out though, because my pentcale slipped out one day while I was lying on the bed talking with my mom. She asked me if I knew the meaning of the symbol that I was wearing, and I explained that I did as well as why. She and I do not talk about it (and I prefer to keep it that way.) As for my extended family, I do not plan on telling them.

    8. Do you feel comfortable expressing your faith publicly?

    I don't express it publicly. I keep my pentacle and ankh underneath my shirt and close to my chest. If for some odd reason someone finds out (which I highly doubt they will), I'll be more than happy to discuss it with them.

    9. Are you completely satisfied with your path, or are you seeking something else?

    Quite satisfied, but there's always room for growth and new discoveries.

    10. Do you have friends on the same path (not on MW) with whom you can worship or conduct rituals?

    Only my husband. That's enough for me.

  4. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicory_Witch View Post
    Drove my mother nuts, especially when I told her the trees talked back. Took me to a counselor and they drugged me up for ADD. Guess I wasn't nutty enough to be schizo.
    Some of my best friends in childhood were trees.
    ~*SnowyMoon*~


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  5. #75
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    1. What denomination of Christianity did you start in?

    Um I think it was Baptist Christan school can really remember 2nd grade through 8th the I went to a Nazareth high school.

    2. How old were you when you left for something else?

    I cant really say because i never felt as if i belonged

    3. Why?

    I didn't and still don't understand the acceptable hate a lot of the teachers and administration preached. I felt like I was trying to force myself into being what they wanted i couldn't do it.

    4. What was your first interest and how did you pursue it?

    i don't remember but i think it was Wicca

    5. Are you in the same path now? (If not, why?)

    kinda I'm exploring all different faiths right now and find things i love about all of them. I'm especially drawn to Taoism.

    6. Will you raise your kids in that path? (If not, why not?)

    I don't want children.

    7. How did your friends and parents reacted?

    Haven't really told my parents, two of the friends i told were really supportive and excited

    8. Do you feel comfortable expressing your faith publicly?

    Not really cause it's a bit complicated

    9. Are you completely satisfied with your path, or are you seeking something else?

    I'm happy exploring and learning

    10. Do you have friends on the same path (not on MW) with whom you can worship or conduct rituals?

    my older sister L.Rainflower. She's not on the exact same path but she helps me and is so supportive and i love her so much for that <3
    I hope to meet more people who are testing the waters and people who are established in their own pond, lake, or sea :]
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  6. #76
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    1. What denomination of Christianity did you start in?
    Primarily baptist, allthough we were Christmas and Easter catholics (mom's family was baptist, dad's family was catholic)

    2. How old were you when you left for something else?
    15 or 16 when I left for the final time

    3. Why?
    Everything was black and white. I started seeing positive messages in things like rap, heavy metal, and shows like South Park. I was told I was going down a path to satanism.

    4. What was your first interest and how did you pursue it?
    what I believed to be wicca and satanism. Mostly claiming wicca and going off what others told me, and reading the satanic bible followed by other books.

    5. Are you in the same path now? (If not, why?)
    No and kind of. I despise wicca, basically because I've found the same issues there that I have with most other religions. I still follow many principles of Levayian satanism, but I don't claim to be a satanist.

    6. Will you raise your kids in that path? (If not, why not?)
    I will raise them with my beliefs but not with a specific religion

    7. How did your friends and parents reacted?
    Most of my friends didn't react, parents freaked out, mission accomplished

    8. Do you feel comfortable expressing your faith publicly?
    I feel comfortable expressing everything publicly

    9. Are you completely satisfied with your path, or are you seeking something else?
    as I have no specific path, I am satisfied

    10. Do you have friends on the same path (not on MW) with whom you can worship or conduct rituals?
    not really, I do know other Levayian satanists and others who follow the Nordic gods, but I don't do worshiping or rituals (other than the occassional blood sacrifice which I do solo).
    There is no genuine justice in any scheme of feeding and coddling the loafer whose only ponderable energies are devoted wholly to reproduction. Nine-tenths of the rights he bellows for are really privileges and he does nothing to deserve them. H.L. Mencken

  7. #77
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    Questionnaire

    1. What denomination of Christianity did you start in?
    United Church until I was 15, then Baptist

    2. How old were you when you left for something else?
    18

    3. Why?
    I could write a book from this question alone. Let's just say it's complicated.

    4. What was your first interest and how did you pursue it?
    A mix of Shamanism and Buddhism. I studied a wide range of Buddhist writings, meditated, and also worked with animal totems and drumming.

    5. Are you in the same path now? (If not, why?)
    They form the foundation of my path. I've since broadened it into a form of solitary ecclectic paganism. Life is a journey that I'm still travelling. Same road, different scenery.

    6. Will you raise your kids in that path? (If not, why not?)
    My daughter will be allowed to choose her own way. I will teach her to be discerning.

    7. How did your friends and parents reacted?
    Still working on that one. They know I don't go to church, but I don't force my faith on anyone. My immediate family is supportive.

    8. Do you feel comfortable expressing your faith publicly?
    Not really. Never did, even as a Christian. I also don't particularily like expressing my political perspective publicly either. Religion and politics tends to get peoples backs up, and I find actions work better for expressing myself anyway. I like to keep 'em guessing.

    9. Are you completely satisfied with your path, or are you seeking something else?
    Always seeking, learning, growing. I am satisfied with where I've come from, as well as where I am, but refuse to become complacent.

    10. Do you have friends on the same path (not on MW) with whom you can worship or conduct rituals?
    Two, my wife and a wiccan friend of ours.

  8. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Christian View Post
    I made this up myself, asking the things about which I am curious:

    1. What denomination of Christianity did you start in?
    Roman Catholic

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Christian View Post
    2. How old were you when you left for something else?
    I started leaving when i was 7 and wrapped up leaving when I was 12
    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Christian View Post
    3. Why?
    My crisis of faith began with 'Animals do not have souls, and can NOT go to heaven" via "God is to man as man is to woman" and ended with me asking 'Why can't women be priests" and being told "because your a heritic."

    lol

    extrapolated out, I guess I would say, because it denied to sacredness of all life.. and particularly, the sacredness of my own as a female.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Christian View Post
    4. What was your first interest and how did you pursue it?
    i assume you mean in some other path? I guess it all came from my mother's view that all life is sacred and soulful

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Christian View Post
    5. Are you in the same path now? (If not, why?)
    not quite, I first discovered Wicca, and as i explored came to see I didn't want that much structure.... so went back to my roots with my mother and her grandmother, and their traditions... so.. I guess i've settled into being a traditional hedgewitch for lack of any better word.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Christian View Post
    6. Will you raise your kids in that path? (If not, why not?)
    i share with my daughter my path and celebrations and values, but she will make her own choices, she goes to an ANglican school and I don't pour shit on that, just encourage critical thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Christian View Post
    7. How did your friends and parents reacted?
    my friends all say "lol of coursr you are, how could you not be" and my mother said "yes, this all feels so right..." it was for her a journey to recapturing some of the philosphy behind the practice and ethics she had been handed down from her grannie. My dad thinks the church protects women.... but... he's a wife and child beater and rapist...soo...... should I really give a shit what he thinks about the Church's stance on the rights of women??????

    and by the way on that.. I'm personally wildy anti-abortion, but am NOT willing to tell anyone else the first thing about what descisions they should make about something so important... and thus... politically... PRO... which again... doesn't endear me to the organized Catholic faith... nor the idea that my mother beat herself up for 30 years over getting her tubes tied... cripes!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Christian View Post
    8. Do you feel comfortable expressing your faith publicly?
    yep why wouldn't I?


    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Christian View Post
    9. Are you completely satisfied with your path, or are you seeking something else?
    anyone one who isn't seeking and growing their understanding might as well be dead, huh?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Christian View Post
    10. Do you have friends on the same path (not on MW) with whom you can worship or conduct rituals?
    my husband is a gardnarian... sometimes we do rituals together... he's way more structured than me...


    There ya go. Another questionnaire! Oh, and atheists can answer it, too, of course.[/QUOTE]
    Mitakuye Oyasin

  9. #79
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    1. What denomination of Christianity did you start in?
    The Lutheran Church (Specifically, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America - ELCA)

    2. How old were you when you left for something else?
    I would say I was 14 when I decided I didn't believe in what the church was preaching. But, I was still under my parents roof and needed to keep the peace. So I was 18 when I officially "struck out on my own".

    3. Why?
    I remember it very vividly. It was a sermon given by a visiting pastor. My friend and her family sat in front of me, her sister having just had an abortion at 16. The church intern (an organist) was openly homosexual, and I admired him greatly for his courage. The visiting pastor gave a sermon about how anyone having an abortion would be sent to hell. Anyone homosexual would be sent to hell. Any adulterers would be sent to hell. I just watched the entire congregation squirm, yet after the service everyone continued to talk about what a nice man the pastor was. I have since learned that the pastor did not share the views of the ELCA, but the fact that everyone was so polite about it. So ho-hum about it. Just told me I wanted as far away from this closed-minded crap as I could get.

    4. What was your first interest and how did you pursue it?
    Honestly it was Buddhism. I learned about it in my high school world history class, and was hooked. I read every book I could get my hands on. I learned to meditate.

    5. Are you in the same path now? (If not, why?)
    No, but my husband is. I have done a lot of searching and am just now (six years later) coming into what I believe.

    6. Will you raise your kids in that path? (If not, why not?)
    Yes and No. I will never hide my beliefs from my children, and I will allow them to participate to a point. However, I think that they need to chose their own path.

    7. How did your friends and parents reacted?
    They haven't. Unfortunately, my family (parents/siblings/etc) have made some comments about their feelings towards Pagans (with limited knowledge on their part) and I know how they work. So they don't know, and in many ways it's better that way.

    8. Do you feel comfortable expressing your faith publicly?
    Yes and no. For the most part, I am very open with friends and people I meet. However, my faith is such a personal thing and my feelings get hurt very easily. So I keep it hush hush sometimes.

    9. Are you completely satisfied with your path, or are you seeking something else?
    I am always seeking. Always. After 8 years of evolving with my faith, I will continue to evolve.

    10. Do you have friends on the same path (not on MW) with whom you can worship or conduct rituals?
    Nope. I do have a few pagan friends, but we follow different paths. My husband is a Buddhist, so he also follows a different path. But at least I can chat with them and know they are open minded and understanding.

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  10. #80
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    1. What denomination of Christianity did you start in?

    I guess I had a mixed Deist-Lutheran upbringing, although my mother really explained or gave her position a name.

    Our Lutheran church split into literalist and nonliteralist when I was a kid (we remained non-literalist). My father took us every Sunday, smoking his cigars in an often closed vehicle.

    My mom stayed at home since she didn't believe the theology. (It turned out that my mother's side consisted of generations of Christians who didn't go to church except for baptisms and I don't know what else.)

    2. How old were you when you left for something else?

    The question implies I left for something else, when in fact the process of leaving Christianity took about 16 years, so, your answer is I left Christianity sometime between 18 and 34 years old, if you don't count all the questioning I did upon exposure to other religions when I was a child.

    Mine was not a belief-based conversion process. Not accepting any form of the rationalism vs. religion false dilemma, I sought something else after having rejected Christianity.

    3. Why?

    Besides this humor? (The following picture is all over the Net; if I knew its creator, I'd credit the individual.)



    I'm going to give you a somewhat meandering list. But before I begin, I should stress that I've met and known some pretty functional Christians but it seems to me they have to do too much in the way of mental and theological gymnastics to stay that way. And the theology just doesn't suit me.

    I wanted a functional egalitarian intellectualism-friendly religion. I met up with Neopaganism during a time I was introduced to second wave feminism (egalitarianism), the idea that everything is political, the rejection of the idea that the feminine divine takes a lesser/nonexistent/obscured/controversial/taboo role, and the rejection of the Madonna-Whore complex. I was leaving and then healing from incest I suffered as a child and severe domestic abuse I suffered in my first marriage.

    Things really got a push before I even left my first husband, with an argument about the nature of sex. He had used the phrase "hot dirty sex" which totally floored me; the idiocy of false and sharp divisions struck me and finally penetrated conditioning and theological underpinnings. It was a pivotal revelation that I instinctively felt sex was wholesome and spiritual and he did not.
    Madonna-Whore

    A binary system based on world view that splits a woman into sexual and motherly-asexual identities -- a problematic inability to fathom the synthesis of mind, body, and spirit. Madonna-Whore Complex is just one more aspect of radical dualism (not to be mistaken with duality) that has its roots in theology, including the particularly sacrosanct Vestal Virgins who were buried alive in the "Evil Fields" as punishment for breaking vows of chastity and those roots found in monotheism. Don't let people, not even highly respected professionals, tell you that the (primal theory) root of the Madonna-Whore Complex comes from women trading their sexual freedom for commitment from a spouse that benefits their offspring. While commitment is great, trading one's holistic and honest sexuality in for it is not "the" bargain inherent in human nature, is not "primal," but is instead born out of convoluted ignorance of power paradigms and their relation to virtues, the ability to make better choices, and human nature. It became purposeful ignorance (aka "bad faith decision") when drummed into us through theology and bad logic.

    A woman can, without eclipsing the primacy of motherhood and other roles, be quite capable of navigating emotional, intellectual, political, sexual, religious/spiritual, and other landscapes as well as her own internal dialogue and philosophy.

    The aftermath of the dualism? Some couples develop problems connecting sexually after the birth of a baby-- she’s now a mother, not a whore. Some husbands may visit prostitutes or their whore-girlfriend. Some wives may seek lovers with whom they “be slutty.” Some husbands may cast their wives in the role of evil lying sack of ****. Demeaning. Dumb. Unnecessary.
    Not immediately understanding what I had stumbled upon, shortly after starting divorce proceedings, I began to study (some in college, some didactially) psychology, logic, history, and theology, starting with the Madonna-Whore complex. I finally began to understood why my first husband had said such hurtful things out of the blue such as "Bring me a virgin," when I was pregnant with our first child.

    Naturally, I find concepts of the sacred feminine and sacred sexuality in Neopaganism refreshing and healthy after all the divisive wedges driven between our brain and bodies or our sexuality and spirituality/religion.

    It helped that during the beginning stages of delving into magic and Paganism, I had a mentor of sorts who was close to my intellectual level. It just so turned out that my divorce lawyer was Pagan and practiced magic. Sensing my direction, she asked me, very carefully, aside of the divorce stuff, if I'd be interested in learning Paganism and magic. Only after I said yes did she hand me a brown paper grocery bag full of old Circle Sanctuary, feminist, and other publications. She showed me a few examples of magic and tarot reading and then I was on my own. I think that this throw her in the pool and see if she can swim approach was exactly the right one for me...and I was on my way to defining and learning learned empowerment in my own style.

    As an creative autistic (not diagnosed as a child), I also learned, over time, to deal with dualism regarding normalization vs. everything else that my mother had brought with her from growing up as a Christian child in Nazi Germany.

    Healing from bewildering abusive dualism (Bonewits's dualism chart is immensely useful!) involves education and I've been driven to understand the roots of personal and societal religious and other conditioning ever since.

    This has even helped me deal with rampant dualism (whether rooted in scientism, religion, both or other) in the Autism awareness, something I touch on in my different Autism related pages.

    The struggle to understand turned disadvantage to benefit, deeply reconditioning me to (1) overtly define (Law of Knowledge), (2) name (Power/Law of Names), (3) examine (emotional and intellectual intelligence or "critical thinking"), and (4) feel. In the beginning, years ago now, I did this, in addition to therapy, initially through working with Wiccan elements and eclectic archetypes (love the ones in tarot, in particular), colors, correspondences, magic, and so on. Also, a book called Tools of Change by Margo Adair did wonders when I worked with it. Must have tools!

    What else led me to reject Christianity? Let's see...

    The dark side of Christian history bothered me. I didn't see it as accidental but indicative of problematic theology and its psychology.






    From a tender age, I'd been exposed to other cultures and religions, was well traveled and well read so that when I read the bible, I noticed:
    • It was written by harsh myopic primitive authoritarian dudes from harsh climates/cultures. Sour. Very sour.
    • How many others texts wouldn't have to updated to remain correct and relevant?
    • Over time, the religion increasingly lost its hold of its orthopraxic nature, as far as the reciprocal nature of the Golden Rule (Love thy neighbor) and the like are concerned. I see this loss as inevitable, given its deep psychological and politicized underpinnings. The loss is exceedingly poisonous.
    • It's faith-based. It's my observation that it's better to teach people how to think than what to believe. Of all the forms of religion, orthodoxy seems the most problematic on the ramp to moral improvement.
    • Its crux is The Forces of Good™ vs. The Forces of Evil™ dualism --dull, abusive, dysfunctional!
      • In these contexts, the focus of divinity lies in the transcendent (external).
        • Divinity is both immanent (internal) and transcendent (external).
      • The idea that morality and everything "good" comes from this self-described One and Only True God is deeply problematic on a logical, emotional, social and political basis.
        • It makes sense that the functional virtues, ethics, and social excellence that go creating and maintaining robust equality/pluralism cannot be religiously proprietary (cannot be limited to, defined and "owned" by one religion or even branch of religion).
        • It's so problematic that many claim one cannot have a moral compass but from the church, and that all other systems of functional ethics, morals, virtues, logic, and social intelligence add up to immorality, individualism and gross neoteny. What utter bunk.
    • It blames woman for sin. Excuuuuuuse me?!? And woman was made from a man's rib while Adam was special order from the earth?
      • This goes against the fact that all humans start out female, structurally.
      • It also goes against the observation that every single human alive had to go through a woman to get here.
    • It describes how a woman is supposedly spiritually and physically unclean during her menses, which reminds me of the menstrual huts and other like fear/ignorance toward menstruation in many primitive cultures. Only she can sit in that chair, sit in that hut alone, blah blah. This doesn't belong in any of today's religious texts!
    • It announces the concept of original sin. I prefer original innocence.
    • It gives on the idea that humans are made in God's image.
      • The human species is on an evolutionary continuum...there is no stagnant/one image.
      • And Aliens were made in what/whose image then? I'm betting they don't all look like uuus! I don't think all beings across the Universe were made "in the image of." I believe in natural diversity though.
    • It gives us the idea that humans are sentient beings who have souls and that we are to lord over animals and do what we see fit with them and the earth...fast forward to our times, and that's a deeply problematic idea too.
      • Even as an omnivore, I see divine sentience in animals too. I don't believe in this souled-sentient vs. soulless/disposable.
    • The beginning of the bible both warns against having one's eyes opened and not to eat from the tree of knowledge. Say whaaat?!? That's just messed up.
    • The God of the bible probably started out as a thunder/mountain/fertility/rain god (El-Shaddai) but then both "the story" and following grew until this jealous God (meaning his control freak priests/politicians) said we couldn't worship (recognize the worth of) others. The concept of worship was changed to that of groveling obedience and carried the frequently implications of political alliance too, which is why Christianity was eventually a major tool in attaining political unity in empire building, subjugating native peoples, and cultural genocide.
    • Even the image of Satan changed dramatically over the centuries (for political reasons, largely).
    • And then the New Testament was added on.
      • I don't believe Jesus meant to start a new religion.
    • Christianity isbasically a theological version of extreme patriarchy.
      • The whole concept of -archi tend toward a warrior-on-top form of hierarchy, which tends to be anti-intellectual and against the grain of functional emotional-social intelligence. I prefer intellectuals and warriors to share rule, at minimum.
      • Patriarchy leans toward the abuse power metaparadigm (mother world view), as described here. It more than smacks of male privilege (see privilege sections of different Abuse Power Wheels).
      • I'm a woman and prefer equality, as defined linguistically and functionally here.
    • If racism is unacceptable, then misogyny is unacceptable. I mean, get a load of Judges 19:24-29 (see above link)! That's about gang rape and dismemberment (serves her right?) ... and to think that I used to sleep with the bible by my bed, as a child. Did my parents know what the bleep was in the thing??? There are multiple deeply troubled misogynistic passages like that.
      • I asked if the Old Testament is so ugly and messed up and if the story of the bible's formation and adulterations/rewording is that complex, why do people include the Old Testament or go by the book? I was told that essentially they don't. They also pick and choose. Drives at bible thumping and proclaiming that the book is the actual indisputable word of God (despite having thousands of interpretations with different emphasis on different parts) only push more away and skepticism or idiocy/evil (such as Robertson and the like) grows
    And that's the short incomplete list...

    4. What was your first interest and how did you pursue it?

    I was actually looking for tools of change (meditation, different forms of reality checks, working with art/dreams to heal and more)...and I kept on finding them in the New Age sections (which also had Neopaganism stuff in it). Many Christians saw these healthy practices as "evil" because they were of competing religions. How curious...

    5. Are you in the same path now? (If not, why?)

    It's both different and the same. It started with Wicca, magic and readings about paleopaganism...and it continued on through 15 years of reading, changing, and living. I'm now an eclectic Orthopraxic non-Monist Panentheist Pantheist Wiccan-Druid-Buddhist-Hindu Neopagan who practices religion, not religionism. I define orthopraxy as correct practice, including but not limited to functional ethics, virtues, morality, hospitality and habits of equality, which are many.

    6. Will you raise your kids in that path? (If not, why not?)

    Kids are all grown but one. Initially in a very toxic divorce environment, I carefully taught the concepts behind pluralism and equality...the younger two gravitated toward Neopaganism on their own, as things began to be more open (the ex died, and other changes). Neopaganism is a known spiritual-religious option that doesn't anchor on the false dilemma of religion vs. rationalism or spiritual vs. religious.

    7. How did your friends and parents reacted?

    I'm older. My father is dead and though not a fundamentalist, my mom is a highly structured person who believes in being mainstream rather than minority. She has what I'd call serious mental blocks to things that would challenge her reality tunnel and she has a bad heart (seriously) -- I not getting into it with her. (Though exceedingly bright, I had to explain what tonsil hockey meant to her...she doesn't get a lot of expressions and jokes. Trying to discuss such a different worldview with her would be a monumental task and an exercise in frustration, due to her resistance.)

    Friends? I don't have any of those, I'm working on it, I'm autistic. The acquaintances I do have agnostic, atheist, and different types of Neopagan. I tend to know who is what, I discuss or withhold accordingly because I'm a very private person in person and because I live in a largely Catholic town. Both.

    8. Do you feel comfortable expressing your faith publicly?

    First of all, I wouldn't refer to my religion as a faith. I believe in functional ethics, virtues, equality, pluralism, these are in fact core to my religion for very deep reasons, but my religion remains an orthopraxy and is not faith-based.

    I do things according to purpose and within context, so I'm unlikely to express my religion publicly just because.

    Also, considering that I define and use words like deity, divine, religion and worship so differently from the mainstream, it's a core to proclaim and explain my religious views publicly, so tend to do it judiciously.

    Most people get fatigue mentally pretty fast if I try to explain even basic concepts of my religious path, and do so pretty early on. I don't profess to have much patience with that.

    However, if I'm around people who can stay with me and go the distance in a conversation, well, then that's another topic and it's usually not a public endeavor.

    I do wear some rather blantant Pluralist-Pagan shirts and hoodies and my own Goddess jewelry in public though and if someone asks about my religion, I'll give them an earth-based religion type of answer. Hardly anyone ever asks. In fact, probably less than five people ever asked and they were all under in their 20s or younger.

    9. Are you completely satisfied with your path, or are you seeking something else?

    What an odd question, actually. Satisfied? From Wiccan to eclectic Orthopraxic non-Monist Panentheist Pantheist Wiccan-Druid-Buddhist-Hindu Neopagan, I've stayed on course with my religion, which is more of a continuum more than a tradition or set religion, because there's always room to learn more, do more, get into it more deeply and broaden my scope considerably. To "be" satisfied sounds like stagnation, which is actually a state of slow death. I don't ever want to stop learning, striving, changing...

    10. Do you have friends on the same path (not on MW) with whom you can worship or conduct rituals?

    Not so far, but that's always open to change.

    Same path? I'm eclectic and have worked with a number of paths/religions and so it is both a constellation and amalgam of different religions. However, I could see myself practicing with eclectics, Wiccans or Druids whose definitions and practices are similar enough to my own.
    So, no, my feelings and thoughts about religion didn't all stem from the fact that my church youth group leader of a father was incestuous toward me, that may pastor was arrested in the bathroom of a gay bar for soliciting and brawling, or that my first husband beat me severely while bringing God into the conversation (the worst abuse they'd seen in 30 years). It's all more based on the facts that there is no religion excempt from the abusive, criminal, insane, embarrassing or dumb and that we all have to work at being better sentient egalitarian beings...at understanding the concepts and paradigms of abuse and wellness/equality.
    Last edited by sari0009; February 27th, 2010 at 03:00 PM. Reason: Edited paragraph following graphic.

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