sick of the language being used and plastered all over the media. I’m
sick of no-one being allowed to think what they want & feel what they do
without offending someone. I
am sick of the people who are out there jumping on the bandwagon, to protest,
to cause mass confusion, more hatred and to riot, loot and destroy. I
am sick of blaming the world for the sins of a few.
like meat, again your choice not to eat meat, my choice to eat meat. End of. I’m
sick of people who think that sixty year old history is our fault, it’s history; get
one race, the human race and we all matter! You
want to support Boris Johnson, do it! It’s your choice. You
want to support Starmer? Fine, also your choice! You
want to believe in God? Ok, believe in God. You
want to believe in magical creatures that fly around & sprinkle fairy dust
to make life better? Awesome, just you do it!
how about being mature enough to be able to deal with the fact; that everyone
doesn’t have the same exact mind-set as you. Having our own mind is what makes
us individual and beautiful. If you can’t handle that fact. Then I’m sorry for
As a continuation or as a supplement to my earlier written pieces
'Living in Two Worlds' and 'A response to - "Spare me this Pagan
Revival." I wish to share with you my thoughts on the misconceptions and the
many preconceived expectations, which people have towards those of us engaged
is esoteric study.
It is a common human frailty to make an assumption and of course
it has a benefit as a behavioural trait. It saves us expending unnecessary time
and energy, exploring every nuance of our interactions with others.
Psychologists recognise this as a necessity and it is very often, part of our
normal day to day existence.
There are however, other times when such presumption is not
beneficial. There are instances obviously, when such actions can be a source of
misunderstanding. I as a Pagan and a folklorist face this almost daily, as
people often think that because of how I self-identify and because of my publicly
known interests, I may share many other interests automatically.
As an example I share a telephone call that took place on the 5th
of November 2019. I was at home and the time was a little after 5pm. A young
lady called me and asked, "Do you do spells?" I asked, "Whose
calling?" She had not even given her name. She replied "Yasmin"
and asked again, "Do you do love spells?" I told her, "I do not
provide services." I then ended the call. If I may quote the musical 'The
Producers;' "How do they find me? They all come here." I do seem to attract
them. and they sit next to me on the bus.
Seriously, I note that she did not start the conversation in what
I consider a normal manner, such as by introducing themselves but instead she blurted
out her question. This has led me to suspect that someone has my business card
and may have called me as a prank, I do rather give them out like confetti. The
example still has validity even if it was a prank and of course, I cannot be
sure it was anyway. It still serves to illustrate how people make assumptions.
will quite simply, wrongly assume that because we share opinion or values
regarding for example, subjects A, B & C. We all automatically share the
same opinion or values regarding subjects X, Y & Z. This is intellectually
and emotionally immature. The reality is that people often fall somewhere in
the middle of our imaginary alphabet, sharing opinion and values on for
example; P, Q, R, S & T. What however, does become apparent, is that often
we do not know people as well as we perhaps thought. Often we have far less in
common than we hoped for or expected.
I have got older I have changed; as we all do. The result of this maturing is
that I have become increasingly intolerant towards the New Age Garbage (NAG)
and the Mindless Bullshit (MBS) that is prevalent today. Gradually over the past
decade and most certainly within the last five years, I have become aware that
I have less and less in common; with so many that call themselves Pagan. That
is outside of sharing that identifier in itself and obviously this raises many
questions. Since I no longer feel at home within the community of the tree-hugging,
crystal kissing hippies that many appear to associate with contemporary
Paganism; am I still a Pagan? What does it mean to be a Pagan?
postulate that Paganism can be defined as a Polytheistic or Pantheistic nature
focused religion or collective of spiritual paths. Under that broad description
then I am indeed a Pagan. If however, the required qualification is that I
submit to the 'Three Fold law' or 'Harm None' then the answer is no. Of course
the maxims referred to above are predominantly Wiccan but not even all Wiccans subscribe
to them. This may come as a surprise to some people and does therefore,
illustrate a further misconception.
misconceptions we have of contemporary Paganism is not unique to those outside
of the collective. The assumptions and the misconceptions are common within it.
Many Pagans and perhaps Occultists to a lesser extent, will assume that other
Pagans all vote for the same political party. The real life that exists outside
of the echo chamber that we call Social Media, is simply not like that. Not all
British Pagans vote Labour, many vote Conservative. Not all American Pagans
vote Democrat, many vote Republican. Not every Pagan is a vegetarian and we
don't all smoke cannabis. We don't all like Star Trek and we don't all read
Harry Potter. To state that someone is not a Pagan because they do not vote a
particular way, eat a certain diet, share the same interests or even enjoy the
same hobbies, is beyond being a simple error. It is foolish, it is absurd. We
do not all share the same opinion, the same values or the same principles.
looking back at my own journey over the past thirty odd years, I sometimes feel
that I have delved into contemporary Paganism and then passed right out the
other side. The lack of commonality I have with that community today is marked.
I am still a Pagan, I can still declare that Paganism is my religious standpoint.
I am however, not the kind of Pagan that many appear to think I am or even expect
me to be. I am my own man.
months in an attempt to learn more regards the world's leading faith, I have
been generally 'reading up' on the subject. As part of this ongoing study I
have purchased a new Bible, I have attended church and I have watched on
YouTube an assortment of programmes on the subject. What I have read, seen and
experienced has been enlightening, educational but also at times, deeply confusing.
Nothing in this
area has perhaps confused me more than New Earth Creationism and the total
denial of evolution by some self identifying Christians. As I have stated
frequently, there is no conflict between science and faith unless one chooses
to create such. I am equally intolerant towards all those of extreme views,
whether they be potty Pagans, mad Muslims, angry Atheists or crazy Christians.
Young Earth Creationist take an extreme view and choose to create a dichotomy;
which is both unnecessary and harmful.
The New Earth
Creationists can in some cases be dismissed like the other childish extremists above
but not always. Some are far too articulate, educated and professional, to be
dismissed easily as foolish or stupid. Furthermore, some are unfortunately the
promoters of dangerous opinion and they are overly aggressive in their
It was not my
intention in writing this piece to focus upon any individuals or to identify
them by name. They are to be frank, all rather similar. They are all American
and the majority are male. We have for example one 'Pentecostal or Baptist'
style minister who presents YouTube sermons in both English and Spanish. Which
is in itself impressive. This man I have named 'Mr Shout at the camera' as that
seems to be his main style of educational approach. This wonderful example of
Christianit is 'anti' so many things, I really do not know where to start with
him. There is a puzzling focus upon the 'Rapture' even going so far as to claim
that the end times will come anytime between 2021 and 2027. This is based on a
remarkable exegesis of scripture that is in a direct contradiction to his
forceful disavowal of Gnosticism.
As one would
expect the majority of these preachers are not supportive of a homosexual
lifestyle, this is to be expected within the broad Christian context. The
aggressive attitude however, does rather take me by surprise. The Christian
teaching of love appears to be nonexistent. There is as I allude above an
anti-esoteric element and this leads further to attacks upon that great
charitable benefactor, the Freemasons.
I add that I am
deeply shocked by the stance of some of the 'Evangelicals' in the USA who are
blatantly anti-Catholic. Some even going so far as to not consider Roman Catholics
to be Christians. Such an opinion is barely credible but the lack of respect
for the Mother Church of Western Christianity, the original and primary
Christian Church; being shown in the 21st century is more than disappointing.
One would have hoped that we as a civilisation had outgrown such opinion.
There is as one
would perhaps expect an underlying Islamophobia present but compared to the
homophobia, the chauvinism and the anti-Catholic rhetoric; this is relatively
minor. What these so called pastors fail to realise, is that their 'preaching'
is actually an excellent endorsement for Freemasonry, Catholicism and other
Christian denominations. It is certainly not a positive endorsement for their
own brand of 'Christianity' which is clearly less welcoming than many others.
Not wishing to
pun but I do observe that the 'big name' televangelists, have come as something
of a revelation to me. Thankfully here in the United Kingdom these people are
little known but watching them, in a detached manner from the safety of the east
side of the Atlantic, I can see the very worst of American society. They are conceited,
egotistical, avaricious and manipulative.
Although it was
not my intention name and shame, there are some notables that a brief internet
search will soon identify. This includes one gentleman who runs 'Dinosaur Adventure
Land' and hosts a YouTube show called 'Whack an Atheist.' Another gentleman,
far more articulate and better educated; has built a full size replica of
Noah's Ark in Kentucky. I have no idea what 'Dinosaur Adventure Land' is like
but having seen videos of the 'Ark Encounter' I am quite impressed. If I was
holidaying in the USA, this is one 'amusement park' that I would visit. Both of
these gentlemen genuinely believe that dinosaurs walked with Adam and Eve.
Taking the Bible literally they discount evolution and misunderstand the
definition of scientific theory.
A belief in
evolution and in scientific knowledge, does not preclude a spirituality.
Science does not disqualify a religious belief and religious practice does not
exclude the acceptance of science as a body of knowledge. The dichotomy is
artificial and unnecessary. I am a religious man but I accept evolutionary
theory. There is no conflict.
There is however,
one preacher I will name. He is unlike the ones alluded to so far, a
televangelist. As such he has much in common, with many others that preach the
so called 'Prosperity Gospel' live and on television. This man is Kenneth
Copeland and I really do not know what to think of him. I have seen him boast
of his millions, his private jets and attempt to blow COVID-19 away with the
'Wind of God.' Although what he actually did was blow a pathetic raspberry at
the microphone. I have seen him act out divine inspiration and the speaking in
tongues, badly but well enough to have his audience in ecstasy. While watching
Kenneth Copeland I have formulated a question. Is this a man with senility or a
man with a mental health issue? Perhaps the reader can answer that question but
I know a charlatan when I see one.
To aid my
research for this piece, I have spoken to work colleagues who are Christian.
One of whom is the young man whose church I attended in February. I wrote a
blog about that (see link below). He is a far better example of living the life
of a Christian Pilgrim than any televangelist or many of those making podcasts.
I can see the light of God in the eyes of my work colleague. I do not see the
light of God in the eyes of these televangelists.
In the eyes of Copeland
in particular, I see something quite terrifying. I look at these televangelists
that claim to be saved and I think that many could be in for an unpleasant
surprise. If the Rapture did ever happen in the way that they envision, it is
they who will be left behind. Televangelists are a disgrace to the church and
to Christianity as a whole, they do a disservice to the Christ that they claim
to serve; with every word they so shamefully utter. They appear at odds with
the Christianity that I know and their brand of Christianity is not one I wish
to know further.