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Orbit
21 Jul 2018, 07:43
I'm here to read and learn. I'm undecided about my personal religion, and am an ex-Christian.

I'm a sociologist by trade, and am interested in how minority religions (like pagan-related ones) are treated by the larger Christian society, and the challenges that their members face. I'd like to write an article about that -- if you'd be interested in being interviewed by email or PM for that, feel free to PM me.

Otherwise, I'll be lurking more than posting, and thanks to all those who post....

Thanks,
Orbit

anubisa
21 Jul 2018, 09:45
Welcome to the forum!

B. de Corbin
21 Jul 2018, 09:53
'Lo, Orbit!

Personally, I'm treated just fine 'cause I don't tell other's things they don't need to know, or that they can't handle.

Amergin
22 Jul 2018, 11:04
I find that most people are tolerant as long as you don't go into detail. If you start using pagan terminology and talking about your belief system, they tend to react as they would to a crazy person. Even if the overall ideology isn't that strange. People are used to thinking in terms that they're used to. You have to couch the language to suit their outlook if you want to get anywhere. When I talk about totemic or personified abstract concepts, they often can't mentally translate. So I say, "The presence of the Raven was over me all last week. I really felt the Stillness in the air and water." and I get nothing but weird looks. Whereas if I were a Christian saying, "I felt the holy spirit all week. It felt like an angel of death. You could feel God's Grace and sadness in the park last Sunday." people would just think I was being really spiritual. So there is a lot of programmed bias. It rarely bothers me, but I'm the sort that cut a lot of ties and rarely socializes with the people from my childhood outside my family and a couple close friends. It can be a lot worse when you share your spirituality with someone you want to be close to, and they aren't open to it. Though I'm sure that's common with many different belief systems when people come from different backgrounds and understandings. Paganism is so eclectic too, so it's hard to nail down any definitive description of common experiences aside from being different, or being lumped in with satanism or "devil worship" by the more ignorant vein of judeo-christianity. I think the biggest common factor is that many pagans feel drawn to basic Concepts in nature that are difficult to describe. So we use personifications in the form of deities, spirits, etc. in the same way Christians personify God. Except most pagans I know do so less literally. It's generally understood that the Concept or Concepts are more important than the name. Many ancient civilizations have similarities in their impressions of deities and nature spirits. The Truth in those concepts is adaptable and changes with circumstances. Though some of the broader concepts change very little. You find these trends a lot. Like common patterns in a tapestry. I think that's what modern pagans try to capture. Using different representations from the past to build a mosaic of the pattern of the universe. It's recognizing the pattern that's important. Not ensuring that every thread or stone comes from the same place and fits perfectly together.

Juniper
22 Jul 2018, 16:28
Welcome to Pagan Forum. I'm sure you'll find some interesting perspectives here.
:)

Orbit
24 Jul 2018, 08:03
Thanks for the warm welcome! :-)

Ruby
26 Jul 2018, 18:03
Welcome Orbit, I actually have had a lot of Christian friends who tried to convert me over the years, it ranged from annoying to entertaining!

Sean R. R.
27 Jul 2018, 02:02
Welcome.

Personally I don't consider myself being a "minority" (nor I think the term should actually exist) because I do not limit the definition of myself to certain labels. I'm unique, and so is everyone else, so everyone is a minority in my point of view.

Have a good research, and don't hesitate to go "off the grid" with your findings. What makes a sociology article interesting is the fact that usually its conclusion differs from perceived "truth".

Orbit
01 Aug 2018, 09:37
If anyone's interested, PM me for a link to the interview questions. Feel free to spread it around!

anunitu
01 Aug 2018, 10:21
Most here may have had this happen,When I wear a pent many Christians end up doing the sign of the cross thing a LOT,one person got very upset in a halfway house,and only made the pagans start to flash them with giant pents.. Early pents were considered as a holy symbol,and not a "Dark" symbol at all.

teki
07 Aug 2018, 01:48
Hi Orbit, Welcome to the forum.

Bartmanhomer
10 Aug 2018, 13:17
Hello. Welcome to Pagan Forum. :)

thalassa
11 Aug 2018, 04:02
Hello and welcome!