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Ignorance Gives Religion a Bad Rap

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posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 10:01 AM
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Between reading various forum threads and talking to various people I've come to realize somthing I think we all forget when we discuss religion. That most people know very little about their religion and that much of what we view as "institutionalized" stems from this self same ignorance.

I'm sure anyone who has gone to church on sunday a few times will know that their fellow congregation members often have not read the Gospels let alone the entire Bible. Christianity these days is mostly flowers and sunshine, a bit of a rebellion against the fire and brimstone of years past. However, the Christ we worship today is the same one worshiped by millions of people through thousands of years. We worship the same God today as did the Knights of the crusades. The only thing that's different these days is that we've lost our belief in the magic behind religion.

Religion, and Christianity in specific is meant to be a type of "White Magic" if you will. Take for instance the bread and wine of the Christian mass. Today, many of us feel this is little more than a tradition, somthing we do because it's part of the ritual of going to church. Except people refuse to see these traditions as actual rituals, hardly different than that of the druids or other such "occult" religions.

When we read the Gospels and read of the miracles Jesus worked in his time we have a tendancy to down play their importance. The church teaches the younger members that these are parables of sorts and meant to teach you about faith in the Lord. However, I feel that when these Gospels were written, the miracles were meant to be believed as truth and hard fact.

We must not forget the magic inherant in our everyday religions. Take, for example, Saint Francis of Assisi, who eventually recieved the stigmata and eventually could fly as well. Whether or not you believe this to have actually happened, it is meant to convey the fulfillment of the promise of the Lord, Great Spirit, what ever you want to call that "higher power". These stories are not meant as allegories, nor are they meant as magic tricks to astound us into belief. These stories are meant to remind us of the transcendant power of the connection to the higher spiritual force.

Many people, especially many of my fellow ATSers, seem to like to demonize religion as somthing meant to control the simple minded masses. People say that any rational free thinking individual can see right through the empty promises and hollow rituals of organized religion. Yet, in this day and age, people are more than willing to embrace eastern religions or pseudo-spirituality like Yoga and Veganisim with total faith and hope that it will better themselves.

I find it hard to understand why people are willing to give themselves over to flaky modern interpretations of religions a westerner may not be able to understand yet they will demonize a religion which offers the same things they are hoping to gain and is geared towards people just like them. Religion really has little to with priests and churches and what your denomination says is true. Religion is what grows inside you when you find the answers you seek in the Bible, the Torah, or the Quran. Religion is meant to be the outward practice of what you feel inside. If your preist or pastor says somthing you don't agree with then don't throw away the entire religion and all it can offer you. Just ignore it, keep reading the texts and you will find the answers you seek.

Christianity offers us magic far beyond what Wicca or modern Paganism can offer. Christianty is a deeply spiritual religion and has all the trappings, levels, orders, and books of sacred knowledge any obscure "Black Art" may have to offer. There is as much, if not more, room for spiritual growth and fulfillment in this world in Christianity as there is in any of the plethora of modern religions.

If you find it hard to believe in the miracles Jesus preformed, or the gifts given to people like St. Francis, then that is a personal spiritual problem and not evidence of the ineffectiveness of Christiantiy. Perhaps Christianity is not for you, but if you were born or raised a Christian than I implore you to explore it deeper before denouncing it. I promise you will find all the magic and sacred knowledge you could ever desire if only you take the time to search past the obvious.

I hope I am not alone in feeling this way, any thoughts?




posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 10:44 AM
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No, you are not alone in these feelings. I believe all of humanity quests to experience the very events of transcendence you speak of.

Sadly, most have been led astray by lust and greed, manifested in a yearning for material goods, with the mistaken hope that these hollow pursuits will somehow fill the spiritual void within. I walked in that path for many a year myself. I still struggle to let God meet all my spiritual and material needs without thinking I need to grab back the reins and do it myself. Self-denial and subsistence level material living fly in the face of capitalist convention.

Eventually, even if it takes until the moment of physical death, I believe we all realize the temptations of the temporal world are but that, obstacles on the path to spiritual enlightenment. Perhaps necessary obstacles, in that stubborn, stiff-necked humans demand proof beyond all doubt of the existence of a sovereign God.

As a recent guest pastor at the church I attend put it: there is the visible world, and there is the invisible world, and Christ alone is the bridge between them.

May God bless and keep you in these difficult times.



posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 10:49 AM
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I'll second Icarus's statement that you are not alone in your feelings.

I personally believe the "unified theory" that the material world seeks in its grand science attempts will be found to be the spirit - it is there that the infinite is contained within the infinitesimal. It is the "indivisible particle" which contains everything. It truly will be found to be the "God particle".

And, yes, ignorance gives everything it touches a bad image...and religion is not exempt from its effects.



posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 11:12 AM
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the "unified theory" that the material world seeks in its grand science attempts will be found to be the spirit


Thanks for bringing in the scientific angle, Valhall, and I agree with the above statement. "Quarks" and "superstrings" and such endeavors as the PX are man's attempts to quantify and explain the "invisible world".

Unified Field Theory has always struck me as the scientific attempt at a definition of God. We know its there, we know some of its attributes, but we don't really know enough yet, and we may never know enough, to define it completely.

I truly believe, from my study of applied mathematics, that there is a function that describes every moment throughout eternity, not that I know what it is. Just plug in the proper values for the variables, x, y, z, and t, and you get a solution, some "real", and some "imaginary".

Remember, i squared equals -1.



posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 12:11 PM
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I liked your post very well Shadowflux, please let me tell you that all religions at first glance mean well and you are lucky to have this strong and genuine optimistim which unfortunatly has turned to cynicism in me.
One thing is for sure, do well by your conscience and a God will be walking close to you heart.



posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 02:12 PM
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Originally posted by Shadowflux
Christianity offers us magic far beyond what Wicca or modern Paganism can offer. Christianty is a deeply spiritual religion and has all the trappings, levels, orders, and books of sacred knowledge any obscure "Black Art" may have to offer. There is as much, if not more, room for spiritual growth and fulfillment in this world in Christianity as there is in any of the plethora of modern religions.


OK, right here is a good example of why some of us non-Christians have problems with Christianity and Christians in general. Why must you constantly be putting down non-Christian religions, particularly Wicca/Paganism? How much do you know about it? Do you think you really are qualified to judge any religion at all other than yours? Now, if you really know as much about Christianity as you say, you should know that Christianity was built on the foundations of Paganism i.e. the Osiris, Dionysus and Mithras myths, just to name a few.

I am a Wiccan and a Pagan and that is my religion. There are many avenues for spiritual mysticism and fulfillment in my path. Ours is a rich and long tradition and heritage. Now I'm trying not to sound too harsh but I have to say this...I do not do Christian bashing and I'm frankly offended by your attitude of superiority over my religion. Forgive me, but to me you sound like just another holier-than-thou Christian.

This is a sore point with me, because I've read so many ATS threads that bash Pagan religion, and I've even seen people here call it "evil". I have communicated my complaint to the Mods, who chose to not even answer my e-mail. Please, people, try to respect other religions, yes even Paganism. There's no need to insult us to get your point across. I abhor religious discimination and bashing as much as the next person. It would be nice to have the favor returned. Thanks for reading this.



posted on Aug, 13 2006 @ 12:54 AM
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We must not forget the magic inherant in our everyday religions. Take, for example, Saint Francis of Assisi, who eventually recieved the stigmata and eventually could fly as well. Whether or not you believe this to have actually happened, it is meant to convey the fulfillment of the promise of the Lord, Great Spirit, what ever you want to call that "higher power".

I can tell you this, these power were not from God.


Religion is what grows inside you when you find the answers you seek in the Bible, the Torah, or the Quran. Religion is meant to be the outward practice of what you feel inside. If your preist or pastor says somthing you don't agree with then don't throw away the entire religion and all it can offer you. Just ignore it, keep reading the texts and you will find the answers you seek.

You asked for thoughts so........
Personally I have no use for religion whatsoever. I do however believe in Jesus the Christ.
From your arguments, You sure sound like a Catholic priest. Can you share your background????? Thanks.



posted on Aug, 16 2006 @ 09:49 AM
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Shadowflux, let me start by saying that I am happy to see your faith, whatever the capacity, has grown lately. It is an amazing feeling to re-discover something that has been lying dormant in you for a long time. It’s almost like discovering a super-power (hehe, please excuse the cheese). Ignorance, along with an ever changing society has pretty much sealed Christianity’s fate. Now, if you’re interested in pursuing your faith, you’re seen as some kind of creepy zombie person who is a slave to the bible.

Christianity is no longer “Cool”, it went the way of velvet scrunches and neon colored mini skirts. Today everything is a fad. Especially where you and I both live, New York City. People are so unfulfilled and downtrodden; they’ll try anything to make themselves feel like they have a purpose. Exercise, eating vegetarian and vegan, Yoga, saving the whales, saving the pandas, freeing Tibet, etc. But the truth is, it’s rare for people to turn to religion, and I mean really turn to it. Investigate, learn, live. People see Madonna is now Jewish (and apparently British, too) and now everyone is wearing a Kabala bracelet.

People really aren’t taking the time to actually explore religion (any religion) before saying it isn’t for them. My stance is the same as Shadowflux’s, if you were baptized and raised Christian, don’t turn away so easily, do you research, and then make a decision. This Board is all about making educated decisions based on personal research and findings. I don’t know why it would be any different when it comes to Religion.

And as for Sun Matrix and ForestLady, Give me a break ok. Sun Matrix, Shadowflux is not a catholic priest. Are you kidding me? A Catholic priest would never ever refer to Christianity as “White magic”. He also is not arguing for one sect of religion, as you speculated Catholicism. But he clearly stated that he only wants people to be more aware of any religion, he is just leaning towards Christianity because he is Christian. And well, because we see Christianity as the “be all end all” religion.

ForestLady? You know why no mod has every replied to your messages? Because you’re being ridiculous. I’m sorry if you feel as if your “religion” isn’t being respected, but our bible says those who practice paganism are going to hell, we are not better than you, but you have lost your way, and do need to find the light of Christ if you want to be saved from eternal damnation. I’m not saying that I would walk up to you and say that. Never. What you practice is your prerogative. And it’s not my place to preach. But what I am saying is, get over yourself.

You must have known when you began practicing that you were going to be met with adversity and strife. Much like us Christians. But if this is what you signed on for, you better stay steadfast and stop whining. Crying foul every five minutes when you feel like your ill established, unrecognized practice of “mysticism” is being put down. That’s what religion is! We say the Jews are going to hell, The Muslims say we’re going to hell, the Jehovah Witnesses say we’re all going to hell, except for them, because, they, and ONLY they know God’s true name, which apparently will be the password to get through the gates of heaven. Welcome to the battle, better know as religious superiority. Suck is up or go home, K?

P.S. Hey Shadowflux, feel like meeting up for a little biblical discussion over candle light, communion wafers and some grape juice? I think you’d enjoy yourself. . .



posted on Aug, 21 2006 @ 12:11 PM
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Originally posted by decidedlyundecided
Shadowflux, let me start by saying that I am happy to see your faith, whatever the capacity, has grown lately. It is an amazing feeling to re-discover something that has been lying dormant in you for a long time. It’s almost like discovering a super-power (hehe, please excuse the cheese). Ignorance, along with an ever changing society has pretty much sealed Christianity’s fate. Now, if you’re interested in pursuing your faith, you’re seen as some kind of creepy zombie person who is a slave to the bible.

Christianity is no longer “Cool”, it went the way of velvet scrunches and neon colored mini skirts. Today everything is a fad. Especially where you and I both live, New York City. People are so unfulfilled and downtrodden; they’ll try anything to make themselves feel like they have a purpose. Exercise, eating vegetarian and vegan, Yoga, saving the whales, saving the pandas, freeing Tibet, etc. But the truth is, it’s rare for people to turn to religion, and I mean really turn to it. Investigate, learn, live. People see Madonna is now Jewish (and apparently British, too) and now everyone is wearing a Kabala bracelet.

People really aren’t taking the time to actually explore religion (any religion) before saying it isn’t for them. My stance is the same as Shadowflux’s, if you were baptized and raised Christian, don’t turn away so easily, do you research, and then make a decision. This Board is all about making educated decisions based on personal research and findings. I don’t know why it would be any different when it comes to Religion.

And as for Sun Matrix and ForestLady, Give me a break ok. Sun Matrix, Shadowflux is not a catholic priest. Are you kidding me? A Catholic priest would never ever refer to Christianity as “White magic”. He also is not arguing for one sect of religion, as you speculated Catholicism. But he clearly stated that he only wants people to be more aware of any religion, he is just leaning towards Christianity because he is Christian. And well, because we see Christianity as the “be all end all” religion.

ForestLady? You know why no mod has every replied to your messages? Because you’re being ridiculous. I’m sorry if you feel as if your “religion” isn’t being respected, but our bible says those who practice paganism are going to hell, we are not better than you, but you have lost your way, and do need to find the light of Christ if you want to be saved from eternal damnation. I’m not saying that I would walk up to you and say that. Never. What you practice is your prerogative. And it’s not my place to preach. But what I am saying is, get over yourself.

You must have known when you began practicing that you were going to be met with adversity and strife. Much like us Christians. But if this is what you signed on for, you better stay steadfast and stop whining. Crying foul every five minutes when you feel like your ill established, unrecognized practice of “mysticism” is being put down. That’s what religion is! We say the Jews are going to hell, The Muslims say we’re going to hell, the Jehovah Witnesses say we’re all going to hell, except for them, because, they, and ONLY they know God’s true name, which apparently will be the password to get through the gates of heaven. Welcome to the battle, better know as religious superiority. Suck is up or go home, K?

P.S. Hey Shadowflux, feel like meeting up for a little biblical discussion over candle light, communion wafers and some grape juice? I think you’d enjoy yourself. . .


So you're saying that your Bible gives you permission to insult Pagans and other non-Christians all you want? Somehow, I just don't think that is what Jesus intended. And Wicca is recognized by the U.S. govt and military as an official, valid religion. I ask you, what do you have to lose by respecting another person's religion?

Thanks for sharing your religious discrimination and narrow-mindedness so blatantly. You have proved my point better than I ever could. I rest my case.



posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 07:15 PM
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ForestLady, I have read my post over and over and I see nowhere an insult toward Wicca or paganism or any other religion. All I said was for you to get over the fact that people are going to give you a hard time about your religion. And as for my comment of Wicca being "unrecognized", what I meant is it has less than 1 million followers in a world or roughly 6,545,375,553.

Also, if you noticed I was quite gentle about stating it is everyone's own choice to choose a religion for themselves. I did study Wicca for a few years, I got to know it. But in the end I felt a stronger calling towards Christianity. I'm a United Methodist, if you would like to know. And my bible says that I should not worship false idols or worship any other gods before him. That's the way it goes. That’s what my Ancient text says.

And what confuses me is if your religion is so much older than mine, why do you not have any ancient texts or beliefs to follow. Actually, as knowledge in your religion goes, there really isn't much information available at all, because there were no follow able ancient texts left behind. Only speculation. We still don't even know what Stonehenge was for. Speculation.

So, truthfully, whatever rituals and rites that you follow were only created within the last few hundred years. And Wicca really only surfaced in popularity in the 1950's when your "Wiccan Rede" was written. How do you know that what you are doing now is true to what was practiced thousands of years ago?

ForestLady, I do not condone religious discrimination. All I am saying is, for a religion as young, and with so little information to draw from, as Wicca, please excuse me if I feel that I can be much more confident in what I know and say and practice when it comes to Christianity.



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