@petrapark3r said in Do you hide your faith?:
As an example, at the funeral of one family friend I attended my son's mother was wearing a pentacle quite openly. This oughtn't have been a problem. The priest who conducted the service was fine and cheery with her up until leaving the church when he was shaking hands with people. He was about to shake hers, noticed her symbol of faith, and immediately withdrew his hand, scowling at her, not meeting her eyes or communicating further.
Another christian who doesn't live up to the name . But I wonder if you can blame him. It's not like that's part of their education. He might just be scared or not rooted deeply enough in his faith.
I feel there is a certain responsibility not to pre-judge, isn't that a basic tenet of Christian teaching? One would also hope that an authority figures might have a better education regarding the relationship between the two faiths. It works both ways. For every Christian I've met who doesn't understand and takes issue with Pagans I'm sure I've met at least one Pagan who takes an issue with Christians. Some get horribly, shamefully petty, it's embarrassing and very un-spiritual
Contrarily my Uncle and Aunt were also priests
of what religion? In the catholic church for example only men can be priests. Among protestants there are no priests, just pastors...
(I was confirmed C of E myself)
what exactly does that mean?
I'll answer these two together. They were priests of the Christian Protestant Church of England founded by King Henry VIII in the 16th century as the prime church of England.
Confirmation (in the C of E) is sort-of a follow on from baptism, supposedly as a young adult you actively choose the faith as your one path through life renouncing all others, after which you can take communion. Only I was never asked what I wanted. I was 13 and told now I was old enough to be Confirmed so that's what would be happening. At that age I didn't question it, didn't realise I had a choice.
Women have been allowed to be fully ordained priests of the Protestant Church of England for 25 years. Prior to that my aunt was a Deacon as she was not permitted to be a priest, but she was one of the earliest female priests of the C of E.
, and they couldn't be more supportive.
of your paganism?
Of everything, generally, the way a family ought to be. But yes that is included. My son's naming ceremony was a Wiccaning - I've never been keen on Wicca but his mother was practicing that at the time - and my uncle fully and enthusiastically participated. Much like myself I think he understood (he passed away two months ago) that intent is what is important, it doesn't matter what you call a ceremony or your God/s and/or Goddesses as we're all part of something bigger. He wasn't one for ego and did a lot of interfaith work along with taking on/pioneering a lot of other equality initiatives
It's a good thing if people are able to think rationally instead of group-think. Now don't get me wrong, I believe it is fine to deduce things from your faith and view your world accordingly. By group think I mean "you atheist → you bad; you christian → you good"...
Yes, got to be logical and objective
To further complicate things I'm not a typical Pagan either, if there even is such a thing. I have a fairly unique belief system which I feel no need to explain and which fits what feels right to me, yet if a label must be applied Paganism is the one which most closely fits. It doesn't take any of the usual Pagan paths such as Druidry, Wicca, Heathenry, Shamanism, traditional witchcraft, Hoodoo, Native American and Celtic traditions etc
(and because of that some Pagans might suggest I'm not a "proper" Pagan)
How can Pagans suggest you're not a proper Pagan if they say follow shamanism, while druidry is also being a valid paganism to them? How can all those paths be equally valid for being pagan, but any other path not?
For an umbrella faith which ought to be very easy-going there are some very egotistic entitled types in the community who will insist on there being specific right ways and wrong ways of doing things. "Eclectics" (as those who don't follow just one path are known) can be viewed as frothy, whimsical or undedicated. Whereas I find Wicca and some higher forms of Druidry (let's not even touch on Crowleyism and other ceremonial magicks) extraordinarily dogmatic, much like a formal church and entirely missing the point. You might get some Wiccans suggesting other forms of witchcraft aren't valid because they are blind to seeing how it works without the structure and formality of Wicca; conversely you'll find some hedge witches and people in traditional covens/circles who won't acknowledge Wicca because it is so (relatively) new. People who won't accept you as a Druidic practitioner because you're not a member of OBOD or such. I know one published Heathen academic authoress well who is terribly arrogant, she presents an argument (based on history) that Heathenry is the only authentic tradition still existing and so is dismissive and quite rude of any other Pagan's beliefs if they are not also Heathen. It's sad... unfortunately you get good peeps and assholes in every faith
yet contains elements of each of those. It stretches into other pantheons too - my spiritual practice involves some Buddhist elements, and in my home you will find representations of Ganesha and Athena from the Hindu and Greek pantheons respectively. When an acquaintance's young cat went missing for several days last year and was presumed dead it was Bast of the Egyptian pantheon I appealed (prayed) to.
Then how do you determine what is true and what is not true? Do you have any anchor? You know what I mean?
In the physical world for example, I rely on science to tell me what's true and what not in the sense that we have our theories and disprove them by experimenting. It's not an authority in this case but a methodology I rely on, that allows me to differentiate. (Don't ever believe to much in the authorities of science, always put the method first, the doubt, the checking)
You never know what is true, not 100%. I take a scientific approach to most things myself, married with logic, though have been learning to trust my gut more. The thing is I don't feel I need to be certain of anything. My belief system seems to the only one which I can make fit science and logic too. We explain with science now things which seem phenomenally simple basic concepts yet which if you showed to somebody a thousand years ago would be branded as magic. The things I'm involved with/tapped into I don't view as magic, rather as science which is yet to be explained. I don't need to know the specifics of how something works, if it does. I think I kinda get where you're trying to ask, maybe. My anchor is myself and the faith understanding that all energy is recycled. I don't see the Gods and Goddesses as literal, but as aspects of whatever the divine actually is.