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Witches Outnumber Presbyterians in US

Tom Sawyer

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So, apparently, the number of wicca or pagan believers now outnumber the number of Presbyterians in the US

https://jonathanturley.org/2018/11/18/report-witches-now-outnumber-presbyterians-in-the-united-states/

While it's always nice to see any sort of waning of a Christian faith, what's up with the fad of people becoming wiccans? While it's a harmless belief system which doesn't try and impose its views on others, it's still pretty fucking stupid. Is it just that people find it kind of edgy to call themselves witches? It seems like an odd thing to have on the upswing.
 

Keith&Co.

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I've thought about it a few times.

It seems like the only thing more likely to be misunderstood, mislabeled and misapplied than atheism, in the minds of certain members of The Faithful.
 

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I used to know a Catholic Wizard, who insisted that prayer was just spell-casting by name-dropping.
 

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So, apparently, the number of wicca or pagan believers now outnumber the number of Presbyterians in the US

https://jonathanturley.org/2018/11/18/report-witches-now-outnumber-presbyterians-in-the-united-states/

While it's always nice to see any sort of waning of a Christian faith, what's up with the fad of people becoming wiccans? While it's a harmless belief system which doesn't try and impose its views on others, it's still pretty fucking stupid. Is it just that people find it kind of edgy to call themselves witches? It seems like an odd thing to have on the upswing.

I personally think it's more of the same. I don't think it matters a damn which invisible friend somebody has. The fact that they have an invisible friend is the problem.
 

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I personally think it's more of the same. I don't think it matters a damn which invisible friend somebody has. The fact that they have an invisible friend is the problem.
Hard to imagine Westboro Wiccans protesting a funeral, though.
 

DrZoidberg

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I personally think it's more of the same. I don't think it matters a damn which invisible friend somebody has. The fact that they have an invisible friend is the problem.
Hard to imagine Westboro Wiccans protesting a funeral, though.

Ehe... well. Paganism is big in Scandinavia among neo-Nazis. It's heavily associated with right wing extremism. Nazi skins here typically have their entire bodies covered with tattoos of Norse gods and pagan spells. Over here they're more likely to be the cause of the funeral than doing something as "effeminate" as protesting it. So... yeah. Keep that thought.
 

DrZoidberg

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BTW, Pagan culture was/is a warrior culture. Wicca isn't really paganism at all. It's some lame LARP shit. They've just taken old symbols and gods right out of their context and made some shit up, and made it into an incoherent soup.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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I personally think it's more of the same. I don't think it matters a damn which invisible friend somebody has. The fact that they have an invisible friend is the problem.
Hard to imagine Westboro Wiccans protesting a funeral, though.

A Woo by any other name is still a Woo.

BTW, Pagan culture was/is a warrior culture. Wicca isn't really paganism at all. It's some lame LARP shit. They've just taken old symbols and gods right out of their context and made some shit up, and made it into an incoherent soup.

Generations ago we were all basically warriors. Then we all basically became warrior-farmers. We've spun off the farming thing to other members of the tribe so some of us can be warriors again.

It's always been my contention that what makes humans humans is the their ability to pretend, fantasize. But maybe it's not so simple, maybe we're just mad.
 

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So, apparently, the number of wicca or pagan believers now outnumber the number of Presbyterians in the US

https://jonathanturley.org/2018/11/...outnumber-presbyterians-in-the-united-states/

While it's always nice to see any sort of waning of a Christian faith, what's up with the fad of people becoming wiccans? While it's a harmless belief system which doesn't try and impose its views on others, it's still pretty fucking stupid. Is it just that people find it kind of edgy to call themselves witches? It seems like an odd thing to have on the upswing.

With the fall of Christianity, other forms of illogical thought prevail. Christianity was the magnet for all the stupid nails you drop on the driveway... you weaken the magnet, you don't get all the nails.

To paranormalphrase Metallica (demonstrated by Trump): Fight stupid with stupid.


I'm thinking the higher ups in the US military play the part of stupid Christian (sometimes), but the selection process (behavioral) protects us from them being actual stupid Christians....



"Witchcraft.... hahahha... there is always a niche market for stupid, and people willing to exploit that market. " Creflo Dollar, speaking at a semi-private fundraiser.
 

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I personally think it's more of the same. I don't think it matters a damn which invisible friend somebody has. The fact that they have an invisible friend is the problem.
Hard to imagine Westboro Wiccans protesting a funeral, though.

Ehe... well. Paganism is big in Scandinavia among neo-Nazis. It's heavily associated with right wing extremism. Nazi skins here typically have their entire bodies covered with tattoos of Norse gods and pagan spells. Over here they're more likely to be the cause of the funeral than doing something as "effeminate" as protesting it. So... yeah. Keep that thought.
Well, you were grouping Wiccans with all religions flavors, and still are, i wasn't.

So, yeah, i do still see a difference if people switch to invisible friends that spread the Wiccan Rede, as opposed to the various boot stomping woos.

- - - Updated - - -

BTW, Pagan culture was/is a warrior culture. Wicca isn't really paganism at all.
Then why do you immediately lump it in with Paganism?
 

DrZoidberg

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Ehe... well. Paganism is big in Scandinavia among neo-Nazis. It's heavily associated with right wing extremism. Nazi skins here typically have their entire bodies covered with tattoos of Norse gods and pagan spells. Over here they're more likely to be the cause of the funeral than doing something as "effeminate" as protesting it. So... yeah. Keep that thought.
Well, you were grouping Wiccans with all religions flavors, and still are, i wasn't.

So, yeah, i do still see a difference if people switch to invisible friends that spread the Wiccan Rede, as opposed to the various boot stomping woos.

The problem is having invisible friends. It's the same flaw of logic that says Buddhism couldn't hurt a fly and then we realize that Buddhism has been used to justify genocide in Sri Lanka, ethnic cleansing by the 12th Dalai Lama and gay persecution by the current Dalai Lama.

Fundamentally there's two types of people. The romantics who prefer feelings to reason. Who value passion and aesthetics over finding what is true. These type of people are always dangerous when they constitute an identity shared by the majority culture. And the other one's, reflexive and introspective and self doubting. These people are never swept up in movements. So will never be a part of a powerful group.

All religious are part of the first group and if they get enough power they will always be dangerous. A romantics peaceful maxims can switch to violence in no time, because this world view is so open to any influence.

Wiccans are only peaceful now because they have no power.

BTW, Pagan culture was/is a warrior culture. Wicca isn't really paganism at all.
Then why do you immediately lump it in with Paganism?

Because of it's name? Ie paganism.
 

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Thank god for those safe, safe people who only act in self-interest rather than on behalf of imaginary friends!
 

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So, all religions are equally bad, or would be, because that's how religions do, but one woo isn't really woo, but if it were woo,it would be just as bad as the real woo that it's nothing like. Because they're alike.

Gots it.
 

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So, all religions are equally bad, or would be, because that's how religions do, but one woo isn't really woo, but if it were woo,it would be just as bad as the real woo that it's nothing like. Because they're alike.

Gots it.

There is a distinct possibility that the problem is humans. Whenever we get involved we'll fuck shit up.

I don't think all religions are equally bad. But I think it's always bad when any one single religion becomes completely dominant anywhere. Nothing good can come of that
 

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Thank god for those safe, safe people who only act in self-interest rather than on behalf of imaginary friends!

There are people who act in self interest - some of whom credit an imaginary friend, while others admit that it's their own choice.

Then there are people who act altruistically - some of whom credit an imaginary friend, whole others admit that it's their own choice.

Self interest is not rendered safer by the delusional idea that it's obedience to a God, any more than altruism is rendered any less valuable by being done by those who recognise that gods are imaginary. But both implications are routinely and insultingly made by theists - whose snide comments rather undermine their regular claims that an all loving deity is their inspiration.
 

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Thank god for those safe, safe people who only act in self-interest rather than on behalf of imaginary friends!

There are people who act in self interest - some of whom credit an imaginary friend, while others admit that it's their own choice.

Then there are people who act altruistically - some of whom credit an imaginary friend, whole others admit that it's their own choice.

Well, I quite agree with this.

But I see the notion that subtracting God will somehow improve moral conduct to be similarly delusional. People are people. A tu quoque rejoinder does not reduce the absurdity of the claim itself.

I also see it as an especially odd criticism to make of Wicca. While gods may be called upon in ritual, they are not seen as moral authorities in Wicca in the same way that Christians regard God or Muslims Allah. Many Wiccans think of the gods as pure metaphors; others see them as spiritual beings but not of different "stuff" than us, merely older and wiser. They can be wrong, they can conflict with one another. I have never heard a Wiccan insist that a categorical moral imperative should be forced on anyone other than themselves, certainly not because the Lord or Lady ordered it to be so. The closest thing to a moral rule in Wicca is the Rede, which most consider more of a guideline anyhow, but which explicitly condemns forcing someone else to do something. It is "Do as thou wilt", not "make others do as thou will them".

Do those dismissing Wicca in this thread actually know anything about it beyond the cheap cardboard cut-outs they may have encountered in the conservative Christian sermons of their youths?
 

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If anyone is interested in learning more about Wicca as a tradition in its own right, there are two books I would recommend.

One is "Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner" by Scott Cunningham; it is a sort of modern classic among American Wiccans, and cuts nicely a non-demoninational path across the major concepts and practices of modern Wicca. Plus, Scott was a really nice guy.

Two is "Witching Culture" by Sabina Magliocco. Also by a practitioner, but the author is also a well-known folklorist and anthropologist, and explores the oral and ritual traditions of Gardnerian Wicca in much more detail, discussing some of the theoretical issues that religious scholars have explored with respect to Wiccan "magic" as well as emic persepctives on magic and transcendent ecstatic states. It used to be one of the textbooks assigned in my Anthro of Religion course.
 

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If anyone is interested in learning more about Wicca as a tradition in its own right, there are two books I would recommend.

One is "Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner" by Scott Cunningham; it is a sort of modern classic among American Wiccans, and cuts nicely a non-demoninational path across the major concepts and practices of modern Wicca. Plus, Scott was a really nice guy.

Two is "Witching Culture" by Sabina Magliocco. Also by a practitioner, but the author is also a well-known folklorist and anthropologist, and explores the oral and ritual traditions of Gardnerian Wicca in much more detail, discussing some of the theoretical issues that religious scholars have explored with respect to Wiccan "magic" as well as emic persepctives on magic and transcendent ecstatic states. It used to be one of the textbooks assigned in my Anthro of Religion course.

As of this moment, you have 999 posts. That means:

Divine Justice is acting in your life. Divine justice is a very powerful force. It's the highest form of justice that there is. In Eastern traditions, it's called Karma. 999 is a sign that Divine Justice is now acting in your life and that things are being bought back into balance.
- Something I Pulled off a Blurb Thingy I Found on a Google Search

:)
 

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Do those dismissing Wicca in this thread actually know anything about it beyond the cheap cardboard cut-outs they may have encountered in the conservative Christian sermons of their youths?

I have had an interest in Paganism my entire life. Especially Norse Paganism, which is closely related to Celtish and English Paganism, which, supposedly, was the blueprint of Wicca.and the source of their beliefs. I've studied Norse Paganism extensively. As well as Norse history. I live in the hoods.

The prime feature of Paganism is the system of adding or removing gods, or switching around which gods are the primary ones. It was highly regional and evolved rapidly. It was a mystery religion. Which meant that the most sacred rituals, and the most core beliefs of the religion, was kept in secret and never written down. So died out with the last Norse shaman.

In recent years we have managed to piece together a lot of it today, since Paganism never died out in Russia. But regarding how much of that represents what went on in the British isles is anyone's guess.

Add to that that we know the real sources and history of Wicca. We know which people wrote and invented what, and it's quite easy to trace the sources. The Rede comes from Crowley's "Do what thou wilt". His main sources was from the Orient and especially Kabbalah.

Wicca in general comes from 19'th century British spiritualism, occultism and freemasonry. But dressed up with Pagan symbols. I would go so far and claim that there's not a trace of Pagan thought in Wicca. Its all Oriental spiritual ideas blended with some European Enlightenment ideas popular in the 19'th century.

The idea that Paganism can trace anything of what they're doing to anything that went on in the European Ye Olden Days is stupid and dishonest. It's fake news.

I don't like it because I like actual ancient paganism and I see a real risk of Wicca perverting people's impressions of what paganism is. Wherever Wicca spreads and becomes popular I see that knowledge of real European ancient beliefs die with it. And now Wicca has come to Sweden and Denmark and gaining popularity. Luckily we have well funded Pagan museums that might help set people straight. We can only hope.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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Thank god for those safe, safe people who only act in self-interest rather than on behalf of imaginary friends!

There are people who act in self interest - some of whom credit an imaginary friend, while others admit that it's their own choice.

Then there are people who act altruistically - some of whom credit an imaginary friend, whole others admit that it's their own choice.

Well, I quite agree with this.

But I see the notion that subtracting God will somehow improve moral conduct to be similarly delusional. People are people. A tu quoque rejoinder does not reduce the absurdity of the claim itself.

I also see it as an especially odd criticism to make of Wicca. While gods may be called upon in ritual, they are not seen as moral authorities in Wicca in the same way that Christians regard God or Muslims Allah. Many Wiccans think of the gods as pure metaphors; others see them as spiritual beings but not of different "stuff" than us, merely older and wiser. They can be wrong, they can conflict with one another. I have never heard a Wiccan insist that a categorical moral imperative should be forced on anyone other than themselves, certainly not because the Lord or Lady ordered it to be so. The closest thing to a moral rule in Wicca is the Rede, which most consider more of a guideline anyhow, but which explicitly condemns forcing someone else to do something. It is "Do as thou wilt", not "make others do as thou will them".

Do those dismissing Wicca in this thread actually know anything about it beyond the cheap cardboard cut-outs they may have encountered in the conservative Christian sermons of their youths?

Gods are just magnified and glorified images of self. The sooner people realize that the better off they will be and the more likely they will be to get on constructively with their lives and the future generally.

So religious preference doesn't really matter. Culture makes the religious choice and the environment chooses the culture anyway.

All those invisible friends are just people talking with and to themselves.

I have met bigfoot, and bigfoot is me.
 

bilby

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Thank god for those safe, safe people who only act in self-interest rather than on behalf of imaginary friends!

There are people who act in self interest - some of whom credit an imaginary friend, while others admit that it's their own choice.

Then there are people who act altruistically - some of whom credit an imaginary friend, whole others admit that it's their own choice.

Well, I quite agree with this.

But I see the notion that subtracting God will somehow improve moral conduct to be similarly delusional. People are people. A tu quoque rejoinder does not reduce the absurdity of the claim itself.

I also see it as an especially odd criticism to make of Wicca. While gods may be called upon in ritual, they are not seen as moral authorities in Wicca in the same way that Christians regard God or Muslims Allah. Many Wiccans think of the gods as pure metaphors; others see them as spiritual beings but not of different "stuff" than us, merely older and wiser. They can be wrong, they can conflict with one another. I have never heard a Wiccan insist that a categorical moral imperative should be forced on anyone other than themselves, certainly not because the Lord or Lady ordered it to be so. The closest thing to a moral rule in Wicca is the Rede, which most consider more of a guideline anyhow, but which explicitly condemns forcing someone else to do something. It is "Do as thou wilt", not "make others do as thou will them".

Do those dismissing Wicca in this thread actually know anything about it beyond the cheap cardboard cut-outs they may have encountered in the conservative Christian sermons of their youths?

I am not suggesting 'subtracting gods'; Gods' absence is the default position, and I strongly advocate not adding them in the first place.

All I know about wicca I learned from various wiccan friends (who likely outnumber my christian friends) and from my usual lifelong curiosity about everything. That's the exact same source as my knowledge of christianity - having never subscribed to any religion, they all look much the same to me, though their differences are occasionally entertaining.

Wiccans appear to ascribe magical properties to the real world, while christians reserve magic to a special individual or group of individuals, mostly dead. Both are, of course, absurd.
 

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So, apparently, the number of wicca or pagan believers now outnumber the number of Presbyterians in the US

https://jonathanturley.org/2018/11/18/report-witches-now-outnumber-presbyterians-in-the-united-states/

While it's always nice to see any sort of waning of a Christian faith, what's up with the fad of people becoming wiccans? While it's a harmless belief system which doesn't try and impose its views on others, it's still pretty fucking stupid. Is it just that people find it kind of edgy to call themselves witches? It seems like an odd thing to have on the upswing.

Witches are nicer than most Protestants. Their beliefs are just as nutty, but they don't constantly shove their beliefs in other people's faces trying to proselytize and convert everyone around them, which makes their company a lot less annoying.
 

Jason Harvestdancer

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I've been at it for over 25 years, so obviously it's just a fad.

Technically speaking, the doctrine of both Wicca and Christianity say one cannot be both. Practically speaking, there's nothing preventing people from calling themselves whatever they want.

There are several religions which fit under the Pagan umbrella. Asatru prefers the term "heathen" but by definition it does fit, is derived from the old Germanic and Scandinavian religions, and they are the ones most identified with White Supremacists. The majority of them hate what the White Supremacists are doing to their religion and meetings between the two strands never is peaceful.
 
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