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Author Topic: Pagan gods and goddesses are Demons?  (Read 8378 times)

Vymir

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Pagan gods and goddesses are Demons?
« on: April 25, 2012, 09:24:21 pm »
I worship Norse and Kemetic gods and recently some people have accused me of worshiping demons and evil spirits. How should I respond to this accusation?

Marilyn/Absentminded

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Re: Pagan gods and goddesses are Demons?
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2012, 09:30:58 pm »
Quote from: Vymir;51892
I worship Norse and Kemetic gods and recently some people have accused me of worshiping demons and evil spirits. How should I respond to this accusation?

 
Laugh.

Absent
I smile when I\'m angry.  I cheat and I lie
I do what I have to do to get by
But I know what is wrong, and I know what is right
And I die for the truth in my secret life

   In My Secret Life, L. Cohen

Wickerman

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Re: Pagan gods and goddesses are Demons?
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2012, 09:34:04 pm »
Quote from: Marilyn/Absentminded;51893
Laugh.

Absent

 
100% agreement. Religious bigotry is alive and well.
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Valentine

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Re: Pagan gods and goddesses are Demons?
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2012, 09:36:44 pm »
Quote from: Vymir;51892
I worship Norse and Kemetic gods and recently some people have accused me of worshiping demons and evil spirits. How should I respond to this accusation?

 
Look, if someone thinks the beings you're interacting with are demons, there's no real way to prove them wrong.  People will believe what they believe.  (It's not so different from the secular variation, "I think you're delusional.")  My primary response is this:
I point out that, whatever the nature of my Gods, what They direct me to do is be more kind, more giving, more brave, and more loving.  That when I cleave to my faith I'm a stronger, happier, healthier, more hopeful person who does good service to other people.  And I don't think that's what an evil spirit would be pushing me toward.  The day my Gods direct me to harm a person or a community, to lie, to think ill of the people around me, to be cruel or dishonest, I'll ask more questions, but that day hasn't come.  Likewise, if I'm just crazy and hearing voices, well, they're voices that make me a better person, and direct me to do good in the world, so what's the problem?

Sometimes, if really pushed, I bring up the Gospel passage where Jesus is accused of doing the work of evil spirits.  And he says, "Can evil cast out evil?  A house divided against itself cannot stand."  That is:  would an evil influence really direct me to stand against evil in the world?  Why?

I suppose these arguments only work if people know you're a person of good character.  I suppose, then, the best response is to be a really, really good person.  It's hard to argue with that.  If you do good works and keep your promises and act as a person of integrity and decency, it is pretty hard to argue credibly that you're serving or being shaped by evil forces.
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Etheric1

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Re: Pagan gods and goddesses are Demons?
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2012, 09:37:24 pm »
Quote from: Vymir;51892
I worship Norse and Kemetic gods and recently some people have accused me of worshiping demons and evil spirits. How should I respond to this accusation?

 
Laugh at them, or pity them, or you can mock their zombie-god that wants you to eat him.  

:dwink:
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Celtag

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Re: Pagan gods and goddesses are Demons?
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2012, 09:46:40 pm »
Quote from: Vymir;51892
I worship Norse and Kemetic gods and recently some people have accused me of worshiping demons and evil spirits. How should I respond to this accusation?
People tell me that all the time. I just look at them and laugh and say maybe you should read a book before you open your mouth, because you have no idea what your talking about. Being a Pagan, your going to have to get used to people telling you this, but you know the truth, so just carry on and keep your head above the idiots.
[Now using the Cryfder account]

Wickerman

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Re: Pagan gods and goddesses are Demons?
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2012, 11:23:56 pm »
Quote from: Vymir;51892
I worship Norse and Kemetic gods and recently some people have accused me of worshiping demons and evil spirits. How should I respond to this accusation?

 
Seriously though, you sound pretty young. I know that it can be hard to ignore, or laugh at stuff like that. I am 45 years old, and have reached the age where I just could not care less what people think of me. But even at my age, only my close friends know that I'm pagan. If I were baptist, I would feel the same way. I just don't share every detail of myself with the world. You know that there are old legends that say that if you know somethings true name, then you have power over it. Today our names are no secret, but I firmly believe that who we really are should be. When a malicious person knows the real you, they can hurt you in ways you never thought possible. It is best, in my opinion, to only share the real you with very close friends, that you truly trust, and even then you are taking a chance, people are fickle.
"Don\'t take life too seriously, or you\'ll never get out of it alive." (Bugs Bunny)

Jabberwocky

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Re: Pagan gods and goddesses are Demons?
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2012, 08:58:08 pm »
Quote from: Celtag;51898
People tell me that all the time. I just look at them and laugh and say maybe you should read a book before you open your mouth, because you have no idea what your talking about.

 
While that will often work, it's a bit of a risky tack to take. It isn't necessarily the case that anyone who claims this is a moron or even ignorant of Paganism.

Basically, most people who claim this are likely to be of the view that any gods other than the Christian one are demons in disguise and any spiritual powers outside of the Christian context are coming from Satan.  If that is someone's starting position, by that definition pretty much every pagan and occultist is working with demons in some way or another.  (In fact, most of the people that would push this argument are also likely to believe that agnostics/atheists have been deceived by Satan).  While it's mellowed a bit in the last century, that's still within the orthodoxy of mainstream Christian theology.  And it's a faith position, so it's near impossible to persuade someone otherwise.  

The best you can hope for in that situation is that a) the person accepts that you don't believe you're worshipping demons even if they think you are and b) that they don't believe you should be actively persecuted for it.

That's worth pushing for if you think it's worthwhile.  Apart from that, I'd suggest just accepting you exist in an entirely incompatible paradigm with theirs and moving on.
Your heart is a muscle as big as your fist.

Juniperberry

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Re: Pagan gods and goddesses are Demons?
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2012, 09:35:58 pm »
Quote from: Vymir;51892
I worship Norse and Kemetic gods and recently some people have accused me of worshiping demons and evil spirits. How should I respond to this accusation?

 

"If demons are masquerading as gods, then maybe that's the case with yours? I mean, hate gay people, hate sinners, hate multiculturalism, hate science: hate hate hate. Sounds like a good candidate. I'd look into it."
The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. [...] The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most.--Elon Musk

I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," [Bill] Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don\'t understand why some people are not concerned."

Wickerman

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Re: Pagan gods and goddesses are Demons?
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2012, 10:25:49 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;52281
"If demons are masquerading as gods, then maybe that's the case with yours? I mean, hate gay people, hate sinners, hate multiculturalism, hate science: hate hate hate. Sounds like a good candidate. I'd look into it."

 
Died, rose from the grave in three days, wants you to drink his blood? Sounds like a vampire to me.
"Don\'t take life too seriously, or you\'ll never get out of it alive." (Bugs Bunny)

Valentine

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Re: Pagan gods and goddesses are Demons?
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2012, 12:51:01 am »
Quote from: Wickerman;52282
Died, rose from the grave in three days, wants you to drink his blood? Sounds like a vampire to me.

Quote from: Etheric1
Laugh at them, or pity them, or you can mock their zombie-god that wants you to eat him.


Do we really have to disparage Christians' God just because some Christian disparaged ours?  He's a perfectly decent God, and important to a lot of members of this board.  I'm not trying to police your posting, I just mean to say, if the OP is really trying to maintain connections/build bridges/figure out how to talk to people, blasphemy probably won't make any friendships.  I get that the other folks are blaspheming first; maybe I just over-value politeness.
"Let be be finale of seem." - Wallace Stevens, "The Emperor of Ice-Cream"
"There isn't a way things should be.  There's just what happens, and what we do."
- Terry Pratchett, "A Hat Full of Sky"

Etheric1

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Re: Pagan gods and goddesses are Demons?
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2012, 01:16:11 am »
Quote from: Valentine;52292
Do we really have to disparage Christians' God just because some Christian disparaged ours?  He's a perfectly decent God, and important to a lot of members of this board.  I'm not trying to police your posting, I just mean to say, if the OP is really trying to maintain connections/build bridges/figure out how to talk to people, blasphemy probably won't make any friendships.  I get that the other folks are blaspheming first; maybe I just over-value politeness.

No, and my post was meant to be taken with a bit of humor and a lot of salt.  

Honestly, it's probably best to keep what one person worships to themselves, it really is no one's business.  Better to not broadcast one's faith unless you're prepared to deal with people's ignorance and judgment. HOWEVER, if they are going to attack a person, it's not unreasonable for the person to defend themselves and sometimes the response can be rather harsh, which can have the affect of showing them how rude they are being.  Valuing politeness is a good thing, but in some cases it does nothing to discourage further bad behavior.  

I will say, I do tend to get a bit touchy on these particular issue, mostly because I think bullying is something that should not be tolerated, and I'm personally sick and tired of the turn the other cheek in the name of tolerance when in some cases the offender has no intention of reciprocating tolerance.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2012, 01:17:18 am by Etheric1 »
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Juniperberry

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Re: Pagan gods and goddesses are Demons?
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2012, 01:19:11 am »
Quote from: Valentine;52292
Do we really have to disparage Christians' God just because some Christian disparaged ours?  He's a perfectly decent God, and important to a lot of members of this board.  I'm not trying to police your posting, I just mean to say, if the OP is really trying to maintain connections/build bridges/figure out how to talk to people, blasphemy probably won't make any friendships.  I get that the other folks are blaspheming first; maybe I just over-value politeness.



I think its just a humorous way of pointing out that, without context, even Christianity can appear evil, demonic or ridiculous.
The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. [...] The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most.--Elon Musk

I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," [Bill] Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don\'t understand why some people are not concerned."

stephyjh

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Re: Pagan gods and goddesses are Demons?
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2012, 02:40:06 am »
Quote from: Vymir;51892
I worship Norse and Kemetic gods and recently some people have accused me of worshiping demons and evil spirits. How should I respond to this accusation?

 
I read a really brilliant comment directed at a troll the other day, which rather reminds me of how I'd like to think I'd respond to something like this:
"I appreciate that you're the bluntest tool in a box of sponges, but look on the bright side! At least as long as your mouth works, you'll never suffer from constipation."
A heretic blast has been blown in the west,
That what is no sense must be nonsense.

-Robert Burns

AmberHeart

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Re: Pagan gods and goddesses are Demons?
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2012, 05:44:47 pm »
Quote from: Valentine;52292
Do we really have to disparage Christians' God just because some Christian disparaged ours?  He's a perfectly decent God, and important to a lot of members of this board.  I'm not trying to police your posting, I just mean to say, if the OP is really trying to maintain connections/build bridges/figure out how to talk to people, blasphemy probably won't make any friendships.  I get that the other folks are blaspheming first; maybe I just over-value politeness.


Belief is as much a product of linguistic legacy as it is that of faith.

Demon comes from the Greek daimones. These were divine or godlike beings with specific special powers, then later it was used for minor gods and finally evil spirits.

Individuals had a daimon that linked divine will to their fate.  Another term was genius (the original meaning of that word too) a secret advisor that used intuition to enlighten. Daimons were said to symbolize a higher state of enlightenment for those mortals they associated with. A spiritual state of mind that transcended logic and knowledge.

It could also refer to the souls of the dead, spirits that acted as intermediaries between the gods and men and which could be protective or malignant.

Even Christians originally did not hold that demons were evil. They were thought to be angels who had betrayed their angelic nature but were not naturally evil. They were said to oppose the natural world however. Over time (and with the aid of more than a few medieval monks with too much time on their hands) demon took on other layers of meaning and mythos as Christianity evolved and diversified. Or grappled with the question of what to do with all the narly bits and pieces left over from presenting a god as pure goodness yet encompassing everything.

So the use of that term by a Christian could mean many different things. Or as one of my teachers said to me, "If it comes out of someone's mouth, dear, odds are it can be traced back to something or someone else that they never heard of."

Amber

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