I go to a local Unitarian church near my town from time to time, when I can get my butt out of bed. Today’s lecture/sermon included a guest speaker who talked about paganism. What I found so interesting was the fact she was an atheist, informing other on the subject of pagans.
I found the lecture full of facts I already knew. Heck, I’ve been pagan for almost 30 years, so that wasn’t so surprises. She focused mostly on the Greco-Roman, Celtic, and Norse traditions, citing writers such as Issac Bonowitz, and AJ Drew.
I suppose what disappointed me is that it didn’t strike me that she actually knew or spoke to pagans much. We’re everywhere. There was three practicing pagans in the audience if not more.
When I asked her if she read anything by Starhawk, she said she didn’t agree much with ‘him’. Which led me to think she didn’t read anything by Starhawk, being she’s a woman author. She’s also help found the Reclaiming Tradition. (which wasn’t mentioned).
Gerald Gardner, the Frosts, and even Alistair Crowley were all mentioned, but I heard nothing of Starhawk, Z Budepest, Margot Adler, or Phyllis Currot who contributed just as much if not more to modern day paganism. There was little mention of Doreen Valiente which can be said to have rewritten much of what we see as Gardner’s work.
I also must point out that citing orthodox pagan writings doesn’t reflect the majority of solitary pagans who are out there. Being a religion that evolves and adapts, its tough to make broad statements of the basic tenants of faith.
The funny thing about so many pagan founders have criticisms of one another. Bonewitz criticized Starhawk, she told him to mind his own business. AJ Drew didn’t like the Frosts, and Doreen Valiente and Gardner also had a falling out.
I found that atheists still view paganism just as full of misguidance as any religion, and I think this lecture just goes to show that you shouldn’t get your information from someone standing on the outside. I’m just say’n