Sunday, June 20, 2004

Things I don't get about Christian and Wiccan theology and mythology

Good Morning Goddess Brigit,

Today is Father’s Day and it is the day before the summer solstice. I am going to take just a minute here and give thanks for the fact that I am here, I am healthy, and I am sober. I am grateful to still be in Your grace, and to be Sober, a gift that you have given to me. My family is well and whole. Those who care for me surround me and it is a good Sabbat to be celebrating.

I just want to give thanks this day to the Lady and the Lord, for the bounty that I have.

It is funny that I am a Wiccan Pagan and I really do not feel I have a good grasp of Wiccan theology/mythology at all, yet I still identify with the Wiccan belief system. Now this may be difficult to explain.

Let me start by taking a look at Christianity. A Christian might say to me, “The central tenet of our belief is that God so loved the world, he made his son go into the world as a mortal human and give his life that all of us may be redeemed, our sins washed clean, and we may enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.”

To me, this is absolutely nuts, stark raving mad. Let’s ignore for a second the minor quibbles over whether or not God is in the world at all, or how sins stain us or that we need to be redeemed before we enter paradise. Here is my central problem with Christianity: if God is all knowing and all-powerful, why did he have to:
1. Make a human son to go into the world? Couldn’t he have gone himself?
2. Why would a loving God make his son go through the incredible, unbelievable torture and cruelty of what the Christians call the passion to redeem us? Like there is no other way He could have done it?
3. How exactly does a God/man being beaten savagely, crowned with thorns, forced to haul a tree trunk uphill and then being nailed to the tree trunk, how exactly does that save me from my sins? I mean, he gets nailed to a tree, I steal from my employer, and I am redeemed from that theft if I accept this Savior? I don’t get it. Does it work like a get out of jail free card?
4. If Christ going through all that pain was so that I don’t have to go through all that pain, then why do humans still beat, rape, murder and torture each other? I mean, in essence if Jesus went through all that so that we don’t, they why does all that still happen?
5. If each of us is our own individual soul, loved by God, then why the hell do we need his Son to die on our behalf—why are we still being punished for what our ancestors did? And did out of ignorance, since they had no knowledge of good or evil?

Anyway, I think I have made my point: I do not understand Christianity at all. Nonetheless it is a religion that daily offers comfort and guidance to millions. From this great faith have arisen remarkable men (St. Francis of Assisi) and women (Hildegard of Bingen). So maybe I am just dense.

My point is something else. A Wiccan might say to me, “My faith holds that the Goddess and the God are aspects of the One, the Unity. The central tenet of my faith is the great cycle of life, death and rebirth, and I use the Wheel of the Year to learn this great cycle. The God is born, grows through infancy to youth and into adulthood, mates with the Goddess, impregnates her and then the God dies, to be reborn as the son of the Goddess. All of this occurs along with the natural rhythms of the world, the sowing of the seeds, the nurturing of the fields, the growth of the crops, the harvest, and again next spring the sowing of the fields.”

Even now, as a practicing Wiccan I say, “Huh?” I just don’t understand this any better than Christianity. Aside from the incest fetish in this, I always have to wonder what the Gods are supposed to do between Samhain and Yule when there is nothing going on. Some of my confusion and lack of understanding comes from the fact that I am so divorced from nature—I live in a cave of modern urbanization and technology. Sometimes I think I would be better served by a faith that holds that the Goddess is electricity and she often withholds her favors after major storms.

So, theology is not help to me at all I guess. I have kind of looked as Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism and I have to just bluntly confess, the theology of all of these different faiths—it is garbage to me. It makes no sense at all. That is not where I get my “connection” if you will.