7/13/2012 | Share this article:By Klym ~
I could have called this article "Random Thoughts" or "A Day in the Life of an Ex-Christian." I have truly had a weird day, as you will understand when you read this.
First of all, it's a Sunday, so I went to my Unitarian Universalist "church" where the guest speaker was a quite famous Wiccan priest. I say famous because he was invited to the 9/11 memorial service to represent the Wiccan religion and to discuss forgiveness, and he is also the author of the book "Wicca Demystified." Anyhow, being taught throughout my life that Wiccans are evil devil worshippers, I was really curious as to what I could learn from this man.
I actually enjoyed his talk---he dispelled many of the misguided beliefs I had about Wiccans. He was somewhat attractive---that is, he didn't have horns or anything coming out of his head. He explained that Wiccan spells are like "prayers with props." The way he presented his beliefs sounded to me like Native American beliefs about the earth and nature. I quite liked his philosophy of life and began to wonder if perhaps I might be a Wiccan, or Pagan, at heart. More on that later....
Then on to lunch, where I spent time with family celebrating a cousin's 14th birthday. After lunch, my cousin was to attend a week long church camp about sex. This camp is only for kids who have finished eighth grade, hence it's called "Eighter's Camp." All my cousins attend a Disciples of Christ church, so this camp was sponsored by that denomination. My cousin, the 14 year old's mom, asked me to ride with her to the camp which is a little over a two hour drive away. I said sure, I'd be glad to ride along.
So, we set out for camp---me, my cousin, and her son. Of course, we got lost and couldn't find the place, which created a bit of frustration. On the way, I read all the paperwork about the camp. Being an Ex-Christian, I knew that some of it would bother me. There were two pages outlining the agenda of lessons that the kids would be taught throughout the week. Most of it was great and I wished I'd had that kind of sex education when I was 14. (My sex education in the Southern Baptist church consisted of this: "Don't do it--you'll go straight to hell!")
But, some of it was just ridiculous.
The first lesson was about the first two humans that God created---Adam and Eve, of course. It was assumed that that is a true, literal story. OK, I got past that without spouting off. But then I got to the lesson for Wednesday--it's title was "WDJD--What did Jesus do?" The gist of that lesson would be Jesus's views on sex. I was thinking---now how can anybody learn anything about sex from Jesus who the Bible implies was totally celibate???!!! I went on to read that the kids will learn about how Jesus treated women, adulterers, Pharisees, lepers, etc....How does that relate to sex, I wondered? Oh, well, I guess relevancy is not a priority here.
The good things were that the kids will learn all about their bodies, reproduction, STD's, and other actually relevant and factual information that they can use. While it is all couched in Christian religion, it was still a pretty good overview of sexuality, without making the kids feel ashamed of their bodies and desires. So, I kept my mouth shut until my cousin was delivered to the camp and well out of earshot. (Sidenote: The 14 year old cousin has been to the UU church with me a few times and so has been exposed to very liberal ideas. Before he got out of the car to go to camp, he told his mom he liked my church better than his. Ouch!)
So, when he was gone, I told my cousin that it was ridiculous to use Jesus as a guide for sexuality when he never had sex. She more or less agreed with me. She is a pretty liberal Christian but I must admit I was surprised that there was no real debating the issue. But, then, it's hard to argue against the obvious, I guess.
We had a terrible time getting home---there was a rain storm that was so bad we had to pull off the interstate until it passed over, and then a carwreck with fatalities that police directed us away from. Very, very sad and my cousin and I talked most of the way home about how someone today lost loved ones unexpectedly and violently.
When I finally got home, I rushed to the Internet to do some research on the Wiccan religion. In my readings I found a list of spells that are done for a variety of things---a broken heart, travel protection, finding a new love, and so on and so on, and then there was a spell for finding a good parking spot. It said that "Squat" is the Diva of Parking Spots and she is pictured as a heavy-set black woman in a meter maid's outfit. (I can't make this stuff up!) Anyway, when you are looking for a parking spot, you put your hand up and have your thumb touch your ring finger and say, "Squat, Squat, I need a spot!" Then, when you find one, you thank her by saying, "Squat, Squat, you're really hot, thank you for the parking spot!"
OK, when I finished laughing (the footnote said, "Don't laugh---many New York City pagans use this and have had success with it"), I thought about a Christian friend I have who always prays for parking spots close to the front of the stores where she shops, and when she gets one, she says, OUT LOUD, "Thank you, God!" She's a minister's wife, by the way. When I go shopping with her, I prepare myself mentally to ignore this nonsense.
I apologize to any pagans on this site if what I say insults you, but I just don't think that the "energy in the universe", which pagans claim to use to their and other's benefits, really gives a flying fart about a parking place!!! I mean: If the energy in the universe is to be used for the good, why does it not save people from head on collisions during thunderstorms? With a world full of starving children and deadly tornadoes and child abuse and horrible diseases, why bother "energy" or "god" or the "universe" about such a trivial thing as a parking spot???!!! After that, I decided I am not a Wiccan at heart after all. I don't have any faith in prayer anyway, so why would I put faith in "prayers with props"? What was I thinking?
OK, so Jesus can teach us about sex; Wiccan spells use the universe's energy to find a good parking space; and people die unexpectedly in horrible ways. It just doesn't add up....and yet our culture wonders why religions of all kinds are being rejected by more and more people? Seems like a no-brainer to me....