Pagans in Parliament

pagans parliament world religions council

Photo by Ray Messner

Now here is something interesting on the religious horizon: Pagans serving on the “Board of Trustees of the Council of the Parliament of World Religions.” There are currently three people on the board, obviously brave individuals in consideration of previous reaction to the mere existence of people who deemed themselves Pagans. As the article “Pagans at the Parliament” outlines, the Greek Orthodox Church pulled out of the Council some 17 years ago because of their bias against Paganism. The article’s author Nancy Vedder-Shults remarks:

In the past the spectrum of disrespect for Paganism has extended from branding us as Satanists to dismissing us as superstitious. From the perspective of Abrahamic traditions, Paganism has essentially been viewed as a heresy. Thus the Greek Orthodox walk-out. But at this Parliament, Pagans made it very clear that we’re aligned with other indigenous religions. Wiccans and Pagans practice the remnants of the pre-Christian, indigenous religions of Europe. Like other indigenous religions, we practice an Earth-based Nature religion. And like other indigenous religions, ours was persecuted by conquerors, who forced us to go underground during the Christianization of Europe.

Considering that “Paganism” in its older meaning has referred to all religions and faiths outside of the three Abrahamic monotheisms – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – in defining Pagans we are talking about a huge percentage of the population: About half the world, in fact. This figure would include all Hindus and Buddhists, to the tune of a possible billion and a half, as well as all the other religions, sects and cults. Then there are the hundreds of millions of non-believers in any organized religion, many of whom consider themselves “atheists,” but also those who are spiritual yet unaffiliated. This massive amount of human beings has every right to be represented on a Council that affirms itself as the Parliament of World Religions. Let us hope they thrive, in fact, and help facillate a reawakening to our ancient shared religious and cultural heritage.

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  1. Pagans in Parliament
    Characteristic of pagan traditions is the absence of proselytism and the presence of a living mythology which explains religious practice.

  2. Where has paganism brought us?
    All the pagan cultures were primitive at best. They loved nature and animals and I love them for that. But the proof is in the pudding. The only people who ever pulled us, the human race, out of primitism are the protestant Christians. This is a fact that can never be denied. Look at all the countries of the world, check their major religions, then check their human rights and standard of living. I know that paganism is a feel good tree hugging religion but it is infantile and primitive. Acharya, you attack Christianity non stop, and God bless you for it!, but I think the heart of the dark ages was one thing only, Catholicism. You are Swedish from descent, have you ever studied Swedenborg? The archons filled his life with fancy visions!

    1. Hi Peter –

      Didn’t we have this conversation before? As I explain in the article, Paganism is essentially everything that is not Abrahamic. In that case, Paganism has brought us a HUGE amount of culture in every aspect of life around the globe. You may want to study my works about comparative religion in order to digest some of that massive cultural contribution over a period of many thousands of years.

      Hindus, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Shintos – these are all Pagans.

      The ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians were all Pagans – and their contribution to culture is inestimable.

  3. Pagans?
    I get a good giggle out of anyone who calls themselves Wiccan, or even more so from those who call themselves Pagan, as though “Wiccan” religion has a great deal to do with European pre-Christian beliefs or “Pagan” is a religion itself. When will the Parliament admit followers of The Urantia Book and Scientology? And don’t even get me started on my views about whether or not such “feel good” groups have any value whatsoever in actually stemming the ignorance and violence of those who choose to engage in such conduct.

    ~Michael~

  4. Paganism
    Paganism – essentially is understood as (1) Polytheism (2) Idolatry; if I am correct. The Indian peninsula gave birth to 4 major indigenous religions, viz. [b]Hinduism (Vedic Culture based), Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikkhism[/b]. Then 4 religions were imported, viz. [b]Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Islam, and Christianism[/b]. Zoroastrianism and the three major Indian religions except Sikkhism (that was evolved as a reactionary force to fight the atrocities of the then Muslim tyrant rulers, later evolved as a religion, within 500 yrs) have never used the idea of conversion or went out crusading with an intent of religious conversions. Whatever few Hindu or Buddhist revolts we see, are very recent and the majority of them are either retaliatory or preemptive.

    Now we are left with the three [b]Abrahamic Faiths [/b]from Judaism, Christianity to Islam in this chronological order. All three of them have used force and barbarism in the name of religion and advancement of religious faiths (including Judaism, if I am correct from my early studies). But the atrocities by Islamic rulers are patently crude, grotesque and blatant without any shame and remorse. Unfortunately, the growing radicalism and fundamentalism being preached and practiced,
    overtly and covertly by Islamic jihadis world over is a worry presently.

    To discuss the issue of [b]polytheism and idolatry[/b] on this blog may be difficult but I do not see any anything neither unscientific nor derogatory to advancement of “Spiritual” practices. On the contrary, it is perfectly scientific. I have no idea about Judaism (have not caught up with yet) but the [b]Christians and Muslims both practice “Idolatry”. [/b]I have made such comments earlier too. But not realising it conciously. This is perhaps now being appreciated by the Christian Ideologues, but the Islamic preachers haven’t. This perhaps reflects their indolency to anything new or change, other than what has been propounded in the current Holy Book of Quran, that is non-negotiable, right or wrong. This was or is a just sellable strategy advanced by the preachers just to project themselves differently (like a fashion). This again goes to show that how gullible is an average person.

    In terms of psychology, one can call it an [b]”Art of Suggestibility”. [/b]This is exploited by the advertisement agencies by putting the regular ads on media and public places to mould the opinion of the masses. The same technique is utilised by these religious heads or preachers for the spread of their so called [b]”Gospels” [/b]by poisoning or indoctrinating the minds of the people. But, I am afraid, we are talking of an [b]’Organised Religion'[/b]; which is either a business or a political hypothesis – infinitely away from the[b] “True Religion”[/b] or the essence of [b]”Spirituality”. [/b]

    A word about [b]”Idolatry”. [/b]You all are aware of a child to teach him the initial alphabets in the primary schooling. You do show him some pictures to relate to a particular word. These pictures may vary in different places. But that does not make it an issue of quarrel. Thenafter, would that child need those pictures once s/he has grown up. Perhaps s/he even forgets it, but we can not undermine its values for the coming generations.

    [b]Idolatry[/b] is just that initial stage crutch technique for the time
    being only to attain the [b]”Formless through Forms”[/b]. For a beginner in spiritual practices, it is used as a simple device for concentration of mind. When I see these needless arguments about [b]monotheism and polytheism[/b], again the concept of polytheism is like multi-lingualism. But the people grope on the surface without going in the depth of the concept.

    Vedas declare[b],”Ekam Sat, Vipra Bahudha Vadanti”. [/b]The [b]”Truth”[/b] is only one, but the[b] ‘Wiseone’ [/b]preach it differently, i.e. the different people express it in different ways and languages and manners to suit their [b]’Audiences'[/b] as and when required. This reminds me of a dictum I first heard at Cambridge during a lecture,[b]”It does not matter how you skin the cat, so long as you have skinned it well”. [/b]I think, this dictum is aptly applicable to the doctrines of expressing the various religious philosophies too. If you talk to me in Frech, you will be wasting your time to the boredom.

    Therefore, please make a sharp distinction between an “Organised Religion” (a despicable thing) and a “Pure Religion”. This word “Pure” again must not be hijacked by someone for a vested singularised sale.

    The true Religion or Spirituality teaches you:

    Love is Selflessness,
    Self is Lovelessness.

    If a religion fails to advance the basic two things, i.e.
    (1) Humanise the person
    (2) Then prepare him/her for the higher mental evolution of”Who Am I”

    then that religious philosophy is bound to die in course of time, however forcefully may we try to induct it.

    Dr. O. P. Sudrania

  5. Pagan-
    I am glad to direct you all to the following URL relating to the [b]Speeches by Rev Swami Vivekananda on 11 September 1893 at Chicago[/b] in the [b]Parliament of World Religions[/b]. He delivered His historic Speeches on the [b]Universal message of the Eternal Religion[/b] practiced in India since antiquity preaching [b]Tolerance and Universal Acceptance[/b].

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8MRaedvfUU&feature=related

    I enjoy it and hope you all will enjoy it too; as did the august audience in that Assembly Hall in Chicago. They were kind enough to accord Him a rare ovation to an Orientalist from a slave country.

    Dr. O. P. Sudrania

  6. Only recently I came across the Tikkun Blog and made my observations. Some of you interested may kindly see there.

    A pure love only gives and do not expect any returns, like a mother. And that is a True Religion, whatever name we may choose to give it.

    To all my christian friends, the recent researches are throwing more light on those “Lost Years of Jesus”. Jesus always preached “Love”. Because he is said to have spent his those years in the Buddhist Monastery at the High Himalayas and also in the Holy Cities of India in those days.

    Divine Love is Expansion; while Worldly Love is Contraction.
    Divine Love is Selflessness,
    Worldly Love is Lovelessness.

    Or,

    Love is Selflessness,
    Self is Lovelessness.

    Dr. O. P. sudrania

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