Is it time for Neopagans to organize?

@blummus (451)
United States
February 4, 2010 9:35pm CST
As conditions change in the United States -- and elsewhere, I'm sure -- a question I hear put up for discussion now and then is whether it's time for Pagans to start being more open, building temples and setting aside permanent groves for ongoing worship. Recently the pentagram was approved for grave markers in national cemeteries for those soldiers who in life identify as Wiccan or another Pagan religion; this is a big step toward gaining recognition, so here's the question. Is it time for Neopagans to start establishing formal worshipping places and organizing as not for profit corporations as other religious groups do?
3 people like this
2 responses
@hvedra (1619)
5 Feb 10
As far as I am aware some neo-pagan groups have already established places of worship and incorporated themselves as non-profit groups in the US. Often it depends on where they are, how many pagans live in an area and so on. Pagan religions do not seek converts (some individual pagans do but that's more of a personal hang-up than any doctrine) so establishing a temple is often something done by an existing group rather than done to establish a group - if you see what I mean.
• Anderson, Indiana
5 Feb 10
If you want to establish a place to worship, I believe that should be your right. After all, other religions have had places of worship for years. I've even seen at least one Mosque and one Buddhist temple out in the country while traveling around Indiana. Actually, I believe that many of us Christians have something to learn from you--or should I say be reminded of by you--and that is how God has commended us from Day One to be caretakers of His creation. I worship one God in three manifestations while you worship many gods and goddesses, but the facts are still the same about how we have fallen so short of our assignment to be good caretakers of both humans and other living creatures and the rest of our environment. Am I right in my thinking that most pagans put a lot of emphasis on celebrating nature and being sensitive to what it's trying to tell us? You have a lesson to teach to the majority of the world about loving our planet. You have my blessing when it comes to whether or not you should establish places of worship--which isn't to say that I agree with your religious views but, instead, to say that this is where you seem to be planted at this time, so you have the right to bloom!
@Ravenladyj (22904)
• United States
6 Feb 10
I worship one God in three manifestations while you worship many gods and goddesses, thats only the case for SOME Pagan paths...I'm Pagan but DO NOT worship ANY deity...in fact I dont see any "god" or "goddess" as something above, different to or outside me if that makes sense...
1 person likes this
@hvedra (1619)
8 Feb 10
Paganism is complex and really an umbrella term for a lot of different religions which can be pantheistic, polytheistic, henotheistic, animist, ancestor worshipping, monotheistic, duotheistic and even "atheistic" in the sense that some pagans don't go for gods at all. Some pagans revere nature but others do not. How much respect they have for nature can vary too some knit their own yoghurt and others would eat plastic if they could. There isn't a central doctrine so neither can be said to be doing "paganism" the wrong way. Like I said, we don't prosthelytise and I'm not out to teach the planet anything. There's plenty of wisdom around already for those who seek it and it doesn't have to come from any particular place. It actually isn't my job or duty to remind others of what is so obvious anyway, I don't have an assignment and I don't want one either. AFAIC seeking power and wanting control whether by persuasion or coersion is what got us into the mess in the first place it makes me shudder when people do it because they claim to be representing some higher power.
@BlueGoblin (1829)
• United States
6 Feb 10
I thought you only needed x amount of worshipers to be recognized as a religion. I imagine a lot of pagan groups already have large congregation. They should be recognized as real religions.
1 person likes this
@Ravenladyj (22904)
• United States
6 Feb 10
Wicca (one of the many paths of paganism) already IS a legally recognized religion and has been since the 80's I believe...
1 person likes this