Okay, this is another one of those subjects I’m probably late to the party for. I’ve been trying out not being on the cutting edge of topics because frankly I can sometimes be a bit of a hot head (what Heathen isn’t?) and so I guess I’m trying to stay out of trouble and uphold the virtue of Hospitality upon this blog. Doesn’t always work, but I try.
Anyways, I actually saw this when it came on TV. This is what happens when you have less than twenty channels on your TV, you flip around and you can’t always avoid the Christian channel.
And apparently, this caused a bit of a fuss. Which I will admit, surprised me. Mostly because I found it funny, with a couple tiny grains of truth.
This is a copy of Hrafnkell Haraldsson’s comment about this, which is on the Wild Hunt article:
“The obvious answer to this is that Wiccans don’t worship trees. This is more of the ever-popular Old Testament dumb idol meme, the hatred of the Yahwists for trees as representative of goddesses, and repeated all through early Christian history (e.g. 1 Corinthians 12:2), where Pagans become people who worship rocks and trees rather than seeing in nature the divine all around us. On a whole, this is roughly analogous to and about as accurate as saying Christians worship a cross.
Although, it wouldn’t surprise me if even militant atheists aren’t too worked up about Wicca, which like other Pagan religions, eschews proselytization and preaching to “non-believers” like Kristi Watts’ own religion. Pagans also aren’t known to be busy either trying to deprive atheists of their right to not believe. But then, comprehension of causation is not a strong suit for those who believe their god’s will decides everything, including who is born to whom and when.”
Now, the above raises some good points, but my perspective and experiences on these issues is just a bit different. Sure, the Atheists, or Militant Atheists, don’t come hunting down and attacking Pagan stuff like they do the Christian. But if you happen to be a Pagan who pops up in any area that Atheists consider their own, well…they’re gonna rip into you for being a stupid Theist all the same.
As for the Tree Worshiping thing, that’s actually kind of a fair thing to say. To the uninitiated (no, not in the Wiccan sense) it can look a lot like Pagans worship trees. We pray in front of trees, hold rituals in the wood, some of us actually do pray to trees or the things that live inside the trees, we make offerings to trees, we carve our idols from trees, and in some instances we hug trees. It’s not just a stupid meme that Pagans worship trees, or rocks, or the fields, or the storms. We do! It’s part of what being Pagan is, recognizing the spirits of the land and befriending them and showing due respect.
Heck, I’m sort of in a Pagan Student Alliance at the local university, even though I’ve graduated (I kinda helped found it, and I think I’m the vice-president) and our President is wanting to hold a tree hugging event. I think we’re going to do it so you can hug trees or offer libations, mostly because I suggested that (I don’t really hug trees…). By all accounts, she worships the trees, or the spirits in the trees. And you can’t really separate the body from the soul in a living thing.
So as you can guess, I didn’t get too upset over the Pagans Worship Trees thing. It actually kind of surprised me that the Wild Hunt and others went all *froth froth* Christians are idiots! *froth froth*. But then again maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. In my personal experiences over there…well. You have to be the right kind of person to get tolerated.
I am still surprised I’m the reasonable one in all this.
As for the Atheists coming to cut down the trees, well, I’m not willing to write that off as insane rhetoric. The news sometimes gets plastered with stories of Atheists forcing the Christians to remove, cover up, hide, or destroy their religious icons from all over the place. Now, I’m not really interested in taking a side in that fight. I don’t like the Christians, and I will admit I get a sense of dark pleasure when they be slapped down and their relics destroyed, just as they did to the relics of my ancestors. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t worry about what the end result of all this destruction will be. It creates a vacuum, and nature abhors those.
I’ll admit, I wonder who the Atheists will come for when they’ve finished with the Christians. Some of the Militant Atheists so hate religion that they want to destroy all religion and replace it with “Science.” This includes Paganism. We shouldn’t make the mistake in thinking they will never come for us simply because we don’t see them currently hitting us.
Would Atheists cut down all the trees, just to spite the Pagans? Depends on how many Pagans there are when the Atheists finish with the Christians and decide to go after their next religion. I would hope that some would see the sense of not doing such a destructive thing.
But that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t come and chop down the Sacred Groves that some Pagans have built. The hatred some Atheists have towards the Gods they swear do not exist, often is a rival for the passionate hatred that many a Christian feels towards the Pagan things in life. And you put enough people together, all with that hate, you aren’t going to be able to stop them without some serious resolve. And before people start talking about how Atheism isn’t like that, I’ve run into atheists, in person and in the blog realms, who do the same things that Christians did and do (such as staying friends with “theist friends” so that they can see Atheists aren’t evil, but good people with the right way) to other religions, because Atheism is “superior” to other paths.
So go ahead and mock, oh Pagan brothers and sisters, and laugh at the silly Christians wondering why the Atheists don’t chop down Wiccan trees. Sometimes prophesy comes from the lips of fools. The enemy of our enemy is not always our friend, they just haven’t buried a knife in us yet.