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Author Topic: Lay pagans vs. clergy (2) (the other way round)  (Read 5064 times)
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« Topic Start: February 01, 2010, 07:07:23 pm »

The LAy pagans vs. clergy thread was a brief-but-interesting discussion that focused on what separates the clergy from the layity (to the extent that either word applies) within different pagan contexts.

This thread is aimed at running at the same sort of issue from the other side; what is the role of the layity? What differentiates them from clergy? Which pagan ways have a formal or informal role for a layity? How much latitude should lay pagans be allowed in different areas? For example, does it matter if an ecclectic neo-wiccan, who is happy to identify as 'lay' belives some of the anthropological and historic inaccuracies that are well known at TC, or is it ok for lay people to believe the 'myths' of their tradition?

I understand that most participants at TC are more likely to fall into the clergy, or the non-heirarchic parts of paganism, but I'm interested in people's perspectives and thoughts on those who are not so inclined/called.
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« Reply #1: February 01, 2010, 11:06:31 pm »

This thread is aimed at running at the same sort of issue from the other side; what is the role of the layity? What differentiates them from clergy? Which pagan ways have a formal or informal role for a layity? How much latitude should lay pagans be allowed in different areas? For example, does it matter if an ecclectic neo-wiccan, who is happy to identify as 'lay' belives some of the anthropological and historic inaccuracies that are well known at TC, or is it ok for lay people to believe the 'myths' of their tradition?

I don't consider myself to be a clergy-member. I'm not a recognized High Priestess, I'm not an ordained anything, no one else I know considers me a resource.

So as a layperson, I only feel a true responsibility to myself when it comes to my faith. I'm an eclectic Pagan, I have no urge to follow one of the many 'recon' paths, so I don't feel it necessary to become an archaeological or historical expert on any of the paths from which I steal misappropriate adopt my current beliefs. I have no children or students, so if I want to believe a happy little lie here and there (I like the idea that the 'adders' St. Patrick banished from Ireland were actually euphemistic Druids), it's no one's business but mine. Because of those things, I don't hold anyone else to higher expectations than I do myself.

However, I often /facepalm when someone with considerably lower standards than myself gets on t.v. and starts spouting either all love and light or tells everyone that vampires exist and they can turn into a dragon and made a pact with Satan... I would not care one iota if they truly believed that stuff as long as they kept it to themselves and maybe a small number of their own equally whack-job friends.

As much as I am a layperson, I do realize that whenever someone learns that I am a Pagan, I am no longer myself. I am now my alter-ego, the super-Pagan heroine, Anne Example. As Anne Example, I do my best to uphold the highest standards of non-biased, truthful and well-researched information. As Anne Example, I also do not wear wacky fashion or appear in public administrators' offices wearing a robe, a pointy hat, and 100 lbs. of crystals, mojo bags, bells and pentagrams pointing in different directions while carrying a broom & a black cat.
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« Reply #2: February 02, 2010, 11:10:30 am »

As Anne Example, I also do not wear wacky fashion or appear in public administrators' offices wearing a robe, a pointy hat, and 100 lbs. of crystals, mojo bags, bells and pentagrams pointing in different directions while carrying a broom & a black cat.

ROTFL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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« Reply #3: February 02, 2010, 11:12:31 am »

As much as I am a layperson, I do realize that whenever someone learns that I am a Pagan, I am no longer myself. I am now my alter-ego, the super-Pagan heroine, Anne Example. As Anne Example, I do my best to uphold the highest standards of non-biased, truthful and well-researched information. As Anne Example, I also do not wear wacky fashion or appear in public administrators' offices wearing a robe, a pointy hat, and 100 lbs. of crystals, mojo bags, bells and pentagrams pointing in different directions while carrying a broom & a black cat.

Does Anne have super powers? She'd need them to carry that lot around!  Cheesy
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« Reply #4: February 05, 2010, 08:32:44 am »

So as a layperson, I only feel a true responsibility to myself when it comes to my faith. I'm an eclectic Pagan, I have no urge to follow one of the many 'recon' paths, so I don't feel it necessary to become an archaeological or historical expert on any of the paths from which I steal misappropriate adopt my current beliefs.

I agree completely with Perzephone: one of the reasons why I consider myself an solitary & eclectic Pagan is because IMHO whatever concerns your spirituality and your faith must come from within you, only, and cannot be conditioned by other, non-spiritual interests like so many other faiths do (like the Catholic church, only to mention one).
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« Reply #5: February 05, 2010, 10:40:39 am »

I agree completely with Perzephone: one of the reasons why I consider myself an solitary & eclectic Pagan is because IMHO whatever concerns your spirituality and your faith must come from within you, only, and cannot be conditioned by other, non-spiritual interests like so many other faiths do (like the Catholic church, only to mention one).

Could ou explain more?
 I'm not sure I understand how non-spiritual concerns apply.
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« Reply #6: February 05, 2010, 10:58:55 am »

Could ou explain more?
 I'm not sure I understand how non-spiritual concerns apply.

What I mean is that - IMHO - organized churches like the Catholic church as well as organized sects do have a lot of other concerns than only spiritual ones:

a) look at the opinions and decisions Pope Bendict took (marriages between catholic and non-catholic are considered invalid, women cannot be ordained etc.). These are not spiritual topics but simply maintaining their very own agenda.

b) How can I be absolved of my sins by saying 10 Ave Maria ? That does not make any sense but still a lot of people believe in this because they were conditioned to think like that.

I hope that you understand now better my point of view.
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« Reply #7: February 05, 2010, 11:47:47 am »


Their opinions and practices are derived from their religious beliefs and scriptures; just because they don't seem like spiritual matters to you does not mean they cannot be spiritual matters to them.
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« Reply #8: February 05, 2010, 12:13:48 pm »

Their opinions and practices are derived from their religious beliefs and scriptures; just because they don't seem like spiritual matters to you does not mean they cannot be spiritual matters to them.

I am sorry but I cannot share your point of view: it is not a religious believe nor written in the scriptures that women cannot be ordained priests. Also, looking back at history, you will see a lot of times that the Catholic church was far more interested in political issues than spiritual issues (almost every Catholic country had a concordata with the Catholic church).

Being a Pagan, obviously I do respect members of other Faiths; I have a lot of Catholic, Protestant and Muslim friends (thinking of, I do not have a Pagan friend ...). The only thing that I am saying is that IMHO you do not need any kind of clergy to fulfill your spirituality, because it has to come from within you.
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« Reply #9: February 05, 2010, 12:43:49 pm »


There is a matter of interpreting those scriptures, though- some will find reason that women should not or cannot be ordained, and some won't. And just because you don't need clergy to fulfill your spirituality does not mean that another belief system cannot believe that intermediates are needed in certain aspect of the faith.

I don't doubt that the Catholic church had political or otherwise non-spiritual matters in mind with some of their actions or choices, but I think it's wrong to assume that because they exist, that all or even the majority of their practices or decisions are not based in their spirituality.
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« Reply #10: February 05, 2010, 12:53:43 pm »

And just because you don't need clergy to fulfill your spirituality does not mean that another belief system cannot believe that intermediates are needed in certain aspect of the faith.

I agree absolutely to this.

I don't doubt that the Catholic church had political or otherwise non-spiritual matters in mind with some of their actions or choices, but I think it's wrong to assume that because they exist, that all or even the majority of their practices or decisions are not based in their spirituality.

That one I leave open to discussion  Undecided
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« Reply #11: February 05, 2010, 01:11:28 pm »

I am sorry but I cannot share your point of view: it is not a religious believe nor written in the scriptures that women cannot be ordained priests.

That you do not agree with the theology behind the decision does not mean that it isn't a religious belief or a spiritual concern to Catholics.  In addition, that theology is more than just what's written in scriptures.  I'm no expert, so I may be wrong here, but I'm doubting you'd find instructions and requirements for ordaining men written in the Bible either, for example.  That doesn't mean that they have no theological basis.

It's a decision you disagree with and think has been influenced by politics.  Fine; you're not Catholic, so why should you agree?  That doesn't mean that it's not a religious issue to people who are Catholics, though.
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« Reply #12: February 06, 2010, 07:30:46 am »

It's a decision you disagree with and think has been influenced by politics.  Fine; you're not Catholic, so why should you agree?  That doesn't mean that it's not a religious issue to people who are Catholics, though.

Although I do think that in the meantime the replies are coming completely off-topic, I would like to ask you take a look at http://www.womenpriests.org .

As I already stated, though I am not Catholic, I highly respect catolic people and their FAITH but not their CHURCH (this is what the actual thread of this topic was about).
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« Reply #13: February 08, 2010, 11:28:13 am »

Although I do think that in the meantime the replies are coming completely off-topic, I would like to ask you take a look at http://www.womenpriests.org .

As I already stated, though I am not Catholic, I highly respect catolic people and their FAITH but not their CHURCH (this is what the actual thread of this topic was about).

No, this is what the thread is about:

<<The LAy pagans vs. clergy thread was a brief-but-interesting discussion that focused on what separates the clergy from the layity (to the extent that either word applies) within different pagan contexts.

This thread is aimed at running at the same sort of issue from the other side; what is the role of the layity? What differentiates them from clergy? Which pagan ways have a formal or informal role for a layity? How much latitude should lay pagans be allowed in different areas? For example, does it matter if an ecclectic neo-wiccan, who is happy to identify as 'lay' belives some of the anthropological and historic inaccuracies that are well known at TC, or is it ok for lay people to believe the 'myths' of their tradition?

I understand that most participants at TC are more likely to fall into the clergy, or the non-heirarchic parts of paganism, but I'm interested in people's perspectives and thoughts on those who are not so inclined/called.>>
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« Reply #14: February 09, 2010, 08:16:48 am »

No, this is what the thread is about:

<<The LAy pagans vs. clergy thread was a brief-but-interesting discussion that focused on what separates the clergy from the layity (to the extent that either word applies) within different pagan contexts. ...

I stand corrected.
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