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Author Topic: Your Birth Religion and your Current Path  (Read 15214 times)
Arynn
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« Reply #15: March 28, 2011, 10:02:18 am »



Pretty much everything Janett said.

I come from a big Jewish family, and I still find that it's pleasant and worth it to attend ceremonies/holidays with them, despite having differences in actual beliefs. The thing about Judaism (at least, the Judaism I know) is that it is also very much a culture/ethnicity, as well as a religion. So, I follow much of the cultural/ethnic practices, family-raising beliefs, etc. and I enjoy being a part of the Jewish community. Some of the things the religion itself can include, such as song, belief in the power of words, many Kabbalistic magical practices - some of those things I still keep in my own practice (thus the inclusion of "Jewish elements" in my religious description on my profile). Really, it's the One-God-Only thing, among other doctrines, that I don't agree with or follow.

When I go to services with my parents, I choose to stay silent if something does not agree with me, or, I will sing the Hebrew and apply it to my own Deities in my mind. Words can be interpreted in many ways, and I believe nobody has the right to tell us otherwise how something should move us or apply to us personally. A phrase like "May God watch over us" or something like that in Hebrew can mean to me "May my God (Persephone, etc.) watch over us", though to others it may be talking about The Hebrew/Old Testament God. So, it's not always that hard to sing along, and smile inwardly at how the words apply to myself. If a phrase does not apply, or simply has nothing to do with any Gods I believe in...I don't say it. Original liturgy intentions aside, this is just something I've found works for me. Plus, Jewish music is absolutely beautiful, in my opinion.

Also, for me, recognizing my birth religion also means recognizing where I come from and who my ancestors are. In Hellenic religion, ancestors are important, and I don't think there's any reason to forget about them simply because they were not my current religion, but some other one. Not even all my ancestors were Jewish! I'm sure that I am a mix of many things, in the end. Anyway, I light candles for my ancestors and say prayers for them on the Jewish holidays, because despite personal practice or belief, these are the people that have survived many hardships and have brought me into this world to find my own way, and for that I am thankful.

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Arynn
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« Reply #16: March 28, 2011, 10:03:40 am »

Pretty much everything Janett said.


*Jenett
(Sorry for the typo!! I always check over my responses, but seemed to have missed this one...!)
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~Arynn~

"...Read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body."
— Walt Whitman


General spiritual blog: http://greetingnewlight.wordpress.com/

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« Reply #17: March 28, 2011, 10:24:33 am »


Wanting loved ones to come to God- or come back to God- is a pretty typical manifestation of love in Christians, in my experience, given the faith's concern over being saved and the consequences of not being saved. You shouldn't have to give up who you are, and at the end of the day I don't think your parents would want to watch you break yourself doing it just to make them happy.

As for the relics, I can understand your reluctance to take them if they're authentic, but like others in the thread, I think that you could be a good caretaker of them. You love and respect the people that are passing them on to you, and whether they're authentic or not I have no doubt that you would treat the relics with love and respect for just that reason. If they don't feel like 'yours' you could care for them until you find the right person for them to be with, or you could (if they're real) donate them to the church from your childhood in your brother's memory.

Another option is to keep them. I know you said that you have no connection to these saints, but something struck me when you posted the post I'm quoting. Obviously these relics are important to your family, and I would assume (though I may be wrong) that this would imply those saints are therefore important to your family. Have you considered honoring the saints among your family's dead in your Kemetic practice, as intercessories to God who can watch over your Christian family? I'm not a recon, so it might not mesh correctly- I don't know.
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« Reply #18: March 28, 2011, 10:48:52 am »

Have you considered honoring the saints among your family's dead in your Kemetic practice, as intercessories to God who can watch over your Christian family? I'm not a recon, so it might not mesh correctly- I don't know.

That actually might make sense.  It would be perfectly in line with Kemetic practice.  There is no rule that says we can only honor Akhu who are blood relations. 

One of the relics is from a saint considered the "family patron."  Our last name is similar to his name.  There is a belief that there is some blood tie to this saint.  Whether that's true or not, I don't know, but he's very important to our family.

That's one I actually might want to keep.  The rest I might consider donating to a church.  I may even be able to ask a priest to help me with the research to determine their authenticity. 
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« Reply #19: March 28, 2011, 11:03:03 am »


This is pretty much how I handle it too.

I will attend mass for special events like weddings, funerals, baptisms, etc. but I don't actively participate as far as the self blessing with holy water, reciting the prayers and such. I am always respectful and I try not to do anything that will draw attention to myself, however, I don't take communion. That would be inappropriate across the board.

The thing that I came up with to help me not feel like an unwanted guest, is to make sure that when I enter the church I take a moment to respectfully say hello and explain why I'm there. Which is to be supportive of my family and their traditions.

This approach may not work for you, it sounds like your family is much more involved with the church than mine is, but it's the best I have to offer.
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« Reply #20: March 28, 2011, 11:45:00 am »

This is what I was thinking, and all the more so after I looked at the Saint Relics site you linked, Nehet.  While it speak of "the faithful" being charged to be protective guardians, your lack of commitment to the Catholic faith also serves as a valuable link in that chain, because you are more willing than many faithful (such as your father) would be to question the authenticity of the relics.  That's important, because - as the very existence of that site testifies - there are false relics out there, and it's not right that there should be.  (Hmm... "not right"... I'm not Kemetic, but I see Ma'at in helping to preserve the authentic and weed out the false.)

This. 

Part of the reason why I'm questioning their authenticity is because it was so easy for my Dad to get them. 

He claims that most if these are first class relics. That means they are part of the body of an actual saint. 

They're tiny fragments.  Still, I can't help but wonder what's going to happen if the Church is handing out these relics that easily.  Wouldn't they eventually...um...run out of saint? 

I don't think it's exactly like open statues, since open statues require a level of daily care that relics don't; it's much more feasible for a non-believer to act as a caretaker. 

You do have a point.  It was the closest parallel I could think of ATM but caring for a relic doesn't require nearly as much investment in time.  It would just need to be kept safe in a place of reverence. 
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« Reply #21: March 28, 2011, 12:03:38 pm »

I've wondered on more than one occasion if I should include Jehovah and Jesus in my practices, as many of my Dead were devout Christians. My inclination is that it would be a good idea, and that my Beloved Dead would appreciate it, but I am then struck with the issue of how.

I am occasionally struck by the notion - which I haven't done more than toy with - that Jesus Himself is an honored ancestor with an established cult.
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« Reply #22: March 28, 2011, 12:05:25 pm »

Another option is to keep them. I know you said that you have no connection to these saints, but something struck me when you posted the post I'm quoting. Obviously these relics are important to your family, and I would assume (though I may be wrong) that this would imply those saints are therefore important to your family. Have you considered honoring the saints among your family's dead in your Kemetic practice, as intercessories to God who can watch over your Christian family? I'm not a recon, so it might not mesh correctly- I don't know.

... I see Juni had similar thoughts. :}
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« Reply #23: March 28, 2011, 12:06:44 pm »

I am occasionally struck by the notion - which I haven't done more than toy with - that Jesus Himself is an honored ancestor with an established cult.

I agree. This thread has sparked a number of ideas for me, and everything seems to be falling into place with honoring Jesus and a few other Saints amongst my Revered Dead, which makes me think I am on the right track.
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« Reply #24: March 29, 2011, 12:19:26 pm »

They're tiny fragments.  Still, I can't help but wonder what's going to happen if the Church is handing out these relics that easily.  Wouldn't they eventually...um...run out of saint? 
That got to be, so I gather, a kind of running joke back in the Middle Ages, when relics were very popular (and a very lucrative trade/scam).  My pet iteration of that joke (which may be a modern construction based on the medieval situation; I don't recall where I picked it up) is "the skull of John the Baptist at the age of 12".

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« Reply #25: May 11, 2011, 09:26:36 pm »

I'm still in Cleveland right now, spending time with my family after my brother's death.   There have been a lot of religious ceremonies and prayers. It's brought up a lot of issues for me.  I'm starting to think about my ancestral connections, and how they are inextricably linked to Catholicism. 

There are some contradictions right now that I am trying to resolve.  I don't know how to support my family and honor my ancestors without honoring the Christian God. 

The problem is that I don't know how to honor the Christian God as one God among many.  I'm not sure he'd be cool with that.  Giving up my relationships with other Gods is, of course, not an option. 

Also, I can't really comply with the demands Catholicism would put on me.  Weekly mass?  No.  Chastity before marriage?  Um, I'm essentially celibate but I'm not giving up the option to change that.  As for the Chruch's views on same-sex relationships, birth control, female clergy...well, those are the main reasons I left the Church to begin with. 

My parents want me to attend mass for my brother's sake, and I'm not sure I can make it work.  Technically, I'm in mortal sin and cannot take communion.  I'm not sure that merely observing mass is enough, but taking communion might insult their God.

I've been spending a lot of time writing and re-writing this post, and I'm not sure what I'm saying.   I know there have been a lot of threads on integrating Christianity and Paganism.  I'm not interested in rituals that combine the two traditions.  I'm just wondering what people think about developing a connection with their birth religion, for the sake of their ancestors.  Is this a valid reason?

Somehow a rosary on the Akh shrine doesn't seem like enough anymore...unless I actively pray that rosary. 

But, this could just be grief and guilt.  Again, I'm not sure what I'm saying.   Undecided

I never had this problem as a pagan who still attended church. I still took communion. I just imagined it being a way to honor the goddess as opposed to christ.

I personally found it easier to return to christianity than to continue being one thing while being drawn to the other. I got fed up with gods who didn't seem to care, while the christian god is the only one who seems to care at all.

I'd say just go through the motions. Just don't get real deep into the belief system and you'll be fine.
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« Reply #26: May 12, 2011, 07:48:00 pm »

I never had this problem as a pagan who still attended church. I still took communion. I just imagined it being a way to honor the goddess as opposed to christ.

I'm having a hard time understanding how that works, given how very much the ceremony focuses on Christ and on community (and if you're using communion to honor a pagan goddess, you're not acting as a part of the Christian community for the purposes of this particular ritual). I mean, especially in Catholicism and other related denominations, communion is so much more than just "a way to honor Christ".

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I'd say just go through the motions. Just don't get real deep into the belief system and you'll be fine.

I also don't quite understand this, given Christianity is so focused on belief.  To tell someone that they'll be fine taking communion if they just don't pay attention to the beliefs seems rather like telling someone that they can swim without getting in the water.
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« Reply #27: May 12, 2011, 10:06:39 pm »

To tell someone that they'll be fine taking communion if they just don't pay attention to the beliefs seems rather like telling someone that they can swim without getting in the water.

But you CANCheesy
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« Reply #28: May 12, 2011, 10:09:23 pm »

But you CANCheesy

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« Reply #29: May 12, 2011, 10:12:53 pm »

You can do a lot of things. It doesn't make it good advice.

I saw nothing wrong with it.
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