08 June 2008

The pitfalls of teaching the young.

{{en|1=Detail of antlered figure holding a ser...Image via Wikipedia
Teaching Wicca or Pagan Religions to Minors by Lark via Witchvox!

I encourage you to read this article about teaching minors, it could save you a lot of grief. Here are the opening paragraph and the closing remarks.

----With the growing popularity of Wicca and other Pagan spiritual paths in the USA there has been a growing number of minors who have been entering the community and who have been seeking help from adult teachers to further their studies. Many of us who have been on this path for years would love to help out these new Seekers and to make certain that the information that they receive is both accurate and safe. But there is a real problem that many of those who agree to teach minors may not be aware of and which can land them in a world of legal trouble.

---There is also the cry that goes up from those minors who are turned away because teachers cannot take the risk of possible legal action that might take their home or put them in jail. The immediate thought is that this is 'unfair'. Actually these legal decisions are very fair in that they apply equally no matter the religion involved.

The same law seen as unfair by young Pagans also prevents actions by non-Pagans to hijack the teaching of Pagan children against the wishes of the Pagan parents.

I think it is important to young Seekers to understand why reputable groups and individuals will not take them on as students. And I think it is essential that anyone contemplating teaching those under the age of majority become educated as to what the risks are that they are taking so they can make an informed decision on their course of action.
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05 June 2008

I'm a Pagan, Dude!

The lunar Triple Goddess symbol.Image via Wikipedia

I've been reading a lot of articles around "Cyberspace" and in "Real-space" news that seem to focus on people that have claimed to have been some sort of Pagan. Most of the time, these articles depict the person as turning to this collective of alternative religions as an escape from the rigors of whatever faith they were born into. All too often, they sight the idea that it is rule-free path where they don't have to answer to anyone. The image building in the mind of the general public of these religions are therefore being skewed.

Pagan religions are far from being without rules. The most commonly known path, known as Wicca, has some very important rules that most practitioners adhere too.

These rules are simple, yet can mold everything around them. "These eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill,

An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will," these simple words speak volumes. "Harm None" means everyone, even yourself. The majority of the Wiccan Rede sums up the rest of the common beliefs.

The biggest issue surrounding this is most people who leave a faith have a tendency to make that faith into something that it is not. They attack it because they need to have closure or they need a scapegoat for all the bad things they have done in their lives. They have a habit of turning anything that doesn't agree with it into a creation of evil, condemning even those who share similar beliefs as themselves.

Understanding of the World's Religions is the only way to fight misrepresentation. Blaming what you believed in last year is not an excuse to blast a religion.
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