Friday, April 2, 2010

Neo-paganism is the fastest growing religion in the U.S.

[Once in a while I will throw in some links to interesting articles without much comment. Here is one I found very interesting.]

This article appeared in ReligionLink.com in October 2009.
Pagans go mainstream: Wiccans and Druids and goddesses — oh, my!
Specifically, the number of Wiccans more than doubled from 2001 to 2008, from 134,000 to 342,000, and the same held true for neo-pagans, who went from 140,000 in 2001 to 340,000 in 2008.

Experts say the growth reflects not only increasing numbers of neo-pagans, but also a rise in the social acceptability of paganism. As a result, more respondents would be willing to identify themselves as followers of some pagan tradition. They also note that identification surveys do not fully measure the influence of neo-paganism. Many people use two or more religious identifiers — calling themselves Unitarian and Druid, for example — while others might adopt certain neo-pagan practices without calling themselves neo-pagan.

The upshot is that neo-pagans — such as Wiccans, Druids, Asatruar (from Heathenism), and various Reconstructionists — and neo-paganism have pushed further into the mainstream.
My comment:
It could also be that Hollywood and the music industry's pushing of occult themes is a major contributor to the popularity of these occult religions/cults.

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Update: Here's a particularly troubling development mentioned in this article.
In 2007, the U.S. military approved the pagan pentacle as one of 39 religious symbols veterans may request for their tombstones. Pagan groups say there are more pagans serving in the military than ever before.
My comment:
This is giving official US government sanction to these groups as "religious" groups. I wonder if this required Congressional approval or if this was a rule approved internally by the military. Either way it shows how this agenda is progressing. At what point does it become required in the public schools to include pagan ceremonies as part of Christmas celebrations? Ironic, because having stripped Christmas of its Christian significance, the only thing left is pagan symbolism. If paganism is an official religion, then Christmas trees should not be allowed in public schools in order to maintain separation of church and state. If you ask me, this has gone too far.

7 comments:

  1. "As early as April 1978, the U.S. Army had circulated A Handbook for Chaplains “to facilitate the provision of religious activities.”

    Both the Church of Satan and the Temple of Set were listed among the “other” religions to be tolerated inside the U.S. military. A section of the handbook dealing with Satanism stated:

    “Often confused with witchcraft, Satanism is the worship of Satan (also known as Baphomet or Lucifer). Classical Satanism, often involving ‘black masses,’ human sacrifices, and other sacrilegious or illegal acts, is now rare. Modern Satanism is based on both the knowledge of ritual magick and the ‘anti-establishment’ mood of the 1960s. It is related to classical Satanism more in image and generally focuses on ‘rational self-interest with ritualistic trappings.’ ”

    Check out Lt. Colonel Michael Aquino, founder of the Temple of Set, and Army specialist in...can you guess? Psychological Warfare. He's been on Oprah before, too.

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  2. @ LVB:
    "Check out Lt. Colonel Michael Aquino, founder of the Temple of Set, and Army specialist in...can you guess? Psychological Warfare. He's been on Oprah before, too."....Go figure!
    ~Valencia

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  3. Valencia - Wow!

    LVB, I think you need to read this article:
    CHILD ABUSE AT THE PRESIDIO - THE PARENTS' AGONY, THE ARMY'S COVERUP, THE PROSECUTION'S FAILURE.

    Also try this search using Google's timeline feature and the words "CHILD ABUSE AT THE PRESIDIO aquino set".

    The articles allege that there is a pattern of child abuse at military bases. I know you have familiarity with SRA which is an area that I don't feel comfortable delving too far into.

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  5. There is generally nothing wrong or satanic about paganism. Pagans don't even believe in Satan.
    I enjoy all your other articles, but this is just insulting. Do a little more research on your subjects.

    btw,I am not a pagan, neo-pagan, wiccan, or anything like that.

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  6. @anonymous - There are all sorts of pagans. By definition they are not monotheistic. The article says nothing about Satan. However, any pagan religion is in opposition to the beliefs of Christianity. People certainly have the freedom to believe whatever they want, but I'm concerned that large corporations in the US are indirectly encouraging young people to explore paganism.

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  7. Just to say, if a cross or the star of david is allowed on the tombstones of dead soldiers, so should pagan symbols. Despite its opposition to Christian beliefs, pagan religions are legitimate and should be allowed equality, especially in a US institution like the military. Everyone needs to have equal ability to practice their beliefs.
    I'm not pagan either, but I don't think the allowance of religious symbols on gravestones really contributes to the spread or encouragement of paganism. It's just about respecting other's beliefs.

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