Yesterday, Star Foster posted about Kirk Cameron being blasted in the media, and added in an old Way of the Master Radio broadcast from 2006 where Kirk and a buddy “infiltrated” an ADF ceremony in California. Jason over at the Wild Hunt blog also made some comments. I mentioned some personal reactions to the program, which I now continue today.
First off, Mr. Cameron commented in the program how “creepy” the entire experience was for him, and it was mentioned on the program that no Christian should try to attempt what Kirk had done, because it was so dangerous. Really, dude, you chose to portray an ADF ritual as creepy? Come on, they’re like Methodists, only with beer. Star describes ADF ritual as “mundane, pedestrian, and dull”, and depending on the ritual, she’s right. I don’t find ADF ritual dull most of the time, but mundane and pedestrian? It certainly can be. But OH MY GOD, the worship service was held OUTSIDE, amongst a GROVE OF TREES! The HORRORS! So creepy! Seriously? I found the inside of the first Fundamentalist church I went in more creepy than that!
Oh, speaking of Methodists? The stuff in the chalice was probably… beer. Unless Fundamentalists have stopped taking communion, I really don’t see the bad here.
More under the cut…
The creepiness of Fundamentalism often reaches cult-like levels; between the sensationalism of “exposing other religions” and the constant admonishments against knowledge – “Don’t go here!” “Don’t read this!” “Don’t talk to her!” and my personal favorite, “Don’t trust your own experiences!” – it gets scarier by the day. As I have said, Christianity is not the issue, belief in YHVH or Christ is not the issue. The issue here is the dangerous levels of propaganda and intentional ignorance which are the hallmarks of Fundamentalist rationalization. This is a sect which looks at an outdoor worship service, with a chalice of alcohol passed around, as creepy. This is a sect which calls worship of any God or Goddess other than YHVH “devil worship”, whether or not the worshipers in question actually acknowledge anything like the Devil. These folks at Way of the Master Ministries say they “narrowly escaped” the ADF ritual “unsacrificed”, as if ANY Pagan working today practices any type of human sacrifice. (Note: I don’t deny that ancient Pagans practiced human sacrifice, but as I said in my last post, we Pagans today pull as much of our morality from modern sensibilities as from ancient practices. In short, if you find a Pagan group practicing human sacrifice, CALL THE AUTHORITIES. Or your local Asatru group, because they might want a crack at the idiots.) I suspect that if the creep factor of the ritual is anything more than just sensationalist spin, that it derives primarily from the assumptions of the observers rather than from anything actually creepy about the rite. Most of us meet in public parks or in open spaces, for crying out loud.
Something I find highly disrespectful about this visit to the rite is that the Christians “stood to the side”, not participating in it. I know why they did it; in Christian doctrine, there’s an admonishment against consuming food prepared to idols. Taking that to the logical assumption, this includes whatever is in that chalice. Since, to a Fundy, our Gods qualify as idols, I get it, but I still find it disrespectful. If you’re going to go to a ritual, participate, darn it. By the way, not participating? Really marks you as “probably something other than Pagan”. In other words, you think you’re slick but you’re not. If we were targeting anyone for human sacrifice (and we’re not, Mr. Paranoid), not participating would be a bigger tell-tale sign than recording the proceedings, come on.
Yet, I also stand looking at the other side of things. The Senior Druid, by all accounts, “refused” to share his own personal beliefs with the “interviewer”. When pressed, the Senior Druid admitted he didn’t know if he was right or wrong about the nature of spiritual reality, according to these hosts. I’m of two minds on this. On the one hand, I respect any religion that frankly admits that it doesn’t have all the answers. On the other hand, I know what can happen to my soul once I pass. There’s a wide and varied list of possibilities, and I know which I’d prefer. Not only have I done research on this point, I’ve also spoken with my Gods about it, and considered other experiences, besides. I have a good idea of the different possible paths. Does everyone? Not necessarily, but this is a religion of experience, people: if you don’t know, ask, explore, go find out! As a result, the Christians may think us crazy, but how can they argue against the certain knowledge of what happens to the passing soul, as opposed to a static book which claims to delineate only two options?
This brings me back to a simple theme that I visit again and again in writings like this. Whatever your religion is, live it, Act and live as if you believed your beliefs with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind. If you don’t know, go find out! If something confuses you, work on it until you get it. Religion is work, whether you’re a simple layperson or a priest. Put in the work, or religion is as baseless as a favorite color.
Maybe I’m just confused as to why someone would follow a religion they weren’t sure about. Ah, well, to each their own.