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The Religion of Pre-Christian Indigenous Populations

Started by bfat, March 27, 2010, 03:22:25 PM

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bfat

Hello again!  I just got back from some time spent in Peru, where I had a chance to learn a lot about some the Pre-Columbian religions there.  I met this really amazing tour guide who had written a book about the Incan religion, and he had some interesting theories about how most pre-Christian Pagan religions in the Americas were essentially the same in that they were non-theistic, earth-worshiping people.  The Incans called the earth Pachamama, which they worshiped and made sacrifices to, but they did not believe it (she) was a God, per se.  He pointed out the important distinction between the pagan religions and the post-pagans (Judeo-Christians, etc.), where the latter believed (or believes) that the earth belongs to them, that they will inherit the earth, etc., whereas the pagans believed that they belonged (or belong) to the earth in the same way that all plants and animals do, and therefore everything should be done to respect it and care for it.  I thought this was a pretty cool philosophy, and aside from all the worshiping and sacrificing of llamas and whatnot, I don't really have any problems with that religion, or with most non-theistic pagan religions.  Then, of course, the Spanish came in and murdered all of their spiritual leaders and the entire educated population and sent the indigenous population into 400 years of slavery, oppression, poverty, and ignorance.  Ahh, Christianity...

Anyway, I was just wondering what other people's opinions are on paganism and pre-Christian religions.  :)
"A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men."  -Willy Wonka

G-Roll

The non theistic religions always seemed to make more since to me. Not totally make since of course, but just a little bit more since. Its still a mystery why one would think that sacrifice would please the earth. I can almost wrap my head around pleasing a god by offering him back one of his creations…. Although it sounds kind if disrespectful to me.
“dear god, I know you made these two virgins. I know you took a lot of time and effort to make them pretty. I know it pleases you that they live their life in your ways and you are most likely smiling down upon them. So to make you happy im going to destroy them. Oh and if you could make it rain that would be awesome.

Your #1 fan. G-Roll.”

Yeah madness  imho.
Belonging to the earth make since though. It sounds much more since able then “the meek shall inherit the earth.” I always saw that as a promise of power. That the slave class of the bronze age will one day over come and hold the upper-class under their thumb. Thus the foundation of that religion is discontempt, jealousy, and other hateful spiteful words. All about power and control.
Rather belonging to the earth sounds more like inclusion. Belonging to nature just like all that one perceives. It sounds rather peaceful if you ask me.
But I guess those fun lovin’ Christians came over from Spain and kind of proved my point.
....
Quote from: "Moslem"
Allah (that mean God)

Heathen's Guide

THE EVOLUTION OF THE HEATHEN

In the beginning, we humans lived in the wild and ate whatever was slower or stupider than we were. At this time, we invented a thing called a “god.” The god was made from the mightiest elements mankind could see: fire, thunder, lightning… all the big, scary stuff we didn't understand but knew was powerful.

As there were so many things we thought were powerful, we found we couldn't settle for just one god, so we made a whole slew of them, each god representing a different big, scary thing. We understood little about these gods, except for the simple fact that in their Infinite Wisdom they had decided they didn't need to eat us. As we found this good, we honored and worshipped these gods.

As time passed and humans prospered on Earth, we learned much about the way the planet actually worked. Over and over again, we humans were put in the awkward position of looking at things like storm clouds and saying "Wait a minute...that's not a god. That's a high ridge of barometric pressure coming in from the cooler coastal region."

But there were still a lot of things we didn't understand. So, rather than waste more time and effort deifying every new enigma we ran across, we decided to simplify the whole mess by creating a single, omnipresent 'God' on whom we could throw all the mysteries of the universe until such time as our descendants could look at them and say, "Wait a minute...that's not God. That's..."

These days we've solved so many of life's mysteries that we're running out of things to call 'God.' Between mapping the human genome and cloning animals, we almost lack the ability to perceive anything as being more powerful than we are. This new mindset has opened the door to a broader contemporary theological search that requires a lot of time and dedicated effort on the part of religious leaders worldwide.

As all this keeps them the hell out of our way, the rest of us now have the chance to think for ourselves. And so the era of the Heathen begins...

(From the Intro to The Heathen's Guide to World Religions)
William Hopper
author, "The Heathen's Guide" series
www.heathensguide.com
www.williamjhopper.com

Sophus

Quote from: "Heathen's Guide"As all this keeps them the hell out of our way, the rest of us now have the chance to think for ourselves. And so the era of the Heathen begins...

(From the Intro to The Heathen's Guide to World Religions)



You're amazing. I think I speak for all of us when I say "We love that you're here!"  :hail:
‎"Christian doesn't necessarily just mean good. It just means better." - John Oliver

dogsmycopilot

Quote from: "bfat"Anyway, I was just wondering what other people's opinions are on paganism and pre-Christian religions.  :)
They're fun. Norse was especially fun. Odin's a god I could deal with.