Wednesday, March 11, 2009


"...the fact is that almost all new religious movements fail....

"The sociologist Rodney Stark is one of the few people who have been willing to develop specific ideas about what makes new religious movements succeed.


"'The main thing you've got to recognize,' he [Stark] told me, 'is that success is really about relationships and not about faith. What happens is that people form relationships and only then come to embrace a religion.'


"'Something else:
give people things to do.... The Mormons are great at giving people things to do too. You know, they not only tithe money but they also tithe time. They do an enormous amount of social services for one another, all of which builds community bonds. It also gives you this incredible sense of security—I'm going to be okay when I'm in a position of need; there are going to be people to look out for me. That makes a difference.' "

Go HERE for MORE, to "Oh Gods!" in The Atlantic >>>>>>> .


Jay said...

I think it is especially important for more Pagans to get together to build communities through social services, volunteering, and charity work. Only by directly expressing the love of the Goddess in our world can we hope to become "accepted" by mainstream America and the rest of the world.

Athana said...

I don't know if I agree with you or not on this one, Jay. If the so-called Satanic cults started doing charity and social services, do you think they'd become accepted?

We Goddess people are more of a threat to the big state daddy-war-god religions than anyone else, because we are the only religion that makes sense (the earth, people, universe born out of female deity). I think the daddy god people would see our social work as a way to spread our "lies," not as something admirable.

I do, however, think it's important for us to do social services, volunteering, and charity wor - but because it will pull us together and make us strong, not because it will necessarily make us acceptable.

Lily Wyte said...

For me it started out with needing to heal the holes in my soul. My need to be seen and heard and recognized, was in fact my need to give those things to myself. In self recognition you meet the Goddess, even if you are a man, and redefine God. Love blossoms and then there is no going back. Paganism and witchcraft is attractive to some people because it is a forbidden, like sex is, and the two become linked in the mind - I am sexy because I am into the forbidden. Others seek power in a dis-empowering world. Some follow the crowds. I think our beliefs will stand or fall on their own merits, but if Witch or Pagan is what you are in your soul it shouldn't matter if you stand alone in all the world.