Changing Paths challenge day 8 — my old path
The photos in this post represent the comforting and ancestral aspects of Christianity. They’re of Kilpeck church in Herefordshire, which is a very beautiful church and has a Sheela na Gig corbel.
There are many familiar cultural aspects of Christianity such as carol services and harvest services that everyone finds charming. But underneath these charms there lies an austere and often excluding faith. One that has harmed LGBT+ people, excluding them from ministry and community, telling them they have no worth; forced Indigenous Peoples into residential industrial schools, and promoted colonialism. One that’s happy to wedge five solid pounds of very expensive bling on the head of an unelected and obscenely wealthy man. And that’s just the established church: then there’s all the fundamentalist and evangelical churches who are even worse.
Of course there are many lovely Christians who are anti-colonialism and pro LGBT+ and we cannot discount them: but the ones holding much of the institutional power seem to be those perpetuating — or brushing under the carpet — the harmful messages of Christianity, such as the pernicious doctrine of hell, and the idea that only believers in Christ will be “saved”. I’m encouraged by the rise of progressive and inclusive churches though and I hope that tendency continues.
Nonetheless I am happy to say that I have been a Pagan for much longer than I was ever a Christian.
It’s also worth mentioning that Christian monks wrote down a lot of information about the old polytheist stories of their ancestors, without which we would know a lot less about Pagan mythology than we do: but it would’ve been even better if the Church and the aristocracy had not forcibly converted everyone.
Changing Paths is published by 1000Volt Press and is available from all the usual online stores. Ask your local bookseller or library to stock it!
The goal of the book is to help you decide your own path by guiding you through the perils and pitfalls of the terrain, and asking questions to help you deepen your understanding of the reasons for your desire to change paths.
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