Non-theistic “Pagans” are not Pagans — they are atheists.

From A Crone Speaks Out (A Maetreum of Cybele):

John Halstead, who styles himself the Allergic Pagan and includes this definition of naturalistic Pagan in his article: “As the term is used here, Naturalistic Pagans includes Humanistic Pagans, Atheistic Pagans, Atheopagans, and other non-theistic Pagans.”

The article is all about questioning the validity of the experiences of other Pagans.  The problem he fails to grasp is that a non-theistic Pagan is not a Pagan at all but an atheist, a perfectly good word that does not attempt to appropriate an umbrella term for various RELIGIONS and fits him to a “T”.

Frankly, as a life long practising Pagan in her mid sixties (meaning I have been a Pagan almost as long as Wicca has been a religion)  I am fed up with those who are clearly self declared atheists claiming membership as Pagans when they are nothing of the sort.  Words matter, their definitions matter.  Halstead bemoans trouble communicating with Pagans while failing to see he isn’t even using the same damn language making actual communication impossible.

It’s bad enough that John and Jane Q. Public confuses Wicca and Paganism as being the same when Wicca is a mere subset of Paganism and a Gardner come lately one at that, but trying to include atheism under the same umbrella stretches the cloth way the hell past the breaking point.  You want to hang with Pagans because we can be a fun free-wheeling group, fine but if you are an atheist, you are NOT a Pagan yourself.  If your motive is playing with religious trappings without actually believing, go join the UUs, they actually have a place for you to do that.

Atheists are not Pagan.  Pagans are not atheists.  Stop trying to make words mean things they don’t mean.

“If evil though knowest, then proclaim it to all as evil, and make no friendship with foes.” — Havamal

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