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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in forced conversion
Proselytizing and the Limits of Hospitality

 Q: What's the difference between a Jehovah's Witness and a Wiccan?

A: Three Watchtowers.

 

The Jehovah's Witness stood at the door, holding up a copy of The Watchtower. My mouth literally fell open when I saw the title.

 

Isis Is Still Being Worshiped.

In this very room, as a matter of fact, I thought.

“I don't have time to talk, and I can't give you any money,” I told her, “but I'll be happy to take a look at your literature if you leave it here.”

Turned out to be an anti-Catholic tirade. Boy, was I ever disappointed.

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I'm sorry to hear that door-to-door religion-peddling isn't just an urban problem. Personally, I try to be as polite and as brief
  • Jenn
    Jenn says #
    I was stalked by JWs in my area for several months. We live very rurally, but they get out to us somehow. I handled it similarly t
  • beth steptoe
    beth steptoe says #
    i live deep in the 'bible belt' and they stop by every 8 to 12 months to make sure i'm still here i guess. They are never invited
  • Michele
    Michele says #
    I actually find them kind of creepy. They walk around in pairs, two young men in white shirts and black pants, nametags, and a bla
  • Holli Emore
    Holli Emore says #
    I agree with you, Anne. I took Steven's reference to be about Pagans who like to get into long arguments with, e.g., evangelical C

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
"The Bishop Had 17 Children"

In the year 981, the German missionary bishop Friedrich arrived in Iceland along with native guide and translator Thorvald Konradsson, an Icelander who had been converted while on the Continent.

Their mission failed because a skald (a word thought by some to be kin to the English word scold) composed a scurrilous little poem about the two of them which made them the laughing stock of Iceland. They were forced to leave the island in 986 because no one would take them seriously. You can't preach to people that are too busy laughing to listen.

Iceland officially accepted Christianity in the year 1000, largely because the Norwegian king held the sons of numerous prominent Icelandic families hostage: conversion by blackmail. Being Icelanders, of course, they added the parenthetical proviso: But if you want to keep offering to the Old Gods in private, well, that's your business.

But two lines of poetry had bought the Icelanders 14 years of freedom, and more than 1000 years later, we still remember them.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

I had originally intended for this post to continue the Elements series (books about Earth, Air, Fire, and Water). However, after an uncomfortable experience this morning, I changed that focus.

In deference to devoutly Catholic family who are visiting this week, I opted to attend Easter Mass with them. For the most part, it was fine. The church was lovely, filled with incense and spring flowers, the stained glass windows glowing in the sunlight. Then it came time for the homily, in which the priest spoke on the meaning of the gospel. I was a bit startled -- and quite dismayed -- when he stated that Christianity must be right and true because people were willing to die for it, that even the first generation of Apostles must have seen and experienced something real (not a myth or a made-up story) if they were willing to lay down their lives for it.

...
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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Rebecca Buchanan
    Rebecca Buchanan says #
    @Jolene Dawe: no, getting the history right is *not* that hard. That is what I found so frustrating. If the priest at that service
  • Rebecca Buchanan
    Rebecca Buchanan says #
    @Carol P. Christ: agreed. There is a definite tendency in Christian martyrologies (and some Buddhism and Muslim martyrologies, too
  • Jolene
    Jolene says #
    Ugh. The only time I venture to church services these days are for funerals -- I find there is a heck of a lot less of that sort o
  • Lana
    Lana says #
    Thank you so much for this.
  • Shirl Sazynski
    Shirl Sazynski says #
    Thank you for this, Rebecca.

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