Paganistan: Notes from the Secret Commonwealth

In Which One Midwest Man-in-Black Confers, Converses & Otherwise Hob-Nobs with his Fellow Hob-Men (& -Women) Concerning the Sundry Ways of the Famed but Ill-Starred Tribe of Witches.

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Thirteen Reasons Why Monotheism Is Better Than Polytheism

Monotheism is better than polytheism because...'s easier. With monotheism, you never have to waste time wondering “Which god?” You'll already know.'s cheaper. Gods are like children: the more you have, the more it costs to keep them all happy. Think of what you could do with all that extra time and money.'s more unifying. Having different gods is just one more thing for people to fight about. Imagine how much more peaceful and conflict-free the world will be when everyone, everywhere, worships the same god!'s simpler. Think how much simpler life will be when humans are the only beings that have rights. In polytheism, you always have to be worrying about the rights of animals, trees, stones, rivers, mountains. In a monotheist world, you can forget about all that. They don't have any.'s more psychologically healthy. In a polytheist world, you always have to be thinking about relationships. In monotheism, on the other hand, you only have to look out for Number One. better reflects existence. Look at the world around you. What do you see, Many or One?'s more peaceful. Look at history. Who are more likely to go to war because their gods tell them to, monotheists or polytheists?'s more progressive. Who created democracy, polytheists or monotheists? Civilization? Agriculture? Science? Ethics? Philosophy? Literature? Music? Medicine?'s morally superior. Look at the people around you. Wouldn't you say that, as a rule, monotheists are more loving, thoughtful, caring, tolerant, hospitable, respectful, and helpful than non-monotheists?'s stronger and more flexible. Which is easier to break, one thick stick by itself, or many thin ones together?

it's older. Which came first, monotheism or polytheism? Which one has been around for, oh, say 150,000 years or so, which for maybe 4000?'s edgier. Historically, polytheisms arise out of humanity's experience of the world. Monotheisms arise out of reaction against polytheisms. Think about it: which system comes with an enemy automatically built in?'s unique. The unity of monotheism proves its truth.


Choose monotheism!

(Or else.)




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Poet, scholar and storyteller Steven Posch was raised in the hardwood forests of western Pennsylvania by white-tailed deer. (That's the story, anyway.) He emigrated to Paganistan in 1979 and by sheer dint of personality has become one of Lake Country's foremost men-in-black. He is current keeper of the Minnesota Ooser.


  • Murphy Pizza
    Murphy Pizza Saturday, 05 January 2019

    Quite a few good zingers in there! :D

    I will say this -- I think the gods and how many and who prays to whom is the least important part of Paganism. I stuck my neck out years ago during my studies and said that Paganism wasn't about who your worship, but how your worship, create relationships, see divinity that makes it a subversive and beautiful set of religions.

    I have met for-all-intents-and-purposes monotheistic Pagans -- and indigenous religious who insist at the protestations of white-people-who-know-better that they are monotheistic and the presence of other participating entities are not gods -- who are as open minded and sacralizing of the world as any way we hope to be. I also am running into more and more practically fundamentalist polytheists who are just as closed up as the monotheists you describe with good humor here. I used to wonder what happened, but again...

    It's not about the gods; its about how you live. Its why Pagans and Polytheists and Atheos have stood together in the circle in the past, and still can *if they want to*. That's not about gods coloring your world.That's human choice. :)

    (I'm actually working on a notion that a Pagan can be all those things at once. Still researching...)

  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch Sunday, 06 January 2019

    I would contend that all fully-realized paganisms are, in effect, ethnic religions. (Let me leave aside for the moment just how fully-realized many contemporary paganisms are just yet.) When you're a member of tribe X, X is your identity. Your ways are the ways of tribe X, your gods are the gods of tribe X.

    You may or may not follow those ways or honor those gods. In that case, they're the ways that you don't follow and the gods that you don't honor.

    But, if you're X, they're still your gods and your ways, regardless.

  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch Sunday, 06 January 2019

    It's worth remembering that "polytheism" and "monotheism" are both terms coined by a monotheist (Philo of Alexandria).

    For pagans, the gods have never been just a numbers game. It's way more complicated than that.

  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch Sunday, 06 January 2019

    "Do we know the number of the gods?
    "It would be rash to say that we do. One should be content with a reasonable number."
    (Ezra Pound)

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