Quite frequently, I stumble onto a topic that fascinates me, and then I devote inordinate amounts of time and energy pulling it apart. This is how the entire Quiverfull honors thesis occurred. Last night I watched The 19th Wife, a murder mystery about fundamentalist Mormons in polygamist marriages, and it sparked the long ignored desire to learn more about Mormonism in general. I already have the list of books ready. By the same token, a search for a long-forgotten novel about witches in a swamp randomly pulled up a list of books about, of all things, Christian Paganism. After posting a short status on it on Facebook, there ensued a civilized discussion about and wondering over the topic. Of course, someone interjected that they believe that the amalgamation is a natural progression for someone raised in a Christian background, then stated the use of statues of the Virgin Mary in some Pagan ritual. *sigh*
Okay, I have a small Mary on my altar. While I spent my youth among the pews of various Protestants, I was never really Catholic, but I recognize that Mary is truly an altered version of the Goddesses of old. She was the Christian face of Isis and Cerridwen and so many others, and this is why she sits among Kwan Yin and Ganesha and my dragons on the polished wood. Not because she represents some connection with a faith that I have long abandoned. When I stepped away from Christianity, I stepped away. Now maybe that was my own particular experience. Maybe no other ex-Christians/current Pagans had this experience, but I know this isn't true. I've met too many who went through the exact same thing. In addition to all this, I for one have quite a large amount of respect for most of the teachings of the man who was Jesus. I think he did exist, but that he was simply a brilliant philosopher much like the Buddha or many other before and since. I don't worship him on my particular altar, but I see how some Pagans could include him in their own worship--at least the teachings of love, not the idea of him as the son of the Christian God.
Having said all that, here's what I really think: there is no way to truly mesh Paganism in any form with Christianity. The Christian religion, at its heart, is based around the notion that God required a bloody human sacrifice in order to redeem humankind of its sins. This is antithetical to everything I've ever learned about Paganism in general. Our Goddesses and Gods do not require, do not ask for blood on their altars, and we do not need to go crawling on our knees for forgiveness for "sins." Whatever we do, we do. I have gone to the Goddess and God to ask for help in overcoming the faults that caused me to make some error, but never for forgiveness. That is something I must give to myself. In any case, my point is how is it possible to wed a religion drenched from its very beginning in blood to one opposed to such things. Yes, I plan on delving into the books written by those in the various Christo-Pagan traditions in order to see what they say about their own faith, but I am at a complete loss to even begin to fathom how they convince themselves this works.
If there are any Christo-Pagans/Trinitarians/etc. reading, please feel free to contact me with your own explanations. I am truly interested, despite my utter lack of faith in the possibility.
P.S. For those who call themselves "Christian Witches," how exactly do you gloss over the injunction of "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live."?