Towards a Spirituality of Responsibility

Paganism is fun.

It is: it’s playful, humorous, creative, sexy, joyous, and results in communities which are often wonderful to belong to*.

Atheism isn’t so fun—often, it’s stuck in fascination with being “right”—but it is grounded in reason and evidence and, thus, in what we can say with confidence is reality and not fantasy.

Putting them together can result in a cross-pollination that imbues the combination with joy, exploration, groundedness, wonder, reason and humor.

It can also help us transcend some of the inherent flaws in each approach on its own. Paganism can be self-indulgent, consumeristic, credulous, reflexively hostile to any suggestion that Pagans should be accountable to others, and—while it may protest its adoration for the Earth—environmentally and socially irresponsible. Atheism can be cold, humorless, dismissive of both emotional realities and the importance of the Earth, and in some of its more extreme “transhumanist” forms, may believe that humans can and should transcend being a part of the biosphere altogether.

In Atheopaganism, we embrace values and Principles which are life-affirming and which stipulate our responsibilities not only to ourselves, but to one another and the Sacred Earth. Walking this path can manifest in many ways, but in each case, the hope is that we live rich and happy lives and we spread that happiness through service to one another and to the Earth. We are political: we recognize that the decisions that are made by our societies have real impacts, and that we can have a voice in helping to change them.

Our path is alive and embodied—we live out loud and in color, celebrating the turning of the seasons and the wonders of the magnificent Universe of which we are a part. But beyond the joys and glories of the Atheopagan path for our own sake, we turn our eyes to the needs of others, and of the planet.

Because we are not just fun-loving and sexy and kind and adventurous and creative and reasoning.

We are responsible. We care. We make effort to improve things.

And that makes our path a complete one. Not only for ourselves, but for our societies and for our world.

So be proud, Atheopagans. Be proud of who you are and what you do. We are modeling a way of being that may well reflect how humans need to be as we continue to evolve.

 


*There are exceptions, of course. I don’t mean to imply that abuses of power and privilege don’t happen in Pagan communities—they do.

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