Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Myth and the Pulpit
When the Harry Potter books debuted and churches and some schools got all up in arms over the "wizard, devils, and witchcraft" debate, I had to roll my eyes. Sorry, but I couldn't help thinking...here the religious zealots go AGAIN.
Stories of weres, vamps and other "creatures" evolved from myth and folklore many years ago and they've been embellished over past decades. There's nothing wrong with that. Personally, I love the Irish/Celtic stories of fairies and sorcerers, wizards and witches. They are fun tales that play to our sense of fancy and our longing to know about the paranormal or what could exist "on the other side".
Around our house we're addicted to shows like A Haunting and Ghost Hunters and I find it interesting to note that obviously The Church believes in things such as demons and entities because every now and then they tote out the holy water and relics to perform exorcisms. I was raised as a protestant but the other day I remarked these featured hauntings usually happen to Catholics. Don't really know what the protestants do to get rid of ghosts. Maybe they're stuck with them.
Religious scholars apparently study the paranormal but I know for sure they don't advise their congregations to "believe" in the existence of ghosts or other paranormal entities. They're told about the devil and that's about it. Reincarnation is dismissed and witchcraft is labeled as bad when most know WICCANS are about peace and harmony with nature. A nature created by God. Go figure. Books like Harry Potter are demonized and folks in rural areas all over the country worked to see they were banned from school libraries.
Why would we doubt the existence of other worlds or universes when even the pyramids feature hieroglyphics of space ships. Ancient Native American carvings show the same. Evidence of the an active spirit world are all around us, documented and catalogued. Why not explore theories or the afterlife, ghosts, parallel universes and reincarnation? Does this fit with today's religious theology. I don't know. I'm not a student of what religious people believe about it and if they think about it and study it, they certainly don't share their thoughts with the rest of us. At least, my pastors never did.
I've always lived in small southern towns, attending tiny churches where black was black and white was white. There was no shade in between and no room for ghosts or spirits. No room for exploration. The Word was the Word and wasn't open to interpretation. I see the world, however, as multi-dimensional and full of secrets that deserve to be explored and examined.
Granted, I find the idea of actual shape-shifters and vampires a tough sell in the 'reality' department but they sure are fun to read and write about. They spark my curiousity and make me think along with taking me on trips to other worlds. I don't have any qualms with my faith in indulging my enjoyment of the paranormal. It's my business and I could care less what a church thinks about it.