Finding common ground

In a brilliant two-parter over at Patheos, one of my favourite pagan bloggers, John Beckett, was interviewed by atheist blogger Matthew Facciani, and John interviewed Matthew in turn.

Both John and Matthew eloquently describe paganism and atheism respectively and how their beliefs (or lack of beliefs) inspire them to live good and meaningful lives, and both work for social justice in the world.

Matthew said:

I learned a lot about Paganism from John and I was particularly encouraged by how much common ground we have in fighting for social justice. Despite our differences in religiosity, Pagans and atheists have plenty of opportunities to work together! The world has no shortage of problems, so it would be silly to lose potential friends and allies over religion when you still share many commonalities.

John also comes to the same conclusion stating:

you’ll notice numerous areas where I share Matthew’s interests and concerns: separation of church and state, LGBT rights, and reproductive rights. We agree that ethics and morality are best explained by a naturalist approach – we can figure out right from wrong without having a supreme being dictate it to us. And while we’re both blogging to advocate for our religious beliefs (or lack thereof), neither of us want to force others to adopt our ways.We need not agree on the nature of the Gods to work together to build a better world here and now.

As the usual arguments rage across the ‘net about who is or is not a real pagan, or a real atheist or whatever, and heated personal insults are slung, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that people, regardless of religion, have more in common than you think. There is more to unite us than divide us. As an agnostic, naturalist pagan who doesn’t believe in the gods literally and is influenced by theological non-realism I’m often on the outside, a heretic to pagans and atheists alike. But on a non-dogmatic path such as paganism, this does not need to be the case.

As Matthew writes:

Instead of worrying if his fellow Pagans “believe enough” in a certain God, they simply want them to live a good life and be kind to each other. I think that is a concept that people of all faiths should be able to agree on!

John’s interview of Matthew can be found HERE.

Matthew’s interview of John can be found HERE.

Let's build bridges. Image by me

Let’s build bridges. Image by me

About Wrycrow

Queer nerdy Pagan librarian, training with Druid College UK.
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