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Skepticism. What an ugly word. Pagans hardly ever use it. Maybe we think that if we pray to multiple deities, wear pentagrams, say things like "Blessed be," and monitor the phases of the moon, we give up the right to be skeptical, since we feel just a little bit ridiculous, and we understand how people can be skeptical about what WE believe.

Let's think about this for a minute.

Cross A perceptive man once said that a Christian is very much like an atheist. The Christian believes that there is only ONE god (out of all the thousands of possible gods that others believe in all over the world). An atheist simply believes in one less god than a Christian does.

It seems to me that if you believe in any one religion, you are choosing to reject all the other religions. This makes you a believer with regard to your own religion, and a skeptic with regard to all the others.

Imagine a Christian: someone tells him that Uncle James developed cancer. The doctors said it was hopeless. Then the church folks prayed for Uncle James, and the cancer went away. The Christian reacts thus: "Praise the Lord ! God is a god of miracles !" He buys into the concept of supernatural intervention.

Then someone else tells this Christian: My Aunt Jane had an inoperable tumor. The doctors said it was hopeless. So I got together with a few of my Wiccan brothers and we lit the candles, fired up the incense, called the quarters, cast the circle, invoked the Goddess, asked for healing ... and the tumor went away. The Christian responds: "No way ! There must be another explanation ! The doctors read the x-rays wrong. Or maybe some Christian somewhere was praying for Aunt Jane   —   secretly   —   and that's how she got cured."

I believe that Christians are skeptical about all religions other than their own. Call it "selective skepticism." But we Wiccans are equally guilty; we assume that the TV evangelist faith-healers who wave Bibles and ask for mail-in donations are phonies, without bothering to investigate any of their claims.

What I am suggesting is this: We ALL ought to take ourselves a whole lot less seriously than we do.

      Science and religion have long been considered adversaries on the battlefield of grand worldviews because at the most fundamental level they both claim to do much the same thing: provide deep insight into the nature of the world around us and give a profound sense of our place or purpose in the universe.   Science is founded on empiricism and analysis; religion is founded on revelation and faith   —   and some say they exist in such different spheres that they neither contradict nor interact.

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