Series: #30daysofreading

#30daysofreading – get yer books here!

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series #30daysofreading

It’s Pagan Values month – and #30daysofreading. Here’s hoping I can bring you blogs about both each day.

To herald #30daysofreading, that kicks off today, I decided to clean out my bookshelves (sure, let’s go with that as why.) Along with finally giving up on books I’ve owned more than 15 years and have yet to crack, I also found items in books I could swear I flipped through in the past. For some reason, though, this round of cleaning revealed ticket stubs, notecards from bookstores and a somewhat homoerotic photo from a boat trip in 1983. None of these items originated from me. Sadly, my scanner is on the fritz, so I may have to arrange them in my lightbox for a photo shoot.

If you’re local to Minneapolis and you’re looking for something to read, I invite you to peruse the list below. Some of these I’ve read. Most, I haven’t.

#30daysofreading – why a Wiccan is reading the Good News Bible

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series #30daysofreading

Church in Northeast Minneapolis
It would seem that as a person who practices a religion that firmly believes being a good person does not require a series of conflicting books and commandments might have no interest in reading the Bible. I kind of don’t, but I kind of do. Much of this comes back to my belief that this year, and perhaps a few years on either side of it, are about culmination for me. What follows may well offend those especially attached to Biblical views. I can do nothing about your beliefs, and regardless of what you might have been told last Sunday, there’s nothing to do about mine, so you may want to stop here.

#30daysofreading My final words on the Bible (for now)

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series #30daysofreading

To clarify, I did not read the ENTIRE Bible for this month. I read the books I previously had not, in the standard Protestant Bible, which leaves out the following books common to Catholic (secondary) canon, called collectively “The Apocrypha“. The books marked by strikethrough are also no longer regarded as sacred texts in Catholic tradition.
1 Esdras
2 Esdras
Additions to Esther
1 Macabees
2 Macabees
Tobias
Judith
Wisdom
Sirach
Baruch
Epistle of Jeremiah
Susanna
Prayer of Azariah
Prayer of Manasseh
Bel and the Dragon
Laodiceans

I still plan to read these books, but as far as honoring my cultural heritage goes, I’ve done my duty. By age 20, I read the entire New Testament and the Old Testament through Proverbs. I kind of stopped and started with the book of Jeremiah, but after dating a guy with that name and wanting to drop his ass in a well after the poor way he treated me, I lost interest in Bible reading for awhile. I had continued to read through my religious conversion, so ceasing to read the Bible was not directly related, and I still sometimes refer to Christian/Abrahamic texts in magical work. This is because the Bible has inherent power created through collective belief energy. This is also because the Bible is equaled only by Shakespeare in its influence on speech, thought and symbol in the West.

Now, at age 35, I can say I’ve read the entire Bible, and the majority of the US population would consider the Bible I read “complete.” It isn’t particularly world-changing to me; when you practice a religion “not of the book” you rapidly abandon scores of assumptions that are Bible based, starting with religious/moral discussions that refer to the Bible as an authority on how you should act. I still find it disturbing that so many who self-identity as atheist or agnostic and who actively resent what some Western interpretations of Christianity has done to their inner lives will, upon either telling me why I should NOT believe in God (which by itself is a violating activity) or why there’s a problem with my own theism will refer to the Bible. I know I repeat it a lot here, but I have to say it again: if you want to have a religious discussion with me, you can’t use the Bible.

If you want to discuss Christianity with me, of COURSE we’ll have to bring up the Bible. Just don’t expect me to defer to it. Especially now that I’ve read the whole thing.