As a pagan or neo-pagan practitioner, what are your views on nonviolence?

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I am in a class on the literature of nonviolence and we are preparing to discuss religion and nonviolence. As a neo-pagan practitioner I decided to research the correlations between paganism and nonviolence. I know what my views are but I am wondering, what are yours? I’d like as many responses as possible- I’d like to be able to present the class with a good sample of opinions and views on the subject.

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Cheryl E

Sounds like an interesting class. Personally, I would say to avoid violence unless it is a last resort for self-defense. We are avid gun owners for this reason (and because we like to go out and shoot targets). When I say we own guns for self-defense, I am speaking less about the random home invasion than I am a potential fundie uprising in which they seek out non-christians to either kill or run out of town. We live in a very ultra-conservative place and the idea of this is not too far-fetched. We know we would be outnumbered, but we would take a few of them with us if we had to.

prana_devi

I personally do my best to ascribe to Neo-Ahimsa.
You can see a short article about it here:
http://indopaganproject.tripod.com/id23.html

Randi L

Non violence as in peaceful protest? Sure, I would say that falls in line with my personal beliefs. Non violence as in no war, ever… no, I fully believe that sometimes violence is necessary. Non violence as in being a vegan? No way – if a person chooses to hunt for their dinner, more power to ’em – as long as they are being ecologically responsible. Worked for the Native Americans for millenia, surely they can’t have been so wrong..
I don’t think violence should be the first answer to most issues – and I think for MOST issues it could be passed over all together. But when in the best interests of the majority, I fully support it.

Aine's Daughter

I absolutely don’t agree with this at all, and I feel it’s a completely modern idea, contrary to how the ancient pagans lived.
Nonviolence is a great thing, but it’s unrealistic, there have always been wars and there will always be wars. It is better to be ready and trained for them in a responsible manner than to surrender and see yourself, your family, or your culture either assimilated or destroyed.
I’m an omnivore, I hunt to eat. If I couldn’t hunt, I would be in serious trouble. There are those of us who see hunting as a religious thing, and the idea of getting meat at a store repulsive.
Unnecessary violence is bad, yes, but being a doormat is worse, and pacifists are oven harmed worse, historically speaking. History is written by the victor, often in the losers blood.

Priestess Jean

I would say pagans have a long history of tolerance
in terms of not launching religious genocides against
people just because they don’t worship our deity…
on the other hand there were constant wars in the
ancient world based on acquiring territory or wealth.
It just wasn’t based on religion, but massive violence
occured, and often the various war-gods were called
on to sanction it…
What I would hope to see today, whether due to
religion or just common sense, is an end to the
sort of unnecessary wars that have plagued our
country for the last half-century…. Korea, Viet Nam,
Kosovo, and now twice in Iraq. It’s OK to defend
yourself but none of those wars had anything to
do with defense… they were ego trips and political
distractions from problems at home.
War is clearly the worst thing that can happen and
our country has engaged in it far too many times
without proper need and justification. I really hope
that will stop.
Jean

Fire Tiger ~{JPA}~

I’m a pagan who doesnt believe in volience unless ones person or family is being attacked. (to the extreme only). I don’t think one needs to use violence to get their message across, I think it does the opposite, it weakens your message just as adding cussing and other words that aren’t approate for the subject matter. now yes Im more then willing to cuss someone out if they cross my own personal space/lines.
but anyway, speaking clearly and using your mind is better then violence.

george h

Non-violence is a good thing, to a point. Violence never really solves an issue. I’am a firm believer in not turning the other cheek. Because there are people who will take advantage of your passiveness and interpret it as a weakness, even though it is not. I believe that all people have the right to protect themselves, family, friends and loved ones from bodily harm, whether it be through magick or some other vehicle of protection.

Razel

I will not strike the first blow but I will protect myself using as much force as necessary.

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