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Pagan Values Blogging Month #3: Personal Responsibility

I’m not normally a Christian-bashing Pagan. I generally try to practice tolerance and acceptance when it comes to people who believe differently than I do (which is pretty much everyone). One thing about Christianity does give me pause. In Christianity, if you transgress against your religious rules, and you own up to your mistake (or, if you’re Catholic, you confess it to a priest, they give you a punishment & you perform whatever act is asked of you) you are forgiven by God or Jesus and your sin is wiped clean. It’s a pretty nifty system. I know it’s probably more complicated and layered than what I make it seem, but that’s the gist of it.

As a Pagan, when I do something ‘bad’… I have no one to apologize to, and no one forgives me, and my slate is not wiped clean. If I hurt someone, yes, I can apologize to that person and be forgiven by that person, but I still bear the karmic burden of my action. It adds up. Enough of that karmic stuff piles up and I’m reincarnated into an even worse circumstance than what I got in this life. But I have no one to blame for my circumstances except myself. I keep thinking how I must have been the Boston Strangler or something in my last life. Thinking about it now, it seems pretty silly to choose a religion in which one is responsible for every thought, every action, every word when I could belong to a religion where you can screw up often and be forgiven and go out & screw up again, ad nauseum.

The thing is, I like that sense of personal responsibility, and it is probably my strongest religious value. It makes me feel like I’m in complete control of my own destiny. The words I speak are my words, and only my words. The actions I perform are my actions. The thoughts I have are my thoughts. I am responsible for how I use them. No one can make me do anything against my Will because all acts I perform are performed willfully.

Read the original article at: Changing Seal Woman

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