So I have a funny yet kind of “sad” story regarding my trip up to Vancouver that I can and will share with you. On my way up, we had to obviously stop at the border for them to check the passengers, luggage and other stuff. When the Border Guard got to me, oh boy, I sure did not see what was coming next – I visualized it entirely different. He asked me the standard, “What’s your business in Canada?” and I was honest and said, “I’m here visiting a friend“.
Then he asks how we met, how long we knew each other, wanted to know my friends full name and unfortunately I had a brain-fart on his surname and “Oh boy!” did I get a little flack for that. I didn’t find him intimating or anything and he was just doing his job; I can’t fault him for that – but when my religious orientation came up that got really awkward for me. I really didn’t want to tell him but after being badgered so long I just said what I was and he said, “Oh! Yeah? I know what those are. I’m a history buff,” as if that should have been a comfort.
After a few more questions he reluctantly let me go, but one thing was still bothering me about the entirety of the conversation. And that is…the fact he thought when I initially said, “I’m Pagan.” he was thinking of the literal definition not what you (some of you at least) and me think of as being modern “Paganism” today. I thought someone who claims to be a History buff would keep up-to-date of changing “trends” like this. My brother is a History Buff and I know he does.
Now, not trying to rant here or give the poor man a bad time. No, no I just wanted to give you that short blurb so you’d have some back story for what the man inspired. So technically, him doing his job was/is a very good thing indeed. So as I was saying earlier, the man seemed under the impression that my use of the word “Pagan” alone didn’t describe very much to him. That’s because he was going by the literal definition of what people “thought” it was, which is;
2. A person deemed savaged or uncivilized and morally deficient.
3. Worshipper of False gods.
Non-believer and Heathen were also often used.
However, the word “Pagan“, as I mentioned earlier in my story, has evolved greatly. It has evolved so much it has literally become an “Umbrella Word” encompassing any and all Pagan, Heathen, Hellenic, Hinduism, Polytheistic considered religions of all shapes and sizes and others that are non-Christian Jewish and/or Muslim. While it’s true not all of us think of ourselves maybe as being “Pagan” or falling into that category, it still nicely covers a range of religions out there in a single and simple, easy-to-use, single-word “Pagan“.
So when it comes to what the new definition or modernized understanding of what being “Pagan” means, how is it defined? Well, allow me to take a stab at it, if I hit the nail on the head let me know and if I’m off about it, same deal. Also, if you think you can offer a better definition make-up, by all means give it a whirl:
1. Any collective, group of individuals, person that falls under being considered Pagan based on their beliefs (those not being the obvious of “Is neither Christian, Jewish or Muslim).
2. A collective, group, or individual who observes a polytheistic religion in some way shape or form or cares to associate themselves with such.
You only get two cause I got two. 😛
Why is it important though to know these two different definitions for this one word? Well if my “Cautionary Tale” about what happened with me and the Border Guard didn’t help, than allow me to play the role of Captain Obvious – so you can be respectful of someone’s privacy, their beliefs and most definitely NOT insult them. Those are three of the best reasons. heh How do you like that? I go the magic number without shooting for it! 🙂
That’s all folks. I hope you enjoyed the post, I know it was informal – been doing those since I’m here in Vancouver for fun and a change of pace. If you like it and would like to see me do it more often, let me know please in a comment. Would be much appreciated thank you! Thank you for reading and until next time…
~Merry part & merry may we meet again, brightest blessings and more be yours, Namaste~