Pagan + Christian = ? UU? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 05-26-2003, 08:11 AM - Thread Starter
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This might be pointless rambling, but I will TRY to crystallize it into a question, if I can. If I can't, well, thanks for reading my rambling :

Ok, dh and I were both raised Catholic, and we both feel we benefitted from being exposed to spirituality in that form early in our lives. (Mostly we both agree we personally benefited from learning from day 1 that you need to take time out to foster your spirituality, give thanks, believe in more than just what you see etc.) We also feel a HUGE HUGE part of why we are thankful we grew up in the church was the sense of community we got from it.

Dh is now pagan, and I consider myself liberal progressive catholic. (I attend masses at a benedictine monastery) We've been co-existing wonderfully like this for 15 years. We have much more in common spiritually than not, we just take the same core beliefs and approach them from different angles. We both are committed to social justice, peace, environmental issues, and living a simple (non wasteful) life. We both feel these issues fall in line completely and wonderfully with our faiths.

The 'problem' now is that we are expecting a baby, and we'd like to meld our spirituality in a more basic way. But, obviously, there are differences that make that difficult! I want to come together as a family, but we don't know how. We talked about dh coming to church with me, and us taking a more active approach to celebrating his holidays, but to me that sounds a little like he's getting the short shrift. ? (there will be no issue to sharing his basic spirituality with our child, as I mentioned we have alot in common - especially when it comes to honoring the earth and being mindful of nature.)

I want to mention, for clarification, that dh considers himself a 'nature pagan', and not a wiccan. He told me that's imporant to say, although sadly I don't completely understand why..? I think he's trying to make the distinction between himself and the pagans who practice magick. ? (Which we have nothing against! It just doesn't come into play here.)

Would a Unitarian Universalist church be for us? Are there any other options you can think of? To summarize, this is what we came up with so far:

1. baby goes to church with me, learns hopefully the basis of community and faith and prayer and all the good things dh and I learned from growing up in the church. Then, at home, baby also learns about Samhain and Lammas and Yule along with dad's beliefs about the universe and nature, and the world. Is this a confusing and weird existence for the little one?


2. we attend the uu church for the community and all that, and also learn about dad's beliefs there.

Did this make any sense? Can anyone add their thoughts? My mind is really reeling, I feel it's so important to plan what we want for this baby as far as spirituality goes, just like I am going nuts collecting a layette and learning about breastfeeding!. Any feedback I can get is greatly appreciated!


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#2 of 7 Old 05-26-2003, 01:09 PM
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The UU church might be a great place for all of you!

DH and I were both raised Catholic but each separately left the Catholic church and started exploring other religions and spiritual practices.

When we were ready to get married we found a great UU church and had a UU minister perform our ceremony. That was three years ago and we have stuck around because it just feels like the right place for us.

DH is very interested in science and spirituality and some of the more "heady" stuff that is talked about at our church. He is less interested in the community aspect.

I love the community aspect, sing in the choir, teach Sunday school and really enjoy being a part of our church. I also teach/practice yoga and I find the UU church gives me the space I need to explore my own path, while sharing the journey with other wonderful people.

In our church we have many Pagans, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Agnostics, a few athiests and there is much emphasis on the inter-connectedness of life and reverence for nature. It's a very cool place.

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#3 of 7 Old 05-27-2003, 12:06 AM
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relate to your dh being a nature Pagan
Over here too so yes it is important for him to make the distinction its a thing...
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#4 of 7 Old 05-27-2003, 12:42 AM
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I understand your DH making that distinction. Just as not all Christians are Catholic, not all Pagans are Wiccan.

I'm sure not all UU churches are the same, but the one we've started going to is wonderfully inclusive. Everyone has and is entitled to their own beliefs and respect for those and we all also respect that others have their own and are entitled......

It might be a good way for the two of you to share the same faith community while not quite sharing the same faith. UU services won't fulfill your Catholic "obligations" though, so if that aspect of Catholicism (holy days of obligation, the sacraments, etc) is important to you, UU might not completely solve the problem.

"What will you do once you know?"
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#5 of 7 Old 05-27-2003, 12:55 AM
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My dh would probably call himself a nature pagan too. Well, he is definitely a Deadhead!

I used to call myself pagan, or neo-pagan. Now I consider myself a spiritual seeker, on the path to enlightenment/gnosis. (Probably still pretty pagan, altho i don't even like the term anymore.) I do celebrate the wheel. I find value in all religions and am addicted to reading all about 'em and seeking the similarites as they intersect. I find much fulfillment that way. Therefore, I do not need an institution to explore my beliefs in. But dh goes to a wonderful UU church every Sunday. My 3 kids go to yUUth group. I go about once a month.

Hopefully, you willl share your spiritual ideas/beliefs with your child(ren) on a daily basis, as a part of life and honoring God/dess' creation. A church is nice, but for me, not crucial for the life of the spirit. Nice for connecting with people tho, for activities. If you like to take communion, you may do that elsewhere, now and then, as I do our rituals at home or with friends.

Pagan holidays and Christ get mentioned at our UU church, along with quotes from Lao Tse or whomever. But we don't get deep discussions/explorations of any one belief system. I think you would be on your own for that. Children are honored at our church, which is nice.
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#6 of 7 Old 05-30-2003, 11:03 PM
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These are the guiding principles of the UUs, as there is no doctrine...

The inherent worth and dignity of every person;

Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;

Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;

A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;

The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;

The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all;

Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

The kids will learn about all different religious paths so that they may choose one which suits their goals and spirituality the best. You will most likely find a very mixed group at your UU. We have many gay parents and humanists in our congregation, as well as Christians and Pagans. The services differ from congregation to congregation, so if there is more than one UU in your area, I suggest you try going to all of them to see which one suits your comfort level the best. Read the literature available and talk to the members and the minister.

Good luck!
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#7 of 7 Old 06-01-2003, 08:00 PM
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Personally, I think everyone should attend UU churches. They're good for whatever belief system one ascribes to (or not).

Good luck! I think UU would be the perfect common place for your family.
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