I was raised Presbyterian, and married a Catholic. Neither one of us is currently practicing. I have always been pretty open minded about different religions. I would like to get back to "church" or something. I feel most comfortable at the UU church, since they embrace most religions. Since I moved from NY to the Bible belt, I tried going to a presbyterain church and noticed that they made an "anti-gay" statement on their marketing material (basically claiming that they think that marriage is between a man and woman only). The pastor was talking about how he doesn't let his kids read Harry Potter books during the sermon one day. Then he had the nerve to make an anti-democrat, anti-woman joke about Hillary Clinton one day before the last election. That was the last straw. I am curious about Paganism. I am looking for some good books or websites. Being raised Christian, it'a a little weird to think of God as a woman. I like to think God is not human, and if "he" does take human form it is of both sexes...not just one. That's why I am intrigued by Hinduism...but it has it's issues too. The Bible might not be child and woman friendly...and in Hinduism it can be argued the caste system sort of discriminates against the poor. Sorry to offend anyone! I am obviously just searching for something I am comfortable with and need some good reading materials. I have a great Hindu book and was raised Christian, but could use some tips for good reading on Paganism.
Here is a basic primer that does a better job than I could of explaining what "Paganism" is, and gives a basic list of some (but definitely not all) of the vast number of religions which fall under that umbrella term.
Once you decide which religion interests you more I may be able to help you out with books, and the website I linked you to has forums where there are some knowledgeable people to help with recommendations as well.
Good luck in your search.
Some Pagans definitely see God/Universe as non gendered, but as manifesting in polarity that can be seen as masculine and feminine. Since Paganism is nature based the masculine and feminine aspects are easily seen as male and female: in Deity, in humans, animals and nature in general. The polarity exists in all of these things, like Yin and Yang.
For some it helps to connect with Deity to see it as a Goddess or God, for others it does not. Definitely a personal preference. And for some seekers finding the balance and honor of this polarity is a profound part of their spirituality.
I know this does not help you at all with paganism but the reason christians see God as a man is because the bible says that God made man in his image. And then womb-man was made from man.
OP, if you are still hoping to find a church where all those things the Presbyterian minister said would not be tolerated and that is Christian but still extremely open-minded and friendly with other faiths (like the UUs), you should look into the United Church of Christ, especially if you can find an ONA congregation (open and affirming, = very GLBT friendly). It sounds like it could be right up your alley.
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