Q&A: Am I a “pagan”?

Question by Heron By The Sea: Am I a “pagan”?
I am Hindu, and I realize some people call that a pagan religion. But today, “Pagan” has come to be a word to refer mostly to those who practice one of the pre-Christian European religions, hasn’t it? So is it incorrect for people to call Hindus Pagans? Or does this word have so many uses that it depends on the context or something? And, is this meant as an insult? “Pagan” should not be an insult in my opinion, but when people call Hindus Pagans, are they attempting to insult them?

Best answer:

Answer by shutuploser513
no what is pagan anyway

Add your own answer in the comments!

17 thoughts on “Q&A: Am I a “pagan”?

  1. I dont think it is an insult at all
    but yes for sure people use it that way

    yes in the technical sense i gather you would be pagan
    it is an umbrella term for pre christian religions
    but a nice bunch of people to be under the same umbrella with :o)

  2. They are simply showing their ignorance, although there may be a degree of insult intended. Unfortunately the fundies believe any religion other than theirs is evil. It’s truly sad.

    Atheism. You know it makes sense.

  3. I believe this word was used to describe all those who didn’t know the God of Israel (not the country by today’s world map), Israel was a tribe of people born of the house of Abraham, and God had made a covenant with Abraham, that he would multiply his seed and you get the twelve tribes of Israel. It is all in the Bible OldTestament.

    When someone uses the term “pagan” today I believe they mean something entirely different, what comes to my mind is someone with no moral values, acts on a whim, does not know how to live civilly, I don’t think much about religion when I hear the term. I have never heard anyone call anyone a pagan Hindu, or a pagan anything, it is not a popular term these days.

  4. actually there seems to be lots of similarities between hinduism (i m myself a hindu) n the pagan religion ….i guess the core principles guiding both the sect are same especially the use of magik which is very common in the northeastern part of india (from where i belong)…..but i think there are also areas of differences aswell, i think u will be better aware of those as this is ur field of speciality , our religion is more laid back kind and we beleive in the ultimate destiny of events n trhings like past karma…..if people refer us as pagans i wud not feel insulted ( y should i?? afterall all religion merits same respect )

  5. The term “pagan” originally meant “country dweller”, Christianity started it’s conversions in cities, so the farther you lived from a city the less likely you were to be a Christian. In modern usage it has been adopted as an umbrella term for anyone who isn’t Jewish. Christian, or Islamic. By that usage a Hindu is, indeed a pagan. Whether or not it is meant as an insult depends on the speaker. I, myself, am Pagan and say it with pride, others use the term as a condemnation. For all practical purposes, the word is almost without a true meaning, so if someone calls you that ignore them, you know the truth and value of your faith, and your own value and worth as person, never let anyone make you question that.

  6. Many people who are the products of Western (European) Judeo-Christian culture use the term “pagan” to mean “persons who do not believe in the Abrahamic God.” If they use this term is should be with a lower case “p.” Because “Pagan” (with a capital “P”) refers to practitioners of pre-Christian European (usually Celtic or Nordic) religions, it is probably incorrect to use “Pagan” in reference to Hinduism. In fact, even the use of “pagan” is culturally narrow and, probably inappropriate when applied to Hinduism. If I were a Hindu, I would consider the term “pagan” when applied to my religion as: (a) highly inappropriate and probably derogatory, or (b) insulting. The bottom line is that the term “pagan” when applied to non-believers in the Abrahamic God is a second century European practice with virtually no application to contemporary Hinduism. If I were Hindu, I would simply tell people that Hindus do not consider themselves “pagans” and it is inappropriate to use that term when referring to Hindus or Hinduism.

  7. This is what the dictionary says:

    Pagan: –noun

    1. one of a people or community observing a polytheistic religion, as the ancient Romans and Greeks.
    2. a person who is not a Christian, Jew, or Muslim.

    So, by definition, Hindu’s are Pagans. I know I’ve called Hindu’s, “Pagan”, in the past because it is a technically correct term. But never have I used it in a derogatory manor. I have much respect for that religion. However, because a few people don’t like Pagans, and since Hindu’s have a different and unique belief-system, I would think that some people would point at a Hindu and call them a Pagan as a means of an insult – people are cruel like that.

  8. Paganism is ancient hinduism mixed with local rituals and beliefs

    I went to a site which will tell you your religion once you fill up their questionaire.

    I replied all the questions honestly.. and the site told me I am a Pagan —-

  9. you as a hindu believe in god!!

    but i hope ,i hope .i hope ,Finally times are changing that this term is headed toward the trash bin of history . it may have been true in the past, before radio,TV and the Internet. but people now should realize that [most religions believe in god. and unless the are isolated in a jungle some were . i hope the pagan term no longer apples to modern people.

    i hope!!

    i know im not, but i wish i lived in the suburbs.

  10. Pagan is a term that was used by Christians to describe non-Abrahamic faiths, as was heathen. Nowadays, Pagan can refer to several faiths (neo-Druidism, Norse faiths, etc.). I personally take offense to Christians calling us pagan, because the connotation is that of inferiority, plus it is a misnomer when used nowadays.

  11. Pagan was used as a term to describe Non-Christan followers, and in the beginning meant all that fell in that category. But like most words it has transformed in meaning, both positively and negatively.

    Strict Christians may use it as a slander word. While, non-Christians proudly label themselves as pagan. The main rule of thumb though seems to be the Gods/Goddess being followed. Less followed such as the Greek, Roman, and Germanic Gods have a pagan following (these being the original people labeled as pagans when Constantine started his campaign for Christianity), these are the people who follow a religion that is no longer a key component to the society they live in. While well established and strong religions that still hold a strong foothold somewhere in the world are just what they are, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, etc.

  12. Pagan refers to anything that isn’t apart of the “big three”, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. So, techniquelly you’re Pagan. But a different kind of Pagan than I am!

  13. Pagan these days is usually used to cover any of the none christian religions Christians, Mormons, catholics, Jew’s, and atheist can’t be called pagans but most other religions can be generically classified as pagan or so I’ve been told. I am a Wiccan so i take no offense when being called pagan and sometimes just to save time I’ll tell some one ” lets just say I’m pagan and leave it at that” i wouldn’t take it as an insult though.

  14. Semantics evolve over time. Neopaganism–a series of religions that are based partly, though not solely, on pre-Christian European religions–has reclaimed the word. Initially it just mean any religion other than Christianity, Judiasm and Islam, and it originated from the Latin “paganus”, which basically meant “backwoods hick”. The reason fro this was because once Christinaity was accepted as the official religion of Rome, it became very popular in the cities. People in rural areas who hadn’t been exposed to it yet were seen in the same way as rednecks are today, and so “paganus” was a derogatory term.

    Isaac Bonewits, in his book “Real Magic”, was the first person to differentiate between paleopagan, mesopagan and neopagan religions. Paleopagan refers to any original pre-Christian religion (which would include Hinduism). Mesopaganism refers to the first wave of reconstructed pagan religions and paths, which includes Afro-Caribbean religions like Voodoo and Santeria, which are composed partly of traditional African religions, as well as orders such as the Golden Dawn and the revival of druidry that occurred in the 18th and 19th centuries. Neopaganism basically started with Wicca, which was created in the 1930s based on a whole hodge podge of material, and today includes everything from Wicca to Asatru to Celtic reconstructionism, and even just plain “I’m a neopagan”.

    So it really depends on who you talk to and what the context it. Some Christians still use it as a derogatory term; about the only people who use it to describe themselves are neopagans.

  15. Per the dictionary definition, the usage of pagan-with-the-little-p is arguably accurate for a description of Hinduism – but it’s rather ethnocentric. You’re correct that Pagan-with-a-capital-P refers to primarily the pre-Christian European religions; as such, most Pagans wouldn’t consider Hindus to be Pagans, though they probably would consider them to be rather pleasant neighbors.

    As to whether or not it’s meant as an insult – that would depend upon the person. For some folks, it’s a blanket term used to describe anything non-Abrahamic – for them, I’d say it’s not meant to be insulting, even if it’s a bit ignorant. Unfortunately, some folks do use it in an insulting manner. In general, I’d say it depends on the context.

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