I was called a “Pagan” — and then a “Heathen” — the other day by someone who doesn’t know me.  Heathen was added, I’m guessing now, because my facial expression must have conveyed a confused look for the definition of “Pagan” since I’d never been referred to as one before.

Before the name calling started, I thought we were having a pleasant conversation about faith tenets and indoctrinate belief systems when the intentional, but not understood, slur was sent flying my way.  I can’t even remember exactly what I said to fire the fit at me other than something generic about purposefully misleading children to serve the greater machinations of adults.

“Not believing” — as those around you do. can be taken as an insult even though that open-mindedness isn’t intended to disrupt any existing loyalties or quantum schemes of protection — but the hooding and the coloring of those who are unlike you makes the Pagans and the Heathens more easy to identify and conquer and make sure anything they say is undermined by extreme prejudice and pointing fingers.

It seems anyone who does not believe as you can easily be labeled a Pagan and a Heathen — by logical default that are many more Pagans and Heathens than there are true believers.  I don’t understand the gumption to label and identify your perceived enemies — because that identification just makes them more powerful in numbers and assumptions than your minority — unless, of course, you have a death wish and a persecution complex where you prefer to suffer aloud in public pain.

The Pagan mind, the “Heathen Thought Train,” if you will, appears to me to be the more open vessel in the midst of many closed heads.  If a Pagan is a free thinker, if a Heathen is someone who isn’t tied to a single doctrine, then I would prefer to be marked a Pagan and pocked a Heathen if that means continued freedom of thought and independence of purpose.


  1. I’m going to guess that free thinker and person not tied to a single doctrine is not what your conversation mate had in mind when the labels were tossed about so rudely. I like your definitions, though!

    1. Oh, you’re right about that, Gordon! The intention was to punish me and shame me and teach me a lesson for daring to believe differently than adhered-to thoughts.

          1. I was waiting to see what Gordon would say to this. I concur with him.
            Given my recent (for lack of a better term) ‘switch of thinking’ (2010) those terms have a heavier, more weighty implication than they would have 10 years ago. That being said, I sure wish I could hear ‘her side’ of the story.
            I only say that because there’s a crowd out there, that I’m well aware of, that uses those terms alot, not realizing what they are doing to themselves, or to the one the words are directed at.

          2. Don’t I know that. I have an acquaintance on FB that makes his ‘life’ of doing just that. I used to just ignore it, but it’s getting stronger and more ‘potent’. I’ve just about had enough. There’s a saying about removing the log before you start picking on the speck. He sees a lot of specks.

          3. Yes, that’s smart advice. It can be harrowing to try to figure out real motivations — but what is put out into reality is what we have to deal with and sometimes it isn’t worth the effort any longer.

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