Paganistan: Notes from the Secret Commonwealth

In Which One Midwest Man-in-Black Confers, Converses & Otherwise Hob-Nobs with his Fellow Hob-Men (& -Women) Concerning the Sundry Ways of the Famed but Ill-Starred Tribe of Witches.

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Pimping Religion

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

“Here, I have something for you.”

I don't get angry very often, but a red flame of rage kindles inside of me. My long-time neighbor's new husband is a retired Baptist minister, and I've been expecting something of this sort. I've been down this road far too many times before, and frankly, I resent it.

Evangelism is one of the chief things that I hate about Christianity, not to mention its fellow imperialist (if I weren't such a nice guy, I'd say “pimp”) religions, Islam and (to a lesser degree) Buddhism. Cursed be the proselytizers.

Coming from people who place a high value on civility, I take his “salvation” pamphlet anyway. To think that trees died for this.

“I want you to read this and tell me what you think,” he says, lying. He doesn't care what I think; he just wants an in.

Over the years, I've thought long and hard about a proper response to this sort of behavior. I have no interest in discussing anything with spirit-bullies like this guy, certainly not my inner life. It's wasted breath to talk with someone who isn't listening.

So I'll ignore his bullying, condescending, and manipulative behavior for now. And if he brings it up again, I'll say to him what I always say:

Let me tell you something: where I come from, we feel that religion is like sex. It's intimate, and not something you go around discussing with everybody.

Then, because he's a neighbor, and clear communications are important, I'll add:

We've been good neighbors here for 30 years, and I'd like to keep it that way. So don't bring it up again.

As Tallulah Bankhead always used to say: Fuggum.


They throw their religion away as if it isn't worth anything, and then they expect us to take it seriously.”

(Zuni elder)








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Tagged in: proselytizing
Poet, scholar and storyteller Steven Posch was raised in the hardwood forests of western Pennsylvania by white-tailed deer. (That's the story, anyway.) He emigrated to Paganistan in 1979 and by sheer dint of personality has become one of Lake Country's foremost men-in-black. He is current keeper of the Minnesota Ooser.


  • Tyger
    Tyger Wednesday, 26 September 2018

    My answer is always, "No thank you, I'm not interested."
    No explanation, because that just gives them an 'in' to argue. If they ask why, I just repeat. "I'm not interested, thank you."

  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham Wednesday, 26 September 2018

    I include Communism along with the other pimp religions. Protests to the contrary notwithstanding it doesn't work as a theory of economics and they kill people who resist conversion when they are not killing each other for not being the "right kind" of communist.

  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch Thursday, 27 September 2018

    Whenever the self-righteous are convinced that they've got the One Right Answer for everybody, they're always obnoxious, they're always unpagan, and they're always wrong.

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