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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in war between monotheism and polytheism

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Curse You, Narendra Modi

Curse you, Narendra Modi.

You're shooting all my nice, simplistic binaries to bloody red rags.

Monotheism = narrow-minded, intolerant, exclusionist.

Polytheism = broad-minded, accepting, inclusionist.

Here's a nice, pat example of Binary-Think that I suspect many pagans are familiar with. History provides us with just enough buttressing examples to make it look almost convincing.

Then along comes bloody-minded Indian premier Narendra Modi with his anti-Muslim Hindutva-Think, thus proving—insofar, at least, as Hinduism may be said to be polytheistic—that polytheists are just as capable of narrow, intolerant, exclusionary thinking (and behavior) as any monotheist.

As if we didn't already know as much from our own community.

Of course, we could make excuses.

We could say: Hinduism isn't really polytheist.

We could say: Hindutva isn't Hinduism, it's a misuse of Hinduism.

We could say: They're not real Hindus.

These, of course, are the same lame, unsatisfying excuses that everyone else makes when their co-religionists act badly.

Or, with a little more thought, we could say: In the policies of the Indian Right we see polytheism aping monotheism at its worst.

We could say: Here we see polytheism reconceived monotheistically.

Last modified on
Thirteen Reasons Why Monotheism Is Better Than Polytheism

Monotheism is better than polytheism because...

...it's easier. With monotheism, you never have to waste time wondering “Which god?” You'll already know.

...it's cheaper. Gods are like children: the more you have, the more it costs to keep them all happy. Think of what you could do with all that extra time and money.

...it's more unifying. Having different gods is just one more thing for people to fight about. Imagine how much more peaceful and conflict-free the world will be when everyone, everywhere, worships the same god!

...it's simpler. Think how much simpler life will be when humans are the only beings that have rights. In polytheism, you always have to be worrying about the rights of animals, trees, stones, rivers, mountains. In a monotheist world, you can forget about all that. They don't have any.

...it's more psychologically healthy. In a polytheist world, you always have to be thinking about relationships. In monotheism, on the other hand, you only have to look out for Number One.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    "Do we know the number of the gods? "It would be rash to say that we do. One should be content with a reasonable number." (Ezra Po
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    It's worth remembering that "polytheism" and "monotheism" are both terms coined by a monotheist (Philo of Alexandria). For pagans
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I would contend that all fully-realized paganisms are, in effect, ethnic religions. (Let me leave aside for the moment just how fu
  • Murphy Pizza
    Murphy Pizza says #
    Quite a few good zingers in there! I will say this -- I think the gods and how many and who prays to whom is the least important

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Polytheism: The Solitary Vice?

It's a Golden Age of polytheist publishing.

To incisive works such as John Michael Greer's World Full of Gods and Steven Dillon's A Case for Polytheism, we can now add W. D. Wilkerson's Walking with the Gods, in which 24 (counting Wilkerson herself, 25) contemporary polytheists tell their own stories. It's a pioneering, and invaluable, study of Polytheism-as-Lived in the modern world.

Sigh. If only the news were better.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    We have several ethnic churches in my area. Lebanese, Greek, and Armenian; all of them hold annual food festivals that are well a
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you. Insightful and helpful to me as someone working in a multi-faith/interfaith institution. Both as a writer and theologi

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Rebecca Buchanan
    Rebecca Buchanan says #
    I wonder if it was both a name and a title? Or one evolved from the other? (Consider how many surnames in English are derived from
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    My resident language expert points to several biblical references to "this Jezebel" or "That Jezebel" over several centuries and c

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