Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. Romans 1:24-32
This blogger is glad that the alphabet perverts are increasingly making it clear that the doctrine of whatever religion they choose to associate with is less important than that religion's willingness to approve of their perversions--which serves as a warning to those who think they can accommodate "gay Christians." The reader will note that immoral sexual practices invariably accompany defective doctrine. As reported by Catherine Griwkowsky of StarMetro Edmonton, June 3, 2018:
EDMONTON—Wiccans have long fought against perceptions that their religion is shadowy, scary and sinister—but this June, they’re wearing their differences loud and proud.For further reading on the actual origins of Wicca, see Goddess Unmasked: The Rise of Neopagan Feminist Spirituality (1999) by Philip G. Davis.
For the first time, Wiccans will be marching in the Edmonton Pride Parade on June 9.
Local Wiccans — a religious group that describes itself as a revival of paganism — say they’ve long been one of the most LGBTQ-friendly religions, but now they’re looking to step up the advocacy.
The Congregationalist Wiccan Assembly of Alberta has participated in interfaith events at Pride for the past four years, but this year members are holding their own celebrations and plan to march in eye-catching Wizard of Oz-themed costumes during the main parade.
The Stony Creek Temple will also host a ritual the day after to show the community what they’re all about.
They say they’ve always been LGBTQ-friendly, but now they want to play a bigger role.
“Our community is so different than the typical church environment,” said Stony Creek Temple high priest Keegan Quinton. “A lot of people have come to our religion because they have felt like they don’t have a safe place because of how they identify.”
Quinton, who said he was more in touch with his feminine side, having grown up as gay man with six sisters, said Wicca helped him discover and embrace a non-toxic masculinity.
“I feel like I was very unbalanced before because I didn’t strongly connect with being a man and what that stereotypically means,” he explained. “Coming to a religion where I was encouraged to be who I am, but also explore that other side of me, has really made me more balanced as a person.”
Quinton said Wicca didn’t feel like something he had to convert to; rather, it was something that fit with his own beliefs and understandings about the world.
“I’m eternally grateful to have become comfortable in my own skin,” he said.
The Stony Creek Temple of Alberta, part of the Congregationalist Wiccan Assembly of Alberta, is currently made up of 25 people from diverse backgrounds, including Norse Pagans, Indigenous spiritual practitioners, traditional Wiccans and feminist Wiccans.
With growing diversity and membership in the temple, Quinton said the timing was right for Wiccans to have their own presence at Pride.
“When we’re involved with the Pride interfaith service, it’s wonderful to be a part of that group, to be a part of this mosaic, to be a part of these different religions, but I also think it’s important for people to come and experience who we are completely as we normally are and express ourselves fully,” he said.
This wouldn’t be the first time Wiccans have tapped into a broader social movement — the religion was founded in the United Kingdom during the 1950s and its members have been social activists right from the beginning.
Since then, practitioners coming from naturalist communities, non-traditional relationships and the LGBTQ community found solace in the “live and let live” Wiccan philosophy.
High Priestess Kayleen McKie, who identifies as a cisgender bisexual woman, explained that while Wicca is a very individual practice, the basic tenets are a match with many members of ostracized groups.
“At the end of the day, if you’re not directly negatively impacting somebody else, you should be able to do what you see fit in your life and what resonates with you,” McKie said.
There is no hierarchy and no equivalent of a Bible, Torah, or Qur’an with written rules of conduct, said McKie, making it appeal to people who want to express themselves freely.
With the only rule being “if you cause no harm, do as you will,” McKie said Pride is a perfect time to promote love over hate.
Sam Wagar, the Wiccan chaplain at the University of Alberta, has activist roots intertwining with his faith. He was the founding high priest of the Pagans for Peace tradition of Wicca in 1982, working toward non-violence.
Wagar said Wicca has long been a haven for those outside of mainstream society — from nudists to people in non-traditional relationships.
The polytheistic nature of Wicca means there is representation in gods, goddesses and deities for non-binary people, he said.
“There are goddesses who are very butch. Warrior goddesses who are dangerous and powerful, goddesses of war,” Wagar said. “There are also soft, nurturing, caring aspects of masculinity expressed in the gods.”
He gave the example of Loki, whom Wagar called “genderqueer,” a Norse trickster god said to have transformed into a female horse and gave birth before reverting to a male form.
From feminists attracted to a role of women in the spiritual practice, as well as the worship of goddesses and female deities, to environmentalists who see the appeal in a nature-based faith, the religion draws those looking for justice and has long been aligned with social activism.
Gender and sexual minority community members are the latest in a lineage of activists and marginalized people seeking acceptance and spirituality.
Pride is the perfect venue to showcase that.
Alyssa Demers, chair of the Pride Society of Edmonton, said her organization is happy that more religious groups are part of the movement, as people should not have to choose between their sexual orientation or gender identity and their faith.
“I think when someone feels they’re torn between the two, that can be really discombobulating because those are two really fundamental parts of yourself,” Demers said.
There are a number of other faith groups participating in Pride, a fact that hasn’t always been the case.
Some religious organizations, such as the United Church, have been very accepting. The Pride Society of Edmonton is working with Catholic and Islamic groups, and while Demers said there is a way to go yet, a number of LGBTQ Muslims, Christians and Jews will be marching.
“Some people see religion as an excuse to be exclusionary, but some people see it as a reason to be inclusive,” she said.
Demers said Wiccans definitely appear to be the latter, so when the group applied to march and to host an event this year, the choice was clear.
“Obviously, if a lot of queer-minded individuals are finding their faith within that group, they are affirming and accepting,” she said. “We love that they’re coming to celebrate with us.”
On top of being a natural partnership, Wagar said it’s critical for the Wiccan and LGBTQ communities to support each other.
As an activist who has fought for religious freedom, Wagar is concerned about authoritarian elements in society.
“We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately,” said Wagar, quoting Benjamin Franklin. “The unfortunate rise of fascism, literal fascism, these days makes that abundantly clear: We really all have to stick together.”
The Edmonton Pride Parade will take place June 9 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Congregationalist Wiccan Assembly of Alberta will host an “open circle” on June 10 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Richie community league at 7727 98th St.
An open circle is a ritual done at significant times of the year, usually involving a change of season or light. It can involve crafting, singing, dancing, giving back and asking for positive change in the world.