Dear Daily Nexus Readers,
I have recently noticed, with increasing unease, the growing presence of religiously oriented content in the public sphere here at UCSB and Isla Vista. This has taken the form of wooden crosses and bibles on Del Playa Friday night, posters around campus, between class sermonic haranguing and weekly columns in our beloved daily paper, to name a few. My upbringing has always taught me that one’s religious and spiritual beliefs, or lack thereof, are extremely private and personal expressions of man’s search for meaning, and that any unsolicited public discussion of these beliefs is tactless, uncouth and to be perfectly honest, rather rude. However, a true gentleman knows when he has been beat, so I have endeavored to “jump on the bandwagon,” as they say. Therefore I hope you will enjoy my new weekly column, “Ask a Pagan.”
This week’s question: “I’ve tried several major belief systems, including atheism, and none of them worked! Is paganism right for me?”
It’s true paganism isn’t for everyone. I’ll admit that sometimes, when I wake up covered in dried wine and the love juices of nine other parishioners, I wonder if I’ve chosen the right path. Then I untangle myself from the naked bodies lying next to me and go take a shower. Crisis of faith averted.
Any religion where bacchanalian debauchery plays a major role is probably not one for the squeamish. There is obviously a lot more to paganism, but any practitioner is going to need to be pretty comfortable with heavy drinking, all manner of anonymous sex and, of course, the occasional animal sacrifice.
Also, if you’re at all homophobic you might have a problem, as it’s almost impossible to participate in an orgy without coming into pretty intimate contact with members of the same sex. Not only that, but if you’re a pagan and you want a toasty Saturday night Jesus burger — good luck.
On the other hand, you can see, touch and sometimes taste almost everything we celebrate and believe in and pretty much everyone involved is pretty mellow and un-judgmental. It’s also the first religion that’s ever gotten me laid.
Cogsworth Wellington is a fifth-year bro studies major.
When I came to UCSB from northern California I was a practicing Neo-Rastifarian, and I partied pretty hard too. But my drunken sex-capades started to feel deeply meaningless, and I began to question why Haile Selassie would allow the quality of the ganja to be so poor in Santa Barbara. I searched aimlessly for spiritual fulfillment, right up until the point I was introduced to paganism by a close friend.
As soon as I participated in my first moon drenched bacchanal, I knew I had found the faith to fill the void in my heart. Paganism is for those who love life, liberty and drunken group sex under the stars. It’s not even a religion as much as it is a quest for the oneness of all things, the beauty of nature, the primal nature of man and the divinity of the female form.
Forest Moonbeam is a third-year herbal sciences major.
Isla Vista is a great place to be a pagan. The weather is super warm, which is huge when you’re doing a lot of naked dancing around a bonfire. There’s great nature to enjoy, and the skies are clear most of the year, so there’s plenty of an opportunity for sun and moon worship. The IVFP are mostly concerned with busting WillieJ with an MIP, so the heat’s off in terms of beachside debauchery. Plus, in this hard-swinging town, there’s never any trouble picking up a fourth if you’re one man short for a masked gang bang.
Sure, not everyone is comfortable with some of our beliefs. People have objected to our practice of publicly consummating marriages, and the SPCA has raised some concerns about certain rituals involving goats. But as pagans, we don’t condemn or judge those who choose alternate religious lifestyles. Believers are encouraged to be decent accepting folk and treat their fellow man with respect and dignity.
In all fairness, the toughest part about being a pagan in Isla Vista is tracking down the requisite virgin for deflowering every winter and summer solstice.
Hughe Caulk is a second-year female biology major.
“Paganism is for those who love life, liberty and drunken group sex under the stars.”
fucking masterpiece. yes.
Don’t forget Paganism is also for people who want to set Nicholas Cage on fire
Now that’s funny.
WOTAN MIT UNS!!!
No, its not a masterpiece.
Replace the word Pagan with Jew and see how terribly anti-semitic it all sounds.
Your bigotry against Pagans is atrocious. Would you say the same thing about Unitarians? Quakers?
If I replace the word pagan with jew…. it makes no sense at all.
Okay, replace the whole thing with “Ask a Jew” and make jokes about BBQing and how “thin is in”. Is it that satire, or is just disgusting?
Why is it okay to make jokes about the Pagan religion when you wouldn’t dare do it to one of the more mainstream?
Don’t you dare compare us heathens with Jews, and especially not Christians! For each devastated graveyard, one heathen grave is avenged, for each ten churches burnt to ashes, one heathen hof is avenged, for each ten priests or freemasons assassinated, one heathen is avenged!
This is for her, War!
This does not describe paganism in any way. It is an offensive article, and needs to be recanted. I know it’s meant to be satire, but there are those out there who wouldn’t recognize satire if it hit them on the head, and this article just might reinforce their views of paganism.
I totally agree!!!
ok…i have practiced wicca for over 20 years…and i havent gotten laid~!
It’s ok Kat, neither have I and probably never will!
If this is not a satire then I totally disagree! Thre are mamy Pagans who are decent people and sexual activity is not a requirement to be a Pagan. Nor is killing an animal required, many of us would not and do not harm animals!
Hughe, stick to biology. Journalism is not your forte. Neither is satire. I’m not even pagan but I’m offended by your column. And frankly, I’ve never written to any publisher claiming offense at anything before (& you can look me up in Google if you don’t believe it, but it’s true). People who are truly funny can get away with saying anything. Hughe, you’re 180 degrees from being funny.
If anyone can’t figure out that this is satire, they should really take the totem pole out of their ass. I’m down for Wicca, yet was not even remotely offended at this article. Benham’s introduction are some of the most sane words on religion the Nexus has published in recent memory; religion is a personal issue and shouting your core values in a public area just makes you look like an ass. This piece illustrated that SATIRICAL point. Christ, people, chill the fuck out.
Gee I have been Wiccan for 26 years and have not been to a Pagan orgy yet. Where have I gone wrong? As for the heavy drinking, gee I didn’t know that fraternities were Pagan. I would have joined in a minute if I had known. Ah if Paganism were really orgies and Parties we would be fighting people off especially around colleges. Unfortunately AIDs took the fun out of orgies. I am old enough to remember them though back in the Sexual Revolution which fortunately did happen when I was in my 20’s. But I wasn’t Pagan then. We… Read more »
Thanks for all the love- even from those who didn’t like the piece or, a little more likely, didn’t quite grasp the *thrust* (that was a pun, for those whom I’ve just mentioned) of the piece. Either way, love the passion, and keep looking for my column every Friday, and sometimes other days,just because we feel like it.
Oh, and Hughe is not a real person, although Hughe Caulk (aka Huge Cock) is a great name- expectant mothers take note.
I understand this is supposed to be satire, but isn’t satire supposed to be funny? Or at least amusing?
Mocking a religious group with what the general public often, mistakenly, believes is true really just isn’t that funny.
This is absolutely disgusting.