Interview with Rev. Dr. Karen Tate

We live in troubled times of great environ­mental damage, endless war, economic problems with widening gap between the rich and poor, social unrest with racism, bigotry, and sexism. Could there be anoth­er way of doing things that would be more cooperative, nurturing and sustainable? Karen Tate, Seeker, Scholar, Author, Radio Host and Activist, believes that there is a way and working towards making it happen has become a goal of her own life.

Christopher: What kind of background did you grow up in?

Karen: No one is more surprised than I that Goddess spirituality has been the spark guiding my path for the last 25 years because, you see, I was born in the southern region of the United States, in what they call the Bible Belt. I never met anyone who wasn’t a Catholic or Baptist until I was almost 30 years old. And trust me, you didn’t hear about Goddess in that conservative Christian bubble. No one encouraged critical thinking. No one ques­tioned religious or male authority.

I was fortunate though, Christianity never really got it’s hooks into me and my family was not overly religious, so when there was no money to continue to send me to Catholic school, I eventually got to wig­gle out of Sunday School too. I just never resonated with the dogma, suffering and sacrifice. I probably couldn’t language it then, but I felt there was more to life.

I was able to free my intellectual curiosity without resistance. So I delved into meta­physics and ancient cultures. I found my­self particularly drawn to Egypt and while most people I knew willingly and without thought seemed to live and die within a 50 mile radius of their hometown, I wanted to see the world, particularly ancient sites. I yearned for a time machine!

Christopher: What led you to change paths? What opened up to you a new way to see things in our world?

Karen: As I reflect back, I am so grateful I moved to California, where I could free my blossoming awareness of the world. I think if I had stayed in New Orleans where I was born, I might never have traveled, written books, had my own radio show or know everything I know now about patri­archy, dominator cultures and feminism. I probably would have just accepted every­thing as normal and the way it’s always been and I certainly would not know what questions to ask to challenge the status quo.

Fortunately though, moving out of the Christian bubble shook me awake. I found the work of Merlin Stone, When God Was a Woman and Riane Eisler, The Chalice and the Blade. I rejoiced in the Mysts of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley (we didn’t know about her controversial life then) gifting her readers with ideas of how things might have been seen from the female perspective in Camelot. I started to go beyond Wicca 101 and realized this is really about sex, power, religion and poli­tics.

So with that back-story for a bit of context, my interest in Goddess spirituality was probably seeded in my Grandma’s wor­ship of Mary with her many altars to Jesus’ mother in her home and yard, then I took a class on Goddess in California and it was a slippery slope. The pieces started to fall into place.

My desire to travel was given focus by my interest in sacred sites and the books I read as a youth about Egypt. Imagine my first really big trip out of the country was a visit to Egypt! It was very interesting how this Southern girl, transplanted in Califor­nia, actually felt as if Egypt was familiar and somehow a lost part of me. I became drawn to Isis, Sekhmet and that famous British woman, Om Sety. I joined the Fel­lowship of Isis, started an Iseum and be­gan leading and organizing ancient rituals in a modern context on public beaches in Los Angeles through the non-profit I founded, The Isis Ancient Cultures Soci­ety. Over the years, however, the journey to Goddess spirituality evolved.

It went from being a focus for my travel, to nourishing me as a woman discovering there was a feminine face of god and all the empower­ment that comes with that, to understand­ing that the ideals of Goddess spirituality are what’s missing from our world. It’s why there is so much suffering, oppression and exploitation. It’s why the planet is being poisoned and women are devalued. So I started teaching about Goddess as dei­ty, archetype and ideal. Everyone is at a different point in their spiritual journey so seeing the many facets of what Goddess spiritualty actually are, I feel it provides something for everyone, even agnostics and atheists with a conscious for social justice.

Christopher: Where you solitary or did you find groups to work with?

Karen: I found that old truth, “when the student is ready, the teacher appears” happened in my life. I found a group of women interested in Isis, which led to me joining the international Fellowship of Isis (FOI). The late Lady Olivia Robertson, one of the FOI founders, saw something in me I guess, so when she learned my husband and I were traveling to Ireland, she invited me to Clonegal Castle to be ordained.

That was the catalyst it seemed for a tsu­nami of creativity and inspiration. I started my own Iseum within the FOI, the Iseum of Isidis Navigium, and we began to do Isis-oriented rituals throughout the year, facilitating the annual ritual that became rather famous around town, held each March, the Isidis Navigium. We used as much information we could gather about the old ritual of Isis and re-constructed it for contemporary psyches and culture. All the participants launched colored ice-boats on the waves of the Pacific Ocean commemorating the ship of Isis that was launched in Her honor in ancient times.

Later my husband and I started the not-for-profit Isis Ancient Cultures Society, and expanded on the work of the Iseum; putting out a newsletter, holding personal development salons, monthly moon cir­cles to highlight different traditions, and of course we still did the Isidis Navigium for a decade, as well as the annual Isis Birth­day Salon and Tea each July.

About ten years into all this, I got the opportunity to write my first book, Sacred Places of Goddess: 108 Destinations and I knew I could not continue to spear­-head the not-for-profit, work full time as I had been and write a book. I asked my Board if they wanted to continue the not-for-profit while I took a hiatus but no one wanted the responsibility, so the organiza­tion went dormant while I started my first book and now, 9 years later, I’ve just had my third and fourth books published in 2014.

Christopher: When did you become a speaker and teacher on the Sacred Femi­nine?

Karen: While I taught some classes early on, such as the Use and Making of the Sistrum, it wasn’t until I had to go out and promote my first book on sacred places that I found I had to begin standing in front of the room. It was hard at first, but I soon found my deep knowledge of the subject and passion carried me beyond the fear.

In hindsight, I can see now your question prompts me to realize each book pushed me out there teaching about another fac­et of the Sacred Feminine. Walking An Ancient Path: Rebirthing Goddess on Planet Earth had me teaching and speak­ing about subjects related to incorporating Goddess into one’s life as the devotee or practitioner and all that might entail from being inspired by Goddess, magickal and mystical experiences I’d had, accounts of sacred pilgrimages, to the politics of com­munity.

Then as I realized I wanted to speak about Goddess more as archetype and ideal that might change the world, I started my radio show, Voices of the Sacred Fem­inine. Simultaneously, I was giving talks and teaching Sacred Sunday services, and that all culminated in book three, Goddess Calling: Inspirational Mes­sages and Meditations of Sacred Femi­nine Liberation Thealogy and book four, the anthology I’ve edited of radio show guests, Voices of the Sacred Feminine: Conversations to ReShape Our World. The latter two out in 2014.

Christopher: Is the message useful to men as well?

Karen: Most definitely! Men have been damaged in this patriarchal society just as women have. They need to learn in­corporating the Sacred Feminine within their lives, as deity, archetype and ideal is essential. Just as women must empower themselves and become more comfort­able with archetypes and attributes we might label masculine, men have to be­come acquainted and embrace attributes society labels as feminine.

While I learned about Goddess among Dianic women and did some of my early work with them, my Iseum and not-for-profit organization were for both genders, including transgenders.

I learned the pain of discrimination early on working with women who might not have realized they were practicing patri­archy in a skirt no matter how much they railed against the mainstream patriarchy. I never wanted to perpetuate that pain on another and have come to realize the necessity of plurality, tolerance and bal­ance. So I can thank them today for be­ing good teachers, teaching me not only important things I needed to learn about Her-story, but also about what ideals and values I want to perpetuate in the world as a leader and teacher.

Christopher: Do you have a schedule of future talks, or workshops?

Karen: Yes. I do my radio show, Voices of the Sacred Feminine, every Wednes­day on Blog Talk Radio which can be listened to live or from the archives. I’m leading a tour to Turkey in May 2015 with a good friend and brilliant scholar and archaeologist, Dr. James Rietveld. We could have called it “Come to Turkey with the Social Justice Activist/Priestess and the Scholar!”

I’m out there giving talks pretty regularly related to the Sacred Feminine as deity, archetype and ideal, though it’s random and not like every second Sunday. I’m hoping to get a speaking spot at the Coun­cil for the Parliament of World Religions in October in Salt Lake City, UT, be chosen for a Ted Talk and get more of this infor­mation out into the mainstream world by way of an internet or television series.

Christopher: When did your research lead to your writing?

Karen: Well, I’d either organized, taken or led sacred tours to Goddess sites across about 5 continents for several years, so when the publisher of my first book asked me to write Sacred Places of Goddess I guess that started my writing in earnest. But before that, I must mention the op­portunity Selena Fox at Circle News gave me. After these many journeys, I’d usually write up an account of what transpired and Circle would publish it. So from writing a lot for an assortment of Pagan maga­zines, it was a natural step to accept the aforementioned book contract. Then once you’re published once, it seems the sec­ond book is easier.

Christopher: What kind of writing have you done?

Karen: In between the books, I’ve been writing for blogs on matters in the head­lines that are related to rebirthing God­dess as deity and archetype, and on rec­onciling our spirituality and politics, ideals of the sacred feminine and issues of dis­crimination, justice and women’s equality.

I write scripts for my radio show, particu­larly a What’s the Buzz segment when I share with listeners things going on out in the world where Goddess ideals are either becoming mainstream or being trampled upon. I write inspirational messages to deliver at the Goddess Temple of Orange County when I’m invited to guest priestess and I still write rituals and meditations.

I’m most interested these days in writing as a social justice activist, showing how values of the Sacred Feminine can lead to a more sustainable, egalitarian and just future and I encourage Pagans to get involved and be on the front lines advocat­ing and peacefully resisting for change so more of us have a better quality of life.

Christopher: Where can people find your published books?

Karen: My website http://www.karentate. com is the best portal to all my work, in­cluding my books. One can go there and get links to a lot of interviews I’ve done talking about all this, watch some classes and talks I’ve given that got uploaded to You tube, learn more about my radio show and access it on Blog Talk Radio from my website.

Christopher: Do your beliefs require that you take action? Is that just in your own life or does it include community social action and more?

Karen: I remember reading how the late Margot Adler, a respected elder in our community, former NPR journalist and accomplished scholar, lamented the fact that more Pagans are not on the front lines trying to support environmentalism, hu­man rights and social justice. I agree. But I didn’t realize this when I started this path. At first it was about myself. Defining me. Defining deity.

Then I learned how it affected the com­munity, and only later still did I see the big picture of how this can change the world. There’s a reason it’s been sup­pressed! This would change the world from a dominator culture to an egalitarian or partnership culture and there are a lot of rich and powerful people and organi­zations who would become obsolete, or will become obsolete, when we reach that tipping point, that 100th Monkey, that paradigm shift and demand change. But again, I realize we are all in a different place along our journey. It took me awhile to get here and I struggle for patience as I wait for others to evolve and catch up. I run into Pagans everyday who are in this for the aspect of rebellion, to be en­tertained at rituals, or those who are still most worried about what color candle to put on their altar. There is so much more to all this than any of that.

Christopher: Does the sacred feminine provide a possible map of how to chang­es things and solve many of the problems that we face?

Karen: Yes, I’ve touched on that a bit, but to get more specific, I guess I’d first like to credit Riane Eisler, author of Chalice and the Blade, for awakening me to this domi­nator vs. partnership paradigm. Her book, along with Merlin Stone’s When God Was a Woman are must reads. I honestly think when the Dalai Lama said it would be western women who would save the world, I think he really meant it would be ideals of the Sacred Feminine that would save the world.

Here are some ideas I’ll share to give you some jumping off points to get my meaning excerpted from an article I wrote, Goddess Spirituality as Liberation Thealogy :

1) We find under the broad umbrella of Goddess, many faces across continents and cultures, with no mandate that we worship one name, one face. Instead we see a metaphor for plurality, diversity and inclusion in the loving and life-affirming Sacred Feminine, rather than the jealous, One Way, androcentric and exclusionary god of patriarchy keen on asking men to sacrifice their sons to prove their loyalty and a holy book filled with violence. Those embracing Goddess might easily see embracing peace, tolerance, gender equality and peoples of all walks of life; gay, straight, people of all skin colors and religions or no religion at all, as being in alignment with Her diversity, resulting in a more just, equal, balanced and sustain­able world and society.

2) Consider the mythology of the Inuit Goddess Sedna. She is the gatekeeper between humankind and the sea crea­tures of the regions near icy waters which people depend for their livelihood. If man­kind becomes too greedy and exploits the creatures of the sea, Sedna cuts humanity off until he takes only what he needs. Greed and excess are taboo as we are all inter-dependent upon each oth­er. As our environmental Goddess, Sedna, teaches us to be wise stewards of Mother Earth and Her creatures.

This is a rejection of excess and exploita­tion and She calls us to environmentalism and to be Her spokespeople protecting habitats across the globe. We might be called to be at the forefront fighting against fracking, poisoning our water and air, and depleting our natural resources. We would deplore exploitation of any kind, including wage discrimination, worker exploitation or multi-national corporations decimating local economies and indig­enous peoples. We certainly would use our vote to support those who fight for the 99% and allies who would protect Mother Earth and Sedna’s creatures.

3) The Egyptian Goddess Isis bestowed upon pharaohs their right to rule and they were to rule their kingdoms governing un­der the laws of the Goddess Maat, namely truth, balance, order, and justice. Similarly, we see the Hindu Goddess Kali standing atop her consort, Shiva, whose powers must be activated by Her. Clearly this suggests patriarchy, or rule of the father resulting in rule by the male gender, has not always been the way of the world, nor would be the way of the world with God­dess restored to center.

Neither would we want patriarchy in a skirt as absolute power corrupts absolute­ly. Even a cursory glimpse here shows a call for female leadership and a respect for women’s power, both of which are sorely lacking in our world as academia, corporate America, religious institutions and politics has less than 20% represen­tation by women in the United States. We must support women who embrace Goddess ideals and support their leader­ship in these bastions of male control. Isis instructing pharaoh she is granting him the right to rule, but only if he employs the Laws of the Goddess Maat, can be seen in support for civil rights, voter rights, worker and immigrant rights and con­sumer protection from powers that might mis-use and exploit the individual or the planet.

4) In the thealogy of the Sacred Femi­nine, Goddess affirms women’s bodies and sexuality. Priestesses of pharmacolo­gy, mid-wives and women hold the power over their own bodies and life and death is in their hands.

Today the patriarchy dictates to women the parameters of beauty and women fall victims to their standards spending mil­lions with plastic surgeons to live up to some impossible ideal. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 13.1 million cosmetic procedures were performed in 2010, up 5% from 2009.

Beyond physical beauty, the patriarchy wants to control all aspects of women’s sexuality and reproduction. Known in the United States as Big Pharma, pharmaceu­tical companies now hold the power over women’s bodies as they encourage wom­en to disconnect from their menses, that monthly inconvenience, that curse. They say “here, take our pill and see your sa­cred blood magically disappear.” Discon­nect from one of the very things that em­powers you as a woman!

In a not so veiled culture war, one politi­cal party has declared war on women by attempting to de-fund Planned Parent­hood, thwarting access to contraception, trying to pass laws to make divorces hard­er to obtain, trying to legalize the mur­der of abortion providers, and by having miscarriages investigated and abortions abolished. Women’s bodies and lives are the terrain on which this current extremist conservative movement is taking a stand.

If we had a feminine face of god at the center of society, or Her ideals affirming female authority and leadership, men and their institutions would not control or dictate to women. Equal is equal. Wom­en would understand their sexuality and bodies are sacred and in their own hands and would not be complicit in their own oppression or exploitation.

5) Goddess thealogy affirms female pow­er. Where Goddess was worshiped, her temples were the centers of wisdom, culture, and financial power and were often presided over by women. Research­ers such as Merlin Stone and Heide Goettner-Abendroth, in her book Societ­ies of Peace: Matriarchies Past, Present and Future, point to matriarchal societies where Goddess was venerated and ma­ternal values practiced, women and chil­dren were protected and had a spot at the center of the culture, reaping the benefit of that positioning at the center.

We must once again turn to the attributes of the Feminine, such as caring, sharing, nurtur­ing, negotiation, collaboration, solidarity, partnership and peace; all of which have been marginalized or demonized under patriarchy, and embrace these values so that quality of life is restored for the most of us.

In conclusion, these are but a few ideas showing how Sacred Feminine mythology might be reclaimed and reinterpreted to provide a roadmap toward a more sustain­able future. We have in the feminine imag­es of divinity deities, archetypes and ide­als to show us the way. It is up to us if we want to embrace them as our role models and heed their advice.

Christopher: How did your pod radio show The Sacred Feminine start and what do you try to accomplish on it? Where can people find it?

Karen: Well, that’s interesting. I reveal in my last book Voices of the Sacred Femi­nine, the anthology I edited based on my radio show of the same name, that I used to be in radio many years ago. I was the Public Service Director of a local radio sta­tion, way before the internet was ever an inspiration is anyone’s mind. And it seems appropriate that I went back to my roots, if you will.

The short story is, I believed with main­stream media being controlled by conser­vative corporations who are not looking out for the needs of the 99%, we needed platforms to be talking about alternatives to capitalism, patriarchy, and this callous culture we live in that seems to care less and less for the average citizen or the commons.

Everything is leading toward privatization, workers becoming slave wagers, without benefits or education. We have Fox News in the United States fostering hate, sepa­ration, disconnection and the most mis-in­formed people aligning themselves to vote against their economic interests. Right now it feels as if the least educated, the racists, sexists, anti-science, anti-gay and anti-immigrant factions are winning. They are certainly the most vocal and seem the most engaged, perhaps because they feel the ground shaking beneath their feet. I hope so anyway.

I guess I just couldn’t sit back and do nothing when we needed to have a con­versation. People needed to see that there are alternatives to how things are being done or have been done. When they real­ize that, they’ll be more secure and likely to promote change. Until they see a way forward, I think it’s human nature to stay with the thing you know, even if it’s the devil. It reminds me of women caught in abusive marriages. They hate it. They get beat up and bloodied, but until they see there’s a safe alternative or a way out, they stick with the abuser.

People can find my radio show here at Blogtalk Radio – Voices of the Sacred Femininewww.blogtalkradio.com/voicesofthe­sacredfeminine, and I invite them to listen to the trea­sure trove of wisdom in the archives.

Christopher: Have you worked with any other media?

Karen: Besides my You Tube Channel which I hope to develop this year, it has been my honor to be in the courageous and important documentary Femme: Women Healing the World, produced by actress Sharon Stone and Emmanuel Itier of Wonderland Entertainment. It coura­geously starts at the beginning, with God­dess, explaining how our culture for a time was about the “We and the Us” until things got turned upside down and it became about the “I and the Me.” It gets into the damage of patriarchal religions, how it set women up to be marginalized, devalued and it offers solutions what’s so important.

We can change this world, if we work together. If we begin to value partnership, love, caring, sharing rather than this sur­vival of the fittest mentality. I’m in the film, right there along so many of my mentors and I truly believe this should be required viewing in every living room, religious in­stitution and classroom.

I remember, living in that Christian bubble, some of this is really new information to so many people. Remember, you have people who think the world is 6,000 years old, that women should suffer because of Eve’s sin, that women don’t have rights to their own bodies or are on this Earth to serve men, that the poor are being pun­ished by God. They’ve never heard any­thing else! They’re probably afraid to hear anything else because they’re so afraid of burning in Hell.

We really have to be about education for these people and ourselves. We need to build bridges to them and reach out with compassion and tenacity. We need to take responsibility for our own education and not rely on what we’re fed from the family dinner table, Fox News or the church pul­pit to be what truly serves humanity. We need to stop being complicit in our own oppression We need to truly begin acting in solidarity because there are more of us than the oppressors.

Vision it for a minute. If all the women be­ing devalued and marginalized stop volun­teering, if workers went on strike and de­manded living wages and benefits, if men and women refused to go to war to serve some corporation, if gays, immigrants, minorities, and women stuck together, about the social safety net, environmental exploitation, wages and benefits, peace, campaign finance reform, breaking up the banks, protecting the commons and the socialist institutions that serve us so well – I could go on and on – I think you get my drift. If we got off our couches and banned together, peacefully resisted with courage, strength and tenacity, then I believe we would win this battle for a better world for the most of us and not just the few hun­dred richest people on the planet putting the screws to the rest of us – and their handmaidens benefitting from supporting the status quo and betraying their gender and class.

Christopher: So what projects are in the plans and where can people find out more?

Karen: In May I’m leading the sacred tour to Turkey I mentioned. I think it’s going to be pretty fabulous. Anyone interested should check out my website. I’m hoping to develop my You Tube channel in 2015 where I do some vignettes talking about how Goddess ideals and values offer a more sustainable future so people begin to connect the dots between social, cultur­al, political issues and ideals of the Sacred Feminine. I’ll continue my radio show, because it is my guilty pleasure having the reins to ask the questions I want an­swered of these wise and gifted people.

There’s maybe another book or two in me. I’d like to write more about Goddess and social justice and perhaps a book with tips on having a good relationship with one’s partner. I’d co-write it with my husband of 30 years, Roy, who I describe as the wind beneath my wings and I’ve dedicated a few of my books to.

Christopher: What else would you like our readers to know?

Karen: I would like to dispel the dis-in­formation out there that what I’ve been talking about, which might be called sacred feminine liberation thealogy, or eco-feminist spirituality, or goddess spiri­tuality, is only for women. Feminists simply want equality and a culture that cares, shares and where we have freedom to live a life of equality and partnership, and not be dominated, marginalized or exploited.

We are not man-haters or femi-nazis and many, many men are within our ranks because they realize patriarchy, rule by a male dominated father, revering solely a male god, has not served the most of us.

Too many of us have been denied the chance to reach our fullest potential. Too many of us continue to be exploited, in­cluding Mother Earth. Even former Presi­dent Jimmy Carter left his church because he believed sexism is a sin. We are our brother’s keeper. Greed once was and still is a deadly sin, if you don’t mind me har­kening back to my Catholic roots. I think the early Christians got some of it right, particularly those who revered a feminine face of God, didn’t think sex was taboo and those who realized Jesus probably intended Mary Magdalene and women to be leaders in the church. I think we ac­tually have a lot in common with Chris­tians, Jews and Muslims, if we go back far enough, before patriarchy poisoned the well.

Christopher Blackwell Interviews
This article first appeared in ACTION Imbolc 2015
www.aren.org/newsletter/2015-imbolc/index.html

Nimue Brown Interviews witchcraft author David Salisbury

I first got to know David Salisbury through Facebook and his contributions to the Moon Books blog http://moon-books.net/blogs/moonbooks/ritual-animal-slaughter/ I find his passion and dedication tremendously inspiring. David is an American witch, I’m an English Druid so we have very different understandings of many things. I found, in talking to him, that his passion and integrity transcended all issues of path and practice for me.

Nimue: I know activism is a significant part of your life. How does that relate to your paganism?

David: Paganism is what began me on my journey as an activist. When I started training in Wicca in 1999, I started to look into what was happening to nature, animals, and oppressed communities. I soon discovered that the world is actually a very unjust place. As a magick-worker, I quickly realized that if I want change to occur in conformity with my will, I have to help change the environment I live in. I was taught early that paganism is “of the world”. In my paganism, I cannot ignore the troubles of the world because it is my responsibility as a nature-based faith member to help make the world a better place. Its the rent I pay to live on this planet. To me, a paganism without activism would feel hollow and disingenuous. Although I accept that not everyone will feel called to lead protests or lobby the government, I insist that we can all do something to contribute to justice and equality every day. Whether its learning about privilege, listening to oppressed communities, or volunteering. The Earth and her people demand that we do something. If nature-based faiths don’t respond, who else can we depend on?

Nimue: Is it your experience that Pagans step up well to these challenges, or are we largely swimming in the mainstream and not ‘paying our rent’? (I love that way of relating to it)

David: That’s sort of a mixed bag, really. Some of the most hardworking and inspiring activists I’ve ever met in my life are Pagans. Entire traditions within the pagan umbrella, like Reclaiming, were founded with a strong advocacy ethic attached to them. But on the other hand, I’ve seen our movement really struggle with the difference between being a strong individual and working to create change that affects everybody. I believe that we can be both, but not everyone agrees with that. Recent civil unrest in the United States spurred by our epidemic of police murders motivated by race have shown that we have a lot of work to do in this community. It has shown me that Pagans are just as capable of unchecked privilege and downright racism as anyone else. I think that we have a huge potential to be change-makers in the faith world if we’d only get out of our own heads, step out into the world, and listen to each other.

Nimue: Who inspires you?

David: That’s a tough one! I like to surround myself with inspiring people so I have quite a large pool to pick from. Right now I draw so much inspiration from Crystal Blanton, an author, priestess, and activist in the Bay Area of California. She runs a phenomenal blog called Daughters of Eve and has been such a powerful leader for Pagans in the U.S. working to create change. I’ve learned so much from her both about advocacy and the spirituality of change as a witch.

Nimue: If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

David: Wow, what a question! Would “complete and total equality for all people and animals” be too much to ask? ;)

Nimue: I’m very much a believer in thinking big, and while I’m not sure that counts as one thing, it’s too awesome to quibble over. Trees could use a good deal more care and respect as well. Are there any animals that you feel a particular affinity with, or affection for?

David: Ah yes, let’s not forget the trees! Having worked at the largest animal rights organization in the world for a while, there are so many animals that are close to my heart. Chickens, being one of the most bullied animals in the world, are particularly important to me. Chickens are seen as stupid, dirty, and mean. Nothing could be further from the truth! Chickens are quite intelligent and establish strong familial and social bonds with each other. That’s why it’s such a shame that they’re so widely abused. The spirit medicine of chicken is compassionate, protective, and healing. Of all the animals who deserve more credit in the spiritual and physical realms, chickens take center stage.

Nimue: They’ve an uncomfortable history as a sacrificial creature, too…

David: They most certainly do, even today. It’s amazing, the creative ways people think up to be cruel.

Nimue: One of the big puzzles for me is how to reach out to people who seem to have no compassion and get them to think differently, without resorting to some kind of force or psychological violence. Is this something you have any ways of approaching?

David: I find that living your life making kind choices openly is the best way to encourage others to do the same. I’m also a big fan of always trying to have conversations and bringing compassionate choice to the table whenever possible (figuratively and literally). Beyond that, I’m not above bringing something to light quickly and directly if someone is doing something horrible. The other day I saw a friend post online about possibly buying a ticket to the circus! One video link showing how elephants are routines beaten and chained to the ground at circuses was enough to turn that decision around. I think most of the time people just don’t know what’s going on. I know I always appreciate it when someone enlightens me to an abusive system or condition.

Nimue: ‘The spirituality of change’ is a tantalising line… could you expand on what that means to you?

David: Since I believe that everything that exists in this world and beyond has a spirit-presence to it, then surely our movements for justice and change do as well. When I approach advocacy from a spiritually-rooted place, its easier to stay energized and healthy. Justice work is very draining and it’s so easy to burn out. Whenever I get to the point of burning out, I can always go to my gods and say “hey, I need help.” I believe that the gods want to see us succeed as a people.

David Salisbury http://www.moon-books.net/authors/david-salisbury is the author of ‘The Deep Heart of Witchcraft,’ http://www.moon-books.net/books/deep-heart-witchcraft published by Moon Books, and ‘Teen Spirit Wicca’, http://www.soulrocks-books.com/books/teen-spirit-wicca Published by Soul Rocks.

Nimue Brown is the author of a number of Druid and Pagan titles also published by Moon Books. http://www.moon-books.net/books.html

Goddess Calling by Rev. Dr. Karen Tate

John Hunt Publishing (Changemakers Books) announces the new title

Goddess Calling: Inspirational Messages & Meditations of Sacred Feminine Liberation Thealogy

Rev. Dr. Karen Tate

Publication Date: March 2014

A strong, courageous book that will either set your teeth on edge or make you laugh with joy. Jean Houston, Ph.D – World-renowned American scholar, lecturer, author, and philosopher.

Goddess Calling: Inspirational Liberation Thealogy of the Sacred Feminine

In ever-increasing numbers, women and men are seeking spirituality beyond traditional religious institutions and more and more their new normal includes the deities, ideals and archetypes of the Sacred Feminine. They have a desire to get beyond the patriarchal dogma that often perpetuates sexism, homophobia and the domination of Gaia and all her inhabitants, including the body of Mother Earth. Goddess Calling is designed to give individuals or those desiring to serve their communities a springboard to offer “sermons from the pulpit” with ideas to create a format for a regular gathering or service.

Her meditations on the state of our world, past, present and future, are profoundly engaging. Barbara G. Walker, Beloved Foremother and Author

Easy to digest and sometimes gently following the seasons of the year and holidays already on most people’s calendars, these messages and meditations use Goddess archetypes, ideals and mythology to provide content for education, inspiration and contemplation for anyone seeking to incorporate a feminine face of God within their spirituality, no matter what their faith.

….a hearty “Brava!” to Karen Tate who has created such a powerfully lovely vehicle to help us invoke Her spirit and connect with Her wisdom and guidance as we struggle to create a world of peace, understanding and sustainability in Her name. Donna Henes, Urban Shaman, Author of The Queen of My Self.

Karen Tate is an independent scholar, speaker, radio show host, published author, and social justice activist. For almost three decades her work has been fueled by her intense interest and passion for travel, comparative religions, ancient cultures, and the resurging interest in the rise of the Feminine Consciousness. She lives in Venice, California.

Publicist: maria.barry@o-books.net Review copies available on request.
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978-1-78279-441-7 (eBook) £6.99 $9.99

Goddess Calling Foreword

In ever-increasing numbers women and men are seeking spirituality beyond traditional religious institutions and more and more their new normal includes the deities, ideals and archetypes of the Sacred Feminine.  They have a desire to get beyond the patriarchal dogma that often perpetuates sexism, homophobia and the domination of Gaia and all her inhabitants, including the body of Mother Earth.  Women in particular are hearing and heeding their calling, stepping forth to take on their mantle of leadership as rabbis, ministers, priestesses, Nuns on the Bus and Womanpriests.  They are exercising their spiritual authority in circles at their kitchen tables, in their living rooms and classrooms, in brick and mortar churches and temples, in political arenas and groves.  They are flexing their spiritual wings and allowing themselves to be guided by their intuition, innate female wisdom and inner-knowing and they encourage their congregations to know and feel the essence of Goddess and understand what that new knowledge might mean for themselves personally and the world.

Often their shared message is one of female empowerment, social justice and environmental responsibility sometimes referred to as eco-feminist spirituality.  The liturgy may contain social, cultural and political messages of liberation thealogy using Goddess mythology, archetypes and metaphors as benchmarks and templates for a more just and sustainable future.   Gone altogether or tempered is the message of the strict authoritarian Father whose mythology gives license for a male-dominated society with women in a subordinate role.  Nothing less than peace, partnership, justice, equality and care for the planet are at the heart of this Sacred Feminine wisdom.

In answer to this collective call to restore and  re-write our values and find a new spiritual path women and men are blazing a trail using their pink handled machetes to find their way.  It might manifest in progressive churches using gender neutral names for God in prayer and song.  Others include liturgy embracing the Divine Mother in equal partnership alongside the Father.  Altars might not be dominated only by male images.  Still others give themselves permission to conduct women-only services and exhibit only female images of deity at their gatherings.  Congregants worship together in circles rather than in hierarchal configurations with a male intermediary between them and deity.  In fact, these groups and gatherings might be leaderless, egalitarian or organizers might share leadership. In case it’s not obvious,  there is no one way and no absolute right way to facilitate these gatherings or to worship or interpret deity.  These are just some of the new guidelines being tried across the globe as spiritual people come forward to see what works for themselves or their communities.

Yes, there has been a plethora of academic writings restoring knowledge of Goddess and women’s history that has been swept beneath the rug.  Some, myself included, have used this knowledge to occasionally re-construct or adapt ancient rituals for a modern context.  We have gleaned inspiration from inscriptions and ancient knowledge and turned it into the seasonal ritual. Psychologists have explored the significance of Goddess archetypes. Theologians have examined why Goddess disappeared and patriarchy began to dominate.  Some statistics show that when all earth-based or goddess-oriented groups are combined, Pagan, or non-Abrahamic religions is one of the fastest growing groups in the country and books have come out in equal measure to support that growing interest.

What has been missing, however, is an abundance of inspirational writings that pulls all of these aforementioned areas of focus together between two covers and puts it into an easy-to-understand and user-friendly book of sacred feminine liberation thealogy.  Yes, thealogy, not theology.  The meaning of Goddess, as deity, archetype and ideal and her relationship to humanity, the planet and its species.  Going beyond the wheel of the year, examining Goddess mythology and ideals of the Sacred Feminine that would reshape values, society and culture, from cradle to grave, and in pre-school to the voting booth.  Goddess ideals actually do provide a template for a more just and sustainable future and with this book, I hope I’ve managed to directly connect the dots between the Great She and liberation from the oppression of our patriarchal world.

I wrote Goddess Calling, Inspirational Messages & Meditations to Sacred Feminine Liberation Thealogy  to give individuals or those desiring to serve their communities a springboard to offer what I remember were called “sermons from the pulpit” in my early days as a Catholic, with ideas to create a format for a regular gathering or service.  Easy to digest and sometimes gently following the seasons of the year and holidays already on most people’s calendars, these messages and meditations use Goddess archetypes, ideals and mythology to provide content for education,  inspiration and contemplation for anyone seeking to incorporate a feminine face of god within their spirituality, no matter their faith – and the messages and meditations have been field-tested!

Following in one of the messages within this book, Trust in the Journey, these collective words of inspiration and guidance accumulated over time as I was called on as an ordained minister to speak about the Sacred Feminine. Yes, these messages and meditations have already been successfully shared and embraced by congregations where I have been invited to present papers, guest minister or lead salons or services for conferences, festivals, Goddess temples, Unitarian Universalist congregations, the American Academy of Religion or at Sacred Sundays, the latter being inter-faith services offered in the Los Angeles community for several years.  Those experiences have provided the framework for this book and the suggestions herein for readers to find personal inspiration or ready-made material to facilitate your community circles.

As you go forward and find your sacred roar,
May Goddess Embrace You in Her Golden Wings,

Dr. Rev. Karen Tate

Bio of Rev. Dr. Karen Tate

Rev. Dr. Karen Tate

Four-times published author, social justice activist, speaker, sacred tour leader and radio show host,  Rev. Dr. Karen Tate has been named one of the 13 Most Influential Women in Goddess Spirituality and a Wisdom Keeper of the Women’s Spirituality Movement.  Her long-running radio show, Voices of the Sacred Feminine, on Blog Talk Radio,  is considered a treasure of trove of wisdom for our time.  Karen can be seen in the internationally known documentary, Femme: Women Healing the World, produced by actress Sharon Stone and Emmanuel Itier of Wonderland Entertainment.  Her work combines comparative religions, mythology, ancient cultures and women’s studies aimed toward creating a more sustainable future of equality, balance, justice and peace.  Titles of Dr. Tate’s books include Sacred Places of Goddess: 108 Destinations, Walking An Ancient Path: Rebirthing Goddess on Planet Earth, Goddess Calling: Inspirational Messages and Meditations of Sacred Feminine Liberation Thealogy and she’s edited the anthology, Voices of the Sacred Feminine:  Conversations to ReShape Our World.  For more information see www.karentate.com

Charlie Hebdo: When freedom of speech and expression are shot down

Controversial cover of Charlie Hebdo, cartoon depicts the Prophet Mohammed making out with a Charlie Hebdo artist. 8 Nov 2011

by Rev. Kess

On 7 January 2015 in the city of Paris, France, two gunmen entered the offices of a magazine and killed 12 people. Charlie Hebdo, a satire magazine known for sometimes taking their exercise of free expression to extremes, became another statistic in the “war on terrorism” that has been waging since long before 9/11.

Many have made this tragic shooting into a discussion of religion (which it may well be), others have tried to claim that the shooters’ religious beliefs had nothing to do with their actions. Vox.com and others are making an attempt to say that the tragedy had nothing to do with the cartoons and other satire published by Charlie Hebdo.

All over the interwebs, especially on social media, I have seen numerous postings by average people regarding this incident. Everything from outcries against Jihadists to victim blaming, from confused and terrified people to bored and I-don’t-give-a-damns (though if they are posting about it they obviously do care, or are trolls).

What I see the most is people saying this tragic shooting of 12 people (including two police officers, one of which is said to have been Muslim, Al Qaeda has claimed responsibility) was an attack on the freedom of speech and freedom of expression that so many of us in Western culture hold as sacred.

I would tend to agree with that. Here in the United States we have a constitutional right to the freedom of speech, expression, and the freedom of the press. Not to mention the freedom to worship as we choose. Granted, each of the freedoms goes only as far as they can without encroaching on the rights and freedoms of others in our country. That is, we can worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster if we want, but we can’t sacrifice children in the name of Marduk. We can expect that our journalists, even our “news commentators”, to say pretty much whatever, as long as they remain within the facts and do not make false statements against another – even op-ed pieces need to be as accurate as possible. We can tell a police officer, “In my opinion,” and flip them the middle finger without it being a crime, but we must be prepared for the consequences of that and other actions. We must always be aware of the possible consequences of our words and our actions. Journalists are not immune to being sued for libel and slander, artists’ work can (and have been) banned for the images or content of their art, authors’ books have been banned from public institutions for content, and a flipped off police officer is most probably going to look askance at you for your hand gesture.

Let me make something clear right here. I am not pro-censorship. Not by any stretch. I just realize that some of what I create as an author and as a commentator may be construed as unfit for general consumption. Does that stop me from creating it or saying it? No. Though I do mind my language when on community radio. My words can have an adverse effect on the station, not just on me. That said….


New Age instrumentalist Sajjad’s Defiant.

“Our hearts go out to our friends, family and all impacted by the horrific events in Paris. This feels seismic. Solidarity with all who value freedom of speech and expression. Nous sommes tous Charlie.” – Frenchy and the Punk, Samantha Stephenson and Scott Helland

On the same day a small incendiary device went off outside of the NAACP office in Colorado Springs. It wasn’t clear at the time if the office was the intended target. Thankfully no one was harmed in the incident. It did smack of similar incidents from past decades of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States.

At least one newspaper, in Germany, that republished some of the most controversial cartoons from Charlie Hebdo has also been targeted. The offices off Hamburger Morgenpost were fire bombed after going to print. Again, no one was hurt. A fire bomb was tossed into a back window of the newspaper, setting their archive rooms on fire. Al Qaeda has taken credit for these attacks on the cartoon publishers, both in France and Germany.

Over the course of the last week many things have happened, both on the ground and on the internet, in response to the attack at Charlie Hebdo and the bombing of the NAACP office in Colorado Springs, Co. One thing that has been repeatedly brought up on social media is the Boko Haram slaying of over 1,000 civilians and how it seems that mainstream U.S. media coverage of that terrible event has been ignored and all the focus put on Charlie Hebdo. (My heart breaks to hear about all those innocents lost.) It should be noted that Boko Haram is closely tied to  Al Qaeda, even though Al Qaeda has said in the past that Boko Haram is sometimes too extreme for even them.

I think why the U.S. media is not giving as much air time and print to the Boko Haram slayings is that everyone is up in arms over the apparent disregard for something that we in the United States do hold sacred: Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Expression (not that we do not hold human lives sacred). Much of “Western Civilization” adheres to these ideals – much of Europe, North America, Australia. It has even been creeping into the minds and lives of people in the East. What we tend to forget is that a good portion of this planet does not hold to the same ideals as the United States and countries influenced by us and Europe. It wasn’t until the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union that our friends in Eastern Europe were able to openly embrace these ideas. China, the Middle East, much of Africa, and parts of South America do not have the luxury of being able to rest on their laurels when it comes to these freedoms. And not all of these countries are controlled by those who claim Islam.

The attack by Al Qaeda on Charlie Hebdo was not just an attack on a magazine. It was not just a retaliation against those who had maligned the image of the Prophet. It was a calculated attack on the Western ideals of freedom of speech and freedom of expression. I know that is a strong statement to make. But I feel it to be true. As do many others. Indeed, Al Qaeda has threatened that the worst is yet to come.

When a terrorist organization takes the life of anyone it is a tragedy. When they attempt to silence the speech or the expression of an individual or a group it is doubly so. When those two gunmen entered the offices of Charlie Hebdo they didn’t just take aim at 10 individuals in the offices (and later two police officers), they took aim at the idea of being able to freely express ourselves. Yes, their Prophet was insulted by the satirical cartoons that had been published. Yes, they felt that they needed to retaliate in some way. No, they did not have the right to kill as a means to retaliate. No, they did not have the right to kill to avenge their Prophet.

As activists, as writers, as artists many who read this site fight for the right and exercise the right to freely express themselves.  As activists writing on this site we exercise and fight for the right to freely express ourselves. Not everyone has that right, as I pointed out above. But all journalists, all artists, all writers, all of those who – if only in the minds – are free thinkers are hurt whenever someone or a group of someones take actions to silence that expression, to silence that speech.

The Free Speech Movement at UCLA-Berkeley in the 1960’s faced less violent attempts to silence them, but faced strong opposition nonetheless. The late Margot Adler wrote extensively on the FSM in her memoir A Heretic’s Heart. She and others involved in FSM were threatened, bullied by school administration, arrested, and jailed. Some even suffered physical violence at the hands of their oppressors. It was only after much debate and civil unrest on the campus that many of the faculty and staff at Berkeley stood in strained solidarity with the FSM that the freedom to demonstrate, hold peaceful gatherings, and host information tables on ideas and politics that differed from the main was not only allowable on campus but a right of the students. Adler was no stranger to political thoughts and actions that went against the main, her family’s involvement with the Communist Party and their connection to free thinkers in both the Soviet Union and East Germany brought her up in a sub-culture that was at odds with the mainstream way of thinking in the United States in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

On a more personal note, I have experienced the oppression of expression and speech in my own life. While attending a public high school in Lincoln, NE in the mid-90’s I was subjected to the authority of close-minded teachers and staff. My physical education teacher took umbrage to my proudly displaying pro-gay buttons on my jacket. She said at one point “I have a 12-year-old, I’m not ready to deal with that.” To which I wanted to say, but did not feel that I could, “you have a 12-year-old, you better be ready to deal with it.” My science teacher that same year was a Catholic teaching biology. He started the semester out with a conversation about pseudo-sciences and freely lumped psychology, sociology, and other “soft sciences” in with the “crackpots” who would still believe the world to be flat and the Earth at the center of the universe. By this time I was already on my Pagan journey and took offense to such words, but again felt that I could not safely speak up. The result of those and other experiences, seemingly sanctioned by the authorities of the school, I did not feel that I could express myself freely in school. My time at that school ended with homophobic actions being taken against the personal property of fellow students and friends who had been seen driving me to and from school – vandalism of their car with hateful anti-gay slogans painted across the smashed doors. Lucky for me I had called out sick from school the day that happened. I left that school, indeed I dropped out of high school at that point for fear of my own life.

Original piece by Mike Edholm.
(c) Mike Edholm 2015
http://www.mikedholm.com

Hosts at the community radio station I volunteer at have taken such a stance, two of them opening up an invitation to Nebraska authors, poets, etc to submit their own works on these freedoms. In this evening’s episode (Thursday 15 January 2015) of The Platte River Sampler three Nebraska based cartoonists are interviewed about how the tragic “assassinations” (to use the hosts’ word) of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists and staff have impacted them. You can tune in live to that program at the KZUM website at 6pm Central US.

Some Other Articles Related to Charlie Hebdo

Not Born Sinners

I used to watch Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort try evangelizing techniques in the street on Christian channels. He would say that you needed to bypass the persons reason and approach them on an emotional level. He did this by making people feel guilty and reminding them that they are sinners. He reminded them that all have sinned after having them admit they have lied, or had impure thoughts about a neighbours wife, or had stolen something. All are apparently guilty and headed to hell. Then he brings the sales pitch that they need Jesus to escape hell.

I used to watch Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort try evangelization techniques in the street on Christian channels. He would say that you needed to bypass the persons reason and approach them on an emotional level. He did this by making people feel guilty and reminding them that they are sinners. He reminded them that all have sinned after having them admit they have lied, or had impure thoughts about a neighbours wife or had stolen something. All are apparently guilty and headed to hell. Then he brings the sales pitch that they need Jesus to escape hell.</p>
<p>I never quite understood how people fell for this so easily and some ended up praying with Kirk or Ray the conversion prayer. </p>
<p>There is certainly right and wrong and all societies have always condemned murder and theft. It is simply logical and a part of evolution as hominids that at some point we had to work together to survive - If you simply kill everyone and destroy your environment, you would not survive. A degree of morality is inbuilt and even still developing. </p>
<p>Why do such things as crimes need to have a spiritual effect? If you are caught you are tried by secular laws and you are punished. Methods of catching criminals are continuously improved upon. But to believe in sin implies that you first have to accept on blind faith that mankind has some kind of spiritual evil or are in a fallen state. You have to accept on faith that there is some kind of "fall". </p>
<p>Apparently the rift between "god" (at least a Canaanite one in this case) and man could only be repaired through a bloody sacrifice of a perfectly innocent man on behalf of the crimes of others (imagine courts allowing that, would it be just?). Now Christians make a huge emotional fuss over "God so loved the world...only begotten son". </p>
<p>We all would instantly call someone who sacrifices theselves to save others a true hero - but the threat needs to be credible and tangible - a fireman running into a burning building - Basically, Jesus died to save us from a magical type of evil we first have to believe in first - err thanks. If I hear Jesus died for my sins it is absolutely meaningless to me.</p>
<p>Furthermore, sin in the Bible is also frequently not a moral question. Sin is frequently displeasing a jealous god, having other gods, not keeping a sabbath, abusing a name NOT moral issues that makes you better or worse at all and these are the major points. Considering that despite popular current consensus the world does NOT revolve around the Middle East, Israel and old Canaanite cultures (Greek, Rome, Sumeria, Egypt achieved far, far more than ancient Judea) and people have had diverse and complex religious systems through the ages - the whole "one true, living god™ idea makes little sense anyway.</p>
<p>Then this all knowing god, basically told his first two created humans about the forbidden trees in the MIDDLE of the garden (he might as well have put up signs with big arrows and flashing lights). Since "god" set up this scenario, why play it all out with the incarnation and atonement which MUST be in blood (is god also limited and bound by certain rules, therefore inferior to some other?)</p>
<p>Interestingly enough Judaism and the Old Testament has nothing on a messiah who needs to atone for sins and reconcile man to god. Sin can be punished and sin can be repented - no notion of poor pathetic humanity born bad, always bad and saved only by a bloody sacrifice (perhaps the scapegoat idea). The Bible is also quite contradictory when it comes to whether there is punishment for "sins of the fathers" or everyone's sin being their own. </p>
<p>Now most Christians don't even believe in a literal Adam and Eve anymore - but it seems Paul and Jesus did accept this notion of an "original sin".</p>
<p>Illogical Christianity and the notion of "Born Bad" has certainly left the world a very bizarre guilt trip as a legacy. Even early Christians did not all agree on the notion, but Augustine accepted it. The emotional ties to Jesus "dying for our sins" makes absolutely no sense either way.

I never quite understood how people fell for this so easily and some ended up praying the conversion prayer with Kirk or Ray.

There is certainly right and wrong and all societies have always condemned murder and theft. It is simply logical and a part of evolution as hominids that at some point we had to work together to survive. If you simply kill everyone and destroy your environment you would not survive. A degree of morality is inbuilt and even still developing.

Why do such things as crimes need to have a spiritual effect? If you are caught you are tried by secular laws and you are punished. Methods of catching criminals are continuously improved upon. But to believe in sin implies that you first have to accept, on blind faith, that mankind has some kind of spiritual evil or exist in a fallen state. You have to accept on faith that there is some kind of “fall”.

Apparently the rift between god (at least a Canaanite one in this case) and man could only be repaired through a bloody sacrifice of a perfectly innocent man on behalf of the crimes of others; imagine courts allowing that, would it be just?. Now Christians make a huge emotional fuss over “God so loved the world…only begotten son”.

We all would instantly call someone who sacrifices themselves to save others a true hero, but the threat needs to be credible and tangible; a fireman running into a burning building. Basically, Jesus died to save us from a magical type of evil we first have to believe in… err, thanks. If I hear Jesus died for my sins it is absolutely meaningless to me.

Furthermore, sin in the Bible is also frequently not a moral question. Sin is frequently displeasing a jealous god, having other gods, not keeping a sabbath, abusing a name; not moral issues that make you better or worse at all, and these are the major points. Considering that despite popular current consensus the world does not revolve around the Middle East, Israel and old Canaanite cultures. Greek, Rome, Sumeria, Egypt achieved far, far more than ancient Judea and people have had diverse and complex religious systems through the ages. The whole “one true, living god” idea makes little sense anyway.

This all-knowing god told his first two created humans about the forbidden trees in the middle of the garden. He might as well have put up signs with big arrows and flashing lights. Since “god” set up this scenario, why play it all out with the incarnation and atonement which must be in blood? Is god also limited and bound by certain rules, and therefore inferior to some other?

Interestingly enough, Judaism and the Old Testament has nothing on a messiah who needs to atone for sins and reconcile man to god. Sin can be punished and sin can be repented, but no notion of poor pathetic humanity born bad, always bad and saved only by a bloody sacrifice. The Bible is also quite contradictory when it comes to whether there is punishment for “sins of the fathers” or everyone’s sin being their own. Most Christians don’t even believe in a literal Adam and Eve anymore but it seems Paul and Jesus did accept this notion of an “original sin”.

Illogical Christianity and the notion of ‘born bad’ has certainly left the world a very bizarre guilt trip as a legacy. Even early Christians did not all agree on the notion, but Augustine accepted it. The emotional ties to Jesus “dying for our sins” makes absolutely no sense either way.