What vision comes to mind when the word Atheist enters a conversation? Do the same visions flash when the term Paganism becomes the topic? Worldwide, both bring feelings of loathing and a little fear. The Christian faith, while celebrating their holidays on days once reserved for Pagan rituals, shun Paganism and have firmly defined the practice as cult worship. Often, when violent acts are committed against the Church, Atheists top the list of suspects. Before casting judgment on these two mysterious sects, study the basic beliefs of both. Learn the differences between them and understand how they fit into society. Understanding bridges a gap that fills with hatred and distrust if left untended.
Atheists do not believe in God or the existence of Gods. Broken into two groups, soft Atheism leans toward not believing because there is no evidence to substantiate such a being ever existed. This group would gladly become God loving people if concrete evidence proved God lived now, or in the past. Soft Atheists almost fall into the category of Agnostic.
Hard Atheists absolutely do not believe in God, Gods or any divine Creator. They will argue with solid scientific evidence that God has never existed and no one will ever prove He did. The world around us proves no Divine presence lives. Faith is a waste of time and humankind needs to live for humankind.
Pagans differ from Atheists in many regards. Pagan groups include Celtic, Druid and Wicca. Each bases their beliefs on the theory of an Earth Mother who is the Creator. They worship the Gods of the Earth and the Heavens. Some are benevolent some are mischievous and they are all ancient. Pagan rituals celebrate the seasons, the four elements and the circle of life. Everything on Earth and in the universe is born, lives and dies. The circle never ends nor is there a discernible beginning. They wish harm on no one knowing that harm will come back and hurt him or her 100 times over. Pagans are environmentalists, teachers, artists and executives for multinational corporations.
Like Atheists, Pagans do not believe in one God. They leave very little to faith alone and they do not believe just one Creator created the Earth and universe. Both believe the Earth and all on it will eventually perish. Atheists believe this because nothing in this world is immortal. Pagans believe this because the whole of humanity continues to destroy the planet and it cannot survive unless that destructive behavior stops now. Neither of these groups intentionally harms others. Atheists are often confused with racist hate-groups while Pagans are confused with Satanists. Satanists and Pagans are completely different. Satanists believe in one God; but chose to worship the angel, Satan, who God cast from Heaven to rule the underworld. In the same line of thought, Pagan rituals and witchcraft are two different ceremonies. Spells to harm others or bind another soul are works of witchcraft.
Radical anti-government groups, racists and terrorists believe God intended one group rule the Earth. Each race believes they are the chosen ones and all other people must serve them. There are constant upheavals and war declared in the name of God. The radicals, racists and terror groups, not Atheists, bring these about. Both Pagans and Atheists often take blame for wrongdoings in which they do not participate. The two groups suffer from thousands of years of misinterpreted language and the rumors of the uninformed. Understand, no one can be judged by another label.