Apr 012014

Question by prairiecrow: Fellow Wiccans and Pagans, is Wicca an ancient religion? Was it invented in the 1940s? Does it matter?
Hello all:

Fellow Wiccans and Pagans, is Wicca an ancient religion? Was it invented in the 1940s? Does it matter?

(I believe that it matters very much, but would very much like to see what others have to say.)

Also, what evidence do you think there is for and against either of those positions?

As always, thanks to everyone who takes the time to respond.
Thus Saith the Lord: Thank you for demonstrating the ability of some Christians to (a) completely miss the point of a question, and (b) proselytize when it’s completely inappropriate to do so.

Best answer:

Answer by Thus saith The Lord
Wicca is a neo-pagan religion that has been growing in popularity and acceptance in the United States and Europe. There are many websites and books claiming to teach “real” Wicca, but the truth is, there is no consensus amongst Wiccans as to what the religion is all about. The reason for this is that Wicca, as it is practiced now, is only about 50 years old. Wicca is a belief system that Briton Gerald Gardner cobbled together in the 1940’s and 1950’s from a variety of religious traditions and beliefs as well as Freemason rituals. Since Gardner published several books espousing his system of worship, many offshoots and variations of Wicca have sprung up. Some Wiccans are polytheistic, worshipping more than one deity, while others worship only the “God” or the “Goddess.” Still other Wiccans worship nature, and call it Gaea, after the Greek earth goddess. Some Wiccans pick and choose parts of Christian doctrine to embrace, while others totally reject Christianity. Most practitioners of Wicca believe in reincarnation.

Most Wiccans will vehemently deny that Satan is part of their pantheon, citing major doctrinal differences between themselves and Satanists. Wiccans generally promote moral relativity, disdaining labels like “good” and “evil” and “right” or “wrong.” Wicca has one law or rule, called the Rede: “Do what ye will, harm ye none.” At first blush, the Rede seems like complete, uninhibited personal license. You can do whatever you want, as long as no one gets hurt; however, Wiccans are quick to point out the ripple effect of one’s actions can carry far-reaching consequences. They articulate this principle in the Three-fold Law, which says: “All good that a person does to another returns three-fold in this life; harm is also returned three-fold.”

One major factor that contributes to the abiding fascination with Wicca is the purported use of spells and Magick (a deliberate misspelling intended to separate Wiccans from magicians and illusionists). Curiosity seekers, as well as spiritual neophytes, are most eager to delve into these mysteries. Not all Wiccans practice witchcraft, but those that do claim Magick is to them what prayer is to a Christian. The difference between the two is that Wiccans claim magick is simply using their minds to control matter, or they are appealing to their favorite deity to do them a favor, while Christians call upon an omnipotent, omnipresent God to heal people and to intervene and work in their lives. Because the Rede disallows witches from hurting others and the Three-fold Law spells out the consequences for Rede-breakers, witches who practice magick prefer to call themselves “nature witches” or “white witches” to further distance themselves from Satanists.

Wicca is basically a religion that is about minding your own business and living peaceably with your neighbors and environment. Wiccans are eager to draw parallels between themselves and biblical Christianity for the sake of earning credibility, but what does the Bible have to say about this religion? You won’t find the word “wicca” in the Bible, so let’s evaluate the beliefs in light of what God says about them.

Wicca spells are idolism—Romans 1:25 says, “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things, rather than the Creator…” Who wants to settle for second best? In Isaiah 40, God paints a picture of how much greater the Creator is than His creation. If you are worshipping anything besides the Creator, you are not only spinning your wheels, you are guilty of idolatry.

Wiccan spells bring false hope. Hebrews 9:27 says, “…Man is destined to die once, after that, to face judgment.” God says we get one chance at life, and that is it. There are no do-overs. If we don’t accept God’s gift of Jesus in our lifetime, He judges us as unwilling to be in His presence, and we are sent to hell.

Wiccan spells bring disillusionment. Mark 7:8 says, “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.” God is God, and we are not. We have a decision to make. Are we going to take God at His word and adopt His worldview, or are we not? Knowing God takes a lot of discipline. Wicca is a religion that takes a pack of lies, ties it in a romantic ribbon, and searches out a well-intentioned, but lazy and gullible mark to sell its hollow doctrines.

Deuteronomy 18:10-12 says, “Let no one be found among you who… practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells…Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD…” Wicca witchcraft is a sin and God hates it. Why? Because it is an attempt to cut off our dependence on God and get answers apart from Him.

Sin isn’t just a heinous, socially disagreeable action. Sin is our decision to disagree with God on any topic—to rebel against Him. Sin is saying, “God, I want to live my life my way.” Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Romans

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Mar 162013

Question by Twilight: What is your take on the 1940s German Joy Division?
(this is posted especially for someone who loves their mid 20th century European History as well as female empowerment, you know who you are).

If you don’t know what the question means, don’t bother answering it.

If you do then I am especially interested in your angles on Eugenics, Female Empowerment and whether you think attitudes have changed so very much between now and then.

Best answer:

Answer by Object Of Its Ire

“Joy Division” was an English New-Wave band…
Does that qualify?

If the answer is ‘yes’ then I will continue… mowing this question down like a shiny new Panzer during Operation Barbarossa – twinking like jewels under the Summer Sunshine in the Midst of a Russian Wheatfield…

Eugenics – Bad
Female Empowerment – Good
Whether you think attitudes have changed so very much between now and then -

Thankfully, YES. We’ve made great strides – without the use of shiny new panzers.

Nowdays its not called “New Wave” anymore – they’ve dubbed it “post punk” – wtf?

“Joy Division gradually moved away from their early punk rock influences and developed a dark and gloomy sound that placed them as pioneers of the post-punk movement of the late 1970s”.

Ok, I see now that ‘Joy Division’ is the name of a film set, in part, in WWII Germany…
There are Russians involved (surprise, surprise)…

edit: Twilight
Did I win something? Do I get at least a consolation prize?

edit: Kate
I think that stuff about the SS impregnating German girls has been blown way out of proportion and sensationalised. I remember reading about this: there is no reliable evidence to support the assertion that this was a systematic government-sponsored undertaking. After all, these were conservative times. Sex outside marriage was frowned up, and out-of-wedlock births considered an abomination. Terrible: bastard children egad the sky is falling!!!

The watchwords of the day were:

“Kinder, Kueche, Kirche”
Children, Kitchen and Church.

edit: ummm…
Disabled Germans were not sent to death camps in faraway places like Poland. Very early on the ‘regime’ experimented with gassing disabled Germans (car exhast fumes) in Germany. When it was discovered what was going on there was such a public outcry the ‘programme’ was stopped dead in its tracks. After all, that demented old lady could be YOUR mother; that schizophrenic young man you see pacing in the propaganda film could be YOUR brother. Some historians have used this incident as proof that the German population had the ability to stop the Holocaust in its tracks… but it fails to fly.

I know it existed – all I am suggesting is that is has perhaps been blown out of true proportion.

The girls weren’t exactly lining up in droves like mares awaiting service…this would have been scandelous and totally repulsive to the ordinary German on the street. The idea will have gone over like a lead zeppelin…

IT WAS CALLED ‘LEBENSBORN’ (du-uh) – it’s coming back now. The actual number of Lebensborn babies and children stands at 20,000.

“ahrau and thousands of other middle-aged Europeans are struggling with the consequences of one of Nazism’s most troubling social experiments: the creation of a “Master Race.” During the 12-year history of the Third Reich, roughly 10,000 infants were born in Lebensborn homes in Germany. An equal number were born in homes in Nazi-occupied Norway after the German invasion of 1940, because Himmler admired the Norwegians’ “Viking blood,” and encouraged procreation between German soldiers and Norwegian women. There were also Lebensborn homes in France, Belgium and Luxembourg. After the war, many of the Lebensborn children grew up scorned as Nazi progeny and tormented by dark uncertainties about their origins. Those who tried to get answers were often stymied by Germans long reluctant to confront their Nazi past. Their natural or foster parents often kept mum about the Lebensborn program; the German media didn’t report on Himmler’s racial experiments for decades. The destruction of thousands of German Lebensborn files by SS troops during the last days of World War II deepened the mystery of the children’s real identities.

But recently some of the 20,000 Lebensborn children have been getting answers. Last December, German TV reporters uncovered 1,000 long-unnoticed Lebensborn files at the German government archive in Berlin, and two Norwegian Lebensborn organizations are now helping many local war children trace their parents. For many Lebensborn children, the revulsion they feel as they learn more about their backgrounds often goes together with a sense of relief at assembling the missing fragments of their lives. “They have reached the end of their careers, their children are grown and they have time to think about who they really are,” says Georg Lilienthal, a German scholar who in 1985 wrote the first authoritative book about Himmler’s racial-engineering program. “For many it has been nothing but a black hole.”

Himmler planned it that way. The Lebensborn homes sprang from a central tenet of Nazi ideology: the idea that no Germanic baby should go unborn. In 1933 the newly installed Nazi dictatorship outlawed all abortions and later executed doctors who violated the law. In August 1936 Himmler opened the first Lebensborn home at Steinhöring outside Munich, offering Aryan women a place where they could deliver their illegitimate babies and keep the births secret from the outside world. Himmler’s SS built nine such homes in Germany,refurbished hotels, villas, ski chalets and schools,and 10 in Norway. The identities of the mothers were recorded in tightly guarded Lebensborn files, which the SS kept separate from municipal and church ultimately decided to keep their babies, but hundreds,out of shame or financial necessity,turned the children over for adoption by high-ranking SS officials, or abandoned them.”

edit: I posted a question asking as to the origin of the term
“Joy Division” in the Yahoo History Section and here is one of 2 responses I got:

“No, it has nothing to do with Lebensborn. The term “Joy Division” comes from a 1955 novel, “The House of Dolls” by Ka-tzetnik 135633. The so-called “Joy Divisions” in the novel were groups of Jewish women who were kept in concentration camps to service the sexual needs of Nazi soldiers. Whether or not this actually happened, I’m not sure, and I’m inclined to think that it didn’t.

The Lebensborn programme was indeed real, but it’s been sensationalized since the end of World War II and made into a virtual brothel where “Aryan” girls were sent to be impregnated by SS men. In reality, it was a shelter for already-pregnant “Aryan” girls.”

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Jun 172011

Swing Shift: “All-Girl” Bands of the 1940s

The forgotten history of the “all-girl” big bands of the World War II era takes center stage in Sherrie Tucker’s Swing Shift. American demand for swing skyrocketed with the onslaught of war as millions—isolated from loved ones—sought diversion, comfort, and social contact through music and dance. Although all-female jazz and dance bands had existed since the 1920s, now hundreds of such groups, both African American and white, barnstormed ballrooms, theaters, dance halls, military insta

List Price: $ 23.95


Oct 112010

In part because of rejection rates during the World War II draft, concerns about the health – including mental health – of the US population developed in the 1940s. The issue was further spotlighted by efforts to deal with readjustment of returning veterans. Hollywood films such as “Spellbound” (1945) and “The Snakepit” (1948) also highlighted the issue. This video provides a popular introduction to the issue. At the time, drug therapies often used today were not available. The only such therapy mentioned is insulin injection. Electroshock is shown as a treatment for depression. There is a vague discussion of brain surgery – perhaps a reference to lobotomy. A version of group therapy is also shown. Psychoanalysis is briefly referenced.

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