There is a difference between the two, and although neither is 'better', or 'more valuable', it is something to consider, at least. Figuring out this question for yourself will come with a lot of clarity. That I can assure you. So, what is the difference? Religion is an interesting thing. For me, who grew up in a non-religious household, religion was something I had to learn. I started out not believing, then I wanted to believe, and over the years, I found myself religious. It took a while, to be honest. I grew up with the sense there was something there, something to explain some of the most important aspects of my life, but what (which eventually turned into 'who') was there, was a question that felt very foreign.

Religion is like a muscle; you can train it. It involves training your brain to see the divine in everything. This has nothing to do with you eyes, by the way. Eyes see--or don't see--everything. It's the brain that filters. And even if you're blind (in whatever way), there is no reason why you cannot invest in the mental pathways to a religious life. To live a religious life means to see the divine in everything, to live a life with the Gods always in mind. To shape yourself in the image They desire of you, to perform pious rites of your own free will, and to spread their message to whomever wants to hear it.

Followers of this blog are well aware I'm a very religious person. I practice to serve the Theoi. They are always on my mind, and I try to honor them with everything I do. I try to keep Their lessons in mind always, and base my life off of that. I'm not sure if that makes me a fundamentalist. I don't think it does, as I suspect the root of that entire conversation lies in people reacting strongly to being told what they should or should not do. If it does, though, I really hope my fundamentalism doesn't bother anyone; I've been very clear that I do not have a patent to the One True Way™, nor would I ever want to impose my views upon anyone. I might share them with you, but never with the intention of imposing them on you. Also, if you don't like my blog, or my person, you do not have to return to it. It would sadden me to see you go, but I would understand it.

I don't like the word 'fundamentalism', and I wish Sabina Magliocco had chosen another term. I understand wanting to be controversial--it's a sure-fire way to get readers or listeners--but putting the label 'fundamentalist' on something or someone tends to demonize them, as well as put an end to any kind of discussion. I also wish Magliocco had been clearer about the group she's talking about. I usually would not encourage finger pointing, but right now all the Pagan groups are accusing each other and the rifts that were already emerging within the community are only getting bigger. If Magliocco had a clear group in mind, I really wish she would have just come out and name it. Accuse one who is present, and all.

Magliocco and fundamentalism aside, there is a second way to honor the Gods: by being religious in life. By acknowledging the Gods and following a calendar that suits you, by making Them a part of your life, but not the main event. Religion, as a path to happiness. Obviously, this is not my way, but I support anyone for whom this manner of worship feels right. As I have said before, I don't have knowledge of the One True Way™, I just know what works for me.

Figuring out what place the Gods take in your life brings clarity and peace of mind; you can try to follow a different path, but if it does not suit you, you won't find much happiness in it. This can be a bit of a search, however, and it'll involve asking yourself the hard questions. Sometimes, it means taking some flack for your ideas. In the end, it'll be worth it, though, because not only will you have discovered something about yourself, you will have discovered a way to honor the Gods that you can stick with for years.