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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Nov. 17, 2002   This Page Viewed: 16,714,650  

Vox Q Stats

Times Viewed: 32,767

Reponses: 108

Lurker/Post Ratio: 303 to 1

Question of the Week: 33 - 3/19/2001

What Is The Appropriate Response to Bigotry and Religious Hatred?

What do you do when someone attacks you for simply being a Pagan? Would this color your perception of all practitioners of that religion? Or would you see it as the act of an individual who may or may not reflect the views of the entire religion? Many Pagans are Wiccans. Does that mean that Wiccans must 'forgive and forget' in order to abide by the Rede? Must we embrace in the name of 'interfaith relations' those who follow a religion that directly or actively campaigns against Pagans? Should we all just 'go along to get along'? When it is appropriate to say "Enough!" and when should we just let it go? What about those anti-Pagan religious sites? What do YOU do when someone hates you just because you are Pagan?

 Reponses:   There are 108 responses posted to this question. Reverse Sort 

Lately It Seems, And Forgive The Language But, "you're Damned If You... Mar 18th. at 9:45:48 pm EST

Tanais (Spokane, Washington US) Age: 20

Lately it seems, and forgive the language but, "you're damned if you do and damned if you don't." I hate to blend quotes here but a reoccuring theme from world war II was "evil happens because good people do nothing." Granted World War II was not a religious war but lately it seems we have the making of one here in the United States. So as far as combating hate, in my opinion there isn't a whole lot anyone can do. Try and explain something, and they give their version of facts which just breeds bad feelings. Someone from "their side" tries to increase the peace and at least tries to convice the "other side" isn't all bad they get labeled a traitor. Letting things slide isn't much of an improvement on things because people will believe lies if they are given only lies. I give this proposal from a documentary movie I once saw but at present forget the title. People from all different racial backgrounds all convene to discuss the various ways they live. The moderator at the ending of the film referred this to be his greatest accomplishment. The people involved grew before my eyes and made me realize things about myself I didn't even notice. The same thing could help as well. Why not have people of various faiths meet and learn from each other about what it is to be someone of a differing faith? I know that ministers have a program like this in fact a few months ago a big deal was made about the Dali Lama could not attend and also various "minority religions" as well. I'm talking something on a little bit lesser scale. Talking to people not at the pulpits and the altars. Even if it only results in one person gaining some deeper insight into themself then I think it's worth it.

What Do You Do? Keep On Revealing The Hatred, Showing It For... Mar 18th. at 9:42:54 pm EST

S. John Browne (Pietermaritzburg) Age: 27 - Email

What do you do? Keep on Revealing the Hatred, Showing it for what it is. And then offer the Alternative. Of course they are not going to like being exposed for what they are. Of course they will accuse you of all sorts of things. And of course they will use their cronies in government to help them out by banning you and/or limiting you. Because they want to portray their beliefs in their words and their words alone. To paint it as being the Only "Rational" viewpoint and anybody who comes along and shows the Real nature of their Hate will come under attack. They want us to Keep Quiet. But most of all they want us To Fight With Ourselves.

To be honest i think there has been too much "forgetting" on the part of Pagans. We go out of our way to bend to their desires. To show just how Nice a people we are and how we deserve their respect. We have done that to gain their recognition and respect, two things they will Never give us. What has happened is that Pagans have been doing all the compromising. It's time to Stand Up And Say "This Is What We Are. Too Bad If You Don't Like It". If we had done that before maybe we wouldn't be at the point that we are now at where our Youth are killing themselves.

I have been thinking a lot over the last week about Tempest and How I As An Individual Pagan Am To Blame. Yes i live over the ocean and in another country but I Am Still To Blame because i have Compromised My Values, I have Failed To Reach Out To Younger Ones Because Of Fear. Each One Of Us Is To Blame For Fighting With Each Other Over Differences In Belief And Viewpoints Instead Of Uniting On What We Agree On. Our Enemies Are Using That Against Us. It's time that we all got together For Our Rights. We don't have to believe exactly the same thing to be Unified In Out Fight Against This Hatred. Our Diversity is Our Strength but at the same time we must show that Spiritually We Are Diverse, Politically We Are Unified. Most of all we must Treat Each And Every Other Pagan With The Respect That They Deserve and we must Treat Ourselves With Respect As Individuals.

What To Do In The Face Of Religious Bigotry? You Are Speaking... Mar 18th. at 9:33:29 pm EST

Tarostar (Toronto, Ontario CA) Age: 58 - Email

What to do in the face of religious bigotry? You are speaking to an In-Your-Face old Witch who has never suffered open attack from fundy Xtians.
Being of my age, I suppose they feel I'm beyond hope for their ministrations, spiritual or physical.

The European immigrants and those from the West Indies generally never want to give an open Witch a hard time. They don't want their luck to change.

Some will spit through their fingers (Mano Cornuto) when passing on the street,
But I simply chortle gruffly and make them all the more nervous.

The local Parish Priest has his Rectory situated away from his Church WITH THE OCCULT SHOP positioned inbetween. He dashes to and from Church daily,
past the shop avoiding direct eye contact. So, I deliberately give him a cheery
"G'morning, Padre!" to watch him squirm.

I feel it is important to ferret out and publish all the Pagan Roots of Xtianity,
rubbing them in xtian faces at every opportunity.

It is very hard for them to deny the objective facts of History.

It becomes clear the moral and ethical standards xtians claim and cling to so
vehemenently show themselves as first having been Pagan.

The fact Xtianity is a variation on Pagan Greek Mystery Cult, dressed in Jewish drag, parading as History brought out into public view disconcerts xtians to no end. Presenting similarities and the xtian evolution of Pagan ideals seems to be difficult for them to fathom. More of it needs to be done.

My reaction is: Up the old Gods, down with the cross! BB

The Response Depends Upon The Situation. As In All Things, The Correct... Mar 18th. at 8:48:25 pm EST

L. (New York, New York US) Age: 19 - Email

The response depends upon the situation. As in all things, the correct response is relative. There is no one correct way to deal with religious hatred. However, some ways I, as an ethical pagan, would recommend are:
1. Advocacy. The pagan community needs more torchbearers. This should not be confused with proselytization (I think the christians have that one covered) - but, when possible, do your part to strengthen the community. When you hear someone bashing your group, try and talk to them or refute their statements. Refute all bigoted statements, not just the religious ones.
2. Live your religion. If you allow your personal belief system to guide your actions, your actions will become more informed and powerful, whatever they are. Be a living testament, I suppose.
3. Ignorance is bliss. If you can't work with them, if they won't listen, walk away. Just walk away.
As far as actual hate crimes go, report them to the proper authorities and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. If local law enforcement won't help, contact organizations that will (ACLU, various pagan organizations, etc). Take whatever steps necessary to protect yourself.
We need to walk a fine line between living our faith and protecting ourselves. I wish it weren't so.

I React In A Mature Manner. I Am Shameful To Admit That... Mar 18th. at 8:19:46 pm EST

Emma (Ottawa, Ontario CA) Age: 16 - Email

I react in a mature manner. I am shameful to admit that I do tend to stereotype religions based on who attacks me but I don't let my opinions known .If they are willing to listen I talk to them. If they aren't then it's a waste of my time. I'm just thankful that I'm more open-minded than them. No one can make you "forgive and forget." It's a choice that comes from yourself. Don't let it eat you up inside. Forgive them for yourself. You are required to respect all faiths but that doesn't mean support them. There is a difference between telling someone their beliefs are stupid than their beliefs are close-minded. If you respect them, they are more likely to respect you. Some people assume that because you are not of their religion, you are against them. Let them know you that is simply not the case. It also helps to inform yourself of their religion. Lead by example.

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