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Article ID: 4482
Age Group: Adult
Posted: September 4th. 2000
Wren's Bird Call 6
Wren's Bird Call of The Week comes off sounding an awful lot like, "Duh"! The UN Religious Peace Summit (You remember, the one that did not invite a Nobel Prize Winner for (duh!) Peace, the Dalai Lama, to attend because of politcs.) ended their worldwide religious tete-a-tete weekend with this grand announcement: "Religious Leaders Call For Peace." Again with the Duh!
Okay, so no Neo-Pagan religious leaders were invited and this may sound like just so much sour grapes. Pagans certainly could not have been excluded based on any sort of perceived fashion faux pas given some of the fancy bejeweled gowns that were being worn by other members of the delegations. And that was by the men- which there were a lot of- meaning there were not too many women religious leaders present- which may also be another reason that there were no Pagan religious leaders there either.
But looking at the numbers-and most importantly at the RISING numbers-of people who describe themselves as either Buddhist or Pagan and that the leaders of both of these belief systems were excluded, one has to wonder if there is a pattern here.
Let's review. Both Buddhism and Paganism are non-proselytizing, non-hierarchical faiths that support and encourage individual spiritual devotion and growth. They both-excepting for the facts that some Buddhists did fight the Chinese takeover of Tibet and that Paganism has some warrior castes of its own-are basically peaceful and non-violent in nature and extremely (sometimes to their own detriment) tolerant of other faiths and creeds. There are no membership drives, no urgent messages allegedly from on high to convert the masses happily practicing a different faith and no carved in stone dogmas that require armed troops to defend them.
Maybe, Pagans and Buddhist just don't need to spend four days locked up in some stuffy chamber in New York City to be able to come out and say, "We're not only for a peaceful world, we have spiritual ideals that can help make that hope a reality. We live them every day and they work." Maybe, Pagans and Buddhists weren't invited because that sort of spiritual thinking-appealing as it is to those who are flocking to these paths-is just too threatening to the religious institutions that depend on herds of followers to support their expensive habits.
Maybe the Pagans and the Buddhists just don't fit the spiritual 'norm' of what a religious 'leader' is perceived to be. And to my way of thinking, that is the very best reason that they both should have been there. Duh!
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