Articles/Essays From Pagans
May 19th. 2013 ...
The Role of Identity in Magic
Talking Trash? It's a Dirty Subject but Waste Happens.
My Wiccan Journey
13 Keys: The Victory of Netzach
May 12th. 2013 ...
Pagan Studies I: How Should We Define Modern Paganism?
The Third Path
Nothing Special... Part Two
May 5th. 2013 ...
The Value of Multicultural Awareness
Put Your Back Into It (Our Lady of the Sacred Honey Badger)
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Red Lipped Bat Fish
April 28th. 2013 ...
Lessons from the Lessers: Iris
April 21st. 2013 ...
Taken By The Goddess: The Crescent Moon Tattoo
The Gods/Being Godbothered
To Be A Witch
The Archetypes are Gods: Re-godding the Archetypes
April 14th. 2013 ...
On The Inclusion of Children
'Wand Fun' With Grandson
Lessons from a Baby
Lessons of Freedom: On Divinity and Healing
April 7th. 2013 ...
Out of the Broom Closet... Sorta
A Journey Through the Witches Tarot
History and Science Behind Numerology
March 31st. 2013 ...
What is the Magickal Self?
Ethics and Numerology
March 24th. 2013 ...
Keystones of the Sacred Land
March 17th. 2013 ...
Why Some Pagans and Witches Still Hide
Witch Heritage 101: What Happens When Witch Haters Joke about anti-Witch Films
I'm Not a Broom. So What's with the Closet?
March 10th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Things I Did as a New Pagan: Part 3
Hunting for the Real Witch in Film
The Collective Shadow
Lies - The Opposite of Truth
March 3rd. 2013 ...
Grounding and Releasing Negative Energy
A Patchwork of Magick
February 24th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I Made as a New Pagan (Part Two)
February 17th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I made as a New Pagan... Part One
Gardening with Crystal Energies
A Call from the Ancestors
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Black Water Snakes
February 10th. 2013 ...
We Are the Weirdos, Mister: A Completely Uncool Story of Origin
February 3rd. 2013 ...
"I'll Grind Your Bones to Make my Bread": Pagans and Animal Husbandry
The Role of Contemporary Culture in Magic
A Pagan Response to Endangered Earth
The Great Mother's Gift, Heinlein, and the Nature of Squirrels
13 Keys: The Glory of Hod
January 27th. 2013 ...
Why We Do Need Wicca
The Cosmos In the Coffee Shop
On Travel Spirituality and Magick
January 20th. 2013 ...
Beloved Backs and How to Save Them
Building or Burning Bridges?
Plants, Magic and Intuition
Plagiarism - How It Harms Our Community
January 13th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés
The Magick and Power of Words
Aging Is Not Easy
The Riddle of Who We Are?
January 6th. 2013 ...
Wicca v Witchcraft
A Witch in the Closet
How Many People Can You Fit Under An Umbrella?
Gut Hunches, Mouse Dreams, and Pinkie Sense
December 30th. 2012 ...
Ritual "Cheat Sheet" Bracelet
Magick is All Around Us
Confessions of a Living Satyr
A Tiny Bit of Belly Dance History
December 23rd. 2012 ...
The Warrior Goddess and You.
World Change: A Message from Greece
What's the Meaning of Life, Anyway?
My Brother's Keeper
December 16th. 2012 ...
Keeping Christ in Xmas
Love is the Law
Listen to Your Heart's Wisdom
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Building or Burning Bridges?
Article ID: 15262
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 123
Times Read: 2,087
RSS Views: 8,938
Author: The Redneck Pagan
Posted: January 20th. 2013
Times Viewed: 2,087
I recently was cruising on Facebook (Ok, let's face it; I was wasting time and avoiding housework) when I came across a post from another pagan that caught my attention:
“I know quite a few Christians who are intelligent, kind, and true to their belief in God/Jesus. I'm able to have fairly good conversations with these people; they are articulate and present their arguments, don't force opinions, and in general actually listen to you when you tell them about your beliefs. Knowing all this, I feel as though I need to send out "I'm sorry you're thought to be stupid because there are stupid people who also believe the same things you do" cards...”
I mean, I don't even know. I need to stop reading comments. It's almost become a mantra: "I know lots of intelligent Christians.” “Not all Christians are like this." *sigh*”
Currently the Catholic Church sponsors thousands of schools around the world, schools in countries that have allowed people with no other opportunities in life to become something and to build a future for themselves. Catholic missions worldwide also offer hospitals; many of these hospitals provide medical services to the most impoverished people in the world. Many of the Church's nuns train as nurses in order to work at these hospitals to heal. Many of these hospitals are located in war torn countries where supplies and safety is scarce.
A prime example is the mission of Mother Theresa. One cannot help but stop and marvel at her and her nuns’ compassion and strength of will to carry on in a place the rest of the world forgot. Thousands of these people work in the places that the “civilized” world has forgotten. Members of the church often do volunteer work in their communities. My own cousin recently visited a mission on Hastings Street in Vancouver (for those who are unaware this area of Vancouver is full of drug dealers and users, prostitutes, mentally ill, homeless and others that most people consider unsavory) . Several churches in the area have come together to provide soup kitchens, social services, overnight shelters and clothing for the people there. My grandmother knits scarves, mitts, hats and sweaters for people who cannot afford warm clothing.
The Catholic Church is not the only Christian group that runs soup kitchens, schools and hospitals. I only use them as the example right now because they are the most well known. Worldwide, thousands of people donate time, resources and money to help their fellow humans. And the followers are not the only ones. Countless Priests, Ministers, Padres and Reverends offer free services to their communities. Often they do grief counseling, couples counseling, trauma counseling and spiritual counseling for their members, healing broken hearts and broken relationships. Many of them are severely under paid by industry standards for the work they do for their followers.
Now many people would argue against me -- citing the terrors of the “Burning Times” (another rant I might touch upon on a later post) and other inquisitions -- that missions around the world are there to convert people. Well, I have to be honest. This is one area where I disagree with the missions; however I understand that they believe they are helping. For the most part, we are long past the days of “Convert or die”. People have a choice to convert to the faith of the missionaries or not. As for the past, it is the past; I cannot blame the current practitioners for the mistakes of their predecessors. I can only learn from those mistakes and find a way to move forwards.
So going back to the original post. Yes that person was correct: not all Christians are like the one she quoted. What struck me was the condescending manner in which she made her statement. I wondered why on earth even bother to bring it up?
I put this up because I wanted to note that there is a predominate tendency in many pagan circles to bash members of the Christian faith. I never hear other pagans bash the Muslims, the Jewish, the Buddhists, the Hindu, or any other faith! However Christians in our circles get a bad rap, one I do not think they deserve. They are blamed for the past, called narrow minded, and everybody has a horror story about the bad Christians in their lives and the most predominant “I know not all Christians are bad, but...” story.
And yes, I have had some bad experiences myself, but what is the point of bringing it up? I dealt with the situation as it arose. It was that individual I had a problem with. I do not see it as a flaw in his religion as much as I see it as a flaw in his character. To make a sweeping statement of “Not all Christians are like that but you would not believe what this jerk did” is not productive and will not help anybody. I believe that acting and speaking in this manner is only going to create tension and animosity between us and members of other faiths, rather than building bridges and mutual respect and understanding. I know most people would jump down someone's throat if a Christian said, “I know not all Pagans are like this but this one psycho I met...”
By bringing up the topic of religion first, rather than the actions of the individual, it comes across to me as an attack upon that faith group in general first, and then upon the character of the person secondly. It's like saying that the religion is the fault, not the person.
I would like to challenge Pagans to think about the way they approach situations like this and the way that they talk about people from other faith groups. Are we really practicing the tolerance and understanding we want from others? Or are we just looking to create conflict and burn bridges?
The Redneck Pagan
The Redneck Pagan
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