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September 15th. 2013 ...
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NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Why We Should Agree to Disagree
Article ID: 11979
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: August 19th. 2007
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I was wandering around on the Internet the other day and came across an article on Wicca and Christianity. As I began to read it, I felt as though someone had punched me physically in the stomach, such was the hatred and vehemence behind the words.
A large portion of it was dedicated to emphasizing how, according to the Bible, Witches are Satanists, heretics and sinners, i.e. children of the devil. We do not follow their texts and their God and so we are painted as being evil and wrong.
The author dismisses emails he had received from Wiccans informing him that we do not believe or have a place for a devil in our faith and pointing him towards websites such as witchvox.com for a clearer view of our faith, by stating that just because we do not acknowledge Satan does not mean that it is not he who leads us.
It is an example of the shining white of the Christian God; if we do not worship him then we must be completely dark and led by Satan. It is a comfort to me that the Lord and Lady are both light, dark and shades of grey, and so nothing I experience will ever be a mystery to them but rather a part of them.
Instead of becoming angry at the intolerance in the words, I found myself considering the similarities between the two faiths, rather than the differences. Wiccans believe that the divine is represented by both male and female, the God and Goddess who were created by The One.
A popular school of thought is that all Goddesses are one; different aspects of the female divine that can be found in every pantheon, the same applies to the God and the male divine. This could be interpreted as there being one God.
The concept of a Goddess places the first stumbling block, and yet Christianity does have a female figurehead in the form of the Virgin Mother (notably Catholicism in which Mary can be revered even more than Jesus, especially by the women).
Ignoring the inherent dehumanization of her title, Mary the Virgin Mother does provide a female influence even if her importance in relation to the Christian God is generally iniquitous within the texts and their followers.
It may be suggested that, similar to the Triple Goddess, the Christian God is considered to have three aspects, which make up the Holy Trinity; the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, although Christians have said that this is not the case and that the three are One together, rather than being three separate aspects of the One.
This is rather confusing as they are mentioned separately by name in the new testament and yet the old testament uses the term 'God/Lord' throughout, suggesting that the two options are synonymous like the Goddess, whose three aspects can be spoken to separately or as one; but all are the Goddess.
I see more similarities on a moral level, the Bible containing parables and passages about the way you should treat your fellow man.
The Bible contains the story of Moses and the 10 commandments - the Christian 'laws' if you will, such as "Thou shalt not steal...commit murder...adultery, etc.
We Wiccans have one law 'An' it harm none, do as thou wilt'. It seems to me that this encompasses the 10 commandments and more besides, but without all the negative commands such as 'Put to death any woman who practices magic' (Exodus 22:18).
Are the two faiths really all that different?
I mean obviously there are differences in outlook as Wiccans do not seek to recruit others or disparage their paths as each person's path is their own, but surely it is how people behave towards each other that is most important, not the fine details of exactly what they believe?
A point was made that Wiccans have no place or need for forgiveness within our faith and so no concept of sin. I personally believe this to be untrue, anything which goes against the Rede is wrong and therefore could be considered a 'sin', it is just that we do not need to ask forgiveness from a perfect God, but rather seek understanding and forgiveness from a divine that is both darkness and light and therefore a divine that understands.
As we are a part of the divine, we must also be able to forgive ourselves our mistakes and make conscious efforts to learn from them, so that they may not repeat themselves.
I suppose a concise way of looking at it would be that Wiccans try to make up for our mistakes while we are alive, and so learn lessons, rather than pay for them and be punished once we have died.
Perhaps what I will say next will seem simplistic, but if everyone made the effort to see common areas rather than differences we may all be better off and happier in ourselves.
Even if this means placing importance on different (and possibly more constructive) parts of the Bible teachings such as "Love thy neighbor as thy brother", "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you" and "Judge not, lest ye be judged" ('Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to ye again' Ibid 7:1-2).
There are more cultures, faiths and origins in today's society than we can count and yet intolerance and prejudice has not been diminished.
With the growing unrest and suspicion due to the ongoing wars and the media panic over terrorism where everyone is a potential enemy, tolerance needs all the help it can get - even if it means that those who walk in peace must agree to disagree in order to concentrate on the wider issues.
- Christians Don't Understand Wicca? David J Stewart
- The Holy Bible
Location: Sheffield, England
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