Questions, But No Answers?
Article ID: 14744
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: September 25th. 2011
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Many people ask hard questions: “Why do good people suffer?" “How can I cope with the anxiety of life?" “What happens to me when I die?". All these questions I have seen printed in any religious tract or pamphlet. Christianity, in its broadest sense, tries to help others make sense of these questions and offers a comforting answer. Many however, I think, are misguided when trying to bring others to the "light".
I am not sure about anyone else but for some reason especially here in the South, I am not approached to answer these questions. Is this because of the stigma that Paganism has been stuck with because of the years of brainwashing by the churches and media? Or is this because of our own laziness in not trying to really educate those around us of our spiritual beliefs? I have to come to the conclusion that BOTH are true. Most of the time, the shortcomings that happen in life are never due to one thing alone; there is a mix of things that influence the outcome.
We have all seen how that one person can influence the future of millions. There are several examples throughout history that provide us with data. There is the Martin Luther who rejected the Church’s belief that he must go through a priest to talk to God. Instead he insisted that man could talk directly to God. We have Gerald Gardener and Laurie Cabot, and Selena Fox who have all put their lives, literally, on the line to ensure that freedom of religion is just that; freedom of religion! Many who came here to America did not come to establish a Christian government. They came here to establish a government free from religious influence. They wanted a government that was built on good morals and ethics and that would stand the test of time. However, as the years progressed, our government was perverted and began to follow a more religious focus than it ever had before.
This being said, what can we do as Pagans to educate others? The answer to that question is a vast one. For starters: "Speak Up!” When someone asks, "What happens to me when I die?" why not pipe up and share your view on it, instead of just saying nothing because you think your view will be shunned or shot down. Do you think that it was easy for Laurie Cabot to wear her robes every day and receive nasty calls and emails? Do you think it was easy for Raymond Buckland and Selena Fox to write things that expressed their beliefs and their convictions? Of course the answer is, Not At All! So if these great people can do this then surely you can share your belief about death.
The beginning of education starts with you! Be active. For many years, we have sat passively by, saying that we do not want to shove our religion down other people’s throats. To address this statement, I just want to say that there is a difference between sharing your beliefs and shoving it down people’s throats. Being active in your education of others is not wrong; it is necessary.
Imagine that you saw someone who was walking and there was something blocking their way and they could fall and be hurt because of this obstruction. Would you sit by and say, "Oh well. I guess they will be all right. I don’t want them to think I am being bossy." No, you would say, "Look out! Don’t fall." Making a person aware that they could have been hurt will make them grateful and might also make them open to anything that you might have to say in the future.
Now I know there will be that one person who will say, "No, some people don’t like being made aware that they might make a mistake." I can agree with this because some people are this way. But for the sake of what I said, we are going with it. :-) This article is not to say that you won’t be met with opposition but merely making one aware of the possibilities of being active in the education of others.
Just as Christians claim such great love, and peace from God, so we as Pagans can claim this love and peace from the Goddess and God, or whatever your particular pantheon is. This great love and peace can be attained no matter what your spiritual path. We all have personal struggles that we deal with every day. If you are human and you live on this planet, there is going to come some rough times, whether a loved one has died, the loss of a job, or even a natural disaster. I feel that all these things happen to bring loved ones and others closer together. The Goddess is everywhere, is she not? She is ever-present and so is her love and companionship. If we as pagans cannot share that same love and companionship in hard times then we have let ourselves become detached from Her and made our religion something that it should not be: robotic.
I fear that we have all become so scared of looking anything like Christianity that we have shunned away some very helpful tools. Many Christians are proud of who they are. They openly discuss how their life was changed and how things are looking up for them just because they turned to their God. Do we not have this same boast? Do we not have love and happiness? Of course we do! So why do we not share it?
I do not feel by sharing that we are trying to convert, do not misunderstand. However, by sharing that great love and understanding, many people may feel the peace and hope that maybe they did not when talking with Suzie who goes to (insert church name here) .
Do not feel that your opinion is meaningless; make it known. Maybe by your words you have paved the way for other pagans who are so scared to come out that they fight with themselves daily about their spiritual choices. When I first discovered Paganism, I did not have anyone to talk to or anyone to discuss or ask questions too. Later, after I came out, people who were friends for years started coming out of the woodwork and talked to me. I was disappointed, to say the least, that those who could have helped me did not until I was open with my faith.
In conclusion, I would like to just say that many out there have questions but there are no answers for them. They spend their lives searching for something but never know what it is they need. I say to us all, as Pagans, that we must not be afraid to share. Our silence will be our undoing. I do not mean to say that we should go knocking door to door sharing the ‘good news’. However, we should just make the effort to share when our opinion is asked in every day conversation. Do not be afraid to speak up but rather have courage… for the Goddess is in you and all around us all.
Blessed Be! ) O (
Location: Athens, Alabama
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