Anti-Christian Prejudice in the Pagan Community
Article ID: 11813
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: August 5th. 2007
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I remember the first few times I encountered Anti-Christian sentiments in the Pagan community. I had started a yahoo group for my local pagan community and amongst the first batch of members was a good friend of mine who is a Ceremonial Magician, Mason, and Christian. In addition to being a good friend who helped me face some rough times in my life, PK was also instrumental in helping me find reliable books about Ceremonial Magick at that time in my life where I decided I finally had to study some of the deeper levels of magic (or magick if you prefer).
Like I say he is a good friend, and extremely Pagan friendly (his wife is one), so I was rather surprised when he unsubscribed from the list. In discussing it with him he mentioned an anti-Christian comment that someone had made on list and how he had dealt with anti-Christian attitudes before and he didn’t want to have to put up with them.
At the time I thought he was over reacting. The comment had been a half sentence remark about a very visible local fundamentalist Christian minister.
Life moved on…
Then couple of years later there was a story going round the net, about a Sunrise Easter service in the San Francisco Bay area interrupted by a ‘pagan’ group marching in drumming and chanting “We’re here too!”
Rolls eyes heavenwards…
Then of course there are the comments in Wrens Nest where a lot of folks commenting about various news stories feel obligated to bash Christians. Or the many times over the last 15 years where I’ve heard folks make anti-Christian comments at events.
For me the last straw happened on Beltane of 2005, sadly I didn’t even hear about the incident until much later. My partner, a wonderful, kind, thoughtful, cheerful … ok, he’s my Partner and I think he’s the Bee’s Knees! Anyway he is also a Seventh Day Adventist and he had accompanied me, out of curiosity and to understand my faith, to a Beltane circle at the local U.U. CUUP’s chapter. Apparently, at that event some folks made some disparaging remarks about Christianity in general and Seventh Day Adventism in particular.
I didn’t learn about these comments until about a year later, after we had moved across country, when he didn’t want to come out to the Wiccan Religious Cooperative of Florida’s monthly Pagan Picnic and he told me about the comments. This sweet, sensitive, man hadn’t wanted to hurt my feelings and reluctantly told me that….
“You have a very rosy view of the Pagan community and I didn’t want to say anything to upset you….”
My husbear was so deeply hurt by some mindlessly spouted bit of bigotry that he didn’t want to associate socially with folks from the Pagan community because he didn’t want to be hurt again.
Hate is hate folks. It does not matter who you are denigrating.
“Those Christians are so dumb…”
“God hates ***s…”
“Mormons are such hypocrites…”
“Two N***er’s walk into a bar….”
“Every time a Republican dies, a Queer Angel gets his wings….”
“Get a load of this X-tian funniementalist…”
Hate is hate, and you can try to justify it with some back story of how you’ve been hurt, you can say that the ever present “they” bad-mouth us so why shouldn’t we bad-mouth “Them”, you can say you were only joking, you can make any sort of excuse you want… but in the end you are responsible for what you say and do. No one else! In the end hate is hate, however and for whatever reason it may be expressed.
Perhaps some of you who badmouth Christianity were raised in that faith under bad circumstances. Perhaps you’ve been hurt in dealings with Fundamentalist Christians in the past. If you badmouth Christianity for either of those reasons aren’t you just giving the specific Christians who hurt you (who hardly represent ALL Christians, despite claims to the contrary) continuing power over you?
If you are judging the entirety of Christianity by the words or actions of a few aren’t you doing the same thing that a lot of Christian extremists have done to the Pagan community?
I believe that a lot of bigotry, and don’t think that hating on the Christians isn’t a form of bigotry, is the result of ignorance. The cure for ignorance is education, and here are a few useful sources of information.
This is a fascinating and detailed website with over 3, 750 essays on the topic of religion. All Religions! If you have a question, or concern, regarding a religious group or want to learn the why and wherefores of a particular faith groups beliefs this is one of the most reliable sources of information!
This online encyclopedia gets a bad rep sometimes because anyone can go in and edit an article, but their contributors and editorial staff do an amazing job of correcting any misinformation and vandalism as quickly as possible.
If you are capable of critical reading this site is fantastically useful for information of all sorts.
Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism: A Bishop Rethinks the Meaning of Scripture. By John Shelby Spong ISBN: 0060675187
This is a fascinating and heartfelt book by the former Episcopal Bishop of New Jersey. He is one of the leading voices of Liberal Christianity. He is a fascinating author and well worth reading by anyone interested in the topic of the history of the Christian Bible as a text.
Before closing I would like to quote one of the least written about, or talked about, passages from Doreen Valiente’s Charge of the Goddess…
“Sing! Feast! Dance! Make music and Love all in my praise and presence. For mine is the Spirit of Ecstasy, and mine as well is joy on Earth, and Love Unto All Beings in My Law.”
In the end, hate is hate, and I would rather try to live a life of love.
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