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.
The Paradox of Acceptance
Article ID: 14194
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 887
Times Read: 2,156
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Author: Michael Wolfheart
Posted: December 19th. 2010
Times Viewed: 2,156
It seems to me that we just can't stop arguing. I'm not talking about the Pagan community specifically, but humanity as a whole. Whether it is about religion, habits, or upbringing we just can't keep our opinions to ourselves, we have to try to force them upon others too.
Sadly enough, it is almost more noticeable within the Pagan community. For a community that promotes open-mindedness, sharing, and tolerance, we argue amongst ourselves about the details like no other. Does the “Threefold Law” apply to all or just Wiccans? Is it all right to assume that when one mentions “witches” that they are talking about Wiccans? Can Satanists be called Witches? Are we all a bunch of kooks who can't stop our bellyaching? Are the fundies trying to start another crusade? Are the Christians as a whole out to get everyone?
Think of how this must look to an outsider. It's pure chaos. It looks like we, as a community can't get our act together enough to be seen as a valid. It looks as if we are the largest hypocrites of the century, preaching open-mindedness and acceptance while engaging in witch-fights behind closed doors. It's ridiculous.
To be fair, however, all of the other religious communities have had a couple hundred years to sort out their little detail fights. We, on the other hand are relatively new. Of course, I'm referring to the community, not the religions, but that is not an excuse. There really are no excuses.
I've been Pagan for nearly a decade now. I'll admit, when I first started I was one argumentative (expletive deleted by author) . I believed that everything I read from certain books was the absolute truth. I fought tooth and nail against anyone who tried to challenge that, but I was a freshly converted Christian. It was how I had been trained. However, as I've grown I've researched and watched and slowly realized “Gods...I was an idiot back then.” And now I thank the gods for every time I don't fly off the handle when someone has a differing religious opinion from mine. The way I figure it, my opinions are my own and their opinions are their own. If they disagree let them disagree, it's their right.
Everyone will believe something slightly differently than everyone else. That is a social norm. When it comes to religion, people tend to get a little heated. Why? Because religious beliefs are much closer to the heart and soul than other beliefs. Normally, this wouldn't be a problem, but when you're talking about a site devoted to religious discussion and debate, things end badly quite often.
They don't need to, however. In fact they should start and end as an exchange of ideas, not as the sort of “I'm right and you're stupid” that they are now. When you see someone saying something about paganism that you don't agree with your answer shouldn't be “That's wrong! My way is the only one that's right!” It should be, “Interesting, I'd like to discuss that idea with you sometime.”
Do you honestly think that our ancestors who, might I remind you all, practiced these religions in the first place bickered constantly as we do? I'd like to think not. I'd like to think that they shared ideas as farmers share farming techniques today. Perhaps for the same purpose. “What? You're having issues with your crops? Well you should try this ritual to *insert god/dess of agriculture here*. I was having the same problem last year and this year my crops are yielding better than ever.” “Oh yeah I tried that last time, it didn't work...though I never thought to use *insert ritual component here* as an offering. Maybe I'll try again then.”
Of course our problem is slightly different from theirs. Where as within their communities they practiced the same religion, today our community is a melting pot of all religions. We're expecting our peers within the community to believe our religion and not theirs and...well...that flies about as well as a pig with rubber wings glued to it's back. That is to say, not at all. We need to give that pig a glider named open-mindedness and a propeller named acceptance before launching him off the cliff face and wishing him the best.
My suggestion is this, why don't we try practicing what we preach? It will solve several of our little internal conflicts. Think about it. “
Does the Threefold Law apply to all?” No, only those who believe in it.
“Can Satanists be called Witches?” If their religious beliefs say that their title is “Witch” then their title is “Witch.”
“Are the fundies trying to start another crusade?” Maybe, but we have to trust the sane among the Christians to hold them in check.
“Are the Christians as a whole out to get everyone?” Nope, most of them just want to worship their God in peace.
“Are we all a bunch of kooks who can't stop our bellyaching?” Well I should hope not. Everyone is a little kooky in his or her own way but the bellyaching, well I imagine we should stop sometime soon.
Please my friends, my brothers and sisters, think before you speak. Paganism is an umbrella term, not a specific religion. Stop arguing about what it is and isn't. Stop arguing about what you can and can't do as a Pagan. Use all of that energy that you spend arguing with others for something more useful. Charge your items, do a few more rituals, commune with your deities of choice, do SOMETHING other than throw opinions at each other disguised as facts. Everyone will be happier and we will be able to achieve the great feat we dream of: Acceptance.
Location: Chadron, Nebraska
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