Articles/Essays From Pagans
March 2nd. 2014 ...
Lessons of Ostara: Six Ways to Move Forward
The Wiccan Priest - The Misunderstood Role
Which is Which? Am I a Warlock or a Witch?
The Secret Teaching: Selected Aspects
February 23rd. 2014 ...
Wicca or Traditional Witchcraft: Some Differences
Everything is Not Under Your Control: Making Sense of the Senseless
The Wonders and Gifts of Paganism and Community
What Makes Us What We Are
February 16th. 2014 ...
Death, Grief, and Psychopomp Work in Shamanic Healing
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Alternative Medicine – What Is It?
February 9th. 2014 ...
Words of Power!
The Allure of Glamour in the Apocolypse
Lunar Insight Planetary Preponderances: Year of the Horse, Imbolc and Mercury Grazings
February 2nd. 2014 ...
The Magick of Jewelry and Metals
Building a Magick Mirror
The Golden Bough: a Study Guide (Part 2)
January 26th. 2014 ...
Love of Self: The Hardest Thing To Do
The Golden Bough as a Seminal Work in the Neo Pagan Movement (Part 1)
13 Keys: The Mercy of Chesed
Lightworking In The Screen Age: Staying Connected
January 19th. 2014 ...
Open Letter to the Goddess
A Southern Girl's Guide to Hospitality
Social Conventions and the Pagan World
January 12th. 2014 ...
Never Once Was There a An Athame Near My Chalice: My Very Sheltered Occultist Upbringing
One Wiccan's Journey Through Depression
January 5th. 2014 ...
Religion vs Practice: Defining Witchcraft in a Modern Age
Traditional Apprenticeships: Training in the Modern Pagan Abbey
2014's Magickal Magnificent Manifestations!
Lunar Insight Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances: Wise and Wild
December 29th. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 3)
13 Keys: The Might of Geburah
Beyond The Season of Greed
December 22nd. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 2)
December 15th. 2013 ...
The Hex Murder of 1928
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 1)
Lady of the Forest Mist (A Story of the Woods)
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Hunting, Fires and Parting Shots
December 8th. 2013 ...
Help and Thoughts for Pagans New to the Journey
Using Your Wand in Reverse
Leaving a Group - Part 2: Leaving, Healing and Moving Forward
The Cry of the Soul
December 1st. 2013 ...
The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness
A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism
Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?
November 24th. 2013 ...
The Pagan and the Papacy
The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective
November 17th. 2013 ...
For Love of the God
Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca
A Threat to Religious Liberties?
November 10th. 2013 ...
Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?
Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return
The Celtic Tree Calendar
Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs
November 3rd. 2013 ...
The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?
October 27th. 2013 ...
Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society
On Being Wiccan: Some Unsolicited Advice
Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them
Banishing, Invocation and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
October 20th. 2013 ...
Bottle Spells and Magick in Hoodoo Tradition
Weather Magick: Who is Responsible for the Weather?
Broom Closet: In or Out?
On Coven and Claws
October 13th. 2013 ...
Destroying to Create: A Lesson from the Dead
Consume the Scorpion- Scorpion Energy Revisited
October 6th. 2013 ...
UPG and U: A Breakdown and Building Up of Unverified and Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis
Answering The Call from Spirit
Coping with the Loss of a Familiar
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 2 (The South)
September 29th. 2013 ...
Six Reasons Why Covens are Here to Stay
Priestessing and Titles: What's the Point?
Truth or Convenience? Questioning Motives for Spiritual Advancement
Speaking Up: The Conflict Between the Spiritualist and Our Human Experience
September 22nd. 2013 ...
Death of a Friendship within the Craft
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 1 (The Center)
September 15th. 2013 ...
Some Pagan Prayers
The Holocaust Survivor (Part II)
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Bramble and Cerridwen
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: 1,175
Times Read: 2,412
RSS Views: 16,385
Author: Michael Wolfheart
Posted: December 19th. 2010
Times Viewed: 2,412
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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