Your browser does not support script
TWV Presents...

Articles/Essays From Pagans

[Show all]

Views: 16,476,804

April 13th. 2014 ...

Magick and Consequences: My Experience with Sigils

Don't Talk Yourself Out of Trying Something New!

Being a Worrisome Witch

What to Do When the Spell/Ritual Flops

April 6th. 2014 ...

The Elements and the Quarters

Dark Moon Scry: Aries 2014

How the Wheel of the Year Works “Down Under”

13 Keys: The Understanding of Binah

March 30th. 2014 ...

Manifesting the Dream: On Religious Organizations, Pagan Abbeys and our Order

True Meaning of Community

Thoughts on Unverified Personal Gnosis

My Beautiful Grove- A Matter Of Perspective

March 23rd. 2014 ...

Spirituality and Social Change

The First Step to Anywhere!

March 16th. 2014 ...

From Christian to Pagan (Part I)

Nature And The Celtic Tree Calendar

The Teeth in the Darkness

March 9th. 2014 ...

Healing the Witch Within

Incarcerated Witches

Discovering Wicca as a Young Child

March Pisces Energy: Pre-natal Memories and Standing Upright

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 ...

The Stones of Fear: Anxiety Relief

Death, Grief, and Psychopomp Work in Shamanic Healing

Spiritual Traveler: Form To Essence

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

Reclaiming Independence

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

The Cry of the Soul

Leaving a Group - Part 2: Leaving, Healing and Moving Forward

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 Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective

The Pagan and the Papacy

November 17th. 2013 ...

Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca

For Love of the God

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

Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them

NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.

Article Specs

Article ID: 13045

VoxAcct: 358706

Section: words

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 1,700

Times Read: 2,787

RSS Views: 14,845
Don't Be Tolerant

Author: Blacksun95
Posted: August 23rd. 2009
Times Viewed: 2,787

To have tolerance*, to be tolerant, one must have “sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one's own.” That doesn’t sound very good to me. To be tolerant of other religions means we view them as something we should have sympathy toward, something we will indulge? Could we possibly find a way to be more arrogant and elitist? I’m tired of those who ask for ‘tolerance’ of this or that, especially when it comes to religion.

There is nothing… nothing bad about being different. In fact, differences are the cornerstone of creativity. Without differences there would be no stability to anything, no capacity for it to stand up to the winds of change, and no ability to grow or advance. We shouldn’t be merely tolerant of differences; we should celebrate them! Everything in our universe is different from everything else.

Does that mean we should be tolerant and ‘endure (the) pain or hardship’?

Of course we should all have standards that guide our conduct and set the border between what is acceptable and what isn’t. We must guard against that which can harm, and work against that which degrades our world. Ideas can do these things, no doubt about it. But to rise up against ideas or activities simply because they’re different is not mere intolerance, it’s stupidity.

By actively conflicting with another’s differing ideas, we become engaged with their ideas. In other words, we give their ideas energy! If instead we take their ideas and find ways to fold them into our own, if we truly accept that they may have as much merit as our own and use them to make ours better, then everybody benefits.

Every great idea that has grown in influence has done this. Those who have employed this strategy have seen their ideas grow wings and soar; those who have battled against the ideas of others have seen their own be buried.

All too often I see a great deal of acceptance on the part of one group of Pagans for another with vastly different ideas but (at best) a begrudging tolerance for the ideas and practices of people from other faith groups. The usual ‘justification’ for this is that those other faith groups offer little to no tolerance for us and sometimes preach the demise of ours. This is kindergarten psychology: I won’t let you play with me because you don’t want me to play with you. It’s the Hatfields and McCoys, an ‘us and them’ way of thinking.

If we employ this strategy, we’ll eventually go down in flames. We’re giving energy to the very people who are trying to put us down and if we continue doing so, we’ll end up unable to grow or even maintain the advancements we’ve seen over the last half-century.

This goes beyond bashing of other religions (every time we bash another religion, we degrade our own) . Every time we fail to see the worth of another’s form of spirituality we pass up a chance to learn. I could make an argument that even those people who attempt to fire up their parishioners to destroy us are worth listening to. Though they love to quote passages from their scripture that they interpret as justification for our demise, their brand of religion nevertheless has a place in our society.

A few years ago, I was sent to a Protestant church to listen in on their preacher’s sermon. It was thought that this man was actively trying to rid the community of the local Pagan group’s presence by firing up his parishioners so they would commit vicious acts on the members and property of the Pagan group. They sent me because I wasn’t immediately identifiable to the people of that church as part of the Pagan group.

I sat in the pew and listened to the whole service and talked with some of the parishioners afterwards with an ear tuned for the worst. Although I didn’t find any direct reference to the local Pagan group, what I came away with was disturbing enough. Their way of seeing the world (and those who didn’t believe as they did) was downright frightening.

I left feeling ‘unclean’ somehow. Just that one visit was enough to give me (literally) nightmares for months to come! Now, several years later, I’ve come to see how it all worked out.

The Pagan group didn’t respond to these people as if they were a threat, even when someone decided to desecrate their outdoor circle and they (some of the townspeople who were part of the Protestant church) even tried to work politically to keep the Pagans from holding their meetings.

The leader of the Pagan group kept his group in the public’s eye, always seeking ways to let the non-Pagans know that they were not the demons the preacher in that church warned them against. Now, even the preacher recognizes that the Pagans ‘haven’t been too bad’ for the town. It may not be a resounding tribute, but it certainly isn’t the flaming militant opposition that he preached before.

I also have found a better understanding. The priest of that Pagan group was a lot smarter about the whole matter than I was. My response to the ideas and words of the Protestant church’s preacher and parishioners was a knee-jerk, fight-or-flight reaction, fueled by a biased viewpoint that was looking for problems. And, because I was looking for a threat, I found it there.

I wonder sometimes if I was sent there to learn that lesson. I had served as a representative to an interfaith council before that and had never once thought of any of the other faiths’ representatives as a threat. In fact, odd as it may seem, I actually was threatened during that time by another Pagan group because I was on the council!

Acceptance, even celebration of the differences among us is often difficult, especially if we feel threatened by those differences. Threats generate fear, and fear is the opposite of love (that’s right, hate is not love’s opposite; fear is) . When we fear, our capacity to love goes out the window. We see and hear things in a different way and our interpretations of what we experience are skewed to finding demons everywhere. And, guess what: by giving energy to our fears, we make our world into one filled with demons.

The cure... the only cure is to love those things that have made us afraid. Love and fear can’t occupy the same space. We don’t love by feeling sympathy for something or tolerating it; we love by making it a valued part of us, by accepting it.

So to hell with tolerance; be intolerant of tolerance! Recognize the value of the differences around you. Accept that they are valuable even if they promote something that could be interpreted as a threat to your own way of believing and behaving. If nothing else, they have made you more cautious and circumspect. They may even have made your way of being more energized. If you learn how to accept the differences of others you will strengthen your own spirit; not just make it more powerful, but also give it true strength.

Most people find strength through their religion. If you’re lucky, you find the religion that is truly right for you. Some religions are right for some people and not others; no religion is right for everybody. Our spirituality isn’t right for some people. If they fear us, they will see demons in us. If we fear them, we will create demons in our world as well. If they try to threaten us, love them back… if nothing else, it’ll confuse the heck out of them!

And while they’re standing around trying to figure it all out, maybe… just maybe some sort of acceptance can happen for everybody.

* Tolerance: 1: capacity to endure pain or hardship: ENDURANCE, FORTITUDE, STAMINA
2 a: sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one's own b: the act of allowing something: TOLERATION
3: the allowable deviation from a standard; especially: the range of variation permitted in maintaining a specified dimension in machining a piece -- (From Merriam-Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary, 2003, v 3.0)

Copyright: (c) 2008 by Blacksun



Location: Everett, Washington

Other Articles: Blacksun95 has posted 2 additional articles- View them?

Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE

Email Blacksun95... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)

To send a private message to Blacksun95 ...

Pagan Essays

Pagan Web
8,000 Links

Pagan Groups
Local Covens etc.

80,000 Profiles

Home - TWV Logos - Email US - Privacy
News and Information

Chapters: Pagan/Heathen Basics - Pagan BOOKS - Traditions, Paths & Religions - Popular Pagan Holidays - TV & Movies - Cats of the Craft - Festival Reviews - Festival Tips - White Pages (Resources) - Issues/Concerns - West Memphis 3 - Witch Hunts - Pagan Protection Tips - Healing Planet Earth

Your Voices: Adult Essays - Young Pagan Essays - Pagan Perspectives (On Hold) - WitchWars: Fire in the Craft - Gay Pagan - Pagan Parenting - Military - Pagan Passages

Pagan Music: Pagan Musicians - Bardic Circle at WitchVox - Free Music from TWV

Vox Central: About TWV - Wren: Words, Wrants and Wramblings - Guest Rants - Past Surveys - A Quest for Unity

Weekly Updates: Click HERE for an index of our weekly updates for the past 6 years

W.O.T.W. - World-Wide Networking

Your Town: A Link to YOUR Area Page (The largest listing of Witches, Pagans, Heathens and Wiccans on the Planet)

VoxLinks: The Pagan Web: 8,000 Listings

Your Witchvox Account: Log in Now - Create New Account - Request New Password - Log in Problems

Personal Listings: Pagan Clergy in Your Town - Adult Pagans - Young Pagans - Military Pagans

Events: Circles, Gatherings, Workshops & Festivals

Covens/Groups/Orgs: Local Groups Main Page

Other LOCAL Resources: Local Shops - Regional Sites - Local Notices - Global/National Notices - Local Skills & Services - Local Egroups - Political Freedom Fighters

Pagan Shopping: Online Shops Index - Original Crafters Sites - Auction Sites - Pagan Wholesalers - Pagan Local Shops

Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2014 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.

Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wren’s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witches’ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.

Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.

Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
Witches, Pagans
of The World

Search Articles

 Current Topic
 Editorial Guide

NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.

The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.

All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).