I haven’t been blogging much lately for a variety of reasons, but I want to get up on my soapbox for a minute.
I want to talk about how we, as Pagans (or Druids, Wiccans, Heathens, insert category of choice here), deal with other religions, specifically Christians. To do this, I’m going to share a little personal anecdote.
A couple of weeks ago, at a grove ritual-planning meeting, there was discussion of an image of Jesus Christ that a grove member had received with a letter in the mail. We all made a lot of jokes about the weird invasiveness of receiving a “prayer rug” in the mail, unsolicited, with a DEMAND to return the rug and your personal requests for prayer… and if a donation was included, why the “church” in question certainly would not say no.
The jokes escalated pretty quickly, leading eventually to a joke about Jesus being one-eyed, like Balor. Someone suggested we use the “prayer rug” as the Balor target in our Lunasagh games. We all laughed, partly just at the audacity of the suggestion, then someone said, “Nah, that’d be mean.”
I thought about it for moment and said, “Yeah. I’d be upset if I knew they were using one of our images for a target.”
Another grove member looked at me and said, “But you know they are.”
It’s true. Christians are, I’m sure, mocking us pretty regularly. They think we’re going to their Hell, they think we need to be saved, they mock us and worry about us and blame us and condemn us.
But that doesn’t make it okay for us to do the same.
If we want to be taken seriously as a religion, shouldn’t we do the same to others? Yes, I admit, I’ve mocked Scientologists and Mormons and even Wiccans… Shame on me. Everyone has the right to practice what they believe. And call me crazy, but I think the Golden Rule holds for all of us, regardless of religion. We should all treat others as we wish to be treated.
I don’t want to be mocked or judged by my Christian friends. I, therefore, should not mock their practices. That means cutting out the “zombie Jesus” jokes, the judging of their “weird” practices, like confession and communion, and the general bitterness toward them as a group.
Yes, they’ve been and will continue to be horrible to us. Yes, I will stand up for myself and my community if they attack me. But I will not throw the first stone.
No one is fair game. No one.