Monday, December 25, 2006

Pagans and Christians

I was inspired by someone else's commentary to do my own two cents on an issue in pagan circles: anti-Christian bigotry. I see it in comments on blogs, in forums, and face-to-face discussions. Everything from Wiccans who will accept any tradition's gods in a circle except That One to reconstructionists who refuse to respect their ancestors because they're Christian. Parents who think it's fine if their kid investigates any of a dozen faiths except That One. People who insist it's OK to hate Christians because of the Burning Times, the Inquisition, the Salem trials, the snakes, or whatever, but just let someone even look at them funny for wearing a pentacle the size of a hubcap and they go off about how it's St. Patrick all over again. The fact Patrick's hardly responsible for half of what he's saddled with is a related point. A complete refusal to look at the entirety of a religion's history and cherry-picking for strawmen and scapegoats is textbook behavior for religious bigots.

Guess what, kids. I don't care if you went to a bad church. I don't care if the priest molested you. I don't care if you were beaten into compliance. You don't get to blame the religion for its followers any more than the rest of the world gets to blame paganism for its problem members. The Tuatha de Dannan are not held responsible for the racists in Celtic pagan traditions, but Jesus is held responsible for the bigots in His faith. How is this fair? How is this even?

The Christians have a saying about how you shouldn't pick on the mote in your neighbor's eye until you remove the plank from your own. If you insist on looking at Christianity and only see the extremists and perverts who use it as a cover for authoritarian or pedophilic behaviors, you have a plank. It's called bigotry. And it's not true to any pagan faith I can think of.

Oh, and Merry Christmas. Solstice is over, so I figured the proper greeting of the day was in order. I promise you won't go up in flames if you say it.

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