Take off the Blinders
There are many articles on the topic of what Christians think of the Wiccan/Pagan/Heathen way of life from the Pagan’s POV and most of what I have seen is negative. I, for one, am here to try to open some minds and hearts in acceptance and understanding. It’s time for the community to take off the blinders and stop thinking that we’re in the Burning Times. Just bear with me and read through this. I think it will enlighten some of you; at least, that’s my hope.
I was raised in a family with mixed religious views. My mother and sister were Jehovah Witnesses and my father was Southern Baptist and never really finding a fit in their faiths, I searched for my own. I went to some churches with friends and other family members, did the whole First Priority thing at school, and went online to Wikipedia and just started looking up religions. So after a lot of research, prayer, and self-evaluation I found my fit in Wicca.
Now please keep in mind I am from a small Baptist-oriented town in Louisiana where literally everyone knows EVERYONE and coming out of the broom closet was pretty much taking my life, and that of my family’s lives, and putting them under a really big microscope. Not to mention, I was fifteen when I came out of the broom closet. As far as I knew, I was the only Pagan in town and honestly, it was a little scary. I had the mindset that most of us from small highly Christianized towns have when we get ready to tell the world who and what we are: that people would be talking smack, calling me a devil worshiper or any of the other things that anyone going against the status quo might think.
Remember how I said my sister and mother were Jehovah Witnesses? Well, the Kingdom Hall that they went to heard about the path I was on and that I lived with my sister. The Elders of the congregation brought my sister into the conference room and told her that she needed to kick me out of the house because of the fact that I was a witch and that I practiced “spiritism” and consorted with demons.
Now last time I checked I didn’t know any demons — not counting my Chemistry teacher of the time of course. So at this point, my sister was faced with having to put her own brother out on the streets because of his faith or she would be disfellowshipped (kicked out) from the Kingdom Hall. Now that’s a big deal because no one who was a Jehovah Witness would then be allowed to speak to her and she wouldn’t be able to go to church or anything. She, of course, chose her brother over the closed minded ideals of the congregations Elders and was then disfellowshipped.
A year later a Brother from the Kingdom Hall who had known our family for years called my sister and apologized and asked her back to the congregation. He explained that the ruling was from the older Elders who were very stuck in their ways and that they had no right to tell her to kick me out.
Now the point of this essay is to tell the reader about how Christians are NOT all closed minded fire and brimstone carrying individuals who spout the rhetoric of hell and damnation. Granted yes, there are many, many, MANY people who call themselves Christians who are just like that. There are many who like in the example I gave about my sisters’ incident are out there and put a very bad face on Christians as a whole. I have met and am friends with many Christians who go to church every Sunday, do bible studies, and fully and whole-heartedly embody the ideals of love and understanding that true Christians are.
I have had Christians defend my choice of faith against other people who called themselves Christians. They have gone to bat over and over again on how everyone has the right to choose their faith and, even though they may not agree with what I believe in, they accept that I do believe in my faith and love me still. Not once have any of the people who I know to be true Christians shown me anything other than kindness, acceptance, and love.
Not all people who call themselves Christians are truly Christians and not all people who call themselves Witches, Pagans, and Heathens are truly following and embodying the spirit of what it means to be a Witch, Pagan, Heathen, Wiccan, and so on and so forth. The saying “…there is always a bad apple in the bunch” is a fitting way to put it.
We are supposed to be an open-minded and accepting community of people who do not judge others for their faiths and practices and who are supposed to understand that no ONE path is the right and only way to enlightenment/salvation/deity. One of the reasons that being part of the Pagan community is so amazing to me is that it’s filled with so many different people of different ideals and philosophies all striving to find their place in the world and their own spiritual fulfillment and coexisting and growing together.
I don’t know if anyone will actually read this and I don’t know if half who do read it will even give this a second thought. I do hope that some of you will think about what I have said and stop thinking that all Christians hate us and that they think that we are all crazy and lost. I know that some of you truly have dealt with only the “fire and brimstone” type of people, and for that I am sorry, but just give them a chance; sooner or later you will meet some people who truly are what Christians are supposed to be like.
Let us not judge the whole of one group of people on what some have done and said.