Sometimes people can be very sensitive. A recent situation has made me realize that there are many people in this world that take offense at the slightest thing, afraid of confrontation so much that they will jump out of the boat at the least sign of a breeze. Often, we say things to others in an attempt to defend ourselves, well-meaning as it may be, and find that they have stomped off in a huff, their world crushed by our "insensitivity"--what they perceive as negativity. However, in this late occurance of mine, in an effort to defend myself, (literally, one sentence stating that I did not feel the need for someone to pray for my soul), my entire family has divided down the middle. In the last two days, racist and sexist epithets have been slung at me, and certain "good" members of my family have cut all ties from me. All because I did not feel the need for them to "pray that Jesus will find a way into my heart".
There are so many differences in our world. Christianity, although it is a large portion of "belivers", is still a small portion compared with all the world religions. Islam and Judaism rank right up there with them. However, there is a growing number of Pagans out there. The number is growing, in my opinion, for a number of different reasons, one of them being the constant battery of christian propoganda that is thrust upon us from different directions, including our government, which claims that it seperates church and state. Another reason might be that people are beginning to see a link between the way our ancestors believed and the connection with the earth that we still must care for. Some people like the ritualistic part of Paganism. Whatever the reason, that number is growing, and so, little by little, is the acceptance of the way of life in mainstream America. Still, we are not going to be welcomed with open arms by much of the ignorant populous who still believe we fly brooms and put hexes on men's sexual organs. Those are the ones who believe we worship Satan, The Christian god of the Underworld, and have satanic orgies in forest glens.
I have a solution for the problem, and it is so cliche and so simple as to be almost ridiculous. Yet, my simple and ridiculous solution seems to evade even the most intelligent of people. Research. If People fear a thing, isn't it best to "know the enemy"? In learning about the enemy, most of the time, we learn that our foe, is not, in truth, our foe, but is an ally with a common antihero. I wonder if that is why people do not make the effort to understand us. Is it a fear that in that understanding, they will no longer have a dog to kick?
As I was telling a friend today, many Witches, Pagans and "Heathen underworld thugs" like us came from strong Christian backgrounds and know much of the faith that the "soul savers" believe to be so far above ours. We can often quote chapter and verse and argue for hours on ethics and mores, to the chagrin of our oppressors. We have, many of us, chosen our way of life, OVER Christianity, although we are extremely aware of the doctrine, for whatever reason we have done so. That doesn't mean that we do not understand the whole process of soul surgery. We just don't favor it.