Acceptable Celebration?

I’m always fascinated with people around the holiday’s, both pagan and non-pagan alike. Facebook adds a unique perspective on people, and holidays. Take this past weekend for instance – Easter for all my Christian Friends.

It was fascinating to see how people behaved. I watched my Christian friends post quote after quote, picture after picture, bible verse after bible verse. My pagan friends…. I saw them post status message after status message about not having religion shoved down their throats. As a Pagan/Witch, I often have those same thoughts, but what I saw transpire on Facebook woke me up.

What I saw taking place was a group of people celebrating their beliefs, and another group condemning them for doing it. I was a bit confuddled. Granted, our last holiday was March 21st, and our next one is April 30th. We didn’t really have a reason to celebrate this past weekend. We also didn’t have a good reason to belittle others for celebrating their holiday.

We always ask for religious acceptance. We fight for it! As Pagan’s we are to often belittled, tormented, hounded, backed into a corner, etc., etc., etc. because we don’t follow the ‘norm.’ Yet, what I was seeing taken place on my Facebook was ‘us’, pagans, doing exactly what we didn’t want done to us.

We celebrate our beliefs. It is one of our favorite things to do. We dance, sing, rejoice, and share our beliefs with others. Yet, let a Christian stand amongst us and celebrate their beliefs….and we are the first to shoot them down. We say things such as, “……your way is not the way!”, or, “…go push the flock mentality elsewhere…” My favorite saying, when approached by Christians is, “I am not a sheep, I do not need a shephard.” I am as guilty as the rest.

It took seeing it on a grand scale to really bring it home though. I love my Pagan friends, and respect them greatly. I also love all of those I call family, and friends, who are Christian. I love them no less, or respect them any less for their beliefs. Yet….isn’t that exactly what I do when I belittle their beliefs?

In many ways, I was completely floored by the behaviour. We/Pagan’s claim to be nature loving, understanding, and accepting. How is telling people not to preach to us about heir beliefs, on their holiday, accepting and understaning? Is their behaviour really an attack on OUR beliefs? How can we be so self-centered to believe their postings, about their religion, is an afront to us? They are posting to celebrate!

Celebration of a belief system is so fundamental to our mental and physical well being. It is only our own insecurities which make it personal. I say let them celebrate! Let them post pictures, and scripture, and quotes, and whatever it is they feel inspired to post. And let us see it for what it is….Celebration!

And if we take it personal then we are no better then those we struggle against. We can not say we accept religious differences if we cannot, will not accept one of the religions which has caused us the most torment. Our belief in nature is not limited to trees, plants, and the like, it also includes Human Nature.

At what point do we lay aside our differences and say solemnly, “I accept you completely!” Isn’t this the tenant we believe in, Harm None? When we don’t accept others ‘as they are’, we do the greatest harm. We are no better than bullies!

No, I don’t want a Christian at my door preaching to me, and trying to convert me. I don’t want to chase away Jehovah witnesses with child eating, satan worshipping comments. Granted, the last one has its fun moments but,…. it just helps perpetuate a stigma we’re trying to fight. Human Nature does the best of me sometimes though.  🙂

Life is so much more when we stop putting our own limitations on it. Let me leave you with one of my favorite quotes:

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.” – Buddha

Blessed Be My Friends!

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