Through the eyes of a Witch - An Honest Observation
Sometimes I think that the pagan community is like a child who has been abused. Studies show that children that have been abused will often show more acceptances to their abusers in the hopes of themselves being accepted then they do to the non-abusive spouse.
There is often talk of acceptance and religious tolerance and similar idealistic words within the pagan community. But the vast majority of this talk is in all reality, a one way street.
Realistically the Christian community for the most part (yes there are always individual exceptions) does not accept those outside of their particular beliefs. And this level of arrogance extends itself to all of the so called major religions.
In fact in the summer of 2006 the Catholic hierarchy held an enclave in the Vatican that was geared towards pulling folks back from the demonic clutches of paganism.
And yet the pagan community insists on a unrealistic level of tolerance and religious acceptance of which ideals are ignored by the very folks they are trying to impress with their attempts at validity as a religious organization.
In part I personally believe that this need to be accepted is basically a sense of insecurity which is brought about because of the former religious affiliations of the majority of Neo Pagans. I personally believe that this is why so many Neo pagans will readily accept and even include aspects of their former beliefs into what they now call their path of paganism, but in all reality such blending is an oxymoron.
It’s like a reticent child who is unwilling to take the final step and actually leave home to stand on their own two feet. So instead they hypothetically continue to take their dirty clothes back to their parent’s home or they continue to maintain a room at their former adobe (this is just an analogy).
The tenets of paganism requires folks to be individuals and to take responsibility for ones self. However after years of lethargy where one never had to be responsible for their personal spirituality, such a lesson is hard to accommodate or to incorporate into ones life.
I realize that such an honest assessment will leave me open to vicious attacks by those same Neo pagans who mouth the words “religious tolerance, acceptance and so forth”.
However such reactions at such an honest view, tends to highlight the hypocrisy and the insecurities that passes for what is viewed as the pagan community.
Over the years I have seen one conversation after another about acceptance and tolerance and so on and so forth. And yet let one individual stand up and say something that is not politically correct or warm and fuzzy and man does the fur fly.
The same Neo pagans who espouse such concepts of acceptance and tolerance become the most vociferous antagonists one has ever encountered.
Which does in fact, bring me to my final point.
How can the pagan community ever expect to be viewed as a legitimate religious/spiritual organization if we can’t even accept differences amongst ourselves?
In all reality, the description “pagan community” is actually just a multitude of small groups and individuals scattered about here and there. And in many cases each such group and/or individual wants to be “it”.
There is very, very little cohesiveness amongst such groups and/or individuals. For each one is scared of being lost in the identity of the other. The level of hypocrisy and insecurity that thrives in the so called pagan community keeps us from cooperating with each other under a common umbrella. How do we establish legitimacy under such a fractured banner?
And in all reality, shouldn’t Neo pagans make a decision as to what they realistically are as far as their religious/spiritual paths?
Instead of expending so much energy vying for acceptance from religions that really don’t care, why not turn that energy inwards and start to establish a legitimate community?
If Neo pagans were to establish a personal comfort zone in regards to ones personal pagan beliefs that is open to acceptance and tolerance but one which is not dependent on such tenets, don’t you think that such acceptance by other belief systems would occur by virtue of being a legitimate belief system?
And so my final questions are, do we have the inner strength to put aside the hypocrisy and insecurities that is the trademark of paganism as it is viewed today? And if so, where do we go from here?