Just about three years ago, I contacted a man, a local in fact, via a personals ad I had running, as his profile interested me. He took one look at my profile however, which states quite plainly I am a Pagan, as I make no bones about it, and he literally ran away, afraid of me and said as much. When I asked him why, he was honest enough to say that he was ashamed and embarrassed by his own reaction. He didn't tell me what he thought, but only that his upbringing in his faith, made Pagan taboo, and scampered away.
This was a man, who by all accounts, was an otherwise intelligent person, open to other cultures and ways, yet when it came down to this one thing, he ran like a bunny. I guess considering other ways, as an abstract is one thing, but considering dating one of those abstracts makes it a bit too personal ?
Ok, now what's
my point here, other than my disappointment in his reaction ?
Simple, it begs the question of, why are they afraid of us ?
By the Numbers, my personal option on the matter
1. They have been misinformed: For centuries the Pagan way has been damned by many of the main faiths as evil, so it's really not a surprise that some still feel this way. They have been told, that to be Pagan means to have no faith, to be godless, and therefore, dangerous. A fast look in most dictionaries even will say this.
For 100s of years, the Pagan way has been talked about, by those who often don't know what it really means. The stereo-types have been passed from hand to hand without question or discussion, it's an "everybody knows" thing. When in fact, what they are saying, has no basis in fact. Most of these "information" givers, have never bothered to find out the truth. This is the basis for all prejudice.
Most often we are equated with Satanists, an idea which is a Christian concept. Satanists are rebelling Christians, not Pagans. The two have nothing to do with each other, despite the fact the Satanists ape the Pagan ways. But then, so do Christians, if they did but realize it, as most of our ways, were taken over by the church 100s of years ago and incorporated into the church, in an effort to get the Pagans into the church. A fast look at the history texts on this matter will prove that, to even a casual observer.
2. Rebellion: Years ago, when the current dominate faiths first began, they were rebel faiths, against the then dominate faiths. A world, that for the most part, had degenerated into absorbed self interest, and power lust, as history shows. So along came the Christ, Mo hammed and others, many prophets of their time, with a much simpler, more loving way of looking at the world. Which, if they had remained so, there would not be the problems we have today. However, as with most sects that come into power, they, like those in power before them, sadly often start to practice the same tyranny they rebelled against.
This round of powerful VS the underdog, is not new.
This is common and somewhat human nature. Check any history book, and you will see the same thing happening over and over that the oppressed , when they come to power, tend to make the same mistakes as those before them, that oppressed them.
In other words, they did not learn the lesson of "power corrupts" and did not make a point to keep to the same credos of love and care, they started out with. Rather they become just as oppressive as those before them, to THEIR way now. Often repeating the same atrocities as those before them, or worse.
Which should stand
a strong warning to any and all Pagans, not to repeat this mistake, if
we ever find the power in our hands.
I doubt we will, as quite frankly, most of us don't want it.
3. Pride and Self serving interest: By and large the dominate faiths, tend to think and believe, that theirs and ONLY theirs, is the proper way to behave and anything else, is wrong and evil. Period ! This sort of arrogance is not new either, but most of the dominate faiths of the current day have taken it to extremes in their own history, and to change their stance now, means all the blood shed in the name of it, was a waste and a disgrace. Most people cannot accept this and will hold to their stand, in personal self defense.
So what does this mean for your average person of the dominate faiths ? It means as soon as they hear the word Pagan, they bolt the other way, in fear of contamination by evil. Which is foolishness, but there is no arguing with years worth of indoctrination that taught them that. It's a gut reaction, one that most are not even aware they have, until, like this gentleman, it's in their face, then they find out just how indoctrinated they are to the idea that we are dangerous.
If you are a Pagan, get used to this reaction, as its going to keep happening, for now at any rate. Try and understand and forgive them this, as most are not even aware just how deep this feeling goes, until it's challenged.
Now, are we dangerous ? Of course not. Evil,? I don't think so .... but the fear remains.
See reason one, they have been misinformed, which means all their oppression of other faiths has been based on misinformation. And any person of reason can see how it happened.. They are not to blame for this, but it needs to stop. The dominate faiths were never intended to be judgmental of others. In fact for most of them, they, as we, the first rule is the same as ours, harm none.
We try and practice this, All we ask is that those of other faiths, do the same. We mean them no harm, and no ill, and I must forgive and, try and understand why a grown man would run from me in terror, just because I am a Pagan. One day, this will no longer happen, once the world at large stops teaching folk to fear each other. May that day be soon.
Return to some of this and that