A reader says, "I've been studying Paganism recently, and although I'm very drawn to it, there's one thing that really concerns me. I've met several Pagans and Wiccans who are pretty vocal in their hatred of all things Christian. I was raised Christian, I have Christian family members, and I don't have anything against that particular religion, I just know that it's not the right one for me. Once I get involved in the Pagan community, will I be expected to badmouth Christianity too? This seems counterproductive, if we Pagans want to be met with tolerance ourselves."
Answer:You're absolutely right -- if the Pagan community is going to expect tolerance from mainstream religions, it behooves us not to spend all of our time trashing those groups, whichever one they may be.
Sadly, you'll find that there are some Pagans who are pretty vocal about their dislike of Christianity. They hate Christians, they hate the Bible, they hate anything to do with it. Why do they hate it? Who knows. Maybe they had a bad experience that they can't let go of. Maybe they've been raised to believe that "it's not for me" equals "it's bad for everyone and I should complain about it." Perhaps they think that an encounter with one unpleasant Christian gives them license to hate the entire religion. There's no telling.
Fortunately, these people are in the minority. Much like we know that fundamentalist extremists like Fred Phelps and Pat Robertson do not speak for all Christians in their hatred of Paganism, we also know that the Pagans who are rabidly angry at Christianity do not represent all of us.
For the most part, the typical Pagan or Wiccan is someone who was once some other religion, and -- like you -- found that it just wasn't the right path for them to be one. So, to answer your questions, no -- you won't be expected to badmouth Christianity or any other religion, not by most of us. In fact, you may find yourself to be the perfect bridge for an interfaith dialogue between the Pagan community and the Christian one.
Free e-books (can be downloaded):Joanne Pearson - Wicca And The Christian Heritage Ritual Sex And Magic
Abram Herbert Lewis - Paganism Surviving In Christianity Ver 1
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