18 November 2008

Winding journey: Part Two.

After struggling and being in a near-constant state of denial, I let my guard down a few years ago. The death of my son, Gabriel, shifted my entire world and I re-evaluated everything. Months after his death I investigated both Christianity and Paganism with renewed vigor; my time was spent reading countless books, websites online, and pamphlets. The Las Vegas Universalist Unitarian church was my gateway; I tried to accept UU ideals within Christianity and after a few months of that I gave up trying to lie to myself and came back to Paganism.

Fast-forward almost 2 years later and I'm involved with an incredible spiritual philosophy class, a church, and a philanthropic group, all grounded heavily in Paganism. I love it. I feel at home, and warm, and everything is right. I'm not really "out" about it in my public life; yes, here I just wrote but I haven't mentioned details and I'm somewhat anonymous in the Blogosphere. A few know at work, and a few friends. My husband pretty much figured it out over the summer and my mom found out by accident about a month ago. I wonder how their knowledge will affect family-heavy holidays coming up...I don't want drama and I'm happy to avoid the subject if they are kind enough to not bring it up.

The thing I don't understand is why there's so much animosity between peoples of different religions. The reactions of my mother and Tannah were somewhat expected: they were sad because according to their faith, I'm basically going to Hell. I can understand that reaction, actually. What I can't understand is anger, hatred, disappointment...why? I respect other faiths. I am absolutely intolerant of faith-bashing, and I strive to find beauty in any faith. Except...I make an exception for abusive, cultish groups. Mixing abuse and a false sense of Divinity is unfathomable. It disgusts me.

But anyway...it would be nice if I really could be open about my beliefs. Truly open. Yes, I think my family would still love me. Would there be some hidden fear or anger, however? As for in-laws, would I still be accepted? As for friends, crew mates, other random people: would I be treated differently? When, on the rare occasion, I wear my pentagram choker, I sometimes sense stolen glances and outright stares. I wonder sometimes if I should ask, but I'm not sure I want to know. It just floors me that some people, based on belief, can feel justified in intolerance, hostility, and outrage simply because another person believes differently. But that leads into another post on the savage inequality in America so...maybe later.


Nanny Goats In Panties said...

That whole Christian You'reGoingToHell thing has always bothered me. It's not very Christian to be judgemental, or intolerant. But if they were tolerant, then Christian leaders would have trouble recruiting/converting/whatever everyone else, because by accepting other faiths, you are condoning them, which apparently defeats the whole evangelism thing.

Found you somehow, but I can't remember how now. Oh well. Happy Thursday!

Flashtrigger said...

Crazy how that works, huh?

Ayla said...

I can relate a lot to your journey. I faced those challenges when pagan and strangely now that I also love Yeshua and Mariamne I find myself too Christian for the pagans and too pagan for the Christians. I can't win LOL

Judgement sux

Julie said...

I find this fascinating. I don't really have a concept of paganism, though. As for the hatred some people feel for those who are different, I don't understand it either. Especially since most of these people's religion is based on the idea of treating people exactly opposite. For instance, the Bible teaches that the two greatest commandments are to have love. It's crazy to think about how many people subscribe to that belief and then to consider how many people are hostile... it's uncomfortably ironic.