Pet Peeve

So I’m giving up putting things out on a specific day. I’m still going to aim for Monday Wednesday and Friday, but it just never seems to work out.  So I’m just going to post it as I can now. Three posts per weeks still though.

This is going to stray from my normal posts.

I was looking for something to write about when I came accorss Critial Issues commentary or CICministry.org.  Now, I’m not one to bash any religion. Honestly, I think most religions and their philosophies are innocent enough. The problem I have is when people bring intolerance and hatred into their faith and use it to persecute others.  While I would normally not write about this topic in this blog, I was particularly offended by the close mindedness in these articles.

Do Not Judge

Now back to faith.  There is no room in faith for intolerance as far as I’m concerned. I know that we are not perfect beings and incapable of perfection, but every religion has some turn of phrase equivalent to the golden rule: Treath others as you wish to be treated.

Pagans: The Rule of Three and the Wiccan Rede (which we talked about recently).

Christians: Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Matthew 7:1-3

I’ve just posted a few here, but just about every religion has something about not judging others and I think that is where many people get into trouble with religion.  People forget that we aren’t supposed to judge others or that there is a fine line between sharing your path and persecuting others.  It isn’t the religion itself that is wrong here, it is people who take it too far.

So What Brought This Up?

I know that there are a lot of miscommunications about faith, but this particular site just attacks everything that is the slightest bit different from their own faith. In some articles they even attack others within their faith because theirs is “the only right way”.

Well, I want to know that without a direct line to the God, Goddess, or Supreme Divine how one can assume that they have the one and only path? There is a reason I do my very best not to judge others. I fight very hard, but there comes a point where we also have to stand and say no more. Where does the line between pushing faith and persecuting others begin and end?

And the more upset I got about it, the more guilty I realized that I was being of the exact same thing (at least in that moment).  I was getting defensive over someone verbally attacking what I believed, even though it was words written on a page a few years ago.

And there was a time in which I fell into this trap more often than not. I used to read an article and go down to the comments. Now I don’t read comments anymore. You know why? Because I found myself getting way too engrossed in the debate over controversial topics there and, it took me a while, but I realized that most of the time, it wasn’t worth arguing with most of the internet trolls I found out there who simply went with that point of view because they were unwilling to see any other or even contemplate that there was something beyond their point of view.

A World of Black and White

As humans we tend to see things as black or white, right and wrong, or good and bad.  However, the world we live in is far more complicated than this. This is why I have problems with fluffy bunny Wiccans (and why I rarely identify as Wiccan aside from legally).  It is also why I had trouble identifying with the church.

When it comes to religion most people shut the door on shades of gray. Some feel that they have to reject everything else out of a fear of what lies after this life. Others have been persecuted for so long that they feel they automatically need to lift their shields and go to arms. Both are reactionary and counterproductive to any positive outcome.

So what is the world of Gray?

The world of Gray is the world I live in. I’m not always good at accepting it, but if I pause, take a breath, and think rationally for a moment, I realize that what is best for me isn’t always what is best for someone else. The world of Gray is the world where it isn’t fair that something is organized by last name, but it works out for someone else (a silly example, but true none the less).  The world of Gray is the world where even in Christianity there are four major and several more minor theories (I know I remember studying them in intro to Christianity in college).  The world of Gray is the world in which I can still hold the teachings of Christ near and dear to my heart, while perceiving myself as pagan.

We were given free will and there are few things that are universally right or wrong. Let me give you an example. We generally say that murder is wrong. We all generally agree that it is wrong to murder someone for a possession or for hurting you emotionally. Think crimes of passion.  However, we generally applaud someone who takes out a criminal like a terrorist. Or when a father protects his family from a mugger he is a hero even if he accidentally kills someone.

Once again it comes down to intent. And that a major component in the world of grey.

My Perception

It just pains me to see someone assume that they have the only right message, path, way, or ideas, when we live in a world where black and white are rarely the norm.  It pains me to see someone blindly follow a book instead of their own heart. From my personal perspective all of the jeudeo Christian faiths are beautiful, but many times taken far beyond their meanings.

I just cannot imagine a divine ALL that is male, female or both, to be so cruel as to deny happiness or their favor upon someone who lives a good and honest life just because they believe that there are multiple paths to the divine.  It hurts me to hear of leaders manipulating faith through fear so as to create more persecution.  And then those same leaders turn around and complain about the persecution of Christians.  This is why the Rule of Three and the Rede are so important. We should all live to create as few negative ripples in this world as we can.  We should all support the faith of others so long as they are based in creating a more peaceful world. Cults and religions that preach harm are another thing, but nearly all religions preach the Golden rule and love above nearly all else.

Two Wolves

You know this whole thing makes me think of the movie we saw at the drive in the other day. Tommorrow Land.

A girl says something to her father “There are two wolves. One is darkness and despair. The other is light and hope. Which one Wins?”

He responds “The one you feed.”

If we only feed the negative in our lives we see mostly black. And if we only feed the positive we see mostly white in the world.  But honestly neither can exist without the other. It’s all well and good to feed the positive all the time, but we cannot forget that sometimes something bad happening to us is a blessing. We have to remember that the negative exists for a reason. We don’t have to like it, but it’s true.  We can’t just feed one or the other all the time.

I always think that I would love to live in a perfect world, but if I really sit down and think about it, a perfect world would be no challenge. There would be no joy.   Part of this path is embracing both sides of the coin and becoming the best self that we can be. Embracing the existence of the dark doesn’t mean that we go out and do horrible things, it means accepting the world and the negative imperfections in the others around us.

Conclusion

I started out this post as an angry pagan woman thinking about a cruel writer who could be viewed as betraying morals of his or her own faith. However, after getting all of it out and sharing my opinion and theory of the Gray world, I just feel sorry for whoever wrote those articles.  It’s sad to live in a world where everything but your own small pond is the darkness beyond.

I prefer to live in a world where light and dark are of equal importance. I like that my world recognizes both the light and the dark in everything. I like that this faith promotes love and the least amount of harm. And I want to promote that world, not just through my own faith, but through the faith of others.

So however you find this, as a pagan, Christian, or as a member of the church of the flying spaghetti monster

Blessed Be.

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