Thursday, September 9, 2010

Will You Burn with Hate or Love?

I feel like I have the same rant building again.  This is a different incident but based on the same old ignorance and hate.  "Christians" in Florida are planning to burn copies of the Quaran on September 11th?

Because my faith is one that is little-understood by main-stream society, often feared, and almost always misrepresented, I hesitate to criticize any other faith.  I have to admit that there is a strain in the general relationship between Pagans and Christians.  If you are into religious history, you might guess why.  Also many Pagans come from Christian roots so there are sometimes personal feelings involved.  That said, if I'm going to criticize, I'm going to be deliberate about where I direct that criticism.  There are many Christians in this world who are loving and feel as angry as I do about this.  None of this is directed at them in any way.

The people who have organized this "burning" and all those support it are a disgrace to Christianity and  to humanity.  I grew up Catholic and although they did, I learned we are not supposed to judge.  I feel like there is a constant stream of judgment coming from the Christian perspective.  In a country where we are supposed to have separation of church and state, why is it we hear the term "Religious Right"?  They criticize everyone, if you're not Christian or you're gay or you're a woman who wants rights over her body or even just a liberal (haha), I think they think you're evil and must be stopped.  They really and truly believe that their values are right for everyone and we should all just adhere to their way of doing things.  There is no appreciation of differences, no ability to see beauty in diversity, no ability to even see humanity beneath faith.  It's such a closed-minded and intolerant perspective.  I don't really like the term tolerance because it implies putting up with something you don't like and I'd like to think we can do better than that but I'd be happy with a little bit of tolerance right now.     

It seems to me that some Christians think that this country was founded on "their" religion, and that "theirs" is the only right way.  Even in the skewed history we get, we learned that this country was founded because of the need for religious freedom, and as one of my favorite bumper stickers says, Freedom of religion means ALL religions!  That means that we're free here to pray five times a day, or to go to church on Sunday, or to sit out with the trees, or to believe in only science and what's seen.  We can express our belief in Spirit in any way we want and we're not obligated to hold any belief at all.  That's a beautiful thing!  I do not, however, believe that right translates to the freedom to commit blatantly hateful acts.

There is no other explanation for this, it's simply hateful.  Again, it implies that these self-righteous Christians believe that "Muslims were responsible for that terrorist act".  So every person who practices a particular religion will act in the same way?  Considering the behavior of some priests over the past few years, I really don't think we should go there. If someone were to organize a bible-burning, what would the general reaction be?  People are acting as if there are sides to be taken on this, just like the masque. Have any of the torch-carrying bigots even read any of it?  Of course not!  They just know it's evil because it's different.  There's supposed to be some symbolism in burning them on that date, as if that holy book is a symbol of the hate that perpetrated those actions.  Their anger is the symbol of that hate. 

The thing is, that's a sacred text.  Just because it's not sacred to everyone, it doesn't lose that quality.  To set fire to it in this hateful way (I keep using that word) is a powerfully negative thing to do.  The Witch comes out in me again when I think of the consequences that might bring about.  I've learned in my faith that what you put out you get back in return.  Judging others does nothing but harm.  When you are loving towards the world, you get loving energy back.  I wonder what energy those people will get back?

The best thing I can do is to turn a blind eye to it.  I came, I wrote, I got it out of my system. (well, mostly)  I'm still reeling over the wrongness of this.  I'm sickened, yet again, by the media and the fact that this should never have been a story as it only instigated more hate and division. (Just doing their jobs.)  I'm disheartened by the rampant ignorance and fear that causes division in this country.  I'm grateful for my path and my ability to see all the beauty in every path to Divinity or calm. I'm grateful for my ability to step back, forgive, and love it all.  I'm praying for peace again and still.


  1. I think that minister is backing down. Thank God.
    I have heard that division is not real. That we are all One. I guess not everyone has heard that, huh?

  2. He's backing down due to tons of criticism. But yes, it always gets to me how hypocritical many "Christians" are. I am a non-believer in anything and I would never do something like this. Unfortunately, part and parcel to most religions is to believe that every other religion us wrong and full of it. So he is actually doing the right thing, even if they worship the same god under a different name. To him, any other holy book is just paper to be destroyed.

    But don't let other people's racism and hatred get to you. Just keep putting your love out there.

  3. Myrna- You heard right. When we try to hurt others, inevitably we only end up hurting ourselves. Maybe we should tell them.

    Ok, so busted for not watching the news. I knew there would be pressure to back down. What's frightening isn't the action so much as the inclination. What possessed anyone to want to do that in the first place? He is not, in any way, doing the right thing. If you really and truly believe in your own faith, there is no reason to believe that others are wrong and certainly no reason to destroy anything in the name of what you call God. If you have reverence for your own religion, you must also have reverence for that of others. It speaks of a lack of faith to me. To want to harm others, even symbolically, is a weak and hateful way to be. There is nothing in the bible that would promote this type of behavior. It's sickening and truly shows the lowest of the low in human behavior.

  4. To hear something like this is just so sad... How does something like this improve things... Focus on giving and sharing love no matter what happens on the outside.
    Religion comes second because we are human beings first and foremost...

  5. YogaSavy, you always have such wisdom. Religion comes second, as with anything that makes us think we're different. If only we could all see the ways we're the same, maybe we would start to focus on the giving and the sharing. We're only making it harder on ourselves when we are cruel.

  6. I have to say, I have been feeling this illusion very much...even in my dreams...choosing the softest way possible to cut through stone. It is getting easier, like its practice so we reduce the polarizations and walls...and deceptions that mankind created since the first religious books were ever written. I am compelled...very much so...on this quest for peace. It starts inside all of us. Just by accepting yourself...and not conforming to the environment lesson on the road. To convince no one of anything...but just be love.

  7. Marilyn, you just blew me away. That's what I want my path to be about, "to convince no one of anything...but just be love." I'm not sure what it is in me that feels the need to "convince" people to be loving, because I know that if I'm "warring" against hatefulness, I'm a part of the problem. The only way to truly end hateful behavior is to be love and wait for the world to catch up. Accepting ourselves is the key to being able to love and to accept love as it's given. Self-love is the key to changing our world because it translates into love for all that is.