Today I had an incident on my personal Facebook page in which a well meaning Christian woman befriended me, and tried to send me a message from her God. Now there was a time I would have gone totally ballistic and raked her across the coals for daring to try and send me a message from her God. But, because I am truly trying to be a Peaceful Rainbow Warrior whose words do not inspire anger or hatred, I pulled my Pagan horns in and actually managed to tell her very polititely, but also very firmly that although I respected her path, I had a different one, did not accept messages from the Christian God, and did not consider myself one of his people.
I realize that Christians are taught from a very early age that converting others to Christianity is part of what they are suppose to do as Christians. What the Christians have to understand is that the path I follow has the exact opposite attitude when it comes to converting others. I am not one who believes in Sin. But, to me, trying to convert another person from the spiritual path that feels best for them is the closest thing to a Sin there is for me. Therefore, in many respects, Christians and I are always going to be at odds when it comes to the issue of converting others. However, as I try to go gracefully into my Crone Phase, I am seeing that doesn't have to be something that makes it impossible for us to still get along with each other.
I can, as I did today remain polite but firm when it comes to Christians trying to convert me. If the Christian backs off, and accepts that converting me is not an option, and that I do not consider myself one of the Christian God's people, then there is no reason we can't get along, and even be friends on and/or off Facebook or any other social media site. If the Christian will not back off and show me the same respect I am trying to show her or him, then I will gracefully walk away from them.
Those that can hang with me will find that although I am purely Pagan, I am not an evil or bad person. If they can hang with me on social media sites they will see all kinds of Wiccan, Pagan, and Native American stuff. Along with some funny, and yes at times, downright salacious stuff. The one thing they won't see me doing on or off the web is trying to convert them, or anybody else to my path.
I have several Christian friends that sometimes put up stuff that makes me wince. The way I figure it, that's okay because some of what I put up is probably making them wince as well. But you see that's what this whole thing about getting along is really all about. It's not about just getting along with people who share your views and spiritual beliefs. Hell, getting along with someone like that is easy. The hard part is about getting along with those whose views are radically different from yours. That's the part that sometimes challenges us the most. It is my desire to become someone who rises to that challenge, and hopefully gently encourages others to do the same.
Blessed Be to ALL reading these words.
What my spiritual path teaches me is to respect ALL religions and spiritual paths, no matter how much they differ from mine. All I ask in return is that others show me the same respect I am showing them. I realize if you are a Christian reading this that your religion teaches yours is the only One true God. That is in fact one thing that turns me completely off of Christianity because I really do believe all Gods and Goddesses are true and real to those who believe in them. My path also teaches me the concept of Harm None. I firmly believe to try and "convert" another to Christianity or any other religion by claiming all Gods and Goddesses are one in the same is to harm those who do not believe in whatever religion you happen to. So PLEASE, if you are a Christian reading this, try and find in your heart to understand where I'm coming from here. I love and respect the path I follow just as much as you love and respect the path you follow. Do not try and forcefully "convert" me to your path by telling me all things trace back to your God. I will never believe that, and if pressed will defend my right to believe in my Gods and Goddesses with my very last breath. Even if it means screaming it from a stake I'm being burned at. Just as you will defend your beliefs to the death. For all of us on this planet to truly get along with each other we must all realize this, and allow those who do not walk our spiritual path the freedom to do so without interference from others.
Blessed Be To All