What do you fear?
I’ll start, you can ask Aj but, Tarot scares me. I don’t understand it. I have years of conditioning against divination. I don’t really want to learn much more than that. Add Ouija boards to that list for the same reasons. My faith has taught me that they are tools of demons and the devil…
My best friend is Pagan. If you read the second line, you can figure out that it’s Aj. By all rights, I should be scared of her for the same reasons as Tarot and Ouija but, I’m not. Why? Because I know her.
There’s an old expression, “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”. What if there’s a third path. What if you don’t want to “beat ’em” or “join ’em”? How ’bout this, encourage them? That works, too. Hunh, Aj. Meaning, you don’t have to be the same as the people you love. You don’t have to do the same things. All you have to do is enjoy them doing the things they do.
So, back from that digression…Just because something scares me, it doesn’t mean I have to be afraid of it. *This’ll make sense, I promise* I can not drink. Ever. If I do, the failure will be complete. It doesn’t mean I’m scared of alcohol. It doesn’t mean that, out of fear, I think it should be banned. It doesn’t mean I lash out at people that drink. It just means that I don’t.
Other differences are the same. Just because I am not Pagan and parts of what some of my friends do goes against my preferences and conditioning doesn’t make it wrong…It just makes it not right for me. That’s the odd thing about life. We can not approve of something for ourselves and think it is entirely proper for someone else. I’d no more change the Pagans I know than I’d become Pagan. It fits them like being a Heretic Christian fits me.
There is a perception that the things we fear or are different are our enemy. That is not always the truth. None of the Pagans I know are out to get me. *editorial, I don’t fear them. I just recognize their faith as different than mine* They are not waging a war against Christianity. They are just trying to live their lives in peace. The problem is that, because of a false perception on our part, we feel that we must react to a perceived threat. We think, without knowing, that we have to respond in kind to something that does not exist…
Perhaps we need to take a step back. Perhaps we need to look at our own bias and not think that we should project that on to others…Back to the top, I do fear Tarot. That makes it wrong for me. It doesn’t make it wrong for someone else. It doesn’t mean that the people I know that do Tarot are wrong. It merely means that it is wrong for me. Aj has been doing Tarot since she was 14. If there is a person that is more firmly on my side, outside of my wife and blood kin, I don’t know who it would be. If I were to fear her because of something she does, I’d remove my best friend. I may be any number of things but, I’m not stupid enough to do that.
This post used Pagans and Aj as an example. You could substitute any number of other differences. LBGT/Straight or Liberal/Conservative/Libertarian are the ones that come to mind. Different does not equal enemy.