Tiny Victories

Dear Pagans,

Christians are obtuse. We will try to intellectualize and understand something that is visceral and emotional to you. We will fail. YOU will be the ones taking the risk because we are the “establishment” and you are the ones striving to prove to us that you deserve equality and respect. It sucks, truly sucks. There is not one tiny bit of “fair” involved. I wish it were different.

It gets worse, even when you do succeed with one person, there’s still a chance, a good chance, that someone will come along and justify the fears that we still have. Some other person will fit our stereotypes and we will think we made a mistake, “see, I told you they were ALL like that”. You do know all of this. We will see those of you that become frustrated and vocal and we will feel vindicated. We will read words like “Witch” and “Crone” and not know that, to you, they are titles of honor that have been earned. We will look at your communities and see them as strange and different, forgetting we forced you into them. *sigh* We can not help it because we do not know any better and refuse to be taught.

I don’t know how you do it. Even though I am a fringe part, Heretic Christian is a denomination with one member, I still get to be Christian. I’m even on your side, if not faith. Remember this, too, we will see the history of our early church and the Roman Empire’s persecution of us, forgetting that we were committing treason, and see that as justification for everything we did after Constantine Christianized the Roman Empire. We will ignore or diminish what we have done to you saying, like a child, “you started it”. We will be hypocritical and xenophobic. Our faith demands it. There are vanishingly few of us, like me, that are the tiniest bit open to the idea that ANY faith outside of our own is valid, much less polytheism or elemental faith. We don’t really understand. We will always see our fears. We were trained to do that and are too lazy and mentally dishonest to try to break our teaching. We will refuse to admit the possibility that there are other paths and ways. We CAN NOT because that would mean our beliefs are not infallible. Hell, we can not even agree that all that claim to be of our own faith really are.

Please do not stop trying. Please try to show us, even when you get frustrated and feel like it’s an insurmountable obstacle to overcome. Please teach us, even at risk of loss because some of us are willing to attempt to understand. Please be patient when we are boneheads. I am not saying we are worth the effort, I am saying YOU are. Look at it like this, if one of you can convince one of us to love the first one, then we, read “I”, will become willing to accept all of you. *sigh*

I wish the burden were not on you to justify yourself. I can not blame you when you get frustrated and decide we are not worth the energy. If I had to face what you do, I would do just that. I’d stay angry at the unfairness of it all. I’d quit trying to reach out to even one of us. At some point, I’d say, “effing damn hypocritical christians need to practice what they preach or shut the eff up”. For what it’s worth I wouldn’t blame you if you said just that and quit trying but, please don’t.

When it is safe, or possibly so, meaning physically safe, please “come out” if there’s the possibility that you have found one of us that will see the person. If there’s a chance, try. From my personal perspective, one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever been given was the risk that Aj took and the trust and love for her I now have. She risked telling me she was Pagan after we became best friends but, while I did not know. She had become “attached” to me and was willing to take the hurt if I rejected her so that she could tell me the truth and not hide from me. That gift and that truth changed my world and my view of all of you. That was a “tiny victory” and that is how you will get there from here. It will be one of you teaching one of us. Please try.

Love, Miller

 

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