One of my Temple Sisters has this ability to take every single situation in life and say “And what is the lesson that the Goddess is trying to teach us?” And as I contemplated which way my post about yesterday, I could hear her voice in the back of me head saying “Angela, how is this a teaching lesson?”
So for those not in the know on the events yesterday, it all began with what I am assuming was an innocent post on the Time Warp Wife blog (yep, I linked it. I did so in effort that others can come to their own conclusions.) in reference to pagans and the Top 25 Faith Blogs contest. In short, Mrs. Darlene Schacht felt that we shouldn’t be permitted to be in the contest because our faith is a wrong faith. It didn’t stop there unfortunately. I had made a point to go to her Facebook page and say hello and wish her a bit of luck. When I encounter people who seem scared of “those people” a little friendliness goes a long way. Interestingly she removed that post. While I fully agree it’s her page and she can edit as she sees fit, I am a bit taken aback that someone would remove a friendly hello. And then the comments from her friends began. I can only report what I remember reading because the most offensive (to me) were quickly removed either from Mrs. Darlene or from the authors themselves. Questions of how can a Christian be married to someone whom practices witchcraft (if anyone is still left wondering, I refer you to my husbands guest post last night) and even how my children (whom are free to explore religion of any kind barring they inflict harm on another) must be so confused and need prayers. One of my most favorites was that one of us pagan moms might “gasp* be on the PTA and have an influence over other families.
I am not exactly sure what these ladies seem to think that I, or any of the other pagan moms in the contest, exactly do that would render such fear. I only have speculation. And that is where the lesson is. Speculation. It’s a nasty germ that infests human kind. Especially women. One of the number one issues I have always had with women is the gossipy nastiness that ensues when one feels threatened by another. Women should be empowering each other, not tearing one another down. We all face the same struggles, we just have different emotions with those struggles. Mrs. Darlene is no better than I, and I am no better than her. We are both human. Yet another lesson.
What we post online isn’t just for our close friends and family. We know this. We claim to be ready to stand by what we post. Until we see how mean and horrible it is. Some of us saw a not-so-nice side to Mrs. Darlene. And she saw the not-so-nice side of a community hurt. Does this make her a horrible human being? No. She has a right to believe what she wishes. She has a right to make statements as she sees fit. But with that comes a huge responsibility of accepting any love or backlash that comes from that. Mrs. Darlene could be a wonderfully amazing woman, many of her friends came forth to say so. Perhaps she can take this lesson to show that side more often to those that have a different viewpoint. Perhaps she can learn not to “wage war” when it’s not necessary and learn to spread that Christly love that we pagans so often hear about. Perhaps that was the lesson meant for her.
But what about the rest of us. What is our learning lesson? For starters I think we learned that for such an unorganized community, we can band together to help each other when it’s necessary. That we recognize that we don’t always agree with each other religiously but we will fight for what we feel is right. But I want to take it a step further. I think this can be a unifying situation. Instead of jumping on the “oh those crazy Christians” bandwagon, how about we turn to those Christians that accept us as we are and say “thank you”. Perhaps we pat the hand of those scared of us and let them know that when they are ready to talk, we will talk. Was yesterday frustrating? Oh yes! But today is a new day…..a day in which we can find a way to turn those hurt feelings into a good thing. We have young children being raised in our faith. It is up to us to pave the way to make things a wee bit easier for them in modern society.