I read an article that a friend of mine, Earl Williams at Iowa Pagan News
Radio shared this morning and I want to share it with you. It’s well
written, gives great references and statistics to back it up and gives me great
satisfaction and renews our hope that we are taking the paper in the right
There were a lot of comments on the article and in the post it was shared to.
Most of them are about the Pope and the Church, indigenous people, and so on,
but a lot of them missed the actual point of the article, in my opinion. You
can read it here and form your own opinion. You can let us know your
thoughts in the comments below. Please consider the rest of this article as you
ponder the topic and write your response, though.
Paganism, the blanket term most frequently used to categorize any person who does
not follow Judeo-Christian beliefs, whether they consider themselves Pagan or
not, is growing and for the purposes of this article “the Church” is
shrinking. The statistics are given in the article. So are many reasons for the
shift. Those are the important parts I want to bring to attention.
It’s great news! The “do it our way or else” attitude that has made
Christianity so scary, for so many, for so long is becoming a thing of the
past. Just by the sheer volume of people that are finally seeing through the
BS, believing that it is wrong, and are choosing to seek out other options that
suit their spiritual needs!
We haven’t heard of anyone being burned at the stake in many years, and the last
Witch of Salem was finally pardoned this year, but we are still a long way
away from everyone feeling safe enough to practice on their porches. It’s not
really our lives at stake these days, but our livelihoods. We still fear what
our neighbors, co-workers, and our kids’ friend’s parents will think and do.
We can’t overlook the fact that the attitude doesn’t just belong to “the
church”, either though. It happens among us “Pagans” also. It’s
not quite as openly visible and vile as burning at the stake was but can be
more devastating to individuals trying to find their way in the world. It can
have a much longer lasting and further reaching effect on their lives. We also
can’t overlook the fact that people get forced into the category of
“pagan”, even if they are not, simply because they aren’t
“Christians” anymore or never were to begin with.
We hear a lot of “but I’m not Pagan” day to day from people who
enjoy and are interested in metaphysical and spiritual things, and they love
the paper, but they don’t see themselves as Pagan and don’t want to be placed
in the category because of the stigmas the term Pagan still carries. I
completely understand it and it breaks my heart, but it also pushes me harder
to change things.
We, the Pagan Community as a whole, have to change that. We must become a
community that doesn’t ostracize and cause harm to people who don’t believe
exactly as we do about anything. We need to become a blanket that people are at
least comfortable being placed under, if not proud of it.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter, and any suggestions you have,
for how we can become a better Pagan Community even non-pagans can be proud to
be a part of.