Monday, May 2, 2011

Sifting Through the Comments: Unfiltered Honesty

I always make a point of reading through the comments section of an article -- this is because it is here that I find the heart of the matter; all of the brutal, unfiltered honesty from the conveniently faceless yet outspokenly opinionated.  And try as I might to review such bitter rantings without getting too emotionally involved [because really, what good could come of it], in the instance of a post I stumbled across today, the protective guard that was my Steadfast Insensitivity crumbled, leaving me beyond exposed.

Said post, Are the Quakers Going Pagan [provided by Christianity Today, May 2008] is followed by comment after comment of judgmental, demeaning, inaccurate and often unintelligent ramblings against both Paganism itself and also the idea that Pagans and Christians may be merging to share values, ideals and even rituals.

Why such hostility?  Such labels?  None can claim with any fraction of certainty that 'they' entertain the singular truth about divinity.  Without evidence, none have the authority to discount the beliefs of another.  [And no!  Old texts written by ancient men, long since dead, cannot be counted as any sort of proof.  Man is flawed.  His written word too will be flawed.  To claim it as the word of any supreme being is just another level of your faith.  Nothing more.  And if that is what you choose to embrace within your heart & soul, I respect such a right to that belief.  Why then must I fight to receive such a reciprocated right?  Why am I snubbed in return?]

Sparing my fellow Pagan readers the heartache of going through these long-winded lashings on their own, I will select a few at random and provide them below, joined by my very charged [in fact, blazing] rebuttals.


[Matt]:  "I can't believe the Quakers are allowing these Pagan dogs to commune with them. What does the kingdom of God have to do with the kingdom of Satan? Throw these Heathen dogs out on the street! We should never allow these servents of the devil to come into our church to bring in all sorts of ghastly doctrines from the pit of hell. Jesus is coming quickly, he better not find us in a drunken orgy (see Luke 12:45)."

          How many times must the Pagan community explain that our divinity has nothing whatsoever to do with the Christian entity of Satan?  Not only am I no one's servant, I am certainly no servant to the evil being of a religious movement that I do not even follow! And for the record, I own no doctrines-- let alone any from the pits of hell.  I also do not drink the blood of "behbehs" nor bathe in the blood of virgins.  Nor do I partake in drunken orgies for that matter.  

          I do however pick up litter when I find it lying about.  I wrap my children in a soft, warm blankie and cuddle them when they're sick.  I send donations to aid those affected by poverty and destruction.  I plant flowers and pet puppies. I make a mean chili and always make a point of smiling politely at strangers.  

          Wow, re-reading my last few sentences I can certainly see how one would label me "heathen".

[Pr. Bill Borch LtCol USAR]: "An Orthodox bishop attending a ministers' group heard each saying something like: Our view is- We believe- I think- The way we see it- etc, etc. The bishop said: "It doesn't matter what you think. I'm a bishop and it doesn't matter what I think. The only question is: what does "the" Church teach?" If you don't know don't waste your ink or our time."

           It is claimed that nothing matters but what the Church teaches -- not opinion, not personal spirituality, not what one believes at heart.  And yet, the Church teaches from a book crafted by man.  Man -- who has opinions, personal beliefs and a sense of what is true to his own unique mind. 

          LtCol, what I feel in my heart matters.  And I challenge you to find a single soul on this earth that will tell you otherwise [sans those who have been brainwashed into self loathing or self depreciation].  What is true within the hearts of any individual matters a great deal to that individual.  And because each of these individuals is so very unique, there is naturally going to be an immeasurable variety of opinions on what is believed.  The fact that we as a species can create such an infinite number of personal connections with the divine is, to me, a beautiful wonderment.  Imagine the rapture of being loved and worshiped in a million different ways.

[Brett Blatchley]:  "People are not being drawn to Jesus; rather they are fading into the nothingness of a formless, impersonal god (which is just a gentle path to eternal separation from the true God, Jesus)."

           Anyone with a genuine connection to the Pagan path [and not those merely dabbling for the sake of rebellion from all that is Mainstream] can tell you that there is NOTHING impersonal about their connection to god.  Whatever form of divinity -- be it a god, goddess, nature, celestial bodies or light-- the intimate sense of oneness with that source is felt and cherished.


And finally I leave with you a posting that kept the tears of frustration from spilling forth.  Thank you anonymous "Kelly".


[Kelly]: "A religion is either alive, relevant and pointing people to divinity or it's the dead husk of one that used to do these things. If it is alive then by definition it's changing and growing, just like its members. Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Fox-- they all understood this. As did Jesus himself. All of these wise ones saw things they felt were wrong with religious establishment and sought to change them. What they may not have said, or what others didn't record of them, is that no matter the church, you have to find god for yourself. If there are quakers that will use pagan ritual to reach out to God or if there are pagans who sit in meeting and reach for the light within, then at the very least they are doing it for themselves and according to their own conscience. They are not leaving their souls in the hands of some priest. Well done."


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  1. Excellent article and a double "thumbs up"!

  2. My thanks! Had I any self control I would avoid the comments sections of these articles all-together, but alas -- my curiosity tends to win such battles.