The following rant is rated O for Offensive. It’s because I’m offended, and I need to speak in the name of facts. For the non-offensive Christians out there who recognize many paths to the same source — you know who you are — apologies in advance. You’re not being lumped in. For those who start reading and become uncomfortable, it’s time to ask some big, deep questions. And I’m the one to bring those questions to the table because I’ve been persecuted by Christians most of my life, many within my own family. It’s because their beliefs are so fragile that my independence scares them. I’ve walked alongside other Christians in friendship. And I’ve participated in sacred rites, Christian and pagan alike. I’ve had a front row seat for all of it. That’s an advantage I have, befriending those in all walks of life and being willing to actually look at facts.
Every single year this happens, without fail. We get within sight of Halloween, and someone I know — usually a different person every year — will decide to proudly demonstrate their ignorance in the name of Christianity. It begins here, continues through Thanksgiving, and ultimately culminates, of course, with Christmas. And it’s always the exact same rhetoric. “Halloween is evil.” “Witches are evil.” “All those people are going to Hell.” And other such variations on this general theme.
Being who I am, I have to point out that we supposedly live in an age of equality and understanding (all evidence to the contrary), and that declaring random people, whose beliefs you don’t have the first clue about, as evil because your beliefs won’t let you see past your own noses to anything resembling enlightenment or intelligence is generally frowned upon in the workplace. That’s called persecution. Christians should know it well. It’s how they existed for over 300 years, until Constantine “got a vision.”
Here’s the thing. Much like when dealing with politics, people are entitled to their own opinions, but nobody is entitled to their own facts. It’s education time.
Pagan means “people from the country.” Heathen means “people of the heather.” Pretty much the same thing. Most of what we recognize as Christianity today started as pagan festivals marking the various points of the year, specifically seasonal and mid-seasonal celebrations. Nothing about any of it is evil, not by any stretch of imagination. There is no devil in witchcraft. Spells? Is that your fear? Prayers, by any other name. The Christians remark on the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” That’s AS, not BEFORE. Contrast this with the Wiccan Rede, “An’ it harm none, do what thou wilt.” They both sound like good ideas, don’t they? Pretty similar in tone and spirit, wouldn’t you say?
I won’t sit here and tell you every witch, Wiccan, or other random flavor of pagan are innocent, and likewise with Christians, or anyone else. You get bad apples in every group. But by and large when it comes holiday time, I don’t hear the pagans starting shit just to start it.
If you can deal with some of the obnoxious overproduction for the first couple of minutes, I encourage people to watch this:
The rest of the movie goes a little more off the deep end into tinfoil hat territory, but this part of it is pretty much spot-on. Feel free to look it up and verify it for yourself.
Or if you’d rather hear a different tale from the voice of those being wronged, I encourage everyone to listen carefully to the lyrics of this song. It speaks to facts. It speaks to a holocaust that happened over the course of centuries in the name of Christ. It’s a situation that, unfortunately, is still being practiced to lesser degrees in nearly every civilized country you can name without the need for a formal Inquisition.
Did you listen? Does this sound like something Christ would condone to you?!
I trust we’re all on equal footing now, whether it be more understanding or more pissed off. Either way, Happy Halloween regardless of whether you want to celebrate it, Samhain, Reformation Day, or whatever else.
End of rant.