Accepting Other Religions

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Introduction

When I first came upon my path I did not realize that prejudice was still alive to this extreme. It did not take me long to learn this, nor did it take it long for people to tell me that I was going to go to hell. While tolerance for paganism has indeed improved through out the many years it is still frowned upon a great deal. Often times people can't help but share their disapproval of this religion.

While I often respect all religions and opinions I do not really like being disrespected and having my feelings hurt and most often cases, no matter what the religion may be, this happens. There are plenty of people out there who do not feel as I do.

History Of Prejudice

Let's begin with the most well known cases of intolerance of this earth based religion. The Salem Witch Trials. Though it came down to mainly lies, plenty of people died because of people pointing fingers at others and believing they were practicing witchcraft. So what if they were? They were doing no harm. Ye harm none and do as ye will is mainly what we believe. The threefold law as well.

People were hung, people were burn, and people were burned all because of suspicions of the practice of witchcraft. This not only happened here in the united states but all across Europe as well.

Paganism is an ancient belief. While Wicca is a newer path it is still based on ancient beliefs and though you may not believe it at least you can respect the person for who they are and not their beliefs. There is no need for belittling anyone. They have the right to live, the right to freedom of religion just as much as anyone else.

Modern Day Prejudice

To this day Pagans are still being told that we are going to hell. Recently I even read an article that in Saudi Arabia that a couple of women were executed on the charges of witchcraft and sorcery. Now although this may not be the case, they could of simply been standing up for their religion or speaking out of place, these were the charges that were placed on them and this is still simply wrong.

To this day Paganism is associated with sacrifices and dancing in the nude in the woods while having wild orgies. Wild orgies? Come on now. No. Sacrifices do not happen, not with the true Pagans or true Wicca practitioners. I will admit that every so often they do occur with those who turn it into some kind of occult practice but this is barely the case. Don't judge the majority of us on just a few cases.


Freedom Of Religion

Our ancestors came to the united states for majority of reasons. Freedom being a number one. Many of people came for their Freedom of Religion. Shouldn't we still have that now? I feel that with the tolerance of paganism still being slim that we don't really have this freedom. Christians, Pagans, Hindus, Buddhists, yes all of us should have freedom. Instead many of us are being judged. We should not judge each other based on our beliefs but rather who we are as a person. Are we kind? Are we gentle? Can't we just treat each other with respect just once? Perhaps one day the acceptance of paganism along with other religions will improve. Until then I will still consider myself proud of my beliefs.

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Comments 10 comments

suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 4 years ago from Taos, NM

Yes, America was founded on freedom of religion. That is why we celebrate Thanksgiving every November; however, today, many people forget that the Puritans and Pilgrims were fleeing persecution for religious beliefs. At the same time, today, many still persecute others in the name of God and religion. Ironic isn't it?

I personally do not believe in Paganism or Wicca, however, I had students when I taught who did. And, I saw them being persecuted for their religious beliefs. They were always thankful to come to my classroom because even though I didn't share their beliefs, I would not permit any comments or behaviors that were persecution in nature in my classroom.

I reminded my students of the Puritans and Pilgrims and we had to learn tolerance and open-mindedness in my classroom. Believe me, we teach more than textbook lessons in the classroom.

Mine was always a bully-free classroom and so I cannot understand when bullying occurs in other classrooms and other schools. I would not permit it at all. I don't understand teachers that don't enforce this in their classrooms. Everyone in my classroom had to be respected or the offending person was removed. And, I had an incident where the offender was removed and the offendee remained in my class.

This is when teacher tenure comes in handy. The principal couldn't say no to me when the offender was removed, because he would have had the teacher's association on his back.


Daniella Lopez profile image

Daniella Lopez 4 years ago from Arkansas

Great hub Cresent. I heard about the Saudi women as well, although I haven't been able to find out much info on it. A very sad case... Thankfully it's not like that here still. But Pagans in American did have to go through that at one time. Bless be, my friend. Merry Christmas and Happy Yule!


Cresentmoon2007 profile image

Cresentmoon2007 4 years ago from Caledonia, MI Author

Suzzette, I am glad to hear that you have no tolerance for bullying. I do not ask that people follow my beliefs, I merely as that people like me for me and not dislike me because of my beliefs. Thank you for liking your students and respecting them. I'm sure they greatly respect you for it.

Daniella, it is a sad case indeed. Though it may not be that they were practicing paganism or witchcraft directly, they said that it may have been from just speaking their mind freely or from having another religion but that was the final cause of the execution. Blessed be my friend. You have a Merry Christmas as well and a very Happy Yule.


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether

Cresentmoon2007 - Great hub and oh so very true. It is very sad that we all can't just accept others for their beliefs and move on with our day. I have found that I cannot just talk about my beliefs openly to my family and friends, because they tend to judge...though they may not say it to me...their faces say it all. Usually I hear jokes about it...things such as "go fly off on your broom" or "don't be mixin' up chicken bones in the kitchen" and such. Although I try to laugh at these remarks, it still bothers me. It's cute for awhile, then it gets old. Anyway, great hub. Keep speaking your mind. Blessings.


Evylyn Rose profile image

Evylyn Rose 4 years ago from Colorado, USA

Interesting hub! Although I have to point out that in the history of the intolerance toward witchcraft, it is only in the past 60 years (approximately) that the term in any language ever has had a positive connotation. The "harming none" and "rule of three" were unheard of by anyone during any witch trials at Salem and various other parts of the world. The witchcraft being targeted, then, was exactly what that term meant during those times (and for all times by that point); evil, harmful, and destructive. Unfortunately, what was in actuality harmless folk magick and old traditions were mistaken as acts of witchcraft as the term was defined in those days. Only today do we associate those traditions and practices with the new and positive definitions of the term witchcraft. The people of the past that we say were witches would hate us for the insult that it would be to them in their time period.

As far as being told we are going to hell for our beliefs, well, that is their beliefs. They have a right to express them just as we have the right to express our beliefs. Are we any better for telling someone Hell doesn't exist? Just because we may feel hurt because someone does not see our perspective does not put them in the wrong. We are hurt because they won't believe what we believe. Recognize it as the difference in beliefs that it is and take the negativity out of it. However, differences in belief does not excuse violent, aggressive, and harassing behaviors from anyone of any set of beliefs. Sadly, this behavior still occurs quite frequently between many faiths in various parts of the world.

Nice points about judgment and respect. If we want to see acceptance of our faiths improve, we all need to start there. ;)


Marc Babineau profile image

Marc Babineau 4 years ago from Cornwall, Ontario, The Seaway City

Hey there;

I am one of those "atheists" for lack of a better word, possibly because I can't believe that a God would want their followers to fight a war in their name. You want to talk about being judged? Try telling Catholics that you don't believe in God or the hereafter, that when you die, that's it, end of story. Ceased to be and all that.

There seems to be more prejudice and hatred to other religions from Christians than any other religions, maybe that's one reason why it is the fastest declining religion as far as patrons goes.

Great hub - everyone is entitled to their opinion, even if it's wrong (hehe)...


Cresentmoon2007 profile image

Cresentmoon2007 4 years ago from Caledonia, MI Author

Kitty, I know how you feel and thank you for reading.

Evelyn, I realized that what you said about the ye harm none is true.

Marc, atheists get judged just as much as anybody else does about their beliefs. I know I have an atheist boyfriend and my step uncle tells him quite a bit. Thank you for reading.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london

Sweet Crescent,

It's me again. There is no need to prove anything or to please others. No need for convincing either. So many of us are still in innocent ignorance! The veil will be removed in time. Again, 'self-love' is deeply rooted in much of what we do.

Be you. Be happy. A city that is on a hill cannot be hid. Let your light so shine that it glorify's your Path; glorify the One within. Do not descend to the negatives. There are plenty who would love to see you fall. Leave this for the Enlightened ones.

Once again, Much love, my dear Friend.


Cresentmoon2007 profile image

Cresentmoon2007 2 years ago from Caledonia, MI Author

Thank you, friend. I no longer feel the need to please others. And now that I feel that way, I feel better about myself.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london

Yes.

I believe you are continuing to understand the Dao, to move closer to the Light. A cute embrace this Sunday. Higher blessings.

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