I’ve been thinking – because an un-examined position is not a good one – about my reactions. Not even sure this is a good idea… but…
What offends me? The repeated idea that Their way is the only way. That people are powerless, needing to be possessed by some foreign spirit to even be able to walk – or do anything, win a sports competition, get over grief, make more money, etc. That a loving, all powerful deity is also a petty, vengeful one – kind of like an abusive boyfriend that will kill you if you don’t love them back. That it is better to believe – or go through the motions of really believing – just in case it is true that this loving deity will send you off to be tortured for eternity if you don’t. That people are basically cruel, evil beings in need of saving from themselves. That a lot of the same people Praying in public are ‘sinning’ – often in very nasty, harmful ways – in private. That a lot of people Praying for peace, love and understanding in public are also racist, hateful, mean spirited people – mostly in private, but even in public. Hypocrisy in general. I won’t get into the anti-science and ‘bible-based’ bigotry.
I understand – from a first hand point of view – that if you seriously believe it, that you see wanting other people to believe as you do is the kind thing to do. I know it may be comforting to think some omnipotent, benevolent God is really paying attention to everything all the time – even you and your quest for a parking space. I know how hard it is to have that Faith stripped from you. Its not something I would wish on anyone.
So, I don’t go around trying to convince Christians of what I know to be true. I don’t try to force anyone to change their religion or open themselves to spiritual possession. I don’t require anyone to meditate, take a shamanic journey, make offerings to Cernunnos or anything else to participate in any event or gathering.
Is a little reciprocal consideration too much to ask?
I don’t ‘cleverly’ give people copies of “Conversations with God” or “Illusions.” I don’t invite people to a free dinner – without telling them it requires sitting through a presentation of The Secret before or during eating. I don’t go around suggesting everyone get into Healing through Shamanism.
(Feel free to click the links and buy some books or videos if you are interested.)