I’ve written before about my sewing group and how their worldview is much more Christian conservative than mine. This is the same group who decided that gay people didn’t need rights because they are just going to hell anyway. One of them read on my facebook page that I took a quiz about religion and my result said pagan. That was the springboard for this discussion.
“You know you worried me until I took the quiz too and realized that pagan doesn’t mean anything.” Ok, how to answer that? While I was formulating an intelligent answer the other one piped up.
“Doesn’t being pagan mean that you worship false gods?”
That reminded me of the Theory of Relativity. It all depends on your point of view. Looking at it from a Christian perspective pagans worship false gods. But pagans don’t see it that way. It isn’t like I woke up one morning and decided that I would try out the false gods. It is a hard statement to refute because from a nonchristian perpective it is blubbering nonsense but for Christians it is a cold hard fact.
Person #1 added in that pagan just means any nonchristian which while true historically made me consider how that may be the one statement that would unite the Jews, Hindus, Muslims, and Jains to deliver a cosmic smackdown. We of the nonchristian stripe don’t like being clumped together and dismissed as the THEM in Christians’ US vs THEM duality.
At this point in the discussion swirling around me I’m not sure that I had managed to get a word in – intelligent or not. “You aren’t really pagan are you?”
There it is. The thing that we of minority faiths debate and dread – the direct confrontation. Do you speak up or stay in the closet? Does it depend on who is asking? I took a breath and stated clearly, “Yes I’m Pagan.”
“No you aren’t” she said dismissively. Somehow I had never quite imagined it going like that.
“Yes I am. I’ve been Pagan for years.”
“Don’t you believe in Jesus?” Imagine this in the tone someone might ask, “Don’t you breathe oxygen?”
I was getting a bit annoyed. “I was raised Christian but as I tell my mother I got over it.”
“Your poor mother.” I had a feeling I was being dismissed as just trying to be provocative for the fun of it.
Then she delivered the ending to any Christian disagreement. “I’ll pray for you.” I sighed. Apparently I’m going to be spending eternity with the gay people.