This entry is pretty much just an amalgamated conversation I’ve had several times over the years. I usually starts with a podcast I produce called “The Wytching Hour.” The subject of the show? Modern Paganism. I think it’s a very interesting show. I’m just the engineer on it, really. I do none of the programming or subjects and I find it fascinating. Unfortunately, there are people who get weirded out by the subject and wonder why I’m not doing a Christian show. There’s where the issues begin.
Me: I don’t do a Christian show because no one’s asked to do one.
Them: That’s because it would be associated with that witchcraft show you do. No self-respecting Christian would want to be associated with witchcraft!
Me: Why not?
Them: Because they believe in magic, of course! And God said there’s no magic.
Me: Really? When did he say that?
Them: It’s in the Bible!
Me: Where? Never mind, you won’t find it. It’s not there. Anyway, you’re a Christian. You believe in magic. I mean, don’t you pray? Isn’t that like casting a spell?
Them: We are praying to the one true God! (This is usually followed by his name being ‘Jesus Christ’ and my retort about how Christians can’t count because Jesus is really part of the one-in-three transformable God… but we’ll skip most of that bit.)
Me: So, you’re asking a divine force for intervention on your behalf. And that’s different spell casting… how?
Them: Because we’re asking God!
Me: But they’re asking their God. Why isn’t that okay with you? I mean, if nothing else, less strain for your God, right?
Them: But what they’re doing is sacrilegious!
Me: Well, maybe to you. But this is their religion. We have the freedom to worship however we want in this country. Theirs says they can ask a divine force for assistance pretty much just the same as yours. What’s wrong with that?
Them: They use incense, crystals and goblets!
Me: You use incense, wafers or bread, and goblets! Crystals are prettier than your wafers or bread. Certainly tastier than the wafer. That’s a win for them in my book.
Them: The founding fathers of this country said this was to be a Christian nation! So that’s what we’re going to have!
Me: Actually, they’re the ones that wrote the freedom of religion thing making all religions okay, from Christianity and Judaism to Paganism and whatever the Flying Spaghetti Monster thing is.
Them: I’ve seen that on the net. Is that last one real?
Me: Honestly, I don’t know. But if that’s what they want to do, why are you so interested in stopping them?
Them: Because my religion is the one true religion.
Me: According to you. They like theirs. What you’re saying is that you want to invoke Sharia Law.
Them: I’m Christian! I don’t want to do that!
Me: Well, Sharia Law says there should only be one religion. You say there should be only one religion. Yours. No one else’s. No freedom of religion? What about the constitution? I mean, just because you change the name, it’s really the same thing.
Them: It’s very different. This is Christian.
Me: Well… if we’re really honest here, you’re not very Christian.
Them: What is that supposed to mean?
Me: Well, one of the main tenets of your religion is to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” right? Matthew 7:12, wasn’t it?
Them: If they’re Christian!
Me: Actually, the full verse is: “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” Not only if they’re Christian. If they exist at all. White, black, gay, straight, man, woman, tattooed, Christian or not. That actually is in your bible.
Them: That’s not how I learned it.
Me: That’s a you issue. Let’s look at it this way. You like country music, right?
Them: Damn right I do!
Me: [sigh] Well, frankly, I can’t stand it. Irritates me no end. But, you have the right to listen to country music all you want. I am not stopping you from doing that, am I?
Them: Well, no.
Me: It’s the same concept here. They want to worship that way. Why not let them? Listen to the show. You might even find out that you’re not so different.
Them: What’s that supposed to mean?
Me: Well, they teach peace and tolerance and one of the big tenets in their religions are “Do unto others…”
Them: They stole that from us!
Me: Well, they pre-date you by quite a lot, so if anything you stole it from them… but the big difference is, they’re practicing it. Maybe you should give that a shot.
Me: You’re not going to go to hell for listening to a podcast.
Them: These Pagans won’t curse me to hell?
Me: They don’t believe in hell. Why would they curse you to something that doesn’t exist?
The gist of all of these conversations is that, really, we need to all be mindful of what others want to believe. Not all Christians believe the exact same thing. If they did, we wouldn’t have all the divisions we do. Catholics, Baptists, Episcopals, Methodists, Mormons – they’re all Christian one way or another, but they’re divided for reasons I don’t understand. Some are tolerant and some aren’t. The one’s that aren’t really can’t claim Christianity – that whole “do unto others” thing, remember. Jesus said that. And, I suspect, he got the idea from a Pagan. There were a lot more of those back then and Jesus didn’t damn a single one of them did he?