It occurred to me after re-reading my last post on “Being Pagan” that some people might see it as being anti-catholic or anti-christian. It was not intended in that way. There is a difference between being “Not Christian” and being “Anti Christian”. I am Not Christian.
However, the reality for most of us who are Pagan is that we live in a Christianised world in which the prevailing values of our country and our culture come either directly or indirectly form Christianity. Thus it is obvious that if we decide to “travel the path less travelled” and come out as Pagan, there is likely to be some form of struggle or conflict with the prevailing culture and the individuals who represent it. (Even more so when dealing with individuals whose power base or sense of security is based on the values we are rejecting).
Some of us have it easier than others. Some of us are brought up in fairly liberal families who accept our choices even if they don’t agree with them and that boosts our confidence to deal with whatever conflict or prejudice we might encounter in the wider community. Others have a more difficult time. Some of us are raised in families that are strictly Christian, where our choice to follow another way can cause serious family strife. Moreover, some of those families exist in communities such as the American Bible Belt where the whole town, county or state follows a particularly strict and conservative form of Christianity. Being openly Pagan in such a situation is likely to involve serious family and community conflict and emotional trauma that can last a lifetime.
The point I am trying to make is that if a person chooses to live a Pagan lifestyle anywhere in the western world, the first place they can expect to face criticism or conflict from is Christianity; and whatever form that conflict takes, it might take a very long time to forgive or forget.
Having said all that, I would like to state that some, in fact many, of the people I have come to admire most in life, even if I don’t share their religious beliefs, are in fact Christian. After walking the pagan path for a while and getting over the birth pains of your new beginnings it is possible ( and I would say important) to see Christians as individuals; most of whom will have very little in common with the individuals that might have caused you pain and difficulties when you first came out as a Pagan.
There are good and bad Christians just as there are good and bad Pagans. In the end, people are people whatever their religion.