It greatly disturbs me that we, as a society, seem to be leaning towards a more homogeneous society. If we aren’t all worshiping the same god or behaving the same way then those who don’t are the enemy. This country in particular was founded on the differences we have. We wanted to be able to believe differently. People fled the sameness in Europe and Britain to come here for religious freedom. It didn’t matter what the beliefs were, here people were free to believe as they chose to.
Now, however, that isn’t the case. We (again as a society) seem to expect everyone to think alike and behave alike. Women behave a particular way – they must like shopping and fashion. Men must behave a particular way too – they must like sports and so on.
The sad thing about this homogeny is that it removes any chances for stellar people to stand out. Where would we be if Henry Ford had become a Buggy builder instead of innovating the car? Or where would we be if Thomas Edison hadn’t created the light bulb?
These people thought outside the box and believed they were capable of creating something better. The religious and spiritual beliefs are the same. If you look at the core beliefs of most religions you will find similar concepts. Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, and Pagans all essentially have the same core beliefs. Yet this seems to be a point of contention in our world. We go back to the idea that all must believe the way I do (and you fill in the religion) or you are evil. When will we outgrow this hateful and hurtful idea?
Most people know my mom is Methodist and my husband is Lutheran. I took my daughters to the Methodist church so they would have an understanding of what organized religion was. All the while I sat in church I hated it. These are not my beliefs.
Some who know me, know that I have chosen a different path. Most who know me haven’t a clue what my beliefs are. I’ve guarded them. I have told myself that it is because I don’t want to embarrass or cause problems for my husband or my daughters. I’ve skirted the issue many times in order to have some sense of normalness in life.
These are the lies I’ve told myself. In reality, I didn’t want to face being different. I’ve been different all my life and it is tiresome to always go against the flow. If I’m going to tout tolerance for different beliefs then I need to be brave enough to stand up and say – I have different beliefs. I am not a Christian like my mother or husband. I am an eclectic witch who is seeking.
Take a deep breath everyone – yes I used the witch word and it isn’t a euphemism for bitch. Before anyone jumps to conclusions here are my general beliefs. I believe in a divine being. I don’t believe it is male or female. I believe that it appears to people in those forms because we understand them but in reality the divine force is everything from the animals, plants, people, and even the earth itself. It is everything and everywhere.
I believe your actions and choices determine the type of life you have. I believe in karma but again I think it is much more complicated than the simple you did bad so something bad will happen to you or you did good so something good will happen to you. Life is a bunch of checks and balances. Our choices determine what checks and balances happen to us.
Let me also state that while I may have these alternative beliefs from most people in society, I still go to work and pay my bills. I don’t sacrifice animals or children. I don’t worship a devil (don’t believe in one). I’m not having sex with goats or other farm animals. These are all misconceptions about the Pagan beliefs.
I came to my beliefs later in life. My sister Teri introduced me to some of the ideas and I’ve taught myself the rest in discovering who I am. I am grateful Ken and the girls accepted my growth in this area.
When I say we need to have tolerance for different beliefs and lifestyles I am not asking you to accept some strange far out beliefs. I’m asking you to accept and understand me.