Pagans throughout time have been persecuted, and still are to this very day! We all know this to be true. Does this effect our ability to be tolerant or, our ability to see the good within people?
I pose this question because I have been seeing some great things in my life, some wonderful examples of tolerance! But, I still am very cautious and a little bit scared to talk about my faith in front of my own parents! That even though I have never experienced, and keep being shown the opposite, any negative prejudices from others about my religion.
In my experience I have come out of the Broom Closet to a platoon of mostly devout Catholics. This had an inherent danger of bigotry that had never surfaced! They were all very curious and they had lots of questions! (Minus a couple of jabs that guys throw around every now and again in an attempt to be funny.)
Then just recently, I have been given permission to write an article on the Pagan Pride Festival for the Sacramento Area! Which is great! I am still very excited to do this! Then I learned that the location of the Pagan Pride Festival is a VFW Post!
Now I am a Life Member of another VFW Post a few miles away, and that is a place where I keep my religious beliefs to myself. I am sure they would end up being ok with it, but I bartend there, and it could effect my job.
So, I asked the person running the Festival, how on earth did he get this venue?! That even the oath you take blatantly involves the Christian God!
The answer i received was simple and logical. That Post has had a long time member that follows a Pagan Path and they will let anyone rent their facility as long as they follow the rules and pay the fees. It makes a lot of sense and it helps out another Non-Profit organization! That, my friends, is tolerance.
I know that the world will be filled with racism, bigotry, and prejudice for a long time to come. Let’s just let the good examples of tolerance fill our lives! And, fight the intolerance whenever it raises its ugly head!
Most of all, let us be the EXAMPLE! Let us show the way to a world filled with love and respect!