Pagans are still being put to death in this day and age. How Can We Achieve Peace if We are not Tolerant?


I wrote this originally as a blog but have since decided to make it a discussion for I feel that my sentiments are shared by many....many who are still afraid to speak of their religionl ....who think there will be retribution for being Pagan. Sometimes people forget that, even though there is not constant shedding of blood, there are still other parts of the world that punish folks for their religious choices. There are pagans all over the world...some are looked upon as evil...as if they should be burned at the stake ..... and yes there are still people being burned for their religious choice, though they have harmed no one. What do you think? Are you tolerant of Pagans or do you have a preconceived notion that all Pagan's are devil worshipers?...Are you educated as to what the vast majority of Pagans see as their religion? I have met folks on here who have abandoned any contact with me because they have the misguided conception that I worship the Devil...there is no devil in my religion, nor has there ever been...but folks still think it. How can we achieve peace if we are not tolerant?


Tolerance: broadmindedness, acceptance, patience, charity...are all words in place of the word tolerance.

I was a christian for most of my child and adult life...it was unfufilling, it was lacking, it was not the path for me. I knew it yet I stayed with it for I did not know what to do about it. Then one day I happened upon a pagan community and started researching the various pagan paths. I have always been fond of history and am an experienced genealogist. My family's roots are set deep in Scotland and Ireland. In my ancestrial research I ran across the Druid's within the realm of my scottish family's roots. The more I read of the Druids, the more I knew this was the path for me. I also studied the Wicca path and have admired the writings of Raymond Buckland. These paths allow you some breathing room to mold your worship and religious workings the way that fits to you. I'm happy with my path for it's as if it chose me.

I consider myself an intelligent woman. I have seen a lot in my lifetime. I have met all kinds of people. Some good, some bad and some were just evil. I make no judgement of others for their religious choice, nor would I attempt to convert them to my religion, or tell them they are wrong for practicing their religion. Others, though, would do this to me and my fellow pagans. There are those who feel so strongly opposed to my religious path, that they would go out of their way to avoid me; they would talk to me like I am of no value; they act as if I'm the devil incarnate; that I am evil and then there are those who would continue to convert me to their religion... I don't want to be converted. I am happy with my choice. I harm no one. There is no devil; no hell; no heaven in my religion. I do not worship Satan. I have no concept of Satan as a diety, nor do I want one. That is not me or my choice.

I do not hold any malice for another religion unless they advocate killing others who do not follow their religion. This is wrong.. The taking of a human life because of their religious beliefs is totally, and utterly WRONG. On that point, I stand my ground. Religious Freedom is a must in a peaceful and tolerant society. To me the reality is clear.. There will never be peace, as long as their is religious intolerance...There will never be peace as long as folks try to convert others or profess their religion as the only one. It's sad...truly sad to see people at such odds with one another...so filled with hate because someone doesn't pray to the same god as them. So much blood has been shed through many centuries all in the name of religion.

I consider myself very lucky for I live in a country that goes to great lengths to insure that we have our religious freedoms. Others are no so fortunate. I can only imagine the constant state of fear one must be in to live in a place where going to the store could result in your death....someone straps a bomb to themselves and then kills so many innocent people...and for what...? nothing...there is no good to come from it....the majority of the world condemns it but it still happens. I want it to stop! I want people to just live their lives peacefully amongst one another. It makes no difference what religion they practice as long as no one is killed. I have hope but a part of me does not see peace in my lifetime...oh that it would...I just don't see it.

InTolerance: Bigoted, prejudice, narrow minded, small minded and fanatical are all words used to describe intolerance. Think about it..Are you intolerant? Shouldn't those of us who truly want peace show tolerance and love toward all? Lead by example..Love by it to..just some thoughts kicking around in my head...

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I want to thank you Gwendolynn for sharing this post. It is amazing to me how we the people of the earth are so misguided because we are so misinformed. So many of us are like sheep or cattle on our way to slaughter. We submit to a small misinformed minority, as we go off to wars to kill or be killed holding to the mindsets and beliefs held by our forefathers.

Ancient, obsolete beliefs and mindsets that have us still slaughtering and maiming one another around the world, just as our ancestors did thousands of years in the past.

In the spirit of helping spread the word around the world related to how we can establish Peace on Earth, I share the URL below.

The World Peace Code:

Thanks again for this enlightening and empowering post!

Eternal Peace.........

Charlie

Lady Gwen, Thank You for writing this post. Very well put..intelligent,passionate and so very true! I was planning on writing a similar discussion myself. Truth is I've been on iPeace since Oct. 2008 and other than joining "Pagan's for Peace" I tend to shy away from discussions of religion. When asked on chat do answer honestly...I am a proud pagan. Have been since late 80's early 90's. I have studied the history of many religions since I was 15. I turned away from organized religion of any kind when I was about same age ,closer to 13. So many lives lost in the name of God,in past & present, truly makes me ill. My Mother decided to be a Jehovah's witness during my childhood, and as a wee lass the hipacracy I saw & as I was treated turned me away. I decided I wanted to choose for myself, after I left home at 13. In the mid 80's My Mother became more "New Agey" I choose to be pagan as closest to my beliefs,interstingly I was the one that introduced my mum to Wicca. Which she practiced for many years.I have not had anyone on ipeace be intollerant of my chosen faith,but yes many many times I have had to defend,teach,explain the difference between being pagan and thinking is evil, bad or devil worship..some people indeed have avoided me,judged me and tried to convert me.. I think you described InTolerance very well, thank you. and I like" the thoughts kicking around yer head" appreciate you writing them down here.
Your Sister & Kindred Soul
PS. pic is of Lochlomond just outside city Glasgow, Scotland. My Sweatie and I want to move there,maybe? he is in Glasgow & I in Indiana,US. Hope you enjoy the photo.

Aye it is ! My friend and documentary creator Dan did this vid...sad so so very sad & wrong!

Dear Gwendolynn, thank you for sharing your heart and mind with us regarding religious freedom. Beyond class and politics, religion is the greatest stronghold against peace. All of these prejudices are based on fear...fear of the unknown. Because most of us have only been exposed, or care to be exposed, to what we have always known, this fear exists. If we were to open our minds, hearts and eyes to the real "truth" that truly "all men are created equal", not just in the American Constitution but in the reality of human existence, we could eliminate the confusion and hatred. There is no difference between you and me and all others, only in our uniqueness as individuals. We share the same makeup, with parts that are interchangeable. When that simple concept is allowed to sink in the fact that all human are related to all other humans become a clear fact. The only difference is, and should be, the way in which we choose to live our lives. This includes having the freedom to believe and worship and follow our own paths, as long as we do not infringe on another's belief, worship or path. As long as what you do does not truly affect me, why can't I allow you to do it? Especially while I should be busy doing my own thing? Life is too short, complex and all-consuming to worry about what the next person believes. Neither do I belong to or adhere to any organized religion, although I believe in a higher power I call God, but that is my perogative. Take care, Paris
Hi Gwendolynn, I enjoyed reading your post and agree that the world is full of intolerances. I am a Christian and one of Jehovah’s witnesses but I still agree that it should be your right to believe as you wish; Jehovah God created all as free moral agents. Even the idea of serving our creator is put forth throughout the bible as a choice. Even Jesus taught that we should not judge others; you do not have to agree with others to show them love and tolerance. Jesus in fact said at Matthew 5:43 to love and pray for those hating us if we wanted to be like our heavenly Father.

There are at least four reasons that the bible puts forth for so much intolerance in the world; one we inherited imperfection from our first parents Adam and Eve (Romans 5:12). As a result of that imperfection Jeremiah 17:9 says of the hearts of mankind “The heart is more treacherous than anything else and is desperate. Who can know it?” Jesus later said at Mark 7:20, “That which issues forth out of a man is what defiles a man; for from inside, out of the heart of men, injurious reasonings issue forth: fornications, thieveries, murders, adulteries, covetings, acts of wickedness, deceit, loose conduct, an envious eye, blasphemy, haughtiness, unreasonableness. All these wicked things issue forth from within and defile a man.” Three, the bible speaks of Satan a spirit creature that rebelled against God, and since has continued his goal to turn all against God. In fact 2Corinthins 4:3-4 says of Satan; that he has blinded the minds of mankind to the true purposes of their creator, and it is he who fosters so much intolerance in the world. The fourth reason put forth in the bible for intolerance is a lack of accurate knowledge; specifically a lack of knowledge concerning our creator and His purpose for mankind.

Yes Jehovah’s Witnesses feel that we have the one right religion but we are not taught to be intolerant of the beliefs and feeling of others; God did not make us to be judges of others. In fact we are the only major religion that does not go to war for any reason what so ever and kill those that believe different than we do. Through out the world we have thousands of young men and women sitting in prison because they will not take up arms against other people. How could we when we have people in every country on earth? Do Jesus’ people fight against one another? No matter what one thinks of Jehovah’s Witnesses we are the only people on earth that have millions of bible studies every week teaching people to live peaceful and moral lives among their neighbors and to be loving and kind to all; in other words to not just read Jesus’ words but to apply them in our daily life. Yet we at times feel the same intolerance that others do.

However, because of our inherited imperfections mentioned above, man will never of himself bring peace and security to this earth and there will always be intolerant people, until God removes them. No matter how many laws governments put on the books they can not make people want to do what is right. Only Jehovah God can read hearts and weed out those refusing to change; and this He will do shortly.
Hello Dennis,
It is good to see that you believe in tolerance ! I was raised from early childhood 'till I left home at 13yrs. old as a Jehovah Witness. We must have been taught very differently because in our community, churches we were taught anything BUT tolerance.Was a very strict teachings of intolerance, If someone was not a Witness I was not allowed to be friends or play with them. I was forced to go door to door as a child to preach,teach and convert.
I saw a lot of hipocracy in the church I was raised in,so at an early age
I started researching the origins of many different organized religions. I chose my current path years ago, labeled as pagan. I have always respected others in their chosen faiths and all I ever ask is to be respected in mine.

Hi Leah,
One of the online dictionaries that I looked at says of Tolerance; “willingness to recognize and respect the beliefs or practices of others”. Respecting the beliefs of others however does not mean one has to approve of such beliefs and practices. Contrary to the beliefs of some the bible does indeed teach that there is one true faith; Ephesians 4:4-6 saying: “One body there is, and one spirit, even as YOU were called in the one hope to which YOU were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all [persons], who is over all and through all and in all.” However nowhere does Jesus teach us to be intolerant of others in the sense that just because we don’t agree with their belief that we should be abusive of them.
Let me ask you something if I may, have you ever read the bible all the way through? There is no way that anyone can read the Hebrew Scriptures and come away thinking that our creator is tolerant of all forms of worship. When God mad a covenant with the nation of Israel to be his people He gave them His laws and regulations to live by and it was only by being obedient to these that they would continue to have His favor (Deut. 30:15-20). He also gave them the land of Canaan as an inheritance. Why? Why did he displace all the people in the land of Canaan and give the land to Israel? The land of Canaan had become saturated with detestable practices of idolatry, immorality, and bloodshed. The Canaanite religion was extraordinarily base and degraded, their “sacred poles” evidently being phallic symbols, and many of the rites at their “high places” involving gross sexual excesses and depravity. (Ex 23:24; 34:12, 13; Nu 33:52; De 7:5) Incest, sodomy, and bestiality were part of ‘the way of the land of Canaan’ that made the land unclean and for which error it was due to “vomit its inhabitants out.” (Le 18:2-25) Magic, spellbinding, spiritism, and sacrifice of their children by fire were also among the Canaanites’ detestable practices.—De 18:9-12. For this reason the Israelites where to completely destroy the people of the land of Canaan and they themselves were warned over an over not to get involved in false worship the way that the people of the land of Canaan had (Deut. 6:13-15).

God was definitely being intolerant was He not, especially in the eyes of most today who want to do what they want to do without anyone telling them it is wrong (2Tim 4:3-4). As the creator He has the right to establish how He wants to be worshipped does He not? But, ask yourself where false worship comes from? How did it get its start here on the earth? It all got started in the Garden of Eden when Satan rebelled and got Adam and Eve to rebel also. To make a long story shorter, ALL religion, except the one true one does not honor Jehovah God the Almighty God of the bible but honors Satan (1John 5:19; 2Cor 4:34; 2Thess 2:9; John 8:44; 1John 3:8; Rev 12:9). Right from the start of the bible in Genesis through Revelations, only one form of worship is put forth as being pleasing to God. Numbers do not matter to God; He destroyed the vast majority of mankind at the flood because they were wicked and the vast majority of mankind will be destroyed at Armageddon because of their wickedness (see Matthew 24:21-22; 7:13-15). The vast majority of Christians have been lied to and misled by their churches because God DOES NOT accept the “new morality” where anything can be practiced and one can still be acceptable to God; anymore than it was acceptable back when Jehovah destroyed the people of the Promised Land for their Idolatry and worship of false gods with all of their immoral practices.

As far as you mentioning that you saw hypocrisy among Jehovah’s Witnesses, I have to; but we are not any more perfect as people than others. God uses imperfect people to do His will, if He didn’t He would have no one to use. However when one becomes one of Jehovah’s people He teaches us through the congregations to work towards putting on a Christ like personality (Ephesians 4:20-24; Col 3:5-11) but this does not happen over night. Too, even with Jehovah people it does not matter what you say but what you do (Titus 1:16), and those that don’t want to change are eventually weeded out (1Cor 5:1-5).

At the end of your post you ask; “what harm in worshipping the earth?” You might want to consider Deuteronomy 4:15-20 and Romans 1:18-20. But mankind was given the responsibly to take care of the earth.
Um Mr. Moore, what Lady Gwen said!!!! Word for word actually.Thank you Lady Gwen,as I just now saw this. I will be taking back my "thank you for believing in Tolerance" now, from my last comment to you Mr. Moore.You sir are being very intolerant not to mention disrespectful of me and in my chosen path.
.I don't believe or see anywhere in my posts or that of others here where YOUR preaching YOUR "opinion "was invited. Do you? Discussing Tolerance was yes this discussion,Not an open invitation to preach or to judge me or convert me or place YOUR beliefs upon ME. That is very In Tolerant.
There are only two things you said in your comment that I agree with:
"But mankind was given the responsibly to take care of the earth."
which every Pagan I know or have ever known,consider being caretakers of Mother Earth as our sacred responsibility. and....
"it does not matter what you say but what you do" I take full responsibility for my actions and I am a peaceful,loving,caring person that believes every action has a reaction,I do my best always to make sure my every action has a positive reaction upon the world. At least it is always my intention for it to be as positive as possible.
In answer to your question"have you read the bible all the way threw" YES, I have read cover to cover the Jehovah's Witness bible many times,as well as the Old & New testaments and other "versions" of bibles,written by Man and translated,interpreted by MAN. "tiss words written by Men. Though they all have similarities there are many differences. Some good guide lines to live by. Some good historical accounts as interpreted by the writers.That is all to me. Interesting and in many parts conflicting statements - but just books to me.
I do not go around "preaching" my beliefs to others. I might clarify some misconceptions as Lady Gwen does so eloquently. If and only IF I am asked to,or if I am being attacked for my beliefs by some bible thumpin', un welcomed, preachin' ,intolerant person..
I am....

Oh and yes this is a good definition of Tolerance....
"One of the online dictionaries that I looked at says of Tolerance; “willingness to recognize and respect the beliefs or practices of others”. Respecting the beliefs of others however does not mean one has to approve of such beliefs and practices"
that said I respect your choices in your beliefs..I do not feel in your comment you are being respectful or Tolerant of mine,Gwens or anyone else that differs from yours..
Aye, a wee bit of a spitfire ,that I am, true enough...lol ...
Why thank you dear Lady Gwen,as that is imo quite a compliment. I do always try to be respectful. Have mellowed with age :-) 'er mostly anyway...
it 'tiss a shame fer the closed minded folks of this world,but yes one's that are so indoctrinated into one and only one "true" belief and everyone else be damned,literally..miss out on so much beauty, diversity and cultures of this world.

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