Sunday, June 28, 2015

The only way to make sense out of change... to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.
- Alan Watts

Dear (some) Christians,
Change is scary, I know. In an instant the world you know can become something new, and your first reaction can be fear, and it's byproduct hate. I try not to hold it against you, I do, but sometimes you make it so hard. 

June 26th, 2015 was a historical day. The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) declared marriage equality, ruling that same-sex marriage is now legal in all 50 states. Your knee-jerk reaction was to pull out your smiting sticks and go waving them about in anger. It saddens me because it means you missed the message of SCOTUS completely. I would like to share with you my favorite quote.
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right." 
You talk about how “they” will be the ruin of traditional marriage. I’m sorry but traditional marriage has been on the decline for years now (I made a post about it a while back) and it has nothing to do with those seeking marriage equality. Divorce is down, it's true, but how many of you believers in "traditional marriage" are on your second, or third, or more, "traditional marriage?" I'm not faulting you, you have your reasons and there is nothing wrong with it, I'm simply pointing out that "traditional" has evolved over the years to include divorce, maybe it should now evolve to include love.

Yes, love. That's what this whole thing is all about. The right to have their love recognized by the government. The right to be seen as people. By saying they have no right to get married you are saying they are less, they are not worthy of the same rights as you, they are not people.
Can you imagine how that would feel?

I can. I had a family member tell me I had no right to get married. Not because I wanted to marry someone of the same sex, simply because I worship a different god. Their claim was that "Marriage is a covenant between a man, a woman, and GOD" therefore, since I saw the divine a little different, what did I need to get married for anyway.

They were saying I was less because I was different. I will never see that person the same way, and it broke my heart a little they could be so nonchalantly cruel to me, someone they "loved."

I digress.

I'm not asking you to go dancing in the streets and to show up at every single wedding with a bouquet of flowers for the lucky grooms, or brides, or bride and groom. I'm not asking you to marry someone of the same sex. I'm not asking you to abandon your faith.

Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 

If you think us wicked, the LGBTQ+ community and their supporters, then maybe this is all just a test for you. Maybe your god wants to see you be kind to those of us you deem your "enemy" in his name, rather than condemn us in his name.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

If families are trees...

...mine is a pecan tree.


     1.   a group consisting of parents and children living together in a household. 

     2.   all the descendants of a common ancestor. 

I have another definition I would like to add. 

     3. the people in your life that can hurt you the worst.

Now I realize that seems very pessimistic and possibly depressing but I know you all know exactly what I'm talking about. Whether it's a fight with someone that knows all your weak spots or just accidentally being left out of family get-together they have the capacity to hurt us worse than anybody because they are supposed to be the ones that have our back no matter what, right?

Maybe it's just my family.

Gods I hope not.

I believe I have mentioned before that I live in a very Christian area of the world, and this side of my family is filled with Good Southern Christian Folk. The other side of my family is in Colorado, and while they are not GSCF they are Proper Christian People, and then my parents, Very Proper Christian People. That's all well and good. Find your fuzzies and all that. Both sides have known for quite some time that I am Pagan. They know, they may ask me a question once every three years, but generally we don't talk about that fabulous skyclad elephant in the room. 

Bam. Pregnant. Well, you know not bam, that's not how babies happen. Well, I guess it kinda is. I digress. Pregnant, and then Witchling comes into the world in all her tiny squaling glory. I suppose it may have been naive of me to think that we could just continue to ignore the elephant while I loaded my kiddo up on its back. I figured, "You know, these people all raised their kids without people getting all up in their business as far as faith is concerned, I'm sure I'll be left alone too."

Yes, yes. Once you stop laughing please continue reading. 

See, I knew that we would have to talk about it at some point, but right now Witching is teething and drooling and chewing on the cat. We don't exactly have in depth philosophical conversations at the moment, mostly it's "Yum Yum peaches" and "No don't put that in your mouth." I thought I would have time to talk to my family about it later, but most of all, I thought we would talk about it. 

I thought that, seeing as how they were family, that they had enough respect for me, not my beliefs but ME, that they would bring up their concerns or whatever, I would tell them I understood where they were coming from but this is how DH and I decided to raise Witchling and then we would ask them to respect that and there would be hugs and cherry pie. End of story. 

I'll let you finish laughing again. 

What I never in eight million years would believe would happen would be that they, VPCP, would decide that they would just baptize my daughter the first time I left her alone with them. When I found out I was hurt, I was angry, and I felt more betrayed than I think I ever have, and I've had some big betrayals. 

So I made a post on Facebook, as one is wont to do. 

There comes a point in your life when you have to stop apologizing for being who you are when the person you are is pretty awesome. I try to be a good person every single day. I try to have compassion and empathy for others and I try to remind myself that a lot of hate is born from ignorance induced fear. I stand up for the rights of other individuals to follow whatever path to the divine they feel calls them, knowing that over and over again I will be condemned for my own. I don't hold a group of Muslims accountable for the actions of those who use Allah's name to hurt others anymore than I hold a group of Christians accountable for using their own God's name as an excuse to hate, hurt, and act in a way I'm sure makes Jesus, the "love your neighbor" guy, cringe.
 Faith is supposed to make you want to be the absolute version of yourself for yourself and for others. My absolute best self is 100% Pagan. I have now been Pagan for more years than I was Christian. Most of you on my friends list have only ever known me as a Pagan. I am not a bad person. I don't worship Satan. Heck I don't even litter. I believe whatever you put out into the world comes back to you so I do everything I can to only put out super awesome happy hippie vibes of love and flowers and whatnot. 
Here's the deal though. Every single one of you with children has had the opportunity to raise your child how you see fit. [DH] and I deserve that same respect. I'm not saying we're going to raise her Pagan, or Hindu, or Buddhist, or Christian, or Muslim, or Jedi. I'm saying whatever we decide is our right as her parents and it should be respected and if not encourage at least not undermined. I can tell you one thing I know for absolute sure about how we'll raise our daughter and that is with tolerance and love for all people, regardless of faith.

I followed with a disclaimer about commenting, because there have been some absolutely HORRID comments left on my posts by family members and I am done tolerating abuse. I informed anyone who had any issues to save me the trouble and delete me from their friends list.

Dear reader, imagine the heart warming shock I got as people posted their messages of support. People I hadn't talk to in years, people I would have never thought would support me, and not one single vile comment. I was flabbergasted.

Of course the people who didn't like the post were quite loud in their silent protest, but it was silent.

I know that my family and I will have to have the talk about Witchling's immortal soul. I will calmly tell them how my daughter will be raised, when they can begin taking her to church and under what circumstances, and I will make it abundantly clear that they are not to do anything without my permission first. I will explain that I am not saying that she cannot take part in their faith, or that she will be forced into mine, but simply that I am her parent and I will not be disrespected.

I realize we will probably lose them from our lives at this point. I grew up surrounded by toxic people and I won't expose my daughter to that. She will never want for love with or without them so if I have to let them go to protect her, I will.

I think the saddest thing of all about it is that, at the moment, I honestly don't care one way or the other.