I have been preoccupied of late with the overwhelming complexities of life, not only on a personal scale but also how one relates to society as a whole vis-à-vis one’s individual worldview. I believe this is doubly the case for those of us who choose to follow a Pagan lifestyle but also recognize a deep abiding love for the root teachings of other spiritual worldviews often radically different from our own, despite the distinct possibility that because we choose to follow the natural religion of life and we understand the greatness of our Gods as exemplified in the smallest quantum unit to the utmost entirety of the universe, emergent thereof, we may find ourselves ostracized from mainstream society to a marked degree. We are not of the “Children of the Book”, as the Muslims say, and many modern day Christians testify that we are therefore misguided at best or wholly evil at the worst and ultimately, deserving of their hatred simply because we do not acknowledge Jesus Christ to be divine.
By the way, many of us do recognize and hold a deep abiding love of the root of the biblical Christ’s teachings as a viable means of achieving peace with oneself and one’s neighbors. It’s frustrating to me that so many evangelical fundamentalists preach the concept of ‘judge not lest ye be judged’ and then in the next sentence say that all Pagans are going to Hell. Excuse me, but that’s not a mortal’s judgment to make (biblically speaking), for such decisions lie solely with God and remain well outside human responsibility. Love your neighbor as you love yourself, even when his or her beliefs are different from your own. That is one commandment I can fully agree with.
I philosophically recognize that the concept of God is academically genderless and have always envisioned deity as a Great Spirit that transcends such concerns, having created the infinite universe and remaining omniscient of all that occurs through space and time at every point in Creation. When I pray I freely admit that in my mind’s eye I picture the Goddess, for surely the Sacred Feminine is included within the makeup of deity, undeniably merged with the identity of that glorious and infinite presence we as a species generally refer to as God.
No disrespect intended toward the viewpoint of those who believe I somehow worship Satan, Lucifer, or whatever, but I say this with all certainly – my Goddess could kick the Devil’s butt any day. In my writing I speak about my Mother’s faith having influenced me quite often but I do not frequently mention my Father’s beliefs for he rarely discussed religion with me. I can still remember the one thing he taught me in my youth that affected me profoundly and in many ways continues to influence me today. Although he is a self-identified Christian he does not believe in Hell, choosing to place his faith in an all loving, all forgiving God that would not punish his children for eternity simply because they may have “broken the rules”, so to speak. I may not be a Christian but I still find that concept to be a source of comfort, for it removes the sting of death and replaces it with the prospect that the end of life is simply another step on our final journey home.