A Pagan Response to Fundamentalist Hate

Recently, Kelly O’Connell wrote an article on the Canada Free Press website entitled “Is America Becoming a Pagan Kingdom?” My response to Mr. O’Connell’s obnoxious article is this – The answer is a resounding no, Sir. As I have previously made clear, we Pagans are well aware that fundamentalists and religious extremists tend to dominate the theological and political landscape in the United States, often to such an extent that, for us, any affiliation with organized religion becomes undesirable; to be avoided at all costs on principal alone. We still worship our God(s) in private and hope for a more tolerant future, one of respect and cooperation where our children can safely explore their own spirituality without fear of reprisal.

Individuals following the religious traditions of indigenous cultures and solitary adherents of contemporary paganism have always been easy targets for the unmitigated hatred of the zealot, for they do not have a centralized organization to protect them from persecution. More recently, even free thinking theists from traditional churches have been ostracized and demoralized, forced to assume the label of spiritual but not religious, or worse, categorized as ‘irreligious’ because they refuse to conform to an archaic and stifling tradition that no longer has any personal relevance to the modern spiritualist.

The loss of religious affiliation and our continued lack of political organization allows extreme fundamentalist groups to dictate administrative policy on a broad scale, deeply integrating their strict religious morality into every facet of secular law. It also clears the way for groups such as the so called Tea Party here in America and the Taliban in the Middle East to conduct campaigns of such malicious hatred that they become virtually unopposed in their verbal and often violent aggression toward anyone who disagrees with their oppressive point of view. The negative consequences of fundamentalist rule are heinous indeed.

The Contemporary Pagan Alliance works tirelessly toward ending fundamentalist tyranny; by standing together, unified by the very spiritual freedom that our opponents so despise, we ensure that the ideals of individual equality and religious liberty are never discarded. With one voice we affirm our support for the freedom of religion on a global scale and we hereby give extremists fair warning. Their days are truly numbered for we are the silent majority no longer and we will accept nothing less than absolute equality.

We peacefully worship our Gods however we choose. We demand the right to legally marry those we love, before our Gods and without prejudice, in a ceremony of our own faith. We freely educate ourselves, seeking enlightenment through knowledge, and we will no longer allow ourselves to be legally or physically victimized by ignorant zealots. We proudly take our place as free and equal members of our communities and will no longer tolerate discrimination in our laws or our lives. Our worldwide membership provides for a strong, unified and democratic Pagan Church. Together, we will prevail.

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About William Knox

Rev. William Knox is the founder and current Chancellor of the Contemporary Pagan Alliance. Ordained in 1995 as an interfaith minister, he serves as senior priest at the Sanctuary of Light in Ravenswood,WV. and is an invested brother in the Shanddite Order of Pagan Secular Monks.
This entry was posted in Equality, Faith, God, Paganism, Politics, Religion, Spirituality and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to A Pagan Response to Fundamentalist Hate

  1. A secular coalition sounds in order …

    The test of freedom of religion is that even the supposed infidel has the same liberty and rights as others professing faith or none.

    Mind you, need to reclaim the word secular first.

    http://homoeconomicusnet.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/what-is-secularism/

    • William says:

      I agree that many people associate secularism as a philosophy with the concept of a total absence of spirituality, a supposition that is fundamentally inaccurate. If one is to reclaim, as you say, the original tenets of the philosophy, it is imperative one first redefine public understanding of secularism to mean neutrality toward a specific religious ideology or tradition.

  2. castielnova says:

    That article is so innacurate, littered with so much misconceptions and idiocy. I can barely read it without frothing at the mouth.
    I agree, we do need something for all of us to stand with, an organisation that can work to support and give legitamacy to us, worldwide.

    • William says:

      Indeed. If this was a simple case of ignorance I probably wouldn’t have chosen to post. Mr. O’Connell is much more than a columnist, however. He sends forth his vituperative commentary each Sunday afternoon to his conservative New Mexico radio audience for two straight hours. After I posted this response, he invited me to attend his talk show as a guest – while I do not know the impetus for his request, I am quite certain he does not propose we share a pleasant conversation over tea and cookies. That said, I am inclined to accept his offer; suffering through a few hours of neocon vitriol is a small price to pay for the opportunity to explain our religion to a non-Pagan audience. Generally speaking, fundamentalist Christians do not choose to read my blog, nor do they visit the CPA website but they do listen to Mr. O’Connell’s radio show on a regular basis. As a community, we Pagans can no longer allow our religion to be vilified without rebuttal. We must stand strong in the face of such blatant persecution and affect change wherever and whenever such opportunity allows.

      • (e)m says:

        If you can take the vitriol, and that includes the reaction that you will get following the show from his followers, please do. Education is always a good thing. I may not share your religious views, but you have the potential to do some good here. Just be ready for the backlash.

      • castielnova says:

        And that’s even worse, someone that holds some level of sway over the opinions and knowledge of others…

        I say go for it. If it was in Australia I’d take the chance and endure what I could for the off chance I could dispell whatever I could.
        And you’re right, we really can’t. This idea alone is driving me towards certain directions and plans in my own local community.
        You have my support and I wish you the best of luck.

  3. (e)m says:

    I couldn’t read very far into that article, but the funny thing is, by his definition, I’m a pagan. Anyone outside the Abrahamic religions, including us atheists, is. So are liberal Christians by his definitions. Why don’t these people understand that secularism is a protection for everyone of every religion and none? They fundamentally oppose equality under the law.

    • William says:

      I agree with your assessment. In my opinion these evangelical neocon troglodytes are only interested in securing equality for themselves and any other straight Christian sharing their ridiculous viewpoint. As to you being a Pagan Em, I am more than happy to include the Einsteins, Hawkings and the Emilys of this world under our umbrella, if for no other reason than to protect all of you from being splashed by the acidic muck of fundamentalist hate. Truth can only be discovered through the exercise of reason, the use of which I fear the evangelists will never master. To their way of thinking, the neutrality of secularism is essentially a pervasive evil to be fought against til the bitter end.

      • (e)m says:

        That about sums it up, with one minor correction.Straight, cisgender, Christian men. Women are not equal in their ideal society. They are still more equal than the rest of us though.

  4. sofiasiberia says:

    That’s a wonderful post, William! I related to it a lot, thanks! wow your blog is a nice discovery, indeed!

  5. William says:

    Thank you. As it happens I agree whole heartedly with your position as well, particularly your assertion, from your most recent post, that “Positivity is contagious. Handouts of positivity have numerous forms and demand no effort on your part, but they have a mighty effect of a boomerang that returns back at you with a vengeance.” I would add that negativity is just as contagious in its own right and the wider world benefits from contributions such as yours. )O(

    • sofiasiberia says:

      Thank You, William! ❤

      You are right, negativity is contagious as well, unfortunately.. But I like to believe that people in their hearts still lean more toward 'good' rather than 'bad'.
      If we are constantly repeated 'segregate and hate each other', the majority might 😦
      But if more and more of us will start saying 'let's love and accept each other', I want to hope, we eventually will 🙂

  6. neelkanth says:

    Well written.
    Thanks for your liking and following my blog. I too have liked yours and find it worth following which I’m doing with immediate effect.

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