I chose the photo for a reason. That hike in Scotland was my second home. I started to smile, feel the welcoming from the land, as soon as my feet hit the trail. The Witch in me had found a connection it needed, one that had been lost for centuries. Yet, today, I’m drawn to ask those reading this:
Am I a scary person? Do you read my words, find out I’m not what you thought, and want to run away?
Do you fear me, based on my faith?
Someone I don’t know designed a pair of shoes recently. It was a direct response, as far as I can tell, to systemic hatred spewed at him for no reason other than his lifestyle was different than those who chose to target him. They accused him of things that may or may not have been true. Even if they were, they weren’t illegal.
In response, he made a pair of shoes that were designed to provoke outrage. A new wave of ‘satanic panic’ has gripped social media. Conservative Christians are clutching their pearls in outrage that anyone would DARE have a faith different than theirs. Some are convinced that a pair of shoes are a direct attack against them.
The shoes aren’t ones I’ll buy, or wear. But I support the person who made them and understand why he did what he did.
I stopped hiding my faith several decades ago. I’m not sure I necessarily ever hid it. I live in a liberal area, yes. Outside of the latter part of Trump’s attempt at being President, I never feared wearing my pentacle out in public.
The First Amendment states: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Nowhere in that statement is it declaring the country to be Christian. My faith, and dozens of others, are legally recognized and have the protection of the Constitution. My employer cannot tell me I can’t wear my pentacle, the symbol of my faith, any more than they can tell a Christian they can’t wear a cross.
I try to be a good person. I follow the Rede, even on days it’s damn hard to do. I hold to my personal code of ethics and morals (there’s a difference). I don’t care what faith you follow. That’s your Path, not mine. I don’t have to walk it, you do.
I follow the laws of this country. I’ve worn a mask, stayed socially distant, and did what was necessary over the last year to keep my friends, co-workers, and even strangers safe. It’s been hard. My soul’s taken a serious hit. But I did it. Because it was the right thing to do.
With the newest wave of hysteria, I have to wonder. Do you fear me? Am I somehow a scary thing because I worship a Goddess? Have you ever taken the time to ask me questions about my faith? How I came to walk this Path, what the Rede is?
Or did you decide to shun me and my books simply because I’m not the same as you? And because I refuse to hide who I am?
There’s a passage in the Bible that (I’m paraphrasing here) says that you reap what you sow. If you want to follow a person who preached love, then spread love. Ask questions. Be willing to listen.
Closing your heart to someone because they’re not exactly like you is hate and fear. It’s not love.
BB/Chan Eil Eagal Orm
One thought on “Do you fear me?”
I do not fear you, or any who follow the Rede. I do not fear many, and then not based solely on religious practice. It is sad to find the world can still forgive evil in the pursuit of a particular faith’s tenets, and at the same time condemn those benign tenets of another.