Friday, May 27, 2011

We're Not Past This Yet

As many of you know, Mrs. B has been kicking ass and taking names in this Moms of Faith Top 25 Blog contest, which also means that you're probably aware that some other bloggers don't think that Pagans belong in the contest (not just Christians now, kids! A Jewish blogger took up the cause too today). Mrs. B blogs about all her experience here.

I have to confess something. I thought we were past this. I really did. There are Wiccans represented in mainstream television, most people don't bat an eye anymore if you say you're a Wiccan (which I tend to do to with strangers frankly, I'm not interested in giving an eclectic Pagan 101 every time I meet someone), my mother begrudgingly will acknowledge it as a faith, albeit through the filter of Charmed but hey, I'm not picky, I'll take what I can get.

It wasn't always like this of course. Even here in liberal New Jersey when I first started I knew to keep my trap zipped about my beliefs. A friend had her car keyed because of her bumper stickers and had been pulled over by the cops for them on occasion. I keep my pentacle under my shirt under most circumstances and my altar was an altar to Mary, Mother of the Sea as far as my mother was concerned. But that was fifteen years ago and I guess I've gotten spoiled living here.

I don't think it's just about living here though. My oldest and dearest friend is born and bred from Kansas and I would consider her a Conservative Christian. B. can party like a rock star, she can toss back shots like a champ, she's the first one on the dance floor and she has a wicked sense of humor. She is also one of the sweetest people with the biggest heart and capacity for joy wit a strong sense of faith. She also doesn't take any shit. B. has never once so much as made a "well, I don't agree but that's for you and the big JC to take up later" noise. She's happy I have faith and believe in something and try to be a good person. When I'm struggling with a moral dilemma, we're often on the same page together. She and my mom are who I think of when I think of good Christian women.

This. . . .debatacle is not what I think of. And I know most of the women in the faith aren't like this but I thought we were past this and it makes me sad and feel gross that there are people who think we're bad people going to hell because of our faith. I mean I guess it's the same bubble around here about the LBGT community, I knew girls who got beat up for holding hands and now it's more, "I'm gay." "And?" (coming out is still a thing for some of course, ymmv).

Alix Olsen once said "And I think/post-feminist is presumptuous" and I agree, we're not all equal yet, sorry. I had thought with Pagans in the military that maybe we were past religious bigotry against Pagans and . . .we're not. And it makes me sad, just like the bigotry against Muslims makes me sad. It also reinforces why I'm frankly never moving. I need to live in a place where it's okay for me to be different in all those fun and interesting ways I'm different and I need a community, preferably a large one like I have in New Jersey. And I'm grateful for all the community I have and accepting people I have in my life.


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