I’m feeling major low key so major low key column it is

This recent week there was a random poster in the African-American Wiccans Society FB group who turned out to be quite the poser. This is what they wrote:

annoying Christian

I didn’t blur out the name because lookin at the account, it’s probably a sock puppet. Plus, if you’re going to be oppressive in any way, shape or form, don’t expect respect from the people you’re bothering.

Now, this was a bit uncanny because the group has been around for over a year and this is the first time we’ve ever had someone slip in and go mad and it turns out we weren’t the only ones. The dude was going to all sorts of Pagan and Wiccan groups to most likely preach the same thing that he posted above.

As any reader could believe, I really don’t like this sort of thing. It’s disrespectful, to be simple about it all. There’s a reason that specialized groups like AAWS exist and it is to provide a safe space. I, just like any other Pagan, do not mind different faiths but there’s a difference between outshining the rest and attempting to knock out everyone else’s bulb with a sledgehammer.

If anyone is curious to as why it is disrespectful, I will try to explain.

It is disrespectful because the person is encroaching on a safe space that was bothering no one to proselytize: We understand that Christians have to spread the word of Christ but going the disruptive route definitely does not look good for the faith that constantly espouses “Live and let live”. We’re the Black Pagans group, that’s it. Everyone else who doesn’t fit those two requirements gotta stay out and there’s a reason for it: they already have open places for themselves. White Pagans have all the spaces for themselves, Christians have the whole Western world pretty much for themselves. There is seriously no need to try to gain ground here. Just get over the fact that not everyone is going to be a follower of Christ nor wants to be and it is most likely better this way than have a bunch of false believers.

It is disrespectful because this person came with the sole aim to convert as many people as possible: See, not everyone in the AAWS is fully comfy with being Pagan and still exploring their faith. They don’t need a random rude Christian storming in going, “This is wroooooooooooong [because my faith says so and I won’t learn yours]” to make things really murky. Already, Pagans do not proselytize so there’s no reason for Christian folks to come bother us. This dude didn’t come in and start backpedaling because oh noes, they’re not around Christians, how uncomfy it is to respect another faith. This dude just came out thinking, “Man, I’mma get work like I’m on commission, I’m doing such a good thing,” and decided to just come right out and puke all the verbal nonsense you read above. They didn’t want to learn about Paganism or even try to understand it, nah, this person was set on thinking that we were misguided and wrong and that he has to set us “right”. I’ve dealt with enough jacked up Christians to scare them off but not everyone has (nor should need to). If people want to explore a different faith, they should be able to do so safely. This is with any non-privileged group.

It is disrespectful because if you want people to learn about your faith (that everyone already knows plenty about), being rude is not the way: Here is why Christians get such a bad rep. Acts like these. And usually these acts are defended because folks want to ignore the difference between concern-trolling and actual expression of faith to others…unless it happens to them, of course. I can guarantee that everyone who lives in the Western world knows about Christianity, has heard of Christ and know His basic origin tale. It would be impossible not to. Christianity is heavily pumped throughout Western culture, it is the staple, the norm. If a Christian bombed or shot up a school or a theatre, no one would go “Oh you can’t trust those Christians. They follow some masochistic god!” nope. The faith wouldn’t be otherized and the second that it might, you can believe there will be mobs in place. Christianity is written into the laws, Christianity is written into the culture. The Christian God is referenced on American money. The average age of the people in AAWS is middle age on up and we’re Black, we’ve heard of Jesus before, time to take a pause for the cause already. Christians are commonly perceived to be close-minded and persistent to tell others about their faith but the second they have to be the listeners, here comes the defensiveness, dismissiveness or the sudden urgency to be anywhere but where they are standing at that time. That perception didn’t come from imagination. That pic up there isn’t made up, it’s a screen cap. The account might be ran by a fake name but there is a real person behind it. It would behoove Christians to get over that they deserve respect and diligence more than other faiths.

And it’s annoying to use the guilt trip method to convince people to convert to Christianity, as if that has any staying power. Firstly, saying “He died a shameful death” just sounds like Christ was the one who made the bad choice to get pinned up on a cross or did something to earn His death. Remember, this was a follower of this deity (demi-god?) saying this. I know the guy was trying to mean “It sucks how he died” but with a bad choice of wording. This is then being led up with a clear attempt to guilt trip as if the Pagan reading this is supposed to go, “Aw man, you’re right. He did die for me. Even though I wasn’t completely convinced of practicing the faith and feel practically nothing for it in my heart, I feel moved enough to convert back to a faith  because a practitioner that didn’t even try to take the time to learn mine said so.” If belief in any deity (or demi-god) is sincere, then you won’t have to guilt (or threaten, or combo) to make people come to the faith. Guilt tripped Christians generally are among the least intelligent about their faith because they’re doing everything they think they can to avoid going to hell and to keep their god from hating them in opposed to simply living out their faith and living the lives they do as it pleases their god and fulfills them, the followers, as well. In a nutshell, if you have to use emotional or psychological tactics to make someone join your faith, it’s a bad idea. Stop it or stop complaining about how people see Christians in such a bad light.

As I have said before, there are other religions on this earth besides Paganism and Christianity. Christians should really take great pains to learn that, at least as much pains as they take to be actively ignorant of other faiths. If people want to be Christian, there are so many avenues that they could go. Just an immense amount of them that other faiths don’t get, especially in the Western world. There would still be problems in the world even if everyone was Christian (Look up the Real IRA or Northern Ireland if you don’t believe me). It is not cool to neglect the basic idea that people might think differently than you. If you’re going to be in a safe space for a non-privileged group and you happen to be part of that privileged group, sit down, shut up and only ask reasonable questions when appropriate.  If you’re there to troll for new believers, you deserve all the blowback you get.