What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error. Let us pardon reciprocally each other’s folly. That is the first law of nature.--Voltaire
One thing you probably all have noticed....I never discuss religion on my blog. I may discuss spirituality and such, but not religion. I have a healthy respect for all others and their beliefs and expect the same for mine. Why, in my own household, hubby is a Catholic, my son is a protestant, my younger son an atheist, and myself a Druid and ordained Interfaith minister. We look for the best in all religions and embrace the value that comes from accepting different approaches and traditions. Well, today I am angry; today I have to say something. Intolerance has touched me here in Blogland.
The Celtic religion was a Pagan religion that had high priests they called Druids. The name Druid originated from two separate things. The word “druh” is a Sankskrit word for oak and the word “wid” means “to know.” Combining the words gives us, “The knowledge of the oak.” Considering the “trees of knowledge” and “trees of life” are very symbolic in the Celtic religions, this definition makes sense. Today's Druid follows a nature-based spiritual path.We honor the creative aspects of our spirit by finding beauty in the world around us. The understanding of nature is key in the Druid's way. We worship nature's sacred places her ancient groves and grottos, we celebrate her seasons of birth, growth, and death, and rebirth, we embrace her with a love for all of her creations, and we seek to understand her many complexities.
There is nothing harmful in the above; in fact, there is nothing more beautiful than Celtic spirituality. When the Druid religion gave way to Christianity, many elements of Druid belief were incorporated into the Celtic Christian worldview. One of the most significant is the belief in the Otherworld - the place where our spirit flies and the place where the faeries live. For the Druids, the line between worlds was thin and the Otherworld was as real as the one we physically inhabit. This notion was incorporated into Celtic Christianity in a very beautiful way.
And that is why I have to share this with you today. I just have to get it off my chest and get some opinions. So, let me begin at the beginning.... On Tuesday I found a comment on my blog Celtic Dreamscapes from an elderly gentleman who seemed rather friendly at the time. He pointed out that he had joined my blog and invited me to join his if I liked. He signed off with a blessing. Now, for those who have never seen it, Celtic Dreamscapes is a rather harmless little blog that focuses on Celtic spirituality, myth, and legends. Well, to make a long story short, I did take a look at and join his blog. I had noticed that his favorite book was the Bible and his favorite music was Christian, but, hey, you can be a Druid and still be a Christian. And now, after thousands of years, Druidism is an officially recognized religion in Britain.
Sorry for veering off from my story. So, yesterday I logged onto Blogger and saw that I was minus a follower on Celtic Dreamscape. Now, anyone who's been with me awhile can tell you, I used to take this very personally and agonized over what I must have said. I don't do that anymore. But, I admit, I do wonder who it is that left. Usually, there is no way of knowing, not unless you take the time to list them all on paper, but I still check anyway, and this time was easy. It was none other than this little old gentlemen. My thought was no wonder this guy has so many followers. He joins blogs, invites the blogger to join his, and then once they do, leaves theirs. (He really does have a super large following) I think that is what I wanted to believe. Religious intolerance is a bitter pill to swallow in this day and age, and forever the optimist, I try to look for other reasons....and truth be told, that was the farthest thing on my mind...
....until I went over to his blog with the intentions of taking my name off his list of followers...Now, please don't think I play those little games....If you don't follow mine, I don't follow yours....because that is just not true. I was still under the assumption that he had played a little game with me....but when I arrived at his blog, I discovered he had not only already booted me, but also had BANNED me from joining his blog. I am flabberghasted. I never did a darned thing to the guy . Don't even know him. Never even had a chance to post a comment on his blog, and glad I didn't because he probably would have deleted it. Can't imagine no other reason for him to ban me other than....religious intolerance. I don't curse here; I don't slam others' beliefs. Seriously, what else could it be? Please feel free to offer suggestions. I really hope I am wrong.
Actually, being banned from his blog is quite inconsequential, and I could really care less; it's the dirty little concept of intolerance that has my gander going. We live in the 21st century. When is this NONSENSE going to end? It boggles my mind that in some countries, witches are still be burned at the stake or stoned to death. How long are we going to fight wars in the name of religion? When are people going to stop being so narrow-minded that they cannot see beyond the tip of their nose? When does the hate end and the love begin? When do the wars end? When do we begin to show respect for others? When do we begin to live as one...in peace and in love?
"When one defines oneself as Pagan, it means she or he follows an earth or nature religion, one that sees the divine manifest in all creation. The cycles of nature are our holy days, the earth is our temple, its plants and creatures our partners and teachers. We worship a deity that is both male and female, a mother Goddess and father God, who together created all that is, was, or will be. We respect life, cherish the free will of sentient beings, and accept the sacredness of all creation."--Edain McCoy