Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Thursday Rant

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.

Take a good look at the world around you.  If you have  ever rested in a bed of Autumn leaves and felt  the presence of the  Divine or put your hands into the ocean and felt moved by Her spirit, you understand what it is like to be a Druid. If you know that no book or college course will ever be able to instill in  you what the warmth of the sun on a grassy hillside feels like, then you understand.  If you feel just as connected to the moon and sun as you do to your fellow man, you, too, have understanding.  If you promote harmony and and respect for all beings, you understand.  If the question you ask yourself is not Who is God?, but Who am I?, and you find yourself striving,  not for what will happen after you die, but what good you can do while alive, then you, too, understand.

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 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


  1. Well, that is terrible. - But I'm not surprised. Unfortunately some religions are intolerant and so are their followers. You know what? I think about this alot and I have to wonder - let's say you really truly believed that your religion was wonderful and you truly wanted others to meet your God to see for themselves how wonderful your belief system was, would you offend those you wish to introduce to your God? You wouldn't. So that means that I have to question whether these people truly believe in their own system or do they just want to control - to be "right." And in the hopes of ridding the world of the competition, those that are WRONG, they spread lies, proclaim that all other systems are evil. Terribly close minded and quite immature.

    PS - blocking you like that is a form of fear, the energy that surrounds these kinds of people.

  2. I have no idea what was with that guy. But oh yes, when will religion stop being used, to whack others? Sorry but I think never. It's too much fun for humans, to feel better than other humans.

    'Cause if one believes they have the One True Way and Religion, they can feel superior. And can whack at everyone else.


  3. Clearly, a man with "issues." Your being blocked is a badge of honour!

  4. Unfortunately there are people in all religions who believe their way is the only 'true' way. Often they swallow everything that is told to them by their 'leaders' as gospel truth -- because it is far easier to be told what to believe, what is wrong, what is correct, who to vote for, or hate, or support, than it is to sort through all the jumble of words and doctrine and figure out what is right for them to believe. We just saw clear evidence of that kind of thinking on Tuesday.

    Tolerance is an action as well as a belief. Apparently he chooses to practice neither -- and he is the poorer for it.

    Take heart. You've got friends here.

  5. This older gentleman obviously is threatened by you Mary. To be open minded means that what he believes or has been taught to believe may start perpetuating questions within himself. That in and of itself is a very scary thought to one who probably and most likely has called himself some sort of Christian all his days.
    Feel honoured that by reading your celtic dreamscape blog that you put a seed inside of him that maybe will grow. The fear of the unknown is the greatest of fears.
    Miss Mary, the religious wars will never end. Personally, I do not believe that they are meant to as history does repeat itself again and again and again.
    I believe that if everyone in this world could just love and be nice to each other it would be a better place. However, until people like the gentleman that banned you- open their eyes, they will not see what is right in front of them and history will continue to repeat itself once again.
    Blessings to You my friend- Angie

  6. I have been blogging for over 5 years and this is an age old issue.. when I first started blogging, I was persecuted by so called christians for my spirtual life - because of what I believe.. it was awful
    ps - my blog is private now - did you get an invite? :)

  7. Don't sweat it Mary!
    I too have seen the best and worst in religions.
    The older I get the more I marvel at every creature, flower, sunset, landscape, seascape, mountain, etc.
    I too treat people the way I want to be treated. :0) the commenter above wrote; there will always be religious wars.
    Mankind has not learned one dang thing! :0(

  8. Mary..let me to understand this..This guy comes to YOUR blog follows, and leaves a comment for you to come over to his blog, you do, he then unfollows you and blocks you from his blog? I think that you scared him Mary, you made him think outside of his own religion, maybe his faith isn't as strong as he thinks it is. I think that you planted a seed. Wishing you a positive day!