Saturday, December 06, 2008

No to bigotry, yes to life

I've written before about the difference between interfaith dialogue, evangelism and proselytising.

Now a particularly sickening and insidious example of "evangelism" (or is it proselytising?) has been highlighted by my fellow Wiccan blogger over at Witches and Scientists.

So, a message to Christians of an evangelical and/or proselytising persuasion:

People of other religions than your own are not "lost". They didn't get "sucked into" the other religion because they somehow failed to notice the existence of Christianity. If they looked at Christianity, they probably rejected the disgusting doctrines espoused by some Christians, but not all, of exclusivity (the idea that only Christians can get to heaven), penal substitution, and the idea that the divine isn't immanent in the world, and is only masculine. They probably rejected the utterly sick idea of "dying to the world and living in Christ". They probably saw the humanity and spirituality of a gay friend and rejected the sick and perverse doctrines that seek to prevent that gay friend living and loving to the full.

Instead, we embraced the idea that all religions are paths to the Divine (with the possible exception of those espousing the above-mentioned doctrines); that the Divine is immanent in the world - that each rock and tree and living being is filled with the Divine - and that the messages of compassion, love and spirituality shine forth everywhere, in all times and places. And that all forms of love and pleasure are sacred, rituals of the Goddess of life and love (including same-sex love).

So, no thanks, we don't need the narrow, warped, cramped, life-denying, exclusivist, dreary creed of the sort of Christians who write utter drivel like "Generation Hex".

We are very happy to embrace as kindred spirits the kind of Christians who are prepared to acknowledge that other religions and lifestyles are valid paths to the Divine (and there are many more of them every day, thank the gods) but we will never, never compromise with the evil bigots who promote homophobia, bigotry, and hatred of other religions.


genexs said...

"So, no thanks, we don't need the narrow, warped, cramped, life-denying, exclusivist, dreary creed of the sort of Christians who write utter drivel like "Generation Hex"

Very well said. To quote one of the insectoid agents from Interzone in David Cronenberg's 'Naked Lunch', "these are words to live by!"

Anonymous said...

Very well said!

I'd also note that some of us also became dissatisfied with a religion that for the most part seems to profane this life as nothing more than a "test" or something to be endured until we make it to the "real party" in the afterlife. I like that my new faith celebrates this life, warts and all.

-- Jarred.

Yewtree said...

Hi Jarred

I agree strongly - that thought was implied by the adjective "life-denying" - but clearly needed expanding upon!

Pitch313 said...

Christians pestering me about the "unsaved" condition of my "soul" and my "failure" to "know" Jesus moved me to respond--jocularly--that I worshipped KALI, the Great Tantrik Goddess.

In the fullness of TIME--which wasn't very long--KALI had ensured that I did--in fact and deed--WORSHIP HER!

anilsays said...

My experience of christianity in a multicultural setting was that it divided communities, intentional or not. As youngster, I became acutely aware of the 'middle-class-ness" of christianity. That was reason enough to be wary.

Yewtree said...

Yes, because of its claims to be in possession of the ultimate truth and the only means to access the Divine.