Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Just When You Thought It Was Safe...

Graphics courtesy of Alicia

To come out of the "Broom Closet".

Merry Meet and Happy Thanksgiving Friends and Lurkers!

So, apparently, I have a cyber-bigot that has a problem with my choice of religious beliefs. Honestly, in the entire 13 years of practice and last several years of being "out" publicly, I've never run into someone like this. The scary part is, he/she, may actually live here in Ridgewood!

I subscribe to the Ridgewood Blog. It's a great place to keep up with issues that are effecting our community and to get the opinion of others on the same. Well, one of the recent topics being discussed involved a local Minister who was involved in a pedestrian accident. Apparently, she struck a woman who was walking her baby in the crosswalk. The baby, who was in a stroller at the time was, thankfully, unharmed, but the stroller was, allegedly, torn in half. There are some conflicting stories, so I was interested to hear from some people who were actually at the scene or who knew the parties involved.

The situation all began innocently enough when one poster questioned why the woman being a Minister was relevant to the story. I had the same question. Some felt that being a Minister should have made her a better driver. I found this amusing and my posted comment reflected this. Well, the next thing I know someone who hasn't the courage to use their own name, posted the comment, "it's a sad state of affairs when Glinda is the voice of reason".

Now I have had a lot of experience on message boards. I have found that being respectful toward others and their opinions is the key to an enjoyable experience. I also have a really, really low tolerance for bullshit and my responses to this individual have reflected that. There is nothing worse than ignorance, intolerance and hatred combined with stupidity.

Apparently, this person has little knowledge of Wicca or it's principals and has instead focused on the more sensational aspects of the religion such as spell casting, dancing naked under the full moon and worshipping a "Horned God". I quite frankly, have never danced naked anywhere with the exception of my bedroom and theoretically, I was alone at the time. I'm pos-it-ive. That's not to suggest that on a beautiful moonlight night, when the wind is warm, I couldn't be persuaded. Just sayin.

I further suspect that this individual equates the worshipping of a "Horned God" with Satan, as most people with a lack of factual knowledge or from a more conservative religious system of beliefs sometimes do. What many people don't realize is that not even the Satanists actually worship Satan. The depiction of the Horned God actually dates back to before the Bible was ever written and is present in many different cultures. While the origins are varied, it is believed by some that the early Pagans, the cave dwellers, would dress in the skins and antlers of animals as a way to appease their gods and insure a successful hunting season. This "Horned God" representation was later demonized by the Christians as they attempted to convert the Pagans to Christianity. For modern day Witches and Pagans, the Horned God represents the masculine polarity of the Universe and is associated with strength, birth, death and rebirth, virility, sexuality and symbolizes the power of Nature.

As far as the spell casting is concerned, yeah we cast spells. A spell is actually little more than a focused prayer. Think of it this way. Some people will go to church, light a candle and ask God to answer their prayers. We light a candle, perhaps some incense, but because we believe the Divine exists within ourselves, we do not ask our Gods to bring what we need to us, but instead to guide and protect us as we focus our efforts on our goals. Spells are often, but not always limited to healing and/or prosperity for ourselves or our communities. Our strong sense of spiritual responsibility precludes us from casting spells to make bad things happen to people, no matter how tempting that might be. At times, we can't even do stuff to make good things happen, dammit! Do you know how many times people who I really, really like, have asked me for a love spell. And you all know what a hopeless romantic I am! It's difficult to tactfully explain why you shouldn't try to make someone love you who doesn't and that to try, is interfering with their Free Will. Yeah, it sucks, I know...but, I don't make the rules, the Universe does.

In any case, I have tried to deal with this particular individual tactfully, but I gotta tell ya, shortly after his/her initial comment, things began circling the drain.

What follows is a brief transcript of only some of what has transpired, so some comments may be taken out of context. In any case, subsequent posts by this individual have led me to believe that I may be dealing with someone a few sandwichs short of a picnic.

Anonymous said...

“It’s a pretty sad state of affairs when someone who runs around naked under the full moon worshipping "the horned god” and casting spells is the voice of reason".

Tracy said...

And consecrating bread and wine and using it to represent the drinking of blood and eating flesh of a crucified Savior is perfectly reasonable?

Anonymous said...

Seems like a pretty bigoted ignorant comment, don't you think?

Taking an arbitrary swipe at some other religion (not even against me) shows you to be a pretty ignorant angry bigoted person.

But I guess that is to be expected from someone who's dogma is "do whatever you want to do".

It looks like you've still got some issues to work out with your hatred of other religions. After you resolve those, you can focus on your hatred of me for stating honestly what it is that you do.

And Tracy said...

My hatred of you? How convenient of you to forget that this discussion began with your insulting my religious beliefs.

You find it bigoted to point out a practice that is customary in the Christian religion? Do Christians not partake in the symbolic body and blood of Christ in their religious services? Is it so difficult for you to grasp that other cultures might find this unreasonable? I personally, have absolutely no problem with it or anyone else's beliefs and/or practices. I don't make it a practice of sitting in judgement of others. Yet, you see absolutely nothing wrong with hiding like a coward behind a computer screen and insulting a system of religious beliefs you obviously know nothing about, and then accusing me of bigotry and hatred. OH the irony!!!

Quite frankly, you are in no way qualified to decide what to expect of me or my beliefs. You however, have proven yourself one of the most loathsome, ignorant, bigots I have yet to encounter.

By the way, lest you make more of an ass of yourself than you have on this particular occasion, our tenet is:

"An it HARM NONE, do what ye will".

You might recognize it. Almost every religion has their own version of it. It's really no different than "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". If you don't recognize it, perhaps you should learn it.

Angry? Hardly. I actually find your hypocrisy amusing. But do yourself and everyone else you decide to focus your bigotry on a favor, don't judge others based on your ignorance.

Tracy says:

"Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity"

In Darkness, Light!



carol said...

sorry to hear that you had to be subjected to such a person.

I have had this experience but from someone I called a friend a couple of years ago. Now I just delete her emails (after I told her what I thought about it).

Another one bites the dust!!!!

Since you don't know this person just be careful.

By the way you laid it on him/her good "YOU GO GIRL!"

Tracy said...

Thanks Carol. I've never encountered anyone as blatantly ignorant as this person.

What never ceases to amazes me however, is when the same people who've asked me "Don't you believe in God?" ask me to practice Witchcraft for them when they don't feel that they are finding help elsewhere.

And you know what, it's all good. I've never ask anyone to believe what I do and I'm more than happy to help them if I can.

Carol said...

I know that Tracy. I have known you for the past year and one half and you certainly have helped me!!

I find it better to stay with our Fellowship or other pagans as much as possible.

Tracy said...

I actually have friends of many different religious backgrounds. At times, they tease me about being a Witch, but they also tease me about other things as my Jersey accent. I know it's all in fun.

What I find enjoyable about spending time with other Pagans is the wide range of topics that we can discuss, that we find completely normal, but that would definitely seem unusual to most. Rituals, Quarter calls, athames divination...hey, for us, that's typical dinner conversation! :)

Carol said...

lol lol!!

Tracy said...

So this was and is the last interaction I intend to have with this person:

Tracy has left a new comment on the post "Police Charge Local Minister In Sunday Evening Ped...":

"Am I a Witch? Yes, I am and that obviously intimidates you. "

Annoyance says:

No, it amuses me.

Tracy says:

No, actually it terrifies you. If not, then you wouldn't have taken the topic "Police Charge Local Minister In Sunday Evening Pedestrian Accident" and turned it into an attack on the religious beliefs of a complete stranger on a community message board. For the record, it doesn't take "witchly powers" to recognize a coward, especially one of your calibur.

Quite frankly, my beliefs and/or practices should be absolutely none of your concern. They are obviously of great concern to you however, or you wouldn't have brought them up repeatedly, despite the fact that topic being discussed had absolutely nothing to do with comparative religion. And just in case your selective memory kicks in and you choose, once again, to forget exactly where this discussion originated, you might want to re-read your comments.

I am quite certain that the creation of this blog was for the purpose of discussing issues effecting the community and not to be used as a venue for you to vent your intolerance of other's religious beliefs. Your behavior is completely inappropriate, and smacks of issues on your part that should not be aired on a community message board, but in the privacy of psychiatrist's office.

I'll waste no more of my time on your ignorance.