The Creepy, The Sad and What Keeps Me Writing

I got up this morning, made my usual indecently huge cup of French vanilla coffee and fired up my laptop to check my emails. Gmail came to life and the very first subject line sent my eyebrows to the roof: “YOU’LL SIZZLE IN HELL!”

I thought, “Wow! Great title, I wonder who wrote it.” You see, I read a lot of dark fantasy and horror novels, so I’m on the mailing list of every dark, bloody writer I like. I figured it was the title of a new book. Nope. It was the title of the email from a woman who really disliked my “Jesus Would Do Outreach” post. I won’t tell you much about her email because I don’t use that type of language, but I’ll share her last line. She said:
“I’ll rejoice when I stand by my Lord Jesus and we both watch the flames of hell consume your arrogance.” 
This woman has a way with imagery, doesn’t she?

There is a second email I want to share with everyone. It was sent by a fellow Pagan a few days ago. This person believes that adding anything about Christianity to my Paganism is just wrong. The email was well researched, it provided the names of many Pagan gods who have acted just like Jesus, but it sent a clear warning. Here is a quote from the email:
“I have heard people say to have tolerance for all beliefs and ideals, but what of protection? Fundamentalist christianity FAILS quite consistently to support Pagan alliance/tolerance/outreach/etc programs. they won't work with us.. they hate us. please, as a fellow pagan, i urge you to choose your own path, but also to consider WHICH solar messiah to model your organization after.” 
This email saddens me to no end. It makes me wonder how much pain this person had to endure in order to feel this way.

However, I washed the pain away by looking at my archive and reading the emails I got from people who feel just like me. They also think that adding what we like best from other spiritual paths enriches our own belief system. Here are a few quotes:
“I have believed in God and Jesus without a doubt since I was two years old.... and I am very much a witch...”
“…to fully experience our religion we have to learn about others.”
“The fact that modern Christian churches have perhaps fallen off the bus on this does not change the fact of who Christ was.”
“I also was pleased to discover a concept bridge between two much loved spiritual discovery paths…” 


And a personal favorite:
“First off, Thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!! This was one of the best articles I've read in a long time. I totally agree with you...Jesus Would Do Outreach!! I've been scoffed at and at times told that I'm not a "real pagan" because asked that inevitable question, Do you believe in Jesus? I honestly say Yes. I may not have the same views towards him that Christians or Pagans (or anyone else, for that matter) but I do most definitely believe in Jesus...” 
And this is not even one fourth of the positive email responses, so as you can see I have a bunch of goodness to cleanse away the bad and the creepy. I sure hope that the hell-inspired woman and the Pagans-must-hate-all-Christians man find just as much goodness in their life, but I have my doubts. When one lets one’s heart be clouded by fundamentalism or absolutism of any kind, it is almost impossible to let in the goodness of life—or common sense for that matter.

What could push a person to feel “joy” when thinking about someone else’s suffering? How much pain does it take for a person to start hating an entire group based on feelings inspired by some of its members? How do people’s comments affect your writing?

Share away….

16 comments:

  1. As a polytheist I wouldn't exclude any divinity and respect all religious practitioners but find it hard to relate to those who are intolerant of others. Fundamentalists of all persuasions are outside of my sympathy except that, as you say, to hate in that way perhaps should invite our sympathy for the pain they must feel. Unfortunately fundamentalism also seems to have a cultural basis so that even those who don't express themselves in this pained way are often equally objectionable in their intolerance.

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  2. Heron-

    I wish I cool say that you are wrong, but the fact is that I can. I see it all the time. I see in the eyes of my own who is a devout Baptist and did everything humanly possible to "save" me. He gave up a while ago, but I still see him shake his head when he sees the pentacle that hangs around my neck. His reaction used to make me feel bad, and not so much for me, but because I know that in his heart he feels that he has failed. I hope with all my heart that he changes, but like I said earlier, I seriously doubt it...

    Intolerance is an infection that clouds even the most brilliant minds.

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  3. Intolerance is Yucky as my niece would say! Stopping by from SITS to leave some hump day love!

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  4. Ab Home Interiors_

    Your niece is a very intelligent girl. Intolerance, like ignorance,really stinks. Yuck! Thanks for the love ;)

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  5. I am stopping by to say thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment, they are always greatly appreciated.

    "Intolerance is an infection that clouds even the most brilliant minds." -- What a fantastic quote and so very true.

    I find the woman's email very offensive and sad that someone could be so intolerant and could feel so much hate for someone they don't even know that they would say such a thing. Paganism might not be for me, but that doesn't mean I can't be accepting of others that believe or live differently than me. In fact that is one of the things that makes your blog interesting.

    I respect and love the way you focus on the good and positive though. Being angry and judgmental of others takes a lot of energy...that woman must be exhausted!!lol

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  6. Jennifer-

    I wish more people thought like you, if more of us did, then the world would be such a wonderful place. If more of us accepted the fact that one particular religion doesn't fit everybody's spiritual needs, then we'd probably be a bit happier. As for me, I'm static! Which is why I look so great *grin*.

    I do believe that hating is a very tiresome emotion, so that horrible woman is probably somewhere wondering why she can barely move and why she is aging so prematurely ;)

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  7. It is so disquieting to see a "Christian" person pleased by the pain of another person and thinking that her "Lord" would feel the same way. How extremely sad her life must be - Judy

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  8. Hi Judy-

    It is very sad, isn't it? I know that I feel annoyed every time I hear someone preaching something and not applying it to themselves. But this is not exclusive to Christianity. I know Pagans who are always talking about the injustice of intolerance and then turn around and badmouth other religions because of some member's stupidity.

    I believe that we should live and let live, and if someone wants to pass that kind of judgment, we should just feel sorry that they live such a miserable life.

    Thanks so much for spreading Pagan Culture!

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  9. I've learned intolerance takes too much work. If I am going to work THAT hard, it's gonna be for something productive. :)
    Folks who go after you for your beliefs have their own crosses to bear.
    I am too much of a wiseguy, if you tell me to go to hell, I will tell you to bring the hot dogs. You hang in there!

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  10. Mike, you are so right! I rather spend all my energy talking to good friends and making plans for friendly BBQ's :)

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  11. AB HOME INTERIORS? When did I start THAT?

    Those who write you hatefull filth are clueless with who the person of Jesus is. They bring so much pain and damage, damage that can never be reversed. These individuals cripple the beautiful message of love for the lost and redemption and turn it ugly, they bring reproach to Christ, God forgive them.

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  12. I've learned intolerance takes too much work. If I am going to work THAT hard, it's gonna be for something productive. :)
    Folks who go after you for your beliefs have their own crosses to bear.
    I am too much of a wiseguy, if you tell me to go to hell, I will tell you to bring the hot dogs. You hang in there!

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  13. AB HOME INTERIORS? When did I start THAT?

    Those who write you hatefull filth are clueless with who the person of Jesus is. They bring so much pain and damage, damage that can never be reversed. These individuals cripple the beautiful message of love for the lost and redemption and turn it ugly, they bring reproach to Christ, God forgive them.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I am stopping by to say thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment, they are always greatly appreciated.

    "Intolerance is an infection that clouds even the most brilliant minds." -- What a fantastic quote and so very true.

    I find the woman's email very offensive and sad that someone could be so intolerant and could feel so much hate for someone they don't even know that they would say such a thing. Paganism might not be for me, but that doesn't mean I can't be accepting of others that believe or live differently than me. In fact that is one of the things that makes your blog interesting.

    I respect and love the way you focus on the good and positive though. Being angry and judgmental of others takes a lot of energy...that woman must be exhausted!!lol

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