A Pagan Response to Fundamentalist Hate

Recently, Kelly O’Connell wrote an article on the Canada Free Press website entitled “Is America Becoming a Pagan Kingdom?” My response to Mr. O’Connell’s obnoxious article is this – The answer is a resounding no, Sir.  As I have previously made clear, we Pagans are well aware that fundamentalists and religious extremists tend to dominate the theological and political landscape in the United States, often to such an extent that, for us, any affiliation with organized religion becomes undesirable; to be avoided at all costs on principal alone. We still worship our God(s) in private and hope for a more tolerant future, one of respect and cooperation where our children can safely explore their own spirituality without fear of reprisal.

Individuals following the religious traditions of indigenous cultures and solitary adherents of contemporary paganism have always been easy targets for the unmitigated hatred of the zealot, for they do not have a centralized organization to protect them from persecution. More recently, even free thinking theists from traditional churches have been ostracized and demoralized, forced to assume the label of spiritual but not religious, or worse, categorized as ‘irreligious’ because they refuse to conform to an archaic and stifling tradition that no longer has any personal relevance to the modern spiritualist.

The loss of religious affiliation and our continued lack of political organization allows extreme fundamentalist groups to dictate administrative policy on a broad scale, deeply integrating their strict religious morality into every facet of secular law. It also clears the way for groups such as the so called Tea Party here in America and the Taliban in the Middle East to conduct campaigns of such malicious hatred that they become virtually unopposed in their verbal and often violent aggression toward anyone who disagrees with their oppressive point of view. The negative consequences of fundamentalist rule are heinous indeed.

The Contemporary Pagan Alliance works tirelessly toward ending fundamentalist tyranny; by standing together, unified by the very spiritual freedom that our opponents so despise, we ensure that the ideals of individual equality and religious liberty are never discarded. With one voice we affirm our support for the freedom of religion on a global scale and we hereby give extremists fair warning. Their days are truly numbered for we are the silent majority no longer and we will accept nothing less than absolute equality.

We peacefully worship our Gods however we choose. We demand the right to legally marry those we love, before our Gods and without prejudice, in a ceremony of our own faith. We freely educate ourselves, seeking enlightenment through knowledge, and we will no longer allow ourselves to be legally or physically victimized by ignorant zealots. We proudly take our place as free and equal members of our communities and will no longer tolerate discrimination in our laws or our lives. Our worldwide membership provides for a strong, unified and democratic Pagan Church. Together, we will prevail.

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Comment by William Knox on December 20, 2012 at 12:46am

@Thomas Thank you. As I said on my main wordpress blog, if this was a simple case of ignorance I probably wouldn’t have chosen to post. Mr. O’Connell is much more than a columnist, however. He sends forth his vituperative commentary each Sunday afternoon to his conservative New Mexico radio audience for two straight hours. After I posted this response, he invited me to attend his talk show as a guest – while I do not know the impetus for his request, I am quite certain he does not propose we share a pleasant conversation over tea and cookies. That said, I am inclined to accept his offer; suffering through a few hours of neocon vitriol is a small price to pay for the opportunity to explain our religion to a non-Pagan audience. Generally speaking, fundamentalist Christians do not choose to read my blog, nor do they visit the CPA website but they do listen to Mr. O’Connell’s radio show on a regular basis. As a community, we Pagans can no longer allow our religion to be vilified without rebuttal. We must stand strong in the face of such blatant persecution and affect change wherever and whenever such opportunity allows.

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