It’s funny comparing Pagans from metropolitan areas to “country” Pagans. In the cities there is almost a guaranteed anonymity so they’re free to “come out of the broom closet”. They don’t have to worry about repercussions of any sort. They can have Pagan Pride festivals and fight to have a Yule Log burning right beside a Nativity Scene and Menorah. They know that most people will be accepting if not all together understanding of their beliefs.
Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way for the country folk. They have to hide their jewelry and clothes the curtains when they celebrate holidays. That doesn’t mean that the government will come down on them–unless they have children. Then their religious beliefs could come under intense scrutiny and their kids could be taken away. Neglect they call it. Also, the neighbors are likely to vandalize a country Pagan’s home, who gets no help from the local police department. It’s sad that this happens in this country in this day and age, but it does happen.
The city dwellers don’t understand what the country folk are so worried about (unless they started out country and moved to get away from the closed minds). They’re used to the more intellectual and free thinking crowds that swarm the cities. They’re used to the conversations they have on the grounds of the University. They can’t imagine someone coming right out and calling them “Evil” and telling them that they’re going to hell. 2005 and that still happens….sigh Let’s move on.
Christians do not regularly fear for their safety and that of their family because of their religious beliefs. They do not have to worry about losing their jobs because they wear their religious jewelry. They don’t have to fight to keep custody of their children because they take them to church. Pagans, on the other hand, are fighting battles like this everyday. Though we are becoming more and more recognized we’re also becoming more and more hated (because the zealous right is starting to take us seriously).
I personally have not problem saying “Merry Christmas” to anyone. Where I live is a Conservative Christian area and it’s pretty much expected that if you’re alive in this town then you’re Christian. There aren’t even any Jewish Temples in the entire county. I’m glad that I have that time off of work and that my daughter doesn’t have to go to school for two weeks at that time. I know that Christmas is a usurped holiday, that Christ wasn’t born on that day. Pagans celebrated the return of the sun for thousands of years and the Christians wanted something just as important to put in it’s place when they took over power and went about converting the masses.
(Note: “Winter solstice is a celebration of the birth of the sun and Christmas is the celebration of the birth of the son.” See a correlation here?)
There are countless examples and theories about that, but I don’t bother my Christian neighbors with that. I use that time to do my own thing. Christmas is a special holiday to me insomuch as I enjoy the company of family, the fellowship, food and, of course, presents. If they want to celebrate it for religious reasons, more power to them. I celebrate for secular reasons and enjoy the federal holiday off.
And to those Christians who feel persecuted because someone said “Happy Holidays” to you instead of “Merry Christmas” I say “GET OVER YOURSELF!”
Glad tidings and Blessings.
I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.