I’ve been getting myself into a bit of trouble of late. I’ve lost a dear friend, and possibly a sibling over it all. And while I mourn that this is the way it has to be – this is the way it has to be.
Some people will wonder if it’s worth it. Why not just let it go? It’s not my fight. It’s not my problem. Don’t take it so personally. Don’t get too involved. Leave it alone. It’s not worth losing family and friends over…
If all those things were true, humanity would still be living in caves and the term “human rights” wouldn’t exist in our vocabulary. Do we really want to live in a world like that?
I live on the Sunshine Coast and there are currently plans to try and build a mosque here. As you may imagine, a lot of people are not happy with this idea. And the whole country is in a tither over a variety of events happening overseas at the moment, and the Australian government getting their panties in a twist in various ways…
A lot of people are confusing what is happening with COUNTRIES and POLITICS overseas, with RELIGION. These things are not the same.
94% of people in Rwanda are Christian. Yet it’s not exactly a place I’d like to go and visit any time soon… In case you didn’t know – these lovely Christian people participated in genocide in 1994.
Longman argues that both Catholic and Protestant churches helped to make the genocide possible by giving moral sanction to the killing. Churches had longed played ethnic politics themselves, favoring the Tutsi during the colonial period then switching allegiance to the Hutu after 1959, sending a message that ethnic discrimination was consistent with church teaching. The church leaders had also long had close ties with the political leaders, and after the genocide began, the church leaders called on the population to support the new interim government, the very government supporting the genocide.
When this happened, no one in Western countries started burning Bibles (though perhaps we should have). Indeed, the whole affair was covered up, only really coming to public light with the release of the movie, Hotel Rwanda. We shouldn’t be surprised – Christians do not like to admit that Hitler was Christian, and friends with the Pope of the time, either…
Rwanda, World War 2, the KKK, and all manner of other things that “Christians” have done over the millennia, have nothing to do with “Christianity” per se and everything to do with politics, and extremists.
Events occurring in other, mainly Muslim, countries, also have everything to do with politics and extremists – and nothing to do with the actual religion itself, or the general practice of it.
Extremists. Extremist organisations. There is some good memes going around the internetz at the moment…
A few people with delusions of grandeur are not representative of an entire population that practices a particular religion!!!
Maureen commented on a post of mine this morning:
Actively Insist upon all long standing Australian customs be respected and where there has been erosion of same actively insist they be reinstated. I look forward to Christmas trees and carols, Santa and hearing The Australian National Anthem played loudly in public all over this great country of ours.
Did someone steal Christmas and didn’t tell me?
More to the point, do we forget that Christmas actually WAS stolen? By Christians? Did we forget that? Where do you think the tree and the decorations come from? It’s a Pagan festival, taken over by Christians many moons ago. Pagans call it Yule.
Don’t even get me started on the whole Samhain/Halloween thing…
And so I come to the point of this post.
I do have game in this fight.
I am an agnostic Wiccan. I am agnostic because I do not believe in a God or Goddess, yet I do not NOT believe in one or many either. I believe I’ll find out when I am supposed to (and not in this lifetime). I am Wiccan because I live (as much as I can), by the Wiccan philosophies and way of life. Not all of them. But most. Sort of like Christianity tells you that you should be put to death if you handle pork, but most Christians these days just forget that those bits of the Bible exist…
I am a Solitary Wiccan. This means I do not belong to a Coven. I practice my own beliefs, in my own way, in my own time.
Over the centuries, Pagans (which includes Wiccans as well as other religions, such as Druid) have been drowned and burned at the stake on a regular basis by Christians. A month ago, I was at a group run by a Christian organisation and one of the women there saw a pentagram on one of my belongings and said “oh, I don’t like the look of that”. She was looking through my Happy Bag, and commenting on various things and seeing this obviously scared her. She didn’t mean anything by it. Yet I obviously couldn’t “come out” as Wiccan to her. I have to hide my religion. I can’t practice outside because it’s against the law. My idea of “church on Sunday” is to “cast circle” in a field with a bonfire, naked. If I get caught, I go to jail (or at least face a hefty fine), and there are no “religious exceptions” for me, because my religion is not recognised as a religion in my state.
(That last link is a good indication of how “my kind” are treated – even by the person supposed to be “neutral”, such as the presenter hired by the ABC, an organisation with strict rules on such things).
I am lucky. I have had friends who have had their home burned to the ground for their beliefs. Their property destroyed. Their lives threatened. They have been beaten. Threatened. Mocked.
Christianity – Christians – are the ones doing this. My religion fears Christians. And not your extremists. As seen only a few weeks ago, I still have to hide my faith from everyday ordinary Christians too.
So this rhetoric that Muslims are going to destroy the Christian way of life, or even end our lives, is laughable to me. I mean for goodness sake, look in the damn mirror!!! Christians may not be blowing people up (no, wait, they were in Ireland), but make no mistake – they are killing people who don’t agree with them!
The hypocrisy is just… it’s just unbelievable.
So I stand by my Muslim brothers and sisters. I stand by them no matter what it costs me, because bigotry needs to be eliminated and everyone should have the freedom to worship how they choose. I stand by my Muslim brothers and sisters because I too know what it is like to have movies and pop culture dictate what people think they know about me. I stand by my Muslim brothers and sisters because I also hope for a better world with tolerance for all.
But mostly I stand by my Muslim brothers and sisters, because they are my brothers and sisters. We are all in this life together. It’s about time we started acting like it.