posted on Dec, 21 2007 @ 09:47 PM
I told myself I was not going to reply to this thread due to the ongoing issues and conflicts between members. I am taking a middle-ground and
responding first to the original post - which was the vandalism of a religious symbol.
Let's say that this was a symbol for ANY religion represented on that courthouse lawn. Regardless of who's symbol was vandalized, it was still an
act of vandalism and that is something that cannot be acceptable. If a baby Jesus was vandalized, Christians have a right to be concerned and
angered. If a menorah was vandalized, Jews have that same right. If a pagan wreath is vandalized, pagans have that same exact right. In no case is
the act ever justified.
Members of ALL religions should be tolerant to this issue as if it were their own. It may be a pagan Yule wreath today, but tomorrow it may be
something else. No religious symbol is above any other and vandalism of any form is wrong. You may disagree with this and that is fine... but I
believe all religions should be tolerant to each other and thus equal in the eyes of a public institution.
Pagans feel as deep about their religion as Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and other religions do. Nobody should deny any religion
their right to be proud of what they believe in. And this goes all ways - amongst all religions. But yet, as we all know, we do not live in a
perfect tolerant world.
Remember, this was a public courthouse and ALL religions were invited to show their symbols. All equally. As such, there should be no pedestals for
any one religion to rise above the others as being 'better than.' If they are not permitted equal representation, then there should be none
Public insititutions invite diverse religions to present their symbols because most have a major holdiay in the month of December AND to they do not
disrespect any particular religion. This isn't about a single holiday, this is about the entire season and the diversity of religious holidays
presented during that season.
On private land, display anything you want, as large as you want and in any fashion you want. This is your religious freedom. I live in Memphis and
I am offended by the Statue of Liberation erected well over a year ago (merging the Statue of Liberty and Christian symbols.) This is on private
church land and I must respect that. I may not like that statue, but I must be tolerant and respect their right to place it on their land. Likewise,
I respect any Mosque, Synagogue, Church, Temple or House of Worship.
If you do not like the placement of your religious symbols in relation to others, you can ask for yours to be moved elsewhere. But do not ask for it
to take presence over others and do not ask for others to be removed because you do not agree with what they represent. Somebody believes in that
symbol and their religion as much as you do your own.
You many not agree with the beliefs behind the pagan traditions, or your preceived meanings behind certain symbols. If you don't understand, I can
only encourage people to read and learn about what different religions are about. Don't judge or act without knowing what they based upon - their
foundations, their beliefs, their structure. You don't have to agree with them, only understand and accept them. Clearly, pagans, wiccans, druids,
shamans and nature based religions are misunderstood by many within major religious organizations. And likewise, I also see many pagans disrespecting
Christianity and other organized religions in similar ways.
With that being said, this is an issue of vandalism - it doesn't matter who or what or why - what matters that somebody's religious rights and
freedoms were violated. It was a pagan wreath today and tomorrow it could be YOUR cherished religious symbol.
I will not be posting any more in this thread - I have said what I needed to say.
I am an atheist and tolerant.