Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Today we channel that blighter Niccolo Machiavelli for a discussion on the delicate ins and outs of spiritual warfare.
Our friend Mrs. B (see sidebar, "Pagan Soccer Mom") won the contest for "Top 25 Blogs of Faith" on a site called "Circle of Moms." It seems that many Pagan mothers visit "Circle," because many of the top 25 blogs were by Pagan writers.
As Mrs. B became poised to win the contest, which she didn't even enter by her own volition, she began getting hate mail from the lunatic fringe of Christianity. She has been genteel in not posting these vitriolic comments, but she has graciously posted many warm wishes from Christian moms who said her blog has helped them understand Wicca better.
This is all nice and nice, as we hillbillies used to say. Truth be told, however, it's easy to see how Christians could view a Pagan mom getting positive publicity as an act of spiritual warfare.
Whenever you believe that your religion is the one and only way to achieve immortal bliss, you must ... must ... view every other religion as an impediment to this bliss. When faced with something like Mrs. B's success, true Christians can only reply, "Well, you have a nice blog, and you won the contest, but you are going to go to Hell unless you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior."
It's a fact. If spirituality must be considered warfare (and who the hell thought up this crap?), then strict Christianity is a line in the sand. You can't have one foot on the bus and the other on the curb.
Now, there are many, many people who say, "I'm a Christian, and I still have respect for other faiths." I believe you, but if you don't think the people in those faiths are going to Hell, you are not, strictly speaking, a Christian. You appreciate Jesus, but you haven't bought in. The true believers, the buyers, so to speak, have a core tenet: Believe in Jesus, or hit the hot.
The exclusionary nature of mainstream religions has eroded their power among thinking people. The more we learn about the age of the Earth, the nature of the Cosmos, and the long history of humankind, the more unthinkable strict Christianity becomes. In fact, it's incredibly cheeky for any religion to claim sole proprietorship of immortal bliss. For all we know, cats could get immortal bliss! Why not? They're pretty smart mammals!
One way to fight, and win, spiritual warfare is to invite all sorts of religions to your table on equal standing. Think of it as King Arthur's Round Table of Gods and Goddesses. There's a seat for Jesus, by golly! And for Buddha and Muhammad! We'll put Muhammad near Horus, Osiris, Baal, and Jesus, since they all come from more or less the same part of the world. But other than discreet seating by regional location, our table is round, round, round. All are welcome on equal standing.
Humans are not, by nature, egalitarian. We're wired to consider ourselves exceptional, and the other guys damned and doomed. But you know what? That's a tired model. It's time for a change. Open hearts, open minds, and every destination with 10,000 ways to get there!
Harm no one. Love widely and well. Show mercy and respect to all. When someone asks you why you do this, you say, "Everything is."