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Re: Lynn, An answer. Long.

Posted by deirdrehbrt on February 22, 2006, at 22:53:30

In reply to Re: Lynn, An answer. Long. deirdrehbrt, posted by simus on February 22, 2006, at 14:12:42

Matthew 18:14 is a nice comfortable verse. When Jesus speaks of his "sheep" though, it's been pointed out quite clearly that He is speaking of His people. In Matthew 25 He describes the judgement, when the sheep are on his right, and the goats are on his left. As I understand it, the sheep are Christians. No non-Christian will enter heaven. I believe one verse says "No-one comes to the father but through the son". Could be wrong, but if I am, please show me where. Do you think that non-christians will enter heaven? If so, they why do so many churches proslytize and send out missionaries with such zeal? And once a society is converted, what happens to it's religion? Mostly, it seems to be relegated to mythology.

I'm also a member of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community. As such, and knowing beyond any doubt that it wasn't a choice, and having been told from the age of 6 or 7 that I was going to hell because of it, it's been really difficult to accept a faith that condemns me.
What I wrote about the history, and the destruction of civilizations is history. I'll admit that. Being GLBT, and not being permitted to marry, and with radical "cures" being promoted by religious; with the uproars over GLBT organizations in schools, and their being categorized as "indoctrination" societies; and with the preaching against any civil rights for these people, it truly feels like there is an attempt to "erase" us.

I do have tremendous respect for some churches. I was a member of a UCC parish for a time. The leadership did go out of their way to make me feel welcome. It was also an Open and Accepting congregation. Still, I felt that Deity was distant from me there. There are also churches that would argue that the UCC isn't a valid Christian church.
Also, in NH, we have an openly gay bishop. It was amazing to see the more fundamentalist churches staging protests over that event. There is still lots of controversy over that.
I looked at a number of other churches. Sometimes hoping that God would change me. It never happened. Not that I didn't try. I prayed, and prayed sincerely, for many many years. I didn't want to go to hell. I KNEW that God could change me, but He didn't. So I had to make a decision. It became clear that if being transgendered was a sin, and God wouldn't "fix" me, then maybe my perception of God was incorrect.

Many years ago, actually in 1982, a poem came to me. At this point, I hadn't studied anything about paganism or witchcraft. The poem is the thoughts of a witch as she was being burned. What I knew of witches I learned in Catholic school. Needless to say, it wasn't a sympathetic position. Contrary to what I had learned, this woman expressed love for the people who were killing her. She had healed them, and taken care of them. She also knew that she would survive.
I can offer only two explanations for where this poem came from. Either in a former life, I was that woman, or that woman reached out to me to tell her story. In either event, I learned on that day that witches weren't the evil worshipers of Satan that I had been taught.
So, having a pagan connection on that side, and being part Native American, Paganism is a matter of blood. Many native american tribes honored transgendered people. We were the ones who could bridge the gap between men and women. It wasn't a thing of shame, but a gift.
Paganism is a good fit for me. It teaches me the value of everything and everybody. Where we live is sacred. Every one of us is sacred. We are ALL loved by Deity, whether you call her Goddess, God, Jesus, El Shaddai, YHWH, or any other name.
I don't believe in the Christian Hell. I think that we all have been here before, and we shall all meet again. One lifetime isn't long enough to learn the lessons of an eternity. There is a beautiful Wiccan teaching that says "to fulfill love you must return again at the same time amd place as teh loved one, and you must remember and love them again."
In my religion, I have found love, acceptance (though not universally), a faith that makes sense to me, and with this, a responsibility to take care of the gifts that deity has entrusted me with.
I don't hate Catholicism, even with the abuse by certain priests, which touched me as well. I don't hate the Protestant faiths; I remember being in tears the day that Dr. Dobson returned to the microphone after having a stroke. I listened regularly to R. C. Sproul, and The Bible Answer Man. I have tremendous respect for these people, even though they condemn what they call my "lifestyle". Pagan and wiccan teaching says that such people are confused and have closed hearts. I wish it were otherwise.
In any event, I hope for a world that resembles the song by Dar Williams. She wrote "'cause now when Christians sit with Pagans only pumpkin pies are burning". It's a song about a family with Christians and Pagans celebrating the holidays together. It's really worth a listen if you care to look for it.
I know this was long, but please trust that it is heartfelt. I love much about the Christian faith. Along with the people I mentioned above, I love the music of Michael Card, John Michael Talbot, Keith Green, and so many others. I hope someday that many faiths can celebrate again togheter, knowing that in the end, Deity is ultimately one, and that what we see as evil is really spiritual illness, ignorance, and closed hearts, waiting to be healed.
It's probably scary to you to hear someone who claims to be Pagan, or a Witch, and maybe you worry for me, but you really don't have to. As sure as you are of your path, I am of mine. Your post truly touched me, and I felt, and appreciate your concern and sorrow.
One last thing you might like to know. I'm an alcoholic. I'm a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. Most all meetings find us at the end holding hands and reciting the Lords Prayer. I still find unity in that prayer with the other men and women. It unites us. I know that these are the words of Jesus, teaching his disciples how to pray. I also know that for the many faiths represented in AA, most all of us will say this prayer knowing that the God of our understanding will hear us. We also use the Serenity prayer, which, no doubt, you have heard, and the Prayer of St. Francis is much loved by AA.
I don't know if any of this makes you feel more or less comfortable about who I am, or the choices I've made, but I am serene in where I am, and the choices I've made.
I offer to you a blessing from my faith:
Flags, flax, fodder and fr*g.
Translated, this means: May you have a home in which to live, clothes upon your back, food to eat, and somebody to love.
I just saw how the word f r i g was splatted. In my faith, this is not a naughty word. It has been rendered obscene by modern culture, but Fr*g is a goddess of love. It's sad how a deities name can get one into trouble. Sigh.




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