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  • Sunday, July 31, 2005


    Those Darn Witches!

    Looking to religion news, some Wiccans rented a Christian campground to hold a weekend gathering and festival in August. When the Christians realized the religion of the renters, they weren't so keen on having neopagans cavorting in their hallowed Christian camp. They tried to cancel the reservation but, surprise! the camp is in Yellowstone National Park and leased from the US government. It is therefore subject to nondiscrimination laws concerning religion.

    I sympathize with the Wiccans but have to ask: What did they think would happen when the Christian managers of Westminster Spires Camp found out the purpose of their gathering? Except for perhaps the Unitarian-Universalists (UU) who actually have a UU Pagan group, most Christians clearly associate paganism with 1) oppression of the early Christians in Rome, and 2) Satanists.

    Number one happened over 1700 years ago (although I think some modern Christians still yearn for payback.) Number two is not true. Since Satanism is, in essence, a rebellion against Christianity (Satan=rebel angel=opposition to Christ=etc.), Satanism is inextricably bound to Christianity as a kind of negative or mirror-image Christianity. Without Christianity, Satanism as Satanism would not exist. However neopagan religions like Wicca and others exist without reference to Christianity.

    The evangelistic fervor of some Christians leads to some interesting attitudes. One is a certainty that the Bible and Christianity has a lock on religious truth. They have no respect for non-Christian religions because they are certain these are not real religions. Hey, many Christian denominations don't even have respect for other branches of Christianity because of doctrinal differences.

    I hope it is noted that I am very careful in how I point my finger. Not all Christians by any means partake of this attitude of spiritual arrogance. But it is still depressingly common. And it is most often displayed in the public actions of loudly self-proclaimed Christian activists, whether about school prayer, monuments of the Ten Commandments in courthouses, etc.

    Interfaith tolerance is apparently not much of a Christian value.

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