For some reason, my religious beliefs are not tolerated at my school, which is Catholic.
I'm Pagan. I've come to notice that people associate many dangerous, toruturous sexual exploits with Paganism and Wicca. This really upsets me. All I want to know is: Where did these sick claims come from? What aspects of my religion draw people to the conclusion that all Pagans are slutty bisexuals?
You know, it's a funny thing when people kvetch about getting slapped with labesls and assumptions because of beonging to one group then make statements where they lamblast another group.
Let's start here: technically, really, very, very few people are solely and 100% attracted to one gender. That makes most of any one group primarily bisexual.
Slutty? For one, linked with bisexuals, well, you're really talking about crap put on bisexuals. people often assume all bisexuals must be people that either simply can't make up their minds, or who will have sex with anything that moves. Moreover, judgment of someone, bisexual or no, who DOES have a plethora of partners is actually more the stuff of the group you're angry with than that of most Wiccans or neo-pagans.
(I use those words because "pagan," etymologically, is actually a word simply used by jueo-christians to mean anyone who isn't -- so, by that token, buddhists, wiccans, jains, etc. are all pagans.)
That said -- and a request out there to do unto others on your part, or, if you'd prefer, to harm none, even in language -- it really depends on what specifically you're asking about.
Historically, because way back when with the Crusades and other massive movements to convert, there was a lot of propaganda about numerous religious groups with the intent to blight them and further the aims of massive conversion, as well as wiping out other religions.
Of course, some of what is often addressed wasn't grabbed out of thin air, but rarely MASSIVELY exhaggerated. Many traditions way back when -- some sometimes now still -- of some earth-based religions have been very sexual, and to people or a group whose traditions had troubles with sex outside marriage, with the body, with sexuality as a whole, that caused a LOT of fear, a lot of bias, a lot of projection.
That's the serious Cliff's Notes, but really, if you want more, look to history. Go to the library. Read up. It's all there.
One thing occurs to me, in addition to what Heather said: you're going to a Catholic school. Seems to me that it's more or less a given that the majority of people in that environment aren't going to take too kindly to anyone who openly expresses the fact that they're following a different religious path, especially if said different religion happens to be one which has long been in conflict with Catholicism.
They don't need to like any given religion, but they might as well get their facts in order before they lambast it. The Pagan and Wiccan religions have never really been in conflict with Catholicism (they don't openly attack it). Rather, the Catholic church (and religion) wants everyone to be Catholic. That's why the Catholic church is such a fun group, with things like Sex and the Holy City.
It has been a long-time favorite trick of theirs to attack something completely by giving it negative connotations. Once everyone looks down on something that looks bad, nobody would dare be associated with it. That's an easy way of explaining things like the word sodomy. So, if they can tie "slutty bisexuals" into "pagan" or "wiccan", they are ensuring that people will look down upon anyone associated with either or those terms. The people associated will then be reluctant to continue to practice Paganism or Wicca. It's peer-pressure on a larger scale.
Also, being Pagan or Wiccan around a Catholic school probably isn't a good idea. Think about the audience for a moment. The attendees are typically children raised by ultra-conservatives who want their children to have the same education. This effectively creates the next generation of bible-thumpers. I've seen it first-hand.
(Just a reminder to please be respectful of all religiosns in discussions like these. It is actually possible, even when discussing negative things done by a given religion or church, to do so without lamblasting or attacking ALL members of that group.
And FYI, you'd be surprised how many parents who are neither cnservative or Catholic send their children to Catholic schools, for reasons that have nothing to do with religion, especially in the inner-cities.)
I made a point of getting at the "Catholic church." I personally know many Catholics who are very nice people. Where I live, my description of Catholic-school students is shockingly accurate. I live in a place where the public schools earn Blue Ribbon Awards. So, there are very few reasons that someone would go to a Catholic school around here to improve the quality of their education. It would normally be for religious and social purposes.
Posts: 203 | From: Laguna Niguel, CA, USA | Registered: May 2004
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In that case, since you're using evidence in regard to your own personal experience, it's usually a good idea to highlight that, to give your statements context. Generalizations just aren't a very good thing to make, and we typically frown upon them here at ST.
And further in the idea of creating context, it should be pointed out that while the Catholic Church as an institution has a long way to go before it's completely tolerant, it has made a great many strides. Considering that in the course of a few hundred years (which may seem like a long time, but given that strides in areas such as equality and respecting those outside of our own ethnicity has only seemed to speed up in the last century or so, it's actually pretty decent progress), we've gone from the Church whole-heartedly instigating holy wars (think the atrocities of the Protestant/Catholic conflicts) and essentially putting the price on the heads of those in power who were not under their control, it is farily safe to say that the Church itself and it's followers have come a great distance with their tolerance under the constraints of their beliefs. They're not there yet, but there has been progress and it deserves to be noted.
And something that needs to be noted when speaking of any religious institution (or any large institution period) is that the Church is not the church, per se - that is to say, the Catholic people are widely varied and levels of compassionate or closed minded as people you meet on a day to day basis. It's similar to disliking the policies of the American government but still knowing that most Americans are great folks to have a pint with.
Posts: 1679 | From: London, ON | Registered: Jan 2003
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Just a quick point, any religion, including Catholicism, has the notion that theirs is correct. Otherwise you wouldn't have such a wide following with each and every faith. In a Catholic environment where they teach doctrine and more than likely have daily mass, you as a nonCatholic are going to feel semi out of place. But I'm sure that you are not being persecuted for your beliefs. Catholic schools have so many attendants who are not catholic, or christian for that matter, and tend to be accepting. If you really feel that you are not being respected, talk to your school officials.
------------------ Give me chastity and continence, but not yet. ~Saint Augustine
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