Tuesday, March 31, 2009

You Come To It

So I was thinking last night about these wacky fundies and their need to control the universe. I was thinking about Obama and his "No-really-see-I'm-devout-but-not-crazy" style of Christianity, and I was thinking about Wicca and how it's (usually) so utterly different from the way these church-goers behave.

I was thinking, in short, about religion. And I was doing it in the shower, mostly because I'd forgotten the fifth verse in that song about the old ladies in the lavatory. But still, thought is thought. Right?
Right. Anyway...

Some time ago I had a conversation with a friend of my mother-in-law, let's call her L. L is very nice, and very intelligent, and a McCain voter (though I tend to think of those last two things as a contradiction in terms). But the conversation swung around to religion and it has stayed with me, because it gave me some insight into the minds of some of these godbags.

L was asking me (very respectfully) about Wicca, how I came to it, what it's about, and all the usual things. She asked me about churches, and holidays, and ritual worship practices, and asked why I'm so reluctant to talk about it. I sigh. "Partially because I'm uncomfortable talking about my beliefs, because it's personal. And partly, and more importantly, because I don't want to be seen as trying to convert anyone. That's not how it works."
I told her this, and she was astounded. She asked incredulously "But doesn't it make you happy? Improve your life?"
"Yes, this is what feels right for me."
"Then if it makes you happy, why wouldn't you want to share that with everyone?"
And I didn't couldn't seem to explain to her my firm belief that what works for one person may not necessarily work for all, and that I don't need to tout my religion to all and sundry as "the way", because it is what it is- and also I believe in thinking for yourself.
So finally I smiled at her as mysteriously as I could and stated: "Wicca doesn't come to you. You come to it."
"Oh," she said, wide-eyed.

And on some level it was just to end the subject, but really I do kind of feel that way. There's no such thing as a Wiccan missionary. We don't recruit. Everybody I've met who comes to it, finds their own path.

And forgive me but I much prefer it to evangelizing- much quieter, for a start. Why it should be so hard to grasp that hello! not everyone wants to 'accept Jesus as their personal savior', I've no idea. I think it'd be great if they took a leaf from our book (which they started out with anyway and rewrote to suit themselves; Halloween, Easter, and Christmas, anyone? ...Ahem), and just let people come to them; a religion that's forced on you can't be very enlightening, can it?
But I know my experience isn't the only experience. Any opinions?