Today my Regional Druid asked my thoughts on a article she wanted to post in the Central Region newsletter. It was about the possibility of being too open minded. When I read the article I was enraged at the shear moronic hate filled bigotry that the author was writing about. I totally agreed with this lady. If you are interested here is the article: The Power of Belief. The basic idea behind it is 'When does open mindedness become detrimental. But for me it is about something else. It is about being so 'open minded' that it becomes a door to ignorance to allow justifiable bigotry.
For just a moment this is going to seem like 'pick on' Dianic Wiccans, but it is not. I promise you. This is just one of several examples I will use to get my point across. A friend of mind attends the local UU Church on a regular basis. One day she was telling me about how the local Dianic Wiccans were pretty much in charge of the Pagan side of this particular UU Church. When they lead Pagan rituals they allow male members of the Church to attend but they are NOT allow to participate at all in the rituals. They are telling due paying members of a Church that they can't partake in a rituals for the Church because they are men. While sisters let me tell you something, that is discrimination and bigotry! Just because the UU is open minded doesn't mean it is an open door for you to perform reverse discrimination. Can you imagine the out cry this group would have if the men of the Church did an all male ritual that the women could attend but not participate? Or how the Pagan community as a whole would protest if the UU Church were to have a Christian only service that the Pagans were allowed to participate in? But what? It is OK for them to do it because they are an all female tradition? No I do not think so! Nor should we as a Pagan community stand by while our own people discriminate against each other. This same Dianic group owns a community that is women only. These women have to buy into the community to live there. This is all fine and well, as I myself want to create a Druid community. However, if a female were to give birth to a male child she is to either give it up or must leave without any compensation. WOW!!! Where are the women's right protests? Where are the Pagan rights protests? No where, because we are under the false believe that because we are Pagan we much be open minded... so open minded that we are allowing bigotry to grow at our very center.
Now we travel back in time to a point before I had found the Druid path. I was a Wiccan. I was a Gay Wiccan to boot. I belonged to a well known Wiccan Church in Georgia. I had studied hard working through the study program of the Coven so I could one day become an ordained Priest. I was coming on of the last parts of the Third Level of study. I was going to be ordained! I could not believe I was nearly there... then I had my 'interview' for taking the final test before ordination. I came before the High Priestess and Priest where I was quizzed on magical lore, knowledge and ethics. Then came the final part where I was told that the final test for our Coven was the performance of the Great Rite. I was thinking OK, so I have to write a ritual and perform it with one of the ordained Priestesses. Yeah no, not so much. It was explained to me that the right had to be a 'true' Great Rite in which I had to perform the marriage and consummation rites. And from the moment I was ordained on I had to leave my homosexual life style behind because a 'true' Priest is bisexual. The wheels came to a screeching halt. The only words out of my mouth before I walked out the door was 'I don't think so!' I was shocked that as a Pagan I was being told that I had to put up with someone else's ideas of holiness or I would never reach my goals. I had been told this once before. It was the last time I stepped foot in a Christian Church. Everyone I turned too told me I could not judge their beliefs because we were Pagan and must accept such things with an open mind. I call BULL SHIT!
Just because we have found some religious freedom within the Pagan paths does not mean we are to accept bigotry. Many of us come from Christian backgrounds where we are all too use to being treated with such control, being told we much be open minded enough to accept what EVER denomination believes. Many of us left Christianity for this kind of mentality. Yet we are willing to put up with this bull shit within Paganism? Why? For the sake of stroking each others egos? For the sake that no one will call bull shit on us, stopping us from discriminating too? It is time to put our foot down people. It is because of this 'open mindedness to the point of ignorance' that causes people to mistrust Pagans. It is this mentality that causes us to mistrust each other. It is mentality that destroys the spirituality of others and causes oppress dogmatic religions.