One of Darling Daughter’s covenmates posted this over on FaceBook yesterday: Catholic Church Issues Guide on How to Convert Witches Apparently the article was published a few months ago and I missed it. While some of it sounds like the Catholic Church is becoming more progressive, I have some big problems with what’s stated in the article, especially given the fact that many Christian denominations continue to insist upon converting “non believers”.
… it’s important to recognize that “Wiccans are on a genuine spiritual quest,” providing “the starting point for dialog that may lead to their conversion.”
Why? If a non-Christian is on a spiritual path, why on earth is there a need to convert them? It’s this “my way is the only valid way” that tends to tick off those of us who don’t follow an identical path as whomever it is that is trying to convince us otherwise. Hell, even when I was a practicing Baptist I had problems with this mentality. I hated the fact that the youth group directors seemed to think that all the kids needed to go door-to-door trying to “spread the word”. Even in my teens I didn’t like people coming to our door to tell us about their faith and I sure didn’t want to be annoying others doing the same thing. I dislike it even more now and would never dream of trying to convince someone that my way of doing things is the only valid way to commune with the Divine.
Dodd says that any youngster who dabbles in magic risks long-term problems.
And I would tend to agree, though I’d take it a step farther. Anyone who “dabbles” in magic runs this risk. Magic is not something to be taken lightly as anyone who practices spell-work will tell you. As with any activity one might undertake, there are consequences. And for those who want to “play around” with things they don’t understand, the consequences can be severe. As with all new things we decide to try, study and an understanding of the physical and moral implications/risks is required before even attempting spell-work. But Wiccans and Pagans aren’t all about spell-work. Our main focus is to understand ourselves and the gods who call to us better … pretty much the same as anyone on any spiritual path.
More important, Dodd adds that the simple act of experimenting with spellcraft is an insult to the Almighty. “The use of magic, the practice of witchcraft, offends God because it is rooted in our sinful and fallen nature,” she writes. “It attempts to usurp God.”
I disagree. First off, I have some doubt regarding her experience with Wicca since she has mistakenly equated Wicca with spell-work … the two are not synonymous. Yes, some Wiccans practice witchcraft, but not all Wiccans feel a need to do so. For that matter, many Pagans do not practice spell-work either. With regard to her statements, for a Christian or Jew this may be applicable as they wouldn’t want to anger their god. But for those of us who aren’t? My gods have no problem with the use of spell-work as a means to focus my energy with those of the Universe to better myself. My gods do not consider it a “sin”, nor do they consider honoring other gods a sin. I get that there are a lot of Christians, including Catholics, who love their god and I’m truly happy for them. I’m happy for Ms Dodd that she has found a home in the Catholic Church and is happy there. But their way of connecting with the Divine in the Universe is not for me, nor is it the only way.
One last thought … for those who think it’s their duty to convert others to their way of thinking. Those of us who practice a faith different from yours may or may not believe the same things you do. I do not believe in Heaven or Hell. I do believe in life after death in some manner (have some proof of it in fact) but I don’t know what it really is anymore than you do. I just choose to get my information first-hand instead of reading someone elses interpretation. And while I’ll happily discuss what we each believe, I do not have to believe the same things you do. So please do not tell me (or anyone else for that matter) that you will “pray for my soul” if my faith, thoughts, opinions, or views differ from yours. If you think about it, this is a really horrible thing to say. Why? Because what you in effect are saying is that you will pray for me to lose my faith … a crisis of faith is a terrible period in a person’s life. I do not wish that on anyone, so please don’t wish it on me.
© Copyright dragonfae 2011