I believe that when you have a specific issue you should seek the support of others going through a similar experience. The camaraderie and feeling of not being alone can really help when you feel isolated and helpless. Since I have what I consider to be more than my fair share of issues, or what my fiancé and I fondly refer to as subscriptions, I have reached out to various online support groups for, well, support.
Some of these groups are quite large, tens of thousands of peoples, and when you get that many people together from various backgrounds you are bound to have differing opinions from time to time. Now one would like to think that since we are all together for a common cause that we could set these differences aside and support one another regardless of race, gender, sexual preference, religion, etc. And one would be oh so wrong.
The biggest hot button? Religion. In fact in some groups the discussion of religion is banned all together and anytime it is brought up the posts get deleted immediately. In other groups they ask you to be respectful, and unfortunately that doesn't always work out so well. Such was the case last night.
In one of the groups I belong to a person posted offering to pray for anyone who needed it. A very sweet and generous offer. It was quite simple, if you wanted prayers you posted and if you didn't you just moved along. Then, someone else decided that this post offended them and replied with a message saying they were offended because it was a decidedly Christian post and they were not Christian. The original poster then was upset because they didn't intend to offend anyone and so as not to upset anyone else deleted their own post.
And oh dear gods did this cause a tizzy. Now half the group is jumping all over the admins because they assumed the admins removed the post because the one person was offended. Then it turned to an us against them discussion about Christian vs. Non-Christian. Everyone was weighing in, including me.
I tried to remain neutral by saying that I am Wiccan, and that if someone offers to pray for me I simply say thank you. Because to me a prayer is simply another way to send good energy and karma into the universe for someone. Apparently that was the wrong thing to say because then this Southern Baptist from Georgia started ranting and raving about how we were all going to hell in a hand basket and they couldn't be around us godless creatures so they were leaving the group. Aye aye aye!
Then the group's owner, who lives in the UK, was asking me what a Southern Baptist was and what the South and Georgia had to do with anything. I was trying to explain it and I got screamed at for bashing all Southerners, which I was not doing if they had read all my words and not skipped over the important ones like the qualifiers of "some" and "most" and "many" and "a few". But you know hey they look exactly like "all" and "every" so I can see the confusion.
The point was though, and I think more Non-Christians were trying to get this across than anything, it shouldn't matter. We are all there to support each other, and we should just respect each other's beliefs or non-beliefs. If you don't like a post because of its religious undertones then just move on to the next one. There are always plenty more to read. I think it is so sad that our society is still so stuck on who has to be right about which religion is the correct one. What if we are all right?
My mom has this really amazing way of explaining religion, and I would like to leave you all with this. Religion is like a giant wheel, and each type is just a spoke on the wheel. They are all a different path, but they all lead to the same place in the universe. The center. It doesn't matter how you worship, or what you call your divine. We are all heading to the same destination in the end. So really, what is there to fight over?