My Intolerant Heart

As the news of the Indiana parents who were ordered to not teach their child Wicca by their divorce judge started making the rounds I railed against “God-bloggers and religious reporters” who don’t seem to care very much about minority religions in general, and modern Pagans in particular.

“If this stands. You better be careful how many faith traditions you expose your children to. This is an outrage. An outrage that will most likely be ignored by all those God-bloggers and religion reporters who don’t mind a little persecution so long as it isn’t happening to them. How many dead canaries in the coal-mine do we need before there is a problem?”

Strong stuff. That phrase got the attention of both The Revealer and Get Religion, two of the biggest commenters on religion and the media. While it was a nice ego-boost, I wasn’t expecting to respond to accusations of “prejudice” and “antagonism” towards the religious right in the comments section of the Get Religion post.

In the comments, Catholic psychotherapist and speaker Greg Popcak wonders at my “antagonistic attack” on the religious right.

“Why do you and the Revealer have such a seeming reactive antagonism toward the religious right? Clearly, some of the most prominent Godblogs have responded differently than you anticipated. You wrote above that you??re glad to have seen some coverage, and I am, of course, pleased to read that you are gratified. But why the baseless, undeserved attack in the firstplace. I see this attitude from the religious left in general and The Revealer in particular. What, in your estimation, is the source of the prejudice?”

He also sites the fact that popular Catholic blogger Amy Welborn covered the issue and that this made my initial statement against God-bloggers “baseless”. I of course disagreed with hisassesmentt and you can read my response in the comments.

But it made me wonder if I was viewing the religious right with a bias. Perhaps, I thought to myself, I was being a bit too harsh in my thinking. Obviously, many in the religious right have spent much of their time demonizing my family of faith, but maybe some have a bit more compassion towards non-Christian faiths. So I decided to check out the post Amy Welborn made (as endorsed by Greg Popcak) on the issue. First off she offers no commentary other than “This is weird”. But at least she does mention the issue I thought. Then I read the comments.

“Any order which prevents this poor kid from seeing his fat dad running around the back yard in the buff, howling at the moon with grape leaves in his hair, is a very, very good thing.”

“In today’s climate of mandatory respect for all “religions,” it is no longer kosher to suggest, let alone proclaim truthfully, that there are in fact false and invalid religions.”

“Where are the Christian prophets standing up to state the most important truth: Wicca is utter b-lls–t.”

“Modern ‘wicca’ is a bizarre, nonsensical sham, an unimaginative masquerade for people who want to transform the spirit of a hokey ren-fest into a pathetic parody of a religious faith.”

“Conflict between judicial activism and neo-paganism? Who cares.”

“I would also propose that no person, a parent or otherwise, has the moral right to teach anyone a false religion. Both sides are wrong in this case. Just stand on the sideline and let them fight it out.”

“I say the judge is right on. The kid shouldn’t be taught witchcraft. It is evil.”

While there were other posters who were more moderate, and indeed debating these voices, there was no word from the owner of the blog clarifying her own stance. But I’m assuming that since nothing was said none of the above quotes offended her enough to clarify where she stood on the issue. Reactive antagonism? I think members of the “religious right” who feel the left is too “prejudiced” need to remove the plank from their own eyes before searching for specks in ours.