Thursday, May 11, 2006

There was something funny this morning,

but I got distracted.

Then I read an article at that brought back some memories. and you know when my memoriies are refreshed, I have to share.

a little bit of background on the article, in a nutshell. Two boys are at Boy Scout Camp and one of the troop leaders decides to show how diverse the religions are in the room. The children were to raise thier hands when thier faith was called. Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, etc. Two boys, brothers, did not raise their hands and when asked, one announced that he is Wiccan. the boys were kicked out, but the ruling was overturned. Some parents removed their boys from the group, said they would have preferred that the boys lie about thier faith. Others were concerned that the boys would preach to their sons. (You know, cuz they had been secretly undermining the religious upbringing of the other children all along)(the boys in question were 11 and 15.) the parents of the Wiccan boys have since applied to lead a group called Spiral Scouts, Wicca based, but open to all.

This is not the place where I lecture about understanding, and all that. Boy Scouts is faith based and a private group that holds the right, whether I agree with it or not. This is the place where I tell my story.

I joined a Girl Scout troop when I was in High School. As we started to do more and more things, we switched over to being a High Adventure Explorer Post (Explorers is a Boy Scout subsidiary) because we wanted to canoue and sail on our Hobie Cat (it was donated to us) and Girl Scout restrictions were higher. We already had lifeguards, GS wanted us to have instructors too. BS didn't. Since we were now Explorers, we went co-ed (which means that on this particular trip, I had a boyfriend with me and no, nothing happened. I didn't want to get caught fooling about even at 18 because Scouts was important and I was the troop president.)

Each year, the local BS Camp hosts Explorer Weekend. We went on this inaugural weekend. The theme, Midevil Times. We went in full rennisance regailia. My best friend and I had just henna'd our hair red. That first day, when we walked up, someone yelled from their tent, "Hey, Are you witches?" to which she replied (thinking nothing of it), "I'm not, but She is!", and she gestured towards me. The reply?

"Can we burn you at the stake?"

I yelled no and kept walking, but it kind of hurt. It was the ignorance of children, and, if I were that sort, I might have asked if I could crucify them first, but I'm not that kind of person and the thought didn't occur to me at the time. You see, the burning times were ugly. A lot of innocent people died. Some may have been witches, many were not. but dead is dead no matter what the reason and well, you certainly don't make jokes to Jews about the Holocaust. Or to Christians about the Roman Persecutions. (or the crucifixion)

I didn't mention it to my scout leader. she would have thrown a fit and there would have been a scene. And, I know now that since Boy Scouts is a Christian Club, I didn't have a leg to stand on. Will there always be ignorance? yeah. Will I always have to defend my beliefs? Heck yeah, you should have seen me try in those conversations with Athiest. I learned very quickly that he and I were not compatible simply because he wouldn't even accept that I could possibly believe anything that didn't fall under his idea of science and logic. he thought I was an absolute kook! I chose to continue to talk to him because I make it a point not tocut people off just because they don't agree with me.

That may have been the weekend when I first realized that perhaps it's not such a good idea to wear my faith like a banner across my chest.

and those boys from the story? All they will remember is that they were honest and ostracized for it, not by their peers who likely didn't know what Wicca was, but by the adults who might should have done a little research. As Sensei Ern has taught us, you can be a faithful Christian and still converse with witches.

Here's to tolerance.


NWJR said...

I've been mad at the Boy Scouts ever since they kicked me out for eating a Brownie.


Sensei Ern said...

"Some may have been witches, many were not. but dead is dead no matter what the reason and well, you certainly don't make jokes to Jews about the Holocaust. Or to Christians about the Roman Persecutions. (or the crucifixion)"

David Cross, who played the wheelchair-bound geek in Scary Movie 2, makes fun of Christians. Strange how a guy whose name is Cross, hates the idea of what the Cross stands for.

I am learning that most comments that hurt are based on ignorance.

Being intolerant of their opinion will never win them over. It will ostricize them and will cause you to lose influence with others.

gqvciy: The real meaning of barbequed flatulence

Ginamonster said...

Har har, Rich.

I am not intolerant of their opinion, they are welcome to it. It just makes me sad when children suffer for the ignorance of parents. However, I do recognise that they are doing what they think is best for their kids.

Sensei Ern said...

Now that I re-read my post, I can see how you thought I was saying you specifically were intolerant. I was making a generalized statement. I apologize for not being clearer.

I meant the practice of intolerance of another's opinion will not win a person over. It ostricizes oneself and causes one to lose influence with others.

Ginamonster said...

OH! ok! I didn't think you would accuse me of intolerance (I suffer from it sometimes...) but I wanted to clarify myself anyway.

Rich | Championable said...

Heck, you can be a faithful Christian and converse with anyone. In the Gospels, Jesus hung with the sinners... It was the people who proclaimed one faith but acted according to another that really pissed him off.