I've been thinking about this for some time. How can I speak my truth when I know so many people don't believe in what I believe? I was raised in a very fundamentalist Christian environment in the South United States. For those of you who don't know much about the Bible Belt, well, thank your lucky stars.
My entire way of life revolved around strict rules and regulations, severe control, and punishment whether you deserved it or not. Physical, mental, and psychological abuse are the norm, although it is given the name "discipline." After many years of this nonsense, I finally broke away, spent a decade exploring all major religions and many minor ones, and many spiritual paths. I continue that journey today.
I still cringe when people tell me they are Christian, because I know what that means for people, especially women, where I come from. I'm sure there are some who don't believe the patriarchal hierarchy is oppressive, and that's fine. I won't try to burst that particular bubble. But I have yet to meet the kindler, gentler Christian that some people talk about. With roll models like Rush and Hannity, Tea Party members who scream and rant, and pastors who declare from the pulpit that gays should commit suicide and abortion doctors should be killed, I'm not too fond of the faith. My biggest issue, though, is because of the flack I get when someone finds out I read Tarot cards.
"Ooh, you're going to Hell. I'll pray for your soul." Or, "repent now and clear the Devil from they life" are generally the responses I get from cross-wearing patrons. I've hemmed and hawed about joining blog hops or other sites because a large number of people on them share fundamental, or as they say, "conservative" values. Although I'm not sure how condemning people to Hell and judging them is conservative.
So how can I get my message out without offending those sweet sensibilities? How do I explain to people that there is nothing inherently evil about Tarot or readings cards? How do I point out that the cards do not "predict" the future, but rather help us take an honest look at ourselves, our lives, and point out where we are lacking and need improvement, just as speaking to a therapist or pastor does? The answer is: I can't. So I'm going to stop trying. If people want to rant and rave at me, then that's their business. I can let all of that negativity roll off and continue my search to find like-minded positive people.
And who knows? The other day I did friend one Christian guy who is open-minded and isn't a yeller. I'm sure there are others out there. Somewhere.