We now live in tiny little family units. Lucky to grow up with two parents together if we have them (sometimes unlucky even then if the fighting is too bad!).
At no other time in known history have we been so alone, and felt so divided from each other. While I fully advocate helping all people regardless of race, creed, religion, sexual orientation etc. there comes a certain point where we need to form communities of like-minded individuals to help pass on our values to our children and to help re-enforce our beliefs. Our community has much need of extra help.
People go back from being Wiccan all the time.
They get tired of being persecuted and having their children persecuted and isolated. They fall back to the family Christian religion so that they can have contact with (now extended) family, community and acceptance.
We witches have to stick together. While it is fine to me that others are Christian, it is not for me or my family. My values are entirely different.
I don't believe the Earth is here to use and abuse as has been interpreted by some from the Bible.
I don't believe that there is only one god.
I don't believe that anyone else could or should make choices for me on my religion or how I worship.
I don't believe people should judge others for sexual orientation, dress, self-expression--pretty much anything that doesn't hurt others.
I don't believe in the concept of "mercy" because I don't believe in the concept of "sin".
I believe in personal responsibility.
I have been told before that God is Merciful and will forgive the "gays" their sins, or even my cold little witch heart of my evil sins.
I do not believe I need forgiveness.
I think it contradictory that a God who is Merciful would allow someone un-baptized or ignorant of Jesus to go to hell.
I don't believe that sex or our bodies is in any way dirty, wrong or shameful.
I believe that we should question everything--we are not sheep, we could be, but why would you want to be? Question everything.
I believe in the Horned God, who is the personification of nature and sex and love (and that nature, sex and love is not wrong or dirty). I also understand that this half-human, half-animal image is merely my own projection to help wrap my mind around something so vast, and I am okay with that too.
I understand that the Horned God looks surprisingly similar to images of Satan--especially the God Pan. I believe that of the many things Christians co-opted to force conversion, was that of the our own ancient Gods, to slander their name and image and kill until no one remembered any different. I also understand that the people who did this are long dead, and I hold no malice towards Christians in general, but ask to be left alone, not judged and not proselytized to.
I know from a class at the University of Iowa and a lovely professor named Holstein, that the term (notice I said "term" not "name") Satan is a term meaning "adversary".
I know from this same professor that the early translations of the book of Genesis go something like this "In the Beginning, Within the Principle, The God (feminine-plural form), created The Gods"
Meaning that The Multiple Goddess who created the world as we know it worked within certain laws and was not all powerful, was female and created other gods.
There are so many, many more things that I could put down here. So many reasons that we need to have community. Yes, we are ostracized and it would be easier to just go back to sleep and follow as has been taught. Questioning is exhausting, depressing, and leads to isolation from a society that discourages it. By giving that up our values and beliefs we give up our very spirit, and the spirit of our children.
If the Christians say that the Horned God is their Satan, then I say that perhaps they have something right. My God*ess' and beliefs often stand at complete opposite to theirs. Witches need to draw that line in the sand and stand tall, gather together. Our future in so many ways depends on it.