1. Cherry.

    This is crazy condescending and ignorant. Pagans aren’t “lost”, they just have a different religious belief than yours. You’re a disgusting zealot if you call anyone who doesn’t believe in your dogmatic religion “lost” and “a stray”.

  2. Thank you for your thoughts, Cherry, but I think you fail to understand either what “belief” is or what “tolerance” is.

    Let’s use an example.

    I happen to believe that the earth is roughly eight light minutes away from the sun. This is entirely a matter of faith–I have never measured the distance, and indeed am not even certain I would know how to do so. I would wager that you also take that “fact” on faith: someone told you, and you believed them.

    It won’t do to say that this is a matter of proven scientific fact. That only means that you have faith in science–and science has been wrong many times over the centuries. It is not something either of us know of our own observation. We believe this based on our faith in other people. I’m not saying it’s wrong; I’m saying it’s something we believe.

    Now let us suppose that we encounter someone who does not believe that. Perhaps this person believes that our science is mistaken, and that Apollo actually drives a chariot across the sky drawing the sun from horizon to horizon, perhaps near the same elevation as the moon.

    Tolerance does not mean that we accept his view is as likely to be right as ours. Tolerance means we are permitted to believe that he is mistaken, but we respect him as an intelligent human being who is merely mistaken about something we take–by faith, mind you–to be a fact.

    In the same way, my Pagan friends–and I do have several–do not find me intolerant, because they know I believe they are mistaken but I treat them respectfully and embrace them as intelligent human beings.

    In fact, it appears to me that you are the intolerant one here. I doubt you know enough about what you call my “dogmatic religion” to fill a comment post as long as this, and I am fairly certain you know nothing about my relationships with any of the Pagans in my circle, yet you label me a “disgusting zealot” based on your assumptions about me.

    Wake up, Cherry. The issue with religion is not that people choose to pretend something is true, but that we believe it to be true in the same way that we believe the earth is eight light minutes from the sun: we have credible evidence supporting a fact set that relies on information from other people. You might be right that we are mistaken, but if you fail to recognize the possibility that you might be wrong and treat us disrespectfully, you are the intolerant one.

    I hope this helps you.

    –M. J. Young

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