Hello dear reader(s)!
This is one way to phrase the Wiccan Rede (the less Old English version) that I just love. Now, I am not Wiccan, I am Agnostic at this time, although I do find this particular contemporary Paganism to be fascinating, and am learning about it. Why do I find it fascinating?
Mainly because there is no “My God is better than your God” mentality. That I am aware of, no practitioners of Wicca have ever bombed an abortion clinic, shot up a city, or justified the enslavement of others. In fact, many religions have some version of this, but their texts are full of contradictory ideas and justifications not to follow it. In addition, where it does appear, it is never as central a theme as it is in contemporary Paganism and specifically in Wicca. The fact that this particular belief system also supports the strong connection with the natural world is just a bonus for someone like me. Although the point of this isn’t the nature of Wicca. It isn’t trying to tell everyone to be a witch. It is simply to say that if everyone lived by that Rede, think about how much better this world would be.
There is of course the “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, but that doesn’t really necessarily have the freedom emphasis that the Rede has. And the followers of that rule, don’t really live by it anyway, do they? They have to play the persecution angle in order to feel close to their God. If a church gets torched or shot up, it isn’t racism, it is part of a war on Christianity. If a country is bombed, it isn’t a war against the brutal dictator in charge, it is an attack on Islam. In order to be believers, one must believe they are persecuted. And believing they are fighting their oppressors, they can justify anything using their books.
Do you know who has been and still are persecuted by both Christians and Muslims? Pagans. The catholic church wiped out millions of Pagans who would not convert to their monotheistic ways. Then they tortured and executed many more they crossed paths with. Then, in an attempt to totally bury their belief system, they adopted their rituals and holidays. It’s why I love Christmas, despite not being Christian. (And no, I don’t care what you call it.) I love the festivities that mark the change of season. I couldn’t care less what you think happened around then. (Which even biblical scholars believe actually took place in September, but that’s beside the point.) I like the decorations, the trees, the celebrations, the gathering of friends and family, and the willingness of people to go out in the cold and celebrate the fact that they are alive in it. Yet, with the stolen traditions, the mass murder of any polytheists, the near total democide…how many attacks have you heard of by Pagans on monotheists in any modern times?
If it harm none, do as you will.
In short, these people don’t care what you do, as long as you aren’t hurting anyone. Again, I don’t really consider myself Wiccan or Pagan, but that idea sounds pretty awesome to me. And worth potentially looking into in order to see if my own scientific and logical extrapolations on those scientific principles could reconcile.
All over my social media, after the attacks on Paris yesterday, were Christians talking about how often the Qur’an justifies the murder of infidels. Christians claiming the religion was not a religion of peace. Then there were Muslims citing specific passages that contradicted the passages the Christians were talking about. Leaving only one conclusion: Islam can be peaceful, or not…depending on one’s interpretation.
The same things can be said about the bible. The Christian bible has some pretty fucked up shit in it. Not many Christians live completely by the bible (thank any God you want). If they did…shit would be ugly. Interpretation is everything.
Of the 6,000,000 Muslims in France, a handful of asshole murderers decided to kill a lot of people. For nothing. Nothing will happen as a result of these murders except for more death and destruction. But think about that number. If 10% of those 6,000,000 were murderers, you would have 600,000. If only 1%, you would have 60,000. One-tenth of one percent still leaves you with 6000 murderers. That. Doesn’t. Happen. Some assholes interpret a book in the shittiest possible way.
Think of them as the Westboro Baptist Church of the Muslim world. Westboro isn’t wrong, going by the bible, with their interpretation. That book is fucked up too, if you read it the same.
Now I’m not saying everyone who wants to be religious should be Wiccan. I’m not saying people should even be religious if they don’t believe.
But imagine, if Atheists, Agnostics, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and all other systems of belief and non-belief adopted that one simple idea: If it harm none, do as you will. Imagine if they adopted it, and truly attempted to live by it.
Wouldn’t this world be a much better place?