Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Feather Ruffling and E-Witnessing

Wanna know what ruffles my feathers? People who are incapable of respecting others and feel they want to inflict their personal religious beliefs on everyone else.

Let me tell you what happened to me today. And as pagans, don’t tell me you wouldn’t be just a teensy weensy bit miffed.

I’m in the process of planning a vacation for me & my guy to Disney World next year – it will be the first real vacation we’ve had in several years and we are both looking forward to it. We are both Disney fans (though not uber-hardcore), and this will be our first time to Disney World.

I want to make sure that I am as well-versed in all things Disney before going: I’m learning about discounts, plans, itineraries, activities, travel, etc., so we can have a good time and still remain in our budget. After all, Disney ain’t cheap, and I want to make the most of this vacation.

In the process of researching, I joined some popular Disney forums to learn as much as I can. Nothing obscure, nothing with an obvious political or religious bend. In fact, all of the groups I’m in specifically forbid threads which are political or religious in nature.

I’m very polite and only have posted a few times after ensuring that no one else has asked the same question before. My user name on these boards is DisneyWitch. My hobbies are listed as crocheting, techie stuff and alternate spirituality. I feel that it is descriptive enough to be a part of the community without being overt and making people feel uncomfortable. I didn’t mention the words “pagan”, “wiccan”, “witchcraft” or anything else uniquely part of pagandom. After all, DisneyWitch could simply be referring to a love of all things villainous in Disney movies, right?

Well, what did I get in my email this morning? Three separate “You have been subscribed to [Enter Annoying Christian Ministry Name Here] Newsletter”. THREE! I certainly didn’t subscribe myself… so that means some misguided Christian decided I needed to be saved and took it upon themselves to submit my email address to their favorite websites. But the principle is the same – someone felt their need to proselytize outweighed my right to my own beliefs. How arrogant and utterly selfish!

I’m livid. I actually feel violated.

Yeah, I know I can just unsubscribe and I shouldn’t get my knickers in a wad over this. I know that in the great scheme of things, this is so below the radar that it’s almost non-existent. I know this kind of thing has been going on for years before the intarwebz, when people would sign their ex-boyfriend/girlfriend up for umpteen freaky catalogs just to annoy them. But I shouldn’t have to be inconvenienced just because some rabid religious zealot decided to make me their cause-du-jour.

I’m appalled at people who think that because I choose not to be Christian, I would want a stranger invading my inbox with topics which are clearly contrary to my theological viewpoint! I don’t seek out devout Christians on various forums and surreptitiously sign them up for newsletters from the Temple of Set or the Luciferians! I try to be open minded and realize that spirituality has many different ways of thinking. But I am amazed when people look at me as a witch and think they’ll get bonus points if they can convert me. Do they really think that my beliefs are so tenuous that I’ll just capitulate and be baptized on the spot? They act as if I present to them a great challenge so when they reach the pearly gates, St. Peter is going to say, “Oh yes…you over there…you’re the one who converted the witch? Ok, great! Just step to the front of the line, please.” Spare me.

If their efforts to “save” me haven’t worked over the past 30 years, give it up already!

I think I am successful at being cognizant of people’s beliefs and understanding that most people don’t think like I do. I remain respectful, I do not bash any other belief system, and I never “preach”. I have no problem when it comes to how others believe…I just ask that it’s not foisted onto me. This e-preaching – it’s like coming to my door and breaking in without even knocking. At least the Jehovah’s Witnesses knock on your door and give you the opportunity to hide behind the curtains when they come by. I didn’t ask for this information, nor do I want it in my life. I’m perfectly happy with my own beliefs, thank you very much.

My background, training and specialty is digital forensics. I’m currently going through all my old books and reference materials to see if this somehow violates the law. I’m not hopeful, however. It might not even be a fight worth pursuing.

Has this ever happened to you? What did you do about it?
¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨) Flags, Flax & Fodder,
(¸.•´ (¸.•`Kaerwyn Silverwood, HPS
Coven DragonVeil
1734 Tradition
Maryland, USA