Pagan Blog Project: Intolerance

I know this weeks post seems obscure, but I thought it would probably be relevant to Pagans in general.

Intolerance adj unwilling to tolerate differences in opinions, practises or beliefs

I think ‘intolerance’ is an important word to think about as Pagans as it’s something that’s generally low lying- it’s not as big as ‘discrimination’ or ‘humiliation’ it’s not slander or libel, it’s that little niggling feeling that you can get with some people.

I find that intolerance towards my faith or other things generally comes out in the form of someone listening to what I have to say but then reacting as though I’ve just thrown water in their face- they won’t attack me or get angry, they’ll just sort of bristle and back away from me, either verbally or physically.

So, how should we deal with intolerance? Should we even deal with it all?

On one hand I would say to just let intolerant people be, if they can’t accept your views then you just have to take the high road and move on away from them.

However, the definition of ‘intolerance’ implies that someone is unwilling to tolerate anything different to their own opinion- so surely that should be challenged?

Intolerance is difficult to deal with because it’s so underhand- it’s pretty easy to tell from body language and general knowledge of a person whether or not they’re rattled by what you’re saying, they can pull all the faces they want but you can’t do anything or you’ll end up unleashing a hornet’s nest.

But what if intolerance leads to something more? Don’t we have a duty to step in and stop it reaching that point?

I don’t believe that intolerance alone leads to violent action, I think that there needs to be something else to provoke that. So intolerance alone isn’t dangerous.

At the end of the day you have to use your own judgement when dealing with an intolerant person- most of the time I would advise taking the high road and gritting your teeth, calling someone out on their intolerance can often be that something else that provokes a strong reaction.

Being different is a difficult path to walk- but always remember why you walk it. You will meet people who will have a problem with you, I promise that you will, but it’s really not the end of the world.

Blessed be,

Wren x

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5 thoughts on “Pagan Blog Project: Intolerance

  1. I’m dealing with intolerance towards my health issues. Does that count? Parents are avoiding me, even though I’m desperate for help. My sister has disowned me. When I talk about it with them, they get upset or make fun of me, so I just stopped pursuing them. 😦

    • Yeah, that absolutely counts- when I wrote it I was also thinking of how people react to my mental illness, I’ve been in a similar position to you and I’m sorry that you’re having to go through that, my parents have made it very clear to me that if I tell anyone that I’m mentally ill or if anyone finds out they’ll disown me, it’s really, really… shit, for want of a better word- all you can do is try and stay strong in yourself.
      Wren x

      • Wow. That sucks. They never said that, they just discourage me from getting help and testing because it’s “expensive” and not worth it. Then I tell them why I’m doing it, and they ignore me. I sent my mom a video tape of an episode so she could see what’s going on, (the physical convulsions,) and she never replied. I told my dad I wanted to go to Mayo Clinic and he chewed me out. That sucks about the disowning thing. I was told by my aunt and uncle to stop pursuing my parents right now because it’s too stressful. I’m just going to stay away from them right now. Who needs someone who says something like htat? I hope you don’t live with them!

      • Thankfully I don’t have to worry about cost or anything cos I’m in the UK and we have the NHS, which may be shit but does manage to keep me on the straight and narrow! Unfortunately I do live with them, but not for much longer hopefully! My Mum’s fine with me mentioning it if we’re alone, but otherwise I have to keep quiet. I’ve told a couple of my friends and they’ve been amazing about it, so that gives me hope and the knowledge that there are people out there who will accept it, I just need to find them!
        Wren x

      • Yikes! Good luck, i’ve found these blogs to be an amazing outlet where people are accepting and can identify with things written on here.

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