In case you haven't watched the news lately, or you don't watch it at all, on Easter Sunday members of St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church in Roswell, GA were greeted by a statue of Jesus that was defiled by hot pink spray paint. I'm disgusted by this and also embarrassed, not only because someone or someones would treat a religious symbol so terribly, but, my personal sacred symbol, the Pentacle was spray painted on the chest of the statue.
1 step forward 20 steps backwards
For those of you who don't know, the Pentacle is a sacred symbol of Goddess followers. the 5 points of the star represent the 4 elements, Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, and the top point represents Spirit. the circle around the star represents the unbreakable circle of life. This symbol is not an evil symbol, on the contrary it is a very positive symbol of life encompassing all.
I would like to point out that the inverted Pentacle, the Pentagram, isn't an evil sign either. What the Pentagram represents is the Horned God, the two points are his horns, and the rest represent the face of Baphomet, the God of freemasonry or transformation. Why this symbol is used in Earth based beliefs is to represent the ever changing Earth, the animals, the birds, the life and death of all.
Back to the subject at hand, I've been following this story, and of course, the Pentacle painted on the chest of the statue was labeled "satanic" which, yes, annoyed me, but was not the subject of my disgust. The reason I was so disgusted was due to the fact that people can have so much disrespect. These people look at the statue of Jesus as I and many other Pagans look at the Pentacle and Pentagram, a totem of belief, of spirituality, and of life. To add salt to the wound, the Pentacle was used in this defilement, a shame, an embarrassment, and even an outrage! Why? Why would they do that? It does nothing to generate equality among Christians and Pagans. It only put Pagans back into the place of being labeled "satanic, anti spiritual, devil worshipers, evil"
My goal and goals of others that I work closely with, is to bring Paganism out of the shadows, out into the world, and make it comfortable and acceptable to wear your Pentacles in the open. For our children not to have to hide their beliefs. For people to not have to lie to their bosses when they need a Sabbat off for ritual. I work hard, living my life open everyday, and I still have a deep seeded fear that someone will attack my children, burn a cross in my yard, or worse. These are not an over exaggeration of fears, these are real fears. I have lost jobs due to my beliefs, I have lost friends due to my beliefs, I have lost good reputation due to my beliefs, but, I refuse to be angry over it. I work to live my life openly and peaceful, and lead by example. My children do not know to hide their beliefs, I've told them not to. I've been blessed with an open minded family, and a wonderful Mother in Law who loves me no matter what I believe and that does help, a lot. I'm very lucky to have that because a lot of Pagans don't have that.
Now, my over all point here is this...
On behalf of the Pagans, Witches, Wiccans, and others who feel embarrassed about the Pentacle being used in such a negative manner, I apologize To those who did this, shame on you. Shame on you if you don't know about the symbol you used and shame on you if you did. Shame on you for being so disrespectful to a highly regarded religious symbol. Shame on you for pushing the Pagan community 20 steps backwards in the fight to be accepted.
Remember, live your life peacefully, openly. Do not bring hatred to you by feeling you need to forcefully put your beliefs known to others. Do not be negative, do not hold on to anger, learn from the past. Using a hammer to break a wall eventually will work, but you will have a large mess, injuries, sore shoulders and hands, instead, knock on the door, and be heard, someone is always listening.
View the story here - http://www.11alive.com/news/article/188756/40/Volunteers-clean-church-statue-of-Easter-vandalism