I’m glad to say that a number of my Christian friends on MySpace, Live Journal and Blogger have assured me that not only were they not offended by my giggle at the ‘Christian Masturbation’ ad, they found it funny too. Some even suggested that God very likely has a sense of humour!
They also realised that the humour was in the absurdity of the suggestion that there’s a correct religious way to masturbate, and would have been just as funny whatever religion had been named.
The consensus is that they consider me a sensitive and loving person with whom they are glad to be friends. One, who happens to be a pastor’s wife, addressed me as ‘dearest sister’ – and it’s true that, apart from our respective ways of worship, we have everything in common. As for my post, she said her husband laughed at it too.
All of which has greatly restored my sense of perspective. Thanks, people!
I had occasion to post the following on MySpace this morning, and am copying it here in case it has application to friends here as well.
I'm sad and chastened to receive this message from a treasured friend:
'RosemaryI can no longer continue friendship with you..
Your Christian Masturbation blog insults my beliefs.
Not all people who call themselves Christian really are, but I am, and making fun of a Christian group's stupidity, misrepresents the faith to people who don't know the difference.'
And she has blocked me from further contact. I'm sad about this because she's a beautiful and gracious person, and I just didn't think. I know she would have been saddened by this too, and did not do it lightly.
And I have other treasured Christian friends here, whom I truly hope I haven't offended beyond hope of repair.
We Pagans are so often villified in ignorant and malicious ways by so-called Christians that it's too, too tempting sometimes to return the favour, though hopefully with less rancour. At least the thing I was making fun of did come from people claiming to speak on behalf of Christians, whereas some of the things said about us have less basis in fact. But after all, that's no excuse. And in any case, my friend was certainly not one to do that!
There are indeed many groups of Christians as there are many shades of Paganism. Most Pagans have enough common beliefs and values to regard ourselves as family, but I wouldn't necessarily want to be identified with some few more extreme groups. I can see my ex-friend's point!
And so I apologise unreservedly to any whom I may have offended. I just thought to share a laugh at something absurd, and thought my Christian friends broadminded enough to laugh with me. But indeed it's truer to say I was not being thoughtful.
I HAVE now thought about removing the offending blog, which was my first impulse. But it's been up a while, people have seen it and reacted however they did. Done is done and I take responsibility and live with the consequences.
This will give me pause in the future, however! The Golden Rule of 'Do as you would be done by' applies to all of us, whatever our spiritual preferences, and I was remiss.