Have you encountered any obstacles as a result of your religion?

Obstacles?  Not hardly, not so that I noticed.  But for that response to make sense, it needs context.

I’ve had people look at me like I had two heads when I acknowledged worshiping the ancient Greek gods.  You know, the same look people get when they proclaim that they believe Jesus is their personal and literal savior.  I don’t think that people believing I’m a little nuts is particularly an obstacle, because I mostly keep conversations about my religion out of places where it doesn’t belong, like in the workplace.  And if I did consider that reaction to be an obstacle, then it would be present no matter what deity-centric religion I followed.  It’s not cool to believe in literal-yet-unseen beings.

Has being part of a minority religion ever made me feel uncomfortable?  Hmm, there was the one boss I worked for who demanded all offices be closed and empty by one o’clock on Good Friday, but he didn’t make me go to church with him.  I had another boss who moonlighted as a minister, and while he did bring his religion into the stories he told, it never felt like recruitment to me.

Most people in my word are members of a religion in name only, if at all.  Secularization is in, but it’s a Christian-focused secularism.  You notice that more when you’re not trying to be Christian, or when you’re trying to be something other than Christian.  It can be annoying, but I’d rather call it ignorance of the masses than any form of privilege.  Just because nobody could hear the Whos didn’t mean that they were being silenced, they were just small and commensurately quiet.

This experience of mine is all about external obstacles, or lack thereof, which I define as coming from society and the environment; I’ve never had any internal obstacles either, those which stem from vows, taboos, or otherwise from relationships with one’s gods.  I’ve kept all my vows, including two which are ongoing, and I have no taboos or divinely-inspired restrictions which might create obstacles.  If I did, though, I would try to celebrate them, for surely such obstacles would lead me onto a path I might have otherwise never noticed.

This post is part of a series of devotional questions for polytheists which were developed by Galina Krasskova.

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