Even if I don't Agree, I can't Condone Violence

In light of  this week's controversy over the enactment of the RFRA in Indiana, I feel I need to say something.

While I am happy that there has been so much blowback against this law and the way in which it has been enacted by businesses, I am not happy that a business had to close due to threats.  I don't want bigotry to be able to flourish.  Make no mistake.  I believe that religion--any religion--does not belong in government or in day-to-day business.  I personally think it's stupid, unless one is running a business specifically built around one's religion (like a chapel gift shop or a metaphysical store, etc.)  That's the first problem.  The other problem is that bigotry is simply wrong.  It just is.  It is not a progressive value, and it will destroy our nation (or any nation in which it is allowed to flourish.)

That said, I am not happy that this family had to close their business due to threats.  They closed for their safety, clearly.  Who knows if things would have escalated?  Considering where they are located geographically, it's genuinely hard for me to know that.  But the fact that they felt unsafe makes my heart hurt,and here is why:

This is an issue very close to the hearts of many Pagans.  How many businesses have we seen forced to close, because of hatred?  How many times have we known Pagan sites, shops, etc. to have been vandalized, damaged, or  threatened with such?  How many families have been threatened with or have actually lost their children?  Their homes?  Their livelihoods, all because someone hated their beliefs?

I don't want to stoop to that level.  I have seen how it has hurt my own people.  I do not want to be connected with hurting anyone else in that way.  Boycott, boycott, boycott, but don't support violence or threats of violence.  Violence only begets more violence, and it damages the perpetrators as much as the victims, even if it doesn't seem that way.

Personally, I hope that this business never opens back up, that this family comes through all of this a little better educated (even if their beliefs do not change), and that this law is removed from the books and is not enacted anywhere else.  I do not personally hope, however, that any physical harm comes to this family.  I don't wish that on anyone.

I choose to vote with my words and my wallet, not with my fists.

Blessed be.
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