What the hell happened to tolerance and understanding

Wicca - The goddess, she who shines her light upon us all
February 12, 2007 8:24am CST
Having already seen so many inflamatory postings lately I was reluctant to bring this discussion to the boards. However, something happened this morning that has made me very upset and angry. I wear a small silver pentacle round my neck, nothing particularly unusual, only small and very pretty, a gift from my partner. While out shopping I went into a Church run charity shop to take in a large bag of clothes for the shop. One of the volunteers in the shop came out to take the bag, saw my pentacle, snatched the bag from my hand, let rip with some vile abuse and then spat at me. Apparently I am going to "burn in Hell for all eternity" I am "an evil Satanic witch who should be burnt at the stake, with the rest of Satan's spawn" and I "sacrifice babies to demons" The guy then threw the bag of clothes onto the floor shouting that "your foul and unclean clothes" are not wanted. I was, to say the least, shocked. I couldn't believe the foul abuse this fine, upstanding pillar of the Christian community poured out in public. The man seemed quite deranged, I thought he was going to hit me. The abuse was awful and spitting at me was one of the worst things I have ever experienced. I simply stood in the shop, completely amazed, before simply saying*So much for Christian charity* and I left the shop and returned home. By the time I got home I was close to tears, not so much tears of anger, but tears of sadness that my small donation to a Christian charity could be hurled back at me simply because I am a pagan. What has happened to the tenets of tolerance, understanding, kindness and acceptance? What has happened to the world when a pagan woman simply giving a bag of clothes can be the subject of such a foul and abusive attack from a Christian man. I feel sickened and sad that the world has come to this.
10 people like this
33 responses
• Ireland
12 Feb 07
I am appalled that in to-days civilised society, one human being could treat a fellow human in such a deplorable manner. It just goes to show how low this person was. I cetainly wouldn't have let them away with it. I still think you should report the matter to your local police officer and have that person charged with assault. It is so revolting to such a thing. Please do not let it upset you too much, it just proves that you are a better person than they are.
4 people like this
12 Feb 07
I intend to speak to the mangeress of the shop about it. I guess I should feel sorry for such a sad and bigoted person. Thanks for your comments and your kind words
2 people like this
@xParanoiax (6999)
• United States
12 Feb 07
O_O they did WHAT? That's going a bit far..what did they think you did to the clothes anyway? Zapped it with some 'lets turn all people who wear or touch this stuff into wiccans and gay people or anyone else we hate' spell? *shakes my head in wonder* Geez..they can disagree with our religion but bleh..denying charity when people really need it from someone who differs in religion from you's..it's..GAH! Insane. That kind of intolerance and prejudice isn't all unheard of..though it's SUPPOSED to be rarer these days..limited to small isolated towns. Unfortunately I don't think we're any closer to a tolerant society than we were fifty years ago. What's sad is, people like that don't probably don't realize how much they hurt another human being by acting that way or else don't care. If this was another situation..like a hotel wouldn't rent you a room, or a store sell you groceries you could remind them that they could get themselves into serious trouble with the law someday acting that way..which might possibly words-wise shake some sense into their brains. There's just little we can do I guess to fix the fact that countless other people who'd probably react the same way will probably not change. Even if we somehow reach a point where our religion is somwhat as respecte as christianity..some people like that will still exist. *manages a bit of a smile* It's really depressing when I think about it, heh.
3 people like this
12 Feb 07
You are absolutely right hun, and while I do still feel very depressed and saddened by the whole incident, it is good to know that there are people here who understand and appreciate the feelings of others.
2 people like this
@Ravenladyj (22937)
• United States
13 Feb 07
"Unfortunately I don't think we're any closer to a tolerant society than we were fifty years ago" ya knwo whats really sad IMO we seem to have gone BACKWARDS when it comes to tolerance and more so compassion and loving kindness....20-30 yrs ago we lived in very much a "mom and pop" world where you watched out for your neighbours (but didnt get involved sadly), ppl knew the names of the couples up the street and said Hi/Good morning/How are you today etcetc all the time..the corner store owners new their customers and so on....ppl were helpful and friendly and rather than being afraid of or showing hatred towards others who were "different" they were curious though maybe a little shy but never cruel or mean....now though...pfft forget it! ppl are so afraid of each other, their own kids, their neighbours and anyone different to them its sickening....and heartbreaking really..... paranoiax GREAT POST! +++ for you
3 people like this
• United States
13 Feb 07
I know..there was still plenty of hatred then too, but things WERE better then, people at least then knew they kept that kind of language and behavior inside their heads..because they knew acting that way was bad -- even if only for their social lives. It reminds me how people who worked in Carnivales were sometimes treated, even though most of them were normal people down on their luck. I suppose it's like how the saying goes..it'll get worse before it gets better. I hope this is the extent of how bad it'll get..I'd hate to imagine anything worse than this happening.
1 person likes this
@MrNiceGuy (4147)
• United States
12 Feb 07
That's terrible. i've never seen it taken that far. Just goes to show how many confused and bigoted people there are. Obviously Christ wouldn't condone something, so its sad that people get so wrapped up in the wrong parts of their belief systems.
3 people like this
12 Feb 07
Hours later and I'm still upset about this. thanks for your comments
2 people like this
• India
14 Feb 07
thats really horrible..i am from india which is u can say a vessel full of different castes and cultures...you will find hindus christians muslims sikhs and mannnyy more....but i never came acroos such a disgusting situation....i can understand ur being speechless...who wouldnt be..we claim to be in 21st century...and we have 10000 more sentences to say when we want to prove how forward we are....but still situations like this make us understand that there are still things which we cannot control and understand...if that person ever comes in front of you again please kick him from my side...
2 people like this
14 Feb 07
Thank you very much for your comments, it's good to know there so many lovely people on MyLot
1 person likes this
@weemam (13378)
12 Feb 07
your faith is your choice and there is no one who can tell you what to do , That man was disgusting , Did he think God would have wanted him to spit on anyone , If it were me I would have gone to someone above him and let them know what kind of a man he was and about him spitting at you , that was disgusting , I wish I had been there with you , I would have waited there with you until I got someone to report him too , Don't you worry about it too much , I know its easy for me to say but what is it they say " what goes around comes around " and he will get his comeuppance I am sure of that xxxx
3 people like this
12 Feb 07
I'm sure you are right, karma will find a way. Thank you for your kind words and support hun. My partner pointed out that if the guy had done that to someone a little more aggressive than me, the guy would have been punched. I will post up what happens when I speak with the manageress
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Feb 07
...as a christian I'm appalled when I think another christian is being abrasive, or not tolerant, or polite and courteous! This display is unspeakable! One thing I know, he is not close to Christ nor God.
2 people like this
@Bizziebod (3526)
12 Feb 07
Oh my what a complete and utter ignorant bigot you have come across today - how awful for you! It's a good job I wasn't there else he would have got a 'mouthful' back - Spitting at you is actually an assault and I would have a good mind to phone the police or speak to the headquaters of their organisation at the very least! What a nasty little man and I'm really sorry you've had this upset today! Don't let him get away it I wouldn't be spoken to like this by anyone let alone some charity that I was going to help! How dare he! Keep us updated and be happy in the knowledge that at least you're a better person than he is!
3 people like this
12 Feb 07
I was utterly speechless to be honest. I am thinking of phoning the shop and asking to speak to the manageress there, hopefully she will be a little more tolerant than her staff. I know there are religious zealots around the world, but can anyone honestly say this attitude is helpful to their cause. I'll keep you posted hun and thanks.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Feb 07
There's good and bad, and crazy in every group.. And I'd be willing to bet, this man's behavior (which is certifiable, by the way) will cause others to fall for the same old, same old, bigotry, that is, when they decide all christians are like him. Arrogance, superiority and bigotry is a huge human flaw.
• Indonesia
12 Feb 07
Wow I never thought they could do that to people. Honestly this is something different. Usually, when we give to the charity here, they say to me what they wouldn't accept. Sometimes they say they don't accept clothes anymore, because they have too many clothes already. I'm sorry to hear this happened to you. I pray this shall pass and you forgive those people. Perhabs next time, when you want to give to charity, just put them all in the plastic and ask them to collect?
12 Feb 07
I would never have thought that any Church charity would refuse to accept donations, would they have acted this way if, say, a Muslim, a Jew or a Buddhist, had given them some clothes for the shop? No. probably not. It's crazy really as I have given this shop things before and never been the subject of such behaviour. thank you for your comment
1 person likes this
@anonymili (3138)
19 Feb 07
I do know from having sent young people to gain work experience from charity shops in the past that sometimes they do get overcrowded with so many donations that they can't even keep them in the stock room. They can only use the limited space they have so if you do ever get told they don't have any more room for clothes please don't take it personally - it really is because they just have run out of space to store it and if they try to overload the premises they can get done by the HSE for having unsafe premises. If the premises has too much clutter it's a bigger fire risk and they have to allow for staff safety as well, i.e. the more boxes and bags of stuff lying around the more chance someone is going to trip over them and the last thing any charity needs is to be sued for negligence (I can just imagine someone like that nasty man you encountered actually being the type to try to sue the charity if he had a fall at work)! x
1 person likes this
19 Feb 07
Anon hun, it wasn't the fact that they had too much stuff, far from it. It was the verbal abuse I was subjected to because of my own particular faith. However, I have since found another charity shop that welcomes all donations, from everyone regardless of whether they are Sikh, Muslim, Jew, Catholic or Pagan. Thanks for your comments though huh.
@ausnikki (4058)
• Brisbane, Australia
13 Feb 07
I think that mans attack on you was absolutely disgusting!So much for Christian charity indeed.I am Pagan myself but luckily haven't come across this abuse myself."burn in Hell for all eternity" I am "an evil Satanic witch who should be burnt at the stake, with the rest of Satan's spawn" where the hell does this kind of abuse come from? I just don't understand.People need to be more tolerant of other peoples belief systems and stop judging.Christianity is NOT the only religion in this world and as soon as these fanatic Christians (and no I am not meaning all,just some)learn to tolerate others the better this world will be.As for the spitting,I am astounded that that happened and am very angry about it!.
2 people like this
13 Feb 07
In an ideal world this kind of tolerance and understand would be commonplace. Unfortunately there will always be fanatics and zealots who twist words to suit their own purposes. I guess I have to put this down to experience, albeit an unpleasant one, and trust that the guy doesn't do this to someone a little less tolerant than myself. Blessed be
• United States
13 Feb 07
Sorry you had to learn the hard way that sometimes the most religious people are the biggest bigots. I had an insane idiot like that ranting at me once. It was pretty unbelievable.
2 people like this
13 Feb 07
I am so sorry that you, too, have experienced this kind of intolerance. Yes, it was pretty unbelievable and saddening too when you think of the huge number of good people in the world yet the odd one or two can cause so much upset. Thank you for your comments.
• United States
12 Feb 07
Feel sorry for ignorance, Everything has a use. If "it" upset you that much you should step on it. then feel sorry.
2 people like this
12 Feb 07
I do feel sorry for this man, he is trapped in a sad existance
1 person likes this
@Ravenladyj (22937)
• United States
13 Feb 07
omg recycledgoth I am SO SORRY you had to experience that! and I am truly disgusted as well..I'm all for everyone having their own opinions and beliefs etc but there are times when ppl need to just keep them to themselves ESPECIALLY when the one they are directing their hatred at is being KIND AND HELPFUL.....also KUDOS and +++ for you for keeping your cool...I would have lost my damn mind if someone spit on me!! that would get him a punch in the face and then I'd have gone completely off on him demanding to know who his boss was and so on (I'm a hothead with slight aggression issues LOL)..... It is a sick and sad state of affairs that ppl are so hateful and cruel in todays day and age....There isnt much compassion or understand in the world which is such a shame...I really am so sorry you had to experience that but keep in mind that not all Christians are like that as I'm sure you know....I'd also most definately call up the place and put in a complaint to the owner or supervisor etc..that is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE behaviour and the guys boss needs to know what his employee did and how he treats kind hearted ppl who are trying to help
1 person likes this
13 Feb 07
I will be making the call this afternoon when the manageress is in the shop. I am amazed and deeply moved by the number of people here who have offered their words of support and sympathy, understanding and comfort. I like to think that I am equally patient and tolerant, this whole sad and unhappy incident has, if anything, brought into focus that which is truly wrong. The behaviour is totally unacceptable and as such I will be saying so in my phone call this afternoon. Thank you Ravenladyj blessed be
@Ravenladyj (22937)
• United States
13 Feb 07
definately keep us posted on what happens...I'll be extremely disappointed and shocked if nothing is done about it and proper action isnt taken....
1 person likes this
13 Feb 07
The manageress of the shop was *unavailable* when I called today, so I'm going up to the shop tomorrow. Having received so much kindness and support here, I am not prepared to let this drop.
@lvap0628 (731)
• Philippines
13 Feb 07
I'm sorry about your experience. But i am more sorry for him because he is ignorant and his ignorance makes him intolerant of other peoples beliefs. he is so immersed in his own beliefs that he doesn't have room for other people's practices. speaking for the Christian community, i hope you won't take this against all of us, because we're not all the same.
13 Feb 07
I cannot take the actions of one person to be representative of his religion hun, his ignorance and intolerance is his own burden to bear and I'm not prepared to let this incident poison me against other faiths. Thank you for your words.
1 person likes this
@lvap0628 (731)
• Philippines
14 Feb 07
thank you very much recycledgoth. just don't let this experience put you off helping others. Charity is not limited to Christians.
1 person likes this
@anup12 (4181)
• India
14 Feb 07
I can undesratnd what you are feeling.I totally agree to you in that the world is becoming so very indulgent and un-supportive.People are getting intolerable at times.I mean they have very less patience and always try to hurt others.
1 person likes this
14 Feb 07
Thank you for your comments. Blessed be
@charms88 (7543)
• Philippines
13 Feb 07
I was horrified after reading your post because I was a devout Christian. I hope you will not generalized every Christian as having this kind of hideous mouth. You were right to be upset and angry. But the filthy words he hurled on you indicate he is not a man with a pure heart. But I do believe there are a lot of people out there claiming they are Christians and still continue to do evil things. Why not go back and talk with the head ministries and talk it out.
1 person likes this
13 Feb 07
I could never make such a generalisation hun, that wouldn't be right. I'm intending to speak with the manageress of the shop and in the meantime I can only say that I do not believe him to be representative of his Church. Thank you so much for your comments, blessed be
@blueskies (1186)
• United States
13 Feb 07
I'm so sorry you were treated that way. That man obviously has some serious issues. If it were me, I would contact the church that runs the store and let them know what happened. That man would benefit from a counseling session with his minister about what being a true Christian means.
13 Feb 07
I have called the shop but the manageress is *unavailable* however, I do intend speaking to her about this. Thank you for your comments.
13 Feb 07
I think you were right to be shocked at this response from a Christian. I thought they were supposed to be open minded to everyone and kind. I would report him to the manager of the shop, as surely the philosophy of the shop wouldn't represent his attitude.
1 person likes this
13 Feb 07
I had always thought that it didn't matter who you were or what religion you followed, just that they received donations in order to sell them and make some money for the charity. However, I am phoning the manageress this afternoon and will update this discussion later on when I have spoken to her. Thank you for your kind words.
• United States
13 Feb 07
"What's so funny 'bout peace, love, and understanding?" From a song called Peace, Love, and Understanding that was redone my A Perfect Circle. The words right so very true to me. i don't understand why and how in this day and age people are so intolerant. Be true to yourself. If you are pagan, be proud of it. Don't let the closed-minded wear you down. They are int he wrong and the Karma Police will eventually get them.
13 Feb 07
I still don't understand intolerant people, but I won't let them wear me down. I just feel so sad that in this day and age, there is still so much racial and religious hatred in the world. I am grateful for your comments.
• United States
13 Feb 07
I am sorry you have had this experience. Unfortunately, when a religion sets itself up to be the only Truth, then this is what has to occur: it has to see all who are outside of it as siding with the devil. I have some deep questioning about organized religion because of this basic flaw. I'm Christian in my heart, but now know that there are many different paths to the Source. Of course Christianity would be mad at me for saying so. But even the Bible says that "you will know them by their fruits", and "you shall know they are My disciples by their love for one another." You are closer to what is good that anyone if you believe in tolerance and understanding. As a teenager I used to try to debate with anyone I could - even relatives... but... as I grew up, I understood that the world, just because it is not like me, is not automatically wrong. Even as a ten-year-old, seeing encyclopedias with different religions, wondered how I got so lucky to be born into the True Religion. But it dawned on me as I looked at those pictures of little Buddhist boys, and Catholic boys, that they were thinking the EXACT same thing.... which proves that we need to believe what we feel we need to, but to leave everyone their choice. It's hard for anyone who believes they have the Only Truth to do that. It is set up so that there is a war, and there are two sides, and you are in the war whether you like it or not, and to side for one is to side against the other. But, it shouldn't be that way! I am also pagan at heart, I guess for believing in tolerance and diversity, and appreciating nature, and taking an attitude of humanism. Whatever. That is what feels right to me, not what you just experienced. When I see that happen, it just reinforces how I feel that I am on the right track in my search for what feels right and true.
13 Feb 07
Someone, I cannot remember who, once said that the way you walk your chosen path is often akin to walking on barbed wire. I chose to follow my path, yet I have nothing but understanding and tolerance for those who chose a different path. I feel that all paths actually lead in a parallel line with each other and it should be a personal choice. I thank you for your words and comments. Blessed be
• India
13 Feb 07
nothing to say, except that i think you are correct in assesing that the man is deranged. but like all religious narrow-mindedness, christians have their shortcomings too. i stay in india where christians are a minority. but one distinct trait of theirs which i remember goes like this... my mom used to work as a secretary in an office having a handful of anglo-indians (all christians). after every christmas and such festivals, they used to bring cakes and other goodings which they used to distribute among their colleagues (majority of them hindu) as Jesus's blessings. the blessings were accepted by all barring a negligible few. but on the flip side, after any hindu festival, whenever any food was offered to them by their hindu colleageus, the anglo-indian group invariably refused, saying straight that they cant accept any other god's blessings apart from Jesus. such incidents happened around 15/20yrs back. but i believe things haven't changed much!
1 person likes this
13 Feb 07
Yes, things have changed very little. It is almost medieval sometimes, one would think that the world had changed but sadly it hasn't. Thank you for your comments.
@Sawsen (795)
• United States
13 Feb 07
I think that was just plain wrong. I'm sure he probably does it to a lot of people, not just you. Because he obviously took one look at your necklace and decided to take action. So I'm sure if other people of other religions, or no religion, came into the shop, they probably would've faced the same outcome. I think it's their loss seriously. Don't feel sad by it, because he's the sad case.
1 person likes this
13 Feb 07
I think that is quite likely the case, I would not want to wish his actions on anyone. Suppose a Muslim lady went into the shop and he behaved like that, he would probably have been arrested. He is a very sad person, and I have come to terms with his behaviour although I cannot condone it. Thank you for your comments, and yes it is their loss
@RobinJ (2501)
• Canada
13 Feb 07
Shame on that person, what a dreadful thing to do. I am amazed as most charity shops the staff never see the donors and for him to confront you is unforgivable and in my opinion UN Christian. A gift is a gift. and never should the recipient ask where or how or what. I am so sorry that you shed a tear for this ugly soul he is not worth it
1 person likes this
13 Feb 07
A friend has just called me and pointed out that the guy will received his just reward. She is a Christian and a lovely lady. She has also said that she will happily take my donations any time, so i think I will be passing what I can to her own charity causes. Blessed be