A while back I watched on Facebook as another faith’s community came to life as they welcomed a new convert. The outpouring of congratulations, blessings, and cheers from that group cast a sharp contrast in my mind to how we approach people new to our faith: mostly they are ignored, but in the slight chance they are acknowledged, it is with a mixture of annoyance (another newbie, ugh) to down right hostility because they are seen as a threat.
Ya’ll, this shit has got to stop.
What if, when a person says they are new to the Gods, they are welcomed into our faith with sincerity and joy?
You know, joy?
A feeling of great pleasure and happiness.
Why is this lacking so hard in our community, in our faith, in our daily interactions with one another?
Another thing I’ve been thinking about is the whole business of how one “converts”. I’m not a big fan of the word because it means to me that a person had to be convinced that a new religion is the “right” one, but sometimes language is limited and we have to use what we’ve got.
I know in the mystery cults they have forms of initiation for the new converts, but what about the rest of us? There’s private dedication rituals, but what if there was a way to have a public declaration of one’s desire to be with the Gods?
When Muslims revert, they publicly recite the Shahada:
The Shahada (Arabic: الشهادة aš-šahādah) “the testimony” is an Islamic creed declaring belief in the oneness of God and the acceptance of Muhammad as God’s prophet. The declaration, in its shortest form, reads:
لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا الله مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ الله
lā ʾilāha ʾillā-llāh, Muhammadun rasūlu-llāh
There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His messenger.
- from wikipedia
- What if we had something like that? What if we publicly bore our testimony of the Gods and our intention of living our lives alongside Them? What would it say? What would it be called?
- I looked in my handy-dandy big book of Whelock for words in Latin. I found:
- * decerno = decide, settle, decree
- * fas est = it is right, fitting, lawful
- * fides = faith, trust, promise
- I have no idea what the actually creed/testimony would say, but I will freely admit that I’m really liking the idea of a unified public decree.