Z is for Zealot
A Zealot is defined by Merriam-Webster.com as:
1: Capitalized: a member of a fanatical sect arising in Judea during the first century a.d. and militantly opposing the Roman domination of Palestine
2: A zealous person; especially: a fanatical partisan <a religious zealot>
I've been a zealous advocate of many things. For example, I fight for LGBT rights with zeal but I can listen to others and not be closed minded. When I think about the word zealot my mind automatically goes to those of the religious nature. I've met Catholic zealots, Protestant zealots and even Pagan zealots.
To me, a zealot is someone who is so immersed in their own religious views that they have no room to allow others to have their own views. They do not allow for any open dialog or discussion. They are the “It’s my way or the highway” crowds.
One of these would be the folks out at Westboro Baptist Church (WBC). Classified as Independent Baptists, WBC is listed as a hate group with the Southern Poverty Law Center. This group was founded in 1955 by Fred Phelps and holds a hard and fast line on interpreting the Bible. Known for picketing the funerals of everyone from the military to LGBT children, WBC has one other call to fame. Recently it was published that a petition on the White House site “We the People”, to legally recognize the church as a hate group became the most populate petition to date with 297,566 signatures at the time of this writing.
However I’d like to point out that in my opinion these are not the only type of zealots out there. As I mentioned above I believe Pagans can be zealots to.
Take Z Budapest for example. The action of banning all female identified trans* from her Dianic Wiccan rituals led to outright protests. If I understand her logic, she believes that due to some of the rituals of Dianic Wicca being led skyclad; the members of her group would be offended if trans* members did not have bottom surgery. A post by Teo Bishop on Patheos.com outlined the events he witnessed at the protest. It is indeed a powerful review of the events. Many bloggers took on the story and wrote about the event. I wrote a piece here.
After this I started to be concerned with Z’s non-inclusion and felt that maybe this was not the kind of energy that I wanted to be associated with. Then I saw the announcement on her Facebook page that she would put a hex on anyone that changed the words of “We All Come from the Goddess” to include men/male energy. I was shocked.
I understand feminism. Feminism is not male hatred, its female loving. To me if you do not have the ability in your heart to care for others, you cannot care for yourself. That was it for me. I changed my ritual playlist to INCLUDE the version with “Hoof and Horn” and I do indeed think about being open, understanding and inclusive when I hear it. I removed Z from my Facebook friends and stopped following her on Twitter. That type of energy is something I do not need in my life.
So you see, you can have zealots all over the spectrum. In this case I’ve addressed only religious zealots. There are lots of others. PETA for example. I believe they are zealots for animal rights.
Any time a person takes a cause and closes their eyes to the ability to see others as the true life energy that they are. You my friend are a zealot.
This is my last post for the Pagan Blog Project 2012. It’s been amazing! I’m looking forward to 2013.
Namaste and Blessed Be