Something was given to me at work today that could be seen as labelling a particular religious group as devil worshipers. I know that they are not.
The information was copied off a website and was given to several people so I asked for a copy. I read it through with interest. Some of it was factual information but then came the lovely sentence referring to, ‘…idol worshipers and devil worshipers…’.
I sent off an email to all of our team pointing out that this particular religion does not worship the devil, and that it was defamation and slander. Thinking about it afterwards it seems to me that it could also be seen as inciting religious or racial hatred. It has been passed to several people, some of whom do not know anything about the religion in question, so it could manipulate their way of thinking.
I’ve spoken to my family about this also. They think that this is a ‘sackable’ offence. They think I should lodge a formal complaint and take it further. Even though the information was obviously copied and pasted from a website.
If you are reading this you may be wondering what religion I am talking about. Well, usually when this type of thing crops up we are hearing about people saying things about Islam and Muslims. People are then in uproar screaming about racism and prejudice.
This particular information was taken from a Muslim website. It talks about the origins of Halloween, or Samhain, which is actually factual information. It then goes on to give basic information of the Christian church labelling it ‘evil’. After that it discusses the Islamic view of Halloween and tells Muslims they shouldn’t take part in any ‘idol worship or devil worship’.
As I put in my email to the team:
1) Pagans do not worship the devil. You have to believe in the devil to worship it and Pagans do not have any concept of this entity. Also, if you check back in Christian history, the devil was actually put into the bible by the Council of Nicaea back in AD326, or sometime around then. It doesn’t actually exist – only in the minds of people who believe in it. Pagans do not.
2) Pagans do not worship idols. We, yes WE, have Gods or Goddesses or both, who we worship. Our deities are as real and as important to us as Allah is to a Muslim.
I don’t call Muslims devil worshipers because they do not follow my religion, so what gives them the right to label me as such because I am not Muslim? Some people need to grow up. Tolerance is something that some people do not understand. Accept of course when they want people to show it towards them. But then some people are used to getting everything they want aren’t they?
Many people celebrate Samhain in the UK as a religious celebration. If you don’t like it go live elsewhere.
HAPPY SAMHAIN PEOPLE!