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Finding Peace in Religion

Short story By: shaddix
Religion and spirituality

A young gay male finds his peace in paganism young and stars a coven for like minded people.

Submitted:Dec 27, 2009    Reads: 138    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   

I'd grown up Christian, everyone in my neighborhood did. Sunday's meant dressing in your best suit and heading to a church service that some were too young to understand until they got older. Many of the people even came to believe everything their bible told them to do, few found any reason to deviate from it despite people outside of the neighborhood, no matter how few they may have been, followed something else. Something that many of us in my neighborhood would call wrong religions, sinning religions.
I would be my neighborhood oddity. I was curious about these religions and soaked up what anyone would tell me about what they believed. That was part of what got me to question my faith in the Christian "one true God". The one I promised to follow in front of an entire congregation of men, women and children. The one I had been baptized for. I always wondered "why would these religions exist if there was only meant to be one belief system? Why wouldn't He test us in other ways when it came to our faith?" These were questions I never could answer.
Once puberty hit I had another problem to worry about: I discovered I was gay. I wanted to date other boys instead of dating the girls that He claimed he wanted me to. I tried to change it at first, tried pretty hard. I even did what I heard some of the counselors at a camp I went to told other boys in my position to do: I prayed to Him to be cured of my desires. None of it worked, of course. I was still gay when I went to bed each night and I was still gay when I woke up in the morning. There was no curing it, no changing something that I knew in my heart I was. Something that I don't think would change about me if a gun was held to my head and my life was threatened by an angel itself. At first I hated it about myself but I soon learned to love it. There was nothing else I could do after all.
Sure, while I still followed Christianity I was afraid of going to hell. It's something we all feared, naturally. Me not in the way everyone else did, though. What I didn't know then was there were options that I could follow a religion with no hell, one that would bring me more peace than Christianity ever had and ever would. Something where I could be myself and wouldn't have to worry about any "sins" that people would claim I was committing. That's when I learned the most about paganism. Not all of them believed in hell, not all of them believed in the afterlife. In fact, I could choose to believe in anything I wanted that way, there were a ton of beliefs out there. I could believe that there was a giant spaghetti monster out there waiting to touch me with his long noodley appendage for all anyone cared, it didn't matter. The part that mattered the most was one thing: I could be gay without anyone looking at me funny. There was a common law among many pagans that meant that they couldn't judge me for my sexual preference.
I looked through every pagan religion I could find information on at the local library. It took me about three weeks before I could sift through it all. I soaked all of it in, I looked forward to all of it and believed most of it. I finally had a set of pagan beliefs I could believe in. I even took on the idea of there being multiple gods with stride. I got a lot happier the more I embraced the new found religion I had. I came out within three months of me finding this religion. My parents weren't happy. I got lucky and they claimed it was just a phase, that I would grow out of it by the time I graduated high school. It was nothing they had to worry about. I was a bit happy with that considering it would mean I would have a home, unlike so many others I'd met.
I kept learning as much as I could about paganism from its followers. A website, www.witchvox.com, written entirely by its users, helped me out a lot. I could find others like me without doing massive searches through google and could find things that wouldn't be as weak as things I had found other places. I eventually started a coven on the site so I could maybe find more people like me and one of the friends I had made in high school that followed Wicca. We did it as an open pagan forum so we could all openly speak about our beliefs. His parents were open about us doing it for teenagers in the area in their basement. This went on through high school until a group of us could afford to rent out a house and use that for our meetings.
The older we got the more we opened the group up for the older set. The meetings grew into a larger and larger crowd. Many were strait, which I had expected but he had a pretty decent GLBT crowd as well. It seemed that I wasn't the only one looking for peace outside of what people would call "conventional religion". It was also something all of us loved with the strongest of passions, even those who hadn't been following for that long. All of us owned a pentacle within the first year of us following, though most of us owned one within the first week since all of us had a strong belief in it. I wasn't surprised much at the following in the area. All of us lived within a 20 mile radius of the house and many were willing to travel to make our monthly meetings, always on the night of the full moon. I met my soul mate this way, so did several others. All of us are compatible with our mates and love it. With the right choice of religion for ourselves, it feels like we can do anything we want to.


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