Yesterday, on Oct 15th, mega-church Mars Hill's pastor Mark Driscoll resigned after a number of allegations and scandals. I have stayed out of the discussions and conversations, but there is one memory that keeps haunting me and I finally chose to share it. May our religions, whichever they may be, always bring out the best in us and encourage us to be our true selves.
As Pagans, we're more used to being discriminated against than to discriminating against others. Those of us who run businesses or sell our wares are, especially in these economic times, generally only too happy to get a new customer. And so we're usually quite happy to read Tarot, even for the devout Christian who slips off to see us behind her pastor's back, or to perform a computer upgrade even for the atheist who thinks that devotion to any deity is a sign of mental illness. After all, we're pretty much a live-and-let live group. We're not out to convert others to our ways and we generally don't presume to determine what religion is best for anyone else. (Heck, I can think of a number of people whom I hope don't become Pagan.) Honest pay for honest work or honest wares is generally all we ask.
Our main concern with laws (such as the one that was recently vetoed in Arizona) that would allow businesses to discriminate based upon "religious convictions" has been the impact those laws could have on QLTBG, etc. people. Of course, those laws could have been used to discriminate against even those of us who are "straight but not narrow," as well. Wear a pentacle around your neck when you take your child to the farmers' market and the lady selling apples could refuse to sell your child an apple because her religion teaches her that you "shall not suffer a Witch to live," and selling apples helps you to live. If the sleeve on your jacket slips, the nurse at the 24-hour medical center could see your tattoo and refuse to sew up the cut that you got doing woodwork because he says that your pentagram offends his religious sensibilities. You finally grab a cab late at night in a sketchy part of town only to be told that the cab driver doesn't believe that women should be out, unescorted and won't give you a ride. If you get mugged a few minutes later, well, that just proves his point.