**Saying that you cannot expect Catholics and Christians to accept that the spirituality you choose to follow can intermingle within the Church and her teachings, for to be Christian is to accept Christ as the only path to follow. **
To ask that one and one’s religion be treated civilly is not to ask for wholesale acceptance and adherence to a belief system. I neither accept nor believe that Catholicism, any other form of Christianity, or any other form of monotheism, for that matter, provides an adequate explanation for the spiritual reality that I experience (if I did I would follow one of them). This does not mean that I go out of my way to paint monotheistic religions in the worst light possible.
As Aristotle said, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
**I know also that early followers of Christ did not go to the pagan lands and convert by the sword, but many died at the hand of pagans while taking the message of Christ to them. The Pagans did convert by the droves and it was because of the message of God’s love and not by the sword.(I not dimissing the many things that happen under the name of Christ once Christianity was no longer a underground movement) **
As with any group, once they become the ones in power, they tend to act like the ones they just defeated in abusing that power.
Saying that, I know many that follow neo-pagan spirituality are honestly trying to recapture something that looks innocent, back to the land and of love. Though I thought that once and in someways experienced it, I do believe neo-paganism is split between fantasy, such as we see in the popularity of “fluff” and enjoyed in children’s books and movies such as in Harry Potter, TB White’s “Once and Future King” and so on and so forth, much of which (the movies and books)I have enjoyed with my own children. And I have seen the dark side of such spirituality, I have personally watched it destroy peoples lives. I believe if you would be honest you know of people that crossed that line, and just to blame it on mental instabilty and insanity is to deny there is a spirit world in which evil exist. And if you deny there is a spirit world, then what you teach and sing about is just play acting.
I think you will find that most folks who are serious followers of Neopagan religions are well aware that all is not “goodness and light” nor a playacting. I do not follow my Gods because of some utopian fantasy portrayal of them but because of my real experiences of them. The fantasy of a peaceful, matriarchal, Mother-Goddess-worshipping, pan-European Neolithic society is just that, a mythic fantasy that is not supported by the evidence available to us today. The ancients were aware of and respected the forces of the spiritual world, realizing that not all were inclined to even notice humanity, and that those which did were not uniformly benevolently inclined if at all.
There is definitely a record within your own tradition of the dark side of your own spiritual reality. That you choose not to follow the dark side of it is no different than that I do not choose to follow the dark aspects of the spiritual reality that I see.
** But now, I think I understand, for Christ came to do away with the tribes(as in the divisions between the tribes of Israel and the tribes of the gentles[pagans])and to bring us the Kingdom of God. As humans we fail to live the lives he taught us to live. and because we failed to live those those lives the world is separating/dividing back into the tribes. Which is good until the other tribe wants what you got. Tribes only work when they have common ground and beliefs and many miles separating you. You can’t have that with anything goes and playing like or thinking it was better in the far past, that is failure in wisdom both for pagans and Christians. **
Christianity only extends the tribe beyond blood/place lines, not replaces it. You are doing quite well in showing an example of the “us vs. them” approach that is no different than that shown in any tribal situation. “Tribes only work when they have common ground and beliefs”----Christianity only works if everyone agrees to follow the same beliefs, Christian ones.
**I don’t know how to explain it, except we have to die to ourselves and serve others and I don’t see that happening in neo-paganism or the world in general. **
Serving others is happening all over the world, in Neopaganism, in other religions, and among those who do not follow a specific religion.