17 December, 2013

Doesn't It Drive You CRAZY?!

Hey, Readers,

At work, I have two bosses. One is Catholic. The other is Agnostic, Pagan-ish but not practicing. They are great friends, and of course, business partners. They are wonderful! I love them both. I do not name their religions for any sort of commentary on their religious identities, merely to identify them apart from one another and give you a basic idea of where they're coming from in that regard.

My co-worker told me shortly after we met and started working together that she is also Pagan, though not practicing and very new to identifying as Pagan at all. She told me this because, she said, she could tell that I was Pagan. I don't know how she could tell this--the only discussions we'd had that were at all relevant were about tasseomancy and tarot, but whatever the reason, she knew and shared this with me.

Eventually, my co-worker told our Catholic boss that we were both Pagan.
The negative reaction from our boss startled my co-worker, who is not out of the broom closet at all and has never experienced the prejudice or discrimination that sometimes comes with being open about a minority identity such as religion.

Right before Halloween, I overheard my bosses discussing religion and why Pagans celebrate Halloween and Christmas, and why they call it Christmas if Christmas is about Christ. This is when I heard my Agnostic boss say that she is not a practicing Pagan and usually just considers herself Agnostic. I took the opportunity to offer some of my views on why Pagans celebrate Christmas (with our Christian families, usually), and to explain the Winter Solstice/Yule and its difference from and similarity to Christmas, and so on. So we've had some discussions at work about religion. Though our Catholic boss was clearly under-informed or misinformed about some things, I was really happy that she was willing to listen and ask questions. So many people will not even do that. I am grateful for those opportunities.

Today, my co-worker said something about her old teacher, who happens to go to my church, as we learned recently. Our Catholic boss looked very confused. I didn't notice this, but my co-worker asked her what was wrong, and our boss asked, "Pagans go to church now?" I laughed and said "Oh, yeah, I go to a Unitarian Universalist church. It's for everyone. You can believe anything. There are several Pagans at my church, and people of many other faiths." The following conversation ensued: