I get a lot of varied responses when it comes to my religion. So, out of frustration, I made a "list" of things I'd rather people didn't do, and things people did do. Originally, it was aimed for Heathenism, but a lot of my points fit for multiple religions, so I thought I'd post it here.
(Note: Some of it is still a little Pagan/Heathen centric, though. Sorry :/)
Things I'd Rather 你 Didn't Do:
1 Don't assume
~A. Don't assume I don't know about other religions. Just because I don't follow that path, doesn't mean I'm ignorant about it.
~B. Don't assume 你 know why I chose this path.
~C. Don't assume that my personal beliefs are going to line up with the beliefs of “some guy I knew this one time.” Every person who falls under the Pagan umbrella is different. (Anyone who falls under any umbrella is different, really.) We all come from different back-grounds, and have different morals. Some of us are pro-choice. Some of us are vegan. Some of us are for the death penalty. There is no singular “Pagan” belief. Just because Jimmy was a homophobe doesn't mean we all are, 或者 that it's a “Pagan” belief.
~D. Don't assume I worship the devil/Lucifer/Satan. 或者 believe in the devil. 或者 even think that worshiping the devil is a bad thing. In fact, don't assume 你 know who/what I worship period.
~E Don't assume I do animal sacrifice. 或者 support it. 或者 am against it.
~F Don't assume my religion is like another religion. Yes, it is a religion. No, that doesn't mean it is anything like Christianity. Yes, it is a Pagan religion. No, that doesn't mean it is anything like Wicca. There are hundreds different branches of Paganism alone. Some of them are similar. Most of them are not.
~G Don't assume 你 know everything about my religion. The media, other religions (including other Pagan religions) don't always tell the facts straight up. Sometimes, they just out-right twist and make up “facts” to suit their own agenda.
~H Don't assume I'm against other religions, 或者 that I believe my religion is “right.” We're all different. What works for me isn't necessarily going to work for you.
No, I'm not Christian. No, I'm not Wiccan. No, that doesn't mean I have a problem with either one of those religions, 或者 the people that practice them.
~I Don't assume I'm an Universalist. Don't assume I'm Folkish.
~J Don't assume I believe in black magic/white magic/grey magic. 或者 spell magic with a 'k'. 或者 practice magic at all. 或者 don't practice magic at all. 或者 would 或者 would not do certain spells/types of magic.
~K Don't assume I have a pentacle. 或者 a broomstick. In fact, don't assume 你 know what my symbols are, and/or that I wear any at all.
~L Don't assume that we know all Pagans everywhere, and know everything about every Pagan religion in existence.
~M Don't assume to know what my religion tells me about gods. You'd be surprised to find that many Heathens, for example, aren't “godless” but, rather, hard polytheists.
2 Don't push. Don't push your beliefs. Don't push the Three Fold Law, don't push veganism. Don't push you're prayers. Don't try and push me to go to church with you. Don't try and “push” me to read the Bible, 或者 “meet Jesus” 或者 that "This goddess is actually this other goddess." I know me better than you. Let me be me. I'll let 你 be you.
3 Don't invalidate. My beliefs and experiences are as real and important as yours. Just because I can feel “at peace” 或者 have a “religious experience” with someone other than Yahweh, 或者 outside a church doesn't mean I'm crazy/making things up/confused as to who I'm speaking with.
Things I Would Very Much Rather 你 Did Do:
1 Ask questions. Ask anything that pops into your head. It's okay. I (and majority of other Pagans, I'm sure) would much rather 你 ask 问题 你 feel are “obvious” 或者 “silly” than assume 你 know the answer.
2 Research. 你 don't have to take our words to heart. All the information we have is easily and readily available to 你 as well. Don't believe me when I say the swastika isn't solely a Nazi symbol? 谷歌 is your friend.
3 Have an open mind. Yes, we're aware that “I talked with Zeus” sounds crazy. But it's what we do. It's what our experiences tell us.