Charity is 29 years old and a practicing Pagan. She has been a Pagan for almost 10 years, since she first discovered the ancient religion in college. Although she was raised Protestant Christian, Paganism resonates deeply with Charity.
As a child, Charity was sexually abused by her father, which caused a lifelong fear of men. She was drawn to Paganism because of the emphasis on the Mother Goddess and now refers to herself as a goddess worshipper. Her Pagan practice has helped her to embrace her own womanhood and sexuality, two things she once feared, while the meditative aspect of Paganism has helped her to overcome her PTSD.
Because of her childhood abuse, Charity never believed that she could fall in love with a man, but after meeting Allen at a meditation class, she knows what love really is. Allen recently asked Charity to marry him, but there is only one problem, Charity’s religion. Although Allen is not religious, his family is Southern Baptist. If they find out that Charity is not a Christian, they will have major problems. Because they aren’t educated about Paganism, they think that Pagans all practice witchcraft and are going to hell. Making matters more complicated, Allen’s family doesn’t know that he isn’t religious anymore.
To make his family happy, Allen wants to have a traditional Christian wedding ceremony, but this is not the wedding Charity had imagined for herself. Charity wants to have a small ceremony in nature with all of her Pagan friends in attendance and her devotion to the Goddess playing a central role. She is also concerned if she has Allen’s big Christian wedding, his nosy family will raise uncomfortable questions about why her own family is not in attendance.
Allen has always respected and supported Charity’s beliefs, which is one of the reasons that she fell in love with him; they actually meditate together every morning. Charity isn’t ashamed of her beliefs, but now she feels that Allen is. She feels that Allen needs to stand up to his family and be honest about what he really believes; she doesn’t want to start a life together based on lies and believes this issue will only snowball once they have kids.
How can Charity help Allen to be more honest with his family? Have you ever felt that you had to lie to your family to keep the peace? What prejudices do you have towards other religions? Could you be with someone outside of your religion and the approval of your parents?