16 September 2015 11:45 AM MST// By Deacon Gray
So you can imagine that I wasn’t very excited to see I had a message from someone named Brother Aaron asking me “for a moment of your time.” I have never been thrilled with ‘stop and knock indoctrination’ peddled by a few religions out there, and the idea of seeing it start up on facebook really made me feel a little nauseous. The last thing I need are people hitting up my in box with the old “You’re going to burn in hell! You’re Satan’s Whore!” crap.
Tentatively I responded, my finger hovering over the block button with “Sure, what’s up?”
What I got back totally threw me for a loop. “I was hoping you could help me with a problem. You see, one from my ministry has confided in me that he is a vampire. While I know that might sound strange, I hunted down the topic on facebook and it seemed like you might be someone who knows a little bit about it. Would you be willing to talk to me?”
I am guessing my eyebrows flashed about an inch higher on my forehead at that point. I admit it, I am a little biased against the men of the cloth, it isn’t like they have treated a lot of people very well over the years. Anyway, I agreed, but I asked him to agree to be interviewed for the GYP and here we are.
GYP: Hello Brother Aaron. Welcome to the Graveyard Press. We are Modern Magazine for a Modern Vampire Community. Well that is what it says on the website anyway. I want to thank you for taking the time to be interviewed today.
BA: Thanks, I want to thank you again for your advice earlier.
GYP: About that…I have been in the vampire community for a while, I have to say this is the first time a preacher come looking for advice and education. I have to say I am a little stunned.
BA: I like to think that a servant of god understands they he is also a servant of his children. When you have someone who is having internal struggles, it is hard to help them if you don’t know enough about it to really be of service. Your community scared the heck out of me, but so did gay and lesbian community, and they turned out to be amazing people.
My God is a benevolent God, he loves all of his children and it is for him to judge according to his will. He said through Jesus, “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” I take that to mean God brings all his children to him freely.
I’m not god, I’m just a man trying to live a life of merit because I think it is what god would want me to do.
GYP: So you don’t condemn Vampires, Goths, Pagans and such?
BA: My church fathers might not agree with me, but I am hardly silent on my stance on such things. God is in everything, in every one. How we see god, or don’t, is inside each of us. You can call it Allah, Set, or Satan if that is what you feel holds you morally secure inside yourself. Your relationship with your god, or gods, is totally individual and what makes my word of choice any better than say, a follower of the Spaghetti Monster?
GYP: You’re joking right?
BA: No I am not mocking you either. Look passed the hypocrites, look past the crimes of Christians and see Christ. It doesn’t matter if you believe in him, or if you think the bible is a fairy tale, the teachings are positive. If people spent more time listening, helping, spending time with those who need a hand, Christians would be growing in numbers, rather than reducing.
The young man that came to speak to me, would he have come if he thought I was going to mock him? Would he drift from the church and perhaps stop bringing his wonderful spirit to our gatherings? We would be lessened as a church without such people. So why rebuke him for something that full fills him and causes no significant harm?
I don’t think Jesus would do that, I think he would have sat beside him, shared a glass of wine, and perhaps had dinner, and encourage him to treat his fellow man kindly.
GYP: So you don’t think all goths and vampires are going to hell if they don’t repent and worship Jesus Christ?
BA: All of them, most certainly not. God doesn’t want us to suffer, most of the laws in the bible are written as both moral guidance and social safety. Like you said in our conversation, Sodom burned, there is proof of that, and the people in the city likely died of mass disease.
In ancient days fire and salt is how they purified, not spiritually, but disease. The same thing held true for food restrictions. Jesus doesn’t say a whole lot about persecuting, he talks about loving, taking care of people, forgiveness, personal willpower and righteousness…but I am getting into a sermon, my apologies.
My point is that most of the people I have seen on the message boards are kind hearted people. They love animals, they want to take care of the poor and help the infirmed. They don’t have to say they follow Jesus Christ to do good works and be a good human being, and I can’t be a good Christian by being a bully and judgmental monster. Some will fall into their own hell, some are already there. I hope they work their way out of it and find solace in being the good person they always thought they could be.
GYP: So what are you going to tell the guy who came to talk to you?
BA: Well I can’t say for certain, but something similar to what I told you. Being a vampire, or lycanthrope isn’t going to send you to hell, unless you do horrible things, things that would make anyone burn spiritually for the harm they caused.
GYP: Ok I have to ask. What religion are you anyway? This is totally confusing based on my interactions with men of the cloth in the past.
BA: I’m Catholic, my ministries are of direct service and outreach to the poor and needy. We try to set the example rather than preach it. Pope Francis is an inspiration to many of us, and I agree it is time for the Church to come forward with a positive role in today’s society.
GYP: Well, that is nice to hear. One more question if you don’t mind? What did you think of our community of vampires, kin, and pagans?
BA: I think if people worried a little more about service, than entitlement, your community could become an amazing network for good things. There are so many really great people in your community. People who want to do amazing things and some who do. I am glad to have a chance to learn from them. Thank you for taking the time to talk to me, but please do excuse me, I have many people to learn from today.
Dealing with the trouble makers is always hard. They come from inside and outside the community. We face them all the time, and have seen so many come and go over the years that perhaps we can find ourselves becoming a little xenophobic. I’m glad I had the chance to speak with Brother Aaron, and I honestly hope to hear from other people that are so cool in the future. With luck he will come back and talk to us about on going struggles of Pagans in other countries. He said he would consider the invitation, so I will cross my fingers.