Ignorance maintains the status quo
About 15 years or so ago, I was working in a metaphysical store in Nashville, TN. I was buyer for several depts in the store, and was also part of a circle that was loosely connected to the store.
We occasionally got a stray Satanist coming into the store to either buy supplies or order books, but the store’s owner was from a Christian background and refused to carry any of Lavey’s or anything even remotely connected to Satanism. I fought regularly with her over some of the witchy books I thought we should carry. After all, we were a business, not a church, and businesses are about making money not so much making moral judgements. But she did not even want Satanists gracing her store. I, on the other hand, will talk to anyone and if they need help, I will help them if their request is within reason.
It pissed me off that not only the store owner but most of my co-workers were visibly biased against Satanists, or anyone who they felt practiced what was generically labelled as “dark magic”, especially since most of them had absolutely no idea what Satanists believed and practiced. So I ended up doing something to educate them that pissed them all off.
Without telling them what it was, I read them the basic tenets/rules that Satanists adhere to. As I read down the list, most were nodding and agreeing with them. It wasn’t until I got to the sacrificing of animals and the care required (“10. Do not kill non-human animals unless you are attacked or for your food”) that they started asking what the hell I was reading to them. When I told them what it was, they were so angry. When I explained why I had done it- their lack of knowledge about a belief system that they were completely biased against- they collectively lost it. To make matters worse, I pointed out that everyone in the room had been nodding in agreement with the first few statements. They went crazy.
I became the bad guy. They would no longer trust me. I had obviously been influenced by, horror of horrors(!), a dark influence! For weeks, they all avoided me like the plague and demonized me behind my back, spread rumours and did their best to undermine whatever projected goals I had for the departments I managed. All because I chose to shine a light on their own prejudice and ignorance.
The bottom line was this: People who are afraid to learn or read a certain book are not enlightened. Nor are people who will cling to their ignorance in order to maintain their views and the status quo. They are just like the people who do not follow politics and claim they just stay out it and it doesn’t concern them. Ridiculous, equally.