A week or so ago, I was a guest on an internet radio show. I do a lot of these since I’ve published my books, and, for the most part, I really enjoy them. I get to talk with some very interesting, smart, fun people about topics I love: mediumship, ghosts, Tarot, magick, Spiritualism, writing, the creative process, and many others. Whenever I get a request to do one of these shows, I try my best to fit it into my schedule. It’s another way to connect with more people and to spread the message that my books promote. I consider it an honor to be asked to appear, and I am grateful for the opportunity.
Most of these radio shows are done on stations that cater to a metaphysical audience. This latest one was no exception. When the host contacted me, I checked out the webpage and thought the show’s audience would be right up my alley. They’d featured interviews with other mediums, psychics, and ghost hunters. Via email, the host and I arranged a night that would work for both of us for my appearance. That correspondence took place over 3 months before my spot. In the meantime, I tried to send him copies of my books (which didn’t work out), but we didn’t really have any other contact.
The day of my appearance (which was scheduled for that evening), I received a surprising email from the host. He explained that he had a co-host on the show who was a conservative Christian and might have some questions for me about my mediumship work. I got the distinct impression from this that there might be a confrontation about religion on the docket.
Honestly, I didn’t know how to respond. The terrified, non-confrontational part of me wanted to immediately back out. I don’t enjoy fighting about anything, let alone feeling as if I have to defend my spiritual beliefs. I even wrote an entire chapter in my latest book, Ask A Medium, about a similar topic. I wrote that chapter for all of the clients and students who tell me how much they hate trying to defend themselves against radical religious types who berate them and try to scare them out of their spiritual views. I don’t like this any more than the next guy, but over the years, I’ve learned some strategies to at least feel more sure and steady when embroiled in this kind of debate. But having to do this on the radio was not my idea of a fun time.
The responsible part of me chided myself for wanting to cancel my appearance. Having hosted my own radio show, I didn’t want to leave anyone in the lurch if I backed out at the last minute. My reasonable side posited that I had not been treated fairly and told up front that this show might turn into a religious debate, and if I didn’t want to do that, I shouldn’t harbor any qualms about saying, “Forget it.” The self-righteous part of me swelled up, too, saying that I shouldn’t be driven away from an opportunity to talk about my beliefs because I was scared I would offend someone with more strident and stringent views. I should be allowed to speak my piece; after all, wasn’t that why I was invited to participate in the first place?
In the end, I dashed off an email to the host, saying that I was not very happy about the prospect of debating religion on the air, but I would do my best.
Well, I did my best–and then some, perhaps.
Look, here’s the thing: if you’re a Christian, and even if you’re not, don’t fling Bible quotes at me. Truth be told, I like the Bible, and there are some wonderful, inspirational words of great wisdom in there. There is also some stuff that is a product of its time and the many, many interpretations and translations the writings have gone through over the centuries. Using the Bible to back up your case is like building a Three Pigs house out of sticks: it won’t withstand the wind from the Wolf. The Bible can be used to support ANY argument that you want to make. Think it’s OK to kill someone? There’s certainly a lot of havoc-wreaking vengeance in the Old Testament, often initiated by Yahweh Himself. Want to sell your daughter into slavery? Go ahead–the Bible says you can! Considering consulting a medium to talk to the dead? The Old Testament says you shouldn’t, and that God will hate you if you do–but isn’t it funny that God didn’t seem to hate Jesus when he had his pow wow with Moses and Elijah on the mountain as his disciples watched? Do you see what I’m driving at here? Evangelical Christians use the Bible as the literal Word of God, but many, like the co-host of this radio show, use it to support their way of thinking while ignoring some of the other parts that don’t suit their parameters.
So, in this radio discussion, I was lambasted with Bible quotes and had my integrity as a medium called into question. How did I know I was talking to good spirits when there are lots of righteous Christians tricked by the devil? Didn’t I know it was wrong to speak to spirits? Didn’t I worry about the health of my soul?
Well, quite frankly: give me a flipping break.
I believe in intention. And I believe in a loving, nurturing God. If you set your intention to always remain in that Divine Energy that is God, then you are not going to touch in with anything in your mediumship work that is evil or negative. Why? Because God’s energy is in EVERY energy. If you set your intention to connect with the Divine Spark of God that resides within every energy, then you will be able to connect with loving, high vibration energies of loved ones who have passed as well as guides, teachers, and angels. Yes, I am aware of the warnings in the Bible that the devil can disguise himself as an angel. But why would a loving God allow this to happen? If you set your intention to connect first with God, then God is not going to allow anything negative to happen to you. Period. Nothing can harm you. You will find your peace, and you will do your work–any work–in that loving light of Creator. End of story.
So what happened in the interview? I tried to be patient, and I tried to answer the questions in a mild tone of voice and explain my position as lovingly as I could. I even threw a few Bible quotes of my own in there to prove my point about being able to use the Bible to support any position. (Another reason not to quote the Bible to me: I can quote it right back to you, mister.) But ultimately, I said, “Look. You are not going to convince me that I’m wrong, and I’m not going to convince you that you’re wrong. You have your faith, and I have mine. All we’re doing in arguing is perpetuating a negative energy cycle because we’ll wind up mad at each other. Why do that?” Eventually, the co-host relented, and the first host went on with questions about mediumship development–questions I would much rather answer.
I am not advocating disagreements here, nor am I advocating picking a fight and trying to belittle someone else. But I am advocating standing up for your beliefs. Educate yourself. One of the best ways to do this is to read arguments against your beliefs and then to come up with intelligent answers as to why those arguments don’t hold any water. If you’re going to argue theology, know your subject. Be as smart as you can about what you do so that you can present your side in a thoughtful, organized, intelligent way. Knowledge is power.
Try not to let yourself become embroiled in a heated argument, though. I did my best in this instance to control my temper. It takes a lot to make me mad, but I was mad by the end of that segment. (And hey: Jesus got mad in the Bible, too. Remember the scene he made at the temple?) But I tried to remember that keeping a cool head was only going to make me look more reasonable, and raising my voice in anger would make me look defensive. In the end, I was proud of myself for defending my beliefs and not backing down when confronted while remaining reasonable and gracious.
I was, however, quite miffed about the whole situation. I don’t think it was very professional of these radio hosts to treat me this way. I think there’s a lesson here for me about better preparation for these shows. I’ll have to be more careful, more selective, in the future. So I do thank Spirit for this, because I know it will make me a better person in the long run.
I hope some of you will find encouragement by reading this post. Be respectful, but don’t make nice; don’t back down. Your beliefs, and your integrity, are worth more than that.
The Dixie Chicks say it pretty darn well.
May blessings abound for you.