Ever since I discovered paganism and how pagans look upon their spiritual paths, I realized that being pagan makes a whole lot more sense than Christianity by far. Then when I learned that Christianity took shape and formed around paganism, that to me made even more sense.
Then when I felt I needed to do something to bring people together and to hold regular gatherings, I was told to steer clear of certain people because of the rifts that had taken place much earlier within the pagan community here in Minnesota. I started to question as to what took place that had caused all the rifts but to only get silence from others. Later on as the group had taken shape and people were starting to join and be a part of something which I felt was a good positive place for others to gather, certain people decided to try to overtake what I had begun and started bad mouthing what I had done. Nonetheless, I continued to do what I felt was right and ignored what I was being told by others to later on be accepted by elders and others who had recognized what I had done and accepted it. To this day what I do see is there are those who thrive upon backstabbing and bad mouthing those who do not conform to being just wiccan or doing things the wiccan way which I find to be very distasteful and disrespectful. I also see those who make light of what others do for a living or mock their spiritual path which leads me to question "are these people actually pagan?" or do they just claim to be with no clear understanding as to what is to be pagan.
The rifts that have taken place are by those who want total control over events, and want others to follow one certain path for rituals which the wrong thing to do as paganism covers many spiritual paths from wiccan, heathen, druid, norse, and many more. Paganism is a very large umbrella which covers so many different forms of earth centered religion and we need to be more accepting of other people's paths and what they do instead of criticizing and making light of the facts. The way I look at this is if you cannot respect someone for their spiritual path and who they are then just walk away and do not say anything at all.
Rifts do NOT need to happen at all and the ones that have occurred can be fixed if people would look past their own foolish pride and work together as a community to do what is right for the others who look to us for knowledge and understanding.