This subject actually came up at my poker game this past weekend, at which two of my pagan friends and myself played with a bunch of non-pagan friends. I forget how and in what context the comment was made, but one pagan friend said to the group, “Pagans are really stubborn.”
And I had to agree, it’s true. Stubborn to varying degrees, of course, and according to personalities, but all the pagans I could think of were indeed as stubborn as a horse with the bit in his teeth.
I think it’s reasonable for pagans to be stubborn. Our path isn’t exactly easy, as I would suspect most converts’ paths are not easy. It takes strength and courage to find the right path and follow it, especially if family and/or friends are not encouraging or supportive of that path. A certain degree of stubbornness is expected and indeed somewhat required in order to not only break free of the previous order and migrate to a new one. Generally speaking, the change is not made quickly or without a great deal of hardship.
Not only the change is difficult, but sticking with the change. Switching to paganism was difficult, yes, but worth it. The hard part, I think, is no longer in finding paganism, but living as a pagan surrounded by non-pagans who do not necessarily understand or treat my religion as valid. When facing the scrutiny of the world, sticking to your beliefs and explaining them well becomes much more difficult, which is in part why coming out of the broomcloset is such a big decision. Stubbornness is almost a requirement.
If you think about it, you are probably stubborn, even if just a little, and the other pagans you know are just as stubborn, if not more so.
It was, however, quite amusing to hear that statement from one pagan and have the other two think for only a second before smiling mischievously and nodding agreement.