I was looking forward to an evening of St. Patrick's Day fun with friends, so forgive me for being a little bit cranky about all the vitriol being launched on here today.
Are we Christians supposed to spend the day apologizing for St. Patrick converting Ireland fifteen hundred years ago? I'm no expert in Druidic practices, but how do we really know that the Druids were happy-love-everybody people and St. Patrick was a jerk determined to make sure no one was having a good time? It's not as simple as pagans good/Patrick bad (nor, I suppose, as simple as Patrick good/pagans bad). Imagine you're the person who got picked for the human sacrifice and see if you still think so.
Christianity is not all about hate and oppression, no matter what Jerry Falwell tells you. It's got some good ideas about kindness to one's fellow man. Many terrible sins have been committed in the name of Christ, but much good has been done too.
A lot of people out there seem to demand toleration for everyone but Christians. I almost didn't make this post because I knew it would piss people off, but that would be denying what I feel and what I believe. If it's okay for you to express your faith, then it's okay for me to express mine. I may be a lousy excuse for a Christian, but I still am one. If you want religious toleration, I think that's terrific, but you ought to have some for the Christians too. We progressive Christians have got enough to worry about with retaking our faith from the Pharisees currently in charge without having to constantly apologize for being Christian.
And I'm fucking terrified of snakes, so St. Patrick, you're okay in my book.