“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” – 1 Corinthians 1:18-25
Including the quote above because some people still, somehow, think they get to tell me that I can’t worship Jesus and work with Set and HSA at the same time.
This is a post I originally published with the title, “An Open Letter to Pagan Fundies”. In other words, if you’re anti-Lokean, anti-godspouse, anti-PC paganism, anti-godkin, etc. this is @ you.
When I first joined tumblr, the handful of blogs I’d been told to follow often reblogged a lot of sj posts as well as a lot of “anti-sjw” posts making fun of “The Other Social Justice Bloggers”. These posts generally consisted of mocking otherkin, trans people with severe enough dysphoria to be bothered by accidental misgendering, people with weird triggers, and anyone with the audacity to sound angry about these things. Me being fifteen and insecure, the result was that even though I’d grown up talking about gender inequality before I’d ever even heard the word “feminism”, I was drinking the Status Quo Warrior kool-aid for a while in an attempt to distance myself from the particular varieties of “sjw” that I saw being mocked the most harshly.
I went along with the crowd at first for several reasons. I’d been raised in an ultra-conservative culture that centered around excluding the different under the guise of being “no-nonsense” and “down to earth”. I hadn’t yet joined debate and gotten a basic education on logical fallacies and other manipulation tactics used when persuasive speaking. I was young and immature. I told myself it was because the people I was mocking were in some way harmful to my cause, but the truth was that I was just afraid of being made fun of, myself -not that I would’ve admitted it, of course. The core of my cruelty to causes and activists that I deemed “too weird” or “too extreme” was that I didn’t want to be the butt of the joke, so I made sure to vocally make fun of other marginalized people and causes so that I wouldn’t be.
Not only was this cowardly, hypocritical, and immature, but it was also completely ineffective. SQWs still made fun of me for being a feminist, a “self-hating” white (ironic since that’s exactly what the white supremacists around my hometown call me) and cishet (ironic because i turned out to be neither cis nor het), no matter how much I made fun of otherkin, the mentally ill (i r o n y), and “dirty radicals” (irony cubed). All my throwing them under the bus achieved was that they got run over when I could’ve helped to prevent it.
When I look at the pagan/polytheist community here on tumblr, I’m reminded of my younger self in a lot of ways, particularly where it comes to insecurity about being stereotyped and fixating on excluding others to feel superior or divert the negative attention to others, even just mentally: “at least I’m not that weird”, etc. Being in a non-Abrahamic religion in modern-day Western Culture opens you up to a lot of stigma. Luckily we’re still a small enough subset that we aren’t subject to the kind of systematic culture-wide hatred that Muslims and Jews are (being a predominantly white community comes with perks like that), but even when we aren’t being called evil heretics, we’re considered weird, full of shit, caught up in childish fantasies…you get my point. It’s not fun.
So we do what marginalized subcultures do: we talk shit about the mainstream (Christianity) and about how much cooler we are. We try to have a sense of humor about the negative stereotypes. We embrace the stereotypes as a middle finger to the mainstream. We work hard to be respectable in order to prove the stereotypes wrong. All of these are good, or at least understandable and normal, ways to deal with the negative stereotypes. It’s only when we start to throw each other under the bus for having “weirder” beliefs than ours in an attempt to distance ourselves from the negative stereotypes -often by claiming that the weird beliefs are harmful to paganism and pagans in some way- that we cross the line from “coping with being marginalized” to “acting like total pricks”.
Talking shit on Lokeans won’t keep other Heathens from being called “devil worshippers”. Talking shit about astral travelers or magic users won’t keep you from being called “ridiculous” for worshipping pagan gods. Talking shit on godspouses or godkin won’t keep you from being called a “special snowflake” by hateful SQWs trying to discredit you with ad hominem arguments. Talking shit on PC pagans won’t stop people from telling you you’re “making it all up”. Saying other people are “doing it wrong” is never going to gain anyone respect from the mainstream culture; all it achieves is to prevent us from having conversations that actually matter and working toward things that are actually constructive, because all anyone wants to do is bitch at each other.
Everyone loves to say that other people’s practices and/or actions are “the reason people don’t take pagans seriously” when, in reality, people who don’t take pagans seriously are never going to take paganism seriously because we’re pagans. You’re not going to make people stop being intolerant of your religion by being intolerant of someone else’s. So guys, please, from one heretic to another: can we cut the shit? We’re all weirdos here, and no one’s particular brand of weirdness is any more respectable anyone else’s.
#christianity, #community, #kemeticism