Showing posts with label conflict. Show all posts
Showing posts with label conflict. Show all posts

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Breaking my Promise, the Threat of Pagan Dominionists

Just a few short weeks ago I posted that I would not write about the brewing debate around Pop Culture Paganism Vs. Polytheism.  While I intend do keep the promise of not taking sides in the value of these theological approaches, I am alarmed at the tone and absolutism featured in the discourse.

As the discussion has progressed, individuals have begun to attempt to declassify those with opposing views as the “other” or not Pagan at all.  Less than a year ago the Internet was abuzz with devout polytheists proclaiming that they are “no longer Pagan”.  Today out of this same group come cries to disavow those who have opposing views and proclaim what a real Pagan is.

Let me express my opinion plainly. What is not Pagan is framing someone else’s approach to divinity as not acceptable under the Pagan umbrella. It is the diversity of our paths that is the strength of our community. Those who wish to diagram Paganism as only existing within their own theological context clearly are promoting a dominionist theological stance.

These events are alarming, add to this narrow and divisive view of Paganism a dose of the name calling that has occurred on both sides of the debate and we have a volatile mixture that could cause a schism within our broader community.

I value my hard Polytheist friends, my Pop Culture friends, my Humanist Pagan friends and all paths that seek a connection to the divine. To put forth my own beliefs as superior to others would grate at the very foundation of what I believe Paganism to be.

Let me propose that it is time for all to withdraw from this debate, seek within the ability to honor others beliefs with out seeing them as opposed to our individual paths. There are dozens of example of Pagans engaged in positive efforts across the country, lets join in making progress rather than distructive debates that tear asunder the very fabric of diversity that is our beloved community.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sacred Regard – The Curative For Drama

Recently in a blog post an individual made some untrue and inflammatory statements about my actions and beliefs. Friends rallied around and denounced these statements. While I do appreciate having friends who understand my intent and direct form of communication their defense was unnecessary.

As a Pagan I am unable to view those with whom I disagree or have conflict with as “the other” outside of my community. In fact these individuals challenge me and call me to self-reflection and growth. I know you may be thinking “ Yes, but what about those who are blatantly mean, dishonest or hurtful?  Sure their statements can be hurtful, but their reality belongs to them and deserves to be heard just as mine does.

In my path the deities I worship are fallible, make mistakes and provide a moral guide for my life. Would I hold them in less esteem because they make mistakes or behave badly?  Of course not, I hold them in what I call “Sacred Regard” as teachers, mentors and examples of how complicated existence is. Their seeming “humanity” endears me to them and indeed the concept of the divine its self.

This concept also holds true for those who behave in ways I find distasteful in the community. Each, possessing the spark of the Goddess within, teaches great lessons and allows me to clarify my practice and relationship with the Goddess. These individuals are held in the same "Sacred Regard” as are the Deities I follow. It is a little hard to develop resentment towards those whom you consider to hold the divine within them.

So the next time someone rubs you the wrong way or speaks in a hurtful manor, try remembering that they too are part of the divinely inspired dance of life and apply a little of my favorite metaphorical salve called “Sacred Regard”