I am beginning to think that there are many more pagan bloggers out there that are writing for the shock value than they are for the actual content. Perhaps some of them are trying to make a splash in some form or fashion in order to get their voices heard, or perhaps some of them are just trying to put their own stamp on the shaping of any piece of the pagan community for the next generation. No matter what they think they are doing, it seems the only result is in more arguments.
There are a couple posts out this week that have people up in arms. I’m not going to even post them here, personally, I don’t think they deserve any more airtime. In general I will say one of them talked about how certain God(s) of the Norse Pantheon don’t exist, and another one talked about how loyalty to one’s country is dead. And there were a few others. The only thing these posts did was to further solidify in my mind that all of these labels that we talk about in the pagan community are dividing us more than they are doing anything else.
So in response:
I believe in many different Gods. I believe they exist differently to different people. They could be considered constructs of people’s imagination, but they also could be individual entities that exist on their own. Or, they could be one source deity that decides to appear differently to others.
Overall does it really matter, so long as they provide comfort to people in some form or fashion, or help people feel like they belong to something?
I believe everything around us has it’s own energy. That energy could be an existing entity or spirit, or that energy could even be just from the mitochondria in each living cell. And when that thing is deconstructed and made into something else, some of the energy stays with it, and thus the new thing has it’s own energy.
Does whether or not I’m an animist really matter if it works for me?
I believe that the historical texts of any religion are a great tool to start out with when you are trying to learn the morals of any one religion, but other than providing that starting point, perhaps they should not all be looked at as deeply as they are right now. Too many people use them for crutches in their faith instead of looking within, and they are getting too caught up in the semantics. Instead, perhaps simple conversations about what they feel is right and wrong is without someone pulling out a book might bring about more understanding than trying to figure it out from words written by humans with flaws.
Does that make me less of a religious person?
The answers to these questions are NO! This stuff doesn’t really matter, and no it doesn’t make me any less religious! And no one has a right to judge whether or not I am religious enough, if I follow too much UPG or if I’m too reconstructionist, or put any other label on me. Period.
I have a right to my own beliefs, I have a right to express my beliefs, and I have a right to be heard. I also have the responsibility to understand where someone else is coming from, and respectfully disagree when I disagree. However, in this case, respectfully disagreeing is just going to mean I stop getting roped into the crap. I don’t deserve to get angry when someone else tries to discredit others opinions on their blog.
No, I’m not taking the sensationalist, dramatic road here. I’m taking the road that isn’t popular. But perhaps if more people took the unpopular road we would have less discord in pagan communities. This sensationalism and drama is only furthering anger, hurt and division. And I for one am very tired of seeing it.