Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Spewing gall again...

I'm sorry about this, but... several things have happened this morning that have made me very, very irritated.

Pagan Enough Campaign

Now, I fully agree on most of this, and I think I just read Uncle Thor's newsletter or some such, where this same thing was pointed out. We might be many and a lots of different sorts, but we are still all Pagan, and as such we should really keep together.

There is one sentence, only one sentence in that writing that bugs me.
"Paganism does not have a set definition". 
It's "a religion not Judaism, Christianity or Islam (or any of the religions and sects created from these three.)"

That makes Buddhists, Hindus and all the other people who follows a religion older than Judaism a Pagan.
That makes all these "Christian Pagans" cheats and idiots.
Nothing stops you from introducing Pagan elements into your Christian life, but if you believe Jesus died for your sins, you are not a Pagan, so stop calling yourself one and hogging other people's spirituality and traditions. Haven't you done that enough during your existence? Just because you got used to doing that during the first Millennium of current reckoning doesn't mean you should keep doing it, or even keep the traditions and spirituality you already stole. You cannot keep the cake and eat it too, and you cannot be both Pagan and non-Pagan (Christian).

Then we have the ideas presented here: Why I Hate Pagan Enough Campaign
Of course my personal preferences on such shallow things like what kind of music I like or what I like to wear has nothing to do with my spirituality. BUT one might need to think twice before embracing habits that are counter-productive to the goals of one's claimed spiritual beliefs.

"This isn't middle school". Yes, it is, and everyone knows it. You learn the social codes when you are a teenager, so the social codes of Middle and High School will prevail. PEOPLE DO NOT GROW UP.

Another thing was that someone had been writing this long blog series about Goddess, and made the mistake of using a Christian image to illustrate Shekhinah... and I blew my top off.

Now, I do not have anything against Christianity and Christians, PER SE. What ever people choose to believe in is their choice. What I oppose is the greedy hogging, stealing and monopolizing of everything that has to do with spirituality. If you speak about God, everyone just automatically assumes, you are Christian. If you say you believe, you're Christian. Family Values are Christian. Faith, charity, kindness, love, all that is Christian!

I hate the "mission command". I leave you be, you leave me be. That's the way it should be.
I will not give one ounce of tolerance to the people who won't offer me any.
I will not give one ounce of kindness to the people who won't offer me any.
If you call me your enemy, then you have made yourself my enemy.

I am Pagan, and it's your God, your rules, even your hell, so that's where you'll be heading, not I.

Then there's the Black Hat Society. Red Hat Society is the world's largest women's society for women "closing and passed their 50". They all wear a red hat with purple dress, or just purple decorations, to honor and live up to Jenny Joseph's poem "Warning".

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

In my opinion we witches, the Black Hat Society, SHOULD wear our black hats proudly, as proudly as the Red Hat Society wears their red hats. I think we SHOULD dare to wear the witch hat the rest of the year too, and be proud about us being witches. I think we SHOULD get out of the broom closet, properly, bravely and fully, and WEAR A BLACK HAT.

The Spruz' Black Hat Society has a banner with a picture of a very pretty young witch. Not wearing a hat. It has also a big picture on the front page, showing four beautiful, young ladies, none wearing a hat.

I am not young, beautiful creature from fantasy paintings. I am a sturdy (read fat) middle-aged woman with a big nose and chin and bushy eyebrows. The hat would, at least, make me feel at home. Right now it's just a part of costume for Halloween and fairytales, and I hate that fact too. Wearing the witch hat wouldn't mark me as part of the Black Hat Society, but part of the loonies and village idiots.


Fire Lyte said...

Hi there!

Thanks for the feedback! As I always say, 'All feedback is good feedback!' Hope you'll consider popping back by the Riot soon!

I don't know if you saw, but the author of the Great Tininess blog actually did come on my show to have the discussion about PPE. It turned out quite well.

I'm sorry you disagreed with one of my readers about their agreement with me.

Also, the definition of paganism is quite different, colloquially, depending on which person in which culture you ask. While the dictionary has one definition, I would argue that it is seriously misinformed.

PPE was never meant to be some society-changing movement, turning everyone mainstream. On the contrary, it is meant to include, and to highlight the need for more inclusion and less in-fighting.

Also, I'm not sure what article on Witch Vox you're referring to... I was a bit confused by this particular statement.

Anyways, thanks for the feedback. I welcome all criticism, as I recognize PPE is still in its fledgling stage and needs some work. Great blog work! (all 9 of them) I wish I had the time to keep that many blogs current.

The more intelligent pagan voices we have out there the better, whether we agree with them or not.

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte

M Pennanti said...

I do sometimes wonder at the vitriol towards Christianity on the topic of "stealing other people's spirituality and traditions". I'm not saying that they don't (patently, historically, empirically, they do.) It's just that - neopagans do to. Rampantly, to the point of forgetting origins and little to no research. There are a few people who get just as hysterical about it, but not as many. And aside from the Christian/Neopagan similarity, really... ALL religions and cultures do this. Wherever there are cultures mixing together, there is bleed-over. Sometimes it's incidental, but frequently is calculated by whomever is in charge. And thus Astarte becomes Estre, and Athena becomes Minerva, Hindus mix together EVERYTHING, Catholic becomes Protestant becomes Santerian as it travels and changes. South America as an entire area is simply fascinating with what they've done with Mary.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, the co-opting of symbols, religions, and spirituality is something universal to history and not specific to Christians. It seems unfair to point them out as monopolizing thieves while everything else gets a general shrug and a "Eh, that's sociological."

The only other ornery comment I've got is: Just because we learned it in middle school, doesn't mean it's the highest form of socializing to aspire to!

Great article, good thoughts. Thanks!

Ketutar said...

@Fire Lyte,

good you got it fixed. I would appreciate if you also fixed the whiny post about Johnny's post, because it's really off-putting.

The current Western definition of Pagan is the Christian definition of a Pagan, and that is, in all simplicity, practicality and logic "non-Christian".
It has been adjusted to include the Jews and Muslims, who - even though not Christian - cannot be said to worship "Pagan Gods" :->

Buddhists, Hindus etc. are still very much included, even though the CURRENT (this generation issue) idea is starting to think that the term might be "offensive" to Buddhists, who actually follow a belief system older than the Abrahamics, as the word STILL has a lot of negative associations, not to talk about the new, exclusive and monopolicing "it's only NEO-Pagans it means" associations.

I refuse to accept the Christian VALUES put on the word, even though I use the Christian definition, and therefore say "some people who define themselves as Pagan are not, but some who don't are."

It's like the idiots who think one needs to re-define the word "antisemitic", as some of the antisemites refuse to admit they actually do hate the Jews, and hide behind the fact that their mother-tongue happens to belong to the Semitic languages. :->

There is no need what so ever to redefine words. If the word with its accepted and acceptable meaning doesn't work for you, you invent and use a NEW word. Just look at Shakespeare. Language is supposed to grow and evolve, not change the meaning of words in every decade.

It's not the one specific supporter of yours' comment, but the attitude, that I object to. You have not been attacked, neither are you defenseless, so there is no need to run to your defense, and especially not that sort of defense.

Nevertheless, Goddess speed with you, all of you.

Ketutar said...

@M Pennanti

My "vitriol" is due to having been poisoned.
It's wonderful that you have managed not to get poisoned, and I hope you will live the rest of your life that way.
Unfortunately, it's too late for me, and many others. My only hope right now is to get enough of the antidote ;-)