June 15th, 2005
|02:44 am - I am really, really TIRED of Holier Than Thou Pagans|
I am getting really tired of having to deal with Pagan Fundamentalists.
Really quite sick of it in fact.
I've run into quite a few of them lately, particularly with respect to various Reconstructionist or Asatruar traditions.
My site, The UnCoven of the Solitaries, contains a CyberTemple that caters to pagans in general. Not just Wiccans, not just Asatruar, not just Hindus, not just Taoists, not just devotees of Shinto or Voudoun. EVERY PAGAN -- no matter WHICH deity or deities they honor -- is welcome at the UnCoven's CyberTemple. Reconstructionists too.
But the favor is not returned.
In order to publicize the spiritual services available at the CyberTemple (one can leave virtual offerings on the altar and light virtual candles there to one's favorite god/dess), I subscribed to a variety of webrings, encompassing as many traditions as are represented in the CyberTemple.
I just received a truly charming little missive from a Reconstructionist who had taken over a ring that I had belonged to for several years, wherein I'm told that essentially since my site caters to not just Hellenic and Roman deities, the new owner has decided that my site should be booted out of the ring.
Subject: Your site in the Ring, The Delphic Oracle, has been deleted.
Date: Tue, 14 Jun 2005 08:35:31 -0700
Looking at your site, I see very little that is either Hellenic or Roman about it; it seems to be just another Generic Pagan, essentially Wiccan coven. Kyrene should never have approved your application; I'm sure that Paul didn't. Goodbye and best wishes, but you clearly aren't anything akin to a recon, and don't belong on this ring. The RingMaster of "The Delphic Oracle" has deleted your site from the Ring.
Your site includes the following information:
Site Title: The UnCoven of the Solitaries
Site URL: http://www.angelfire.com/ny3/tucots/webrings.html
Now this is despite the fact that the first link on the UnCoven's homepage is to the CyberTemple, where on the first page of the Cybertemple there are clearly links to the CyberShrines of not one, not two but THREE Greco-Roman deities -- Pluto, Persephone and Aphrodite. Furthermore, in the UnCoven CyberShrine section of the CyberTemple there is a series of chapels to such Greco-Roman deities as Pan, Athena, Apollo, Diana, Fortuna, Hestia, Hephaestus and Mars, among others. In fact, there are more chapels and shrines for Greco-Roman deities THAN FOR ALL OTHERS COMBINED!!!!!!!!
But I guess I'm not Hellenic or Roman enough, since I also have chapels honoring Hindu and Taoist and Nordic and Celtic deities. And let's not mention the chapels to the loa of Voudoun . . .
I've run into this type of crap before, from Asatruar who objected to my honoring non-Nordic pantheon divinities in the CyberTemple. I'd post their sweet little missive too, only unfortunately it got auto-deleted when I couldn't log into my webmail provider when I was away in India for a month and the system wiped out all my saved messages.
What really GETS me though, is the holier-than-thou attitude.
If one tries to be inclusive, and accomodating to the various paths that the pagan population takes, one gets labeled "just another Generic Pagan, essentially Wiccan" site, to quote the above-referenced letter.
How very, very insulting.
As if by creating a religious site open to all pagan paths, including those that are not necessarily one's own, one diminishes someone else's path.
And for those who DO happen to be Wiccans, how painful to be looked down upon by one's fellow pagans, as witnessed by the denigrating tone of the above letter. As though those who are on the Wiccan path are somehow LESSER than those who follow the Pure Path of Celtic/Norse/Hellenic/Roman Reconstructionism!!!!!
How very . . . FUNDAMENTALIST.
Attitudes like this sicken me. They truly sicken me. I've heard pagans of all different paths complaining for years about CHRISTIAN fundamentalism, yet there are obviously quite a few who have no qualms whatsoever about practicing PAGAN fundamentalism.
People like that make me sick.
Current Mood: angry
Current Music: "Fire in the Head" by Emerald Rose
True, but . . .
By taking this attitude, pagans who surf this ring (especially the newbies) are being excluded from the opportunity to interact with their favored deities online and be exposed to new ones (whether in their tradition or outside it). While there may be many Reconstructionists who frequent this particular ring, there may well be those who are simply curious and bumbled across it while surfing and who might welcome a chance to say hello to less popular deities such as Matangi or Cousin Zaka without the real-life hoops they'd otherwise need to go through at a real world Hindu temple or Voudou peristyle -- if they were even allowed in in the first place!!
What I had found irritating in particular was that the rules were being changed mid-stream, since the prior criteria were not that member sites had to be strict Hellenic or Roman Reconstructionists. I wouldn't have attempted to join were that the case, since most Reconstructionists prefer member sites to be almost exclusively in whatever tradition they are, which mine is not -- deliberately!
I'd also found the new site description
very irritating:Now under new management. A NONWICCAN ring for those with interest in Greek or Roman philosophy / religion / mythology / culture / history and/or those who worship the Greek or Roman gods, following a religion substantially derivative of those traditional in ancient Greece and/or Rome. (Both Pagans and Nonpagans are welcome to join).
The sectarianism inherent in this I find disturbing. Centuries of warfare between Catholic and Protestant Christians and between Shiite and Sunni Muslims show that this is a dangerous path for paganism to begin to follow. The obvious attitude of looking down on those pagans who choose to identify as Wiccans inherent in the description of the ring as being specifically "NONWICCAN" (sic) is a bad, bad, BAD sign of things to come, in my opinion.
I also wonder what kind of welcome pagans who identify as Wiccan would receive in a group such as that and whether a cold-shoulder attitude from the Reconstructionists might leave such a bad taste in their mouths that deities of that pantheon might lose devotees they might otherwise have had, especially for the lesser known ones who are not so popular in Eclectic Wiccan circles, like Pomona and Vertumnus. To me, that would be very, very sad.
Just in case you (or anyone else for that matter) were to think I'm sticking up for Wiccans because I am one myself, I should let you know that I identify as Pagan but NOT Wiccan -- my path is that of the still-living pagan traditions, which are mostly Asian -- I'm more of a Taoist than anything else (with some bits of Shinto and Hinduism thrown in).
I just don't like anyone's path being denigrated is all. I find that PROFOUNDLY irritating.
As you can tell by now, I'm sure!