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Star Foster’s “13 Things I LOVE about Pagans!”

December 19, 2010

Here’s her post.

Some of these I agree with. Some of them I don’t.

Some of them I don’t, and also find troubling. I’ll focus on those.

13. Eat, Drink and Be Merry!

Blah blah blah, Pagans are fat and it’s OK. Whatever. That’s what people mean when they call someone “jolly,” right?

Re: “we’re a hoot:” a lot of fun people are Pagan, yeah. A lot of boring, easily-offended people are Pagan too. This one is more stereotype than reality.

12. Ecology is Key

No.

Pagans pay lip service reverence to ecological concerns, to be sure. But I can’t tell you how many Earth-worshippy events I’ve been to where no one carpooled.

Actually, I’d agree that most Pagans’ carbon footprints are low when compared to other Americans, but it’s almost certainly because they’re poor. But even that is an overly positive portrayal of Pagans. So let me be clear: Pagans’ ecological behaviors do not differ in any significant way from the rest of America’s.

11. Drama is Life/Life is Drama

I like this one.

10. Sensual Rites

Don’t care, no comment.

9. Words Are Cheap, Actions Count

Theoretically, hell yes! In practice…no.

I look at this one and say: is she joking? Because Pagans are really known for their punctuality, steadfastness, and respect for others, right? Har har.

Many Pagans I know do what they say they’ll do. But most don’t.

8. Yes or No? How About Both!

This one confuses me. Star seems to shift her tone often, going from the over-enthusiasm of the title (hey, HOW ABOUT BOTH???) to the nervously pedantic (“Blending paths is a difficult thing and not to be undertaken lightly.”)

I’d say this one is a huge can of worms, and I bet Star does too.

In any case, is this “how about both?” thing really all that great? Something we should encourage? I don’t doubt that syncretism is a fact of life in religion. I just think that as a whole, Pagans fucking suck at it.

7. An Harm Ye None, Do What Ye Will

Not my thing, no comment.

6. Smaller Is Better

The main reason we “still don’t find the need for large worship centers with 10,000 participants” is because what we do is not that appealing to most people.

This seems more like an attempt to explain away our failings than anything else.

5. Many Gods, Few Masters

Star phrases this weirdly, but I get her.

I was worried this would be one of those “I may be Pagan, but I bow down to NO ONE!” sort of things. Thankfully it is not.

4. Only I Am Answerable For My Soul

Very nice.

3. We Are All Priests and Priestesses

I get the point, but “priest” and “priestess” are terrible terms to use for what Star is describing.

2. Enheduanna, Pythagoras, Julian, Plotinus, Sallustius, Valiente…

Oh great. Neopagans “claiming” the achievements of ancient Pagans as their own.

There are so many things wrong with this kind of thinking. I hate this needless invocation of “pagan” history.

Geez. The general idea is wrong, but the specific examples she mentions are wrong too! Just wikipedia Plotinus. Does he sound ANYTHING like a modern Neopagan? He of the monotheism and the “inherent distrust of the material?”

Arrgh.

1. You are OK, Just As You Are

…unless you aren’t, yes? I mean, if you’re a shitty person who doesn’t keep his/her word, eats too much, is lazy, etc., then you are not OK. Sorry, but your also being Pagan doesn’t suddenly make the above character traits OK, right?

I understand this isn’t the point Star is making. But I’m not sure most Pagans are capable of distinguishing between the two. I know a lot of Pagans who take the “I am OK just as I am” mantra to mean “I am OK just as I am…thus even though I am slovenly, untrustworthy, and unhealthy, I never need to improve myself.”

TPH

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