Personal Agreements

Greatness shall come from concrete actions and words, from ethics and the implementation of those ethics. It is not handed down from the gods or spirits. Greatness is what we do, not a gift from unseen forces.

Exploiting the violence and suffering of others, especially those already being fetishized and victimized by my culture, is wrong. It is especially wrong to exploit such suffering to recruit people to my gods and religion. My gods experience suffering and victimization and violence – they do not seek to exploit it from the comforts of their living rooms.

Inciting violence against those who hold different theological positions than myself simply because they are different shall have me kneeling at my altar in shame. Implying violence against those already suffering because they have failed my gods shall have me kneeling at my altars begging forgiveness from my gods.

And may I always give the gods a bite of any cheeseburger I’m fortunate enough to consume.

May my critiques be based not in whether someone personally irritates me but on their words, their actions, and their ethics.

May I criticize friends as well as I do those who I would call enemies. May not I assume my friends are above reproach. May I not assume that I am above reproach. May I not assume anyone is incapable of mistakes. May I never sacrifice my ethics for the sake of friendship.

I shall not use my faith as an excuse to fetishize violence. I shall not victimize the recent dead further by claiming their deaths were deserved. I shall not claim the suffering of human beings is punishment for failing to follow the proper gods.

I shall not imply that there are ‘true’ gods.

I will remember that even when the god whom I adore and live is full in me and overflowing that my words are my own, my actions are my own, and responsibility lies with me. For if I were to strike someone when full of Him I would be responsible, and so it will be with my words.

And, lastly – I will always have more compassion for the suffering human in front of me than the petty gods above me. Love of the gods comes easily to me – love of my fellow human does not. I know which one I value, for it is in that difficulty that I find greatness.

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About Aine

Aine Llewellyn is a 20 year old girl creature currently mucking about in southern Arizona. She enjoys the winters and rain but can’t stand the heat. She is a difficult polytheist that natters on and on about her faith.

  • Alioth

    *claps*

  • Bianca Bradley

    This post is condescending. If you are going to call someone out, then own up to it and do it and not in a passive aggressive way, that somehow you make your ethics better. This does nothing more then add to asinine flame wars. It is petulant.

    Two, the word you use, does not mean what you think it means. World English Dictionaryfetishize or fetishise (ˈfɛtɪʃˌaɪz) — vb( tr ) to be excessively or irrationally devoted to (an object, activity, etc) fetishise or fetishise — vb fetishi’zation or fetishise — n fetishi’sation or fetishise

    Nothing the person you are writing against comes close to that.

    Nor does what the person wrote, even come close to trying to get worshipers. It’s a stark reminder that HEY! Freya, has no jurisdiction over in this country.

    If you are going to disagree, then disagree with the author. Don’t try to make yourself better. This is the type of stuff, that makes me very glad, I am discerning over what Pagans I invite into my life.

    • Aine

      I don’t think my ethics are better. They are completely different, and I’m sorry it frustrates you that I voice that difference.

      • Bianca Bradley

        It doesn’t frustrate me. You are putting emotions on me that I do not feel, which is not your right.

        Your tone, irritates me and disgusts me. It is petulant and condescending. I do not like the passive aggressive stuff.

        On top of it all, if you are allowed to speak for your Gods, so is the person you are referencing. Gods are not staple easy buttons. There is context that you are not looking at.

        It would be one thing, if you actually did a valid criticism. This post of yours is not a criticism, this is the start of another flame war.

        • Aine

          I actually wrote that, even when I am possessed, I must speak for myself.

          I’m sorry you’re offended by what I said.

          • Bianca Bradley

            I didn’t say, in my critique what you wrote above is what your Gods said. I said if YOU are allowed to speak for your Gods, as a priest, then what inspired this post is as well.

            Now I know my grammar is craptastic on certain days, but what I wrote should not be that easy to misconstrue.

            Are you really sorry that I’m offended, or are you just being polite?

          • Aine

            I’m…sorry you didn’t like my apology?

          • Krystal Henderson

            I didn’t find it condescending at all, and I also wasn’t under the impression that Aine was at all speaking for her gods. No one is above critique, and I think she did the classy thing by not naming names.

          • Bianca Bradley

            I am confused by it. If you aren’t sorry but are being polite, why? Two, it can read the wrong way to my type of personality.(Interpersonal communication and some courses in communication would help. People speak differently, and you write to a bigger audience)

            I read your personal blog. I have no beef with you writing what you wrote there, that’s your space. Here however you have a sorta mantle of authority. By writing what you wrote here, you are mixing your politics and your personal ethos and throwing down a gauntlet, without a way for the person to defend themselves. That’s uncool.

            I think you also reacted, without doing diligent research. Not on the person you are reacting to, but the culture of the Gods that this person is a Priestess of. Some Gods take being called Petty better then others. Asherah I believe would be more forgiving then Morrigan.

          • Aine

            My ethics come from my religion. It would be silly to ask that I separate my ethics…which come from my religion…from this religious blog.

          • Bianca Bradley

            Which is fine but mixing in your politics into your religious writing has Pro’s and Con’s. It hurts your objectivity. It makes it very hard to see any other side, or view. It gives you tunnel vision. Take an objective look at Southern Baptists, which intermix religion and politics.

            So no, it isn’t silly to ask you to be more objective, to take more time before writing emotionally on Patheos. It isn’t silly to ask you to consider the context or the culture. Or for that matter to understand that just because you have a set of ethics, others don’t necessarily have to follow them.

            You didn’t address the whole, throw down the gauntlet, or that the person you were reacting against, didn’t really have the ability to defend themselves.

            In short to take a step back every so often.

          • Aine

            I think you didn’t read the title of this piece, which makes dialoging with you rather pointless. I didn’t claim others had to follow them. This post is literally titled ‘personal’ agreements.

          • Bianca Bradley

            Except where is this piece published? On Patheos vs your blog.

          • Aine

            …this is my blog on Patheos, where I blog about my religion. You’re going to be blocked now, since conversation with you isn’t useful.

            Edit: It’s kind of telling that you haven’t called out any of my other personal pieces here on Patheos. If you’re going to make an argument, at least make it a good one.

          • SillyGO_ose

            Coming from a brand new view, I didn’t feel this was throwing down any gauntlets, or inciting any ‘flame wars’ – she was stating a personal commentary about what she expects of herself and her own ethics – completely valid in a place such as this. I see no blame, no names. Perhaps she had a person in mind, but it seems to come from a very personal space with no specific direction or judgment of anyone else.

            You seem very angry, and it might be wise for you to take a step back yourself and see what it is that you’re raging against.

          • Aine

            Thank you.

  • No.

    Everyone knows the BS you constantly pull… Just saying. You aren’t hiding behind whatever fancy names and made up pronouncements you think trump other people’s religions. EVERYONE knows your shit by now. Nice try with the passive aggressive Holier than Thou shit you constantly throw out on this blog though. It’s cute.

    • Aine

      Do you have any arguments that aren’t personal attacks? If you do, I’d love to dialog!

      I’m interested in what made up pronouncements you’re referencing? If you’re referring to my gods and spirits and the religion I’m crafting, that’s fine! Not everyone has to believe what I do. That’s one of the biggest differences I have with most modern polytheists. Anyone that doesn’t worship in the Otherfaith doesn’t have to believe what we do, and even in the Otherfaith we have a great variety of belief and approach to how the spirits are.

      I do think it’s interesting you say that I think my religion trumps other people’s – quite the opposite! Since the Otherfaith is polytheist, it can’t really be viewed as any more universally correct than any other religion. It’s just correct for the Four Gods and the people who want to worship them. I was just writing the other day to someone who wanted to know how the Otherfaith would look as a secondary/tertiary or non-primary faith. As long as the ethics of the Otherfaith and the other faiths the practitioner practices don’t have huge conflicts, I don’t see any problem, and I doubt anyone else would either! I certainly think the Otherfaith has strengths that some other religions, especially in modern Pagandom, lack or haven’t totally explored, which is why I’m bringing it forth.

      I do wonder what this BS is. Is it standing up for my ethics and not backing down when being stalked online? If you’d like to raise specific things you take issue with, I’m all ears! We can all improve and change, after all :)


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