“Who wants to live in a ghetto, anyway?”

That’s the question at the heart of this thoughtful and challenging piece by Star Foster, who toils over at the Pagan Portal here at Patheos (and who, I should add, is a great gal, to boot!)  I’m not in the habit of posting links to pieces by Pagans, but I thought this one worth thinking about, because it touches on something we have to contend with as Catholics, too.

Periodically, people grumble about all the other religions and belief systems on display here at Patheos — we do run the gamut! — and I think Star could speak for many of us in articulating what we’re trying to do here, and how we’re trying to peacefully co-exist, and what we hope to gain from this enterprise.  In one way or another, for better or for worse, we’re each striving to be another voice in the noisy Areopagus of the Internet.

Read on:

A diverse bunch of folks running around the site, and sometimes running into each other, can make for headaches now and again. Giving Pagans a platform to speak on doesn’t make Patheos popular with some folks, including folks who buy ad space. And giving Evangelicals, Catholics and atheists a platform to speak authentically from can make Pagans uncomfortable at times.

There have been times here when I have felt like I was holding two barking dogs at bay and my arms were getting tired. There have been times I’ve had to explain that censorship in the name of political correctness is not what Patheos is about. This isn’t a place where people of all faiths hold hands and sing Kumbayah. It’s a place where people express their faith passionately, and I love that. We are multi-faith, not interfaith.

There have also been times when I’ve had very pointed conversations with Patheos HQ to stand up for my community and writers. Luckily, this has never resulted in my receiving the sack, and Patheos has defended me just as much as I have defended them. They are good people, even though they sometimes need words like egregoreand gythia explained to them. The Pagan Channel here has been good for Patheos, a bit of sharp spice and surprising sweetness that offers a counterpoint to the sea of monotheism, even though it truthfully isn’t a big revenue generator.

The other day in a meeting my Catholic co-worker said something that has remained with me. She said that she had to remind her community that the Catholic Channel on Patheos is not a Catholic ghetto, but that it’s a robust part of a diverse faith community, and who wants to live in a ghetto anyway?

Read the rest here.

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