Considering ‘Privilege,’ White, Wiccan, and otherwise. Part III: Occult and Spiritual Dimensions

So far I have written as a social scientist, one who has spent much of my life studying human societies, seeking reliable patterns and clear concepts better to understand our world.  But I am also a Pagan, and my outlook is decisively shaped not only by what I have learned as a traditional scholar, but also what I learned as a Wiccan, one who also worked for many years in an African Diasporic healing tradition, as well as shamanic work rooted in Indian traditions.  What I learned here takes my d … [Read more...]

Considering ‘Privilege,’ White, Wiccan, and otherwise. Part II: When the language of privilege works and when it does not

Part II argues the problems with 'Wiccan privilege' as a concept are rooted in the current abuse of the term in social and political analysis.  While the term has a narrowly circumscribed realm where it provides important insights, its expansion beyond this realm has led to considerable confusion and worse.  I use the example of 'White male privilege' to demonstrate this point, focusing on its analytical, moral, and political shortcomings.All else being equal, in America it is better to be b … [Read more...]

Considering ‘Privilege,’ White, Wiccan, and otherwise. Part I: Wiccan privilege

The deepest issues underlying recent arguments over ‘Wiccan privilege’ are rooted in equality’s relation to freedom. Freedom of any sort always generates inequality of some sort. What kind of equality matters and when? What kind of freedom matters, and when? Thinking clearly about equality and freedom is tricky, and this is the most difficult paper I have written for Patheos.The intensity and all too frequent venom I encountered in discussions over ‘Wiccan privilege’ dovetailed with other exp … [Read more...]

A Personal Note on Abortion

Gus diZerega

My previous columns have all given theoretical arguments rebutting claims that women should not have final control over deciding whether or not to carry a fetus to term. I argued that respect for life could not justify such claims, that the pre-existence of entities seeking birth or rebirth could not do so, and that there are no very firm grounds in the Bible to consider a fetus a human being. These columns also demonstrated the leadership of the pro-life movement is not pro-life in any coherent … [Read more...]

On Abortion: A Pagan Ethical Response

Gus diZerega

Our times are characterized by two powerful and divisive ethical issues: abortion and our relations with the other-than-human world.  It is significant that those opposing abortion are usually unconcerned with the well-being of the other-than-human world, but those respecting a woman’s right to choose are often concerned with the other-than-human world as well.  There are exceptions in both directions, but the broad pattern is plain to see. I believe there are profound reasons for this dif … [Read more...]


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