Mea Culpa

Mea Culpa June 10, 2013

Much wiser and cooler heads than mine have pointed out that my last post was fanning the flames.  I had hoped to call certain parties to account for behavior I considered reproachable.  But seriously, who do I think I am?  In addition, my response could itself be construed as a personal attack.  Worse, it could be mistaken representative of other humanistic or archetypal Pagans.  I have long said that bloggers who have a significant following should be held to a higher standard. Now, I realize, that includes me, too.  In addition to the community fallout, personally, this is all distracting from my own Pagan practice, which is what I started this blog to write about.

This is me.

Time to get back to being the Allergic Pagan.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Thank you, John.

  • I had a feeling this was coming next — and I’m glad to see it. When I read your “attack” piece, my first reaction was to cheer, because you said a lot of what I was feeling, because I feel I’m on your side in this. But my second reaction was “oh crap.” It’s funny and sad and revealing just how tribal we can get, myself included, and I mean tribal in the bad way, not the good. What has most impressed me about your writing here lately was that you seemed to achieve some real understanding from and of perspectives radically divergent from your own. That’s rare. And that’s what made your attack so surprising and disappointing. Again, I’m glad to see you have realized your mistake. That’s tough but necessary. I hope you can learn from this moment; I feel I have.

    • I definitely should have slept on it.

      • Bianca Bradley

        It wasn’t all that attack oriented. It was a critique. Other theologians get in worse flame wars then this. Why should Pagans be any different.

        Nor is conflict a bad thing.

        You didn’t call Krasskova names, you critiqued her. While I would disagree with and have disagreed and said it was a molehill, Krasskova could use a hard critique. Frankly, who are any of us, who teach, who throw out theological opinions out, to not deserve a critique.

        • I agree. But there was a tone to the piece that was unnecessary and unproductive. I have since revised the post and toned if down a notch.

  • “Could be construed as a personal attack”? Maybe this blog should be renamed “The passive-aggressive Pagan.”

    • Of course, when you feel like you’re defending yourself, it doesn’t seem like you’re attacking anyone. I felt attacked by Galina’s call to arms. She apparently felt attacked enough to publish her call to arms. And round and round we go.

  • Sharon

    While I think the hate is coming from the “other” side, I’m glad you are backing off. This debate isn’t fruitful in the least.

  • You missed the right tone, possibly, but still an accurate appriasal. You’ve had your say, and to keep it going is just talking around each other and won’t get you anywhere.

  • I agree with the above commentor (missed the right tone) – but I also say that while cheering on what you wrote.

    That said – your one post seems to have inflamed the polytheist circles all over again, with their cries of being bullied and harassed. Maybe, if the past weeks had played out differently, I would agree with them. But I don’t. You wrote one post, highlighting the many vile comments someone has made and the problematic behavior that is being condoned, and you’re apologizing for being rude. I don’t think pointing out what people have actually said is a bad thing, when those words are problematic.

    But I can’t help but feel that you’re pointing out that a well-known voice is behaving badly is at the same level as the harassment Galina and her friends do to those who disagree with them – weeks of spam comments, harassment, deriding people’s intellect and mocking them, publicly humiliating them as best they can, threatening them…

    I think it’s good you called the behavior out. All this said, I hope your own practice flourishes and goes well.

  • Northern_Light

    It was good of you to do this. I read your other post and I feel like I have to echo one of the last people to comment that Galina Krasskova is not exactly in the mainstream of heathen thinking. Also, to say that the idea of her speaking for heathenry in any capacity makes me profoundly uncomfortable. And that’s about as polite as I’m capable of being about that individual. It bothers me that there’s such a degree of disconnect between Neo-Pagan spaces and Heathen ones that hers can be taken as a “heathen” opinion and her words given some degree of weight by other Pagans that… well, they aren’t given by heathens. She most decidedly does not speak for me, nor any heathen I know, nor would she be welcome in any of the heathen spaces, online or off, where I spend time.

    The subject of the nature of the gods has come up a few times lately in heathen spaces, and responses of “I don’t know” or “I don’t think the gods exist outside of the human mind” aren’t at all unusual responses among heathens, and honestly there’s some suspicion of people who are too loud about representing the Gods. By which I don’t mean deep personal devotion, but the kind of “Odin speaks to me every day and told me to make this sandwich– and condemned your opinion!” thing that seems to crop up among some people. It’s all too easy to justify misbehavior by saying your god told you to do it. “It accords with the worldview of our ancestors because…” is a better justification for a practice to be taken up by a group, in the eyes of many mainstream heathens– particularly reconstructionist-minded heathens– than saying your god told you to do it. Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t, but short of getting in your head, nobody can verify that. People who become respected as Thorsmen or Freyaswomen or the like are people who earn a good reputation in their community and whose deeds accord with the known lore of the deity they serve (e.g. a Tyrsman who breaks the law is pretty darn suspect as a Tyrsman). But when that happens, it’s just like anything else in heathenry. It happens because of what the person does, not because of the claims they make.