Over the past few weeks I have witnessed the demonization of Covenant of the Goddess as a result of the epic fail of the National Board’s response the the #BlackLivesMatter movement.  The discourse has degenerated into the use of a broad brush painting the organization as racist, I am saddened and disgusted that our community seems unable to hold accountable those who failed in their leadership rolls while painting the many great members of CoG with the same broad brush.
Let me be clear, I am a huge supporter of many of the Local Councils of CoG. Over the years,  I have developed a deep respect for the work the Local Councils and their members do.  The idea that they are responsible for the insensitive and hurtful statements of the National Board is unreasonable and toxic to our community.
Admittedly, the National Boards actions in engaging in censorship and attacking their critics contributed to this problem.  When they chose to paint the criticisms as an attack on the entire covenant many bought their position and framed the issue as having to do with the entire membership.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  I urge the community to examine their response to this situation and continue to support the work of the local councils; their efforts in interfaith, feeding the hungry and fighting for social justice deserve our respect, not a broad brush stroke coating them with the stain of the actions of others.
The very idea that half a dozen members of the National Board of this revered organization could be so clueless as to the state of social justice in our nation that they could make such a statement is alarming.  The National First Officer and the Public Information Officer are the voices of the national board, they failed, they are responsible and they should resign.  Lets hold those accountable as having a responsibility to take the consequences for there actions.
I would like to believe that Pagans have the insight to see the nuances of this situation.  The craft is about personal responsibility, not burning entire organizations at the stake due to the actions of the few.
As a national solitary,  I recently let my membership in CoG expire, the National Board is responsible for representing me as a member of CoG and I did not feel their actions reflected my values.  Had I been a member of a Local Council, where all the great work of the covenant takes place,  I would have remained a member of  CoG.
For years many respected Elders of CoG have explained to me that they do not become involved in national CoG due to the political infighting and back room deals that take place. I myself, over the past four years adhered to this ethic, it was my personal moral failing that I did so.  If I am a member of an organization I have a responsibility to attempt to change things, I did not and I regret it, as I am sure other Elders in the community do also.
Here is wishing that collectively the great group of Local Councils of CoG have the courage to retake the leadership of this storied Pagan organization, I wish them luck in their endeavor.
#Black Lives Matter

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  • First off, I apologize but I notice little things – you spelled a couple of words wrong " I am saddened and discussed that our community" – I think you meant "disgusted"? and "I would surly have remained" – I think you meant "surely"?

    Anyhow, sorry about that – I did not read your blog to critique it – lol

    I agree that the national CoG made a failed public statement, should they be punished for it? I don't think they should be severely punished for it.It was a mistake, but the level of criticism CoG has received is not in balance to the crime.

    Not always but sometimes I hear people call for justice, and then turn to those who do not apparently stand with them and condemn those who do not stand. Calling them all sorts of nasty names and painting them as worse then the Devil himself.

    This is not right, we do not win over people by bashing our ideologies over their heads, we win because it is right and just and this is what we stand for, for justice and in the end it is actions over words.

    I liked your article it was very good.

  • It is not a matter of punishment. It is a matter of seeking change so that national more accurately reflects the philosophy and goals of the LCs.Peter, I am not sure that the change of which you speak is possible. I looked into the possibility of removing Board members as I feel that this Board has displayed poor leadership and judgement (not only with regard to #blacklivesmatter) , and is actively avoiding seeking input from the membership. Sadly, although there are processes by which members can report on each other in order to trigger a board "investigation" and possible removal, and although there is a no faith process at the local level, the only people who can remove Board members of COG are the Board itself. The only way to get rid of them is to have them step down. And given the level of cluelessness, it does not seem that is likely.

    I appreciate your comments on the LCs. As First Officer of Chamisa Local Council, I am very proud of who we are and what we do. I have been personally embarrassed to be associated in the public pagan mind with an image of an organization that is racist and unwilling to self – examine. And I am not at all sure what to do about that.