Judgment- it’s not always a bad thing
A common value I see across Neo-Pagan communities is that of being nonjudgmental. Many feel like we have been unfairly judged, not just for our religions but for our sexual and gender identities, life choices, clothing and personal ornamentation and so on. The problem is when people interpret being nonjudgmental as accepting that “anything goes”. Now that we’re no longer in Singapore, we’re in Amsterdam*. ( See note below) Everyone accepts everyone else for who they are and what they do (so long as its not directly hurting anyone) Criticism, no matter how sensitively phrased or constructively made, is seen as being arbitrarily mean and judgmental. Ironically this ends up being just as tyrannical as whatever Evil/Theocratic/Patriarchal/Capitalist/Meat-Eating etc. (name your favorite bug-a-boo) society we’re trying to reject. It’s the ideological tyranny of political correctness, of fearing that somewhere, someone might be offended. People will get offended and feelings will be hurt, no matter what. Some people just seem to want to be offended, they have a persecuted martyr complex. That’s their problem, let’s not let a few people make us feel that we need to tip-toe around them.
But if we approach each other with an attitude of respect, then I believe we can constructively judge each others’ ideas and actions (which is not the same as the person) and challenge each other to think critically, become better people and build stronger communities.
This post is part of the Pagan Blog Project
**Metaphor note: Singapore- a country with very strict laws, Amsterdam, a city in the Netherlands known for its liberal laws regulating drugs & sex work. I’m comparing this to a cultural setting which is a socially restrictive to one which is very “anything goes”.