Posts tagged ‘satire’

Requirements of Being Pagan

(Note: this is a lesson in sarcasm & satire)

In the next portion of Approaching Paganism, we’ll learn about some of the requirements of being a Pagan. Yes, as I’ve said before Paganism is a very broad term and there are many ways to be Pagan. But there are certain behavior patterns that we all must observe, or surely our communities and traditions will disintegrate.

  1. Whenever anyone makes a statement like “many Pagans celebrate holiday X”, “X is a common Pagan practice” disregard all qualifiers like “many, some, common” etc. Interpret this as “all Pagans celebrate holiday X or practice Y form of meditation.”
  2. Whatever reasons you were attracted to Paganism and the areas of Paganism you focus on (nature, magic, deities, a particular culture) those must be the reasons everyone is Pagan too! They may claim it’s something else, but clearly they’re just not seeing things clearly, and it is your sworn duty as a Pagan to help them “see the light”. If they resist, they are oppressing you!
  3.  If you are worshiping and praying in a specific way, and others are not, it is your sworn duty to enlighten them to the fact that they aren’t “serious” Pagans. They are lazy, and the Gods don’t love them they way that they love you.
  4. If you are a very mainstream, respectable sort of person .ow that you have arrived on the Pagan scene, everyone needs to accept you as their leader, cut off their beards/dreadlocks/green hair, and cease their poly/kinky/queer ways and stop wasting time praying, casting spells, indulging in cosplay and other childish nonsense (and there isn’t really a difference between these things either!) They need to don business suits, and get Real Grown-up Jobs (seriously they expect to be paid to do art or perform spiritual services! what nonsense!) After much protest, everyone will be grateful to you for reforming them and realize you were right all along!

August 7, 2015 at 1:06 am 2 comments

Polytheist Isn’t Greek for “Reactionary”

We are the Queens and Kings of the Polytheists- a word we act like we invented and have redefined for our purposes

Those silly Pagans only wanted to play- But rest assured, we’re here to Do the Work!

Surely those impious Humanists will soon be struck down by Zeus,

Who needs rights or human dignity? I’m a God-slave!

Born to serve a Higher Purpose, above those mere mortal fools!

Their hubris is not my own.

Silly feminists, getting upset over rapes in myths. Go back to college and take my class if you’re *really* serious!

We must smash the Monotheist Borg! So come join the Polytheist one instead!

Smash capitalism! I already have my Properly Spiritual artsy/academic/activist career. Have you given in to mainstream corporate fear? I’m a full-time mystic in the woods looking down at your plebeian ways. Care for an oracle reading? I’m only a vessel for the Gods, a puny insect they’d squish if I dare disobey. Still, I must be Their favorite!

Puck tells me the moral of this tale-

Discordians, experimental mages, Zen Druids, atheist witches, Radical Faeries (his favorite of course!) all have their role to play in this spiritual ecosystem…don’t forget all those beasts and plants that were not adaptable, that were too choosy in their niches or in finding a worthy mate- they are no longer here. Will that be your fate?

(Oh, does Puck from Shakespeare count as a pop culture being? He is older than Columbia…)

Not much of a poem, and not quite spoken word..but better than a prose rant I think!

June 27, 2015 at 6:12 am 8 comments


Note: This is sarcasm/satire

In one of my UU discussion groups, a couple of times I and others with mental health issues have discussed the support (or lack thereof) in our congregations. Fortunately in mine I feel pretty well supported and I encounter other folks who admit to having similar issues. It probably helps to have a community that tends to be into that…science thing instead of “oh you need to be magically healed/prayed over/exorcised etc.” One suggestion I made to others was networking with UU’s who work in helping or social service professions to get help. Another UU who is a (now retired therapist) kept chiming in and complaining that other congregants and clergy were always asking her for free therapy, and she comes to church to get a break from all that stuff. OK, I get that people should not be continually asked for free professional services- perhaps it should not be treated any differently than asking an accountant you go to church with to do your taxes for free. But still, I was kinda like, umm shouldn’t that be another thread? The No More Free Therapy Sessions Dammit! thread, rather than the I’m Mentally Ill and Some People in my Congregation Don’t Get it thread. Just seemed like there was some un-examined privilege going on there. Also, as a Millennial, I must admit that I didn’t understand the “retired” part. I guess I do have this vague recollection that some people actually stayed employed long enough at a place to gain this legendary thing called…retirement benefits? I’d ask my Baby Boomers parents to explain, but I know they too are pretty baffled by it. I mean, maybe if you work for the federal government for a long time. Damn union-card carrying socialists!

But y’know I thought more about it. I guess I should try having a little more compassion. After all, there is so much stigma in being a psychotherapist. They face discrimination in hiring, housing and all sorts of social services. They are rejected by their families after they discover their true nature as a psychologist. They lose friends after they try to psychoanalyze and diagnose them. They have tons of student loans to pay off. It’s a highly, deeply misunderstood calling that is sometimes criminalized and blamed for mass shootings. Sometimes therapists have their children taken away- just because of their job title! Even if they are undergoing treatment- err I mean continuing education, they may be told that they are not qualified to keep their children unless some expert from the state comes and evaluates them. They may not be allowed to buy guns, due to their past history as psychologists!  And if they don’t subscribe to the accepted popular academic opinions about trendy labels like childhood bipolar disorder and such, they can be labeled “Noncompliant” and refused continued treatment, I mean err continuing education. Then no one will take any of their past work seriously! The worst part is, they get all this heaped upon them, but none of it was their choice! They were born that way! Their brains were just wired or chemically balanced in such a way that they had to becomes psychologists and therapists.

(In all seriousness, I am grateful for the good therapists out there- the ones who listen and make good allies and even the occasional psychiatrist that realizes that he/she/zie is a mere mortal. It is really hard work that they do! And they *do* have tons of student loan debt to pay off!)

March 21, 2015 at 2:15 am 4 comments

Does the Criminal Injustice System Help Protect Our Children?

Trigger warning: discussion of sexual abuse, warning for literalists: major sarcasm ahead

I was planning on writing about sexuality leading up to Beltaine. Sex crime/abuse wasn’t what I was planning on writing about, (and I’m sure I’ll write something in addition that’s more positive) but a publicly Pagan guy just got busted for child porn possession, and there’s a big uproar. Ironically I’d never even heard of him until a while ago, when a couple of other bloggers I read commented on a post he made about how Pagans need to be careful about how they represent the community- criticizing individuals that do comparatively harmless things like dress up like fantasy characters and so forth. Yay hypocrisy! Anyway this is not about him. He should be held accountable, and so should anyone who knew what was going on. And I agree with Conor, that this is good opportunity to become more aware of sexual abuse and rape, and take measures to talk about it openly within our communities- religious and otherwise. I would like to add a “big picture” perspective.

Here in Our Glorious Fatherland* we have less than 5 of the world’s population, but almost a quarter of the world’s prison population. Wow, doesn’t that make you and your children feel safe? To make you feel even safer, most employers ask if you have a criminal record (this has now been banned in a couple of states) and require background checks. Many landlords do this as well. Fortunately, former criminals can easily find ways to get free housing and food with all of the useful productive skills they learn in prison. So, we also have a kick-ass recidivism rate (fancy word for folks going back to prison) and here in Minnesota we have one of the highest rates in the country! Persons that are registered sex offenders- who might’ve done anything from run down the street naked (indecent exposure) to possess child porn, to actually produce it or actually molest/abuse/rape children or adults. And then there’s statutory rape- in some states, there are “Romeo and Juliet” laws that allow for exceptions for couples than are within a particular range of the age of consent- which also varies by state.

The beautiful thing is, laws that control the lives of ex-sex offenders are something that brings liberals and conservatives together. It’s so rare to see, but these brave lawmakers come together to make sure these irredeemable scumbags can’t live within X miles of a school/church/library etc. And in Minnesota we care so much of the safety of our children, that the scariest sex offenders never even get out of prison- with our fine, well-funded MN Sex Offender Program, these lowlifes get only the finest psychological treatment. We can’t be sure if works though, so they never leave! That’s why those filthy socialists over in Britain didn’t allow a person convicted of rape to be extradited to Minnesota, saying his civil rights would be violated. OK, so now you’re getting the idea of the fabulous system we have in place.

So back to ol’ Kenny. He was convicted of child porn possession, remember not production. Should this be considered a crime? It isn’t in some countries. I think production of it definitely should, as it directly means violating the sexual protection of children. It’s also been mentioned that he was a photographer, so it seems pretty likely he may have been taking pictures. People who look at child porn are more likely to also be child molesters, but most of them never act on it. Also, is there much of a separation between porn involving young children vs. teenagers?  Considering how much the media sexualizes teenagers, and even pre-teens at one point do we consider it pornographic? It’s interesting to compare different ideas of sexuality around the world and what is acceptable to show, and at what age. France just banned child beauty pageants. This was surprising to some, coming from a country that is famous for being sex-positive (well kinda sorta) but they did it to protect young kids from being sexualized. Debate about that as you will- I know it’s not going to happen here. Treating kids like prize show dogs is a national past-time.

Remember even if you’re not convicted of a sex crime, merely being accused can get on a record and ruin your career and reputation and well, your life. Frankly, I hate to say it but any man who works with children that are not his own, especially young children is looked upon with at least a little bit of suspicion by American culture. It’s sad but true.

So as you can see things aren’t as morally black and white as they seem. Laws governing sexual behavior how they are enforced are just as messy as sex itself. But I challenge you to think about this- are there better ways for us to prevent sexual abuse- of both children and adults? Could we get psychological help to people who have sexual desire for children, before they act on their desires? (Much as we might get counseling for someone who has a desire to kill but hasn’t done it yet- that doesn’t happen much either) Are former sex offenders all irredeemable? We never ask these questions, because our primary concern is, as it should be for the victims/survivors. To suggest anything other than harsh punishment and status as a permanent social outcast would be ignoring the pain of the victims. This is a false dichotomy, and it’s time we challenged it.

*I invite my readers from outside the Land of the semi-Free to share reflection on how your country deals with sex criminals and laws regulating sexual conduct- for better or for worse.

**Upon reading Conor’s post a second time, I noticed that there have been allegations of abuse by K.K– in fact allegations that have been suppressed by other Pagans, I’m afraid. I hope these are brought into formal legal investigation.


March 29, 2014 at 1:24 am 4 comments

Next Steps in Polytheist/Wiccan Diplomacy

When people get too serious and grouchy- online or off, I often find one of the best ways to respond is with humor. In the spirit of Druidic satire with a modern twist, Alison Leigh Lilly has lightened the mood with a Polytheist Rap Battle.

On the more serious side, there was a much-needed discussion about Wiccan(ate) privilege at Pantheacon, Finnchuill & Lupus both describe their experiences.  Unfortunately it didn’t seem to go as well as it could have, but it’s a start that the different factions agreed to meet and talk about it in person.  There was a lack of understanding about what Wiccan(ate) privilege really is among many of the people there and so it was not truly recognized as being a problem. Anyway read their accounts, I wasn’t there.

Recons & polytheists typically know more about Wicca and similar religions than those adherents know about ours. Even those of us who didn’t go through a eclectic Neo-Pagan or Wiccan phase before settling on our current tradition still  get a lot of exposure to it from other Pagans and the media. Whereas, unless you make an effort to learn about our religions, it is easier for other Pagans to be blissfully unaware of them. Lupus mentions making many attempts to invite others to rituals, read books, blogs etc. about Lupus’ religion, Ekklesia Antinou and Celtic Reconstructionism without getting much response.

Earlier on Ruadhan made some suggestions for etiquette and hospitality at Pan-Pagan events to be more inclusive of polytheist and reconstructionists- I think they are quite reasonable. I observe all of the etiquette that I am aware of or that is explained to me at Wiccan rituals, it is perfectly fair to expect the same in return.

I think at this point we are going to need allies within Wicca and similar faiths- there are some recons/polytheists who also identify/belong to such traditions, they would be natural bridge-builders. Also, those of us in ADF- an organization with a unique place between Neo-Paganism and reconstructionism, can do a great to help as well. Diplomacy is a traditional role of Druids after all.

February 23, 2014 at 9:20 am Leave a comment


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