While checking up on Pax’s blog today, I discovered Project Pagan Enough, a new movement started by Pagan blogger Fire Lyte. Fire Lyte offers the following explanation for his reasons for launching this movement:
It has become quite obvious over the past few years that the pagan
community likes to talk the big game of being tolerant and inclusive of
all peoples, but seems to lack that tolerance when the person in
question dresses well or is attractive or is otherwise garbed in a cloak
of ‘mainstream.’ This intolerance seems to be derived from a standpoint
that we, as the pagan community, believe we are ridiculed or ostracized
by the mainstream, thus people that look mainstream must be our enemy.
While I certainly agree with Fire Lyte’s observations, I’d note that I’ve seen the reverse in many instances too. I’ve seen more than one “mainstream” Pagan criticize others for being “too goth” or “too SCA” or “too” many other things. Unfortunately, one of the universal truths is that no matter what we look like or how we choose to act, we humans tend to be critical and of judgmental towards those who look and behave differently. And while it would be nice to believe that those of us who have felt the sting of criticism and judgment wouldn’t dream of inflicting those experiences on others, my own experiences and observations have taught me that this is a pleasant fiction that does not match with our unpleasant reality.
With that in mind, I choose to align my blog with principles of the Pagan Enough Project:
- You are pagan enough, despite how you look, act, smell,
dress, believe, or are.
- You recognize that others are pagan enough despite their
appearance, smell, manner of dress, belief, practice, or other aspect.
- You recognize that you can have an academic debate on the finer
points of belief or practice, but that it does not take away from
someone else’s level of being pagan.
- You welcome, befriend, and encourage others in the pagan community
despite their appearance, dress, or other physical or superficial
- You promise to treat members of other faiths, despite the faith,
with honest-to-goodness fairness, equality, and grace, not judging them
or their faith based on the actions of fringe members of their same
I hereby declare that my priority is in following the path laid out for me by my own gods rather than attempting to direct others in the path they are meant to follow. Finding the path others are to follow is for those people and their gods (if applicable) to work out. While I may offer insight and advice, I shall offer no more than that. And I choose to bless those who choose other healthy and beautiful (recognizing that beauty is in the eye of the beholder) ways of expressing their spirituality rather than trying to force them to meet my standards.