I am supremely disturbed by a certain trend I am seeing in the pagan community. Naturalist pagans or Atheopagans are to my understanding a group of pagans that believe that the world is enough for them and that supernatural beings are not needed for them to create a personal practice that is both valid and satisfying. Theopagans are pagans that the world around them is part of a larger cosmos made up of things seen and unseen, and this interaction between is part of a personal practice that is also both valid and satisfying.
I have no issue with this, it’s their way to view the world and it may be different than mine but it is still valid.
What I do take issue with is when someone, anyone really of a different point of view comes and tries to say that either view is invalid at best and at worst they are delusional or stupid for believing as they do.
I have been recently in an argument with such a person and while I ended the discussion with wanting to agree to disagree I still think that there is an issue that needs to be addressed.
I give respect to all walks of life, whether I agree and understand them or not. I expect the same in return, that is the only way we as humans can safely coexist.
One argument brought up was that there is a dichotomy in some pagan circles, that while theists can express their views as fact, others like Atheopagans are not allowed to do the same even to the point of hostility.
This is a valid reason to be angry, if your point of view is dismissed out of hand because it is different there is a problem.
That double standard does exist and further divide our already chaotic community.I love that paganism allows for so many different paths to walk alongside one another, but when a particular group is not even allowed in the conversation there is something wrong to put it simply.
I don’t know what to call this kind of discrimination but it needs to stop, at both ends.
Not only do the Theists pagans need to stop criticising the Atheopagans for their lack of belief or imagination but the Atheopagans need to stop looking down on Theopagans for their lack of Logic or Understanding of how the world works.
None of us has the right to put someone down in order to bring ourselves higher.
We as a community need to build bridges and not walls. Especially considering the climate of the world today, we do not need another form of division or strife when there are so many already.
We need to bring everyone into the conversation, welcome everyone regardless of our beliefs to enjoy the hospitality at our fires.
Hospitality is a key trait in my path as an ADF Druid, one that I take very seriously. For someone not to be welcome at my fire, it takes more than a difference in beliefs. There is a point when someone will be disallowed from enjoying my company and friendship but that is not it.
As long as someone is willing to accept that while different my beliefs are valid I am willing to do the same.
Once you get into the name calling and tearing down that is where I draw my line.