So, there’s this thing.
And a lot of various pagans (and likely more than just pagans — that’s right, this has us rubbing elbows with the monotheisms of choice! *gasp!*) are up in arms about it. (well, not literally. Unless you count arm flailing) And I’m trying to understand it, but . . . I don’t.
First: it’s clever. I’ve seen similar demonstrations to raise awareness about the sheer scale of human trafficking. It’s attention grabbing, which is the whole point. And it is, or was, thematic to the time period this went up — before Halloween. Spooky. I can only applaud their cleverness.
Second: nothing here is new, or really all that news-worthy. The agnostics, atheists, and humanists think the gods were never real/are dead-outdated ways of understanding life, the universe, and everything? Wow! That’s completely . . . not news. Oh, as theists of whatever stripe we are now going to have to act as representatives of our faith/beliefs? It is now on us to show the world who and what we believe in, revere, love, and also why we do so? Why do I have to start doing that now? Oh, right, because I’ve already been doing that, and so has essentially every other theist of any stripe when coming into contact with any other sort of ‘other’. Oh, my god has a gravestone! He now verges on the edge of non-existence, because of the magical power of groupmind and photos on the internet. NOW he is threatened, not the during the how many years of obscurity, temple destruction, and rise of monotheism.
If they were impinging upon the rights of theists to worship as they will, I could join with the arm flailing and the uproar. If they were harming or killing those who didn’t agree, I’d be right there with you. That’s still happening in places, and those are the incidents that get my ire up. Not this. Not people expressing their views in a clever manner. This? This is why I write about my spiritual life. This is why I’m out as a pagan, a polytheist, a daughter of Odin and a wife of Poseidon. This is why I support religious freedom for *all* religions, and why I’m committed to spreading awareness when and where I can. Because this? This a reason to be vocal, to be visible, to nurture intra- and interfaith discussion — to keep us from ending up in a place where we are killed or harmed for being Kemetic or Heathen or Wiccan or Jewish or Christian or Voudoun or Hindu or atheist, absolutely. But to be angry? To be up in arms? To be offended and incised? I just don’t see the usefulness of it.
Speak out about it, sure. That’s our right as much as it’s their right to have this clever, clever display. Remind the world that, well, no, we’re still here. Loads and loads of people believe in loads of different gods, and our experiences are just as valid, are just as authentic, deserve just as much to be out there, and then? Get your voice out there. And, maybe try to remember that trying to squelch the values and experiences of others does not make you better than those who would silence us. In other words: be the change you want in the world; don’t be just more of the same.