I said I wouldn’t get into this, but…
Once again, various corners of Pagan internet spaces have been riven with infighting, insults and gossip. Polytheists versus atheists, archetypalists versus literalists, reconstructionists versus revivalists, and it’s getting silly.
In fact, no, it’s not getting silly, it’s getting damaging. Look, we’re a small enough minority as it is without splitting ourselves even further into smaller and smaller groups (shades of Monty Python and the Judean People’s Front) who all hate each other.
While some Pagans are busy drawing battle lines, declaring war and building walls to keep out anyone who doesn’t fit their doctrinal purity (an idea anathema to Paganism in the ancient world and one which as Ronald Hutton said “evokes the smell of disinfectant and the sound of jackboots”), we forget that we have bigger problems.
Pagans are still persecuted, and I don’t just mean the Yazidis in the Middle East being slaughtered by ISIS, or the children killed in Africa for “witchcraft”. I mean the people in the UK and US who lose their jobs once they are outed as Wiccan, the parents who lose custody in divorce cases because of their beliefs, the families whose homes and businesses are attacked with bricks and petrol bombs for their religion.
And on top of this we have devastating climate change, deforestation, extinction, overpopulation: things that earth-centred Pagans should be on the frontlines fighting.
To tackle any of these issues we need to be united. What makes us Pagan isn’t what we believe, or how many gods (if any) we worship, or what race we are, or how we practice. What makes us Pagan is simply that we declare ourselves to be.
That means polytheists, atheists, Wiccans, Asatru, Druids, conservatives, liberals, whatever. We’re all Pagan. More than that, we’re all human.
So, please, can we stop throwing insults, threats and curses (magical and profane) at each other, recognise that what unites us is more important than what divides us, and stand together against the real issues we all face instead of creating imaginary ones of our own.