The Lunatic Fringe
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," an equal opportunity praise and worship site. If it's religion, and you've got it, we're cool with it!
Jason at The Wild Hunt recently posted about the small but highly publicized group of white racists who have appropriated Pagan worship of various Northern European pantheons, particularly the Celtic and Asatru deities. I guess the fractured logic is that these religions served Caucasians, and no Africans, in the distant past.
This is a distressing development, to be sure, but it's also indication that some bored gods are being relieved of boredom.
I can't think of a large mainstream religion that doesn't have a lunatic fringe. And by lunatic fringe, I mean people who use the religion for evil purposes. Those evil purposes almost always include bigotry, a sense of superiority based upon religious beliefs. Sometimes it dovetails with racial hatred, sometimes it casts a broader net. The guy who tattoos a symbol of Thor on his bicep might, if he lived in Afghanistan, join Al Quaeda.
Trouble is, these racist so-called Pagans get a disproportional amount of press and air time. Those of us who deplore bad behavior that reflects poorly upon our deities must exert every effort to discredit our lunatic fringe. We must also seek good press whenever we can get it. And that means, tolerance, tolerance, tolerance! If we can't do anything else right, let's at least respect every faith, creed, race, and choice of upholstery, whether we agree with the adherents or not.
It might behoove us to create some sort of provisional excommunication for people who worship our deities for the wrong reasons. I say "provisional" because I think anyone can have a change of heart and endeavor to behave better. So personally, I wouldn't heave a racist Druid to the curb permanently. I would just say, "Don't claim to be a Druid while you've got those dreadful duct tape patches on your settee! Cover those cushions properly, and then come see me."
The good news: Some gods and goddesses who were bored aren't bored anymore.
The bad news: Some people worshiping those deities are doing it for the wrong reasons.
The solution: Be respectful and tolerant yourself, and be the most vocal critic of your lunatic fringe.
Labels: bored gods