Butting Out (Pagan Blog Project, Week 4)

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First of all I am sorry not to be posting my Friday prompt for the Pagan Blog Project until Monday. My family needed me offline, and while I am enjoying my participation in this project, human beings > my weekly Egypto-Samothracian chat session with the computer.

It was also difficult to come up with something I wanted to talk about for the second in the “B” series. I was considering talking about Bithynia, or the various important women (and a town!) named Berenike, but then I got back to the computer after the family business and read a lot of posts from my colleagues and contemporaries about this blogger or that group or this religious leader saying this or that or the other about each other’s practices. It seems that a few bloggers feel the need to tell everybody else what they believe (or don’t), and naturally, this has raised some eyebrows for some, and some tempers for others.

Perhaps it’s ironic that my response to this blanket statement definition, this strange desire to go forth and tell everybody else what to do is to suggest something that is going to sound very much like I’m telling everyone what to do. Oh well. So be it.

My advice: butt out.

Unless your life (or someone else’s) is literally threatened, unless your deities demand that you intervene, and unless there is a clear and compelling reason that someone else’s personal religious experience or lack thereof is your personal business? Butt out. Nobody appointed anybody the pagan police. For people who wail so loudly about how terrible it is to have to submit to religious authority there sure is a lot of authority being thrown around.

If people are doing something else somewhere else, that’s their business. Unless they make it your business? You do not have a right, or even a polite opening, to start sticking your nose into their lives and telling them what to do. If they are not your students, you are not obligated to teach them.

By the same token? If they aren’t your teachers, you aren’t obligated to accept their teaching! This goes both ways.

I don’t understand why I need to be concerned about anyone’s definition of their religion, their beliefs, their spirituality, their ethnicity, their history, their identity, or anything else about themselves, unless it is my job to do that defining for them. And the last time I checked, most adults were expected to be responsible to do that only for themselves.

Perhaps we could spend more time talking about what we believe, or what we do, or what we enjoy, or what we think…rather than bagging on what everybody else is believing or doing or enjoying or thinking. We might even learn something from each other. Wouldn’t that be different?

Place your attention on yourself, and your opinion where it is requested. If it’s not about you, or nobody’s asked for your approval? Then butt out.

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6 thoughts on “Butting Out (Pagan Blog Project, Week 4)

  1. Dyslexic Witch

    Peeps need to focus more on Can, instead of Can’t; as well as minding their own businesses. Someone shares, more often than not, they’re not doing it to be criticized, they’re doing do just to share, to talk, to vent, not to be judged, to get answers or ideas. So many Pagan/Witch Zealots and Fundies nowadays. I think those people just want attention, to be honest. And what do we do with trolls? We starve em. However, it’s important to tell others to not let em bully em.

  2. Thank you- we all need to basic common sense reminder about this. Reminds me of kindergarten, being reminded by the teacher “focus on your own work”. Sometimes I try to defend other people’s religions (or characters) when they are unfairly attacked or correct misinformation when I see it being spread. But mostly I leave it to members of those religions, because it’s not my job. I see it as being a good neighbor, but being a good neighbor also means knowing when offer help/call the cops etc. and when to mind your own business.

  3. FlatlinedGamer

    Thank you for this. I’ve been trying to find a suitable reply to a comment from last year on YT. It’s been bothering me all this time and I never did figure out why they thought it was ok to dismiss what I believe, publicly.

  4. Manly of the arguments involve Alice trying to explain to Bob why he should mind his own shop Instead of telling the rest of us what to think, and Bob coming up with endless reasons why it’s his job to interpret Alice’s and everyone else’s religion in his own terms.

    Yes, it’s probably past time for Alice to give up on correcting Bob, as well.

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