Alternate Title: Religion is dicks.
It was recently written that as a “hard” polytheist, you will not be accepted in modern Paganism because you are, well, a hard polytheist. That no matter what you say, you can’t get through to non-hard polytheists because “they can tolerate everything — except our existence”.
Bollocks. Bollocks, I say.
The first reason I could point out that this is inaccurate would be to take a page from Tess Dawson’s recent post where she states:
There is no such thing as “soft polytheism,” and there is no such thing as “hard polytheism,” since the previous terms monism and dualism cover “soft polytheism,” while the term polytheism covers ideas presented under “hard polytheism.” It’s helpful when we use consistent terminology and when when use the appropriate terms for particular concepts.
There is a recent push to better define our terms. Many Pagans and polytheists seem to believe that in order for this “situation” (which, there wouldn’t be a situation if people didn’t make it into a situation) to get better, is to better define things. To draw boxes around our words and our sects so that we can better discuss things.
And I do think that these folks have a point, which is ironic considering my recent “discussion” where my entire point became invalidated over an apparent inability to properly define a word – but at the end of the day, my problem with the above statement isn’t the terminology.
In fact, I don’t think terminology is the problem at all.
The second and more important reason that this statement about “hard” polytheists not being accurate is to be found in the second rule of Kemeticism - Don’t be a dick.
Now, just so we are all clear here, when I say “dick” I am referring to the slang form of the word, not the anatomy to be found on a male. And just so we are extra clear, here is a definition of what “dick” means when used in a slang format:
Now, I don’t know if its just a case that other religions don’t have this “don’t be a dick” clause in their religion’s tenets, and if that’s why a large majority of Pagans, polytheists – hell, people - act like dicks, but I think its safe to say that maybe, just maybe, we’d all be doing much better if more faiths adopted it as a way of life.
And here is why:
Terms are useful. Yes.
Information and education is useful. Yes.
But neither of these is useful if:
- The person explaining the terms is being a dick about it.
- The person being explained to is being a dick.
We can have common ground all we want, but if you are being a dick- none of the information is going to get through. End of story.
And to bring it back around to my original point- the reason many “hard” polytheists are not being accepted is because they are being dicks. Being a polytheist (hard, soft, or whatever) is not grounds to be disliked.
But being a dick is.
The saying “you catch more flies with honey” comes to mind, and while I fully understand that sometimes you can’t always be nice- sometimes you have to be firm- there is never an excuse to a complete and utter dick about something. And if there is anything that has seemingly become rampant within the Pagan/polytheistic community as of late, it’s being a dick.
And since I’m not one to point fingers at a problem without proposing a solution, here is my suggestion to all of us in all of our shades of polytheism. Instead of banging our heads against the wall trying to help others “see the light” or convincing people to conform to a set of narrow beliefs (which conveniently line up with your beliefs), let’s instead focus on not being dicks. Focus on learning how to communicate better or learn how to leave your ego at the door.
Because, I mean- if it is “all about the gods”, imagine what you could get done in a day if you weren’t running around trying to shove your dick in everyone’s face? Imagine the progress all of us could make- not just with our gods, but with each other.
Perhaps we could be using July to work on that, instead.