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Author Topic: Which Pagan religions are NOT nature-earth based?  (Read 20332 times)
RandallS
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« Reply #30: May 04, 2008, 10:34:31 pm »

What you're talking about is a *discussion* and those aren't the problem. I will never EVER be civil to some jackass who thinks he knows my beliefs better than I do stuffing me in some convenient box. If I'm supposed to be, well, that's just too bad. I've been doing this for far too many years to tolerate someone doing this to me.

This is what I don't think some in this thread are getting. We don't object to discussions of what nature-based means or is, or even a discussion what religions qualify or do not qualify as nature-based (and why/why not). However, the minute a discussion transforms into someone not of a religion telling those who are of that religion that they are nature-based when they say they aren't (or vice-versa), a line has been crossed and a number of us are going to go ballistic from previous encounters which such people and their agendas.
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« Reply #31: May 04, 2008, 10:44:03 pm »

This is what I don't think some in this thread are getting. We don't object to discussions of what nature-based means or is, or even a discussion what religions qualify or do not qualify as nature-based (and why/why not). However, the minute a discussion transforms into someone not of a religion telling those who are of that religion that they are nature-based when they say they aren't (or vice-versa), a line has been crossed and a number of us are going to go ballistic from previous encounters which such people and their agendas.

Bingo.

There's a world of difference between talking about something and being told you ARE something whether you are or not.
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« Reply #32: May 04, 2008, 11:04:42 pm »

There's a world of difference between talking about something and being told you ARE something whether you are or not.

 I completely agree, but thanks for clarifying. As I've said before, I have this special power where I just don't hear or see the people who annoy me, so I guess I don't see this kind of thing much Wink
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  And the power of Earth,
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« Reply #33: May 05, 2008, 11:17:24 am »

However, the minute a discussion transforms into someone not of a religion telling those who are of that religion that they are nature-based when they say they aren't (or vice-versa), a line has been crossed and a number of us are going to go ballistic from previous encounters which such people and their agendas.

And what makes me wary about (though not dead-set against) discussions of what nature-based is, is that it's sometimes easy to float across that line without realizing it.  Sad  If you start saying nature-based is X, Y and Z, and there's someone who does X, Y and Z but doesn't consider themselves nature-based...    Shocked

Which isn't to say the discussion couldn't stay just about what is/isn't by simple means of replying with the reason why that someone doesn't think X, Y and Z make them nature-based.  But it's very easy to get flare-ups that way unintentionally.  It's a sticky subject and difficult to handle, especially in a place like this where there are many long-time non-nature-based members for whom it's a long-standing sensitive issue.
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« Reply #34: May 05, 2008, 01:26:35 pm »

And what makes me wary about (though not dead-set against) discussions of what nature-based is, is that it's sometimes easy to float across that line without realizing it.  Sad  If you start saying nature-based is X, Y and Z, and there's someone who does X, Y and Z but doesn't consider themselves nature-based...    Shocked

Which isn't to say the discussion couldn't stay just about what is/isn't by simple means of replying with the reason why that someone doesn't think X, Y and Z make them nature-based.  But it's very easy to get flare-ups that way unintentionally.  It's a sticky subject and difficult to handle, especially in a place like this where there are many long-time non-nature-based members for whom it's a long-standing sensitive issue.

And yet, no one in this thread actually did any of that. There was no finger pointing or attempts to pigeonhole anyone/anything(not that I saw, anyway), so why even bring it up? 
I think Rose has a point. I constantly see this bitterness in many of the threads I participate in here.
This is supposed to be the forum where people don't have to sugar coat everything, granted -   but then, as a newbie here, anymore I feel as if I have to tiptoe on eggshells because at any moment, a regular or old timer is going to go defensive or even ballistic because I asked a question or said something that was misconstrued, or because I simply touched on a nerve.  I find myself sugarcoating the hell out of everything now, and I'm not even sure it helps any.  There is a lot of anger here.


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« Reply #35: May 05, 2008, 02:03:44 pm »

And yet, no one in this thread actually did any of that. There was no finger pointing or attempts to pigeonhole anyone/anything(not that I saw, anyway), so why even bring it up? 

I didn't say anyone in this thread had or had not done anything.  I was speaking theoretically about what could all too easily happen in the type of thread proposed, a discussion about the definition of "nature-based", which while related to this thread is not this thread.  I didn't think we were speaking about this thread specifically anymore, but about how some of us feel about the whole "nature-based" conversation.  The answer to "why bring it up" can be found in that very discussion; the reasons we are wary of it are the very reasons why we feel the need to speak up when the term does surface here.

In addition, my entire point was that in that sort of conversation where you're trying to define a term that has become a sore spot for people, it's entirely too easy to think people have been pigeonholing or pointing fingers when in fact they haven't.

Quote
This is supposed to be the forum where people don't have to sugar coat everything, granted -   but then, as a newbie here, anymore I feel as if I have to tiptoe on eggshells because at any moment, a regular or old timer is going to go defensive or even ballistic because I asked a question or said something that was misconstrued, or because I simply touched on a nerve.  I find myself sugarcoating the hell out of everything now, and I'm not even sure it helps any.  There is a lot of anger here.

I'm not sure what to tell you here.  I don't think there is a lot of anger in general, but I think that there are a few issues that there are a lot of anger and resentment and bitterness towards.  I don't know if you've just lucked into accidentally hitting more of them than usual or what, but I don't think there's such a level of generalized anger here.  And yes, if you bring those touchy subjects up, you're going to get a reaction.  There's not much to be done about this; the ill feelings are not going to go away, being as they are things that have built up over years (and in some cases decades) of constantly having to deal with the same misconceptions over and over again, and there's not a handy way to warn new posters about them.  (I mean, I suppose we could do a new FAQ or sticky post on it, if someone had the time and energy, but in the first place we'd probably miss stuff anyway--with ten years of history, not to mention the additional off-forum experience of the posters, I'd be shocked if we didn't miss something--and in the second place I'm not convinced that people actually read the other FAQs and sticky posts that already exist, much less that they would read a new one.)

I also don't think the answer is to walk on eggshells or sugarcoat everything.  That might work short-term for a little bit, but eventually it's going to get irritating in and of itself, and people are going to start getting abrasive over that.  And in the meantime it's not exactly an ideal solution for yourself either.  I think the answer, rather, is to recognize the situation you're dealing with, and when you accidentally touch one of those nerves, just recognize that the reaction is probably not aimed at you personally, and that you personally probably didn't prompt the majority of it even if it's in response to something you said.  Since people are not going to stop reacting this way, I think the best thing to do would be to learn to recognize the type of reaction that's happening and let it go and not take it personally.

As for being misconstrued, well, that's a danger of interacting online in a plain-text medium.  Smileys help a little bit, but even they don't make up for the lack of cues like tone of voice and facial expression.  That's why it's important to review your post before posting it (especially if you're posting about something controversial), and try to see it from a point of view other than your own to make sure that you're being clear.  And even with the most careful reviewing in the world, misunderstandings are still going to happen.  Again, there's not much to be done there; it's a hazard that comes with the territory.  The only thing I've found to do about it is to try to clarify what you meant, if possible, and learn from the incident so that you can communicate more clearly in the future, and to remember that it's something that happens to everyone sometime.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2008, 02:40:38 pm by Star, Reason: Minor grammar edit; no substantial change to content. » Logged

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« Reply #36: May 05, 2008, 02:20:53 pm »

I completely agree, but thanks for clarifying. As I've said before, I have this special power where I just don't hear or see the people who annoy me, so I guess I don't see this kind of thing much Wink

I don't. I've never found that sticking my head in the sand is particularly productive. I choose my battles, but there are certain things I notice immediately and don't take kindly to.
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« Reply #37: May 05, 2008, 05:04:16 pm »

Very counterproductive - when the non-nature-based cite a definition of nature-based that excludes a lot of folks who do identify as nature-based, the result is that both non-NB and many NB wind up on the same side of the hypothetical "line".  That's either going to annoy the heck out of self-identified NB types by implying that they're mistaken in their identification, or it's going to raise the question of how the non-NB-identifying person is less NB than those who identify as NB.

Granted, a lot of the time, such definitions are coming from the Unity Freaks, not from the Recons - but it irks me when such definitions get accepted for the purposes of the debate.

Sunflower

Dude, yes.  Telling other people what their religious beliefs are is really problematic, period.  We usually do see from the "Unity Freaks," and the fact that there are a lot more of them than the other side, can make it seem really overwhelming.  But, y'know, it's still a problem when Recon sorts do it -- and, in some ways, even *more* problematic, because Recons claim to be so much about accurate information.  How sincere can the commitment to scholarship be if you're perfectly happy to go around mischaracterizing others' belief systems to suit your own political ends? 

Recons are definitely a minority in the Pagan community as a whole, and therefore it is imperative to stand up and be counted, and to refuse to let the Unity sorts control the definitions of what it means to be Pagan.  But it's also important to recognize that not *all* the resistance to Recon definitions is because non-Recons are stoooopid and want to tell Recons what they believe:  Recons are certainly NOT immune to "Your beliefs, let me tell you them," and promulgate idiocies like "We worship the GODS, you just worship nature."

How the concept of "nature" works in religion is really interesting; my university has a "Religion and Nature" graduate program, and they study how nature functions in a variety of religions, whether the religion can be classed as "nature-based" or not.  And actually, that's why I think it's *so* important to come up with a good, workable definition of "nature-based," so that we can really understand the myriad ways in which nature can work in religion.  Right now in the Pagan community, all anyone does is scream "WE'RE ALL NATURE BASED!"  "NO WE'RE NOT!  WE WORSHIP THE GODS, AND YOU DON'T!"  But no one ever really talks about what "nature-based" *means*, or can mean:  everybody's so busy classifying their and other people's religions as "nature-based" or "not nature based" -- usually at the top of their lungs -- that nobody really pokes at the definition itself.  When you manage to drag an actual definition out of somebody, more often then not it's so vague that it either includes ("concerned with the harvest cycle") or excludes ("worships nature, not gods") just about every religion under the sun. 

As someone mentioned earlier, I think TC would actually be a great place to have this discussion, as we have a much higher ratio of folks who classify themselves as "not nature based" than other boards, which would mean that the usual "Paganism=nature-based" definition wouldn't override the actual discussion.  As long as we can keep it from swinging too far in the other direction (and us more Recon types can control our kneejerks Cheesy), it would be awesome.
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RandallS
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« Reply #38: May 05, 2008, 05:27:48 pm »

I find myself sugarcoating the hell out of everything now, and I'm not even sure it helps any.  There is a lot of anger here.

I think your definition of "anger" and my definition of "anger" are a bit different. Yes, a lot of regulars here have strong opinions on certain issues that we have faced repeatedly over the years and do not hesitate to state those opinions when the issue comes up. I don't see that as "anger." It may be a preemptive defensive reaction, but That's not the same thing as anger. In fact the preemptive reaction is designed to prevent angry reactions that might otherwise take people completely by surprise.
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« Reply #39: May 05, 2008, 07:11:23 pm »

I will never EVER be civil to some jackass who thinks he knows my beliefs better than I do stuffing me in some convenient box. If I'm supposed to be, well, that's just too bad. I've been doing this for far too many years to tolerate someone doing this to me.

Nobody wants to be on the same planet with me when someone else tries to tell me what Gwyddonics "really is". Grin
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« Reply #40: May 05, 2008, 07:28:31 pm »

Nobody wants to be on the same planet with me when someone else tries to tell me what Gwyddonics "really is". Grin

LOL...I think I've been there. It's almost better than your rant about that author.
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« Reply #41: May 05, 2008, 08:05:29 pm »

I don't. I've never found that sticking my head in the sand is particularly productive. I choose my battles, but there are certain things I notice immediately and don't take kindly to.

I don't think I'm sticking my head in the sand, it's just that I very rarely am moved to pay close attention to things that I know will make me start screaming, b/c there is hardly ever anything to be gained by doing so. Something I learned in AA:) But there are those things that I can't help screaming about, so I can understand where you are coming from, for sure.
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  The power of Air,
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  And the power of Earth,
  for the strength to continue my path.

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« Reply #42: May 05, 2008, 08:25:38 pm »

I don't think I'm sticking my head in the sand, it's just that I very rarely am moved to pay close attention to things that I know will make me start screaming, b/c there is hardly ever anything to be gained by doing so. Something I learned in AA:) But there are those things that I can't help screaming about, so I can understand where you are coming from, for sure.

I disagree with you and with AA.
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« Reply #43: May 05, 2008, 08:35:45 pm »

I disagree with you and with AA.

Enjoy Smiley
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Goddess grant me:
  The power of Water,
  to accept with ease & grace what I cannot change.

  The power of Fire,
  for the energy & courage to change the things I can.

  The power of Air,
  for the ability and wisdom to know the difference.

  And the power of Earth,
  for the strength to continue my path.

http://rosejayadal.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #44: May 05, 2008, 09:27:34 pm »

Enjoy Smiley

I will.
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