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Author Topic: Conservative Pagans  (Read 22661 times)
catja6
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« Reply #60: August 03, 2009, 06:08:41 pm »

I don't know about "Neopaganism" but some Pagan religions -- reconstructionist ones -- have little in common with "New Age" and much in common with the ancient religion they are trying to reconstruct. Of course, this has nothing to do with a person's politics. Religion does not dictate politics -- although some religious organizations certainly try to do so, even if they leaders of the organizations have to pervert the religion's teachings to do so.

Personally, I prefer the ideals of the 1960s to those of the last 15 years -- and would no matter what my religion was. I apparently lack the "extreme greed" gene and and definitely lack the "authoritarian" gene.

*nods*  I agree.  I'd add another wrinkle, though:  Recons, especially those concentrating on non-Classical religions, owe an enormous amount to Romanticism.  The Romantics were the prime movers in the study of European national literatures and cultures, and their mindset still underpins a great deal of Recon discourse; half the posts on Norse/Germanic and Slavic Recon boards could, with a little tweaking, easily have been written in the early 19th c.; I'm not as familiar with Kemeticism, but the 19th-c. craze for all things Egyptian certainly has had an effect (not least the founding of the field of Egyptology).  And even for Greece and Rome, whose revival started earlier (with the Renaissance through to Enlightenment Phil-Hellenism, etc.), Romanticism legitimized the intense emotional connection that is necessary for religious revival.   

In fact, I'd argue that modern-day Reconstructionism much more closely resembles Romantic attitudes and ideas than it does ancient ones, especially since Recons' cultural position in relation to the ancient sources is near-identical to the Romantics.  Like the Romantics, Recons are individuals looking at -- and imagining -- a distant past that doesn't exist any more; unlike ancient peoples, who were actually living it.
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« Reply #61: August 03, 2009, 11:39:57 pm »

Just wondering, are there any other conservative pagans out there?  I live in a liberal Protestant city, and sometimes I feel edgy.

Also, if others exist, how do you reconcile the fact that most of our religious compatriots are liberal?

According to the Political Compass, I'm somewhere between Mandela & the Dalai Lama:
Economic Left/Right: -5.88
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.33

I seem to know more conservative Pagans than liberals... but most of the Pagans I know are kind of blended. They are freedom-of-choice when it comes to abortion, but don't support homosexuality. They're gun nuts, hunters, fishers, trappers - but don't believe in the death penalty. They want more economic sanctions against companies and countries who harm the environment - but want less governmental involvement for private citizens.

Personally, I am more liberal/libertarian than anything - except when it comes to mah money and immigration. If you come to my country and take my job - do it legally, pay taxes & speak English, damn it! If you're going to spit out kids left & right and collect my tax dollars to pay for them - get a freaking job, already! It's my money, I work my butt off for it, and I'd like to keep as much of it for myself as humanly possible.
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« Reply #62: August 04, 2009, 11:06:38 am »

You will get a great deal of argument about that from the various Reconstructionist religions.

1. I was specifically not talking about the Recons, though I probably was not explicit enough about that.  I think I meant to put a bit at the end about how all of this goes out the window with them, but then I got distracted by my lovely screaming children.  Wink

2. Are Recons really a very large percentage of Neopagans.
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« Reply #63: August 04, 2009, 12:25:48 pm »

1. I was specifically not talking about the Recons, though I probably was not explicit enough about that.  I think I meant to put a bit at the end about how all of this goes out the window with them, but then I got distracted by my lovely screaming children.  Wink

I understand, but since this board has a goodly percentage of them, it probably helps to remember to be specific. Smiley

Quote
2. Are Recons really a very large percentage of Neopagans.

Yes. Large enough, that being specific about the religious groups really does matter. Recons will be the ones who get the most offended the fastest because we've spent much of the last decade explaining that "No. We really aren't related to Wicca." It's a serious hot button issue because the umbrella term "neopagan" is really pretty meaningless beyond telling people we aren't J/C/I.
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« Reply #64: August 04, 2009, 12:54:24 pm »

I understand, but since this board has a goodly percentage of them, it probably helps to remember to be specific. Smiley

Yes. Large enough, that being specific about the religious groups really does matter. Recons will be the ones who get the most offended the fastest because we've spent much of the last decade explaining that "No. We really aren't related to Wicca." It's a serious hot button issue because the umbrella term "neopagan" is really pretty meaningless beyond telling people we aren't J/C/I.

Look, no need to get offended. I admit my omission, and like I said, it had more to do with being distracted by my gaggle of small children than by a failure to acknowledge Reconstructionists.  Especially since I pretty much am one.  In fact, I don't even know that I think the term "Neopagan" even applies to reconstructionists.  But that's a different subject I guess.

I'm skeptical that Reconstructionists make up any kind of significant percentage of self-identifying pagans, though.  I don't have any statistics at hand, but I wouldn't be surprised if they showed Reconstructionists absolutely numerically overwhelmed by Wiccans and New-Age-Neopagans.  Whether that is the case on this forum is another matter entirely.

Again, I am not saying that Reconstructionists are insignificant or unimportant.  I am saying that when talking about Neopagans generally, inasmuch as that is even possible--and I actually think it is--I think Reconstructionists are a small enough minority that where they deviate from the norm, they are a noteworthy exception rather than a massive monkeywrench that proves the entire generalization wrong.  I should have noted them in my post, and the mistake was an oversight on my part, not a failure to understand who Reconstructionists are or what they're all about (I post on Tim Alexander's forum, for crying out loud; I know a little bit about Reconstructionists).
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« Reply #65: August 04, 2009, 01:11:16 pm »

Look, no need to get offended. I admit my omission, and like I said, it had more to do with being distracted by my gaggle of small children than by a failure to acknowledge Reconstructionists.  Especially since I pretty much am one.  In fact, I don't even know that I think the term "Neopagan" even applies to reconstructionists.  But that's a different subject I guess.

Actually, I'm not offended, I'm just telling you that the Recons here (and elsewhere) will jump on that sort of generalization. I understand your caveat, I'm just passing along the information as an FYI.

Quote
I'm skeptical that Reconstructionists make up any kind of significant percentage of self-identifying pagans, though.  I don't have any statistics at hand, but I wouldn't be surprised if they showed Reconstructionists absolutely numerically overwhelmed by Wiccans and New-Age-Neopagans.  Whether that is the case on this forum is another matter entirely.

What possible difference does it make about the numbers? Regardless of the percentage of Recons in paganism, it is incorrect to make the generalization that all neopagans are influenced by the 1960s or New Age beliefs. You'll get the same response from BT Wiccans. Numbers really don't mean a thing when it comes to lumping everyone together.

This forum is considerably different from virtually any other you'll run into. It leans very heavily to scholastic source materials and primary sources. It's heavily populated by Recons, pagans and Wiccans of the non-NeoWiccan variety. This is why I mentioned that the generalizations are hot button issues. They are.  They've been argued and debated here for over 10 years. I'm sure they'll continue to be, but a person who comes in fresh to the forum needs to realize that. This is part of the forum culture and history.
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« Reply #66: August 04, 2009, 01:12:47 pm »

Actually, I'm not offended, I'm just telling you that the Recons here (and elsewhere) will jump on that sort of generalization. I understand your caveat, I'm just passing along the information as an FYI.

What possible difference does it make about the numbers? Regardless of the percentage of Recons in paganism, it is incorrect to make the generalization that all neopagans are influenced by the 1960s or New Age beliefs. You'll get the same response from BT Wiccans. Numbers really don't mean a thing when it comes to lumping everyone together.

This forum is considerably different from virtually any other you'll run into. It leans very heavily to scholastic source materials and primary sources. It's heavily populated by Recons, pagans and Wiccans of the non-NeoWiccan variety. This is why I mentioned that the generalizations are hot button issues. They are.  They've been argued and debated here for over 10 years. I'm sure they'll continue to be, but a person who comes in fresh to the forum needs to realize that. This is part of the forum culture and history.
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« Reply #67: August 04, 2009, 01:26:52 pm »



yyyyyeeeeeesssssss?HuhHuhHuh?

LOL
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« Reply #68: August 04, 2009, 01:28:42 pm »

Actually, I'm not offended, I'm just telling you that the Recons here (and elsewhere) will jump on that sort of generalization. I understand your caveat, I'm just passing along the information as an FYI.

What possible difference does it make about the numbers? Regardless of the percentage of Recons in paganism, it is incorrect to make the generalization that all neopagans are influenced by the 1960s or New Age beliefs. You'll get the same response from BT Wiccans. Numbers really don't mean a thing when it comes to lumping everyone together.

This forum is considerably different from virtually any other you'll run into. It leans very heavily to scholastic source materials and primary sources. It's heavily populated by Recons, pagans and Wiccans of the non-NeoWiccan variety. This is why I mentioned that the generalizations are hot button issues. They are.  They've been argued and debated here for over 10 years. I'm sure they'll continue to be, but a person who comes in fresh to the forum needs to realize that. This is part of the forum culture and history.

Well, thanks for the heads-up.

Generalizations are always going to be wrong because someone always doesn't fit the mold.  But generalizations are useful ways to talk about things, as long as we don't confuse a useful (or not useful) generalization with an absolute statement about the characteristics of every group member.  The generalization I was trying to make is not that all Pagans are influenced by New Age and the 1960's, but that I believe most are.  "Most" leaves a big enough gap for Recons and British Traditional Wiccans.

But like I said, I admit that I should have been more explicit, and I should have at least given a hat-tip to the most prominent exceptions.  And I'll remember to be a lot more careful about my generalizations in the future.  Wink
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« Reply #69: August 04, 2009, 01:37:43 pm »

Generalizations are always going to be wrong because someone always doesn't fit the mold.  But generalizations are useful ways to talk about things, as long as we don't confuse a useful (or not useful) generalization with an absolute statement about the characteristics of every group member.  The generalization I was trying to make is not that all Pagans are influenced by New Age and the 1960's, but that I believe most are.  "Most" leaves a big enough gap for Recons and British Traditional Wiccans.

Had your original post said "most", we wouldn't be having this conversation.

But that's a dead horse, I think.
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« Reply #70: August 04, 2009, 01:46:18 pm »

Look, no need to get offended. I admit my omission, and like I said, it had more to do with being distracted by my gaggle of small children than by a failure to acknowledge Reconstructionists.  Especially since I pretty much am one.  In fact, I don't even know that I think the term "Neopagan" even applies to reconstructionists.  But that's a different subject I guess.

Pagan and Neopagan are "umbrella" terms for all pagan religions. At least that is the way this board uses the terms and has for many years. Due to past history with various groups trying to tell others what "All/Most Pagans/Neopagans believe" members of this board have a short trigger on overly broad generalizations about "Pagans" (see the Pagan Unity Campaign and New Definition of Paganism threads on our old Delphi Forum for some of the details -- warning lots of ads).

[quoue]I'm skeptical that Reconstructionists make up any kind of significant percentage of self-identifying pagans, though.[/quote]

This doesn't matter as we use the term Pagan/Neopagan to refer to a group of religions. Many of those religions are not based on the "Age of Aquarius".  Even Wicca isn't -- at least not the original Wicca (aka British Tradition Wicca).  Almost, many of us aren't liberal or conservative because of our religion, we are liberal or conservative separately from what religion we are.

Quote
I should have noted them in my post, and the mistake was an oversight on my part, not a failure to understand who Reconstructionists are or what they're all about (I post on Tim Alexander's forum, for crying out loud; I know a little bit about Reconstructionists).

The mistake was an overly broad generalization that pushed a lot of forum buttons.  Overly broad generalizations about Pagan religions usually do that here. It's a board culture issue people just need to be aware of -- on top of the fact that overly broad generalizations are false far more often than they are true.
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« Reply #71: August 04, 2009, 01:46:42 pm »

Had your original post said "most", we wouldn't be having this conversation.

But that's a dead horse, I think.

Indeed!  My bad.
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« Reply #72: August 04, 2009, 01:50:28 pm »

« Last Edit: Today at 12:06:08 pm by Kullervo  »

Please read our rules on editing messages. Generally, after a couple of minutes, you should not change anything other than to correct typos -- and you need to state that that is what you are correcting at the end of the message (or in the reason for editing box). Changing a message so that it invalidates a message posted after it is a bannable offense as it makes debate and discussion impossible.  Just make a new post with anything new you want to say. (Double posting is NOT against the rules here.)
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« Reply #73: August 04, 2009, 01:52:31 pm »

Please read our rules on editing messages. Generally, after a couple of minutes, you should not change anything other than to correct typos -- and you need to state that that is what you are correcting at the end of the message (or in the reason for editing box). Changing a message so that it invalidates a message posted after it is a bannable offense as it makes debate and discussion impossible.  Just make a new post with anything new you want to say. (Double posting is NOT against the rules here.)

Sorry; won;t happen again.  I was trying to avoid the faux pas of double-posting.  I'll read the rules more carefully.
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« Reply #74: August 04, 2009, 03:03:26 pm »

yyyyyeeeeeesssssss?HuhHuhHuh?

LOL

oops?  ONe of those, thinking about a comment, decided not to post it, but obviously didn't manage to post nothing.
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