Thoughts, lessons, and theology from an eclectic witch from a varied background.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Pagans behaving badly

So, I am a little bit late to the party on this one. Honestly, I had hoped that it would all pass me by and I could watch from the sidelines. Then, I discovered that one of the searches that has brought people to my blog was "Nonoriel Lokison, abuse" and I realized I had to say something. Now, I personally have something of a professional acquaintance with Sebastian Lokison (because he chose to go by his actual name rather than Nonoriel not long ago and I recognize and honor that). What I'm going to say today, however, has zero to do with Sebastian Lokison. If you wanted me to gossip about someone I know, you should be ashamed of yourself. If you wanted my thoughts on the services and products that Mr. Lokison provides, it is something for an entirely different post so you'll have to wait for that.

No, my post today is addressing the behavior of these folks who are running the rumor mill. Look, I understand that there are people who are upset with Mr. Lokison's past behavior regarding themselves. I fully understand that they might be feeling the need for vindication, validation, or something else that makes them feel better about themselves or their role in the situation. Feelings like that are very strong and can lead to rash actions. There is, however, something to be said about something said in the height of frustration and something to be said about creating an active smear campaign to somehow punish the person you're upset with.

The petty behavior of generating spiteful rumors is something that should have been left behind when we outgrew childhood. The practice of perpetuating said rumors is also something that we should have outgrown. I can appreciate someone saying something about bad service they've received or how they disagree with someone's UPG. Engaging in slander, however, is terrible behavior, has legal repercussions, and makes you look like a childish fool. We are not only making ourselves look bad with this rumor mongering.

This kind of behavior is exactly why the pagan faiths are not taken seriously. This childish mistreatment of others who don't fit into the cliques that form or don't have the 'right' position on matters makes the whole community look bad. If you have a personal disagreement with someone, you deal with them personally. You keep that business private. If you must seek someone to mediate the disagreement, then the matter still remains private. The mediator should have the professionalism and discretion not to talk about other people's business. The persons involved in mediation should have the self respect not to engage in childish, backbiting behavior. If you don't respect the other person, that's fine. You don't have to. But acting like a petulant child who wants to make someone else miserable because you're not happy with them makes you look bad.

We don't see this kind of behavior in the 'respected' faith communities of the over-culture. Perhaps this is because they recognize that acting in such an immature fashion makes them look like they have no maturity themselves and calls into question their system of beliefs. Because if the people representative of a faith system act like petulant children, they become the laughing stock and object of scorn by others around them. Don't believe me, look at how people view Westborough Baptist Church. They are an embarrassment to the entire Christian community and are generally scorned by the rest of the community.

If you want your faith to be taken seriously, act with some maturity and decorum. Don't air dirty laundry, get into public screaming matches, or otherwise act like you're a person lacking in self discipline and the social skills expected of an adult in our society. Don't like what someone is saying? Don't listen to them. If you believe their behavior or espoused beliefs are dangerous to the welfare of the community, disagree respectfully. Don't resort to ad hominem attacks.

It is possible to despise someone and conduct yourself in a manner that is respectful, mature, and professional. Having disagreements devolve into proverbial scat flinging matches is not going to resolve any problems. And insisting that someone who disagrees with you is somehow subhuman and unworthy of the basic dignity that should be extended to other people within our society is reprehensible.

TL:DR - Pagan community, straighten up and stop acting like children. The world is watching and you're making all of us look bad. You're hurting your own cause with this nonsense.

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