I don’t know what it is about this time of year but after weeks of Wabbit Season 2013 (or Duck Season, if you take Mercury Retrograde into account) with its attendant folkish fools and fluff and drivel from The Secret and cries about Christians stealing ALL THE THINGS, Star Foster’s post Square Gods: We Are What We Worship just pushed me over the edge into sheer pissed-offedness. I must, apparently, respond to her nonsense by writing ALL THE THINGS, as commanded by my brain and those who run it.
To summarize, Foster states in her post that if we, like her, “...crave more normality and stability in my life...” we should look carefully at the gods we worship. If you (or I) worship “…Jotuns, dramatically dark gods, or highly political modern inventions, then you shouldn’t be surprised if your life is in some turmoil.” Apparently, if we worship gods that are outside Foster’s norm then we should expect to live outside of her norm…and that’s exactly what we deserve. In her words, “If you are given over to Dionysos’ madness, then don’t expect to live a sane and comfortable life.“
This isn’t the first time I’ve seen victim blaming on a pagan blog, and I’m sure it won’t be the last but like I said, this post got under my skin. It broke the camel’s back, and got me really thinking about blame in general and victim blaming in particular. The post is yet another post saying that if shit is happening, it is because of something we’ve done. This time, it is worshiping gods that Foster believes are destined to lead us into a life of turmoil and destruction and craziness and ruin…and this could all be avoided by choosing other gods. Next time, it’ll be a diatribe about modesty and not dehumanizing ourselves through sex and actions that some arbiter of values thinks are immodest…oh wait. We already had that one. My mistake.
I’m having a hard time with this post because I’m a little bit ragey and also trying to apply Words Mean Things (my favorite tool), but here are my issues in a nutshell:
- No gods, to my knowledge, fit into a nice, square hole. Hearth deities, and forge deities, and storm deities (Zeus, anyone???) are not boring compared to other gods. They’re different, and they have different spheres of influence, and that does not equal boring…even when compared against Eris, or the Morrigan, or Lilith.
- Not everyone is able to give up worshiping one deity for another. I did not choose any of my gods, except in the sense that when they came for me, I agreed to go with them. They sought me out and while I realize this isn’t the norm for every pagan, it is valid and I cannot throw over my oaths lightly and choose to worship someone else when things get difficult.
- I am currently going through an enormous pile of shit in my personal life and none of it was caused by my worshiping of the gods I do. It was caused by the owners of a particular company making particular decisions. It was caused by upper managers not knowing what I do for them, behind the scenes, every fucking day. It was caused by economics and not the fact that I perform puja for Ganesha, or do work for Nut and Ma’at, or worship Set and Sekhmet, and a number of other deities.
The idea that I am choosing “…to be marginalized, living on the fringes of society, a special snowflake…” based on worshiping the gods that called me to service makes as much sense as the idea that I don’t need medication for my Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) if I visualize having a healthy mind, or that I wouldn’t get respiratory infections if I was right with the Lord, or hundreds of other stupid statements that are meant to devalue people who have real issues. Set did not cause my asthma, just like my sexual assault was not caused by the clothing I was wearing at the time.
Sorry, Star. You don’t get to live in your happy bubble of “normal” life and live your everyday existence while posting such victim blaming on your blog without also being held up as an example of what not to do. Even removing the ability for people to directly comment on your work doesn’t prevent those of us who disagree from speaking out.