Words Mean Things (or Why I’m Not Kemetic Orthodox)

There’s been a lot of back and forth of late (and in general, if what I’ve been reading is accurate) in the Kemetic community over scholarship and disclosure of information and who is the greatest BNK (Big Name Kemetic) and why can’t we just get along and when is questioning something more than questioning and yadda yadda yadda.

For the record, I have no interest in recreating that drama – it can be found all over the internet and I’m sure you have better things to do than to read my second-hand version of what went down. <insert ominous music here>  Nor do I want to trash people who don’t practice their faith in the way I do.  Everyone finds their own level and just because I do something in a particular fashion doesn’t mean you should, too.

I’m also not interested in being an attack dog on behalf of anyone who is capable of standing up for themselves or who hasn’t asked me to be.  Just saying.

I do want to make a point with this post, though, and here it is – words mean things.

I’ve had this discussion before – to me, words have inherent meaning that can be overcome by intent if the intent is strong enough.  I’ve drawn the lines of language and heka and copied down the platitudes.  When battles over language erupt, I’m reminded of something my fourth-grade teacher had hanging on her wall: “Say what you mean, mean what you say, and don’t be mean when you say it.”  Regular readers will know that that last bit is sometimes difficult for me.  Even though I try like blazes, sometimes I fail.  I’m human and I make mistakes and, when I realize it, I acknowledge it and try to do better the next time.

But, words mean things and, as such, every choice of word has consequences.  Use one that’s not correct for the context and you’ll find yourself in deep water.  I did this myself recently – I used the word infotainment in what I thought was appropriate context and pissed off a bunch of people.  I meant it as “educational/informational material presented in an entertaining fashion to better get the point across” – some people took it to mean “worthless”.  And so, I apologized because words mean things.  It’s a key facet of my belief system and I, having used the wrong word or used the right word in the wrong context, needed to acknowledge it.

Now, I’ve just taken a long loop around the mountain to come back to my subtitle – it is because words mean things that I am not Kemetic Orthodox (KO). After the aforementioned drama hit the fan, I took a good look (again) at why…and the truth of the matter is that I I have a language reconciliation problem when it comes to KO.  I cannot wrap my head around why certain choices were made and why the consequences of those choices are handled as they are.  It is because of this that KO is not a good fit for me…but my inability to fit is not a scale on which I measure the worth of other people. Frankly, that’s not my job nor is it one I want.

Word choice has consequences that need to be acknowledged and handled.  There are a number of ways this can be worked out but, to my mind, it must be done.  Words mean things and the sooner we own up to it, the better.

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5 responses to “Words Mean Things (or Why I’m Not Kemetic Orthodox)

  1. This is something i am working on hard at the moment. I used to be very judgemental and “bitchy” but recently i am trying to knock that on the head because of the idea and principals of Heka.

    Scholarship and research are very important in this religion, but can you claim to be following this religion at all if you don’t follow some of its core beliefs, such as Ma’at and careful speech/Heka

  2. I tried to PM this to you on eC, but your box was full. ^_^ I just wanted to say — I never did acknowledge your apology in the Daybook thread, but I did and do really appreciate it (and admit that I was oversensitized and possibly too quick to assume negativity in your use of the word in question).

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