I see that, once again, we are coming into the extremely stale argument of what is “serious Paganism” within areas of the Pagan Blog-o-sphere. I am not going to rehash arguments or statements by either side in the “argument*”. Rather, I will add my personal perspective, which can get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks – provided you carry enough cash to buy that order. In other words, my perspective carries only the weight that I – myself – give it.
Denigration of other religious paths has been something that has occurred throughout the wider Pagan community. For whatever reason(s). Looking at the path of other folks’ and determining that it is “silly” or “not serious” is a near constant throughout religion and philosophy. I have heard Christians denigrate other Christians because the others do/don’t speak in tongues. And that’s just a single example. Whatever the statement of disagreement may be – while important, is really more a symptom of other things.
From where I stand, it really does not matter what you believe or how you worship or the way you hold your rituals or how you venerate the Gods. In the end, that will be between you and the Gods. Its not my place to step between any of that. Nor is it my place to label or describe someone else’s manner of belief or veneration (or lack thereof) as being “silly” or “not serious”. The highest label I can place on anything is “not the way that I do it.”
Rev. Cal Lippitt of the podcast “The Secrets in Plain Sight” has a particularly saying that covers a ton of this: “Religion is like underwear. What is comfortable and appropriate for me, might not be such for you.” And to me that’s true. Mocking another’s beliefs, in my opinion, is a potential sign of insecurity in your beliefs, ritual patterns, veneration of your Gods and Goddesses or what have you. Claiming that someone is “not serious” about their beliefs – especially when the only thing you know of them is through news articles found online – comes across as a “holier than thou” attitude. Being honest here, I walked away from Christianity over issues like this, along with a perspective that monotheistic, Abrahamic belief systems just didn’t fit in with the way I see the world.
With its wider umbrella, and openly stated adherence to the acceptance of all Paths being valid for those that walk them – little arguments* like this tend to have me wondering if that stated acceptance is merely lip service. It certainly leaves me wondering. However, arguments* such as this certainly smack of the completely fabricated “War on Christmas” garbage that lip-service Christians come up with every year.
* I refuse to call any aspect of this a debate, particularly when name-calling and insults have been a regular aspect of the discussion.