Tuesday, October 19, 2010

People Keep Doing It; I'm Going to Keep Complaining About It

This article is a good example of two of the points that I keep trying to make.

First, there's the failure to capitalize the word "Pagan." The author capitalizes the word "Wiccan," but not "Pagan":
[Larson, a] member of the Wiccan branch of paganism, . . .

That's like saying that "Father Murphy is a member of the Catholic branch of christianity," or "Rabbi Abrams is an Orthodox jew." Since it's commonplace to capitalize the major religious categories such as Christian (which includes, inter alia, Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, and Quakers), Jew (which includes, inter alia, Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist), and Moslem (which includes, inter alia, Suni, Shi'a, Sufi, and Ahmaddiya), it ought to be commonplace to capitalize Pagan (which includes, inter alia, Wicca, Druid, Asatru, and Celtic Reconostruction).

Second there's the Pagan spokesperson reinforcing the Christian framing of our religion by using valuable interview "space" asserting that various stereotypes of Pagans are false. Thus, we get:
Larson said the reality is that paganism has nothing to do with Satan worship and that the pagan tent is large enough to include people who do identify as witches (although not the green-faced, wart-laden stereotypes) and people like Larson, a Chicago attorney who has a doctorate in psychology and who's on the faculty of the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
I'm not sure how one identifies as Wiccan but differentiates oneself from Witches (nor, as a lawyer and a Witch, how those two terms are mutually exclusive), but I'm willing to accept those notions. But I'm not willing to accept having Pagans reinforce the framing of the dominant paradigm concerning our religion.

I've dealt with this issue extensively here, here, (in about a dozen other places,) and here. Just fucking stop this shit and stop it fucking now.

Picture found here.


Apuleius Platonicus said...

Raelianism, Scientology, Heaven's Gate, Branch Davidians, People's Temple, Native American Church, Peyote Way Church of God, Unification Church, Jehovah's Witnesses, Aum Shinrikyo .... ALL CAPITALIZED. No one even gives it a second thought, and one could go on and on and on. I don't mean to compare Paganism to any of these groups at all, but only to show (even further) the glaring double standard that is at work.

Hecate said...

Thank you, Apuleius, for making my point. Perzactly.

Anonymous said...

I'm delurking because I think you would want to know this: it's Reform Judaism (present tense).

Hecate said...


Merci for the heads up!