Pagan Politics

I’ve commented on this a few times before. Apparently it is one of those things that needs to be said over and over again, especially given the complex debate going on right now over how to define paganism.

There is no such thing as pagan politics.

Let me say it once more for emphasis.

There is no such thing as pagan politics!

Now there are brands of paganism that are very political. And the birthing of contemporary neo-paganism was greatly assisted by the counter-culture and political activism of the 60’s. And some of those elements have blended, so that for some politics and paganism are inseparable (as I’m being reminded). But there is not “pagan politics.” There cannot be.

Speaking of pagan politics (unless you’re talking about the internal political issues within the pagan community) is meaningless. We have a “community” that is so widespread and diverse that one of its most favorite activities is to argue over how to define it. The very thought that there is any political position that is universal for all of those people is just damn silly.

When most people speak of “pagan politics,” they mean political issues that affect paganism in general. A lot of this has to do with religious freedom issues, which are admittedly of pretty big concern to most pagans. But all political issues affect all pagans. Some pagans are concerned by some issues, and some are not. Starhawk is all about using her identity as a witch to promote her anti-war activism, but I worship a war god and view war as sacred, so I’m not going to hold the same position she does (and I’m certainly not going to set up a hot pink circle in a Marine recruiting station). Jason at The Wild Hunt may be very concerned about laws relating to unions, but attempting to present a “pagan position” on such a debate is silly. I’d be willing to bet that most pagan religions have little to say about unions, and that most pagans will have widely divergent views on the subject.

I have a very liberal Wiccan friend that is pro-life. (I told him that revering the divine feminine, following European pagan holidays, practicing magic, and being pro-life actually made him Catholic. He lol’d.)

I have a Hellenic friend that is adamant about his right to own guns. Big ones.

I know a Druid who believes that providing socialized health care should be a religious obligation.

I’ve met women who insisted that men should not be allowed to worship any goddess, because it reminds them of the pain Patriarchy inflicted upon wimmin.

All of those are pagan political positions, because they are political positions held by pagans. And they are widely varied, because we are widely varied.

The image of the left-wing hippie dirt-worshiping pagan is a popular one, and probably more accurate than not in many cases. But there is no monolithic “pagan position” on any issue, and no one issue that affects pagans more than other folks. There are no “pagan” political issues, and no “pagan” political positions.

Because our community is diverse, which means our opinions are.


2 responses to “Pagan Politics

  1. At least according to Irish Brehon law, I think your Druid friend is being traditional. And, of course, so is your Hellenic friend as long as he realizes slaves don’t own weapons and free men have to be wealthy enough to buy them …

    But I have said before, we have exactly one political issue that we broadly agree about, and that is religious freedom. For everything else, refer to the Chaos Star.

  2. Pingback: Pagan Politics and Hypocrisy | Blacklight Metaphysics

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