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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in human rights
Bringing it All Together, Part VI: a better way to address exploitation, theft, and lack of respect

This is the final installment on why neither Pagans nor anyone else do themselves or humanity any favors by discussing inter-cultural issues in terms of ‘cultural appropriation.’ In earlier sections I demonstrated this view is deeply incoherent. I then offered a more ecological view of culture as consisting of humans and memes as a far better perspective, one in deep harmony with Pagan insights about a living world. 

But what of the actual problems that attract well-meaning people to thinking in terms of cultural appropriation?  I close by returning to these issues.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

I am increasingly disturbed by fellow Pagans/polytheists/occultists etc. who either so highly value gods and spirits, sanctity of sacred objects & places, or focus so much on environmental preservation and animal rights or other political ideologies that they devalue human worth and dignity. Now to be clear, I have often seen this as a critique of Pagan movement from conservative Christians and atheists alike. I am not sure if I can convince people who don't already to start truly valuing human welfare and rights and acting as if they do. It seems an ability that you to some degree either have or you don't. In my experience, a consistent commitment to human rights seems to correlate with having an experience of dehumanization oneself. This is not having your feelings hurt a little bit, being a "special snowflake" (though if that's an insult, I'll wear it with pride!)  

It's nope, you don't really count as a human being, your experience doesn't count. Even when the Powers that Be of whatever social situation, business or organization you are in repeatedly insist that they "welcome everyone" they don't really mean you. Actions always speak louder than words. Many of us who do have these experiences however still have the people will miss, the bigotries and biases we still hold. Ironically because we are human! This is a mistake I often see new Pagans make. After a happy honeymoon period of discovering Paganism and idealizing it in comparison to whatever their background is, they find out we have problems too. I too have run into this. I frequently have assumed that Pagans, or liberals/progressives/leftists, or whatever in-group I belong to will have a more enlightened and inclusive attitude towards disabled folks or other marginalized groups. And I have all too often dehumanized The Other Side in various arguments and the aftermath of elections. But this just keeps adding to the problem. Perpetuating this cycle of dehumanization just leads to more hate and violence.  Remembering the basic value of dignity & worth of human beings and human life, however interpreted, is often forgotten by both left and right, red and blue. If there's a different philosophical framework you prefer over the concept of "rights", then feel free to argue for it.  

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Tacy West
    Tacy West says #
    An all autistic household sounds so supportive. I had two autistic children in a time when diagnosis was not done, 50 some years
  • Mariah Sheehy
    Mariah Sheehy says #
    Yes, we are seeing that more now among the Millennial generation- choosing your family & banding together by necessity.
  • Tacy West
    Tacy West says #
    Yes, yes. I just listened to book on CD "Conversation" by a social scientist regarding the change in Empathy due to separation
Pagan News Beagle: Fiery Tuesday, October 18

We take a look at the continued prejudice towards indigenous Australians. Experts express concern that human rights are on the slide in Southeast Asia. And an examination of how Hillary Clinton's economic policy has shifted towards that of her colleague Elizabeth Warren. It's Fiery Tuesday, our weekly segment on political and societal news from around the globe. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Today was just a day like any other for me.  I got up and put on a pair of jeans and a blouse that flatters my figure, tied my hair back in a ponytail, and left the house.  I went to the bank and withdrew a significant sum of money from my account because I needed to replace my broken, battered old car with an unbroken, slightly less battered old car.  We picked up and paid for the car, a little Hyundai hatchback that’s almost as old as my son, and then I spent the two hours or so I had before work arguing about politics and then watching sexy videos with my partner.

I drove my new-to-me car to work, then handed the keys to my hubby so I wouldn’t have to pay for parking and so that he could run his errands.  I have a part time job at a bookstore (which I love) and then a couple of days a week I do Tarot readings there, which means I often have space between clients to snoop around the store (where I spend an amazing amount of my paycheque, but thankfully I have an employee discount,) and work on my blogging or other writing while I wait between clients.  When I got there, my co-worker showed me pictures of her brand-new granddaughter on her cell phone, and then my boss told me she’d inventoried some Patrick O’Brian books, since I’m collecting them.  I went into the back room, picked up the books and compared them to my list, and paid for the ones I needed.

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Yes, thank you, so good to remember with gratitude.

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