Had to share this lovely message from Galina Krasskova to me and her readers.
I commented on This Post about “LARPing pagans” yesterday and was so inspired by Galina’s response that she also turned into a blog post on Gangleri’s Grove.
“This is something I’ve been contemplating and railing against for a lil while now since having this discussion in a local heathen group with a man who compared devoted polytheists to “crazy shithouse rats.” May people I come across in this and other online pagan communities are “Pagan/Heathen Atheists” or similar titles. When I bothered to ask a few why they were part of a religious community when they didn’t believe in the gods venerated therein, they said they liked the idea of the culture and bringing back a lot of the community beliefs of the “vikings” and other similar groups. I then asked if it would not be better for them to join a living history or reenactment group than to profess a religion that they did not believe in. The conversation spiraled downward from there into a complete mess but in the end I had to ask myself – why is it that so many people want to LARP or cosplay as a religion they don’t believe in really? I cannot fathom anyone dressing up as Jesus or Mohammed and going to church but claiming atheism or even going so far as to call everyone else there crazy for actually believing.
This is an issue I still have problems not getting emotional over and am not sure how to grapple with it other than to just avoid the conversation with role-players and keep to my devotions by myself. Glad to see this being discussed elsewhere.”
My response, and I say this to each and every one of you:
This. I see this all the time. First of all, don’t let them silence you. That is what they want. Do not yield an inch. THEY are the ones who have zero place in our traditions. Why the fuck these people think they ought to come into our religion, corrupt and destroy it I do not understand. But don’t fall silent. Speak about your devotion. write about it. do not hide it. that’s what people like this want. Live it and share it and let it grow. That is the only answer to this, because we are faced with a sad influx of people who cannot see what is good: our traditions and faith without seeking to bring it down to their level and corrupt it. Thank you for what you are doing. Keep it up and keep asking those questions.
Also note that these people cannot just come into our traditions and enjoy them and participate as guests. They have to insinuate that devoted people are crazy and try to change the tradition, demand that the tradition changes to accommodate them, rather than the other way around which is at the very least, a complete violation of frith.