Have you ever noticed how those that scream the loudest for tolerance, are rarely those to actually give it to others?
What's more, a lot of what these people demand isn't just tolerance, but *acceptance*.
Well I'm here to ask why the hell this isn't going both ways.
Months ago, I started to make a real concerted effort to try and be a good ambassador for Heathenry and the recon method. I reeled in my natural impulses to tell people they're full of shit and to not only show tolerance, but to remain as peaceable as possible in debates, regardless of what kind of responses I got. I tried to be a 'big game' kind of person, to try and show that not all those that get labelled as 'recons' are assholes, and furthermore, to try and get it across that all of us Heathens *do* engage in reconstructionist method to varying degrees, and that there is no need for this divisiveness. I know I'm not the only 'recon' that is doing this too. We do this because we want to be a part of the community, we don't want a divide, and we want to help build a good, solid foundation for the next generation of Heathens.
Sometimes we fuck up, but we eat, shit, fuck and have bad days like everyone else.
I've tried my best not to express any offense I might feel towards views like 'the gods are archetypes', or 'Loki is a trickster god', 'all gods are aspects of the god/goddess' etc... But all of those views are offensive to me. Offensive on a very, deep level.
I've shared UPG to try and dispel the myth that those of us labelled 'recons' somehow 'don't have UPG'. This is not something I find comfortable to do, I much prefer to have these conversations with friends, but again, I was trying for the 'bigger picture', in spite of group warnings aimed solely at 'recons' when nothing had been done by recons (something the mod admitted when questioned on it).
But you know what these past months have taught me?
It doesn't matter what we 'recons' find offensive, what we have to say, or what concessions we make. It doesn't matter how much we try to promote discussions or remain respectful in those discussions. It doesn't matter whether we talk about how we worship and about how what we do *isn't* confined to the pages of books. It doesn't matter if we share UPG and try our damnedest to remain a part of the community. A lot of people would just simply rather we fuck off and shut the hell up.
How's that for tolerance?
Unless of course they want some easy information from us. Information that we've spent hours of our lives researching. Sometimes that research requires that we translate materials from other languages, sometimes it requires that we mail scholars for further discussion. But of course, as soon as that requested information goes against what they think, then we're mean again...
If we question something, we're either whined at for not being 'tolerant' (although usually here they mean 'accepting'), but where is the tolerance for us? When we say that we find something offensive, nobody cares. Indeed, sometimes we get a 'serves you right', or a 'you're just a bully'. It also really doesn't matter how respectfully you participate in a discussion. No matter what, you're the bully for simply having a different view from that of the mainstream and having the audacity to back it up with historical/archaeological evidence. Other people can talk to you like you're shit, they can be confrontational, and everybody stands by (unless they're just getting ready to jump in and get you back for that one time years ago when you'd disagreed with them). As soon as you fight back, then you're mean and intolerant.
This intolerance can be as extreme as some of the aforementioned examples, to something as minor, but equally insidious as not allowing someone to post, or basically making comments that might shut down discussion or stop them from posting in the future.
I'm not the only 'recon' that feels this way either. Conversations had this weekend have demonstrated that. People feel as though they're being subjected to a level of censorship not applied to anyone else, and it's a pity. Not only that, but it's this intolerance that is going to cause real rifts in the various communities.
Yes, it's the 'tolerant' ones that are also going to be the divisive.
So, what are you going to do about it, Heathens?
We're trying to meet you half way, how's about you give it a try?