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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.

Culture war

Quoted with permission.

I stand by what I said earlier about the right of people and organizations to control their own platforms and lack of anyone else's "right" to them.

With that said, the complete lack of transparency in these decisions call into serious question the festival's credibility, and I would not fault presenters or attendees if they decide to go elsewhere (or create something new). That's how these matters should be properly sorted out in the private sector.

Now, I don't know a whole lot about Max Dashu and even less about Witchdoctor Utu. It's possible that they hold views or close alliances that are truly inconsistent with the con's anti-discrimination policies.

It's also possible, even probable, that the decisions were made in a fit of pique by petty tyrants. Any organization is vulnerable to that, and Athena knows the Pagan movement has had its full share of them.

As much as my own views are usually well on the spectrum of progressive and "social justice" causes, I have observed a growing and troubling streak of fundamentalism in the movement. It is very easy for any cause to drift from righteous anger and action to self-righteous rage and excess. Every revolution, when un-tethered from reason or any moderating force, will ultimate eat its own. We see this in the Antifa movement, which started, and continues in some quarters to be about protecting innocent people from hate group thugs. At its fringes, and now probably it's middle, people took up the very volatile idea of "pre-emptive" self defense, beating not only real fascists, but anyone whose virtue is judged to fall short a millimeter of their ever-evolving standards of holiness.

I see it also in the radical re-definition of "safety". What used to be about physical safety or aggressive hate speech that puts a reasonable person in fear of assault has been defined down. Way down. Now, in hardcore SJW circles, any trace of ideological impurity, mild disagreement with the party line, or simply failing to kiss the asses of the leaders means you are "making them feel unsafe" and therefore subject to banning. The rules posted on that "unofficial" con site admit as much. The standard is not whether you did something or not, but whether the mods feel you transgressed. It's also very telling that they want to avoid public disclosure of posts at all costs.

It's possible that they see Utu's "crime" as cultural appropriation. In hard SJW circles, white men incorporating any element of indigenous culture, even so much as smudging with sage, is unforgivable. For some reason, it's ok for white SJWs to appoint themselves as public guardians of Native American or African people and to be outraged "on behalf" of them...

That's the point in this culture war at which I take my gear and horse and go home.

I'll be very curious to see what Pantheacon organizer have to say.

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A narrow slice of life, but now and again pondering American neopaganism, modern adult pagans & the World.

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