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Author Topic: Discrimination and religious practice  (Read 7567 times)

Kaio

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Discrimination and religious practice
« on: December 30, 2014, 08:55:23 pm »
Do you suffer from any form of discrimination? If yes, does/did it have any influence on your religious practice? For example, I'm thinking about someone choosing a religion or developing a religious practice because it's associated with the form of discrimination s/he suffers from.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2014, 08:58:10 pm by Kaio »
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Faemon

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Re: Discrimination and religious practice
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2014, 09:24:35 pm »
Quote from: Kaio;168417
Do you suffer from any form of discrimination? If yes, does/did it have any influence on your religious practice? For example, I'm thinking about someone choosing a religion or developing a religious practice because it's associated with the form of discrimination s/he suffers from.

 
Sexual objectification was a huge hot-button issue for me, and heterosexism/heterocentrism is very annoying too. When I first got into neo-Wicca, though, I was so taken by the feminist environmentalist stuff that I could just let slide the gender essentialism (it also took quite a bit of explaining to really understand why the cultural-appropriative approach to syncretism and eclecticism was a bad thing and why the history mattered.)

So...I actually don't know how good my instincts are at alerting me to casual forms of discrimination that validate violent forms of discrimination. I might have just gotten used to most forms of it or internalized it.
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habbalah

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Re: Discrimination and religious practice
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2014, 10:18:36 pm »
Quote from: Kaio;168417
Do you suffer from any form of discrimination? If yes, does/did it have any influence on your religious practice? For example, I'm thinking about someone choosing a religion or developing a religious practice because it's associated with the form of discrimination s/he suffers from.

 
Homophobia and the fact that I'm queer is the big reason I walked away from Christianity in my teens. It's also what led me to being eclectic, rather than following a pre-formed path. A lot of them also discriminate against people in the queer spectrum (I'm not including most pagan paths in this statement).
“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.” -- Bruce Lee

GoddessGal

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Re: Discrimination and religious practice
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2014, 12:07:41 am »
Quote from: Kaio;168417
Do you suffer from any form of discrimination? If yes, does/did it have any influence on your religious practice? For example, I'm thinking about someone choosing a religion or developing a religious practice because it's associated with the form of discrimination s/he suffers from.
Yes, my mother is Christian and feels anything outside of Christianity needs to be forgiven. My fiance is atheist, an ex Christian and knows I'm spiritual but does not discriminate against my own pagan beliefs. I have no close pagan friends. I think all of the above have  influenced the extent in which I practice just because in a way Paganism has a stigma and misunderstanding attached to it.
“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”

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GoddessGal

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Re: Discrimination and religious practice
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2014, 12:09:35 am »
Quote from: habbalah;168420
Homophobia and the fact that I'm queer is the big reason I walked away from Christianity in my teens. It's also what led me to being eclectic, rather than following a pre-formed path. A lot of them also discriminate against people in the queer spectrum (I'm not including most pagan paths in this statement).
Merry meet habbalah, lesbian pagan here :)
“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”

~Friedrich Nietzche~

Horizons

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Re: Discrimination and religious practice
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2014, 02:01:38 am »
Quote from: Kaio;168417
Do you suffer from any form of discrimination? If yes, does/did it have any influence on your religious practice?

I had to think for a while how to answer because a lot of the discrimination I've faced has been because of my beliefs. Growing up pagan in an overwhelmingly Christian town meant almost total social exclusion. I'm not sure how much this directly effected me being Hellenic, as I came to that belief system many years after I'd left that area and met a better class of people, but it certainly cemented that I would never participate or believe in anything remotely Abrahamic.

Kaio

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Re: Discrimination and religious practice
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2014, 03:42:21 am »
Quote from: GoddessGal;168430
(...) lesbian pagan here :)


 You have said elsewhere that you are drawn to the Dianic path. Do you think being a lesbian had any influence on you being drawn to the Dianic path?
When in Rome do as the Romans do. (Ambrose)

GoddessGal

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Re: Discrimination and religious practice
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2014, 06:14:19 am »
Quote from: Kaio;168442
You have said elsewhere that you are drawn to the Dianic path. Do you think being a lesbian had any influence on you being drawn to the Dianic path?
Possibly, I am not sure. I'm very new to Paganism and still trying to find my place. There are many ways in which I'm drawn to the Dianic path, but the more I learn about it there are some aspects that don't quite fit either.
“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”

~Friedrich Nietzche~

Redfaery

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Re: Discrimination and religious practice
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2014, 06:20:50 am »
Quote from: Kaio;168417
Do you suffer from any form of discrimination? If yes, does/did it have any influence on your religious practice? For example, I'm thinking about someone choosing a religion or developing a religious practice because it's associated with the form of discrimination s/he suffers from.


As a queer, nonbinary female, it is legal to discriminate against me where I live. That said, I have been lucky so far, since I can "pass" for "normal" in that way (I'm single, and use female pronouns). I have in fact faced far more discrimination for my disabilities (Aspergers, anxiety, ADHD...etc.) than anything else. People meet me and just assume I'm an asshole, unless I give them my diagnostic history. :eek:

I will say that I figured pretty early on that Wicca was not for me. The gender-binary paradigm just made me go "meh" from the start, even as a teen. I should point out that I cut my teeth on Doreen Valiente, and never touched She Who Shall Not Be Named ($RW). It was only when I became more aware of my own sexuality and gender expression that I could articulate why Wicca was not right for me.
KARMA: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Tom

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Re: Discrimination and religious practice
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2014, 06:36:42 am »
Quote from: Redfaery;168448
I have in fact faced far more discrimination for my disabilities (Aspergers, anxiety, ADHD...etc.) than anything else. People meet me and just assume I'm an asshole, unless I give them my diagnostic history. :eek:

 
What exactly do you mean by this? I mean, I firmly believe that my asperger's is no excuse for assholish behavior, but I also know that sometimes people think you're being an asshole for simple things such as not recognizing a person or remembering their name which does have a relationship with some types of neurodivergence. Or are you referring to behaviors rather than someone just taking offense at how your brain works?

Granted, I operate on the simple belief that only I can control my behavior and that I need to learn to take responsibility for it.

Tom

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Re: Discrimination and religious practice
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2014, 06:46:39 am »
Quote from: Kaio;168417
Do you suffer from any form of discrimination? If yes, does/did it have any influence on your religious practice? For example, I'm thinking about someone choosing a religion or developing a religious practice because it's associated with the form of discrimination s/he suffers from.

 
I'm transgender and neurodivergent as well as queer in my sexuality. And honestly, it's not my specific issues that people might discriminate against that tends to turn off me from a religious path, but discrimination in general. The reason why I ended up being turned off of Heathery for example is the fact that it contains a lot of people who are bigoted in some way. People like that are usually not queer friendly or trans friendly and I just did not want to take the risk of trying to create religious fellowship with a person who happens to just share my religious identification, only to find out that they hate people like me. It's not really worth the risk.

Wicca was honestly never really a consideration for me. It never interested me in any sense for whatever reason.

Though I think my being wary of people due to them having discriminatory ideas in general has definitely led me to being more eclectic and not specifically looking for religious fellowship with people who worship the same deities as I am, but rather looking for fellowship with people who will respect who I am and others as well no matter who they honor.

Redfaery

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Re: Discrimination and religious practice
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2014, 07:16:34 am »
Quote from: Tom;168452
What exactly do you mean by this? I mean, I firmly believe that my asperger's is no excuse for assholish behavior, but I also know that sometimes people think you're being an asshole for simple things such as not recognizing a person or remembering their name which does have a relationship with some types of neurodivergence. Or are you referring to behaviors rather than someone just taking offense at how your brain works?

Granted, I operate on the simple belief that only I can control my behavior and that I need to learn to take responsibility for it.


Ah...sorry for being flippant, but's sort of both, actually? My social skills are still quite poor, though that's frankly not apparent in most situations online.

Ironically, my main problem is actually more about one of the advantages Aspergers has given me. My language skills are well above average; I am hyperlexic. I love words. I love language. I love stories. I think in stories. But I also tend to talk. A lot. Like, if I find someone who seems interested, I will just...talk and talk and talk. To use my mom's phrase, I will "yammer." It's something I'm trying really hard to work on, but it's just really easy for me to forget that just because the guy next to me smiled at my joke about the grocery store, doesn't mean he wants to hear a ten-minute story about the difference between Japanese and Chinese soy sauce, as interesting as it is (do you know there is a difference? Let me tell you some time. Your chicken teriyaki will be the better for it.)

I totally agree that Aspergers is NO EXCUSE for being an asshole, and I've met a number of young Aspies whose parents didn't reign them in or teach them manners, so we're on the same page here!
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Freesia

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Re: Discrimination and religious practice
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2015, 08:17:37 pm »
Quote from: Kaio;168417
Do you suffer from any form of discrimination? If yes, does/did it have any influence on your religious practice? For example, I'm thinking about someone choosing a religion or developing a religious practice because it's associated with the form of discrimination s/he suffers from.

 
For about 10 years or so I described myself as nonreligious to anyone who asked what church I went too and that got me some negative attention. I was never a faith challenging atheist or anything of the kind, but I was raised atheist. I had several people, including my 2nd grade teacher, tell me I was going to hell throughout my lifetime. I believe that judgement is the main reason I will not accept monotheism or Christianity as a spiritual option.

As a Pagan I have felt rejection from other Pagans so I practice solo until my kids decide to join me.

Marjis

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Re: Discrimination and religious practice
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2015, 06:16:05 am »
Quote from: Kaio;168417
Do you suffer from any form of discrimination? If yes, does/did it have any influence on your religious practice? For example, I'm thinking about someone choosing a religion or developing a religious practice because it's associated with the form of discrimination s/he suffers from.

 
Mostly just laughter. People don't take this seriously. Over ten years ago my parents got comments how their friends are waiting this pagan phase for me to pass. It was something funny for them. Well, it's not passed and it's not going to. Nothing serious and nothing long lasting. Most cruel comments have come from fellow pagans. :(

habbalah

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Re: Discrimination and religious practice
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2015, 02:00:14 pm »
Quote from: Marjis;168574
Mostly just laughter. People don't take this seriously. Over ten years ago my parents got comments how their friends are waiting this pagan phase for me to pass. It was something funny for them. Well, it's not passed and it's not going to. Nothing serious and nothing long lasting. Most cruel comments have come from fellow pagans. :(


I've gotten crap from other pagans too. Someone actually called me a "fence jumper" because I was raised Christian but left the religion and eventually found my way to paganism. I thought it was funny, but she definitely meant it as an insult.
“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.” -- Bruce Lee

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