Thursday, May 16, 2019

Riding The Fence of Devotee and Defacer

Most Pagans and Polytheists love and are extremely reverent of the Gods, but I have noticed a trend that seems to be growing at a somewhat alarming rate online, and that's the people who like to not only make fun of the Gods, but sometimes horribly disrespect them in the name of good humor, but for the Pagan or Polytheist, there should be nothing good about dishonoring your Gods. One of the most common examples I have seen is people making fun of Zeus' love affairs, calling and depicting Him horribly and dishonorably, sometimes even making the story out to be something it wasn't. I even had the misfortune of reading one Pagan writer long ago who directly insulted one of the Pagan Gods, calling Him a scoundrel on the simple basis of some of the myths that have surrounded Him over the centuries. This person, interestingly, would have also considered themselves a devout Pagan, but the thing is, you can't flip the Gods off today and serve them tomorrow. If you're a servant or devotee of the Gods, that position demands seriousness and respect, not lollygagging and affronting. Just as you can't say you respect your parents if you curse at them, you can't say you are devoted to the Gods if you hate or disregard their position of respect. That position of respect, by the way, is Godhood. 

Some people have responded to my critique of this kind of Pagan humor by bringing up ancient Greek playwrights who made fun of the Gods at times, but what we have to realize is that these people were not mainstream citizens. Most people were not playwrights, and in fact, Euripides of Athens was scrutinized for the heresy, if you will, that sometimes found its ways into his work, and he spent his last days in voluntary exile in Macedonia. The normal Greek or Hellene would have never even uttered a disrespectful word about the Gods, let alone make defamatory banners or public posts. Someone who did those things would have likely been considered to have entered into a state of miasma (pollution), and that would have to be purified before they could return to sanctuaries or other grounds upon which religious functions were held.

I'm not saying it's wrong to have a sense of humor. I love to joke and laugh about things, but my motto is also this: Don't say anything about the Gods that you wouldn't paint on the side of their temples. If someone declared themselves to be your friend, and then painted something defamatory or that made fun of you on your house, or posted it on the community board at the library or school, would you consider that person to be a true friend? If not, then why should the Gods consider you to be a true devotee if you treat them the same way?

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.