I cannot tell you how humbled I am that this little project of mine has seen such wonderful use and pervasion into the greater consciousness. Thank you for that, dear Rioter.
However, the project also had its notable dissenters. A few podcasters ridiculed the idea as naive, unnecessary, or downright childish. Some bloggers - one that I had on my show in particular - made anti-PPE movements (that, I'd like to add, fizzled quickly) and decried the movement as simplistic, overreaching, or, as that maven of tact put it on my show, "stupid."
Personally, I like to believe I'm nothing if not willing to take a dissenting opinion and learn from it. Many folks had a point. The language of PPE 2010 was too simple, too inclusive, and left a lot to be desired. People could make it mean a lot of things, and with the language that I hastily used to create the project it is easy to see how that could be done. I knew that PPE was not going to remain a fixed list of ideas and that it - like all pertinent works - should grow over time. Thus, I have rewritten the tenets and ideas behind Project Pagan Enough.
They are, I feel, tighter, more concise, and get to the heart of the issues I really wanted PPE to deal with. In-fighting. The need for discourse. The reactionary, overly-defensive pagan that refuses to listen to different ways of thinking. The newbie pagan who is afraid to ask questions, because they keep getting shot down. The Christian-bashing pagan. The folks that have made it the standard to shoot down all ideas of what it means to be pagan except their own for far too long.
This manner of thinking will kill our community. In fact, I'd venture to say that it is killing what little community we've managed to create. We are growing. We are no longer a small group of folks that look, dress, or believe in very similar manners. We are in all socio-economic brackets, have a range of appearances, manners of dress, and a host of differences that just showcase the beauty of the human tapestry. We should not shy away from change and growth, but, rather, be the group that embraces it.
Therefore, I ask you to go to the new Project Pagan Enough page (or just scroll down to the bottom of this post) and read the newly worded Project Pagan Enough outline. If you still believe in it, or you can get behind this idea better than the 2010 version, I ask that you recommit to Project Pagan Enough. Spread the badge. Share the story. Link back to the permanent PPE page. Help this movement grow and, by extension, help the pagan community grow.
Also, one last thing I promise. I am beginning a contest. No, you don't have to buy anything or donate anything. I'd like you to send me your PPE story. How has PPE affected you? When was there a time that you were criticized within the community unfairly? When have you felt judged or mistreated because you didn't look the part of "pagan"? How did you react? Has PPE helped you to treat other pagans or people of other religions more fairly? Submit any and all responses on these or similar topics to IncitingARiotPodcast@gmail.com. I would like to use them for an upcoming PPE-centered show. All participants will be entered to win a special, limited-edition prize made by our new sponsor Mrs. Oddly.
Take the pledge. Are YOU pagan enough?
Love and Lyte,
Project Pagan Enough is my movement to encourage pagans, and those of like mind, to react with kindness, intelligence, and poise in situations involving religion, practice, dogma, etc. It has become apparent in the past several years that the pagan community is growing, both in the physical world and online. As with all communities, the more people that come to it, the more problems we have in finding common ground with all of the emerging differences.
Project Pagan Enough (known as PPE) began in 2010 as a means to bring a live-and-let-live mentality to the pagan community. To cease the in-fighting and further a sense of community and camaraderie between those who claim the moniker Pagan. This community has seen a lot of prejudice spring up in discussions, in meet-ups, in places both physical and digital due to differences ranging from the most trivial to the most distinct. Physical appearance, taste in music, past religious experience, the desire (or non-desire) to call for academic research, one’s length of time walking a pagan path, the term ‘fluffy bunny’, and one’s socio-economic status have all been used as weapons against one another. While this is by no means a comprehensive list, I’m sure we can each relate to a time that we felt the target of one of these types of criticisms.
There are a few truths that I feel the pagan community, as a whole, should embrace. The word ‘pagan’ means a lot of things to a lot of people. It has historical etymological and philological derivations, modern day connotations, and - most importantly - very personal meaning to a great number of people. Unfortunately, we are a fledgling community, in the grand scheme. We’ve had less than 100 years to sort out who we are and what we’re all about. We cannot hope to believe that we can tell someone else that their practice, their manner of embracing the divine is incorrect or wrong in some way simply because it does not line up with what you believe being ‘pagan’ means.
In that light, Project Pagan Enough is also a challenge to engage with those you disagree with in an academic, tactful conversation. Get to know the other person and their reasoning for saying or believing as they do. Educate both yourself and the other person in a respectful manner. Share knowledge and regard someone’s individual path as being different from your own while being the same in the desire to seek the divine.
The same should go for other religions as well. Whether it is Islam, Taoism, Christianity, or some as-yet-unnamed path, we should acknowledge the religion itself as yet another path to the divine. We should also not lay blame on all members of that faith for the actions of a few fringe members. Every faith, including Paganism, has its share of those that do harm in the name of that faith. Project Pagan Enough is a challenge to find common ground with those of other faiths as well and to encourage those that call themselves ‘pagan’ not to turn members of other faiths into the butt of dirty jokes.
Which brings me to the heart of Project Pagan Enough. It is a movement, a cause, a Harmonious Riot that includes bloggers, podcasters, authors, shop owners, radio personalities, pagans, non-pagans, me, you, and (hopefully) the whole pagan community. It is my hope that the Project Pagan Enough logo continues to be a beacon of peace, progress, and change for our community. By using the Project Pagan Enough logo, you’re making a set of promises:
- You are Pagan Enough, because you try fervently to explore what it means to be pagan and apply it to your life, despite your physical appearance, personal tastes, level of experience, or other factor that others might use to say you are not pagan.
- You recognize others are Pagan Enough despite how they may look, act, or believe, as long as that person feels they are fervently seeking the divine on a pagan path.
- You attempt to debate those that have opposing viewpoints, learning from one another despite how passionate the debate becomes, instead of simply writing others off for not being up to your standard of ‘pagan’.
- You welcome, befriend, and encourage others in the pagan community despite their physical appearance, level of experience, age, or other physical or superficial characteristic.
- You promise to treat members of other religions and spiritual paths with equality, fairness, and grace, setting a good example for the Pagan community both in and out of the community, not judging the individuals based on fringe members of their same faith.
Like the points of the pentacle, these 5 tenets of Project Pagan Enough work together and will, I hope, launch our community into a new era of tolerance, love, and peace. Our community cannot become cohesive if we are constantly judging one another or pulling apart.
You may copy the Project Pagan Enough logo for your own website - below - but please make sure to link back to this page to allow others to know what promise you've made to the community at large.
It is my sincere wish that we move forward into the new millennium with tolerance and open arms to all existing and new members of the Pagan community.
Love and Lyte,
The Project Pagan Enough logo: