Please stop blogging about religion. Actually, I think you’d be best off taking a hiatus from religion in general for a while, but your religious blogging has a poor track record, and I think you’d be best off taking a break from that for a time to re-prioritise your life.
First off, as best as I can tell, based on the last decade of religious blogging you’ve left for the whole world, your time in any religion, since the first time you left Christianity, has been about three to four years. That’s a pretty short shelf-life for a religion, if you want me to be frank. You were Solitary Wiccan for, what? Four years? You were a Ravenwood novice studying for your initiation for, what? Three years? And after you initiation, you took off for Hellenic polytheism within *four weeks*. Four weeks! Who spends all that time studying Trad Wicca just to jump ship less than a month after initiation?! You spent four years tops in Hellenism. Before your foray into IBAB Wicca, you were a Southern Baptist and then Pentecostal (by your own admission), and if memory serves, you were raised in the former and had less than five years in the latter. Now only just since August, you’ve been a Methodist. At best, you’re clearly searching for something that you’re probably not finding in religion; at worst, you’re getting into these religions for all the wrong reasons.
Regardless of your reasons for switching religions at such a pace, blogging about it clearly isn’t helping you do anything but burn all your bridges. Unless that’s your goal, I urge you to stop.
Which reminds me: You want to know why pagans and polytheists all over said blogospheres are talking about how you’ve gone back to church? BECAUSE YOU’VE BEEN BLOGGING ABOUT IT. You want to know why so many pagans and polytheists are rolling their eyes to your face and bad-mouthing you —mostly behind closed doors, but occasionally in public? Because you’ve spent an OBSCENE amount of time since going back to church bad-mouthing pagans and (though mostly by proxy, from what I could gather) polytheists left and right, as if you’re intentionally burning your bridges in an effort to “prove” that everyone in these communities is as unfriendly and spiteful as you say they are –when the reality of the matter is that this everyone in those communities who’s bad-mouthing you is doing so BECAUSE OF YOU.
It’s not rocket science, Starling, this is clearly all a basic reaction to things you yourself have been doing and saying. You’re the one being unfriendly. You’re the one being spiteful. You’re the one with the proverbial quill dipped in venom, who is taking every opportunity to stab it just at any pagan/polytheist who stumbles upon your blog again. And once again, you’re insisting on innocence in this matter when it’s all been you taking the active role in this mean-hearted nonsense; you can’t fault people for an equal reaction to your bile and direct it back at you; all the FMPPHs that you think the pagan/polytheist community is full of are only acting so because you’ve really given no reason for people to be nice to you, at this point.
Additionally, I really do believe that you should take a hiatus from religion in general for a while, and do some real soul-searching and find some real spirituality. I do believe, at this point, that if you really did love the gods of Hellas even a fraction of how much you went on about it, there is no way you would have ended up going back to church “for the community”. I think you’re “into religion” for all the wrong reasons, and I think you have to figure out if it’s really for you or not before diving head-first into another faith within four years (as an aside, were you aware that some people are having, mostly humorous, side-bets about what religion you’re going to dive head-first into come 2018? My money is on Freerange Scientology, to be honest —if only cos that way you can fancy yourself OMGz, Most. Oppressed. Religion. EV4R. I really wouldn’t put such histrionics past you, at this point, considering your track record.) I don’t think the religious communities of the world can take it if you don’t take a few years off from religion AS A WHOLE, and really do some introspection and self-examination of what you really want and need out of life, and if religion is going to fit into that for you; maybe call yourself an Agnostic Deist or Theistic Humanist, if you really want to cling to a spiritually-minded label for that time, but just take a fucking break from religion for a time, and really learn what your wants and needs are in this life.
Also, and I want to make it clear to all who read this that, while it is no secret that I do dislike you, I absolutely am not against you when I say this, but I do think you should cut the crap, already. Your Patheos Pagan Editor mantra was “I never wanted to be a BNP…” Bullshit. If you never wanted that, you surely wouldn’t have jumped at the chance to manage the Patheos Pagan Portal, now would you? If you never wanted the harsh critiques of damned near everything you say on the Internet, you would not have been busting your arse to make sure every social networking site had full access to your blogs. If you never wanted the pagan and polytheist communities to have such a reaction to your return to Christianity as many of them have had this last month, you would never have given them a reason to do so —no, you would’ve just been all “hey, I think it’s best for me to go back to church and blog about that, now,” and seriously censored yourself from the dozens of times since where you took an opportunity to bad-mouth the pagan and polytheist communities.
I gotta admit, Star, you’ve made it so that I can truly appreciate the fact that Teo Bishop/Matt Morris (or whatever his name is now/again/omgwhutevs) never took the opportunities to badmouth people that you have taken —but then, Teo Bishop seemed to have been a genuinely nice person —bland and unremarkable, as a blogger (at least in my opinion), but people liked him because he was very sincerely a nice person. He didn’t always have the most-informed opinions, but he was nice, gracious about criticism, and if he couldn’t be (presumably), he kept his mouth shut. Frankly, you’re a bitch. You’ve probably been one for quite some time. You’re every bit the mean girl you like to complain about, and I doubt you really have a clue about this, but you seen to have devoted substantial time to establish this real pattern where you’ll be nice, for a time, and then you turn on people —maybe it starts with a disagreement, or maybe you just get bored and think there’s something missing in your life, so you “liven things up” and turn incredibly mean, but you don’t see that you’re doing it, cos you still have a handful of people who’ll support you even when you’re in the wrong, and then when even they get sick of your shit, you still do the whole “not my fault” act and blame everyone but yourself, cos you’ve dug your heels in. See, the thing about “victim blaming” is that it’s only a fallacy when a person really is the victim in the situation —not even wearing a micro-mini and electrical tape on the nipples in the toughest part of the inner-city is an invitation to rape a woman, so if someone does, she’s clearly a victim, who is, by that nature, blameless. But when someone, such as yourself, establishes a pattern of bad behaviour that makes people dislike oneself and drives them away, someone who is mean and nasty to the point that people give it right back, then one is no victim; you are NOT blameless in this. You’re the only common denominator in whatever problems you’re having online, right now, and Occam’s Razer, the probability that your problems are indeed, your own damned fault are pretty high, right now. If you want people to ease up on you, try doing the opposite of what you’ve been doing this last month —at the very least, if you refuse to give up on religion or even just blogging about it, at least STOP being such a gods-damned bitch.
Now, I realise that I’m probably writing this to you in vain, cos your ego has been about the size of Texas since you managed Patheos’ Pagan Portal, and you tend to ignore any advice from anyone, especially the good advice. I realise that I’m saying this mostly cos it’s been on my mind this last couple days, since I’ve learned of your apparent conversion back to Christianity –which I initially thought was a joke I made after someone else made a joke about following yours and Biship’s lead. I realise that even if you read this, you’re probably not going to take a lick of it to heart until something big happens that really makes you re-think what you’ve been doing by flitting around between religions every 3-5 years, and even then, at the rate you’re going, this hypothetical point of self-discovery on your end will be a complete fluke and not actually taking my advice, cos I figure this’ll be at least ten years from now. I do, indeed, realise that I’m mostly saying all this because it’ll make me feel a bit better to say it, rather than let it sit on my mind for another day or two —which is a perfectly valid reason to say something in the manner I’m doing so. So I don’t need your commentary, but if you’d like to prove me wrong on anything I’ve so far hypothesised about what your reaction to this would be, I certainly would like to see it (I don’t *have to*, but it’d be nice).
And so in closing, I truly do wish you well. No, I really don’t think you’ve been a worthy adversary this last 7-8 years, but you’ve certainly given me example after example of how not to be, and for that alone, I’ve been at least a little grateful. While I realise that you probably won’t take my advice to take a few years OFF from religion as a whole, for a change, I think it’s better to give that advice than to not, and maybe the part of me that’s optimistic to a fault does hold onto some hope that you’ll listen and go forth to do some soul-searching and figure out exactly what you believe and what you want and need in this life, and whether or not religion will benefit you in getting any of that —I’ve certainly hoped for sillier things, before.
— Ruadhán J McElroy
PS: Stop claiming you were “holding up” the traditions of Hellenism or ANY pagan religion you were a part of. Elaion’s Bob Clarke has been practising Hellenism longer than you or I have been alive (and we’re about the same age). There are people from Greece who, apparently in an underground fashion, have been doing it longer than that. You’ve “held up” nothing. You practised Hellenism, for a fairly brief time, and nothing more. It was “held up” by people long before you decided to play Cara Schulz’s sidekick for a few years. There have been people before you who’ve actually “held up” their religions so that people like, more than, and even less than yourself could do the practises as carefree as you did.
I really hope that this claim of yours, for your sake, was just a failure to understand what that phrase really does mean, and not more histrionic tiara-seeking.