I enjoy discussions. I enjoy discussions with people that don't necessarily agree with me or who see things from a different point of view. Discussions of that nature, allow both points-of-view to be explored and for the people involved to compare where they are coming from on a topic.
What I don't enjoy, is people who are angry and bitter. They name-call. They compare you to Wiccan's, or Christians, or some other belief system in an attempt to smear you. They believe that their point of view is 100% correct and everyone else's is 100% wrong. They somehow believe that they have the key to Truth and that everyone else is just making it up as they go along. They use a mocking tone and insults. And when you call them on any of these things, they accuse you of "not tolerating another's opinion." Or of "not allowing open discussion on a topic."
Now, this sort of behavior takes place in discussions of political issues, culture, and other religions. But in Heathenry, it is especially interesting to observe. Here we are with no Holy Book or central authority. We are a tribal way of life and are attempting to reconstruct for ourselves a world-view from materials that are somewhat imperfect in their completeness and quality. And yet, almost miraculously, we still manage to create fundamentalist Heathens that feel it is their task in life to express their singular correct point-of-view, and tear down anyone who doesn't share an appreciation for their brilliant correctness.
Yes I do express my point-of-view and the point-of-view of my kindred. But, I don't go to other Heathens blogs, or message boards, or internet postings and tell them how wrong they are. And I certainly don't do so with a mocking, insulting, angry bitterness. I've been around long enough to understand that there are intelligent, reasonable, and thoughtful people who hold widely divergent points-of-view. So, I don't spend my time attempting to tear down or vilify people who have a different point of view than mine. And I don't feel obligated to entertain those who would seek to do that to me.
Discussions are welcome...
Afterall, I have discussions with scores of Heathens on Facebook, Google+, the Heathen Gods Message Board, and many other places and rarely do we all agree. But everything seems to go just fine.
Mark Ludwig Stinson
Jotun's Bane Kindred
Temple of Our Heathen Gods