Fair warning: this post contains quite a bit more swearing than I usually let rip on this blog. Also, one animated gif, at the end.
Ok, seriously guys. Can we stop? Can we please just fucking stop?
There is no dichotomy between people who utilize pop culture philosophies, ideas, characters into their religion and people who don’t. Not using pop-culture in your religion doesn’t make you any more or less serious in your worship/devotion/whathaveyou than using pop-culture in your religion. As with all things, the seriousness of the person practicing religion has everything to do with the person, and not their methods.
People who [say they] stick like glue to The Looooorrreeeeeee(TM) and eschew modern interpretation because it’s somehow less ~*~pure~*~, as if the ancients had figured out EVERYTHING and we modern folk are just too broken by advanced technology to understand ~*~real religion~*~, do not have anything up on anyone else (except maybe a head start in the Biggest Douche in the Universe contest). Sorry, no.
Bottom line: use pop culture in your paganism or fucking don’t. If it works for you, great. If it doesn’t, also great. If saying “So Say We All” during ritual feels too silly to you to be useful, then don’t say it!
But you don’t get to say that it’s too silly for every other person out there. I feel like a goddamned ass whenever I do ritual with other people and we have to say So Mote It Be. I fucking hate that phrase; it does absolutely shit all for me, but I say it anyway, because that’s the ritual that was designed and it’s polite. I sure as hell don’t tell them they’re doing it wrong because it doesn’t work for me.
No one has the monopoly on the One Right and True Way to do Things, because there is no One Right and True Way to do Things. And chances are, unless you’re living with someone, you have no idea how serious they are about their religion. So you don’t get to say shit about how using Battlestar Galactica quotes in one’s religious life somehow ~*~desecrates the sacred art~*~ (whatever the fuck that means).
And while we’re at it: serious and solemn are not the same thing, especially not if you’re saying how ~*~serious~*~ you are with your craft and in the same breath describe the joy you feel during ritual. “Grave in quality or manner” is not the only definition of the word serious, and words. mean. things.
A ritual does not need to be all dour faces and low chanting and unhappy people to be serious. (Just like all pagan music doesn’t have to be a gorram funeral dirge; honestly, where’s the peppy pagan pop?) It can be fun and ecstatic and full of mirth and still serious.
Finally, a lot of folks take geeky obsessions way more seriously than religion. So arguing that folks who mix the two are somehow less ~*~serious~*~ about the ~*~sacred arts~*~ not only makes you look like a massive douche, it also makes you look ignorant.
If your concern is that people are perpetuating negative stereotypes of pagans by incorporating said things into their faith, and you think it’s of utmost importance that people never have any misconceptions about paganism ever, and that in fact this trumps the importance of, say, feeding hungry children, stopping sexual assault, and ending a culture that says it’s ok to murder trans* folk, then I have one thing to say to you:
Now I seriously want to know how to incorporate pop culture into my religion. I fucking love that idea!!!
It’s a pretty awesome thing to do, and it can be really simple!
For example, as part of my altar/shrine set up, I have a doll of Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz and an action figure of Mulder from The X-Files. These are not figures of worship for me, but they are figures that mean something to me, spiritually, and I keep them on my altar as representations and reminders of those things.
Another example is my saying “So Say We All” in ritual, from Battlestar Galactica. Other folks I know use appropriate quotes from their favourite series/books/movies/etc during ritual. (Another good one from BSG: “What is the first article of faith? This is not all that we are.”)
Or, it could be as simple as using a pop culture figure to represent one of your deities. I personally have issues with a lot of the art that’s used to represent the deities I follow, so if I happen to find something based in pop culture that works better than any of the other art I’ve found, I’m happy. 😉
There are lots of other ways to incorporate pop culture into your religion; I’ve barely touched on them, really. Jack has some really good posts related to this stuff. My favourites: The Monster at the End of this Meditation, and Boggle the Owl as Totem, and Nopetopus as Totem.
Awesome. I’ll check that out and start lookin into ways to incorporate it!!
Comments are closed.