Cultural Appropriation and Paganism - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 29 Old 04-09-2004, 09:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ok so we have had the talk about cultural appropriation by UU's and by other groups. But what about cultural appropriation and eclecticism?? Do ya mix say Thor and Pele in the same ritual?? Why would it be ok and why wouldn't it be ok??


And where does reconstructionism come into cultural appropriation?? Especially in cases where there is no longer an unbroken line of practitioners. Like Roman Paganism for example. If it is what would be commonly called a dead religion (I hate that term but couldn't think of another way to put it at the moment) does cultural appropriation matter.

And where does Wicca come into this? They have their God and Goddess, but is it cultural appropriation when they start attaching names of specific dieties to them??

What are you feelings?
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#2 of 29 Old 04-10-2004, 01:02 PM
 
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I'm not Pagan but would like to post. I'm sympathetic with the movement and relate to parts of it.

My personal feeling about appropriation is that we all appropriate things, consciously or unconsciously, and that there is a thin line between keeping things delineated out of respect and drawing a hard line that creates divisiveness. (i.e. "mine" and "yours")

At some point, surely there was one reasonably universal understanding of the Creator(s) from which all traditions arose. Then surely as peoples moved, grew and learned, their traditions arose from which circumstances they found themselves, so in a sense didn't they appropriate from their surroundings and own culture? And then further, start taking from other cultures they came in contact with? So nothing's really pure, and even the unbroken lines have been touched and changed through the centuries?

Obviously you can tell I'm biased as I think most religions are based in truth.
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#3 of 29 Old 04-10-2004, 01:47 PM
 
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I guess part of it depends on your personal beliefs, too. If you see all dieties as "faces" of the One, then mixing wouldn't much matter. Whereas if you view dieties as separate entities unto themselves, then it is more of a question of is it appropriate to have them come together. I don't know how to determine that, but I woudl think that dieties of the same pantheon coudl work together, as well as dieties that compliment each other in nature.
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#4 of 29 Old 04-10-2004, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree with Khris, that is a good point. I do think that if your belief is that all are one or all eminate from one then the idea of mixing and matching isn't necessarily offensive to you.

Being a distinct polytheist, that isn't my belief that all are one. And I tend to support the rights of cultural groups having a feeling of responsability to their Gods that outsiders rarely feel.

To me alot of it comes down to respect. Respect for the Gods themselves. If they aren't real to someone and just names to mix and match then yes I think that is cultural appropriation that is offensive.

I guess I don't see the line as thin at all. What is wrong with divisivness?? Do we have a right to appropriate anything we want?? See I don't think so. I think that kind of attitude is one of the missionary and conquerer. That, I own all. I have a right to use and have anything I want. And that is just arrogant and not respectful.
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#5 of 29 Old 04-10-2004, 09:34 PM
 
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I guess I don't see the line as thin at all. What is wrong with divisivness?? Do we have a right to appropriate anything we want?? See I don't think so. I think that kind of attitude is one of the missionary and conquerer. That, I own all. I have a right to use and have anything I want. And that is just arrogant and not respectful
Hmm. I just looked over my post again and I don't think I really expressed what I was trying to very well. I sure didn't mean to give the impression that I believe the above!

I WOULD agree that a lot of people with "missionary and conquer" attitudes do (and have done) quite consciously appropriate beliefs and rituals in order to infiltrate and ultimately suppress an indigenous belief system, and yes, that is wrong, arrogant, and disrespectful - to say the least. One would have to be completely ignorant of the history of the Christian church in particular not to realize that.

However, I think a lot of appropriation is unconscious, not necessarily thinking "gee, I like that, I think I'll start doing it" and combining it with something one already does or believes, but just seeing or hearing something, liking it, and buying it, doing it or displaying it. I think in another thread the preponderance of "dreamcatchers" was mentioned as a good example of how something sacred and meaningful has been cheapened. In my own opinion, it's a similar thing with crystals and incense - you see them everywhere, and know they're being used in ways that have nothing to do with their origins or even their intended use. I think most of the people doing that, though, are completely unconscious that they have stepped on somebody else's sacred beliefs and being disrespectful - in fact, they probably often feel the opposite, that they are honoring them in some way. Is that right to do? No, I don't think so, but I don't know the answer to how to keep it from happening, except possibly more conscious living in general - know what you're doing and why you're doing it (which would be a good idea all around for everybody).

However, is it disrespectful of me to read about how a Wiccan would take a ritual bath before doing spell work and think to myself, "I really like that emphasis on an outward cleansing before inner spiritual work" and create a ritual for myself before prayer and meditation? If so, how do I go through life without getting ideas in this way? How do I grow and change?

I guess the problem I personally have with divisiveness per se is that the concept of "yours" and "mine" often (IMO) seems to lead inevitably to "better" and "worse" and "right" and "wrong". That I guess is what I am trying to express by the "thin line." I can acknowledge that your belief is different from mine but to me, that is a step away from saying I am right and you are wrong. I guess that's probably a quirk of my own mind, but when I say I believe that most belief systems are right, that is my way of negating (I guess in my own head) any notions of superiority or rightness that might tend to grow in me about my own beliefs. (ETA: I also think a lot of grief and bloodshed in the world were and are caused by this very problem: "mine is better/more right than yours.")

I will grant that I am so rooted in my "many faces of the One" concept that I did not think about true polytheism and I apologize for that oversight. I can see that this very assumption would probably be irritatingly disrespectful. That does throw a monkey wrench into my little "mind game." (ETA: I'll have to find another way to reconcile things in my head....)
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#6 of 29 Old 04-10-2004, 10:13 PM
 
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Here's a different facet of the issue to ponder: some practices were very common, though I won't say universal, even if the meanings attached to them differ from culture to culture.

Take that ritual bath mentioned by Tracymom. I missed a lecture given in conjunction with a art display of Mikvah photos at the Jewish Community Center in PGH a few weeks ago. One of the points in the description of the day's events was that ritual baths are nearly universal. So would it be appropriation to use something like that, which occurs in many cultures, probably including one's own ancestral ones?

Incense is another such universal IMO. Probably the use of stones would be too, though size and usage varies, they seem to be common to many cultural religions.

One of the things the women leading the Moon Lodge last Sunday said was that they opened this Lodge to all women because women in every culture honored their Moon time in some manner.

How do we recognize what's so universal that it cannot be appropriated?

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#7 of 29 Old 04-11-2004, 02:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I sure didn't mean to give the impression that I believe the above!
I wasn't saying that you do believe what I posted. What I posted was my opinion of what can happen when anyone (not specifically you) believes that they can appropriate what they want without consideration of where it came from and what it was traditionally used for.

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I also think a lot of grief and bloodshed in the world were and are caused by this very problem: "mine is better/more right than yours.")
I agree with you to a point. Was it really mine is better that is the problem? Or is it mine is the only way that is?? Because one can think their way is better and not necessarily think it's the only way.

JMO, but I think that the real bloodshed came about because of the requirement of salvation and as a result missionary work. Not specifically because my way was better. Better implies that there are other valid beliefs, but I think mine are better. Not Mine are the only real true ones and you all are worshipping false gods.

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How do we recognize what's so universal that it cannot be appropriated?
I think you answered your own question.

IMO cultural appropriation isn't at all about the generics, it's about the specifics. It's about what is unique to that culture. Washing before ritual, lighting candles, burning things period aren't cultural appropriation. Because it is not the lighting of the candles that are unique to a culture as many cultures light candles. But the specific and unique prayers, blessings, methods and timings that reflect the cultural expression of a community in ritual are what should be respected.
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#8 of 29 Old 04-11-2004, 02:17 PM
 
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Should be, Arduinna, but I think it is asking too much.

Most people, IMO, are simple believers. Most Christians, I have found, know less about the religion they believe in, than, say, I do.

They practice their Xtianity without understanding it fully. Without reading their Bible cover to cover, and then delving into the Jewish religion they (and the Xtian founders) have appropriated and cherry picked from.

I single the Xtians out not to pick on them, but b/c they are the majority, so I have the most examples to cite.

So, if a person can celebrate their own religion (and it is perhaps the religion of their family going back for generations as well) without fully understanding it, how can we expect more from those who are dissatisfied with, say, Xtianity and are now seeking fulfillment elsewhere? Do we have the right to say, hey study "my" religion for say, a year before you decide whether to practice it? If it is not right for you, you must study any other religion for X period of time before you may practice it? Who are we to set such rules?

What if they just want to do a simple Ostara or Beltane or moonor candle ritual before having fully delved into the faith? What if it just speaks to them on a gut level? Do we deny them the peace and insight and spiritual growth doing a simple ritual might bring them? Because the experience of the ritual might give more insight into the religion than just reading or talking about it could do.

For another example, do we deny a Xtian mother the right to let her 3 yo, or 17 yo, take communion b/c the child understands it on a simpler level than an adult would?
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#9 of 29 Old 04-11-2004, 02:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Dar, first off I'm not making a case for anything. I'm simply exploring a conversation.

I really don't get what you're talking about. No one has said anything about requiring anything??
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#10 of 29 Old 04-11-2004, 02:53 PM
 
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I'm confused, too. Is it cultural appropriation when I have a "christmas tree" or if my children hunt "easter eggs" even though I am neither christian or pagan?
When I go on my own version of a "vision quest" are my visions any less meaningful because I am only 1/16 Lakota and have never been formally taught any native american traditions?
Is it wrong for me to set a place for Elijah, when I am neither jewish nor do we eat kosher food in my house?
But if these practices somehow comfort me and bring me closer to my own spirituality, why wouldn't it be appropriate for me to celebrate them?
Since I associate with no one particular organized religion or belief system, am I to be denied the chance to pray and worship in my own unique mish-mash way?
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#11 of 29 Old 04-11-2004, 03:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Since I associate with no one particular organized religion or belief system, am I to be denied the chance to pray and worship in my own unique mish-mash way?
I don't know are you being rhetorical or literal?

:
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#12 of 29 Old 04-11-2004, 03:08 PM
 
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Ard, I don't know how to say this, but it seems you are insisiting pagans of any stripe worship the diety of their choice in exactly the right, specific, approved way, or they are somehow cheating or stealing (ie; appropriating). this is just how I interpret what you said above.

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Being a distinct polytheist, that isn't my belief that all are one. And I tend to support the rights of cultural groups having a feeling of responsability to their Gods that outsiders rarely feel.

To me alot of it comes down to respect. Respect for the Gods themselves. If they aren't real to someone and just names to mix and match then yes I think that is cultural appropriation that is offensive.

I guess I don't see the line as thin at all. What is wrong with divisivness?? Do we have a right to appropriate anything we want?? See I don't think so. I think that kind of attitude is one of the missionary and conquerer. That, I own all. I have a right to use and have anything I want. And that is just arrogant and not respectful.
Now I will quote from the Pagan Origins of the Christ Myth webpage.

http://www.medmalexperts.com/POCM/ge...r_dummies.html

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Ancient culture was incomprehensibly different from our own. Here are a couple surprising ways the ancient's basic ideas about religion were not what you'd expect.

Polytheism was one religion. There wasn't a Jupiter religion and a Mithras religion and a Serapis religion. You could -- and people did -- pray to Serapis or Mithras in the Temple of Jupiter.

Doctrine didn't matter. Ancient religions were not institutionalized. Even the big national religions didn't have governing authorities to standardize theologies or oversee priesthoods and practices. Doctrine didn't matter. You could ask two priests about a God, and get two contradictory versions of a God's myth and rites -- at the same temple, on the same visit!

What that meant was, fluidity. Across the culture, from Spain and Britain to Egypt and the Galilee and on to India, there were hundreds of local versions of each God's faith. One God 's myth and ritual flowed into and mixed with the next's. No one cared. They saw it as all one religion anyway.
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#13 of 29 Old 04-11-2004, 03:11 PM
 
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Before it was a Christmas tree, it was Yule greenery.

Before they were Easter eggs? I don't know what the Prechristian Ukranians called them, besides Pysanky....Let's rephrase that: I don't know how exactly They interpreted the meaning of the Pysanky.

Before we knew about Vision Quests, there were any number of Rites of Passage Rituals, of which a time apart to ponder one's place in Life was part.

Why must the place set be for Elijah? One of my sisters sent us a small chair which Czechs set on the table as a place for either the Christ Child or missing/deceased loved ones. Thoroughly Christian in the first meaning given. I have no way of knowing if the second meaning is modern respect that not all who would want to have such a place set are also Christian, or if it means this custom predates Czech Christianity.

It seems to me that a specific custom removed from the rest of the cultural context from which it originates loses most of its meaning.

"What will you do once you know?"
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#14 of 29 Old 04-11-2004, 03:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Expressing my personal opinion about the way I see it isn't the same is saying everyone must see it my way. I started this thread to discuss the different ways that people define cultural appropriation. Just like there was a lovely little thread about cultural appropriation and UUs and the term blessingway.

I guess I see the problem in that I like to discuss concepts and things in a wider view and only use my personal opinion as an example. For some reason, the discussions always seem to get focused on the examples and not the concepts.
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#15 of 29 Old 04-11-2004, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It seems to me that a specific custom removed from the rest of the cultural context from which it originates loses most of its meaning.
Exactly! Thanks for saying what I've been trying to say and failing at.

It seems that by taking rituals out of context we are devaluing the important place that they have in their curture of origin. Because the actions themselves are the drama of playing out the story and meaning behind the action. So, without the meaning the action becomes just a fancy show, IMO.
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#16 of 29 Old 04-11-2004, 03:58 PM
 
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Hm, OK then.

For me, doing a ritual in the appropriate context, ie: singing and praying and worshiping the Xtian God in a Lutheran church, can be empty and non-meaningful anyway.

Doing Xmas around the tree, even being unaware of the pagan origin per se, was more meaningful and fulfilling, for me, as a kid and teen.

When I found out the reason why people put trees and wreaths and mistletoe around their house finally, it became that much more meaningful tho!

Even if my Yule celebration is not "correctly" or specifically Celtic or Norse.

How does modern Wicca, then, fit into the history of Celtic paganism?
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#17 of 29 Old 04-11-2004, 04:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How does modern Wicca, then, fit into the history of Celtic paganism?
I think that Huttons Truimph of the Moon answers that quite well.

But this will do in the meantime http://rimcountrypagans.dreamscrying.net/whywicca.html
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#18 of 29 Old 04-11-2004, 04:12 PM
 
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I don't know are you being rhetorical or literal?
I am being literal. I do not prescribe to any one particular organized religion or faith system, yet I find profound personal meaning in parts of many beliefs.

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It seems to me that a specific custom removed from the rest of the cultural context from which it originates loses most of its meaning.
I disagree. The things I have borrowed from others have much more meaning to me than to many of the people from whom I have borrowed them.

Who is to say that they own their god(s)? If someone truly believes that your god speaks to them, who are you to say she doesn't?
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#19 of 29 Old 04-11-2004, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally posted by stafl
The things I have borrowed from others have much more meaning to me than to many of the people from whom I have borrowed them.
wow.



Don't you think that if something is a cultural practice must have meaning to that culture? And as such, how do you know that it means more to you than them?
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#20 of 29 Old 04-11-2004, 05:58 PM
 
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...because I have discussed these things with people I know well enough to bring up the subject. I know many many "Christians" who know very little in regards to Christianity and the teachings of the Bible (not all of them, to be sure, but many).
I know a native american who thinks any talk of spirits is complete nonsense except figuratively.
I know many people who have no idea why they do certain rituals and practices, and who only do them because their parents do and their religious leaders have told them this is what they should do. For these people, those things are void and without meaning, when I may recognize a very deep personal message in them.
I've spoken with others as well, who do understand and for whom their religions are very meaningful. And, to these people, I mean no disrespect, and for the most part none is taken. To the contrary, actually, they are usually flattered that I would take the time to think of these things and seek answers within their traditions. And they almost always take the time to intellectually discuss these things with me.

Can anyone answer the questions I posted earlier?
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But if these practices somehow comfort me and bring me closer to my own spirituality, why wouldn't it be appropriate for me to celebrate them?

Since I associate with no one particular organized religion or belief system, am I to be denied the chance to pray and worship in my own unique mish-mash way?
Do the adherents of any one faith own their beliefs and practices?
Isn't that the same as saying that one particular religion is the only source of "Truth" and that their path is the only correct one with which to reach that Truth?
I say that the search for Truth is subjective and as individual as we people are, and that we each must travel our own path to find it. My path doesn't seem to be defined by any one faith, but rather bits and pieces of many different ones. Does that make me wrong or my beliefs any less meaningful than anyone else's?
How could anyone presume to answer that question?
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#21 of 29 Old 04-11-2004, 06:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know, all your examples are NA, Christian or Jewish in origin, not pagan. So I don't feel qualified to answer.

I will say that just because some people in a culture have no idea why they are doing what they are doing doesn't mean that the culture as a whole doesn't value the practice. And honestly, I wouldn't accept an ok from anyone that is so far removed they don't know why it's done anymore.

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#22 of 29 Old 04-11-2004, 06:50 PM
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Originally posted by stafl

Can anyone answer the questions I posted earlier?

Do the adherents of any one faith own their beliefs and practices?


Isn't that the same as saying that one particular religion is the only source of "Truth" and that their path is the only correct one with which to reach that Truth?
Yes, imo, they own those practices. No it isn't the same. Why would it be the same?:

Ownership of a spiritual practice doesn't necessitate prescription of that practice for all.

Nor does it exclude the possibility that truth (if that exists) can be found outside that particular spiritual practice.

There are spiritual communities who do not prescribe their ways onto others.

I probably won't understand lifting ceremony, for example, out of the culture, context, and language wherein it lives, so to speak. But I am very fulfilled by my participation in the rituals of my ancestry and have zero desire to take something like say, smudging or a sweatlodge sit for my own experience.
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#23 of 29 Old 04-11-2004, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Isn't that the same as saying that one particular religion is the only source of "Truth" and that their path is the only correct one with which to reach that Truth?
absolutely not and I don't understand at all why people think that?

But I think one possible reason is that some people are so appalled at Christianities belief that only their God their way is the way; that they go to the complete opposite of any and every way is acceptable. And it doesn't matter what any culture thinks because I have a right to it all.

And IMO that is just as bad if not worse. Because as cultural practices are stolen from their communites they become forever changed. And so which is worse, decimation by a group that thinks that a culture is wrong or decimation by people that thinks a culture is right ?
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#24 of 29 Old 04-11-2004, 10:09 PM
 
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arduinna said:
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I agree with you to a point. Was it really mine is better that is the problem? Or is it mine is the only way that is?? Because one can think their way is better and not necessarily think it's the only way.
I agree. However, I tend to think the former leads to the latter, particularly in the small-minded, and there's where the problems tend to arise.

stafl said:
Quote:
But if these practices somehow comfort me and bring me closer to my own spirituality, why wouldn't it be appropriate for me to celebrate them?

Since I associate with no one particular organized religion or belief system, am I to be denied the chance to pray and worship in my own unique mish-mash way?
I personally think that's probably the difference. You aren't appropriating it and then institutionalizing or promiting it, merely taking it for your own use, and apparently doing so after careful and thoughtful consideration, not because it's "cool" or "in."

Meiri said:
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It seems to me that a specific custom removed from the rest of the cultural context from which it originates loses most of its meaning.
I would think so, too.

Quote:
But I think one possible reason is that some people are so appalled at Christianities belief that only their God their way is the way; that they go to the complete opposite of any and every way is acceptable. And it doesn't matter what any culture thinks because I have a right to it all.
Or they're so enamored of a sense of what I might call "religious political correctness" that they do this. You know, the kind of PC that tends to be homogenizing rather than tolerating/celebrating differences as people like to say it does. (I may not be putting that at all well, I can't seem to express myself!) I tend to differentiate between "divisiveness" and "difference," preferring the latter to the former.

arduinna said:
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I wasn't saying that you do believe what I posted. What I posted was my opinion of what can happen when anyone (not specifically you) believes that they can appropriate what they want without consideration of where it came from and what it was traditionally used for
Okay, I understand better now and I see your point. In my own personal case, I tend to believe that all is Truth and just different paths being taken, but that doesn't mean I am going to start doing rituals from here and there. I tend to find meaning in the Christian rituals, I think probably because that's more of a *cultural* familiarity with me, not because I buy into everything they say. I certainly don't buy into the idea that it's the only path, which probably would make me a hopeless hypocrite and head case to a lot of the people I go to church with. At this point in my life, I don't much care about that. It's like, I feel a soul stirring when I hear "Amazing Grace" on the bagpipes probably equally because it's that song and because I'm Scotch-Irish and appreciation of bagpipe playing must be in the genes. So spiritually that means something to me because it's my culture and my background.

I'm rambling and not sure I'm making a point here. Sorry....

Ultimately I'm not sure I know the answer. I can really see some points on both sides of the issue, and I feel the answer has as much to do with someone's motivation as to the actual rituals they are trying to appropriate......
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#25 of 29 Old 04-12-2004, 06:56 AM
 
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Well, to repeat what I have said in similar threads...
for me, "appropriation" is about power and oppression.

I would NEVER work with American Indian dieties or rituals, because my culture has been decimating their culture for centuries. I think it is incredibly disrespectful for an oppressor culture to take from an oppressed culture... Even IF I PERSONALLY have never oppressed. And that's what a lot of folks don't get. It doesn't matter how respectful YOU are as an individual.

I stay away from Voudon and Santeria and Candomble (sp) for the same reason.. religions brought over to Cuba, Haiti and South America by slaves that syncretized with the religion of the slave-holders.. are very powerful religions, but I don't feel I have any business messing with them. I do have a friend who is a lilly-white Southern boy.. and a POWERFUL Santerian. He says he was called, and who am I to argue? But I would not go there myself.

Now, European and Middle Eastern stuff is fair game for me.
And I have used Hindu dieties as well... as I have no oppressor relationship with India. I feel the karma is clean. I work mostly with dieties that have connections to my heritage.. but I am a Pantheist, not a strict Polytheist.. so I feel OK about sometimes borrowing another God or Goddess image.

Now, others have said.. well what if you were something else in a past life?
but I am in this life now.. and so that is what I deal with.
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#26 of 29 Old 04-12-2004, 02:03 PM
 
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But I am very fulfilled by my participation in the rituals of my ancestry
What about people like myself, who don't have any one particular heritage from which to draw? Most US citizens are a hodge-podge of many different cultures.
I am partly German-Jewish, Lakota, Irish, Scottish, English, and probably more that I'm not aware of. And just perhaps, it's that mixed heritage that brings me to my odd eclectic beliefs that are a mixture of many different faiths.

What matters the most to me, is how different faiths define what I have found within my heart to be True. I have taken my own innermost beliefs, and applied religion to them rather than the other way around. I borrow bits and pieces from many different sources in my search for enlightenment.

I don't see how what I am doing has any effect on any culture or any faith system, as I am totally outside and apart from them. My beliefs and rituals are for me and only me.

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as cultural practices are stolen from their communites they become forever changed.
That is the evolution of ideas. It's going to happen, like it or not. Each generation takes the lessons their forefathers have taught and re-invents them in context of current times. Conquerors have always incorporated aspects of the conquered culture into their own. A belief system or religion that does not allow for change will surely die out just as the dinosaurs did. The outward appearance of religions constantly changes, but the Truth at the heart of those religions carries on forever and is timeless.

So to go back to the original question, yes I feel everything is fair game as long as the individuals who are "appopriating" the ideas and customs in question do so with good intentions and a deep inner respect of that which they borrow.
Organized religions that borrow things from other religions? well, as I am inherently opposed to organized religion of any sort for numerous reasons, perhaps I'm not the best to say one way or the other.
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#27 of 29 Old 04-27-2004, 09:12 PM
 
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bumping this discussion, in light of the more recent thread on the same subject...
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#28 of 29 Old 04-27-2004, 09:42 PM
 
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stafl, ITA with your post. I said some of the same things on the other thread. As long as borrowing happens with respect and honest intentions towrds enlightenment or gnosis or unity with god and humanity, I do not see it as racist/sexist/classist.

It is not going to stop happening. Religions evolve, as you said. Due to a series of reasons, climate, food sources, changes such as abolition of slavery and ownership of women, ease of immigration, movies, gender study, a new book you found that shakes you to your core.

And of course, beliefnet!
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#29 of 29 Old 04-28-2004, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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While wandering around I found this quote

At any rate, I am completely on board with the argument that when someone who is not a part of a particular culture and religion attempts to dictate their own wishful thinking and misunderstanding of another culture to someone else, they are being a twinkie. Especially when they try to sell it back to the members of the culture they only think they understand! Those of us enculturated in the dominant (middle-class) culture need to be extremely careful that we are not interpreting another culture's experiences for them using our own norms. We have been very guilty of doing this in the past, and our past victims have every right to view us now with suspicion.

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