Last night, on Tumblr, I watched a devotee of a problematic god get anonymous bullshit thrown into her inbox. The Anon made disparaging comments about her god. The devotee reprimanded the Anon, and proceeded.
But then a second Anon left a comment referencing improper behavior towards the devotee’s god as undeserved and claimed any misfortune from that god was deserved. This struck me as the same sin in a different cloth.
Both Anons are cherry-picking the qualities of the god they wish to focus on, and deliberately ignoring the rest. Self-applied blinders, of the fanatical fashion. Both also presumed to tell the devotee of this god how she should interact with the god of her choice. Neither left the devotee the option of interacting with her god how she wills. It was either Abandon From, or Abandon To, and never a middle ground there be.
This morning, I thought more on the unfortunate comments and found myself quite angry about the situation. The god in question doesn’t matter. The devotee picked on, doesn’t matter. Neither one of those Anons were thinking of this. They saw someone behaving in a manner they did not agree with and took it upon themselves to “correct’ the devotee and to do so in an abusive manner.
Can’t have all this rage built up, right?
The following posts are copied from my Tumblog in order of posting. No corrections have been made for grammar, language, tone, or spelling. (Comments entered for this post are in parenthesis.)
Don’t like Deity X? Okay. Make a blog and bitch about that deity to your heart’s content on your blog.
Person A is a devotee of Deity X? That is your problem, not theirs. You do not have the right to take your personal problems with Deity X and dump it in Person A’s lap.
“Your god sucks. Your god is an ass. Your god is bullshit and I hope your life is fucked up for following that shitty ass of a god!”
Dear Anon, I hope your life implodes and the only god you can go to for help is Deity X. Keep talking that kind of shit. Are you such a god damn coward that the only way you can express any dislike of Deity X is to go to people that have obviously benefited from Deity X and try to take flaming shits on them? Fuck you and your jealousy. Take your Dance of Sour Grapes and hotfoot your way out.
(Anonymous questions are good. There are subjects that can cause the questioner much grief if their identity is known. However, anonymous questions attract the trolls better than a birthday cake attracts toddlers. Throwing insults and slurs behind the mask of anonymity is the work of a coward, and treated as such.)
Like Deity X? Totally adore and love and worship and are dedicated to Deity X? Okay. Good for you. Thumbs up, and shit. Just make sure you are prepared to deal with the not-so-nice aspects of your deity of choice.
Is your deity known for being what we mortals would call, “rude”, “treacherous”, “divisive”, “chaotic”, “boundary breaking”, “peace-wrecker”, “a pain in the ass”, or other related adjectives? If that deity was a mortal would there be a line of folks waiting for their Righteous Gonad-Punch of Retribution? Is there a line of other deities already assembled?
You can’t ignore that. You can’t say your deity is all love and sunshine and sweetness, while ignoring the trail of bodies left in their wake. Your deity may have been the best thing to you since honey and cinnamon, but to the person next over, that deity may have been the undeserved cause of torments, scars, and PTSD. Because you’re all sugar and sprinkles with Deity X doesn’t give you the right to erase what other people have experienced with that same deity.
To say Deity X, who has been well documented in accepted lore as being both a hero and/or a consummate ass depending on which way the farts blew (I paraphrase), is an ass to other mortals because they were an ass to that deity first, is to be the worst kind of blinded fool. There are enough fluffs running around cherry-picking lore because they can’t handle their most beloved of gods can be just as harmful as mortals. (If not more.) Your deity does not need you to defend them. You do not need to justify your love of a problematic god by attempting to stomp out every person that does not share your adoration. Don’t drop such shit in people’s inboxes. Otherwise, you are just confirming why your beloved deity is given so much stinkeye already.
Your gods have enough public relations problems on their own. Stop adding to them. Demonstrate instead why your deity is worth following despite the problematic issues.
(I had already begun receiving questions about the posts. I anonymized the questions, and answered them in a rebloggable format on my Tumblog.)
“Did you have a particular god in mind for ‘Deity X’?”
ALL OF THEM.
(Yes, it was one particular problematic deity and one particular devotee that inspired the ranting. As I wrote, I realized this was a problem shared across pantheons and cultures. Nearly every deity has something hush-hushed at first glance. Except for Priapus. No way to hush that up. Ever.)
“‘All of them?’ Isn’t that a cop out?”
Only if you are not willing to take a hard look at your own deities of choice from a non-follower’s point of view. Completely set aside all the reasons why you follow your deities of choice. Take a look at what others see.
If you can’t, pretend your deities of choice were incarnated. What kind of people would they be? What faults would they have? If they walked down your street, how many police rollouts would be called? Even if they dressed appropriately for your culture (assuming they could be talked into doing so), which behaviors would not make the transition?
For every deity that has an enraptured follower, there is someone that seethes at the very mention of their name. For every reason that you love your deities, that same reason is why someone else is willing to chuck their idols into destruction.
If you can’t see why someone would take offense to your deity, you’re not looking. I don’t want you to play apologist. “My deity is loved by all, because X!” Bullshit. I want you to take an honest look at your deity, acknowledge the problematic parts, and accept that not everyone is going to feel positive towards them.
You can do that for OTPs (One True Pair) and fandoms. Do that here as well.
Make of that, what you may.