My second essay for The Wild Hunt is up, and it’s already gotten some unsurprising criticism.
That being said, Liberalism is also what restrains Paganism because of its insistence on a flattening of differences and its sublimation of subversive identities. One can be whatever one wishes to be, provided that identity does not challenge the Capitalist, Disenchanted order. Beliefs and practices which refer to narratives in conflict with the Disenchanted order become marginalized quickly. One can be Muslim provided one not believe it too authentically, be Queer as long as one not act upon such desires in the public sphere. Here, I’d refer also to recent backlash against polytheistic beliefs within Paganism–one can believe in gods, provided one does not really act as if they exist.
Unsurprising, because I’m attacking the very core of what is most destructive in American Paganism–Liberal, Capitalist ethics re-inscribed into Pagan beliefs. The arguments of “Wiccanate privilege” months ago belie this problem a bit, as do the general reactions of middle-class, white elders to the demands of polytheists that the gods be taken…seriously.
Enjoy. : )