I have to admit here that I did once upon a time frequent lots of pagan-lite boards in the past. Time being scarce, I have recently reduced my surfing to those boards where I am challenged and, as a consequence, expand my knowledge, deepen my practice and grow as a pagan. So, it has been a while since I've seen the bicce & bitchcraft that is out there in the ether. Thus it was, with great dismay, that I saw the offerings of the various posters (apart from one or two brave souls) and felt so angry I was ill. I was desperate to have a crack at the sheer idiocy of some of the posts, but, alas, it was not to be. The BBC boards have me on moderation (does my reputation proceed me?) and it was too much to tolerate to write all those posts and not have them seen because of some mod's overzealousness.
I had thought that with the growth of more serious discussion boards and fora in the pagan community that the general state of knowledge in the pagan community might have improved. People would see the wikkan misinformation, relabelled and recycled continously in a never ending loop, for what it is: new age, hippy trippy tripe. From what I can see at the BBC, a board open and readable by the general public (not just pagans), this is not the case and people appear to be getting a rather pitiful view of pagans. If you're reading the BBC Pagan Boards, you might end up believing pagans are freaks, uneducated, dyslexic, overweight, covered in tattoos, judgemental, intolerant, delusional (i.e. prone to "seeing things"), argumentative, ill-informed, vicious, vegetarian, vegan and carnivorous - all at the same time and, frankly, a very mixed bag of angry fruitcakes.
The recent troll incursion at the fora where I moderate, some posts from pagan friends of mine, at a different forum, on the subject of fundies of the "bessed be" bunny kind and the trouble they cause, has come to remind me why I don't: (a) go to moots; (b) attend a lot of pagan events (and why I get so sick after a few hours at pagan events and have to go home and rest for about a day to recover); (c) why I don't (pay to) join any pagan organisations; and (d) why I generally don't mix with many other pagans, choosing instead to keep contact with a very select few.
I just don't have the tolerance levels for it any more. It has come to a point where I feel I don't want to even refer to myself as a pagan, for fear of being lumped in with the general mêlée. Perhaps I should just stick to calling myself a polytheist and leave it at that?
In the meantime, I have realised I am intolerant of those fluffy bunny (yes, I use that term), wikkan, fundie, IRAB (I read a book), "more pagan/witch than you" wannabes and, should they get in my way, I will have no hesitation in cutting them down to clear the path for those that seek spiritual/religious truths. That said, I will not go out of my way to meet them, ever again. I just don't need the aggro.
While I'm at it, I should also admit to being judgemental, prejudiced, unforgiving, grumpy and tired. Ah, I guess I am a pagan after all!
[Note: My definition of a "fluffy bunny" is one who only reads one author, or books from one publishing house, or one internet site and sets it up as the one and only authority, refusing to be challenged on fact or experience, and informing all others they are wrong to call themselves pagan/witch/druid/heathen/whatever if they don't follow the guidelines as defined by them. These are the people who scream louder when challenged, drowning out any reasonable discussion with cries of "persecution".].