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[personal profile] holzman_tweed
Many years ago, a fundamentalist Christian of my acquaintance asked me what I insisted on calling my religion "Wicca" or "witchcraft" or "Pagan" when I knew it was a term that many found inflammatory, and wouldn't it make me much more palatable to Christians if I called my religion something less threatening like "Earth-based spirituality" (which some people do) or some other name that didn't have the history of the word "Witch?"

I explained to him that my history as a Witch and as a Jew is that if you start giving ground on that front, there's no end to it. If today I back off the word "Witch," tomorrow someone will ask me why I don't choose something less challenging than "Earth-based spiritualist." And the day after they will be asking me why I don't choose something less challenging than whatever comes next. The process would never end until the thing I called myself was "Christian." Sooner or latr, I was either going to have to let myself be converted by "friendly" pressure unless I drew a line and said "this far, no farther." So I may as well draw it here and now, recognizing that people would either stand with me or against me, and those who stand against me here would never stand with me anywhere else.

It was a far less eloquent way of saying this, only this is so much more universal:

There's a war on. Either we succeed, and their world ends; or they succeed, and ours does. Does it matter that we want them to go on living in our world, that our world has room for them to build cities and parks and futures? Not really. The very act of not getting to define everything for the rest of us is the end, for them. The fact that none of them would actually die, that their children would be fine and their blood unshed, is irrelevant. We can abhor and condemn violence and torture, and this too is an act of war. We can love them depthlessly as people and wish them no harm, but we cannot avoid the implications. If we are considered equals, their world is over. Our lives are the explosives that end it.

So, okay.


I say let's call down the thunders, then. Let's stand and fight. Let's own that our love is a matter of artillery, and fire salvo after salvo. Let's hold hands and kiss and fuck and dance while all over, rock shears from the cliff-faces of their shuddering world and it frays at the seams. Let's defiantly exist, exist hard, right next to them, public, brazen, beautiful. Let's drill and march and right on their doorsteps let's have unacceptable bodies and loud music and food whose aromas they find foreign and offensive. Let's fucking sing.

We can call it jubilation. They can call it war.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-25 06:26 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-25 06:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jonathankorman.livejournal.com
Digby has a really good old post (http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2005/02/resentment-tribe-other-day-i.html) about the history of cultural resentment in America — talking primarily about politics. She quotes Lincoln's Cooper Union speech (http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln/speeches/cooper.htm) saying much the same thing about slavery, a century and a half ago.
The question recurs, what will satisfy them? Simply this: We must not only let them alone, but we must somehow, convince them that we do let them alone. This, we know by experience, is no easy task. We have been so trying to convince them from the very beginning of our organization, but with no success. In all our platforms and speeches we have constantly protested our purpose to let them alone; but this has had no tendency to convince them. Alike unavailing to convince them, is the fact that they have never detected a man of us in any attempt to disturb them.

These natural, and apparently adequate means all failing, what will convince them? This, and this only: cease to call slavery wrong, and join them in calling it right. And this must be done thoroughly — done in acts as well as in words. Silence will not be tolerated — we must place ourselves avowedly with them. Senator Douglas' new sedition law must be enacted and enforced, suppressing all declarations that slavery is wrong, whether made in politics, in presses, in pulpits, or in private. We must arrest and return their fugitive slaves with greedy pleasure. We must pull down our Free State constitutions. The whole atmosphere must be disinfected from all taint of opposition to slavery, before they will cease to believe that all their troubles proceed from us.
Anything less than enthusiastic agreement on every point will always be an attack in their eyes. Why compromise, when it won't be accepted?

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-25 08:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] salsuginous.livejournal.com
"...wouldn't it make me much more palatable to Christians..."

It took me awhile to read past that statement. I actually can't read that statement any more because it just enrages me every time I read it. You handled that so much better than I would have.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-25 09:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trinityva.livejournal.com
This is exactly why I don't call what I do "BDSM." People think I'm rather nutty for not calling it that, saying that "sadomasochism" is a mental illness and something violent, and what I do is not. I... yeah, what you said.

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