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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.
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