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On Differentiation: It Isn’t about “You”

By Theanos Thrax

There is a lot of conversation right now in the circles making up the Polytheist Movement, about differentiating polytheist religion (and its affiliated aforementioned movement, which must be understood as a human-rights movement organized around the premise of religious freedoms and identity dynamics) from other unrelated-but-intersecting social justice considerations and activisms. When Polytheist writers make the request that people make a firm differentiation between “religion” and “social justice work”, we are clear to state that we are in active support of social justice work, our own religious rights movement BEING a social justice pursuit itself, and that we are not trying to “stop” any of these other movements or political and civic engagements. We’re not speaking against anything. We’re speaking in favor of differentiating religion from social justice. And chances are pretty good that we’re not talking about you, or any other individual person or practice, when we say this.

Many of us who are pointing this our are doing so because we are directly observing a popular misunderstanding of “polytheist religion” with certain political movements, not only in our own reading but in the emails or messages that we are sent. There are people contacting us who are concerned that when they supported the Polytheist Movement’s religious rights pursuits, they were somehow “tricked” into being part of a political movement that they do not understand, or may not agree with, or aren’t even sure how to identify. In other words, some people are feeling like their consent of affiliation was not honored. So how do we know that people are confusing polytheist religion with social justice work? Because people are telling us that they are confusing these two things.

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