A Note On Cancel Culture in Our Communities

So, the topic of cancel culture came up in an early morning conversation with a reader. For those who may not know what this is, it’s a type of group think where those who support a particular ideology (usually leftist) respond to those who question said ideologies in any way, by attempting to “cancel” them, i.e. block venues for their work, get them fired from jobs, harass anyone who works with them, burn their books (oh wait, we haven’t gotten there yet? Give it time). It’s a form of politically based bullying, against anyone who doesn’t follow the new secular religion of social ‘justice’. I already have a religion thank you, and I think it offers better answers to the inequities plaguing our world than anything new. 

Mind you, the people in our communities promoting this will “cancel” polytheists, even random laity who exhibit any capacity whatsoever for independent thought, but don’t give a damn about pedophiles and perverts and those they harm (I remember well the Kenny Klein fiasco and the way Pagans rushed to both defend him and demonize his victims). It’s moral authoritarianism, a means of shutting down any conversation, and it’s an attempt to transform our religious communities into hotbeds of (usually) Marxist thought. It’s disgusting. But it also just isn’t that important. 

Why do I say that? Well, firstly, look at who is doing the cancelling. They lie. They are not interested in reality and truth but in promoting their own ideological agenda. That being said, when someone criticizes me, I listen to that criticism, weigh it out, consider it. If someone impugns my character, even if it comes from a nasty, biased source, I’ll consider the criticism because even a shit stain can have a moment of clarity. There have been times where I’ve thought, “well, I don’t much like so-and-so but they are correct here” and then have done the internal work to correct myself. So, definitely take stock when you’re exposed to criticism. Don’t, however base your personality, your ethics, your conscience, your decisions on what other people think. Public morality today isn’t very moral. Moreover, people who engage in cancel culture will purposely and incorrectly reframe your words and arguments. They cannot be reasoned with because they are not moving from a position of rational thought and reason. They are a raving mob in mentality if not in numbers. 

I realize, not having grown up in a culture defined by social media, that this may actually be something that many of you haven’t considered. You don’t owe these people anything. Their attempts to cancel you don’t matter. Consider the following things: 

A). Who are you doing your work for? Is it for your own aggrandizement or is it for your Gods? Now as a polytheist and theologian, my answer to that is my Gods. When They cancel me, then I’ll worry.  If you are being “cancelled” at your job, get a good lawyer because the likelihood is that if your employer is bowing down to this external pressure, they’re probably breaking a few HR laws. Go to town. 

B). The small group of yapping fools that pull this, are just that: a small percentage of the people in the world with whom you may interact. If you have friends who are trying to bully you into any ideological position, against your conscience, and who attempt to violently shut down discourse and discussion, find better friends. 

C). You will survive. I’ve often said sarcastically that one just has to outlive the bastards but it’s true. I’ve been Heathen for thirty years. This isn’t my first time at this rodeo. I’ve seen various ideological purity tests come and go and it doesn’t matter. Even if they don’t go, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you do your work with integrity for your Gods according to your own conscience. This is, tangentially, why developing virtue (in the classical sense) and character is so very important. Give it a go. 

It may be deeply unpleasant when cancel culture comes for you. It may hurt. It may make you angry.  It may feel like your whole world is tumbling down. There may be a cost to keeping true to your conscience but that has always been the case. What do you value more: integrity and clean service to your Gods or the opinions of the yapping few?

It takes courage to stand up against this when it defines your entire social world. That’s why C.S. Lewis defined courage as the most important moral virtue: precisely for reasons and times like this. 

Finally, if this is happening to you, reach out to your real friends and know that you are not alone. Most importantly of all, you are not as you have been defined by others. 

About ganglerisgrove

Galina Krasskova has been a Heathen priest since 1995. She holds a Masters in Religious Studies (2009), a Masters in Medieval Studies (2019), has done extensive graduate work in Classics including teaching Latin, Roman History, and Greek and Roman Literature for the better part of a decade, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Theology. She is the managing editor of Walking the Worlds journal and has written over thirty books on Heathenry and Polytheism including "A Modern Guide to Heathenry" and "He is Frenzy: Collected Writings about Odin." In addition to her religious work, she is an accomplished artist who has shown all over the world and she currently runs a prayer card project available at wyrdcuriosities.etsy.com.

Posted on September 6, 2020, in community, Heathenry, Interfaith, Lived Polytheism and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. All great comments Galina. Both my & my daughter’s car have been keyed and dented by people who don’t like that we have a bumper sticker that show we are Pagan clergy. It wasn’t always this way. Now people are offended by a different religious belief & show their distain by striking out..
    It shouldn’t matter what spiritual path anyone supports, whether they have a Jesus fish or cross, Star of David or a Muslum symbol. Being tolerant of other faiths used to be the norm..
    I hope that people will find other ways, such as a discussion or research. Religion & politics should be the right of any person, in the way they practice their spiritual belief or how they vote.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. thetinfoilhatsociety

    WordPress only offers the “like” button but I don’t think I could put enough hearts ♥️ next to this to express my agreement appropriately. The Gods come first, last, and always. It’s that simple.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Good post as always. It’s extremely frustrating to me that large portions of the ..community? Movement? continue to prioritize short term social acceptance over building something new and rooted in the truth and beauty of the Gods which will outlast that rapidly decaying society.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Eek, a gaggle of people I don’t know are saying mean things about me on the internet in an attempt to get me to be quiet! How ever will I survive? Oh yeah, by laughing at them and continuing on just as I did before. The best way to deal with the self-important is to treat them as irrelevant. These people generally are at a loss when the response to their accusations is “I don’t care.”


  5. What is hilarious about the Neo-Pagan cancel culture is how they are really trying make everyone conform to corporate mainstream views. The avowed nonconformists want everyone to be just like them. They are mainstream with their woke ideas, and with corporations making a mint off of them.

    An example of the corporate culture: Trump is evil. Black lives matter. Let’s not discuss me-too since it involves Biden. There is a storm coming! Our Gods don’t speak to us anymore!

    Actually, for you and I and your readers, our Gods speak to us because we are pious.


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