Something that has really begun to bother me in the Tumblr pagan sphere is this idea that just because one might worship an entity of war they have the right to bully others into submission or to harass them for simply not being at the same place religiously as oneself. It creates a bad reputation for those who understand that there is a difference in simply being an aggressive person and flat out being a bully for no reason. As the Gaol Naofa Facebook guidelines page says, “Being a bully is not part of the ‘warrior’ path.”
This point needs to be repeated, “Being a bully is not part of the ‘warrior’ path.” And those who cannot understand this make me wonder why they really consider themselves a warrior, since warriors are not meant to tear down people for no reason, but rather to protect them.
So where does this idea of self-entitlement to the point of bullying come from? I have made speculations, but I do not definitively know, one way or another, all of the potential reasons. That is not to say that I cannot guess at the ones I do not have experience with.
I, at one point in time, thought that I could get away with being rude, overtly aggressive, and mean simply because I was using it as a defense mechanism to prevent from being attacked myself, and I claimed that because I was a devotee to an entity of war I could get off scott-free because of it. This is not the case and was never the case – it made me look immature, petulant, and dishonest. If one cannot, in anyway, uphold a moral high ground and they use a war entity as the excuse they are, down right, someone toxic and unhealthy to be around.
This is not to say that I am peaceful and optimistic either; I am not. I thrive in conflict and thrum with energy when I put myself into competitive situations. The difference from being a bully, though, is that I know how to remain respectable and composed, instead of flying off the handle. An aggressive personality is common to come across, and yet many of these personalities do not offend the onlooker immediately, and that is because most people know to show a little decorum.
Another reason I have seen used is the excuse that oppression gives someone an automatic right to be mean and cruel. It does not. I count as a religious minority, and I account for two letters within the acronym LGBTQIPA+ (gay, asexual), however I would never dream of this as a reason for being downright rude to someone for no reason. It gives me a right to be angry or assertive, not a monster. And not only is that behavior presumptuous, it de-legitimizes my stance on issues in the eyes of many. And then to lump this as a reason to be constantly rude with that of worshiping a war deity… It is over the top, incredibly childish, and comes across with a similar air to being a special snowflake. “Well I get to tear you down for no reason because I worship x deity and I’m oppressed because of x reason.” Stop – that is not how life works. It is never an excuse to act hateful and cruel.
So this idea floating around Tumblr, that worshiping war gives one an automatic reason to be a terrible person, needs to stop. If one lacks basic ethics to the point where they only justify their deeds with a war deity, or use that is a further excuse for their deeds, they have a serious problem with their character and they need to reevaluate themselves.
Worship war, be angry, stay aggressive; but do not, under any circumstances, act hateful, like a bully, and petulant and write it off as “being a devotee of a war god.” And while I have stated that I have let things go to my head, I am not perfect now, nor will I ever be. I am working towards becoming a better person entirely. It is a process to unlearn – but at least I have learned that the entities I have devoted myself to are not an excuse to maintain the attitude of a bully and harasser.
Original version of post here.