Please be an intolerant Pagan

I’m an intolerant Pagan, and I invite you to join me.

If we start from the premise of ‘an it harm none, do what you will’ then we don’t need to tolerate people who are just getting on with their lives and their Paganism. Diversity doesn’t need our tolerance – diversity is a good thing. We don’t need to all think, feel, practice or believe in the same ways. Paganism has always been a tad individualistic and we do not need dogma to affirm us. We can argue, or agree, we can accept and reject each other based on whether we get along, but we should never have to tolerate each other.

I like diversity, I embrace and welcome it. I am comfortable with beliefs, practices and ways of life other than my own. If you’re just getting on with your life and not hurting anyone, what you do is none of my business, and tolerance is not part of the mix.

I will not tolerate people who spread hatred and wish harm to others. I will not tolerate people who think they are entitled to force their views onto other people. I don’t tolerate abuse, bullying, racism, sexism, oppression, cruelty, violence, threats.  I’ve got no time for hatred.  At the moment I don’t have a lot of energy for active fighting of anything much, but I will move away from anyone who I can’t tolerate. I will not give them a platform.

The right to free speech is not the right to an audience. It isn’t the right to be heard and it most certainly isn’t the right to be tolerated.

So if anyone suggests that you’re being intolerant by not giving them a place at your table, tell them you know, and that this is because you aren’t a tolerant person. Don’t let your kindness, your inclusiveness and your generosity be weaponised against you. If you find something intolerable, you do not owe it a fair listen. Tolerance is just a way of enabling stuff we don’t really want. I don’t want to live in a tolerant society, I want to live in a fair, inclusive and diverse society free from haters.  Equally, I do not want to be tolerated, I want to be safe.

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

9 responses to “Please be an intolerant Pagan

  • Sheila N

    Especially like that last line, I too want to be safe.

  • Martina Ramsauer

    I don’t want to be manipulated! Many thanks for your thoughtful post! Best regards

  • lingib

    Well said, Nimue! Very much my own views, thank you for your post,

  • Sheila Murrey

    Never thought about it this way. Thank you for the eye-opener! ❤️🦋🌀☯️

  • contemplativeinquiry

    In the way I use language, I don’t think of your recommended stance as ‘intolerant’. It is more a refusal to be indulgent, complicit or enabling.
    For me, ‘tolerance’ is a problematic word altogether, offering permission without warmth or empathy.
    Some traditions (Buddhism, Christianity) advocate the exact opposite: refusing permission for certain kinds of behaviour whilst maintaining an underlying empathy for the person performing it and affirming their potential for change. To an extent I support this view, whilst also knowing that I am cautious and pragmatic about applying it – and, as a modern Druid, free to make existential choices about issues and encounters as they arise.

  • dragonfae

    I usually just lurk or read your posts via email … but I had to respond to this one. Thank you for eloquently stating that which I’ve felt for a very long time (even before I was Pagan). People don’t seem to get it when I opine that too much tolerance is a bad thing. I really like your perspective on this subject.

  • fgsjr2015

    The blind, even illogical, reactive hostility towards effective measures taken by progressive governance is often absurd.

    As a humorous example of such anger (albeit fortunately from a single very extreme source), just the concept of socialists having any power anywhere on the planet causes distress to a local man here who’s vocally vehemently opposed to liberalism.

    On a couple occasions he became so narrow-mindedly enraged that he, with his tightened fist trembling before him, uttered to me, “I’d vote for the devil himself if that’s what it took to keep those Godless socialists out of office!”

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