When I see the struggles of some of the relatively disadvantaged, disenfranchised, and overtly marginalized citizens of our country, I find that it is not just important, but actually my duty as a devotee of Hestia to speak out about them. And as a white woman, it is my responsibility to “unpack” my own backpack of both “privileged” and “marginalized” statuses so that I can know where I either stand as an ally — allowing members of marginalized groups to lead the way and tell their own stories — or where I need to speak up as a member of a marginalized group. In regards to these things, I know that I must not keep silent in my activism, but am REQUIRED to do these things to the best of my ability.
While I am relatively privileged because of my European ethnic background, I am also relatively marginalized because I am a woman, poor, older, disabled, LGBT, and a member of a minority religion. I have recently written about how Hellenic Polytheism needs to stand with indigenous peoples in their struggle to preserve their sacred sites and heritage because as a Hellenic Polytheist MY sacred sites are considered “cultural” heritage sites but are not being used for their original purpose.
As a woman, indigenous cultures in the United States, would tend to see me as one of the people tasked with protecting the land and water.
While it is true that my ethic background gives me advantage, in the United States it has become increasingly obvious that the poor have no real voice.
I can “pass” as heterosexual if I must, but the fight for true equality for the LGBT is not over and with the current political climate hard earned equality still needs protecting.
Equality for the disabled community doesn’t exist as we can see demonstrated by the undeniable fact that often people with disabilities often have to fight for years just to gain access to the things needed for us to live our lives and use our talents to the utmost.
Finally, as a member of a Non-Christian faith in a country increasingly dominated by an extremist sect of Fundamentalist Christian Dominionism — who are using “religious freedom” as a weapon to bludgeon anyone not in line with THEIR beliefs, I am needing to fight for TRUE religious freedom that is used to as a shield to protect ALL beliefs equally.
Is Hellenic Polytheism compatible with Social Activism? I say it is necessary for Hellenic Polytheists to “unpack the backpack of privilege” that we all carry and either fight for equality in the areas where we are marginalized or support those who have to fight that fight. In MY opinion, it is mandated by our Theoi that we support equal rights so that those who struggle daily for Arete may be better able to find TRUE excellence.