Eliora’s Response to “Christian Products for Pagan Purposes”


Earlier today, in a post titled, “Christian Products for Pagan Purposes,” Fire Lyte proposed the following questions:
“Do we really have no other options at this point? In 2013? You’re reading a blog right now from some kind of smart device or computer. Can you not click on to a craft supply website? A giant online warehouse store like Amazon or even find a similar privately owned business website? Etsy is chock full of craft suppliers who make no bones about who they sell to.

I will leave you with the question: is the joke really on them, or are we laughing to make us feel better about giving money to people we know we shouldn’t?”

I, my Luvs, have all kinds of things to say from the point of view of a Witch consumer. But, Eliora, one of our Wicked Darlings, is a Pagan business owner, and she has what I believe is a better response. Still, I’ve added my short reply at the end of the post. Welcome to Pagan Culture, Eliora.

“Pagan Sourcing” by Eliora
I don’t have a blog, so thanks for having me, Magaly. Today, a lot is being discussed about the appropriateness of a Pagan crafter purchasing supplies from sources that support non-Pagan views.

I responded yesterday to one such posting where I wrote that I do shop at businesses of the kind, and that “I only buy, there, what I cannot reasonably get elsewhere, locally.” 

I work diligently at my Pagan handCRAFTing, priding myself on offering the Pagan community lovely items, at reasonable prices.

Who isn’t aware of the fact that, in business, “time is money”? 

I spend hours on the internet, searching to find and purchase the perfect elements for my projects. I consider quality, quantity, price, and delivery time, all with an eye to providing a good value to my clients. I travel as far as 80 miles from home to personally hand-select gemstones. At some point, I must factor that searching time into my prices, right along with the cost of supplies, shipping, and other overhead expenses. 

I always look for trusted (read Pagan) resources first, but occasionally, I can’t find what I need, or what is available does not meet my criteria for quality/value. So I go to one of the big box craft stores. There, I walk around looking for what I need, or just to get inspiration for an alternative. I don’t sneak about so no one knows I am Pagan, but neither do I drag out all of my Witch’s garb and my biggest pentacle for the trip.

Surely no one believes that every Pagan item out there is certified as not having had any handling that has benefited a non-Pagan cause. 

Judaism has Kashrut—dietary laws overseen by a board of Rabbis who certify what is acceptable for a Jewish person’s consumption or usage. Can someone point me to a similar Pagan Council who can stamp my supplies as approved? And if such council existed, wouldn’t that mean that we are becoming something else? Since when does our love of diversity and common sense extend only to the people who are just like us?

I would think that smudging my supplies, creating my work in a serene, protected, and sacred space is Pagan enough to overcome the stigma of using elements obtained from non-Pagan sources. I believe in intent and not in legalism, for I left that behind with my mid-calf dresses and crosses.

Many might say that my approach to sourcing could perpetuate something that isn’t all that great for our community. If anyone can tell me how to get all my supplies from Pagan businesses and still stay in business, please go ahead, I’m listening. Do be specific.

So here is my disclaimer: Approximately 5% of the supplies, I purchase, MAY come from or through vendors, or parties that are non-Pagan and that don’t share my Pagan beliefs/ethics. Another 20% of my supplies come from vendors I believe to be Pagan, but have no validation of their human resource activities. The final 75% comes from internet vendors (i.e. Etsy, eBay, and other sites). I purchase from people as close as 2 miles from my home to across the globe in China, India, the U.K. and Turkey. I wish I could grow everything I need for my work right in my backyard—better yet, I wish I could conjure them up—but that would be somewhat unrealistic.

***

I (Magaly Guerrero, do solemnly that…oh that’s a movie, sorry!) I shared my answer on Fire Lyte’s Facebook wall. Here is what I said: “Ah, the economics of religion… When I was searching for places where to have my little brother’s funeral rites, I spent days looking for a non-denominational funeral home. I found a few. One of them was run by a Pagan individual. I’m a Witch, so as you might be imagining, I was thrilled. Well, as thrilled as one can be after her 26-year-old brother has just died in a car accident. Then I asked them about the price. [They asked for] 37% more [money] than the most expensive local Catholic funeral home. I’m not anywhere near rich, so my little brother was viewed at a Catholic funeral home, around people who looked at me funny because I was having him cremated. I understand that we should do our best to support our own, but when we can’t afford the prices our own provide and still eat decent food, we should do what we must. I’m sure the gods will understand.

Your thoughts, my Wicked darling Luvs?

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53 comments:

  1. Totally agree with both yourself and Eliora's stances. If we lived in our perfect world we wouldn't need to buy anything from anyone...not even fellow Pagans, but we don't. And I don't buy things because the vendor is Pagan...I buy things because they call to me, regardless of the beliefs of the vendor...isn't that what being pagan is about, freedom to choose to mix with anyone...even while shopping? :D XXX

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    1. Gina - Thank you. Like you, I put my heart and spirit into everything I create. And the world is full of lovely things to work with.

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  2. Brava!!! I agree completely. Why shouldn't I buy supplies from a place I can afford and that is most convenient for me when I need to? My cousin used to work at Hobby Lobby. While not a Pagan, she does not subscribe to the ideals of Hobby Lobby's founders and, I'm quite certain, she is not the only one. I prefer JoAnn Fabrics but am currently searching for other venues since I am trying to focus less on cross-stitch kits and more on various patterns that can be modified how I want or I create myself.

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    1. Jennifer - Absolutely - when it is affordable for us, as CRAFTers, we can make it more affordable for our clients. Everyone wants to have nice things.

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  3. Just like Wal-Mart ,I don't care for the politics of Hobby Lobby. However I'm not in a financial state to be picky. Just as much as I'd like to get pagan friendly stamped merchandise, like Eliora I must get my supplies where I can. Maybe small pagan business owners would have more picky if more pagans were shopping from small pagan businesses. Who can really say tho. :/

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    1. Renee - I think you have something there. Perhaps Pagan-first, but not necessarily Pagan-only.

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  4. I agree with both you and Eliora. As one of her very satisfied clients, I can vouch not only for the beauty of her creations, but also the spirit with which they are imbued.

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    1. Thank you so very much! I means the world when someone actually recognizes the love and spirit that goes into the work.

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  5. If you can make it yourself, wonderful. If you can buy it from a Pagan vendor, fantastic. But let's stop and think about this from the other side for a second.

    Does it bother you when Christians only shop at Christian stores, and refuse to patronize anybody else?

    Are we a part of the world community or not?

    I realize that part of it is about not giving money to companies and people who would like to see us burn in the flames of a thousand suns. I don't shop at places like WalMart or Chick-Fil-A, period, ever, for this reason and several others. But unless a particular company has made it very known that they discriminate or are otherwise out to harm our community, why discriminate against all Christians in turn? Aren't we more "enlightened" than that?

    When not making it myself, I buy my stuff from a variety of places, including Catholic religious organizations, because some of their incense is awesome. I work with angels, and there's not a lot of Pagan-created angel stuff out there, but there's buckets of Christian-made items.

    The world is my community, and every interaction is an opportunity for friendship and education. Treat others as you would wish to be treated. The good radiates out from there.

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    1. Willow - You're so right "the world is our community", and we won't make it any better with prejudices.

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    2. And my Brighid's Cross charms cone directly from a Catholic Charities website.

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  6. Its the use of the item that matters to me. Until I dedicate something for a use, pagan, its just raw material to me. Mind, I do tend to stay out of any Uber Christian/Jewish/Muslim supply stores, however if no one else has what I need I either do without or put on my "Big Boy" pants and buy what I need where it is.

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    1. LOL, Morloki, exactly! Intent!

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  7. I don't buy craft supplies from the Missionary Union shop, but other than that I buy my supplies where I can find them. There are very few shops in Norway that have a problem with me being heathen, and even fewer Pagan shops. I can't shop for supplies on ebay, because the shipping+tolls+taxes would make it more expensive than buying it here.

    I've thralled through every Pagan web shop in Norway, and they simply don't have what I need. Supporting your own is all well and good, but it's nuts to take it too far.

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    1. Linda - I can only imagine how difficult that must be foe you. At least supplies are readily available, here in the U.S.

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  8. I buy where I can. Tight cash flow doesn't begin to describe my situation. So, as much as I would love to buy fibers hand-spun & hand-dyed by Pagans, the reality is that for the 200$ I would have to spend to knit a shawl, I could buy enough from Lion Brand Yarn (on sale) to knit a shawl, scarf, & cardigan.

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    1. petoskystone - exactly! Even if you spun your own yarn, costs can quickly get out of hand.

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  9. Support "our own" when we can, but it's silly to isolate ourselves. Then we are no better than "Them". Most Pagans that I associate with are all about acceptance, diversity, equality, etc. If we boycott a place because it is Christian or because it doesn't share our specific values, then we are going to have very few affordable places to shop. Any yucky energy clinging to what we buy we can release with the moon's energy and smudging. Just my cent and a half.

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    1. Fire Lyte doesn't suggest that we just walk away from a place if it's Christian, what he says is that we shouldn't put our money in places where the owners are clearly against Pagan values, and have made their feelings public to all.

      I understand what he means, and in a perfect world, we would only buy from the nice people. But the world isn't anywhere near perfect, so we work with what we have. That's what I say.

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    2. Oh Sarah - thank you! For me it IS all about the energy and my own intent, Then, it becomes about the intent and energy of whomever purchases the item.

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    3. Absolutely, Magaly and Eliora. I like Fire Lyte's response below. It clarified things for my scattered little brain. To give a place money only for them to use that money in causes aimed at taking away our rights (Chick-fil-A/Hobby Lobby)definitely leaves a bad taste in my mouth (kind of like Chick-fil-A's food). I know one thing, I will definitely be more mindful in my shopping following this discussion.

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  10. I think Willow's views most closely match my opinions on the matter. There are some businesses that are never getting one red cent from me. What their money goes to is anathema for me and I am very, very fortunate that I am in a financial state where I have options.

    But I get that others don't, whether because it would ridiculously jack up their overhead if they are artisans or it's a choice between eating and purchasing food at Walmart. I completely get that. For me specifically (and I really want to emphasize that) since I have the means to afford Wegman's and Trader Joe's regularly, that's where I do the bulk of my shopping; for me, again specifically, I'd feel wrong not doing so because I can. That's not to make someone else feel bad about their lack of options.

    Just shopping at general Christian merchants though? Sure, why the hell not! I don't see that there's an issue with patronizing their stores, virtual or otherwise. It's silly to assume that.

    However, I really don't think Firelyte was advocating boycotting all Christian goods. Firstly he specifically said "activist Christian businesses" not just any old flavor of Christian. Secondly, the besides me, the dude seems to have the most mellow attitude in the blogosphere towards Christians in general. It's extremely difficult for me to think the guy who is *very* outspoken about not demonizing all Christians because of their beliefs meant for his post to be taken as never shop at a Christian store ever or you're a bad Pagan. I think it was more of a message to really consider *why* you are spending money at a shop that is notorious for it's right wing conservative Christian views. If it's because you very cash strapped and have no other choice, hey we've all got to eat. But if it's simply to thumb your nose at those sorts of merchants and have a good giggle that their holy wares get used for purposes that wouldn't make them happy, then it's a bit like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    I certainly *don't* think Eliora is one of those laughing "I'll show those damn Christians" when she gets her supplies from them. From all my interaction with her, she doesn't have a spiteful bone in her body. I respect her tremendously as not only an artist but an artisan. And I respect her judgement when it comes to picking out suppliers.

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    1. I doubt, very much, that anyone who responded to this post is trying "to thumb [their' nose at those sort of merchants and have a giggle that their holy wares get used to purposes that wouldn't make them happy."

      In my part, I will paraphrase something my friend Judy said on a different thread. It is easy to say I would do this and that when we are not the one getting affected by it. Many people talk about let's boycott Walmart, for instance, but what do you do when that is the only store you can run to in the middle of the night after you finished working your third job?

      That is what this post is about: the fact that we all have choices and sometimes they aren't comfortable. And when others go around saying that we are this or that just because we have to make those choices, well, they aren't helping the cause.

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    2. I'm sorry if I implied I felt anyone here had that attitude. I was more going off what I think Firelyte was attempting to say with his blog, based on context and what I know of him (well, what I know of his public persona anyway).

      I just want to make it clear, I'm not judging folks for buying from Walmart if that's their only option. If I were cash strapped and desperately needed to make my paycheck stretch to feed my kids, I'd buy from whoever had the cheapest deals. I'm just saying I don't think Firelyte was necessarily saying "buy Pagan only". I think it was more nuanced than that.

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    3. Some good points. Thank you. I know that it's not black or white, and that the article isn't necessarily saying "all Christians are bad, never buy from any of them." I'm asking people reading this, and the comments, to think about it from a world perspective and make the choices that feel right to them after becoming informed.

      And choices? There are always choices. Even when I was making about $13,000/year income and supporting a family of three on that amount, I never shopped at WalMart. I will never shop at WalMart. Ever. They are dead to me. Nonexistent. I do without, or I make it myself, or I buy secondhand or get things on Freecycle, or I save up and buy that item later at a different store or online if it's something I can't live without. That includes food. I've grown my own food. There are food pantries, mostly run by (gasp!) local churches. I've lived in times when buying a .50 cent candy bar is a major purchasing decision and I've used the bathroom right before leaving work to save the pennies on TP at home. There are always choices. I'm willing to sacrifice a lot for mine.

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    4. Kestril, thank you. And you,re right, I don't shop those vendors only to "thumb my nose", in fact, I only go there when there is no alternative. But as I wrote on facebook yesterday, I do admit to being amused when I get askance looks or, when a salesperson actually backs-up when I speak to them. (a testament to the power of a 3/4' diameter pentacle pendant) A more timid person might forego that experience and do without.

      You're also right about why I spend my money there - it is because the Christian craft store with the crappy employee ethics might just be the only place that carries something I want/need, at a price I can afford.

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  11. this is all like the King Solomen parable. Do we cut the baby in half or do we let the baby live and adjust.
    I have a sense that we must live what we aspire to always. Do no harm....not to the earth, to another being or to yourself. If your intention is to be completely separate from the rest of society except those that are exactly like you, then I'm afraid you are in for a long search.....because we are each different.
    I go back to a story from years ago when a friend's cat had kittens. She was adamant about not letting a Christian adopt her kittens, only pagans. I know now and I knew then why she felt the way she did, but it was unrealistic. Others besides pagans love animals and give them love and nurture them. Who are we to feel superior? Don't we find fault in others that do? Do business in the best way for our own heart. Be the best human you can be and expect the same from others.
    I create. When I do, you, if you are my client, accept it is my work that makes it special, not what it is made from. This is only my opinion. Oma Linda

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    1. Oma Linda - Thank you. I have always delighted how unique diversity truly is. And again, the putting of myself into my creations is what makes them my creations. "The whole is greater than the source of its parts.", paraphrasing wise Aristotle.

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  12. Both sides of this have quality reasons for their arguments...we all have to do what we can in order to live within our means..and even the stores are just trying to make a living...and sometimes we must buy from someone who does not share our values...this can be difficult when the stores become political and try to exert control where it is not wanted or not in the best interests of anyone...I am very down on wally world as I don't approve of their business practices... However, occasionally, I can be found there (darn)...does boycotting a store if they don't know about it help? They won't know they are losing out...Probably talking to political leaders would be the thing
    to do instead...
    In the meantime, we need to try not to be too hard on each other when we don't live up to all of our ideals...
    Typing on my tablet and can't seem to get back to read this through, so not sure what I said...oh well...

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    1. Judy -

      Logic and heart - great comment. Thank you.

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  13. Here's my take:

    As many of us do, I try to shop at the places I'd like to support. When that's not practical/feasible, I go elsewhere.

    When I go elsewhere, there are still choices to be made. Don't like Hobby Lobby? It's ok - they're not the only craft supply chain. There's a sliding scale of 'evil' here. I don't like Walmart or (now that I know about more about them) Hobby Lobby. So instead, when I have to shop the big cheap stores, I'll go to JoAnn's or Michael's. Just as an example. None of the 'big' stores are ideal recipients for my money, but some are worse than others, and the difference in price between those isn't that big a difference. The biggest difference between all those, for me, is that Walmart is 25 miles from me, while the other three are all about 70 miles from me. That just means that my shopping trips are carefully planned and don't happen very often (which ends up being better for my budget, anyway).

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    1. If they think they are right (the discriminators) and we think we are right (the ones being discriminated against) and we fight their exclusive ways by excluding them, too, how do we make things better?

      Oh, and I know you and I talked about this, but I'm still grinning (kind of sadly) about Michael's *sigh*

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  14. This is such an interesting subject Magaly... I remember growing up Christian (not by choice) and being told early on that we had to "stick to our kind". That we needed to shun the movies, politicians, products, and shops that didn't stand for our beliefs. Through the years, as I've grown into my "own" person I've decided that anything that excludes others isn't really comfortable for me. So personally speaking, rather than supporting a particular belief, I tend to support those souls I assume to be "good". Of course we really can't tell what someone is truly like deep down inside but at least I try to stick with businesses or individuals who treat people with love and respect. The funniest thing is... it's amazing how many mainstream religious groups really don't fall into this column so I guess covering multiple bases with this general philosophy.

    On a side note ~ sorry I've been a bit m.i.a. lately ~ I'm always here in the background keeping up though. ;)
    ♥Sharon

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    1. Someone over at Fire Lyte's blog said a bit on how "us vs. them" has never worked; so very true. It is just to hard to see that they are so similar to us when what we believe in is so fundamentally different. I wonder if philosophy of religion will always stop being such a mess...

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  15. Wonderful post Lori and Mags. I have had similar conversations before, about similar things ( like Wal-Mart ) and while in a perfect world, as mentioned above, we would all only have to buy from like-minded and in perfect alliance with our belief and ethical system places, but this is not that type of world.

    You buy what you can afford, where you can afford, taking into account all your requirements, ethical and moral viewpoints, your financial ability, and everything else, and you make the best decision you can. We have TWO craft shops within a HUNDRED miles from me. Michael's and Joann's. I have a pay as I go debit card, and it costs me 5 bucks to add money to it, when I already have very limited funds to start with. Honestly, neither of those options are economical for me. So I only get to go to the big box stores if we happen to have an appointment in town, or I make do with what I kind find at the evil empire. ( Of course I am not doing this for my livelihood, I know there is a lot more involved when you are trying to exist off of these things ) but the point remains the same. You do what you have to do. You make the best choices out of the options you have, and then your intent and energy you put into it does the rest, in my opinion. I would not care if say the parts of the necklace I got from you ( which I loooooove ) came from Hobby Lobby or if you found them in a Christian Thrift store ( my favorite thrift store that I talk about a lot that feeds the homeless is Christian, and I donate to them and buy from them because I believe in what they are doing, I do not care whose name they are doing it in..)or even if you found it in a dumpster and cleaned it up before using it. What matters is what you did with the items after you obtained them. What matters is the love and energy that goes into each piece, which is immediately apparent as soon as you touch or wear whatever you made.

    We all have to do what we have to do, and honestly? It is not really anyone else's concern. Anyone who has known you for longer than 5 minutes knows you are a wonderful person who would never buy willingly from those types of places unless you had any other choice. But I see no reason why we should all have to suffer and do without and be some kind of martyr just because of who owns the store.

    Mags, I can't tell you how many times I have seen Pagan people jack up their price on things SO much simply because they can, because there are people out there who feel the way Firelyte does ( about this subject. ) So they rip us off and it ticks me off. I know people want to make a living, but as much crap as the Pagan "community" ( I use that word a little loosely. ) goes through, you thing we would be HELPING each other, not ripping each other off. Your little story made me kind of sad, and kind of angry, that you had to go through that.

    <3

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    1. I think that Fire Lyte and the organizations who want to do business filtered through their belief systems are both right and wrong, too. I know Aristotle is probably shaking his fist in his grave, yelling, "Magaly, but my Law of Noncrontradiction! They can't both be right and not right at the same time."

      The thing is that everyday life is much more complicated than philosophical views, more complex than religion... We tend to be right in our own rightness (yes, I just sounded like a dude). But our rightness shouldn't make someone else's wrong.

      How nice it would be if we could all see that? I know, I know, I'm not idealistic enough to think that that day will come (at least not any time soon), but a witchy can hope and wish...

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  16. Hello there!

    I'm Fire Lyte, Inciter of Riots and the guy that wrote the blog that inspired this response. I would have written sooner, but I sadly had a 12 hour shift at work and could only just now get to a computer.

    I'd like to make a point of clarification regarding both the posts above and quite a number of comments.

    My post was not merely about purchasing products from Christian businesses. Quite a number of people have commented as though I am saying we should shop at only Pagan businesses, avoid Christian businesses, or the like. That is, to clarify, not at all what I was saying in my original post. Also, I was not trying to, as some have said, cast aspersions on those that choose to spend their money at a place like Hobby Lobby, though I realize now that it can seem that way.

    For that, to Lorelei, Magaly, and anyone who took that from my post, I apologize.

    The post was in regards to a court case being fought by Hobby Lobby in relation to the Affordable Care Act, colloquially known as Obamacare. Long story short, they want to make sure that, going against federal law, they do not have to provide contraception to their female employees without co-pay. They want to be able to reduce the healthcare rights of their employees on religious grounds. And, they are going to get away with it. Legally, under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, they are to be considered a 'religious person', and their business will be allowed to discriminate against its female staff because of the religious beliefs held by its owners.

    To me, this goes beyond it being a 'Christian business' to being an activist organization. Just like there are many that do not support the Salvation Army, because of its stance against allowing same-sex couples to room together amongst other prejudices, I believe that hard questions should be asked of ourselves as to whether we should continue supporting an organization like Hobby Lobby. Chick-Fil-A was another famous case of a company that went beyond being a known 'Christian business' to being an activist organization that used its profits to fund campaigns against marriage equality.

    cont...

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  17. I absolutely, 110% support Lorelei's assertions. Do what you can, where you can, how you can, but don't beat yourself up if you must shop at an organization run by people who don't support your beliefs. It's like another blogger, Kallan Kennedy, said on Facebook, it's like environmentalism. We shouldn't look down on folks who cannot afford the fancy light bulbs or the compost bin or the fancy new water treatment system or whatever HGTV is plugging today.

    But, I would like to point out that my post was not about that issue. I was not trying to say avoid Christian businesses or buy, as some have suggested, unbelievably overpriced hand-dyed, hand-made, locally foraged, whatever whatever craft supplies. Whole Foods, for example, is a lovely place to look at beautiful food. But my paycheck and bank account would be very, very upset with me if I tried to buy all of my groceries there. I simply cannot afford a cart full of organic, farm-grown, hand-fed, super crunchy granola groceries. I just can't. So, I buy elsewhere, and treat myself to some of the more exotic or hard to find items from Whole Foods every now and then.

    However, if I found out my local grocery store's owners used their profits to campaign and lobby against a woman's right to choose - as many businesses do - or marriage equality or affirmative action or better pay for teachers, firefighters, policeman (all of these are real examples), then I would be rethinking whether I truly wanted my money going to that business.

    There's a difference between patronizing a business owned by people who disagree with you, and patronizing a business by people that disagree with you and then attempt to take away your rights with your own money.

    Also, I was attempting to point out that our pagan community as a whole - including blogs, books, podcasts, etc. - have listed Christian establishments as great places to purchase altar supplies, effectively promoting Christian supply stores. My post was attempting to pull the reins a bit and suggest we don't give a blanket thumbs up to all Christian owned businesses, but rather those businesses with a live and let live philosophy, those who aren't using your money to take away the rights of others.

    To summarize: Buy from whatever business you so desire, but possibly look for other options if that business is using your money to take away the rights of others. The alternative might exist for you - online or in an unexpected brick and mortar location - and it might not, but let's at least be cautious and informed shoppers.

    And, as a coda, I would like to express an apology to Lorelei. I adore you greatly and think the world of you. You do phenomenal work, and I've been a proud supporter for years.

    Love and Lyte,

    Fire Lyte

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    1. Thanks very much for this response, Fire Lyte. To be honest, I was waiting for it before adding my own words about the whole issue and about what every Wicked Darling has said. First, let me point out why I don’t belong to any organized religion and why, although I am spiritual, I choose not to be religious: many religious convictions make people act less than civil against each other, and I don’t like it. It’s ugly.

      Yesterday, I spent a lot of time discussing this topic, on and off line with my friend Kestril, Lorelei, the Christian/Pagan mother of a gay Marine who lost his legs and then his life in OIF/OEF, a female Soldier who is now suffering from severe PTSD and a few others… Some of them were just a little sad, while others were confused. A few are pissed. The phrase “Why don’t they understand us?” came from both sides of the equation.

      This is what I think: every religious follower believes that his or her beliefs are right. That his or her god’s will is law, it’s right, and it’s good. You, me, and everyone else who has opted to live beyond rules that were set a lifetime ago, believe in the right of the people to be happy and to be fulfilled in ways of their choosing. Many of us will fight with tooth and nail to make that so. So will the individuals who believe that certain behaviors are a sin.

      They refuse to pay for contraception because they believe it will take a soul (many times theirs) to hell. We refuse to buy at their businesses because we believe that they are wrong. And believe you me, I don’t think their hearts are rotten but my goodness, they are so mistaken! For we shouldn’t go around trying to make people do what we want. Period.

      The law is not always right. Heck, in many cases it leaves about a third of the population unprotected. But at the moment, it is all we have. We should fight the law with law, because when we do it with religious convictions and personal beliefs things get messy: organizations start becoming people in order to discriminate freely; people start discriminating the old organizations that are now people; all of us go around and around in a circle that leaves the economy limp and everybody unhappy.

      No, I don’t want the people/organizations who treat others like non-people to get richer. But I don’t want the people who work for them (many times because they might not have other options) to lose their source of income after the business is gone. I don’t know how to make things better—and by my soul, this is frustrating!—but I don’t think that attaching the economy to religion is the answer. Some have been doing just that for thousands of years and look how is working.

      Again, I don’t know how to fix it, and it drives me nuts! But squeezing someone by the neck while they are squeezing us by the neck has never ended any wars. Well, I guess that’s not necessarily trued; it could be argued that the one who squeezes harder will win, and that might be right… and very sad.

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    2. Morning Fire Lyte...I picked up on that as being the basis of your original post...when a business gets this political, it's best to get with the political leaders and make our concerns heard...as this type of political view seems to foster the idea that they are right and whoever else is wrong, boycotting them probably will not do the job...

      Enjoyed all the hoopla brought on by this though...makes people use their brains...

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    3. That is one of the things I love about Pagan Culture and about blogging in general. If we pay attention, if we take each other seriously, it invites us to use our brains ;-)

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    4. I believe I understood the intent of your post, Firelyte, and I agree that we should all do what we can to avoid those businesses. I don't eat at Chick-Fil-A because of its political actions at the corporate level. I don't shop at Wal-Mart because of its horrible employee relations and environmental policies. However, if Wal-Mart is the only place in which someone can obtain a product that they need, I cannot judge them for going to that particular place to get it. I just can't. As I said in the comment to which you refer, we all should do what we can. If Hobby Lobby (and I thank the gods I don't have one in my area) is the only place in which a Pagan crafter can obtain something reasonably, then I won't judge them for it. However, your point is well made. We should know from whom we buy. Caveat Emptor.

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  18. What a wonderful response Fire Lyte. Thank you for the clarification. I think the lesson here is that we need businesses to be more open with their customers if we are to be able to make ethical choices....that being said, I don't think there would be a store or a product I could purchase locally that isn't somehow tainted by some one else's politics. :D XXX

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    1. Living has become so complicated these days. And living and letting live? Well, almost impossible...

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  19. I have to say, I do not care all that much for getting my supplies exclusively from Pagan stores. There is a witch store in town I like very much and try to support, but that is because I like and respect the owner, and not because of the Pagan backstory. Honestly, there are some Pagans (and Pagan shop owners) in the world I would only touch to strangle, and devout Christians with great mindset and energy. And of course all those people inbetween or nowhere at all who are simply great and model humans and deserve support as well.

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    1. Okay, so I can't stop giggling at the phrase "I would only touch to strangle [them]." LOL

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  20. As much as I believe in supporting fellow Pagan's there is a larger economy at work. While shopping at certain stores leaves a little bit of a bad taste in my mouth I try to rememember that everyone has mouths to feed and it shouldn't matter if those mouths are Christian, Jew, Pagan, Muslim, Atheist or any other flavor of belief. My money doesn't just go to big business, my money also goes to supporting their employes. So I shop where it's convenient. Sometimes it's a Pagan Shop sometimes it's not but no matter where I go if I got what I went in for I feel like it was money well spent.

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    1. Were you reading my brain? "While shopping at certain stores leaves a little bit of a bad taste in my mouth I try to rememember that everyone has mouths to feed and it shouldn't matter if those mouths are Christian, Jew, Pagan, Muslim, Atheist or any other flavor of belief. My money doesn't just go to big business, my money also goes to supporting their employes." Indeed.

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  21. O dear Firelyte!

    Thank you for responding, though I knew you would.

    Your blogs and podcasts are designed to make us all think; to bring us up short when we are merrily humming along in our Pagan ways. You want so much for this to be a better world. And, you're challenging us to want it, too. But even the gods aren't perfect. I applaud your efforts (usually, *smile* ), and only ask that you consider a more liberal use of empathy when your message must touch on such sensitive subjects as person's pocketbook, or their creative work - which in my case is akin to talking about how I raise my children.

    I believe this discussion, and its tangent conversations have given us all pause to think about this aspect of our Pagan community. So, in the end, you have achieved your purpose.

    You and I are friends. We can quarrel, but we have too much lovely history to let disagreement spoil our relationship.

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  22. To Magaly, and everyone who has participated in this discussion, I want to say thank you for this forum, your thoughts, and opinions.

    Some have given me new insight, and some have validated my own feelings.

    The highest calling any of us have in this lifetime is to leave the world better for us having been here. I think we are all working toward that same goal.

    I am proud to be in your midst.

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  23. Agree (and smile) on both counts.

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  24. I agree with both you girls ;o) All these comments are fantastic!

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