Pagan Forums

This is a continuation of the entry entitled Emerging Subcultures. During that blog entry I touched upon how subcultures evolve. One of the major reasons why a social group or subculture develop is with the dissemination of information and the sharing of idealogies. In modern society this can be done through new media forms such as the internet with website, fora, Yahoo groups and social networking sites.
Like many modern pagans, in the absence of an open group to learn with and a decent bookshop I resorted to online resources including fora. As I did so and was welcomed, in proverbial open arms, I felt only encouraged on my Path. As I lingered and developed a stronger online presence I began to notice trends in certain poster types. What I could never figure was why debate was so profoundly frowned upon.
Most Pagan forums are created to be online communities and experience has taught me that a “community spirit” cannot be fabricated on demand like that. A true tribe or clan community (which many forums openly seek to emulate) would have mediums for people to air disagreements and the vast majority of forums I was a member of, including some I was a member of the moderation team, sought to close down such topics even if they weren’t off-topic. I could understand if the debate was just posters engaging in a slagging match on a personal level but many were simply views that differed from people’s perspectives.
The main criticism of Pagan Communities I have is that these are shared idealogies not independent communities, Pagans share one thing in common, their diversity. Pagans can be black, white, conserative, democrat, straight or LGBT or a variety of other things. Personally I am gay, white, Irish, Pagan, ceremonialist and I enjoy music and heading out with my friends, reading and writing and coffee! All of which can be expressed through various online personas in a number of forums.
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