Click the image above to read the tract.
I understand platforms like Facebook have to burden us with advertisements; after all, they can’t do everything they do without making some kind of revenue, right? But ever since I joined last year, I’ve received a staggering number of ads for hardline Catholic and evangelical Christian ministries. For example, in the past month alone:
Steven Kozak sent me a piece bemoaning the “post-Christian” times in which we live.
True Horizon sent me an article that attempts to prove atheism is really a “religion” (!).
S. Douglas Woodward sent me a sermon arguing that if I want to be a good Christian (?), I ought to be reading the Septuagint instead of the King James Version of the Bible.
The National Catholic Register sent me a warning against shopping at Walmart because it is supposedly selling “satanic merchandise” that can lead people to hear “satanic voices” in their heads.
Ray Comfort—the pastor who is best known for pleasuring a banana on his televangelism show, The Way of the Master—sent me a sermon about how “[through] God’s power, many homosexuals have been forgiven and changed” (i.e., brainwashed to hate themselves and think they are straight).
Catholic Action for Faith and Family sent me a request to “send my support” to Bishop Thomas Tobin, who publicly claimed that LGBTQ Pride events are “dangerous” for children to attend.
The “Alliance Defending Freedom” sent me an article imploring me to help them fight the Equality Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes to existing laws that ban discrimination.
The Vatican sent me a new document they’ve been circulating to address the “educational crisis” that is being “caused” by transgender people.
And just this week, John Hagee—yeah, the guy who once offered some pretty anti-Semitic interpretations of the Holocaust—has been sending me multiple ads for his latest book about the endtimes.
Absolutely none of this horseshit is new to me; this is all the same old garbage the Religious Right has been vomiting since the 1970s. Facebook seems to think I might find these things interesting because I am a legally ordained minister. You would think that with all their fancy algorithms and what-not, they would notice I am not a Christian and I am pro-LGBTQ. And while Facebook does provide us with the ability to hide or even report any ads we don’t appreciate, this feature is virtually useless. I receive a new ad for each one that I report or block (and often on the same day, in fact.)
I’m not saying these people should be banned from Facebook or anything like that. I respect their First Amendment rights, even if I think the things they say and do are deplorable. But let’s get real here: if Pagans were to start employing these exact same recruitment techniques, these assholes would start screaming and throwing tantrums. To make things even more interesting, some Pagans feel it would be “unethical” to engage in this sort of outreach. Paganism is a personal thing, they argue, something that should never be marketed like a product. But Paganism does not develop in a vacuum; no one becomes a Pagan just because the idea occurs to them right out of thin air. They hear about it from someone else first, and if they are interested, they investigate the subject in greater detail; then they make a decision and act accordingly. None of us would be Pagan, not even me, if no one ever “advertised” Paganism at all. This notion that we’re just supposed to hide and wait for people to come to us is actually harmful because it holds us back as a community, it prevents us from enjoying the same protections other faiths enjoy, and it alienates up-and-coming Pagans who don’t even know they are Pagans yet. Clearly, a new way of doing things is needed.
With all of this in mind, I’ve designed a tract about my own particular branch of Paganism. I’ve decided to send copies of this tract to every single pastor, church, or other religious group that sends me any more of these solicitations on Facebook (and on every other social networking platform I might frequent). I’m also giving serious consideration to printing a ton of hard copies and sneaking them into church restrooms throughout my entire state (especially in red congressional districts). I understand most people will probably not even look at it, and that it is unlikely to affect most readers. This is irrelevant. I’m willing to bet there are people involved in each of these ministries who are secretly Pagan and who are just waiting for someone to light a great big Pagan bonfire in their hearts. Perhaps by sending this tract to these groups, some of these individuals might happen to see it and be awakened. It could just be a large waste of my time, but I’m sick and tired of the way things are, so I’m putting this out there in the hopes that perhaps it will do someone some good.
As a final note, this tract does not discuss Paganism in general. There is nothing about Wicca, Druidry, or any of the other major players in here. This tract is specifically for Set and His people, because that is what I am most qualified to discuss. I would encourage other Pagans who like what I have done here to develop similar tracts for their own varieties of Paganism as well. (I’m happy to offer my services as an editor or graphic designer to anyone who might be interested, and for free. Just contact me if you’re interested.) I’m also aware that some Setians might not agree with everything I have written in this tract (or even with its purpose). I have my own blind spots just like anyone else, so if anyone thinks there might be a way to improve this sucker, please feel free to contact me about it and I’ll happily take your suggestions under consideration. Finally, I am donating this tract to the public domain. If you like what you see, feel free to administer the tract (whether electronically or on paper) as much as you please. There is absolutely no need to check with me for permission to reuse.
Here is a version of the pamphlet that should be shared electronically, as well as a version for printing hard copies. (Remember to print double-sided!)
I sincerely pray that my work here will benefit someone out there, even if it’s someone I will never know or meet. May Set straighten your bones with His holy iron, and may you be empowered to embrace yourself for the living demigod you truly are!
Set is mighty, and so are we!
A special thanks to everyone who provided me with helpful feedback on this tract during the course of its development!