What follows is my own interpretation of the Wiccan Rede. It is not meant to be preachy towards anyone, but it is meant to allow me to “get my thoughts in order.” If my particular view does not match yours, you are free to disagree, leave me a comment telling me you disagree (and why), and/or simply click on by without stopping.
As just about everyone knows, the Wiccan Rede states: “If it harm none, do what you will” or some variation of this. Many people have taken this to mean they can do whatever they wish, so long as it harms no one. This belief is not entirely true, however.
Actions, however small, have repercussions. Scientists call this the Butterfly Effect. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_effect for a detailed scientific explination of it.
A choice to not stand up and be counted in a struggle against people we feel are harmful to the community as a whole can have serious repercussions for the future. We may cause Wicca to cease to exist or Paganism to become the next great World Religion. We don’t know what the consequences will be regarding the current struggle against the Frosts. I know this, though: I don’t want their kind in my community. I will attend no event, nor purchase any book by any author who supports them, nor will I be silent about their alleged crimes.
To avoid unforseen results of actions (or inactions) we must apply wisdom. What is the mechanics of this process? We think about it. We weigh the choices and then apply logic to the problem. Logic is the beginning of wisdom. Making a logical choice leads to the least amount of ramifications regarding a particular situation.
EMOTIONS AND EMOTIONALISM
We shoud restrict emotional influence when making decisions. Rampant emotionalism leads to poor decisions. Thinking through problems or questions logically allows us to acurately predict the outcome of events in keeping with our desired outcome.
Notice, please, that I said “restrict” and not “supress.” Psychologists and psychiatrists will tell you supressing your emotions can be harmful to your development. I believe, however, in restricting emotional influence by not allowing them to interfere in the decision making process.
There will be those who ask, “What if a decision is emotionaly based?” My answer to this is the same: restrict your emotions. Do not let them overwhelm you. Make a decision from an emotional standpoint, but, use logic as your guide in reaching that decision.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE REDE?
In a post on Pagan Nation (http://pagannation.com/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Main/3545/Number/56062#Post56062) I made the argument that the Wiccan Rede must give way (or be supplanted by) logic. I see now this is a fallacy.
The Wiccan Rede is a logical statement. “If it harm none, do as you will.” Think the action you are considering through. Will it cause harm? To whom will it cause harm? To whom does it cause the least harm?
“If it harm none, do as you will” can be read another way: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.”
APPLYING LOGIC TO THE FROSTS
Gavin and Yvonne Frost wrote a book which many believe, including myself, promotes the ritual intoxication, rape, and molestation of children (ages 9+) in the name of Wicca. See AJ Drew’s blog at: http://ajdrew.blogs.pagannation.com/defrost-please-read/ for the full scoop on this, including quotes from the book itself.
The argument has been made that niether of the Frosts have ever been convicted of these crimes, thus, by the laws we purport to live by, they are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, and AND THAT NO HARM HAS BEEN DONE.
I do believe, however, they have caused harm by publishing the book. They have hidden behind the “harm none” clause of the Wiccan Rede to guilt people into ceasing attacks against their persons, relying, I guess, on the attackers’ concience and their own advanced age to block this exposure.
The harm they have caused in the most greivous of harms: harm to the community. They have brought chaos in their wake, causing friends to be at each others throats, and a rift in the community which may never heal.
If we, as a nature based religion, were to act in a way consistant with nature, then we must cull these people from our herd. We must expose them for what they are and turn them out, but we should not ignore them. Ignoring them allows them to prosper, to grow in influence and allows them to gather more followers.
They are the Few. We are the Many. For the good of the many, the few must go. This is logical. This is the way of nature. The old and the infirm, the harmful to the herd, and the weak are removed for the good of the herd.
If the Frosts or one of their followers reads this, then please see the logic in this request. I am not calling for their deaths. I am calling for them to publish a retraction, pull the books from the shelves, issue and apology and confess to any crimes they may have committed and suffer the consequences of those crimes.
Surely they will see the logic in this.
The Wiccan Rede is only the beginning of the philosophy of Wicca, not the culmination of Wiccan thought. It makes a fine starting point from which to study the philosophy from, but does not provide for any conclusion of thought. There must be something more, and I believe logic holds the key to revealing this mystery.
I will continue to study the Rede, applying logic along the way, and see what happens. It is an interesting experiment which is the start of a logical thought process which must, logically, culminate in a higher form of thought.
I will let you know how it works out.