Who Does That Mark Guy Think He is?
Recently, I have come to thinking about my role in the Atheopagan community. While I am a founder, certainly, I don’t want to be an authority, and I refuse to take on the hierarchical powers that such a role would entail (not that I think most members would want me to).
So, then…what, exactly, IS my role in our community?
Well, I think I have three of them, actually:
The one people tend to recognize is that I am a thinker/philosopher/content creator who helps to define and inform the path. I write for the blog, record podcast episodes, make YouTube videos, create materials and resources for practicing Atheopagans. There, I am a voice that people in the community seem to have found valuable to listen to; I’m gratified by this, and that’s why I keep doing it.
I also serve as a volunteer staffer to the AP Council, helping the nonprofit to perform its duties and advance its mission, which is to support Atheopagans and the practice of Atheopaganism throughout the world. So I file required government forms, help the Council Chair to develop the agenda for Council meetings, help with organizing events, etc. I am not an officer of the Council, much less the head of it, and that is very intentional.
Finally, I am a part of the team of mods and admins of the Facebook and Discord communities, on an equal basis with the rest of them. It is very important to understand this! IF A MOD INTERVENES WITH YOU FOR SOME REASON, YOU CANNOT APPEAL TO ME. I am not going to overrule a mod decision, so please don’t ask me to: respect the mods, who are doing a hard job entirely out of the goodness of their hearts. I am not the “chief mod”. I’m just another member of the team. And I get things wrong sometimes, like liking Facebook posts that may in some way be out of step with our rules, just because I didn’t notice (ADHD, hello?) and liked the intention behind them. That doesn’t make them okay. The error is mine. Please don’t try to appeal to my “authority” over other mods–I have none.
Now, please note: ALL of these are volunteer roles. Yes, I have some Patreon support, and I am deeply grateful for it. But I do what I do for this community out of love and commitment. And it’s very important to me that I not be viewed as trying to be the “boss” here. I’m an important voice, but I invite you to be an important voice, too. Submit something for publication to the blog. Volunteer for something. Take on a role.
More than anything, I see myself as the “keeper of the flame” here: the holder of the vision of what Atheopaganism is intended to be. In the course of that, I am learning and changing, so if there’s something you think needs to evolve, let’s talk about it. I make absolutely no claims of infallibility or completeness of knowledge.
I’m just struggling through this amazing, confounding life like the rest of us.
So please, don’t ask me to be an “authority”. I can’t do it. All I can speak to with authority is my own perspective and knowledge. To the degree those are useful, I’m glad. But they are certainly limited, as are those of all of us.
Image: Me, today.