I am no longer a De’anic.

I have just read the official policy statement regarding the change of direction of the Janite Clan by its leader Arch Madrian Chandra Sophia. The Janite Clan now embraces the full theological position of the Feminine Essentualist wing of the independent Deanic movement. Ironically the male leadership of the Feminine Essentualist circle of Race Mochridhe ironically achieved its theological victory at the cost of its own dis-empowerment. I can not describe how appalled I am with the new Janite submission to the old Madrian / Daughter ideology. I now “understand” that the Deanic scriptures no longer apply to such as myself and that people of my sex have only limited, lessor roles to play.

I have for quite some time been thinking that I am as a fish out of water within the De’anic movement and have thought greatly about disaffiliating myself from it. Well the time for this disaffiliation is now. I am no longer regard myself as a member of the Deanic faith! The only question for me at this time is whether the Scriptures and the religious intellectual culture of the faith has any future role to play in my life or do I ignore it and go in a completely different direction. The link to the recent Janite policy statement is https://deanic.com/2017/05/26/an-humble-admission/

Glenn King

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12 thoughts on “I am no longer a De’anic.

  1. I don’t see that this is a change in their direction – this has pretty much always been their opinion, has it not? When I read that post, I saw it as describing the Arch Madrian’s personal change of heart into fuller understanding of why her branch of the Faith does what it does, not that they as a whole were changing their direction.

    I also find it somewhat amusing that you discover the Janite path is indeed sticking to its position of elevating and celebrating women, and you, a man, can’t handle the thought that men won’t be in positions of power in a branch of a Feminine religion. A religion founded by women, for women, circulated by women, in a world dominated by men and men’s religions, does not have to put men in positions of authority. It is a mark of the great privilege you wield that you can simply bow out and say “well, I just won’t be a part of this” when women have never had such a privilege in the religions men have furthered for thousands of years; instead forcing themselves to be content in the limited, lessor roles they have been handed.

    Given that the content of your blogs have often criticized the Faith as a general whole for having too much of seeming Christianity in it, I’m not sure that this grand statement is really all that shocking. You have always seemed to be rather content with taking out the parts you enjoyed, separate from its context in the practice of the religion by women – say they practice a faith too close to Christianity and everyone knows Christianity has problems, so you’re “justified”. If you do continue to dissect the Scriptures for what you prefer after you have disparaged the women it was originally intended for, I doubt it would be anything less than one would expect from someone who has grown up in a world that entitles men to any and all things, including appropriating whatever shiny thing they wish for their own use, and leaving women with very little to call their own.

  2. Dear Glenn,

    I have to concur with Rebekah. It seems like, for a while now, you have had quite the negative view of the faith and the rest of us. We have tried so hard to make you feel included, and we have frequently thanked you for your work and contributions and wisdom, but lately you just seem to hold contempt towards the rest of us for our views and our thealogies. Also, a group of women talking about issues that affect us as women is not anti male. This is in regards to your previous post. Many of the Tumblr Deanic community are teenage girls and young women who have been deeply hurt by patriarchy and are looking for ways to reclaim their womanhood and femininity outside of a patriarchal context.

    Clan Jana for a while has had a female only priesthood. This is not new. That post was ArchMadria Pamela’s thoughts on the need for a feminine/female centred path in such a patriarchal society dominated by masculine religions that have done women a lot of harm. It was not an attack on men. Men can still be Deanists, we have never disputed that, but often it seems like men are more focussed on the cerebral than the spiritual. I do not know why this is.

    Glenn, you are a wonderful and intelligent man with the best intentions but lately you have been ‘pushing us away’ for lack of a better term and I can only say that I honestly hope you find a spiritual community that suits your needs. You know where to find us.

    Madria Erin.

    • Erin, I will admit that for a long time I have had problems in the way that Deanism has been going. I do wish that it had gone differently. I certainly do disagree with some of what is said by various persons at various times. However I have never held your ideas or in fact most of the ideas expressed in the Deanic Tumblrsphere in contempt. And I have no problems with discussions of femininity and its role in the life of women. The post called Femininity and Toxic Masculinity was an attack on certain aspects of Madrian theology which I believe really are ultimately anti-male. Those views were only expressed by two persons within the Tumblrsphere one of them being male. It was not an attack on anyone elses views. In fact it was not even an attack on anybody. It was an expression of a point of view and yes opposition to another point of view.

      And yes Erin I am aware that my very cerebral style of writing puts you and probably many others off. I am sorry that is who I am. I can not separate ideas and emotions easily within my writing and yes much others enjoy and rejoice in simply do not interest me. For example I have hated holidays all of my life ( it is based on personal issues) and I have had no interest in the Deanic holidays since 2014. So yes I will admit to seeming yes being standoffish in many things. Though I have to say that I have not noticed that most others have been very approachable to me. So I would say that in this most are equally responsible.

      Look as Pamela just emailed me in many ways I have been way outside of the movement in a multiple of ways. I think therefore that it is time for me to move on to where? I have not a clue – I do not believe there is a promised land for me anywhere in this world.

      Anyway thank you for the kind words that you did say and for honestly telling me what you think. I like that better than for some one to simply hold it in.

      Sincerely yours

      Glenn

      • Dear Glenn,

        I left another comment apologising if I seemed cruel in my original one. I am not sure if you read it yet but I wanted to reaffirm that I felt like I didn’t express myself very well in my original comment and it wasn’t very becoming of a Deanic priestess at all, so apologies. I stand my many of my points but I could have stated them in a better manner.

        I was under the impression that your comments about the Deanic Tumblrsphere were addressed towards all of us, I had no idea that it was just a couple of people.

        Regardless I truly do think you have a lot to teach the world and that there are great things in store for you. I know these may seem like empty words but I truly believe that.

  3. Ok I have just completed a reply to a very civil response by Pamela Lanides to my post here. I am now prepared to respond to your comments which certainly seem to be a diatribe against my basic character and opinions. I think that this is the first time you have ever responded to anything I have written. Interesting

    Now regarding the question of whether Pamela’s statement represented a new policy, Yes Rebekah it did seem to me to be new. I entered into the independent Deani movement in 2012 and certainly my understanding at that time was that the movement would be egalitarian and that men and women would play equivalent roles. Perhaps these were only wishful assumptions even at that time. It is true that over the years I did notice that the priesthood was no longer open to men but since it was never my desire to be a member of a clergy I really did not think about that much. So perhaps you are some what right I should have noticed that things were moving toward the ideas expressed in the new Janite policy statement. But I was still very surprised. Please note I have been what is commonly called an Independent Deani for three years and have not been a member of the Janite clan. So I have had only a very rough idea of the inner thinking of the community. So yes the statements were shocking to me though perhaps they should not have been.

    Now as to my so-called individual male privilege. It is an exercise in male privilege that I am able to declare that I am no longer a member of a movement which has been central to my life for last five years? That I can leave a movement that does not fit me is a privilege? You yourself have never walked away from affiliations that no longer fit you? That is male privilege? Whatever.

    OK you are upset that women through out the history of the Abrahamic faith and within other religious traditions have been oppressed. Of course why would you not be. However the fact is Rebecka I have been aware of the oppression of women within the religious sphere and outside of it though out my whole adult life. And it has always appalled me. And to the degree that I as a single unimportant individual have been able to support woman’s rights I have done so. Do not paint a picture of me of something I am not.

    But to continue since my politics and my religions conceptions have always been egalitarian, why I ask you should I not find it deeply problematic that within the religion in which I have been committed that these ideals of equality are rejected. Why I ask you is the patriarchal oppression of women bad but the subordination of men within Matriarchal societies is good?

    OK to another issue you sneeringly make reference to some comments which I have often made regarding the similarities between Deanism and Christianity. I assume that you are specifically referencing to my statements about the similarities of Filianic thealogy to Christian Son theology. The fact of the matter, Rebekah, is that in making these statements I never belittled or sneered at the founders of Filianic thealogy. I never attacked filianic thealogy as being a mere imation of Christianity. I never attempted to convince others to take up my own non-filianic beliefs. insulted and sneered at the connections. What I did try to do is explain why my ideas were different why I believe as I do. Do I not have the right to explain my own ideas? Perhaps you think not.

    I do find it interesting that you have read my posts with such close attention. I am in one way pleasantly surprised I have generally assumed that few do. On the other hand based on this post you clearly dislike me and perhaps find my whole involvement in the Deanic movment objectionable. This is simply an educated guess on my part. Well I am out of it now so you should be pleased. I do not know if I will be dropping my tumblr account yet but I certainly in the future will not be talking in any way which is suggestive that anything that I say is representative of the Deanic movement. If I do refer to it future writings I will be sure to be clear that I am an outsider and not connected to the movement. I hope that pleases you.

    Glenn King

    • Dear Glenn,

      I cannot speak for Rebekah but to be fair I used to comment on your posts quite often and truly enjoyed reading them. However, I haven’t been very active in the Deanic blogosphere and don’t comment on anything outside of Tumblr these days, just because I find Tumblr easier to use.

      I sincerely apologise if my comment came off as an attack on you or your character. It truly was not meant to be. I will admit, I found your previous post a little hurtful, and that was where most of my discontentment apparent in my comment was aimed towards, not necessarily that you’re leaving the faith. It is apparent from both this post and things you have said in the path that the faith is no longer right for you and that’s fine. I think your Isis devotion is incredible. I do believe it was your blog that lead me to read ‘The Golden Ass’ which became one of my favourite books, and you were the person who first made me aware of the cult of Isis in ancient Rome. I would love to read any further posts you make about your devotion to Isis. I do read your posts, frequently, and I am subscribed to your blog. I very rarely comment on any WordPress posts, but that doesn’t mean I don’t read them.

      There is something I need to clarify, though, in terms of Rebekah’s comments about male privilege. Male privilege isn’t ‘individual’, it is enforced by society on a systematic scale. That does not mean that men do not suffer in various ways. As someone else mentioned in a response to your post on toxic masculinity: men are pressured by patriarchal society to fit the mould of emotionless, aggressive, physically capable ‘bread winner’ and men who do not fit in to this mould are punished and often end up developing mental health issues. That is what we are talking about when we discuss toxic masculinity, by the way. It is a very specific way that masculinity can manifest, but doesn’t always. These discussions are not unique to Deanism. They have been central to secular feminist discussion for years.

      Rebekah’s comment, in my interpretation, was that it comes across like you see the idea of a feminine/woman centred faith being an attack on you and an attack on men in general rather than a way of healing women from their suffering under patriarchy. Out thealogy does not teach that men are ‘lesser’ and that’s what you seem to think. Or at least, that’s how it comes across. Our thealogy teaches that women deserve their own space in a heavily patriarchal world to worship the Mother in a way that is completely free from patriarchal influence. We don’t teach that men are lesser, we don’t say anything about men, because for a lot of them, are spirituality has nothing to do with them.

      Just wanted to clarify a few things, and apologise for how my original comment came across. I did not mean to upset you and I hope we can stay in touch.

      Erin+

      • Also, I forgot to add, a feminine centred religion or any women only space isn’t anti-egalitarian. It is very egalitarian, because it provides a much needed balance in this world that is centred around the male experience.

      • Erin thanks for your kind words. Even in your first post I could tell that you were honestly expressing what you really thought and were not attempting to attack or belittle me. You are an nice person and certainly not cruel. I know that. May Dea be with you in all that you do.

        Glenn

    • Yes, it is male privilege – once you decide to leave, you can pick and choose from pretty much any world religion, and your sex is guaranteed to be preferred, given the advantage, and affirmed in all that religion does. You could have to wrestle with some other sticky topics, but for the most part you could slide straight into any other religion without much difficulty. Whereas any woman who is a part of the Filyanic/Deanic religions is in a bind: should she decide that for whatever reason she does not feel she fits in these religions, she has to go back to grubbing around for scraps of verse that affirm her as a whole, worthy human being, who has rights and allows her to be actively involved in the faith. Should she find such, it is likely that the culture around the religions denies those things to her and wants her to stay hidden away from the world under the brunt of patriarchal dogma. Yes, you have privilege. That is the definition of it.

      I also ask you why you care so much about a branch of the faith of which you are not a part. You are not a part of Clan Jana. You affirm yourself as a Deanic. In the words from the Janite blog – all Janites are Deanic, but not all Deanics are Janite. This is in the same way that all Wiccans are Pagan, but not all Pagans are Wiccan; or that all Lutherans are Christian, but not all Christians are Lutheran. It strikes me as very odd that a branch of a faith announces that they are continuing to do something they have already been doing, and you decide that heralds your exit from the faith altogether. This would be the same thing as a Lutheran group deciding on something and you, a Presbyterian, decides you must no longer be a Christian since those Lutherans are doing things you don’t like. It’s weird.

  4. Rebekah, I have been attempting to write a reply to your comments, with some breaks in between, for several days now. Unfortunately as is common with my writing I tend to keep expanding it beyond the initial purpose of the writings. I plan to continue the writing I have been working on and hopefully will create something worth while with it eventually. However I do think that I should make some sort of direct response to you that is appropriate. What I object most to in your post is your contention that I am exercising some sort of male privilege by ceasing to identify with a certain religious community while you as a a female are not equally capable of doing the same.

    You defend your position by claiming that because there are few matriarchal religions in the world and many patriarchal religions in the world, which you seem to think that I as a male can supposedly affirm and join, that I am exercising some form of male privilege. First what makes you think that I would feel good about being a member of a patriarchal faith. I never have been before why would I be now. I could of course join one by lying about my beliefs or if I could theoretically in some way change by some act of will my real beliefs about reality and my identity. Well I do not really think so, but then again you can change your own mind in whatever way I can or can not. Do you think that because only males can be priests or leaders within the purely patriarchal faiths that is some sort of empowerment to me? Actually I have never been personally interested in being any kind of formal priest or a member of a religious clergy because I believe that I have to many personality flaws. I do not feel called to it and I do not believe that I would be a good fit for the job description or priest or pastor. And of course I have never found a religion with which I could fully believe in and identify with. I did feel that perhaps that special religion was De’anism but now I “understand” that the religion was never for us men.

    Several years ago I was introduced the Orthodox Church in America, which is apart of the Eastern Orthodox communion by a close female friend who joined it. It is clearly a patriarchal church. It also has the most beautiful worship services / liturgies imaginable. Almost every church building has beautiful having awe inspiring icons of the Virgin Mary, Jesus, and the saints and and the services come in the form of beautiful, chanted liturgies. When I attended the Vespers, my favorite of all of the services, these liturgy provided a sense of connection with 1500 years of tradition and community. It had a theology of depth etc. The problem was of course that it was strictly patriarchal led by a strictly male Godhead. There was no role in it for an Isis or a Sophia, or Mary as God. Thus In spite of the joy I often felt in attending its vesper services, I ultimately felt like a hypocrite for attending. Therefore I stopped. However I will say this my friend is still a member because she feels that ultimately she is a Christian and in spite of being a liberal she is willing to put up with the patriarchal nonsense of the church.

    However the fact is, Rebekah, that there is a bit more choice out there than you suggest in your post. The theologically liberal denominations of Christianity i ie the Methodists, the Disciples of Christ, the Episcopalians, Presbyterians etc and the more liberal branches of Judaism do represent millions of people particularly within the United states and England. These denominations via their local communities do regularly ordain many female pasters and priests. The governing councils of local churches are generally made up of both men and women. Both men and women have strong leadership roles. In fact the Presbyterians have a rule that at least half of the members of local church boards have to be women. Yes all of these church still sing hymns and pray to an all male trinity but in actual human governing practice they practice gender egalitarianism. So again I have a problem with the idea that I have so much more choice than you do because I am male. Now please note here, I am not arguing that a abstract “male privilege” does not exist anywhere in society. What I am saying the I certainly am not exercising it by choosing to leave the Deanic community which really practically means that I will no longer identify myself as such. Actually since I still worship Dea, I will no longer refer to her as such in my writings, and I worship her in the ways that I have there really is not much change in my personal religious beliefs and practice. What I am giving up on is the sense that I am actually belong an equal to a religious community, that I belong to a religion which is not simply something people can say I simply made up myself. Oh I feel so privileged to be able to make this move of becoming a simple individual again! Not really!

    Rebekah you made certain other comments to which I want to respond. However since these comment is long enough I will respond to those latter.

    Glenn King

  5. Pingback: Of Rosa Mundi and Mascûls | Apron Strings

  6. Congratulations. Why did it take so long?

    The Deanic faith exists today only because there were enough men who kept it alive. Without Phillip Jackson, David Kay, Markus Moessner, and Race MoChridhe to document it and safeguard it, it could have been forgotten decades ago. And what Deanists do? Make men into the inferior caste just like the fundamentalist Muslims/Christians/Jews make women into the inferior caste.

    Considering Deanism’s historical roots in lesbian separatism, this may be understandable; but the irony is that it also appears to exclude any female who does not conform to the patriarchally-imposed gender norms of hyper-femininity, 1950s style.

    Deanism had gone through several iterations over time especially during the past 10 years, and had ample opportunities to change its ways. But now it is apparent to me that it failed to adapt to the changing world. Like fossilized Christianity, it deserves to die, if I might borrow the phrase from Bishop John Shelby Spong.

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