Something unusual today, as I will be sharing and discussing a quote from a dating sim game I have been playing.
The game in questions is called “Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator”, and as you can probably guess revolves around being a single dad dating other dads. The quote I wish to discuss is from Damien, one of the other dads you can date. Damien is a Victorian goth, who has spent a great deal of work on renovating his house to look like a Victorian manor, get period furniture, dresses in period clothing, has period manners, etc. During the first “date” with him, you visit his house, where over a cup of tea and cake the issue of how he became interested in being a goth comes up, which then leads to why he doesn’t take it all the way with his love for the Victorian era and living like it. He replies to this with:
I can acknowledge that there were many very terrible things about the Victorian era, and to try to live a life that strictly aligns with those ideals would be admittedly horrid. But I think it takes a critical mind to truly appreciate something to the fullest — to be cognisant of its flaws and love it all the same.
This quote, in my humble opinion, is a magnificent one, one that can be applied to us who practice reconstructed and revived traditions. While we seek to revive the worship of the Gods of whichever culture we adhere to, ideally expanding our knowledge of antiquity, its history, its culture, etc., to better understand the context of ancient beliefs and practices.This can lead, however, to accusations of trying to regress to that period. A common accusation towards reconstructionism as methodology, which seeks to stay as close to ancient practice as possible in our modern age, is that we are seeking a return to that period and its ideals, often citing slavery and misogyny as examples of things reconstructionists supposedly seek to re-establish or support.
This can lead, however, to accusations of trying to regress to that period. A common accusation towards reconstructionism as methodology, which seeks to stay as close to ancient practice as possible in our modern age, is that we are seeking a return to that period and its ideals, often citing slavery and misogyny as examples of things reconstructionists supposedly seek to re-establish or support.
Which is not true! The purpose of reconstructionism is to understand the ancient period and bring into the present those traditions, while leaving in the past what should stay in the past, ranging from ancient ideas about gender and sexuality (which is very different from how we think about these things today) to the institution of slavery. We have made remarkable progress is civil rights these past few centuries, slow as it has sometimes been, and as regressive as some people try to make things again in some parts of the world (looking at you, United States Trump administration…).
By bringing these ancient beliefs and practices into the present, we must necessarily make them our own, we can never be as the ancients were and we should not want to. I like not dying from a simple cut, I like having electricity and flowing water, I like having the internet (for all its flaws, sometimes), I like being able to be an out homosexual man who can marry whomever he wants and adopt kids, etc. Returning to an ancient life would be folly, but recognising that doesn’t mean we should give up on our religions, or that we shouldn’t be interested in whatever period and/or culture we are passionate about (even if it doesn’t entail polytheism but just historical interest).
One can be passionate about something while acknowledging its flaws, as Damien says.