Alright guys, the principle of the day is the sixth:
We do not recognize any authoritarian hierarchy, but do honor those who teach, respect those who share their greater knowledge and wisdom, and acknowledge those who have courageously given of themselves in leadership.
Watching the news in my brand new RSS feed, I am informed that 25% of the Anglicans will not be attending their world conference because of an argument over a gay bishop. This is one plus of being a witch – we’re smart enough to realize that we would never get a good showing for a world conference.
Unfortunately, this also means that we are not totally united, except by our historical documents. And we know how well that has turned out for Christianity. But at least we have a lot less historical documents, right? we have the 13 Principles, The Rede, and any number of books published by Gardner, Leland, Valiente, Sanders, etc. You can add all of those together and you still won’t get a 1200 page book.
Autonomy also means we are responsible – not only for ourselves, but for those we teach and lead. Because the authority is not guaranteed or even encouraged, being in a group setting lends itself towards democracy. The principle itself is almost admonishing us by using the words “honor” and “respect” and “acknowledge” in its wording – but it also gives us a way out. You can honor and respect someone’s teachings without following them. Indeed, “acknowledging” something guarantees no solid course of action.
There is one thing that I’ve found we’ll stick together for: religious discrimination. We’re filled with the minority complex that makes every little thing a pin in our sides – not that this is a bad thing. Although perhaps not filled with the spirit to the extent of picketing the White House (we do have rights! It’s just a matter of seeing them through unabused) we will gladly jump to the defense of anyone suffering religious discrimination.
So is autonomy better than hierarchical leadership? I am tending to lean that way. Because large group unity is almost never achieved anyway. I would rather run or be a part of a small group of people with common goals than signing myself up with the masses in something where I don’t really have a say in what is going on, where others dictate what I am supposed to believe. The only thing a large group has going for it is political power.