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Mailing List Logs for ShadowRN

Message no. 1
From: Andrew *5 <RAGLAN54@***.BITNET>
Subject: Must we continue to squabble on-list?
Date: Wed, 6 Oct 1993 14:53:46 -0600
Robert: Sorry, but I really had to respond to this onlist, since that's where
it was posted. If Carter wants to take it offlist, that's fine by me.

Carter's words:

The problem here is that your taking a word that is in common usage and is not
known or considered to be offense by the overwhelming majority of people and
are not only asking, but demaining that people not use it because it bothers
you. The word is not even being applied to you personnally!

Everybody knows that nigger, kike, spic, and wop are offensive terms for people
of various ethnic or racial backgrounds. Almost nobody knows that "warlock"
means "oathbreaker". Oathbreaker for god's sake! It doesn't even describe a

If the word bothers you that much, then don't use it and tell anyone that uses
it to describe you not to, but don't you dare presume to tell others whether
or not they can use a word that doesn't even offend a group of people! If we
do that then terms like heretic can't be used either. Get Real and get a grip.


"Warlock" is being used to describe a group, specifically male witches.
A lot of people who don't know any better are currently using the word to
mean any member of that group. Just because these people do not know that
the word is offensive does not make it okay for them to use it.

I presume to tell you specifically not to use the word "warlock" because a)
you know better, b) you know what it means, and c) you know what group it is
offensive to. You've got a Dog Won't Run error in your logic path when you
complain that the word does not offend a group of people -- it does indeed, as
I've stipulated, apply to a group, whether or not you accept that as fact.
You can deny that the sky is blue -- that won't change what the rest of the
world thinks the color is.

Heretic is an offensive word -- I don't use it myself, largely because my faith
is not dogmatic and does not include the concept of heresy. However, there are
occasions where it is appropriate to use it, as in talking about Martin Luther,
who was considered a heretic by the Catholic Church. I have used the term
"warlock" to describe a person who has broken a sacred oath -- but never in
gaming, and certainly since I came to my faith never inappropriately.

If we do not try to educate people, they will keep making the same mistakes
over and over. The only way to stop someone from being offensive, that I
accept, is to tell them exactly why they are being offensive and ask them to
stop. I am asking people to stop offending NeoPagans by using the word
"warlock". If you wish to continue to be offensive, well, there's nothing I
can ethically do about that, and I won't resort to unethical means.

Andrew Ragland

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