The recently revamped Etsy rules have made national news, and many of the articles reference a post on the forums that now has over 1100 comments in it. What’s sad is that what started out as people being worried about what they could and couldn’t sell, and trying to get straight answers from Etsy, has devolved into spirituality bashing.
Most of the last half dozen or so pages consist of non-Pagan people trash talking Pagans and other spiritual people. It’s not written viciously, but it is there, quite plainly. One comment says that since blessing or prayer cannot be scientifically proven to change something, then they don’t and the seller is lying if they claim otherwise. Another says they’d rather trust the FDA than some “spiritual woo-woo.” Many people are calling the sellers of spiritual goods frauds, snake oil salesmen, liars and cheats. More than one person even had the audacity to call these sellers demon worshipers and say that their Satanic garbage should be banned from the site.
Generally speaking, there are now pages worth of comments that are dismissive or insulting to anyone who’s not Christian or atheist. (Although there are some that lump even the mainstream religions into the “nonense” and “unprovable” categories.) It’s ridiculous that this can happen in this day and age. Some of the people in the forums have expressed their sadness over how things are being handled. There is no sensitivity being offered to the sellers of metaphysical goods, and their faiths are being torn apart by other members.
I hate to say it, but just because something can’t be scientifically document or hasn’t been yet, doesn’t mean it’s not true or valid. There was a time when things like the earth being round or the existence of germs were considered heresy, stupidity and myth. Much of what we consider to be fact now was once just belief without proof. Things are constantly changing. Recently human auras were measured scientifically for the first time, and actual results have been documented regarding empathic effects on living things. Quantum physics is studying the universally connecting energy. There things are not just fantasy. Even those that have no proof yet are still very valid to those who believe in them. If nothing else, we know for a fact that the placebo effect works, and if you want to get technical, that may well be the reason that spiritually charged or blessed items work. We simply don’t know yet.
It’s disgusting that people in this age can be so hateful and dismissive of other people’s beliefs. It’s also sad that people would trust the government more than faith. I firmly believe that people should be allowed to sell whatever they want so long as it doesn’t harm anyone. The number of charlatans is few in comparison to the number of people who are simply selling things that they believe in. A charged crystal should be viewed no differently than a blessed rosary. An herbal luck sachet should be as valid as a lucky rabbit’s foot. Who cares if you can’t prove that they work? If the buyer believes that they will, then they very well could. Of course, I believe that a seller can add their own energy to an item and make it work even better. If someone doesn’t believe in these things, they should simply not buy the item. There is no reason to ban such items or the claims attached to them, and there is certainly no reason at all for insulting the belief system of any person.