People who claim that worshiping Gods outside your culture or ethnicity is “appropriation” are, quite simply, ludicrous individuals, often crypto if not blatant atheists, whose “metagenetics” or “racialist” view attempts to posit that the divine limit Their interactions with “foreigners” outside of “the race.” This stance can be understood as atheism because it denies that the Gods are real, independently existing entities with agencies of Their own who may engage in personal relationship with people by engaging in a materialist reductionism (itself an offshoot of monotheism) which reduces the Gods to merely archetypes of “the race”– ridiculously binding the Gods as subject to a materialist social construct developed by imperialists during the Colonial era, far after most polytheisms were destroyed by many of the same powers. Deities are not mere culture nor objects– They are real, living and eternal Beings who may reveal Themselves to and call upon us to worship Them, and thus They cannot be appropriated. To deny religious experience and denounce true devotion, especially when that deity has asked for it and initiated the personal relationship with the devotee, is simply atheism. “Appropriation of Gods” is not an actual issue, but rather, the real problem is the appropriation of specific cultural systems of worship such as sacred rites, methods, attire, and traditions centered around these living immortals.
I call this the “appropriation of spaces,” a term coined by Twitter user āṅgīrasa śreṣṭha (GhorAngirasa, 14 April 2018 6:11 PM). Yes, while there are spaces which are open and “amenable to manipulation and the introduction of novelties” (GhorAngirasa, 14 April 2018 6:11 PM), there are also spaces which are closed, such as mysteries specific to a particular culture or instructions which are not intended for all.
Of course, one could create their own space by thoroughly localizing the worship of a God, with local iconography, rites, liturgy, and so on, while leaving the source intact without any problem. We can see something similar in the Hellenic world, with how foreign deities such as Isis were adopted and given distinctly Graeco-Roman cultus’, or in Japan, with the adoption of various Hindu deities such as Saraswati or Indra. However, a foreign devotee cannot, for example, go to a traditional temple and ask the priest there to provide an untraditional offering to a deity because that’s what they are used to– however, they are more than free to do so at their “own home or some other privately bought/hired space” (GhorAngirasa, 14 April 2018 6:39 PM).
Likewise, simultaneously, if one wishes to worship a God in a known traditional form, using traditional rites, traditional liturgies, traditional iconography, etc., then that isn’t a problem either. There are many traditions which accept converts, even if there are preconditions one must meet before joining– but even if they are not, then the words of doctor Edward Butler, “nobody can stop me worshiping any God I like, if I’m not demanding some kind of recognition in a space which is closed to me or closed without certain preconditions I’m not willing to fulfill” (EPButler, 14 April 2018 6:54 PM). You can worship whatever Gods you choose and never be accused of committing cultural appropriation, as long that it’s in private space, and not some performative act in the eyes of the public. In this case nobody needs to know what deities you worship and how, and if you do need to talk about it in public, then “the charge of appropriation might well have something to it” (EPButler, 11 July 2016 3:47 PM).
EPButler. Twitter Post. July 11, 2016, 3:47 PM. https://twitter.com/EPButler/status/752635429892005892
EPButler. Twitter Post. April 14, 2018, 6:54 PM. https://twitter.com/EPButler/status/985335409864568832
GhorAngirasa. Twitter Post. April 14, 2018, 6:11 PM. https://twitter.com/GhorAngirasa/status/985324595187257344
GhorAngirasa, Twitter Post, April 14, 2018 6:39 PM. https://twitter.com/GhorAngirasa/status/985324595187257344
Ptahmassu, Twitter Post, April 15, 2018, 12:37 PM. https://twitter.com/Ptahmassu/status/985602916223512576
tamarasiuda, Twitter Post, April 14, 2018 7:27 PM. https://twitter.com/tamarasiuda/status/985343850024767488
tamarasiuda, Twitter Post, April 14, 2018 7:29 PM. https://twitter.com/tamarasiuda/status/985344337767817216