This may well be one of my more unpopular posts. Certainly, this is the kind of post likely to get me in trouble in the future. You know the kind, that gets sound-bitted endlessly to prove what a terrible person you are so that people will stop listening to you.
Still…I kinda feel the need to say it.
I’ve talked lately about the big issue of “Wiccan Privilege” that came up. Well, apparently in addition to that there was discussion of “Racial Paganism” and “its effect on the community.” Well…it was less of a discussion and more of a “Heathens are racist” spewing of bullshit again. Now they admired that not all Heathens are racists…they cavioted with that it was the most vocal Heathens are the ones that tend to be racist. They also labeled the Asatru Folk Assembly, The Troth, and the American Asatru Association as racist organizations.
For those that do not know…those three are the largest, most populated, and most vocal Heathen organizations that exist in America. “Not all Heathens are racist…but all their organizations are.” So it would seem that the only good Heathen…is a silent Heathen.
It has been commented that it seems there is a movement to weaken the two biggest forces in Paganism. Paganism is reported to be the fastest growing branch of religion in America, maybe even the World. Wicca and Heathenism are the two fastest growing branches in Paganism. Wicca, because it is so easy to understand and Heathenism because so many people of European decent feel lost, wish they had an ancestral culture like everyone else out there and find it in the arms of the different Heathen religions.
This means that they are a threat. A threat to the current social order, religious order, and moral order. Threats must be squashed. And who better to squash threats than those on the inside? After all, external forces trying to crush a group only makes that group stronger. But tear it apart from the inside…all to easy.
Am I saying there’s a grand conspiracy out there to destroy Paganism and its power? No. Certainly if the could elements of the Christian church would like to do it. No, this is something far more insidious. It is something that I’ve talked about before…where people make their politics their dogma in their spiritual and religious views. Social Justice teaches that those that rise above must be torn down so that all may be equal. Those that rise above…or take pride in the wrong things…must be destroyed.
Heathens take pride in who we are, and to those that believe in Social Justice as those that held the “Racial Paganism” panel did…pride in anything “White” makes you a racist. Wiccans have been around longer, are recognized and listened to more so they have dared to rise above their fellow Pagans and must be torn down. So to the SJ Pagans, we must hunt down the racists, and the privileged and make all equal again.
Well, I don’t want to. I am tired of hunting my own. The history of Heathenism since it’s recreation has been hunting down the “racists” in our midst and trying to get rid of them. I’m tired of it. Is their faith any less true than mine? Do they love Odin less because they hate based on skin color? I don’t think so, not anymore. Re-education of them is better than ostricization, and as much as I hate to say this…sometimes those “racists” have a point. Like about how with the Trevon Martin case it got blasted all over the news as an example of “White Hate” despite the fact ti was between a Hispanic guy and a Black guy…but cases like the Christen/Newsom case never made it past the local news, when it deserved national attention and that thousands of cases like it are silenced in favor of “white perp, black vic” stories. As Odin said, there is good and evil in all men, and no man is worthless.
And I don’t want to have to hunt down and chastise Wiccans simply because they have managed to make themselves known and grow faster than others. I am tired of hearing how they are not worthy, how they need to be taught a lesson, etc. While I don’t always agree with the Wiccan faith…they are my brothers and sisters in Paganism. Their success is my successes, the word getting out about them helps people find their way to Heathenism.
I don’t want to hunt my own simply because others within our community have something up their ass. Because there are ideas they do not like about what we believe or how successful we are. I would call on those Pagans that are leading the charge over these issues to take a minute, ask themselves this question: “Is your search for ‘justice’ worth destroying Paganism? Is your McArthian hunt for racists and privileged worth ruining the chance for our Pagan way of being to grow and become a power for good in this world?”
Sadly, I think they will answer yes.
So here is where I stand. I am tired of hunting my own. I am tired of having to bruise, batter, and bash other Heathens because they might be “racist.” I am tired of being told I need to tear down the Wiccans because they managed to be successful. I do not want to hunt my own.
But I will. I will not hunt the “Racists” or the “Privileged” though. I will stand as a Shield-wall, because Faith is what matters, not Politics, and if I am to hunt, if I am to fight…then I will fight those that tear down and cast out. I ask you to join me. The next time you hear one of these people tearing down Wiccans for being privileged, or all/most Heathens as racist, shut them up, destroy their arguments and cast them out for what they are. Saboteurs, traitors, and people who hate their fellow Pagans simply because we are different than them, and do not believe as they do.
Kelly Greene said:
Many of the Pagan forums I’ve gone to are full of people condemning/criticizing others of their own faith. Even though pagan faiths are supposed to be inclusive, a lot of exclusion occurs. Using faith to justify/excuse actions is wrong, no matter what stances you hold. Yet people still want to blame other faiths–sometimes even their own–for problems they cause themselves.
It is especially rampant in Heathenism, which is why I actively avoid Heathen forums despite being Heathen myself. I’d rather be solitary in my faith than be part of an online community so willing to criticize and browbeat those of their own faith.
Perhaps, as a Heathen, I should step up and help fight against that injustice. But I don’t see it as an appropriate battle to engage in, when the majority of the people I’d be fighting are Heathens themselves.
People assume that walking away from a fight means losing face or lacking courage. But sometimes walking away from a fight is smarter than engaging in one. Odin tells us in the Havamal that any type of life is better than death. Yet there are those who think that throwing themselves into a fight that will surely kill them is heroic. That is their path; if that is what they wish to believe, it is their right.
And that’s the kind of attitude all pagans should have–whether they are Wiccan, Heathen, Druids, etc–an attitude of “I believe this, you believe that, we might not agree, but we are able to accept our differences without forcing our views on each other.”
But the problem, especially in the U.S., comes from the fact that so many pagans came from Christian backgrounds, where being right is more important than anything else.
You see that even in secular society–the need to be right drives our economy–and little leeway exists.
The thing is–Pagan paths are the hardest ones to walk, because they require you to accept personal responsibility. You become the sole owner of your actions and suddenly, there’s nowhere to hide.
I think, because of that, Pagans turn on each other, because they’ve gone from a life of being able to blame everything on the Christian God to having to accept that they are responsible. And it causes panic, so they blame each other, because they were never taught how to accept responsibility for themselves.
It is always easier to blame someone else than it is to accept responsibility.
If other Heathens want to quarrel amongst themselves, then far be it from me to tell them how to live their lives. If they wish to squander their time senselessly bashing their heads against one another’s foreheads, let them. They chose that path. Maybe they’ll wake up one day and realize what they’re doing; maybe they won’t.
So while I agree with you–that the Racists or “Privileged” pagans should not be cast out of pagan faiths–I will not be joining your fight. I will, however, wish you luck in your journey, and hope you find others to help you along the way.
Freki Ingela said:
I agree – true tolerance is tolerating racists, anti-racists (as long as they are not too self-righteous, because that is nauseating) and people of all colours. I used to refuse to associate with an openly racist dude who was in my social circle, and then I found out he was actually really nice and I regret having been such a dick to him *for years*. What matters is that we venerate the Gods – that is the important thing.
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And this is why I will hunt the racists.
Lucius Svartwulf Helsen said:
Which you are free to do…but allow me to make a few points about this situation.
1) you can “hunt the racists” all you like…but you will not change their minds or their faith by hunting him. Had you hunted down that man and hounded him on the forums, would you have changed the Gods he prayed to? I doubt it. He would still cry Odin regardless of your hunting of him. And the media would still lovingly jump all over our collective Heathen asses for his cry to the All-Father.
Our hunting…has done nothing. Over on the Wild Hunt there is a collection of Heathen group after Heathen group stating that our religion is not about hate…but no one will listen, no one will call the media to task for declaring us all racists. You can hunt the racists all you like…but you yourself will be hunted as a racist because of who your Gods are, regardless of how many actual racists you drive away from you.
2) The issue here, despite what people might say, is not that he is a racist. The issue here is that he shot a number of people. He broke the law. Why he broke the law is not important. The fact that race motivated this man who says he prays to our Gods does not make this crime anymore more or less horrific than if he had done it for money, drugs, or boredom.
3) By not hunting this man, by not driving him off and hounding him until he found himself alone, friendless, and with nothing to lose and nothing in his heart but pain, which expressed itself through hate…is it not possible that this could have been prevented? If this man had been shown kinship, shown that despite his “politically incorrect” views he was still seen as a human being rather than a degenerate monster who should be ostracized from all societies and faiths…could not this man have received the help he needed so that these tragic events might not have occurred?
Howdy 🙂 I run the American Asatru Association. I wonder how they came to the idea that AAA is racist. Racist heathen groups HATE AAA because we’re so vocal AGAINST racism.
Many Folkish groups label AAA as a white guilty group because we denounce racism and white pride. The largest racist FB groups – Odin’s Volk and Valhalla Bound – constantly berate us for “white guilt” (ashamed of our heritage).
Lucius Svartwulf Helsen said:
First off, it is wonderful to hear from you and your organization. Kinda makes me feel like i’ve hit big time because i finally got noticed, so thanks for responding.
Why they think the AAA is “Racist” well….as best I an any other heathen who has managed to listen to even part of the Podcast (and it’s bad) can tell its that they fall on the “progressive” side of politics and since you and the AAA are made up primarily of “white” people who are taking pride in “white” culture and being “empowered” by it…that makes you racist. Even a “white guilt” group like the AAA as you said your detractors called you. to your detractors you have too much “White guilt” to the folks on the panel…anything viewing even the smallest part of “white” or “White history” as good is…well…racist.
It still doesn’t make any sense to me.
Others who are part of the Troth were amazed at being called racists too, for I would guess similar reasons (I sadly don’t know much about you AAA guys). as for the AFA folks…they’re pretty much used to it, though they aren’t Racist in the slightest either. But the whole thing seemed to be a massive hour and half plus smear campaign against anything Heathen or what could even be loosely tied to Heathenism. IT left the impression on me that they think there are good Heathens out there….but you will never find them because they will never speak to you about Heathenism, and if you meet a Heathen who does talk about it, they’re a racist.
I would be interested in possibly doing an interview with you for the blog if you like, either about the podcast, the allegations, or just your AAA and some basic knowledge about it. If you’d like to, let me know. 🙂
Well odd how they thought AAA was white only. One of our past members is Commanche! Lol
AAA is mostly social media now. I run it and all the original staff has either moved on or been terminated due to inter organizational issues. There’s myself, 1 part time person and 2 in sabbatical.
I had dreama of making AAA into an org similar to AFA but more as a sponsor to any Kindred that needed money to run moots and celebrations.
Many people were nice, a followr even bought the URL for us and the .cc, .info and .org and donated it free. But no one was interested in a communial effort. Ive switched gears and made it a more upbeat place for heathens to converse and to publish my own ideology of the lore.
An interview would be good 🙂 I dont live off AAA so I work. We can bang out a time.
Lucius Svartwulf Helsen said:
Well, I was thinking it would probably be an email interview through the above posted email in my contacts section. that way it’s easy and I can then compile it for the blog easier. 🙂
Sure. Go ahead. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
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Sean kanzenbach said:
Heill! Lucius svartwulf Helsen well said my friend!! I agree full heartedly.
Heill to thee Aesir! On Apr 13, 2014 7:59 AM, “A Heathen’s Path” wrote:
Lucius Svartwulf Helsen posted: “This may well be one of my more unpopular posts. Certainly, this is the kind of post likely to get me in trouble in the future. You know the kind, that gets sound-bitted endlessly to prove what a terrible person you are so that people will stop listening “