You know, this is not something I thought was going to be a thing. But apparently, it is a thing now. So I am talking about this thing. Well, talking about this thing more.
As a rule, I try not to pick sides. As another rule, when I pick sides, I try to pick the side which is most lawful, just, and hopefully leads to the least amount of Retribution. Not always possible, which is why I will bring retribution to the table on occasion.
Before I get into this, let me state that as a rule, John Beckett is one of those people with whom I tend to not only respect, but to also agree with. In fact, on of the reasons I tend not to read his blog that often is because we agree on things so very much. And I have no desire for an echo chamber in my reading. But for today, I am going to have to disagree with Herr Beckett. Know that I do so with the utmost (usually) respect.
Let us begin.
Some things simply cannot be tolerated. Some behaviors are so harmful to individuals and to society as a whole that they cannot be permitted. We have an on-going debate about just what is and isn’t on this list, but the universal condemnation of murder (to give what I hope is a ridiculous example) clearly shows that such a list exists.
Yes, such a list does exist. It includes many things, like murder, theft, and rape. In fact, in many societies, theft and rape were actually considered worse than murder. But yes, there are some things that we simply cannot tolerate as a society if we wish to live justly.
Likewise, some ideologies are so harmful to individuals and to our communities that they cannot be tolerated…
You mean like ideologies that support rape and murder? I whole heartedly agree. We should not accept such ideologies into our society. Any ideology that feels that rape is acceptable, for any reason, should not be tolerated at all.
…Racism is at the top of that list…
The many ways it has been and remains harmful are too long to list, but they include genocide, slavery, and the systematic abuse and impoverishment of whole groups of people based on the fact that they Aren’t Like Us. Whether you define race by genetics or culture or both, the idea that some races are better than others or that some races shouldn’t mix with others is harmful to our society and to individual people.
Wait, wait, wait.
Okay, let’s break it down for those of you who might have missed it. Beckett is writing this article, probably in response to seeing Ryan Smith of HUAR’s post, calling Steve McNallen a racist…because McNallen protested the mass sexual assault of women across Europe.
Now, I expected HUAR, that most useless and derided of all Heathen organizations, to do something as stupid, misogynistic, and vile, as focus on Race rather than Rape, but et tu Beckett?
I mean…Beckett, you were my hero. A voice of reason, of theism, of wisdom. And yet, when the time comes to condemn evil, you would claim that words spoken of a desire for defense, however poorly framed, are of more evil than the physical, violent, violation of women?
I state again: Words are worse than Deeds?
Separation and superiority are two sides of the same coin. Pick which ever one you like – you’ll end up with the other one too.
Soooo, we shouldn’t then strive for the preservation of indigenous cultures (like the various pagan religions) because that seperates us as people, leading to a sense of superiority. Meaning that any separation, for any reason, is going to lead to racism. And the solution to this is a homogenization, a removal of separations, between peoples.
I would at this point, then, ask Beckett to justify why he is a Pagan, and has defended the right of plurality in Paganism, why he has not instead converted to a universalist religion such as Christianity or Islam which seeks to remove these separations between peoples and make them one unified whole?
I mean, to me, being a Pagan is an act of separation and preservation. So then, apparently, superiority shall also fall within this coin of my separate religion, which sets me apart from Christians and Muslims (both of whom despite their very much unifying nature tend to have a massive superiority complex. Huh).
We cannot tolerate racism, but we can talk about it. We need to talk about it, study it, and understand it, so we can do a more effective job dismantling it. But we cannot advocate for it, nor can we tolerate those who do.
But apparently, we can tolerate rape. But we can’t talk about it. Because if we talked about it, studied it, and understood that what is happening in Europe is an act of systemic, ideological, misogynistic sexual violence against Native Women by Muslims, we might have to admit that McNallen had a gods damned point. But we can advocate for silence when it comes to rape, and tolerate those who do it.
Look, I am not McNallen’s biggest fan. I’m not a part of the AFA, and heck, I’m on the edge of leaving Heathenism. But when a man says “rape is wrong and something should be done about it,” I can at least admit that rape is wrong and something should be done about it. Well, something other than cover it up and excuse it.
I’ll say we do. In fact, I would say a good 80% of that problem is non-Heathens calling us racist simply because we don’t feel White People are the ultimate evil in the world responsible for every bad thing that happened. At least, that’s what it feels like. Because Heathens, as a rule, do not go about beating our selves with flails shouting Mea Culpa!!!! all the damn time for the simple fact we happened to be born “White,” but actually take pride in the many great accomplishments of Europeans, which have benefited the entire world I might add, we are nothing more than a bunch of evil racists.
So well done for adding to the stereotypes and perpetuating the “Heathens are Racists” meme, Beckett. Alas, it seems that one of my heroes, to quote Nietzsche is “Human, all to human.”
…I know plenty of good Heathens and I’ve read a fair amount of Heathen material. I do not believe Heathenry or any of the Northern traditions are inherently racist. But many racists have found a home in Heathenry…
You want to know what religions have more racists than Heathenry? Christianity and Islam. But I don’t see you denouncing the entire religions as racist, or even saying that they have a problem with racism. Good job there. Really loving the whole “I don’t hate Heathens, some of my best friends are Heathens,” vibe there.
Since we’re, you know, talking about racism.
Of course, many racists may have found a home in Heathenry. If only because we don’t tell them they’re automatically evil because of what skin color they happened to be born with, and judge them by their deeds, rather than their presently unaccepted (but historically universally accepted) viewpoint simply because it is the present political flavor of the decade to say “Racism is the worst thing on the planet, including rape.”
Some of them are obvious about it, while others are more subtle. Racism has no place in a virtuous and healthy religion. Most Heathens understand this (or at least, the vast majority of those I know and know of understand it) and are working to eliminate it, to various degrees.
If you’re talking about Smith, Bechett, I am pretty sure he is not a Heathen. I by rule tend not to question a man’s faith (I even believe a racist can be as devout to the Gods as I am), but I’m pretty sure from what I’ve read of Smith and HUAR, that they cling more tightly to the wisdom of Social Justice than they do of Odin or Freya.
The latter of whom, by the way, I am certain does not feel that Rape is a lesser harm than Racism.
Some, though, prefer to ignore it. Perhaps it isn’t very important to them. Perhaps they sympathize with racist views. Perhaps they simply don’t want to rock the boat and risk losing the support of racists in their communities.
Wait, was this a shot at me? Is this because in the past I’ve talked about how I’m not going to hunt down raicsts any more? You cheeky dick waffle. 😀
I mean sure, my faith in the Gods and it’s practice is more important to me than policing people’s thoughts and words. And sure, I can sympathize with the view that maybe a group of people who are committing mass rapes against a different group of people (namely people I seem to be related to and classed with as a group simply because I was born with the same skin color) should be prevented from committing mass systemic rape of my apparently fellow group members.
I can’t really say I care much about rocking boats though. I mean, I kinda blasted past rocking the boat and went into full on blitzkrieg of the boat when I had that row with Halstead, and I’m sure going and complaining about what you said Beckett is going to rile many, many feathers. So I think it’s pretty clear I care less about the court of public opinion and more about admitting that just because someone believes something differently than me, doesn’t mean he can’t have a point about rape being bad and the need to prevent further rape.
Which…honestly was the kind of courage I expected from you, Beckett. But hey, I guess you don’t want to rock the boat and call out actual rapists and losing the support of rape apologists in your community.
Steven T. Abell is the Steersman of the Troth, a Heathen organization, and an occasional contributor to the Agora blog here on Patheos. He had not posted anything in almost four months, but yesterday he wrote this piece attacking Ryan Smith of Heathens United Against Racism…
And verily, my opinion of the Troth has grown three sizes this day.
Does this mean Beckett wasn’t firing that comment at me? I am disappoint. Oh well. Fun while it lasted.
Still, damn. You know it’s bad when a guy who’s been on a four month break feels he has to come down from the mountain and lay the smack down. Hela’s Grace, from what I understand the Troth and the AFA don’t even like each other. Shit, to make to rival factions of Heathenism come together is something impressive, I’ll give Smith that much. Of course, perhaps Becket should have paid attention to how thing actually work in the Heathen community rather than just get to know “Good Heathens” like Smith.
Also, just gotta do this.
…He called Smith’s anti-racist efforts “witch hunts, show trials, and guilt-by-association.” He went into mocking detail to describe all the ways Smith and HUAR are – in Abell’s opinion – harmful to the future of Heathenry.
Yep, sounds about right to me. And every other honest heathen out there whose watched HUAR long enough.
Yet when it came to Stephen A. McNallen of the Asatru Folk Assembly, who recently longed for the days when paramilitary Nazi vigilantes kept so-called undesirables under control, Abell simply said “Steve McNallen and I disagree firmly on certain topics.” There wasn’t even a hint as to what those topics might be – for all I know they firmly disagree on the proper serving temperature for ale vs. lager.
Bechett, if you did some research you’d have found out that said paramilitary organization existed quite a while before the Nazis, occasionally ran counter to the Nazis, and got taken over by the Nazis.
History, it’s more than just Nazis. Even in Germany. Which, honestly, seems kind of racist how everything in Germany just gets claimed to be Nazi. Nazi this, Nazi that. Nazi, Nazi, Nazis.
Seriously, it’s Hitler Ate Sugar territory here.
Well, Hitler opposed the rape of German Women, that must mean because you oppose the rape of German Women, you’re a Racist Nazi!!!!!
And sure, Abell didn’t say what topics he and McNallen disagree on. Those are public record and collected over the last several decades. I mean, they’re the reason the Troth and the AFA are such different organizations. But apparently, Abell is able to put ideological differences aside and admit that
But apparently this makes Abell as much a racist fuckwit as McNallen is. Apparently. Sorry Abell.
It’s quite a long article, so we’ll carry on in part 2, where Beckett decides to finally get to the Man, rather than the Religion.