Jo from Jon Upsal’s Guarden has a wonderful post about Hypocrisy. And it got me thinking.
In a recent post, Rhyd asked us not to think the worst of him, but give him the benefit of the doubt. I’ve commented on it. However, in a previous post (which I also commented on), he lists himself as the Managing Editor or Gods & Radicals and that no post goes up without his say so and approval.
…In fact, according to the bylaws of the non-profit which runs Gods&Radicals, I (as the Managing Editor) am fully responsible for all content on the site, including what’s written by others. Though the opinions, political stances, and spiritual affiliations of Gods&Radicals writers and board-members vary widely, all editorial responsibility falls upon me, not them.”
Rhyd – The Uncomfortable Mirror, 2016
Meaning, that any post on Gods & Radicals has to have his full authorization and as he takes full responsibility, I might presume also full support as well. Now, last I heard, Rhyd is still currently Managing Editor at G&R, nothing has changed, and he is still in full authority to sign off on whatever posts go live.
So what kind of posts have been going up while Rhyd is asking us to give him the benefit of the doubt. (Note, he has not apparently asked us to give G&R and its writers the benefit of the doubt though…)
Well, to start, there’s a post title: The Inalienable Right to Persecute. Which is a post I commented on recently that mainly consists of the author Sophia Burns, attempting to argue that the classical liberal values of tolerance and freedom of speech should be done away with in favor of being able to persecute and silence the speech of “alt-right” and “fascist” individuals who “abuse the system of tolerance and freedom” we have in society.
Hmm, so while Rhyd is asking of us not to think of him as a totalitarian…he is authorizing and supporting an article that argues for the suspension of civil rights in favor of totalitarian power, to be used against people who are of differing political views.
Then of course, there’s the post titled: Against Tradition: Anarchism in a Magical Context. Which I have not yet commented on, but plan on doing so. In which the author equates their rejection of a requests of a God to work with them to the same way they would reject the request of the State or Society to work with it. And then goes on to call for a greater rejection of traditions as they “get in the way” of spirit work as the author Dr. Bones views it.
When I tell this tale to the few pagan-oriented folk I know I often get shocked looks and gasps. An ancient Greek goddess comes calling to you and you deny her? You had been chosen and you said no? You denied the will of the Gods?
Yes I had, just as easily as I will deny the Will of the State and Society.
Hmm, so while Rhyd is asking of us not to think of him as an anarchist wanting to destroy all the systems and hierarchies within Paganism, he’s signing off on an article all about…rejecting the systems and hierarchies within Paganism.
This is further carried on in a post titled: The Politics of Spiritual Service by a Christopher Scott Thompson. A post in which Thompson attempts to justify his serving under a hierarchy to Bridget while at the same time championing thinkers like Kropotkin and Bookchin (both of whom appear to be anarchist Marxists in their own rights, but perhaps not totalitarians like their fellow Marxists Lenin, Stalin, and Mao) while at the same time arguing for what basically comes down to as lawlessness, or unlawful actions at the same time when it comes to “religion.”
The religious equivalent of anarchism is known as “antinomianism,” a word meaning “against the law.” Antinomian religious movements reject the claimed authority of spiritual leaders and the laws they would seek to impose on others. Instead they insist on the right of the individual to decide, based on the inner light of one’s own understanding. I claim this right for myself, which naturally includes the right to place myself in service to that which I believe is worth serving.
Which, while I am rather anti-authoritarian myself, this seems to me to argue for being “against the law” not because of any inherent flaws in the “law” but simply because the law exists and regardless of why those laws are and what they mean to the rest of the people within the society in question.
Now some of these may have dropped a bit before Rhyd asked us for a “beneficial doubt” but he was dropping these as he was moving towards asking us for our “doubt.” (Which he has denied people such as Invictus, McNallen, Folkish Heathenry at large, and several others. The writers of G&R have also failed to provide this doubt to their ideological foes as well).
In addition to the above listed there are two articles dealing with Heathenism directly.
First is the post: Rainbow Heathenry: Is a Left-Wing, Multicultural Asatru Possible? by Shane Burley. Now I haven’t commented on this post (though it looks like it might be worth it) by Jon Upsal‘s Garden did. Jon’s conclusion of the piece seems to be “Yes, there can be a left-wing, multicultural asatrue…if you reject everything that Asatru presently is, remove all boundaries, allow anything you want in, kick out what you want, and then call it Asatru.” I suppose much like you could strip all the parts out of a Ford Mustang, swap them with parts from twenty different cars, and still call it a mustang because it has the outer body work.
As Jon is far more in touch with modern Folkish Heathenism than I am, I’m going to defer to his conclusions until such time as I can do my own post.
The other post is one by the infamous Ryan Smith of HUAR titled: Heathenry and Democracy. Which Jon Upsal’s Guarden also commented on. Again, I’m going to defer to Jon’s on this one as I haven’t had time to review it myself and he knows more of modern Heathen politics than I do. But the short of it seems to be Smith…doesn’t know history. Or at least cocked it up to prove his desired conclusion.
This is of course not counting the original hit piece on Invictus, the terribly put together information piece “Confronting,” Rhyd’s attempt to “explain” which I linked up top, and numerous articles going back from before those posts by Rhyd and other G&R writers both on G&R and their own personal blogs.
These are just the most obvious posts. I haven’t even gone through all the others that have been published at this time which may contain a similar theme and message, but aren’t as open about it.
I cannot give Rhyd what he wants (the benefit or the doubt) but I can give him what he and G&R is asking for.
They want a war.
They want the chance to destroy all the hierarchical systems they find abhorrent. It doesn’t matter why those systems exist, how sacred they are, what they do to protect humanity, the planet, all of existence. It doesn’t matter if these systems, hierarchies, or traditions are mortal, political, or divine. Even as they acknowledge the power of the Gods, they refute that that power should be treated with respect or placed in a position of prominence. Any authority is a problem if it exists. Any limits on chaos is an act of of unjust oppression that must be overturned. Any path that does not believe the same is to be viewed with suspicion and ultimately cleansed, regardless of that religion’s or society’s right to self determine its existence on this world according to the will of its members.
And I can give them that. At every turn, I can do my best to be there, to refute, to sabotage, to reveal and expose their actions. I don’t think I will be alone. I know I will not be alone, for my Gods stand with me. They bid me to fight for them, to fight for the freedom and rights of every person to make their world as they please, even if that path offends someone else, violates another person’s ethics or moral conscience.
I have stood against the Christians, and laid them low when they sought to enforce their will upon my peoples. I have stood against the Muslim, when they have sought to do the same. I have stood against the Atheist and laid them low. I can, I will, do the same to the Marxists, the Anarchist, to the destroyers.
I fight for the rights of my people. I fight for the faith of my Gods. I fight for our ancient heritage and the right to practice and believe it. I fight without fear, for I know what awaits me in the end of all things. Words are my blades, the shamed and defeated ideologies of my foes are my offerings to the Gods. And should any foe seek to take the fight beyond words, should they seek to make it a physical war as well as an ideological one, they will find a thing more horrific than they can comprehend coming for them.
I cannot give what they want, to look at them with doubt and second chances. But I can give them what they ask for. By their deeds, they can fall back, live by themselves under their own laws, and molest no others in word and deed. And they will be asking for peace, and I shall give it. But if they by their deeds do not fall back, but seek to live as they have, putting others under their laws, then they ask for war, and that too shall I give.
I shall end this with the start of a poem by Kipling. While the poem ultimately may be Christian in nature, I do believe that the start of it has some…universal wisdom.
Gold is for the mistress — silver for the maid —
Copper for the craftsman cunning at his trade.
“Good!” said the Baron, sitting in his hall,
“But Iron — Cold Iron — is master of them all.”