So Jo from John Upsal’s Guardener did a post responding more to some of the things people have been saying to defend a more “universalist” position in Heathenism. Things like “well the Gods/Ancestors engaged in ‘inter-racial’ breeding and cross dressing, so it’s perfectly acceptable fore mixed race and non-white people to worship Asatru, and for there to be GLBT+ Heathens! How dare you stand for tradition, ethnicity, and hetronormitivity!”
Now, I’m going be honest and admit…I got no real issues with mix-race marriages, non-whites being heathens, or GLBT+ people being part of Heathenism. At this point you’re all petty and pathetic humans and dear gods I’m tired of the whining. Do whatever the fuck you want. The afterlife is pretty folkish, but honestly if you’ve sworn the oaths you’re going to the afterlife of the pantheon you worshiped (it defaults to ancestors in the case of either ancestor worship or atheism).
I do…however have issues with some of these arguments. The basis seems to be “our ancestors did it, therefore it is morally acceptable for non-ethnic or non-hetro people to be part and parcel of the religion” for two reasons.
The first reason is…well, the examples they give are kind of shit and put an emphasis on admittedly “outlier” actions to demand mainstream ethical acceptance. For example, the one time Thor dressed up as a bride to get his hammer back (a hilarious instance because Manly Man Thor forced to be Girly was so out of character and humilating you had to laugh…right up until he killed everyone but Loki for laughing) is…used to say that cross dressing or transgenderism is “perfectly normal in the lore” which…I don’t see it. Or Loki turning into a horse and getting pregnant is one I’ve seen a bit for transgenderism too…despite being more about bestiality and Loki being fucked as a female horse.
But I’ll leave the divine and other arguments behind for the second, and to me, larger weakness of this kind of argument: Our ancestors did it, so it’s acceptable.
Well, to our ancestors a lot of things were acceptable:
- Slavery (including sex slavery)
- killing each other over insults
- fucking at the dinner table
- human sacrifice
- wholesale slaughter
- rape (of non-tribe members)
- bear and dog fights
- animal sacrifice
- emotional abuse (women could lock their husbands out of the house, pantry, and money chests, as well as their beds [prolonged withholding of sexual and emotional actions is listed as abuse by modern psychologists] if they were dissatisfied with their husbands actions)
- etc, etc, etc
Now, it does end up feeling to me that those who insist on the “our ancestors did it, so these actions are acceptable” group is seriously cherry picking their examples. Indeed, all of the above actions have much stronger factual claims than most I see for inter-ethnic or glbt+ supporting examples. I mean, where as the latter have perhaps one or two examples, the sagas are filled with examples of the ones I listed to the point of being all about them at times.
So how many of the above actions are they willing to accept coming back along with GLBT+ or inter-ethnic actions? I mean, part of the whole “cross-ethnicity” argument is that our ancestors had children with women (and occasionally men) from other “ethnicities” while failing to address the fact that a lot of that happened because those women were brought back as slaves and used sexually.
Now hey, if we’re going to bring back the Raiding, the Pillaging, and the Enslaving, cool. I mean, that’s part of our ancestral culture and if it’s good for sex it’s good for economics as far as i’m concerned. I’d happily pillage someone else’s village and cart off some folks to be sold as slaves if it means not having to work six months at my job. And believe me, there’s a few people out there I will happily offer as human sacrifices to the Gods.
I mean…if we’re going to live as our ancestors did.
Somehow though…I don’t think this particular group would find that acceptable. So it’s okay when they use the examples of our ancestors to back up what they want to do…but probably not so much when its stuff they find ‘morally repugnant.’ So when I see heathens screaming at the “AFA” about how “they’re not living up to our ancestors open mindedness about gender and sex, they betray the Gods!!!!” the only thing I can really say is “well, you’re not living up to our ancestors open mindedness about raiding, slavery, and killing, so you betray the Gods as well.”
Cause if we’re going to use Thor’s sleeping with Jotun women as an example for the ethicalness cross-ethnic relationships, and Thor wearing a wedding dress for the ethicalness of glbt+ acceptance, we might as well use Thor’s killing of Jotuns, dwarves, and many other creatures and beings for sport as an example of the ethicalness of cross-ethnic killings.
I’m just saying, that’s the argument here.