So it seems that ours really is a in which diversity will not be tolerated, in the name of diversity and tolerance.
Yeah, apparently that is what is happening over at The Troth.
On February 2, 2017, the High Rede (Board of Directors) of The Troth has implemented the following motion:
I move that we accept the inclusion affirmation wording as follows and that the wording be placed on the Join and Renew pages of the website. The statement may also be placed in other locations, such as on a screen at first login, and members’ proceeding with processing their membership or clicking an acceptance box will be recorded as their agreement to abide by The Troth’s inclusive policies.
In choosing to join The Troth, you agree to abide by the following:
I agree to keep frith with all Troth members regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability, gender, or family structure.
This presents prospective members and current members with an opportunity to affirm their understanding of The Troth’s inclusive policies and positions and to abide by the “law of the hall.”
Now, okay, I suppose most organizations have their “oaths” that they make members take. And certainly, I would expect a Heathen organization to have their members taking oaths. And even an oath to keep Frith with fellow members is certainly an oath that a Heathen organization could be expected to have.
Of course, this particular oath is…certainly interesting. Especially given the nature of the Troth’s origination:
At its founding in 1987, the Ring of Troth (as it was originally named), was intended as a truly neutral territory for Heathens of all types. Asatru and Theodish, modernists and reconstructionists, Lokeans and anti-Lokeans, and, yes, Universalists and Folkish; all were welcome in a deliberately loose framework that provided a very decentralized structure, leaving such decisions to the individual and local kindreds.
Now, according to Joe, this changed starting around 1991 when the Troth’s original founder was ousted. Now, 1991 was well, well before my time in Heathenism, so I’m just going to go with it. I do remember the Troth when I did start getting into Heathenism, and it was a much more open place back then (16 years ago). I do say Open, rather than Inclusive, mostly because Inclusive has come to mean something far different. They were pretty Universality back then, though I do vaguely recall that Folkish were….tolerated.
As long as you weren’t too open about it.
But you weren’t outright banned. Also, while they were Universalists, they didn’t really seem to hardline a lot of stuff. They were kinda…the UU church of Heathenism. Not my cup of tea, but not a cup of tea you’d have problems with being in your tea shop (tea cafe?).
Now, it seems, that the Troth is going from anything Open to full on “Inclusive.”
Now, there is nothing, on the surface of this oath, that is bad. Honestly, it all sounds very well and good. Honestly, it sounds pretty good. Because we shouldn’t judge people by their race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc, etc, etc.
Of course…it’s less about the Oath and its content, as what it Means these days.
In a world where “it’s good to punch Nazis” and “nazis” are…anyone who disagrees with very, very left wing philosophy. Now, I cannot blame the Troth for making this oath and apparently pasting it all over their site as much as possible. After all, Heathens always get labeled as Nazis (and racists) and most Heathens will do absolutely anything they can to avoid those labels. Forget their symbols, self mutilate their theology, throw their own under the metaphorical bus.
Hel, I’m waiting for them to start throwing their fellows under literal busses.
So honestly, I can’t blame them for throwing whole hog on to the Inclusivity boat and throwing everyone who doesn’t fit out the damn boat. After all, they won’t sink you if you’re not carrying any “degenerates” with you now would they?
Well…they would. We’ve seen it time and time again, inside Paganism as a whole, and outside of Paganism as well. Hel, just the other day, a woman by the name of Laurie Penny dared make the comment that “breitbart writers are human.” She was attacked…for being a “liberal collaborator with the Nazis.” To put this in perspective, Laurie Penny is a Feminist Writer for The Guardian. If you wanted a poster child for the top ten most Progressive people in the world…she’d probably be in that list.
And not even she is safe. So how do you think a Heathen religious organization is going to be treated? Honestly, you can toss everyone who doesn’t “inclusivity” out of the boat as fast as you want…it is never going to be enough.
Appeasement is never a workable solution. You’d think Heathens would know this, since our ancestors got rich off “appeasements” meant to keep us from burning down entire nations. But that appears to be but one of the many things that the Troth has removed from it’s theological knowledge.
Who knew that so many Heathens could be so fearful?
Honestly, this is more disappointing to me than anything. In Joe’s post, I honestly can’t tell if he’s happy or salty. I’m sure he’d insist otherwise, but…yeah, salty. Hel, if I was him, I’d be salty. The one organization out that which was supposed to be Open to everyone, the one place where we could all come regardless of our theological differences and actually talk to one another…just closed it’s doors to how many of us? It would be as if the Althing suddenly banned all the Icelanders. “Sorry, you’re not Norse enough to be given a seat in the Althing, bugger off will you.”
And while I am sure that Jo is happy the Troth finally shat, it’s gotta be like watching a relative who had slowly fallen from the ways of honor finally die a straw death. There is no redemption now, no glorious end by which to regain the respect of the Gods. Just a sad, drunken old man who finally died in his cups. No Heathen worth their salt (kek) would look at that and not be a bit…upset.
So honestly, what is this New Oath going to actually accomplish?
Well…nothing the Troth really wants.
First off, even in the Troth I suspect there’s going to be a fair few folks who suddenly find themselves faced with an oath they cannot take. Not because they’re racists, or sexists, or anything like that. Hel, I couldn’t take this oath, and I’m at least a couple of those things. It’s because this is not going to done the way Frith works. Oh, it might not start today or next week, but eventually this oath is going to be used as a cudgel on people who merely voice mild disagreements with people who fit any of those criteria.
I know this because I’ve seen it happen literally everywhere this attitude shows up. “You’re X, what would you know about Y, you bigot.” “We should listen and believe Y about their experiences, it’s not for X people to comment.” Hel, it’s only a matter of time before someone asks why some homosexual black person of demigender who thinks the Aesir are racist scumbags that needs to die is practicing Heathenism, and promptly gets kicked out as a racist, sexist, transphobic bigot who has no place in an inclusive organization like the Troth.
Secondly, those people who were on the borderline of folkish but aren’t willing to cross over into “racist” territory, or who like me are neither folkish or universalist but recognize the validity of both position…now have absolutely no place in the Troth. And the Troth was…kinda the last major place, especially since Hugin’s Heathen Hof went full HUAR (never go full HUAR kids) with their Declaration 127 and got dozens and dozens of places to sign up.
Meaning that if we want anywhere to join up with a larger group, we’ve go two choices. Start our own, and inevitably watch it fall like the Troth did. Or…join the AFA. Because damn it, we might not like everything the AFA stands for…but at least they’re fucking standing for something.
And you can bet that a number of present Troth member, now about to find themselves Former Troth members…are probably going to start looking at the AFA. Because they’re used to kindreds, they’re used to groups and rites and all the stuff that comes from belonging to a religious organization. And they’re going to want to keep having that. And if the AFA is smart…they’ll take them in. Because they can always teach them the way of the AFA.
Of course, there’s people like me…oh who the fuck am I kidding, I don’t think there’s anyone like me. I mean, I’m a demonic being who worships Hel, is married to her, and a bunch of other stuff. I’m not even sure how the AFA would react to a demon coming in to join one of their kindreds, and more importantly, Hela is in that weird grey zone of worship that falls somewhere between the Aesir/Vanir and the Jotunr. Is she a God? Is she a Giant? Is she Both? Who knows! She’s Dead! But she’s also Alive! The Troth was theoretically a place I could go, but the AFA doesn’t do Loki worship and honestly, I don’t recall them saying much of anything about Hel one way or another.
Sure, maybe I could go there and change that. It would be a noble effort and a righteous one, but seriously I’d have to get into the door first, and honestly I don’t think the AFA is ready for a demonic being who went through apotheosis, became a god of Helheim, married the queen of the dead, and sits beside her. And I honestly couldn’t blame them, because there’s not much I can show of empirical evidence to prove it and honestly I wouldn’t blame them for considering me a daft loon. Either of those things could get the door slammed in my face, much less both of them.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change a damn thing about what I am or my relationship with Hel, but even I am not so delusional as to think I can just walk in the door of a Hof and have everyone take me on faith.
So thanks Troth, in your spineless attempt to keep yourselves from being hunted down and exterminated, you fucked over your own people. Only you will be hunted down and exterminated all the same, because you’re fucking Heathens and that’s what’s going to happen as soon as the SJWs, Antifa, and whoever else takes themselves up as the Jihadis of Progress actually find out you exist.
Still, for those of you in the Troth who are about to be homeless…good luck. Maybe the AFA will be able to give you a home. You got nothing else to lose at this point. Just…keep to their code. I know some of it might not be what you like, but…better the AFA be what it is, than they fall like the Troth did. I hate to say it, but the AFA is pretty much Helm’s Deep at this point. Find shelter, pray the walls hold and you’re not beset by traitors, and maybe the Gods will smile and see you and yours through to the future.
If not…well, we’ll be waiting for you in Helheim if you can make it there.
As for the Leadership of the Troth who has sold their own out in the name of politics, well…we’ll be waiting for you too.