Monday, October 4, 2010

No Pressure, Really (Really??)

So, I just found out about this thanks to Glenn Beck. I don't want to hear any Beck bashing now, because this isn't about him.

Rather this is about something that goes Way Too Far, in my opinion. And for people who know me, that's pretty damn far to start with. Honestly, to hear my solution to some of the world's problems, people might be surprised that I would take offense to what I'm to show you. But then, even my worst, most violent, planet bombing, Death Star worthy ideas, are nothing in comparison to this video from the UK for the 10:10 Carbon Emissions reduction project.

It is, as the TVTropes website I like to visit would put it, High Octane Nightmare Fuel. I've watched it one time. I don't want to watch it again. It is so horrible, that the people that produced it are trying to wipe it from the Internet. (Though that might be because of just how badly it reflects on them, because they had no problem making it.)

In case the video disappears (which is likely) the basics is that it starts out with a teacher talking to her students about helping the environment. Two students don't look thrilled and basically show they won't do anything to help the environment. Teacher says that's okay, let me just press this button on my desk.

The two non-active students explode in a shower of blood (fake, fortunately) and splatter all over their horrified class mates (who are at most in their early teens). Teacher then cheerfully tells the class to read for their next assignment, excluding the two exploded ones.

By now, you should feel sick. If you're not, please tell me your secret. That is where the video stopped on Glen Beck. Thanks to and Youtube I got to watch the rest.

It consists of a Boss talking to his employees (and killing four of them to much shock and horror, I think). A small soccer/football club who kills one of there mates (to know discernible horror). The last one is in a recording studio with the lady doing the voice over at the end.

All through out the video, just before being exploded, the person with the button says "No Pressure." Yep, nice, calm words of reassurance. Right before the kill you like a suicide bomber. They even say it when they're giving the "Facts" about who all is joining and that you should to, (no pressure, by the way).

So yeah, this is what it's come down to. Save the environment. No Pressure.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

They Left it to Beaver

What I am about to post is probably one of the most important ideas of our time. In fact, it is probably worthy of many hours of historical research and publication.

In short, people's entire perception of history is based on the 1950's, especially in the instance of social dynamics.

The reason for this is many fold. For one, the advent of Atomic weaponry left a deep scar on the "Civilized" world, and the knowledge that everything and everyone a person knew could be wiped away in a second drove people to tighten down on society and provide a Strict Order to hold off the fear of Nuclear Chaos. This was true all over the world, but I would focus our gaze on America.

Now, we all have a mental image of the 1950's. This is largely due to rise in Television. Shows like "Leave it to Beaver" showed us the ideal home and life of people. It was a world of strict hierarchies and enforced roles. Father was in charge, Mother stayed home, children obeyed, and if a minority was ever shown on TV, well, we can all guess what their roles were.

Then we come to the sixties, possibly the second more important decade in the last hundred years. I say second most, because without the fifties, it would never had happened. The Sixties were a decade of rebellion against a strict society's oppression. Almost every social movement we have today can be traced back to the Sixties. Civil Rights, Homosexual rights, etc. Everything can be traced back to the Sixties and the often violent reaction against the enforce order of "The Past." A Past which was considered to be all of history. Or at least, Western History.

However, and this is something no one talks about, is that the "Past" we have is a lie. The past, especially for America is typically painted as having existed like the Fifties did. The racism, sexism, oppression, etc. Often, historical realities are ignored to maintain the illusion that historical society was run the same as 1950's America.

In reality, however, history was much different. In fact, as recently as the 1940's, the worlds was radically different. Women and Minorities stood on a more equal footing than they did in the 1950's. In fact, one could make the argument that they were well on the road to full equality. Certainly, the 1920's in America there was even more equality between everyone. There were women and minorities in Government offices (though you will pretty much never hear about them). People tend to forget that in America, a majority of white men didn't have the right to vote. Or that there have been people who were openly gay in the past, that while receiving the usual Christian ire, were fairly well accepted. That Minorities, such as Blacks, while facing oppression in parts of the South, were largely free and accepted in the rest of the country, and even in the South there were areas of acceptance.

So, why is it that we fail to have the correct image of history? In many ways it is because of Television. For much of TV's start, there were very few channels and those in charge of those channels picked what was seen. First, they painted us a picture of "The Perfect Life." Later, they would paint us the pictures of a world that rebelled against that "Perfect Life." They painted everything with that brush, ignoring the realities of the past in favor of comforting order at first, and then later a complete rebellion against the order they painted, which in truth barely existed in reality for more than a decade.

In the end, history was Left to Beaver, and like a good little boy, he tried to learn a "swell" lesson and teach it to everyone else, ignoring the fact that it wasn't real in the least. And so we are left with a legacy of Hatred and Bigotry, rather than the reality that while there has always been inequality, there has also been equality.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

World Peace Day?

So, if I am reading things correctly, today is World Peace day. I'm sure people are out there now, holding shindigs and such in order to celebrate and try and invoke the spirit of World Peace.

Personally, I can't say I'm a fan.

Don't get me wrong, I like peace, to an extent. I admit I like not constantly having to fight (at least not physically, mentally on the other hand). But my biggest problem with World Peace is that it isn't natural. It is, to me, a Monotheistic Ideal, where the world exists at "peace" (this peace normally being a state of being where everyone worships the same god and in the same method). Yet as a Asatruar, or even a Heathen/Pagan in general, I find it abhorrent. There are things worth fighting for. There are things worth fighting wars for. World Peace, to me, speaks or a world in which these things no longer exist, because as long as they exist, there will be battle done because of them. I worship gods and goddesses of war as much as I do the gods and goddesses of love and fertility. Often, at least in the European pantheons, these gods and goddesses cross over. Tyr and Ares were gods of war, but they also brought justice. Aphrodite, Freyja, Freyr, and Thor were gods and goddess of fertility who showed great zeal in battle. Odin and Athena were gods of wisdom and warfare. Each aspect was considered just as important as the other.

So I say keep your World Peace.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Yar, it be time again to pillage and plunder! So find some booty and beer and hit the YouTube for ye old Pirate ballads and heave to and let loose the cannon!

Now don't let me catch you being lilly livered scalawags! The term wokking the plank ain't just for cooking salmon on a wok! You scurvy bilgrats!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A few further words

Again in respost to a wonderful article by Cara: The Missing Call for Divine Justice


Cara, thank you so much for writing this. I left a comment on your other article in similar vein. I agree with you, too much do I see people in the pagan/heathen community seeking the peace and understanding above the other aspects of our ancient ways. Too much of the Christian do I see in the Pagans of this day.

Though on occasion I see people speak about the ancient attitudes, I rarely see them practiced. I realize there is a reason for this, because in the past there was much anti-pagan sentiment and frankly embracing the "darker" side of Paganism wouldn't have helped us become accepted in mainstream society. Yet it seems this early realization has been lost and most of those today seem to adhere to the "Noble Savage" idea of ancient paganism, where it's all about honor and hospitality. They embrace the "noble" but seem to have forgotten the "savage."

Paganism/heathenism is, in a way, very savage. It is Primal, the essence of the Animal as much as it is the Man. It is emotion and reason fused into a single entity. It is the ancient world, with its savage beasts and darkness and violence, as much as it is the ages of reason and enlightenment. It is Sparta, as much as it is Athens. It is Germanic, as much as it is Rome.

For Asatru, Odin is both a god of wisdom and war. Few today would feel that those two things have anything in common. War is seen as foolish and needless, a waste of time and people. Wisdom is seen as a thing of utmost value, to be embraced at all times. Yet, Odin is both, because our "modern" view of war is one that I think is very misinformed (though understandable for reasons beyond the scope of this comment).

In Wicca, there is the Green Man, the masculine spirit of the world. He is a father, loving provider to his children. But he is also a monster, the sounds of the dark forest at midnight, when all manner of beast and spirit wander just out of sight, ready to rend and tear and kill.

I've come to wonder if, in response to the supposedly "patriarchal" nature of Monotheism, that Paganism went to far in the other direction. If, in re-embracing the feminine, the masculine came to be undesirable. I know in many parts of Wicca, and other Pagan traditions as well, men are placed in positions lower than women. Places where, instead of the male priest/leader standing in equal measure with the female priestess/leader, he must stand subservient to her. I see a pattern in modern paganism of viewing traditionally masculine virtues as things to be avoided. Power, rage, violence, and many others are viewed as terrible things that should be avoided at all costs, when in the ancient pagan world they were viewed as noble emotions and energies of the same value as acceptance, love, and peace. I think this is something we pagans/heathens need to examine in ourselves.

Just how much of the Monotheist do we have in ourselves, with its insistence on pacifism, tolerance, concession, and acceptance.

Just as we are reawakening the ancient gods and goddesses of fertility, love, reason, and art, so too must we reawaken the gods and goddesses of war. We must remember that Thor's hammer brought more than thunder, it slew giants. We must remember that while the Athenians hated Aries, the Spartans loved him and the Romans viewed Mars as one of their greatest and strongest deities. WE must remember that Odin and Freyja were as well loved for being god and goddess of warriors as they were for wisdom or fertility.

So I say these final words, in response for Cara's call, though I know many will come to despise me for them.

I call upon Aries, God of War, to turn his weapons upon those who would see us dead!

I call upon Thor, to bring Mighty Mjolnir down upon their God!

I call upon Odin, to cast his mighty spear to slay those responsible for the deaths on that dread day of 9/11!

I call upon all the Gods and Goddesses, from Scandinavia to Egypt, from Ireland to Greece and beyond! I call upon them to rise once more in war and bring vengeance and justice on those who terrorists who kill in the name of Allah!

And I say unto that Allah, that should he not wished to be judged as condoning those who abuse his name, if they are truly not of his religion and betray his teachings, that he smite them as well. For otherwise I shall judge him complicit in their actions and in equal measure of bearing their guilt, from now until Ragnarok and beyond!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Some Words in the Days After

This is a re-post of my comment from here I can’t get there from here


Cara, I am deeply sorry and saddened by your loss. No words, by man or god, could give comfort to it.

I too, noticed that much of the Pagan blogs were very much "move on, release your grief, find coexistence and peace" in their treatment.I am sorry to say I was little better in my short post, but I felt the day needed silence, not words of war.

Yet, it seems for all the pretty words, nothing has really changed.

I am sure that if I have a reputation in the Pagan blogs by now, it is not a pretty one. I am often outspoken against Islam and am not one for pulling metaphorical punches. Ali here I am sure isn't to fond of me, and I'm still trying to figure out if Ali is Pagan or Muslim, because honestly it is hard to tell so deeply does Ali defend Islam and hold it high. Yet, it matters little to me which Gods, if any Ali worships.

I think the reason many people from all walks of life and religions, myself included, are against Islam is because even if it wasn't "Islam attacking America" it was still done in the name of Islam. Just as the Crusades and Witchhunts were done in the name of Christianity, I believe there is a desire to see Islam weakened to the point where it can no longer offer that violence, just as Christianity can no longer offer totalitarian violence agianst those who do not worship Christ. I am sure there are some who will disagree, who will say that those opposed to Islam are "Islamophobic" and "racist bigots" but I think that is disrespectful to all sides.

Linda says the mosque *needs* to go up now so that we can heal. But I fail to see how it is healing. There are those who say it is a symbol of Islam's victory, and there are Muslims who no doubt see it as such. Indeed, the very size of the community center does seem rather much. Were it four stories, I doubt we'd see much protest. Were it two, few words would be spoken. But to be over ten stories and to stand taller than most buildings around it strikes me as a little much. I have heard rumors that the top floors were the "prayer center" is to be located will have a clear view of the WTC site. I do not doubt that there are misguided individuals on both sides of the fight, but there are those with clear and just reasons for their stances. Linda, your call for tolerance is noble, but your application is intolerant. You suggest the Mosque is a salve to heal a wound, but even to me, one who lost little in comparison on that day, it feels of salt to that wound.

One thing I have noticed about Pagans is the insistence on tolerance and peace. These are noble ideals, to be sure, but I would say to all Pagans and Heathens, that ours is a world of many faces and natures. It is the nature of people to day to desire peace, to want it above all else, and many are willing to give anything so that they do not have to face the ugly side of life. But Paganism/Heathenism to me is as much about the ugly side of life as it is the pretty. It is, in Nietzsche's words "The Dionysian and the Apollonian." It is terror and beauty, emotions and reason, the bestial and the divine, all at once. I think we are missing a key element when it comes to the healing of the 9/11 Tragedy. One which I see at least, being an Asatruar, though I can speak for no others.

There was no were-geld paid to the victims families.

We have fought wars for nine years almost, but we have not gained any vengeance. Those who did the killings died in the same blast. Those who planned the murders have escaped all justice, and those that are "captured" languish in "prisons" that by all accounts are not dens of terror, pain, suffering, and retribution. There has been little accounting done for the deeds of that terrible day. People like to say that vengeance and retribution don't solve anything, that it just begets more of the same, but I disagree.

We Pagans/Heathens have many gods and goddess who exist either as representations, physical beings, or however you choice to view them. Yet we believe they exist and that they each have a purpose or job at which they perform, from which their power is drawn, and that power which they create.

We have gods and goddesses of love and desire, which I often see invoked.

We have gods and goddesses of fertility and the harvest, which I often see called upon.

But we also have gods and goddesses of War and Vengeance. These, I do not see invoked, or called upon.

I see many pagans willing to reach out beyond our pantheons and call upon Shinto and Buddhist deities, desiring peace and serenity. But where are the Pagans/Heathens calling upon our own divinities for righteous vengeance against those who slew kin and friend and hero that day? If I see someone call upon Odin, it is for wisdom in dealing with their hatred and removing it, not invoking him as the Terrible One, God of War. I have seen none call upon Aries, who clothes his bed in the skin of those he's killed, for retribution against those Terrorists who kill in the name of Allah. I see no one crying out to Thor, killer of Giants, to bring might Mjolnir down upon the God of Mohamed.

It is likely that I will have drawn much hate with these words. Perhaps I violate the spirit of this article as badly as I feel Linda and Ali have done. If so, I am sorry.

But looking at it, I see in the Pagan community people who are uncomfortable with who they really are. People who are so eager not to be "intolerant" that they willingly put up with things I would think intolerable. Pagan who look at Muslim women who are so bundled in fabric that their faces barely show and proclaim "Oh, she is so modest, how holy and admirable is that." They never stop to think that the woman is modest because her religion teaches that the mere sight such things as her hair will arouse men so much that they would rape uncontrollably, or that women are second class beings because Eve tempted Adam in the Garden and thus caused him to fall from grace, nor that a woman is counted as worth half a man in the courts of Islam, or that she must prove her innocence in a rape case with either four male witnesses or eight female witnesses. And would likely be charged with worse crimes for having performed sexual acts in front of so many people.

Little concern is given that in the ancient Pagan/Heathen world, the human body, male and female, was a thing to be shown of with pride as a vessel of Sacred Power and divinity, that to show off that form was considered desirable, and that to cover it was to deny and defame that sacred beauty that is the Human Form.

If my words seem angry, it is because I am angry. I am angry because there has been no vengeance for the fallen. I am angry because all I see are platitudes to an Ideology that supports misogyny, homophobia, paganophobia, and speaks of peace while doing nothing to stop the violence of its radicals. I am angry because all I see from those screaming for tolerance is intolerance to those who do not share their views. I see Muslims screaming about oppression and intolerance, yet who show little tolerance towards the victims in this Mosque building.

Yes, there were Muslims who died at the WTC, but too often I see those Muslim victims paraded out as a reason to let Muslims build, pray, and act as they please in regards to 9/11. Yet I rarely see anyone say fair number of those Muslims who died at the WTC were the ones flying the planes. Perhaps my emotions have gotten the best of me. Perhaps pain and fear and anger push me too far for today's world. But I do not live by the standards of "today's world." I live by the standards of my ancestors and my gods and goddesses. Perhaps hearing the GZM Imam say things like "America has more Innocent Muslim blood on its hands than Al Qaeda has the blood of Innocent Non-Muslims" has roused my temper. Yet I am caused to remember that just as according to Christians "all are guilty of sin who have not accepted Christ", so to is it for Muslims that "All are guilty of sin who have not submitted to the Will of Allah." That to Muslims there is no such thing as an "innocent non-Muslim" because we are "guilty of sin," while every Muslim is cleansed of there Sins by "Submission to Allah."

Perhaps I am wrong, to call upon the gods and goddesses of war, with a desire to see those who would kill us, be they "radical" or not, driven away at the end of divine wrath. But I am a heathen, and if it was good enough for my ancestors, it is good enough for me.

Cara, again I give my sympathy, and hope that the gods and goddesses of the afterlife, bring peace and comfort to your friend. I am sorry, if my comments have got to far for you. I have no desire to try and hijack your sacred words nor your sacred grief.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9/11 Nine Years Later

I have no pretty words,

No Rhymes nor rhythms.

Only a vague memory of shock

and of pain.

Of a world thought safe

Turned into one of chaos.

Never forget.

Never forgive.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Mouse that Roared at Lions

Of all the things I've written on Blogger, this is the one that will probably cause me the most trouble. However, I had always sought to be honest about my views. So, I will be honest.

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the Florida Church burning the Koran on 9/11, which is just a few days away. Well, perhaps that is wrong, as controversy implies that there are two side fighting over something, while world wide all I have really seen is mass condemnations. The Pastor has been labels a Hater and it is said that his proposed deed is one of hate. Indeed, this may be reasonable. The interviews I've seen haven't revealed to me a man driven mad with hatred like so many accuse, but they are short clips chosen to support the views of various people, and without meeting this man in person, I cannot say for sure the nature of his mentality.

But I can make a judgment about his character.

He is no coward.

In the face of condemnations, death threats, the potential uprising of roughly 1.5 billion Muslims, and the general disgust of the entire world, this man stands firm in his beliefs and is not swayed from his course. Now, will this hold out through the burning of the Koran, I cannot say. We will not know until after 9/11. But to have lasted this long at all is impressive.

I believe it is well known at this point that I am a Germanic Heathen, namely Asatru. I do not speak for any organizations, nor for other followers of the Pagan and Heathen Paths. I have a very different perspective on things than most people because of this. I reject a good/evil moral dichotomy. If there are any dichotomies in my life's path, it is that of Order/Chaos or Honorable/Shameful. So looking at the objections to this Pastor's actions, I judge by my way, and not the way of mainstream society.

People say that this action is inspired by Hate, and thus it is bad. Perhaps for the Christians, hate is evil, but nothing in any records of the Heathen Norse did Hate come across as evil. Rather, justified hate was viewed as a good thing. So simply because this man hates is not reason enough for me to condemn him. Indeed, Hate was once as valued as Love. In Paganism/Heathenism we attempt to restore the balance of the world. To reject hate is Christian. This viewing of Hatred and Violence as evil that the Western world has now is at odds with the rest of the world's views. It is certainly at odds with the views of my ancient ancestors, and myself.

People say that burning books is evil and shameful, often throwing images of the Nazi's book burning. Again, I reject the notion of evil, as it does not really exist in my religious beliefs. However, Shame does, so it does hold merit. But permit me to judge the shamefulness of this action. It is not good to burn books. (Though, if one is to belief Dolf in the Expendables, "It is good to hang pirates"). I will agree that it is shameful to burn books, but what of the motive behind the burning of the book. Is it too, shameful? If this Pastor Terry Jones is to be believed, he is burning the Koran to send a message to Radical Islam.

Now, he has not to my knowledge defined what he views as Radical Islam. It could be just those Terrorists who attack in the name of Islam. It could be the larger Islamic community. I cannot answer this.

So, what is this message of Hate that he is sending out? Well, to this simple Heathen, it comes across as "You burn our people, we burn your book." "That it is time to confront terrorism. That we do not want Shariah Law." Now, I could be wrong about this, but that is the impression I've gotten both from him and from others commenting about him.

So, is this a shameful message? Certainly, many seem to view it as such. The controversy of the Park 51/Ground Zero Mosque has painted a picture that protests against Islam are all hateful and racist. Yet, I cannot help but remember back when the Twin Towers were struck down in the name of Allah, that much of America wanted not only to go get revenge, but wanted to blow up the holy centers of Islam. Such things were not viewed as shameful then. Did something change when I wasn't looking? More than likely. Whether this is good or not, I cannot say. I, however, do not consider it shameful to tell a group of people that commit mass murder in the name of their god to knock it off. Are there better methods than burning the holy book of that group? Probably.

But what other methods are there? Talking certainly doesn't seem to have helped. Going to war, too, has not brought the results hoped when we first sent soldiers overseas. I think that what this Pastor and his tiny church are doing is done because they feel powerless against a monolithic, violent enemy that their government has failed to do much of anything against. So, they are taking what power they can, glaring into the face of the enemy they see, and mocking it.

But they are not killing anyone. They are not advocating violence. At least, not that I have seen.

The same cannot be said for the rest of the world. Already much of the Islamic world is in a riot. America has set its embassies on high alert. People are saying that our troops will be in more danger (though I find this rather hard to believe because they are already in a war zone and therefore not in a safe place to start with).

In many ways, I have to laugh at some of the things people are trying to do to stop this. As I write, MSNBC started digging and implying that the Church involved is, in fact, a Cult. A great way for character assassination, but even if they succeed in defaming the Pastor's message, it has proven useless in stopping the proposed burning. They are also reporting that Terry Jones, the Pastor, will stop if called by the White House, Pentagon, Etc. Perhaps this is true. Perhaps he is just playing for time. Much is unknown.

What stands to happen though, is known. Should the Koran be burned, there will be a violent reaction across the world. Many are desperate to stop it, yet many question why the President doesn't step up more to stop it. It is hard to say. This is more than a religious statement by a Pastor of a tiny church. This is world wide politics.

Ultimately, true answers will not be known until after 9/11. Indeed, I suspect there will be violence this September 11th. In addition to the Koran burning, two protests about the Park 51/Ground Zero Mosque, both for and against. Should the Koran be burned, we will see riots. If those riots break out at the Mosque protest, I do wonder what will happen.

I can't say I completely agree with Pastor Terry Jones. I dislike Christianity as much as I dislike Islam. But I don't have to agree with a person to admire courage, which he appears to have in spades. If this was a mere publicity stunt, he could have gotten as much attention without the danger. The fact that he's earned himself a death sentience, especially if he does burn the Koran, speaks to something larger. He says his god is telling him to do this. I am not one to say this isn't true. While the Secular world may sneer, but as a Heathen I live with my gods and goddesses and in a way, from the stories of them and my own impressions I too hear their words.

So, irregardless of hatred or insanity, I admire the tiny Christian mouse that is roaring at the lions of this world.

Monday, August 30, 2010

An Interpretations of an Imam

I must admit that having lightly delved into the world of Pagan blogs covering the subject of the Ground Zero Mosque/Park 51 Community Center has given me new insights into the matter. Things I had not considered are floating in my head. In someways, it makes the controversy more understandable. In someways, it makes those who are behind the project more terrifying.

The Imam behind the mosque/community center is quoted to have said that America has more innocent Muslim blood on its hands, than Al Qaeda has innocent non-Muslim blood on its hands.

I wish to first state that the Imam is correct, from a certain point of view. Permit me to explain.

I will start with a digression that will become clear as I go along. Christianity. Under Christian teachings, all people are born sinners. While some denominations will disagree about the innocence of children, most will agree that Humanity is born into sin and is stained with that sin until they are saved in the name of Jesus Christ. Indeed, this is the reason that Catholics baptize their children shortly after they are born, so that if they die they may enter heaven, rather than being damned to hell.

What does this have to do with the Imam's words? Well, assuming you haven't figured it out, permit me to continue. If you have, you may now recoil as the true meaning hits you.

Islam is much like Christianity. Everyone is born of sin and is a sinner. This is especially true of non-believers of Islam. The only real difference is that instead of accepting Christ as one's savior to get out of hell, one must Submit to the Will of Allah and follow the teachings of Him and his prophet Mohammad. Otherwise, one is a sinner.

Now, as a sinner, one is damned to hell. Hell is a place for the guilty. No innocent goes to hell.

But, if one does not believe in Allah and follow his teachings...

They are a sinner, they are guilty, and they are a non-Muslim.

Under Islam, there is no such thing as an innocent Non-Muslim, because by dent of being a non-Muslim, they are guilty of sin and have not been purified of that sin by Submission to Allah.

Only by Submitting to Allah, can one be made innocent of their sins. Therefore All Muslims are innocent.

Let us look at the above quote again: America has killed more innocent Muslims than Al Qaeda has killed innocent Non-Muslims.

According to Islam, All Muslims are Innocent through Submission to Allah.

According to Islam, All Non-Muslims are Guilty of Sin and Have Not been made Innocent through Submission to Allah.

Hopefully, this is sending a chill through your very bones. The realization sent a chill through mine. Because what it means is that for the Imam, indeed for most Muslims as they would agree with the Imam, it doesn't matter if a member of Al Qaeda is slitting the throat of a Soldier, that Al Qaeda member is still an Innocent Muslim so long as he submits to Allah. It also means that if an Al Qaeda member suicide bombs in a nursery of new born babies, those babies, if they are non-Muslims, are not innocent.

I speak these words, not in hate, but in warning. My fellow Pagans and Heathens, remember the ways of the Christians, who also viewed us as Guilty Sinners. Remember what they did, even to those ancient and modern followers of the Old Ways, no matter how much we tried to aid our fellows. We were not innocent to the Christians and we are Not Innocent to the Muslims. Asatru, Wiccan, Heathen, Pagan, Buddhist, Maori, Native American, Christian, Jew, or anyone else. We are not Innocent to the Muslim!

We are not innocent to this Imam.

Learn all you can and see with eyes unclouded by fear, hatred, or bigotry. See the reality of this world, no matter how painful and disheartening. To this Imam and those who agree with him, we are the guilty and they are the innocent. It doesn't matter how good we are or how evil the worst Muslim terrorist is. Remember what the Christians did to the "Guilty" Pagans. Know, that the Muslims have done the same, and still believe that those actions are not only acceptable, but will earn them rewards from their God Allah.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Heathens and Pagans and Muslims and Mosques, Oh My!

So, over the last few days, I've managed to find my way into a small section of the Pagan blogs, mainly due to some articles about the Ground Zero Mosque, known also as the Cordoba Mosque or Part 51. What I found there was not what I was expecting, though hardly surprising when one thinks about it.

It seems that there is a mixed reception towards the protests towards the mosque/community center.

On one side you have those Pagans who fear that this is an attack on freedom of religion and fear that the oppression of the Islamic minority in the US will soon turn against the Pagan Minority. These are justified fears, though I fear I detected more parroting of "liberal" party lines than I would have liked. It seems that those Pagans which hold this line are letting fear of a Christian majority blind them to just what Islam is. In some cases, they are far too eager to throw terms like racist and bigot at those that oppose the Mosque or Islam in general. Others, however keep a clear head and I will agree that they have a valid point. Some feel that the issue of the Mosque is a test case for minority religious rights. I personally don't see it as such. If it was a Pagan Temple, or Native American equivalent, or some other globally small and polytheistic religion, I would agree it as a test case for Pagan rights, but not with the size Islam is world wide.

On the another side, you have those Pagans that are opposed to the Mosque or Islam. They too, fear a hindrance on religious freedom, but are willing to question the end goals of Islam and those behind the mosque. They, myself included, argue that protesting or questioning the mosque is also a basic right, and something that should be done. They point out, correctly, that many of those protesting the mosque are doing so not because they wish to ban Islam, but because the victims families feel this is an insult to their dead. In this too, there are valid points.

Then there are those who seek to remain neutral. I too, fell into this category. This simple fact of the matter is, this is really isn't an issue that pertains to us Pagans and Heathens. We aren't going to worship there. We probably won't even be welcome inside. We can't even really say its an issue of minority vs majority, since Islam is the second biggest religion in the world, with over 1 billion followers. Christianity only has a few million more, and Muslims appear to be more devout than most Christians on average. Yes, Muslims are a minority here in America at the moment, but it is impossible to know how long that will last and looking at Europe will show that even a Minority of Muslims can wield great and terrible power for enforcing their beliefs on non-believers. Which leads to the question those Neutral Pagans I've come across are asking: What is the position of Islam on Paganism, especially those who are behind the Park 51/Cordoba/Ground Zero Mosque.

Well, thanks to a bit of research and to sites by the name of Gates of Vienna, I have the answer to that question. The Imam behind the Mosque is a proponent of Shariah Law, the Islamic Holy law. Some things to know about Shariah is that it is as valid today to Muslims as the Torah is to Orthodox Jews. The main difference is that where the Torah applies only to the Jews, Shariah applies to both Muslims and to non-Muslims (at least according to Muslims, anyways). So what does Shariah Law say about Pagans. Well, not a lot, and none of it is good. For instance, non-Muslims, esp pagans, are the descendants of pigs and monkeys. Though, perhaps the most relevant, and terrible part regarding Paganism, is a from the Quran, which is part of the basis behind Shariah and one of the holiest books to Islam. This section is known as the Verse of the Sword, 9:5

But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.

The forbidden months refer to a peace treaty or a holy time for Muslims. After that time, it is commanded to do as the Quran commands until the Pagans repent (Convert) and take up the Five Pillars of Islam. Also of note, Charity in this case is Islamic Charity, which according to research is called Zakat, and may only be given to Muslims and a percentage of which must be given to those carrying out the task of spreading Islam to the world (jihad) through either violent means like those of terrorists, or non-violent means like the Mosque/Community center. It is also important to note that these are major tenants of the religion, and to change it is not permitted and punishable by death if such changes are made.

This is also something I found in relation to the above text: The venerated Muslim scholar Ibn Kathir wrote that

This honorable Ayah (9:5) was called the Ayah of the Sword, about which Ad-Dahhak bin Muzahim said, "It abrogated every agreement of peace between the Prophet and any idolator, every treaty, and every term.'' Al-`Awfi said that Ibn `Abbas commented: "No idolator had any more treaty or promise of safety ever since Surah Bara'ah was revealed. ...

In other words, no peace may be made with Idolaters and Pagans.

Another Key thing of importance is that under Shariah law, as well as the holy texts of Islam, it is considered acceptable to lie to Non-Muslims in the course of advancing the cause of Islam. That is no lie. It seems incomprehensible, both because for Pagans and Heathens, our word is a sacred oath and because for Christians and Jews lying is evil and they are always to speak the truth. Indeed, every major and minor religion in the world stresses the importance of being truthful, yet Islam does not. This is because in Islam, it is the only true religion and therefore all other religions not only do not have the right to exist, they don't even matter enough to be truthful with. They deserve whatever happens to them in the course of Islam gaining the Submission of the entire world in the name of Allah. In the end, this hurts Muslims, because it destroys the sacred trust of the Oath. Even if a Muslim was to swear before Allah he had not problems with Pagans, even should he be telling the truth, the Pagan can never be sure, because there is always the chance said Muslim is lying.

My heart is filled with sorrow at this. It is the right of all peoples to worship the gods of their choice. Yet this sacred right is disrupted by those who seek supremacy. Even if only one Muslim in a thousand wished for supremacy and all others wished for peace, there would still be enough to move to make Islam supreme and destroy all others. Sadly, a look in the newspapers, on television, or across the internet shows that the odds aren't even that good.

I'm not saying that Pagans should jump on the bandwagon opposing the Mosque. I'm not saying we should even push the bandwagon for supporting. What I'm saying is that we as a group, must move forward and research for ourselves those behind this Mosque, and the truth behind Islam itself. We have to move beyond words of hate, of racist and bigot. Both sides of this argument have noble and ignoble goals. We Pagans have learned hard the lessons of intolerance and bigotry at the hands of the Christians. I do not want to see us be taught that lesson again at the hands of the Muslims, should they want to teach it, which it seems many of them do. We must look past the races of those involved, and look to their ideas. Those who oppose this mosque have just as much right to their protests as those supporting have a right to support. We can't say yet that this is about Religious freedom, because as much as the Christians don't want the other religions, the Muslims don't want any other religions either.

We Pagans are caught in the middle, and we would do well to look at the Jews, who also have a long history of being caught in the middle. We have to be careful, and look out for ourselves. The Muslims have the numbers to protect their own. The Christians have the numbers to protect their own. We might not even have the numbers to protect ourselves, so we must be careful. That is why I am no longer neutral, because I feel we as Pagans and Heathens don't have that luxury. We must choose our path carefully, and our allies even more so.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

What Fools these Mortals Be

I am not one for watching MSNBC. It's not because I disagree with their politics (which I do), but because of their attitudes. Rare is it that they show any respect for a view point other than their own. I talked about strawmen in my previous post, and how most people set them up as targets. Well, MSNBC sets them up as targets, and then burns them.

Interestingly enough, I used the verb burn, and it pertains to what I have seen.

Keith Olberman has made some comments about the Ground Zero Mosque. Comments that he has the right to say, but that he really, really should have thought about before he said them.

Watch at your own risk.

Keith starts out quoting a famous speech by a Nazi Death Camp survivor, who talked about how he didn't complain when the Nazis took various different people; communists, unionists, Jews, and then had no one to complain when he was taken. Then Keith turns around and says he isn't comparing the protests against the GZM (which according to him isn't a "Ground Zero Mosque") to the Holocaust. "Not yet, anyways."

Really Keith? Really? You're not doing that in the slightest?

He then continues on in the clip about how it isn't a Mosque, as a Mosque is only for Muslims to pray in, and this will have a culinary school and basketball court, and those who are decrying it as a terrorist training camp are being foolish and fearing terrorist chefs and terrorist point guards. Apparently, Keith has never paid attention to an outbreak of food poisoning from a restaurant. Chefs are strategic choice, if one thinks about it, but I digress. It isn't for training terrorists, there aren't any, and it isn't an insult to the victims' families.

Funny, those families looked pretty insulted to me.

Keith then goes on to talk about how a Mosque down in Jacksonville, FL, was bombed. No one was hurt, the bomber unidentified. You didn't hear about it on the news. Which is funny, because I thought I had heard about it on the news, but maybe I read it on the Web. Which, as we all know, isn't "The News."

Keith's point, that he spells out literally? Muslims have more to fear from Americans, and have suffered more at the hands of Americans since 9/11, than non-Muslims have suffered from Muslims. That's right, they aren't the terrorists. You are.

Again, REALLY? I guess that little Christmas day thing that fizzled out was, you know, a practical joke. Maybe Ft. Hood was, you know, a comedy routine? Funny.

And then he attacks those who say Cordoba House is a reference to the Muslim conquest of Spain. He brings up Newt Gingrich's quote, then proceeds to talk about how all the Muslims did was set up "Multicultural, nondenominational learning centers" but were constantly under attack from "Christian Armies" and internal civil wars. Well, Keith, let me stop you there with my history degree. You got the history wrong. Sorry. But Islam wasn't all Multicultural. Not at all, they were actually pretty hostile to Christians and Jews. Those Civil Wars were when other Muslims thought the current Invading Muslims Weren't Being Strict Enough About Islam! That's right, fundamentalists(and it is a historically proven fact that they were fundamentalists) were invaded and replaced by other more extreme Fundamentalists, for not be fundamental enough. And those Evil Christians who dared strike against the Utopian Muslim Multicultural society, well, starting off they were just defending themselves, and then trying to push invaders off their lands. A feat that wasn't accomplished until right about 1942, if I remember correctly.

That's right kids, the thing you didn't learn in your history books. Ferdinand and Isabella were the King and Queen of two different Iberian countries that joined together in marriage so they would be strong enough to push Muslim Invaders out of their lands, then they sent Columbus out on a fool's dream of finding India. Why? Because they needed the money such trade would bring, and because it would remove the Muslim Middle Men that were making such trade with the Far East so expensive and dangerous.

He lashes against Newt's proclaiming the GZM a mark of Islamic Triumph, by saying that every Church, Synagogue, and Mosque is a mark of Triumphalism over the Native Americans whose culture and religion was destroyed by "Us." As for compromise on the part of Park 51, well they changed the name to that from Cordoba House, which, according to Keith, is more than enough. (Funny, struck me as more like they got caught and had to think fast.) And apparently the fact that two Churches are there is enough to counterbalance the fact that the Mosque is very close buy. The view will be blocked. But somehow I think the "Call to Prayer" will still be heard.

He then goes on to rant about the Iraq invasion and how it is a Muslim nation and all we sacrificed to "free" Muslims, but then we dare stand against the building of a "Community Center." I will not go in to his rants against "Xenophobia" and how we are turning against American values to enforce it.

He then goes on to compare it to the Holocaust again.

I find myself at a loss for words. Sure, it is the same tripe used often by those people declare to be on "The Left." Americans are the bad guys, protesting this is racist, we are the real terrorists, the real murders, the real evil. Somehow, ignoring the cries of victims families is okay, even laudable, in the name of tolerance. But I see little toleration here. Keith doesn't seem to be tolerating people who feel this "Cultural Center" is a bad idea. He says he feels for their pain, but then why does he turn around and treat them like they are the forefront of a movement that will lead to Death Camps, Holocausts, and ethnic cleansing? To be honest, Muslims are the ones who are performing those actions today, not Americans. Most people aren't even saying this Center can't be built, or that it is illegal to do so. All they are saying is that it should be built elsewhere, not two blocks away where 13 stories dedicated to "enlightening" New York about Islam, being headed by a man who it seems is fairly radical and is getting the backing of even more radical Muslims, where no doubt radical ideas, or even basic, fundamental ideas of what Islam means will be taught.

Ideas like the fact that non-believers are the descendants of pigs and monkeys. That Christians and Jews are second class people. That Pagans and Heathens should be converted or killed. That women are evil, and responsible for the suffering of men and must be treated worse than animals.

But it we who protest that are the monsters, the racists, the evil fiends. Muslims just want to be our friends. They want peace. They want hugs and not to be oppressed by Evil Whitey. Funny, considering Islam is one of the biggest religions in the world, as well as the least tolerant, not just in the barbaric past, but in the Enlightened Modern Era.

I would encourage Keith to take a second, maybe even a third look at what he is talking about. Because this time, just maybe, the fears of those he is demeaning, might actually be based on reality.

Keith started by quoting a man who wished he had spoken up before the Nazis came for him. So I close with much the same. I will speak up. Before they come for the peoples of America, before they come for the Jews, the Christians, the Atheists, and the Pagans, I will speak up.

These are my words. Let all Gods and Men hear them, and grow bold in heart and deed.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Strawman has a point

When I was a child, I lived in a very black and white world. Most kids do, or at least they did, so this isn’t surprising. My home life was very sheltered, going for years without a television and the only music I was really allowed to listen to was classical (which led, in addition to a decade and a half of classical music lessons to a deep hatred of classical music, something I now regret but cannot overcome). No comic books, no toy weapons (even the tiny toy guns in my LEGOs were taken away), no cartoons, no magic of any kind, etc. It was, as I look back on it, a life lived under a moral guardian with the best of intentions and all the love in the world. It was my life and I knew no other.

Yet the years have passed and my life took turns I never thought it could, much less would. I stopped seeing the world in black and white. Mostly, it went black. I am not ashamed to admit I went completely and utterly to that which many call the Dark Side, a place where only the ruthless and the strong survive, where living with regrets is a sure way to end up dead or in a mental hospital, doped up on meds and barely able to function. There are many, many people who walk that path and lose control to the awesome and terrible powers that lie on the edge of that blade, which would as soon cut you as serve you. I didn’t fall into the darkness, I threw myself there, body and soul, knowing that when I came out the other end, I would be a stronger person than anyone else I had ever met.

One learns many things on the other side, that side that many touch and many more are touched by. People learn things from the Dark Side, especially those who are touched by it, but what they learn is rarely that which someone who has stepped over learns. A person touched by violence often sees it as bad and something to be eradicated, while the person who lives violence sees it only as an expression of power that is valuable and irreplaceable. Those who live in the Light world see things in terms of good and evil, while those in the Dark see things in terms of good and bad for themselves.

One of the things that has happened to me personally, having not just touched that Dark world, but lived and embraced it before I journeyed on to the Asatru way of life (one that I understand in fair better ways thanks to my journey through the Dark), is that I tend to identify and understand the villains better than most people. Chris Jericho is one of my favorite wrestlers, and I agree with many of his statements about the fans of wrestling and about John Cena. Darth Vader’s decent to the Dark Side is one of the most compelling I’ve ever seen, and despite the fan hate, episodes II and III are my favorite out of the entire Star Wars saga.

So when it comes to something known as a Strawman, I tend to listen. Strawmen, for those who don’t know, are individuals in various media who are created and used solely for the purpose of degrading and demeaning the opposing side’s views. Watch Stewart or Colbert, and you can spot an entire field of them. Fox News has them, but not quite the crops that CNN, MSNBC, and others do.

So what do the Dark Side, my affinity for villains, and strawmen have in common? Well, it leads to a certain skill that I can’t claim a monopoly too, but have something of an affinity and enjoyments of: Strawman has a point.

This typically means that the being set up to be the bad guy, the extremist, the antagonist, or what have you, actually makes sense. Sometimes more sense than the supposed hero. Those who oppose the “Forces of Light” are in fact the ones who have a more correct world view. I can draw personal history on this myself, with my Norse ancestors, who from the perspective of Christian Europe, were unwashed heathen monsters that slew, raped, and stole, yet were in reality, more a people who saw their lives and culture threatened by a monolithic force that saw them as evil.

Though, perhaps I can provide a slightly less personal example that more people might agree with. I’m going to assume that those reading this have also read the Harry Potter series, so my example with come from there. Most people who have read those books know of the four houses at Hogwarts, and my example comes from Slytherin, namely the founder of that house who felt that the school should be only for those students of pure wizard bloodlines and not open to students from non-wizard back grounds. This view is embraced by most students who live in Slytherin house. In the books, this is often used to show how bad the “racist” Slytherin students like Draco Malfoy are. Yet a closer look at the religious/political situation surrounding the foundations of the school (which is set deep in the middle ages) and the centuries following reveals the reality of this attitude of blood purity.

As any student of history, or even pop culture knows, the middle ages were not a friendly time for those who practiced the magic arts, thanks to power that Christianity held over both rulers and populace and which enforced the view that magic was evil and those who practiced magic were in league with the devil and should be hunted down and killed. I’ve read in many fanfics that touched on this subject how letting students from non-magical backgrounds into a school where children were being taught magic could prove dangerous.

After all, it doesn’t take much imagination to know how a religiously dogmatic group will react to those who practice “heresy”. We have politicians today who proclaim Pagans aren’t worshiping real gods and don’t have a real religion, thus shouldn’t be protected under the American Constitution. We have religious leaders, Christian and Muslim, who deride modern life as “sinful” and that it should be destroyed and replaced with a “holier” existence and these are the mainstream leaders, not the extremists. Leaders with thousands, if not millions, of followers. Even the cast of Harry Potter are not untouched by this, as I remarked in a previous post where I passed along the story of one of the actresses going into hiding because her own family tried to make her the victim of an Islamic Honor Killing.

The recent Ground Zero Mosque situation that is going on is rife with strawmen. Those who oppose the mosque are said to be emotionally reacting and unable to grasp that this is a gesture of friendship. Those that support the mosque are said to be weak, unable to see the truth, and only interested in destroying this nation by giving into the enemy that is Islam. Both these strawmen are correct, but fail to see the bigger picture. Islam is very much an enemy of the West and our culture. People should be free to build their houses of worship. Those who are acting against the mosque do come from a place of emotion, more than “rational” thought. Those who support are acting in “rational” thought, but ignoring the emotions.
The host of Red Eye on Fox News channel has suggested building a Gay Bar across the street from the GZM, an act which I find funny and bold. It would certainly be interesting to see how the Muslims react to it. If I recall, those involved in the planning have said he is free to do so, but that it would be inconsiderate to Muslims. I find that ironic, and a bit insulting, considering that at last count on CNN’s HLN network 70% of those polled were against the GZM. That’s right, CNN, not Fox. Those polled, if I remember correctly, were not just New Yorkers, but All Americans.

Personally, I have a better option. Ground Zero is a sacred place. So let us make it a sacred place for all peoples. Let us rebuild the church that was destroyed near there. Let us build great Greek and Roman Temples, the likes of which have not been seen since the fall of Rome. Let us build sacred groves of towering trees, dedicated to Norse, Germanic, and Celtic Gods and Goddesses. Let us build Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, Egyptian temples, and Jewish Synagogues. Let us make it a ground holy and sacred to all faiths and creeds. Let them be staffed by the followers of those Gods and Goddesses. Let a mighty monument be raised above the site itself, towering and lasting, to stand centuries and longer. And when the Islamic call to prayer is sounded, let church bells toll, let cries to Pagan and Heathen Gods ring out, and let all know that this is a place that will not be dominated by Islam, but by all Faiths, and made Holy.

It strikes me as odd, that my own generation, that which is now in college or just leaving, and who don’t have the luxury of a black and white world like previous generations had, are so eager to stick to a black and white world. Perhaps it is all the programming we received in school. Maybe we just aren’t that smart, all told. Maybe we’ve been screwed over and made so jaded that we are eager to latch on to anything that sounds like it will make our lives better, even as we are systematically milked dry and indebted so that the older generation of our parents can enjoy a life of ease and comfort, while we pay the bills as we grow up. So few of them are willing, much less eager, to look at the strawmen and see what really lies there. So eager are they to embrace the views of Stewart (now considered one of the most reliable sources of news by many) that they fail to step back and see if those he’s making fun of have a point. Those who are liberal lash against those who are conservative, acting as if they are uncaring imperialists. Those who are conservative lash against the liberal, calling them thieves and fools who would destroy America. Both are right. Both are wrong. But no one tires to see the other side. They both lie in the Light, and can only understand black and white.

That is why I embrace the Dark Side, like I did so many years ago. By removing myself, I see a world far different and more complete. By embracing my heathen ways after, I regained much, but never lost that inherent darkness that permits me to step away from these feuding sides, and see the reality. Some see this as terrible, for what kind of evil person can listen to the words of a KKK member from the 1960’s and admit that his prophecy of blacks becoming degenerate criminals that would brutalize whites have, in part, come true? That the man himself was sane and rational, that while everyone in the classroom saw only a monster, realized it was merely a man trying to do what he thought was right, however wrong the methods were.

It takes a strong person to stand on that side. To realized that those who say they are “good” really are no better than you are, and sometimes are worse. The only difference, sometimes, is that the Villain admits what he is doing is wrong, but the Hero that does the same things, always says it is for the “Greater Good.” Christianity did terrible deeds for the “Greater Good” and now Islam is continuing its mission of submission to Allah by all peoples for the same “Greater Good.” Perhaps I and my Heathen people are Evil. Perhaps we are wrong. But I’m not going to stop.

I leave with these words from Milton. “It is better to be a king in Hell, than a slave in Heaven.”

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Killing in the Name of....Honor?

Just recently, Fox News ran a special about an Honor Killing in America. Sadly, this is an ever more common occurrence, both here in America, Europe and other non-Muslim lands. It has been a staple of Muslim nations since the creation of Islam. If it existed in those land before, I cannot say.

What has caused me to write this is a pair of videos found on YouTube, as well as a general interest in the topic, which I will get to in a moment.

So, why is this topic of interest and importance to me, a western man? Well, for me it's the word Honor. As those who have been on this blog and delved the archives, it's pretty clear that I'm a heathen Asatruar. In my religion and culture, there is not concept of sin, but rather deeds are judged by if they are honorable or shameful. It is one of the oldest cultures in Europe. Our Germanic/Celtic/Norse traditions of Honor have shaped the concept of that word in the West since the beginning.

Now, honor is different depending on culture. The honor of a Norseman is different from the Honor of a Japanese Samurai. That said, almost every culture has similarities about what is honorable and what to do if that honor is impugned. Typically, in Honor based societies, from England to Japan, it is the one who wronged you or your family that is dealt with, often by force, often to the death.

However, there is one culture that claims to be Honor based that deviates from this pattern. It is the Islamic nations. There, something odd, and dare I say both terrible and dishonorable happens. It is the victim, in the case of women, which is dealt with. This is the nature of the Islamic Honor Killing. A woman is raped, or even in many cases, talks to a man outside her own family with romantic intent or not, is slain in the name of restoring honor to her family. Often, the other party is left alone, or occasionally dealt with if currently in the presence of the woman at the time. In the case of the Honor Killing Fox News reported on, the Father murdered his teenage daughters, simply for dating a pair of Mexicans. His family was supportive of this decision, and his son believed he had done right.

This is a far cry from how my own Norse ancestors dealt with such matters, or even how Europeans dealt with this. Should a woman be involve or not, it was the task of men to defend honor against another man. This is where the duel comes from, as does trial by combat. If a woman was raped, it was the rapist who was killed. Blame was not placed upon the woman, nor was she harmed for being the victim of such a crime.

So, why the wild difference? Why is it that in Europe, the woman is cherished and protected in matters of honor, while in Islamic lands she is the one who must be killed to restore honor? This is a complex and difficult question to answer.

It is clear that the difference arises from the different cultures and religions involved. Both claim to value women, indeed many have made a big deal recently that Islam holds women to be precious and valuable and equal to men. One can argue that history disproves this claim, but we must remember that equality is often hard to qualify in cultures different from our own modern one, which has enough trouble figuring out what is equal. Indeed, many today hold that in Europe cultures both Christian and Pre-Christian were misogynistic, which as far as the Pagan cultures go, I would argue otherwise beyond a few exemptions among the Greeks. However, even if European cultures were suppressive of women, we never see anything resembling the Islamic Honor Killing.

It would be easy for me, in my bias, to claim that it is the inherent superiority of Polytheism over Monotheism that caused Europe to value women and move to defend honor against the aggressor. A case could be made for this, as well, but it tastes hollow to argue this, however true I may feel it to be. It is true that in polytheistic religions, women were far more valued than in Monotheistic religions (Judaism is the best in regards to equality, but while not as bad as Islam, Christianity is highly misogynistic). But the issue goes deeper than this, because when Christianity forcibly took Europe, we still didn't see the rise of Female Honor Killing. This could be argued as the ancient pagan cultures surviving in Christendom, but even so I feel that this is not the root of it. Also, Judaism never had Honor Killings like those of Islam. Therefore I conclude that the issue, though influenced by Monotheism, does not in fact arise from the believe in only One God.

The fact that, to my knowledge, this manner of Honor Killing occurs in only those who practice Islam, it can be concluded that it arises from Islam itself. Now, much of the "Moderate" Islam claims to come down against Honor killings. This, however, means little, as it is obvious that Honor Killing comes from Islam, as previously mentioned and that under Islamic believe it is okay to lie in the presence of Non-Muslims for the cause of Islam and it is a part of Shariah Law.

So what is the reality? In Islam, which claims to value women, the opposite is in fact true. Women are viewed as subhuman and second class, barely above Non-Muslims. Women are the ones who brought sin into this world, and should a woman show her hair or other parts of herself, it is, according to Muslims, enough to incite men to rape her uncontrollably, and she will be blamed for it. Now, maybe it's my European heritage, where we value women equal and even a woman wearing the smallest bikini can generally be assured she is safe from rape among Europeans peoples, but I've never seen a woman so beautiful and alluring that I just had to rape her. I've always had better control than that, and traditionally, Men in most cultures (at least the European as that is what I know best) were the same as me. Sure, rape happened, but it was always an issue of power, not of lust, if modern science is to be believed. I would assume that power is the driving issue, not physical lust, that drives most rapes by Muslim Men. This can be seen by such crimes done by Muslims in Europe, but that is a different topic.

What is on topic is that Women are not valued by Islam. Therefore, if they have no value, there is no point in fighting for them (especially if they are responsible for eternal suffering and sin like they are in Islam, thus for Muslims it is logical to punish them). Very much the opposite of how women were viewed in traditional Pagan Europe, and while Christianity did bring these attitudes as well, it was mitigated by old European values.

Honor Killings under Islam are a perversion of the Universal Concept of Honor. This is why this issue touches me personally. People trying to stop Honor Killings decry the evils of "Honor System" and "Tribalism" two things that define Asatru. The fact that Islamic Honor is an insane inversion of what Honor really is, matters little to the average person. Islam is one of the most numerous religions in the world. It is certainly one of the most powerful ideologies out there.

So, what can we do? Well, personally I say we do the honorable thing. We step up and end it. We take our European honor, or even the larger, ancient concept, where Men are to be Manly and defend the women of their families and society, not punish them for being free thinking and liberated individuals. We step up, and speak for those who cannot speak. We step up and fight for those who cannot fight. We step up, and show Muslims that We are Men and Women of the West, and we will not stand for people being made slaves based on gender, nor slain for simply wanting to be with someone that their family doesn't approve of.

Friday, August 6, 2010

We Are One People! We Are the Sons and Daughters of Europe!

As I've probably mentioned before, I consider myself Asatruar, or one who follows the Way of the Aesir, the ancient and true gods and goddesses of Europe, that lived with mortal men long before the Eastern Cross or Moon ever were a thought in the minds of men or a harsh and brutal reality of their lives.

So, while I am not a member of any community at the moment, I do try to keep up with a bit of what is going on via books and the internet, as my larger goal in life is to pursue more into Asatru and not have to deal with the nasty world of politics and Islam, though I fear that it will be impossible to leave the latter two behind completely as they have such a large impact on our lives.

Often, there is some issue between Germanic and Celtic groups due to the perception that they are of different "races" and thus must have different beliefs. Yet, it would seem that we are the same, when it comes down to the basic facts. Since there are better and more skilled people to talk of this, I will merely mention "Myths and Symbols in Pagan Europe: Early Scandinavian and Celtic Religions" by
H. R. Davidson and a recent podcast by Steve McNallen of the AFA.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

For Our Fathers

I know Father's day was a bit ago, but I can't say for sure because I don't celebrate it. My relationship with my father is at best complicated, but I won't go into it. However, in my quest for epic music I stumbled across a song by Manowar, possibly one of the greatest Metal/Viking Metal/Power Metal bands to ever exist.

The song is called Father, and apparently is translated into 16 different languages.

It isn't their usual style, but in a way that makes it far more powerful.

We in the Asatru community make a big deal about our ancestors. They are the ones that came before, shaped the world, and left us many important lessons. So, in honor of my Norse ancestors, as well as my own father and grandfather, and our gods, I am posting two copies. The first is in English. The second is in Norwegian, meant especially for my Grandfather, who, while a Christian, may yet be in the halls of the Aesir where I might someday see him again.

Hail to the Aesir and Vanir! Hail to our Mighty Ancestors! Hail to our Fathers! Raise Horn and Voice each day for them!



Saturday, July 31, 2010

Good News, Everyone

As anyone who has watched Futurama knows, those words mean epic adventure, danger, and an increase in health insurance and possible mortality rates is about to ensue.

Well, I indeed have good news.

Found about this less than an hour ago and I don't know how many are already talking about this or if they are trying to cover it up, but here it is:

International Burn a Quran Day!

Already it has a Facebook page which at the time of this posting has 1,990 fans and is rapidly growing. If I had a facebook, I would probably join too.

So, what's the story behind this? Turns out a little nondenominational church in Florida has had enough of Islam and proclaimed it of the Devil (nothing new here) and are going to make as big a statement as they can, by Burning copies of the Quran on September 11th of this year in honor of the victims of the terrorist attack as a public declaration against Islam.

As you can imagine, the hate has already begun. Ironically, the preacher doesn't come across as crazy. He merely stands against Islamic law, according a CNN video, below. People are raging against it on Facebook, even as others are defending it.

I would have used my new powers of embedding the video, but that function was disabled.

So, where do I stand on this. While I would normally stand against a Christian enforcing his religion on principle, at this time, especially after watching his interview, I stand with this act. I do not do this to spread hate. As I have commented before, being a Pagan/Heathen is a death sentience under Islam. Islam has destroyed move alternative view points and life styles than even Christianity, and it has not let up to this day. I stand with this Day because it is time people Took A Stand beyond just crying out the injustices of Islam. When Muslim men rape women in Sweden simply because they are Blond and they view Blonds as Whores who ask for it. When young women are kidnapped and turned into drugged prostitutes while still teenage by Muslim Men, not just in Islamic Countries, but even in England! It is time to take a stand!

Does this mean I will go out on 9/11 and burn a Quran. I don't know. I honestly couldn't tell you. But if these people do it, then I will cheer loudly and raise a drink to honor their bravery and to my Gods so that such actions are rewarded with Glory and Honor! Because it has been proven without a doubt since its creation that Islam is Not A Religion of Peace! It is a religion of domination, destruction, and the complete and total submission of all peoples to a Tyrannical God.

So I call for all men and women, Polytheist, Monotheist, or Atheist, to support this movement! Show no fear! For if mankind is to be free to do what is right in their eyes and live their lives freely, We cannot let Islam take control!

For the love of our people, Not for the hate of Islam, should this thing be done!

May the Gods and Goddess of all Mankind join us!


An Update:

The Face book group is up to 2,231 members. I have viewed the comments on the YouTube link I posted, and they are not promising. It turns out the pro-Islam people are out in force there as well as a mixed bag on Facebook.

I wish to clarify that I do not, on principle, support the burning of books. I'm a die-hard book worm and hate to see books destroyed. That said, I do still support what these people are trying to do. It is a noble cause, we're just seeing what happens when people feel that noble methods no longer work. Personally, I can't say I blame them for feeling disenfranchised, after reading many of the pro-Islam comments and seeing a distinct lack of anti-Islam ones.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Three Things About Islam You Should Know

Here's a vid originally posted on Gates of Vienna. Everyone should watch, I've heard that permission has been given to mirror so it doesn't get deleted.

Polytheist, Monotheist, or Non-theist. Learn what Islam is. Learn what it plans for you. Because under Islam there is only one god, Allah, and only one way of worship, Submission. All other ways are to be destroyed by religious mandate. This is not hate speech against Islam. This is a warning to anyone who values other Gods or the ability to not believe in Gods.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tea or Death?

So, a few bits of news to put up today, one of which I'm really happy about and the other that is frankly terrifying.

So, I'll start with the good news, because I'm not sure what long reaching effect it will have, though I do hope it goes as I would like it too. Namely, a growing number of Christian Leaders and their churches are joining President Obama in the "Progressive" movement to declare the Tea-Party "Unchristian."

If you are of a heathen, pagan, or non-monotheistic mindset, you may now join me in the laughter. For those who don't know why they should be laughing, permit me to explain.

When I look at the Progressive movement, socialism, communism, fascism, and so on, I do see the pinnacle of Christian Ideology. All they've done is replace God with Government (so instead of God will provide it is now Government will provide, or Vengeance is God's it is now Vengeance is the Government's, etc). Charity went from being a divine mandate to being a governmental mandate on behavior. Instead of One Nation under God, it has become One Nation under Government. The basic fundamentals, such as the weak, poor, and disenfranchised taking supremacy over the Strong, "Wealthy", and Empowered, remains a staple of this Progressive Ideology. At it's heart, I count Progressivism as very, very Christian.

As I have studied Heathenism/Asatru, and learned of the greater contributions given by our Scandinavian/Germanic ancestors both in books about my religion and in purely historical works, I have come to realize just how many ideals embraced today by Independents, Libertarians, and Conservatives draw on the ancient traditions of pre-Christian Europe. When I look at what the tea party calls for: Democracy, Lower Taxes, Smaller Government, Freedom of the People to Live As They See Fit, and so on, I see the ancient Heathen and Pagan ways of European peoples from before the Age of Christendom. While many in the Tea Party may believe in Christ (Glenn Beck being a very vocal member of the "Return to Christianity" group inside the Tea Party) that doesn't alter that the fundamental values of the Tea Party are Heathen.

So what do I think will happen with the wide-spread declaration that the Tea Party isn't "Christian"? Well, two things. The Tea Party might lose a few members who can't stand to see themselves as anything less that "True Christians." Honestly, I will account that no great loss, even if I'm not really a member of the Tea Party (mostly because I see too many 'old dogs' trying to manipulate and corrupt it to their own ends). What I hope will also happen is that more people will start to look at the Tea Party in a new light. It isn't racist, a theory that has been pretty much slaughters like an offering to the Gods. I think one of the things that has hindered more people from joining it, myself included, is that it is perceived as "Christian" and thus not friendly to Atheists, Pagans, Heathens, Buddhists, and others. By labeling it "unchristian" the doors will be open to those groups who will be able to see that the Tea Party stands more for Freedom of All Peoples, Equality for All Men and Women, and Justice for People Regardless of Race or Religion. This in turn will make a stronger Tea Party.

The second bit of news comes from Chuck Norris. A while back I was surprised to find out he was a news commentator and on occasion I've had cause to read his articles. The latest, however, is grim. Turns out that President Obama and crew have passed a law which allows them to assassinate U.S. Citizens in order to prevent "terrorism" and "Terrorist Threats." Considering that Obama has in the works (if not completed) a plan that would allow him to hold U.S. Citizens indefinitely for the exact same reason, and that the Obama Administration is willing to consider groups like the Tea Party or similar groups that are Non-Muslim to be "terrorist" or "terrorist leaning" you may draw your own conclusions as to where this will lead.

Monday, July 26, 2010

It's not a Girl's World afterall

So, been a while since I posted, for which I do apologize. circumstances being what they are, I wasn't able to go after my previous record from the last month. That said, I figured I'd drop a little something today.

Let me start by mentioning a story I found earlier this month, the article of which I have sadly misplaced, so no link this time. What happened is that over in England, a school filled its Head Positions (Which as anyone who had read Harry Potter knows, go to the top Male and Female students of each year to act as representatives and help keep their class mates inline). The problem arises in how they filled these Head Positions; Namely, with all girls. The article stated that out of the ten (10) students selected to have a chance as Head Boy, Head Girl, and the two assistant positions, only Two (2) were boys. Okay, well, in this age of political correctness one would think that those two boys would automatically get the Head Boy and Assistant Head Boy position.

You'd be wrong.

Rather, this school filled all four positions with girls. Now, I do not wish in the slightest to demean these girls. I'm sure they are all fine students and are caught up in an ugly business not of their making. That said, none of them have protested this blatant round of sexism. But, they are young and most likely just happy to have something that will look good on their transcripts. The real problem comes from those in charge of the school. The principle basically came out and said that the "Boys weren't good enough." Now, I'm sorry, but everything I know about this says that the position is traditionally filled by the top students of the gender assigned to that position, not simply to the top students.

I'd hate to know how those boys felt, hearing that even if they were the "best" they weren't good enough. That's gonna do wonders for them in life.

That said, further news had cause to make one realize that while the above story is the triumph of feminism rising above male dominance, things are not as they seem. Apparently, being a girl isn't enough to get you ahead. You have to be the right kind of girl.

A little gem of an article tells the story of Brooke Heike, a college basket ball player who got benched and lost her scholarship. The reason for this benching, however, has nothing to do with the typical reasons athletes are kicked off the field though. Rather, it seems Brooke was a bit too heterosexual, with a taste for feminine clothing and make up that her coach just did not approve of. Apparently, for not going lesbian, or "Following advice that would improve her life on the court and off", is enough to get you kicked around.

Which reminds me of another story (sorry, lost the article again) in which a young woman was kicked out of her Master's program because she refused to give up her Christian views on Homosexuality. The only way she would have been allowed to continue would have been to attend a bunch of events and sensitivity classes about Homosexuality. No doubt, in the hopes of reprogramming her views. (No doubt bonus points if she actually found out she was lesbian and her Christianity had repressed it. This is important because I believe the issue arose from the young woman believing Homosexuality was a choice).

Meanwhile, back in Britain thousands of girls are facing the prospect of being taken and experiencing the joys of becoming a woman! Oh, wait, sorry. The joys of Female Genital Mutilation, which makes them a woman! That's right, ladies, you too can become a valued member of society and experience freedom and equality! We're just gonna slice, dice, rip, and hack a vital part of your anatomy away. Then stick you in a burka, hide you away, and blame you for every crime a man commits against you because Allah made it that way.

So where are those who could champion the cause of Woman's Liberation? Where are the feminists, who decry male totalitarian action that subjugates women? Oh they are very, very busy with something even more important! Hail to the Heroes, er, sorry, Heroic Persons?

Not so much...

Seems that the apron is coming back. Yep, that age old garment that has kept food off of clothing in the kitchen (and become something of a sexy symbol in certain circles) has reappeared in the female consciousness. Why is a mystery (because the obvious answer isn't). Some say it's because women are turning back to something comfortable in this uncertain time, just like they did in the 1950's. Some say they wear the apron "Ironically", but don't ask me how that works. Others say it's a return of Male Oppression and Sexism. Because a woman feeling sexy and homemakery is the height of sexism, even if it's what she wants. So thus does a battle rage in the circles of Feminism about the appropriateness of women staying home, wearing aprons, and other some things. Rejoice! They fight for you, womankind!

I'm not sure there's much more I can say about that right now. I could continue to rant, or explore the internal viewpoints of the feminist movements, but honestly I don't know what more I need to say. A movement promising to liberate women fights endlessly against aprons and homemaking, but does precious little to stop the horrendous sexism from Islam or stop the barbaric practices it has against its women. I thought the feminist movement was about empowering women so they could chose the lives they want, not insisting they live a certain kind of life, while ignoring those in this modern era who suffer in far worse situations that Women in the West have ever faced in their entire history.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Speech from a Hero

I came across this at Gates of Vienna today. Geert Wilders is a man worthy of aid and respect, a hard thing to find in politics, much less those in Europe.

Please view the Gates of Vienna link for translation credits.

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Muslims, liberate yourselves, and you will be able to do anything

“Without Islam, the Arabs, Iranians, Indians and Indonesians have an enormous potential”

Islam makes Muslims unfree and fatalistic, Geert Wilders responds to a request from the international debate-website[1]

by Geert Wilders

I first visited an Islamic country in 1982. I was 18 years old then, and traveled with a Dutch friend from the Israeli city of Eilat to the Egyptian Red Sea resort Sharm al-Sheikh. We were two students with backpacks and hardly had a penny to spend. We slept on the beach and found hospitality with Egyptians, who spontaneously invited us for tea. I still remember clearly my first impression of Egypt; I was overwhelmed by the friendliness and helpfulness of the people.

I also remember my second strong impression of Egypt: I noticed how frightened those nice, friendly people were. While we were in Sharm al-Sheikh, President Mubarak coincidentally paid a visit. I remember the fear is that suddenly flooded the city when it was announced that Mubarak would unexpectedly visit. I still see the procession of black cars on the day of his visit, and still feel the almost physical sense of fear, as a cold shiver on that sweltering hot summer day.

It was a weird experience. Mubarak is not regarded as the worst Islamic tyrant, but the fear of the ordinary Egyptians for their leader could be felt even by me. I am curious how the Saudis feel when their king is in town, how the Libyans feel when Gaddafi announces his arrival, how the Iraqis must have felt when Saddam Hussein was around. A few years later I read in the Qur’an how the seventh-century Arabs felt in the presence of Muhammad, who — as several verses describe — “strikes terror into their hearts”(Sura 8:12, 8:60, 33:26, 59:12).

From Sharm al-Sheikh I went with my friend to Cairo. It was poor and incredibly dirty. My friend and I were surprised that this poor and dirty Egypt could be a neighbor country of Israel, which was so clean. The explanation of the Arabs, with whom we spoke about their poverty, was that they were in no way to blame for their situation: according to them, they were the victims of a global conspiracy of the “imperialists” and the “Zionists”, designed to keep the Muslims poor and subservient. I did not find this explanation convincing. According to my intuition it had something to do with the difference between the cultures of Israel and Egypt.

I made a mistake in Cairo. We had almost no money and I was thirsty. One could buy a glass of water at public water collectors. It did not look clean, but I drank it. I got a terrible diarrhea. I went to a hostel where one could rent a spot on the floor for two dollars a day. There I lay for several days, a heap of misery in a crowded, stinking room, with ten other guys. Once Egypt had been the most advanced civilization on earth. Why had it not progressed along with the rest of the world?

In the last years of the nineteenth century, Winston Churchill was a soldier and war correspondent in India (now Pakistan) and Sudan. Churchill was a perceptive young man, whose months in Pakistan and the Sudan, and that enabled him to understand with stunning clarity what the problem is with Islam and “the curses it lays on its votaries”:

“Besides the fanatical frenzy, … there is this fearful fatalistic apathy,” he wrote. “The effects are apparent in many countries, improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to a sole man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. … Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. “ And Churchill concluded: “No stronger retrograde force exists in the world.”

There are people who say that I hate Muslims. I do not hate Muslims. It saddens me that Islam deprived them of their dignity.

What Islam is doing to Muslims is reflected in the way they treat their daughters. On March 11, 2002, fifteen Saudi schoolgirls were killed when they tried to flee from their burning school in the holy city of Mecca. A fire had set the building ablaze. The girls ran to the school gates but these were locked. The keys were in possession of a male guard, who refused to open the gate because the girls were not wearing the correct Islamic dress imposed on women by Saudi law: face veils and overgarments. The “indecently dressed” girls (without facial veil and overgarment) were trying to save their young lives. The Saudi police forced them back into the burning building. Agents of the Mutaween, the “Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice,” as the police in Saudi Arabia are called, also beat passersby and firefighters who tried to help the girls. “It is sinful to come near them,” the police warned the crowd. It is also a crime.

Girls are not appreciated in Islam: when a father has a daughter, according to the Qur’an, “his face turns black, that is how distressed he is (Sura 43:15). Nevertheless, the incident with the school in Mecca did cause angry reactions. Islam is inhumane, but Muslims are humans and therefore capable of love — that powerful force which Muhammad despised. Humanity was dominant with the fathers in Mecca who were outraged about the death of their daughters, but also among the firefighters who resisted when the Mutaween beat the girls back inside, and the journalists of the Saudi newspaper who for the first time in Saudi history criticized the feared and powerful “Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.”

However, Muslim protests against Islamic inhumanity are rare. Most Muslims, including those in Western countries, go to the mosque and listen to shocking verses from the Koran and revolting sermons it without rising up against it.

I myself am agnostic. But Christians and Jews believe that God created man in His image. They believe that by observing themselves as free, rational beings who are capable of love, they may learn to know Him. They even may argue with him, as the Jews have done throughout their entire history. In contrast, the Qur’an states that “there is nothing equal to Allah” (Sura 16:74, 42:11). He has absolutely nothing in common with us. It is absurd to suppose that Allah has created man in his image. The biblical notion that God is our father is not present in the Islam. There also is no personal relationship between man and Allah. The goal of Islam is the total submission of ourselves and others to the unknowable God, whom we must serve by means of total obedience to Muhammad as leader of the Islamic State (Sura 3:31, 4:80, 24:62, 48:10, 57:28). And history taught us that Muhammad was certainly not a prophet of love and compassion, but a mass murderer, a tyrant, and a pedophile. The Muslims could not have had a more regrettable role model.

Without individual freedom it is not surprising that the idea of man as a responsible acting person is not quite developed in the Islam. Muslims are often fatalistic. Perhaps — and let us hope this — only a few radicals take the call of the Qur’an seriously to execute a jihad against the infidels. But most Muslims never raise their voices against these radicals. That is the “terrible fatalistic apathy” which Churchill pointed at.

The writer Aldous Huxley, who in the twenties of the last century lived in North Africa, remarked the following: “About the immediate causes of things — precisely how they happen — they seem to feel not the slightest interest. Indeed, it is not even admitted that there are such things as immediate causes: God is directly responsible for everything. ‘Do you think it will rain?’ you ask pointing to menacing clouds overhead. ‘If God wills,’ is the answer. You pass the native hospital. ‘Are the doctors good?’ ‘In our country,’ the Arab gravely replies, in the tone of Solomon, ‘we say that doctors are of no avail. If Allah wills that a man die, he will die. If not, he will recover.’ All of which is profoundly true, so true, indeed, that is not worth saying. To the Arab, however, it seems the last word in human wisdom. […]They have relapsed — all except those who are educated according to Western methods — into pre-scientific fatalism, with its attendant incuriosity and apathy.”

Islam deprives Muslims of their freedom. Which is unfortunate, because free people are capable of great things, as history has shown. The Arabic, Turkish, Iranian, Indian, Indonesian peoples have a huge potential. If they were not prisoners of Islam, if they could free themselves from the yoke of Islam, when Muhammad would no longer be a role model, and rid themselves of the evil Qur’an, they would be capable of great things not only for the benefit of themselves, but of the world.

As a Dutch, European, and Western politician my first responsibility is to the Dutch people, the Europeans and the West. But as we will all benefit from the liberation of Muslims from Islam, I strongly support the Muslims who love freedom. My message to them is clear: Fatalism is not an option; “inshallah” is a curse, submission is a disgrace. Liberate yourselves. It is up to you.

Geert Wilders is the leader of the Party for Freedom in the Dutch Parliament.