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.

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