Thursday, April 29, 2010

Of Heathen and Pagan Matters.

In my short time as a blogger, I have come across many things. I’ve come across other blogs I’ve enjoyed, commented with people of many points of view, and even argued with some. As noted in my previous posts, I’ve even argued with people outside of the internet, namely with the evangelicals that have appeared on my campus. I have enjoyed these things, namely because I find it fun to discuss things, and frankly I love conflict in various forms. It’s one of the reasons I follow my ancestor’s religion, even if not that religiously (pun is recognized and intentional, The Norse have an entire art of making bad puns.)

As mentioned before, the Christians didn’t show up when they were expected, though they did show up Thursday last. I stood out there, holding a sign declaring Pagan Pride and Heathen Heart. I was once more on the field, discussing, questioning, and arguing. I stood up for students when my foe ignored them. I called him on issues. I spared little mercy in my verbal battle with him. I even sent him scrambling for his bible when I pointed out his God had not asked for consent before causing the immaculate conception of his god. When I returned after class to the amphitheater, the Christians had moved to personal discussions rather than preaching. This time, there was a noticeable difference. The first time I came across them, personal discussion time had been quiet. This time, raging groups of students were in the faces of these men, shouting back and howling against the Christians. I have no idea if my bold stance had encouraged this action, but I was happy to see it.

Yet, there was one Christian who sought to speak peacefully. Not allied with the other two that were out there, we briefly spoke. It was a pleasure to engage him, not in grandiose argument, but in simple discussion. Neither of us changed the others mind, but for me that wasn’t the goal, and I think he might have begun to understand my stance. Sadly, the path I follow isn’t as simple as the Christian’s, and I had not time to go into greater detail of my beliefs.

Several times I’ve gotten into arguments at Gates of Vienna in their comments section, defending the ancient ways against Christians who insist that their path is the only way. For those who don’t know, Gates of Vienna is a site that talks about the growing presence of Islam and its historic and modern desire to remove all paths other than its own. I, and others, have held against Christians wanting to do the same thing in the name of fighting Islam. While little is accomplished in changing their minds, I hope to educate others about the ways of myself and our common ancestors, as well as lead to a uniting against those that would see us gone.

Yet, this is not an easy thing to accomplish. I just finished reading Laurie R. King’s “The Language of Bees,” which is part of a series I started when I was younger and enjoyed, as it was about Sherlock Holmes and a young woman who apprentices for him and later marries him. Marry Russell Holmes, the character in question, has a background in Judaism both in education and heritage. In the book she deals with a case involving paganism and I had great hopes for it. Sadly, the book portrays all spirituality outside the monotheistic tradition as superstitious follow at best, and generally the field of murderers, madmen, and the insane. Crowley is mentioned, but never in a good context, which may or may not be justified based on his history. In all, the book had an opportunity to step outside the norm and show a true vision of another path, and instead went for the all too familiar path.

If my tone this post is melancholy, it is because I realize many things. This world is changing, and while we’ve thrown off old oppressions to an extent, too many seem willing to hide under new ones. I am proud of the history of America, and what it sought to accomplish. The Founding Fathers were amazing men, who by all accounts were not truly Christian, and seemed more often than not to embrace Pagan ideals carried over though the centuries. Yet all too often, they are either claimed by the Christians as devout men, or vilified by those who oppose their vision as evil slave holders. Such is the nature of Christian morality that permeates our society, even in the farthest left. One must either be entirely good, or entirely evil. There is no middle ground, which is precisely where we Heathens and Pagans tend to lie. Sadly, it is often the middle ground that is destroyed in the shelling by either side. The results of which can be seen with the Vikings, in a way. Long have they been remembered as murdering barbarians, rather than heroes who sought to preserve the ways of their people.

I have stated many places that the One God leads to One Way. Few things in this world are truer than that statement. According to some statistics, 65% of America identifies itself as Christian, though how religious they are is hard to say. I know that the number of Pagans in America is probably less than that of the Jews, and I doubt we wield as much political and economic power that they do. If our ways are to survive their rebirth, we have to change this. We have to get the kind of power that will allow us to not only share our ways, but protect us should the worst happen again. It is easy to push my words aside as paranoid drivel, but that would be a terrible thing to do. Even as I type, Christians speak of the need to remove the “devil worshipers” in order to shave their country. In the Islamic countries, people who practice the magic arts are still tried and killed. The world, despite its troubles, seems mostly safe to us, but it wouldn’t take much to change that. It never has in the past.

The Wiccan's have the belief of “Do what thou wilt, but harm none.” This is a noble attitude, and it has served well in this initial time of relative peace. But the times are changing, and we may soon have need of a more Heathen attitude of “Do what thou wild, so that none harm your kin.”

The Norse Alchemist.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Real Border Menace

Friends, Americans, Countrymen! With the passage of new Anti-Immigration laws in Arizona, President Obama is ready to take the field and take measures to prevent the importations of illegal drugs across the border into our Once Great Nation! Soon, border patrol agents, well equipped to handle the dangerous interlopers to the sanctity of our nation, and shall be barring all gateways into America!
So, what does this mean for us? Will we soon be safe from Mexican cartels, well known for their brutal ways that put the worst European warriors to shame? Will our border states be safe once more?

Only if they’re coming from Canada.

That’s right people; the drug kingpin responsible for corrupting our youth and putting crime on our streets is none other than Snidely Whiplash! Villainously twirling his handlebar mustache, this vile man from the land of Hockey and snow is responsible for more illicit drugs crossing our border than any Hispanic hood what crosses dry sands from a balmy and crop friendly environment to the south of us. Indeed, Dudley Do-Right, that intrepid Canadian, bastion of law enforcement and morality, has been revealed as nothing more than corrupt and anti-American, is working solely as Mr. Whiplash’s enforcer, destroying law and order in Canada and making the nation rife with violence, corruption, and greed.

Thank whatever gods you will that our President is here, both to chastise the racists of Arizona who dare violate notions of fairness and equality that we hold dear in our great nation, yet still finds it in his heart to protect his vulnerable citizenry with such strong measure against those villainous Canadians.

Let us all hope it is not too late.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hold the Heathen Hammer High Part II

Well, on this day of 4-20, I had anticipated going out and joining with students of all background against a bunch of sermonizing evangelicals. But, Thor in his power has brought the rain and the evangelicals didn't show up, at least at the time of this writing. I'm not all that surprised, as it was looking like a sizable contingent of protesters were going to show up, but then again I wasn't impressed by the intelligence of the foe so who knows. Probably saving souls wasn't worth getting all wet, or they figured the students wouldn't be hanging around. Whatever the reason, they didn't show.

Maybe they'll show up sometime this week and we can all have some fun.

Friday, April 16, 2010

On Decency

I had a conversation with my friend, who happens to be something close to a lesbian but doesn’t like the label, and somehow mentioned that I had found a questionnaire that asked about why a person was heterosexual (based upon a generalized questionnaire of the same nature, only used on homosexuals to determined why they were homosexual) and that I found it to be something of an attack. Needless to say, she became offended and angry with me. It only got worse when I suggested that the questionnaire, which by all accounts from where I got it was an attack and not as she suggested a joke meant to turn such questions back on the people who gave them, was a bad idea because it would likely provoke a negative reaction. That didn’t help the situation, either.

First off I wish to explain something of myself. I have been told that I am very smart, and there is some evidence to support this. However, much like Thor, I am not a very subtle or guile filled person. I tend to hammer away at a problem, regardless of emotions or feelings of either myself or others, trusting in my weird brand of logic and my instances to reach an answer. I ask that my readers keep this in mind.

When I said actions such as the questionnaire could provoke an attack, somehow she heard it as meaning provoking an attack means you deserve the attack. This, however, was not my intentions in my words. Certain actions provoke certain reactions. Push a stone and it rolls down a hill. Wear a weapon in public, and people will fear for their safety. While I tried to explain this, I’m not sure the answer came through.

This entire conversation taking part after she had said I’d improved because I didn’t find homosexuality morally wrong. Now I’ll cop to being slightly offended at that statement, as it implied to me that I would be a lesser person if I viewed homosexuality as wrong. I don’t agree that this is the case, for many reasons, but I’m not going to address that here.

Going back to the later part of the conversation, the impression I got was that it was okay to pester heterosexuals about their sexuality because they had done it to homosexuals. Also, that I couldn’t understand how it felt because I wasn’t part of her minority. I personally find this rather interesting, as it holds all kinds of moral problems, which I’ll get to later.

Our conversation ended when she basically stated it was wrong to pick on homosexuals and that hetero people basically should just go with it. My opinion in the whole thing is why do we have to be defined by our sexuality, everyone should just shut up about it. In all honesty, there isn’t a right or wrong answer to the situation of how to deal with the question of hetero and homo relations.

Right before we parted I asked her a question I have been dealing with since my parent’s divorce started: What gives me the right to impose my will upon another human being?

Her answer was simple: Decency.

Ironically enough, or not, that is the exact root to the question I’ve been dealing with. Namely the answer is that I should impose my will upon another, regardless of their wishes, because it is the decent thing to do in order to make them behave decently.

It makes me want to both laugh and not at the same time, because that isn’t an answer. It should be simple to realize why, but I want to explain. Decency is not an acceptable reason for why I, or anyone, should exert their power and opinions over another. Simply because Decency is such a fluid concept that it has no universality.

Should I act as is decent to my ancestors, the Norse? By a few accounts from trusted sources in the academic community, homosexuality was viewed as unmanly by my ancestors, though perhaps morally wrong. Loki even gave Odin crap about appearing homosexual when performing a certain type of magic. I’ll admit this is my general attitude, but given examples such as Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, I’m not sure being unmanly can count as an much of an insult.

What about the ancient Greeks and ancient Japanese, should I obey their decency? Well, homosexuality was a socially excepted thing, in some cases even promoted, but so were actions what is now defined as pedophilia. Is that what is decent?

What about the Jews, Christians, and Muslims? They all have different standards of decency, but all agree that homosexuals should be dealt with harshly, often decreeing death. Is this what is decent? Should we hold to the path of the religions, namely Christianity and Islam that have murdered, forcibly converted, and generally destroyed all who were different from them?

The Communist idea, where everything is spread around equally, and those who have pay for those who don’t. A by each according to his means, for each according to his needs, type of thing? That’s not a system I want to live in.

I could continue on in this manner. There are so many codes of decency that differ on so many topics that we can’t even define a single concept of what might be decent, as there is always at least one group who differs. Nor should we go with the majority opinion on what is decent, because then we would be enacting the very problem I want to avoid.

Mine is a question that cannot be answered with decency. Nor is the question of the relationship between any two or more groups. We’re all too different, what we view as decent is too different. The most peaceful solution is to simply let the issue fall away and let everyone do as they will as long as it doesn’t interfere with another. This is a very Wiccan attitude, and is probably strange coming from someone who could be considered Asatru, but there it is. Because the only other option for resolution would be to follow a path that leads to supremacy simply because one has the power, regardless of all else, and as a Pagan/Heathen, I’d rather not fall into that path when my kin don’t have enough power to hold off our destruction from others who would see us gone.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hold the Heathen Hammer High!

Upon this day, I did do verbal battle with a pair of Evangelical Christians. Mostly this involved hurling questions that they refused to answer while they spouted bible verses. At my campus, we have an outdoor amphitheater and they were arrayed at the base and preaching up at the students, most of whom wanted to go away, since we had nice weather. (So nice in fact that I got sunburned a bit)

Against the first, all I did was ask questions as I sat with other students, though out of it I did get what were for me two moments of awesome. When I first got there, the gentleman was preaching how wives should be subservient to their husbands (you can imagine how well that was going over, though one guy was trying to make sure it would justify any misogynistic behavior of his should he sign up.) The first was when the guy I'll call Camo asked how the world was created. I responded by giving a very basic run of the Norse creation story.

But then I got my Crowning Moment of Awesome.

As I left for class, I paused upon the flat ground and turned to the audience and asked "If our nation was founded on equality, why should we follow a religion that teaches nothing but hierarchies, prejudice, and persecution?"

For this, I received much applause.

The second time round wasn't as epic, though I pretty much stood next to a new guy and shot back at him and spoke to the audience. Not much in the way of response, but a young lady made some signs in counterpoint to the ones the Evangelicals were holding and this led me and a friend to rally up a group that will be striking back in protest when the Evangelicals reappear next Tuesday. I hope Tyr shall look down upon us on his day and grant Heathens, Secularists, Atheists, and others victory agianst the followers of the Christ god.

The only question I have is: What am I going to put on my sign?