Friday, January 21, 2011

A Response to Politics.

This comment is a re-post from one I made at The Wild Hunt, in regards to claims of slandering a political branch of Pagans.


Dreamstalker, I can see where you would consider my statements to be "boilerplate." I must, however, point out that I heard you speaking no such words about those on the right turning this into a Christian nation. I wonder why?

Perhaps making the nation Publicly Atheistic (in terms of government and such) is not turning the nation atheistic. However, my statements about how the political Left (if not the totally of its members) view all religion still stand. This is not boiler plate, this is things I have observed on my own from sources that view the Left in high regard.

You say my political slander against a wing of the Pagan population will not bring unity. You are right, except that I do not slander the Pagans, but merely point out that it would be best if we forgo our "political" identity in favor of our "religious" identity. It is perhaps true that I do not attack the right as often as the left, but I do attack it. If I attack the left, it is because too often I see it held up as the paragon of virtue and dogmatically held as the only way to go. I feel this is not so. WE are Pagans and Heathens, Why should we stick to either one path or the others. We do not work in a dualistic system, we can take a third option, or a fourth, or a fifth. Why should we be Right or Left? Why must we so dogmatically hold to political ideologies that have no respect for us? Who see us only as votes to be counted, numbers to be manipulated and twisted till we give to one side and bash the other with the fervor of monotheistic zealots? When did politics become our Gods and Goddesses, rather than the divine beings themselves. When did Democrats and Republicans become our people, over Wiccans, Asatruar, Satanists, Odinists, Druids, etc?

When did it become that Pagan would threaten Pagan with death, simply because they held a different political viewpoint? Is this what we are? Is this what we all began walking this path to become? I became a heathen because the gods of my people called to me, bid me welcome, and said I was kin. That it didn't matter if i was right or left, republican or democrat, capitalist or socialist. That I was something beyond the petty, venality of politics, that I had family and spirituality that transcended time and space. And that it wasn't just me, it was every other person, from the solo practitioner to the coven, from the Scandinavian to the Greek to the Roman to the Celt to the Slav and Baltic. That we were taking back and rebuilding something that had been stolen away by fire and blood and a selfish, petty god that thought he alone could rule everything. That we didn't have to act petty and childish. That we could be the start of something old made new again.

But all to often I see none of that. I see people being petty when they should be honorable. I see people bashing the right, bashing those who defend the right, and bashing people like me who don't bash the right or defenders of the right as much as they think I should. I see people getting death threats and told that they aren't "really pagans" because they don't believe the same as everyone else and jump on the "correct" political bandwagon.

Do we want to survive? Do we want our ways to be passed on for generations to come? To honor the gods and goddesses until the sun goes nova and then some as we spread beyond this little world? Then we have to put aside the politics. Call against those politicians if you will, but do it against everyone. No playing favorites. Respect our kin on all sides of the political spectrum and remember that We are Pagan and Heathens, Children of the Gods and Goddess, before we are anything political!

It's time we stopped frothing at the mouth like berserks without a lick of sense in their head other than killing the "enemy" and remember that it wasn't politics that brought us to our paths! It was our need to step away from the petty and the venal ways of the other religions, like Christianity, which have so infected this nation, this world, and its politics. It's time we became more, not less.

The Goddesses don't care who you vote for.
The Gods don't give a s*** what your political orientation is.

So why should we? We are people, they are people, they are no better or worse than we are. Move past the politics and remember what is important. Our people and our paths, Not our politics.


  1. Christians haven't been able to develop a "Christian" community, and there are in fact very different pagan traditions and I'm not able to see at the moment how or whether it would be good to completely unify ourselves. After all, we turned away from organized religion for good reason. But the infighting really does need to end

  2. Sorry I had a lot to say, I'm MiseDanu from the wild hunt blog but couldn't blog under that avatar. So here's more of what I wanted to say. The worst thing to do when you're a minority or are losing autonomy as a group in a very important sense is to fight amongst yourselves. In my experience trying to get pagans from different traditions and even the same traditions is like trying to herd cats. . The worst thing to do when you're a minority or are losing autonomy as a group in a very important sense is to fight amongst yourselves. In my experience trying to get pagans from different traditions and even the same traditions to cooperate is like trying to herd cats. My observation for why is twofold: first, we might be as in need of education about other pagan traditions as Christians need educating about paganism. Second, some of our traditions do in fact originate out of our specific heritage, out of the ways of our ancestors and we have different ancestors and we have different ways.

  3. I was then thinking over the idea that I think you are considering (tell me if I'm wrong.) At one point it seems like you were thinking about a physical community for us, either a large physical center for us to call our own or smaller communities we could live together in. I have gone down that road in my mind, too. I'm wondering... how do we unify without alienating ourselves from the rest of society if we choose a physicality rather than cultural/ideological unity solution? Can we work together to find the balance between coming together on our similarities while recognizing not only that we have differences but that those differences are invaluable and necessary? For without that, ways of life which many of us defend vehemently might be threatened by some sort of assimilation, sameness, factor. Third, is it better to work within or outside the system? Yes, we can think outside the box, while the fact remains that to not follow most of the mores of society would make anarchists of many of us. We would have to be extraordinarily strongly united to make a clean break from the political atmosphere we don't consent to. Then, is there really a "we" here? Further, is it possible for humans to lay aside their egos for a higher cause? You'd think there should be, but history seems to negate that hope quite strongly, even among pagans. Just have a look at some of the central ancient myths and stories at the heart of so many of our traditions. We fought amongst ourselves until there were christians, and then we fought with the christians and ourselves and the christians fought with everybody. We are pagan and human. I just want to know more about your vision for uniting all our disperate peoples together. I agree that some uniting is crucial at this point. We do not need to be divided and conquered, we have done the dividing ourselves already. There is so much infighting and power struggles I've seen personally, I can't imagine that on a grand scale. People leave circles and covens because of power hungry members and leaders, choose to be secluded solitaries, find themselves arguing over whether someone else's method of casting a circle or doing magical rituals is the more correct and successful. And then politically many traditions aren't in as much contact with one another as they might be, so nonpagans look out there and see a bunch of disorganized fragmented populations of people they can't quite understand. I can imagine a world in which we come together in some important way since there are a few similarities we all share, and also continue to live by the values of our traditions and ways of life, because if I am any judge to myself, we are called differently, and in many ways, to the spiritual paths we find ourselves journeying on. That must be honored. In the end perhaps we'll need all of this and a sense of "our own" which is both expansive and on other levels specific. How many other people are thinking like you in wanting some such unity for ourselves?

  4. to the above commenter, i am. very much so. and am impassioned by norse alchemist's idea of sending pagans out to help support indigenous communities and practices. we owe so much to those peoples who never lost or gave away their original lifeways - we owe so much to those who did as well. but how beautiful would that be if vodouisants in haiti saw us as having a place there as allies. we bring aid, set up habitats, make ourselves full available to the haitian people by way of the vodou community. is this possible? can it happen elsewhere as well?