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Posts Tagged ‘Racism’

Instead of putting up a bunch of tedious posts about political issues that I feel the need to get off my chest, I’m just going to boil them down to little pearls of wisdom and put them all in one post, so if politics makes you retch, like it does me, you can safely and conveniently ignore all of it.

Religious Gay Marriage Alarmism:

No, legalizing gay marriage will not force churches to stop preaching that homosexuality is a sin or start performing gay marriage, for the same reason that the Civil Rights Act didn’t stop churches from preaching white supremacy or refusing to perform interracial marriage.

Freedom of Religion at Ground Zero:

I can be staunchly against the Ground Zero Mosque but still believe in freedom of religion for the same reason that I can be staunchly against you telling my four-year old son that Santa Claus is not real but still believe in freedom of speech.

X-Treme Presidents:

President Obama is not a communist for the same reason that President Bush was not a fascist.  Stop being fucking ridiculous.  When you wrap up your legitimate criticism in paranoid rhetoric, nobody takes you seriously except the other paranoid whackjobs who already agree with you.

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I’ve been moderately interested in Asatru for years, and as a Mormon I even often said and thought that if I wasn’t Mormon, I’d be an Asatruar.  But I don’t think it’s the direction I’m going to go, for a couple of reasons.

1. I don’t actually believe in the Norse Gods.  I don’t believe in any kind of literal polytheism (which means real Paganism in general is probably not going to happen–I’m more pantheistic or panentheistic in my ideas about what God is, if God is anything external to us at all). Furthermore, while I think the Norse Gods and Norse mythology are cool, and even compelling, that doesn’t translate in my head to the calling to follow and honor the Aesir as a religious practice.  Maybe if I had some kind of mystical experience with Odin, I’d feel differently enoh about it–perhaps even enough to overcome points 2 and 3 below, but since mystical experiences for me do not seem to be particularly forthcoming, there’s not much I can do to make myself believe something I don’ believe.

2. I like Vikings and Norse myth, but not at the expense of everything else.  I don’t really want to live a Viking-flavored life because I am a contemporary person, and I’m happy with that.  I don’t really feel constant yearnings for the past.  Formulated differently, this point is closely connected to my general dissatisfaction with the idea of Reconstructionist religion.  I’m not an ancient Norseman, so why is the religion of the ancient Norsemen the right religion for me?  Plus, I’d honestly feel like I was always LARPing.

3. I have serious problems with the “Folkish” strand of Asatru.  I realize that it can be phrased or looked at in a way that might not sound like overt white supremacy, but when you listen to the rhetoric of Folkish people like Steven McNallen, it winds up sounding an awful lot like just more racist tripe.  I also realize that there are plenty of universalist heathens out there (and there’s a kindred of them near where I live even), but I’m not necessarily comfortable self-identifying with a movement that has ties to white supremacy and neo-Nazism, even if it’s just be broad association.  The question is “am I willing, even in the broadest terms, to be in the same club as those people?” and the answer is no.  Especially given points 1 and 2 above.

There are a lot of things I like about Asatru, especially the heathen virtues, which I think are a more realistic and pragmatic ethical system than that which is offered by a lot of religions.  And like I said, Norse myth is extremely appealing to me.  But not so much that I think it’s the one way for me.

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