Monday, October 7, 2013

Race, Politics and Paganism: Notes toward a Manifesto of Cosmopolitan Paganism

Recently the Pagan blogosphere has been witness to quite a bit of spleen-venting on the subjects of racism and politics.

Due to circumstances beyond my control, my response to this unedifying cacophony of  ham-fisted, self-righteous sanctimonious posturing must be limited to the following 15 bullet points.

On racism and modern Paganism.
  1. Reject the idea that Paganism is a "European" religion. 
  2. Expose the modern, Christian roots of racist ideology generally, and of antisemitism in particular.
  3. Embrace the cosmopolitan nature of ancient Paganism. 
  4. Declare our solidarity with the indigenous peoples of Africa, Asia and the Americas who continue to defend and preserve their ancient traditions against the spiritual imperialism of Christianity and Islam. 
  5. Emphasize the common spiritual birthright of all human beings as children of the Gods.

On the despicable calumny that Paganism is intrinsically racist.
  1. Reject the calumny that there is any natural affinity between Paganism and racism.
  2. Expose the Christian apologetic agenda of those who promote this calumny.
  3. Embrace the Pagan revivalist movements that arose out of the Romantic period without fear that there is something inherently racist about these movements.
  4. Declare our solidarity with the Jewish people who have been on the receiving end of brutal Christian persecution for as long as Pagans have.
  5. Emphasize the common spiritual roots that unite the various strands of modern Paganism, rather than emphasizing anything and everything that supposedly separates us from each other, especially when these supposed differences are framed in terms of "ethnicity" or "race".

On Paganism and politics.
  1. Reject all modern political ideologies.
  2. Expose the intrinsically tyrannical nature of Christianity and Islam, and the ongoing aggression of both of these ideologies throughout the world.
  3. Embrace the ancient Pagan roots of liberal democratic principles.
  4. Declare our unwavering support for fundamental personal liberties, especially freedom of speech and freedom of religion.
  5. Emphasize the common human yearning for freedom.


Anonymous said...

Well said!

Various Christian and Muslim groups paint Paganism as inherently racist and dangerous, yet ignore the vast amount of racial privilege and violence involved in the religious conversion of areas claimed by said Christians and Muslims.

My own village was almost taken over in 1903 by a man who worshipped, "White Man's Jesus". He was a devoted follower of Alma White, the founder of The Pillar Of Fire sect...which became the religious wing of the Ku Klux Klan.

Right, but it's the Pagans who are racist. Pay no attention to the Klansman, I mean the elephant, in the room.

It cracks me up how the mainstream media buries this stuff.


Apuleius Platonicus said...

Alma White is an extremely fascinating figure! A truly frightening and powerful demagogue. I am glad to hear that your village managed to avoid being taken over by one of her followers!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the modern Christian Right actually owes Alma White a great debt. She delivered millions of votes to the GOP at the peak of her power.

The only difference is, modern Republicans need to use dog whistle politics when playing the race card. Bishop White just wrote books with titles like, "Klansmen: Guardians of Liberty".


Anonymous said...

What I find fascinating, is the outward similarities between the ecstatic rituals of the Pillar Of Fire sect and the divine possession rites of deities like Dionysos or the Afro-Caribbean spirit beings.

It makes me wonder if the 'Holy Jumpers', so-called because of their enthusiastic (LITERALLY!) rituals, who frequently accused others of demonic possession, were themselves inadvertently gating in "White Man's Jesus" from beyond to feed on their hate.


Πανδιων said...

Excellent +++

Nick "Hildiwulf" Ritter said...

"Embrace the Pagan revivalist movements that arose out of the Romantic period without fear that there is something inherently racist about these movements."

Yes. Yes, please.

Apuleius Platonicus said...

Hi Nick. As I wrote that, I realized that for some people this particular bullet point would sound like it came out of nowhere. But for me it is possibly the one bullet point that most epitomizes what ails modern Heathenry and Paganism. How can we honor and connect with our spiritual ancestors of the ancient past (which we absolutely must do) if we cannot honor and connect with our ancestors from just a generation or two ago?

Occult Connection said...

Great write up! The time for old religions has long passed.

Apuleius Platonicus said...

Hi Occult Connection! Actually, in my opinion, it is the "new religions", specifically Christianity and Islam, who have long outlived their welcome. It is now time for humanity to either abandon these totalitarian ideologies or abandon all pretense that there is any hope for us.

Robert Mathiesen said...

Hear, hear! This is an excellent summary, and I applaud your including the bullet point that seemingly "came out of nowhere." It's an important point that needs to be made.

Apuleius Platonicus said...

Robert, that is very high praise coming from you! Thank you for that. Your recent interview at Albion Calling was part of my inspiration for this, truth be told.

The whole phenomenon of Romanticism is so terribly misunderstood today. It's extremely difficult to even know where to start with trying to sort it all out and set the record straight.

Robert Mathiesen said...

Thank you, Apuleius. I am honored that the interview was useful to you. Keep on blogging as time and energy permit, please. What you have been doing here is very important.