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.