Wow. The Stupid. It Burns.

Kenaz has a new post up here. He points out that John Beckett’s posts on purity, sin, and miasma have spurred many interested discussions in the blogosphere. 

It’s certainly sparked amazing examples of poor reasoning and illogic from rhyd wildermuth. i wonder what it is like in his head? i’d love to know how he equates maintaining proper ritual purity before the Gods to genocide against Jews and Romany. I mean, does he look down on Jews and Romany to the point that this is where HE would go, and thus cannot conceive of motivations that focus specifically on the Gods? Or is he rather tryign to bring up a straw argument, to damn those who do care about the Gods, traditions, and keeping themselves clean and in a state of proper receptivity to the Powers?

Apparently basic religious standards are now “oppression.” 

To quote Kenaz: 

Piety sees the state as an integral part of things. Rhyd and his cabal see the state as a tool of oppression that will ultimately wither away. Piety treasures the things which set you and your people apart. Rhyd and his see those differences as war waiting to happen and want to sand them down.

It’s perhaps time, we considered the full implications of their agenda. 

 

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Posted on August 12, 2016, in community, Polytheism, theology, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 30 Comments.

  1. How… Why… I don’t know… Ah, fuck it, I don’t wanna know what they’re thinking.

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  2. I think it’s rather telling that the same arguments they’re using now against purification and having religious standards are the ones the defenders of Kenny Klein and the Frosts regularly employ. Makes me glad my tradition has nothing to do with the wider pagan and polytheist communities.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh, for crying out loud…

    As I said on The Lettuceman’s post: have some of these folks (including a few of the commentators) never heard of the “negative confession” in Egyptian tradition, or the weighing-of-the-heart?

    And, as for Rhyd (which, given most people pronounce it the same as “read,” is kind of ironic that he doesn’t seem to be very good at it), at no point did I say not to attend MGW, I said “If you’re going, this might be something to keep in mind…only if you want to.” He and Jason Mankey both got that entirely wrong, and likely 99% of the others who have reacted negatively to what I wrote.

    They’re all responding to assumptions, not actual statements, that are based in their own insecurities (and, also, the belief that these things can only be “personal” or “political,” since in their view the actual expressed preferences of Deities don’t matter and can’t be anything other than sublimated personal or political machinations) rather than in anything that I–or anyone else–said or thinks or intended by posting. If someone actually wanted to have some important discussions around these concepts, or even these incidents, I’d be happy to have them, but given I knew this was how people would react, no matter how much I wrote or how much more clearly I stated what I wrote, that’s why I disabled the comments and such on that post…wow. 😦

    Liked by 5 people

    • whitepinegrove

      It’s the same mentality at work, both here where your “this is what I’m doing, and you might want to think about it” is understood as an attack, and where a simple political slogan (“candidate’s name, 2016”) written in chalk on a college campus is a “violent threat.” So the problem is much bigger than just the current (lack of) conversation on miasma/MGW. Any difference of opinion is a threat that just cannot be tolerated.

      Liked by 3 people

    • “And, as for Rhyd (which, given most people pronounce it the same as “read,” is kind of ironic that he doesn’t seem to be very good at it)”

      LOL. Indeed.

      He’s obviously not even trying to comprehend the actual points being made, but just reacting. Like “oh, impurity sounds a bit like stuff people once said about race and the Jews, so it must be the same!” Way to water down the intellectual level of the discussion. My favorite bit is when he says the purpose of warnings about miasma is to keep people enclosed and away from differing opinions. Ironic, since that is exactly what the G&R crowd are doing – not just with their anti-fascist witch hunts (this person doesn’t fall into line with every single political stance we have! they should be cast out of paganism!) but more directly in the case of actually banning someone who dared to satirize them.

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      • Precisely…

        And the whole response of Rhyd wondering whether their negative divination results meant that either the Deities are that petty, or perhaps just their priests are…which is a strange thing to say, considering Their priests had nothing to do with what the diviner ended up saying…it tells us a great deal about his flawed understanding going into any of this. Well, he’s answered his own question, because he can’t deal with the implications of the other options: he’s seeing all of us as being petty, and now trying to position ourselves as dictators, rather than even entertaining the possibility that the Deities might not be 100% happy with his social-justice-talking-but-not-always-walking ass. For any future statements of “Many Gods, No Masters,” read (Rhyd!?!) “No Gods, I’m Your Master…or else you’re a fascist.”

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      • As for divination, I wonder if they ever researched its purpose. Sometimes Gods say no, sometimes, They are not interested. If you get a negative result, it has nothing to do with pettiness. It is a conversation between the human and the Gods. You ask, They answer. If you don’t like the answer, you can either live with it or ignore it.

        If you ignore it, then why bother asking in the first place, if you only wanted Yes. If you only wanted yes, and you don’t get it, what does that mean? Does it mean that you are the centre of the universe? Does it mean that you are the master of your fate? If so, then you take responsibility for the results, and not use Gods as your “fall guys.” Or just stop asking Them for their opinion and then promptly ignoring it.

        One thing that became evident to me is how much discussion and focus has been made by the people who support MGW about miasma. Does that mean, the negative divination is having an impact? Did not MGW go well? If so, why are various people carping about PEOPLE WHO WERE NOT THERE? Why not simply bask in the success of the conference. What does it matter what PVSL or Galina or the Gods think? I do believe there is something there. Do Rhyd and friends believe we cursed the gathering?

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      • Cursing is unnecessary when a good satire accomplishes the same ends.

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      • Of course, in Irish culture, it’s the same thing, but anyway…!?! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • The greatest curse there is: may others see you as you are.

        Liked by 1 person

      • And the further irony there: they can’t stand any opinion that suggests they’re “doing it wrong,” and yet saying “Oh, we had fun and it was a great conference and nothing you predicted happened” is their own way of saying “You did it wrong already!” (And this despite simultaneous declarations on some people’s parts that all expressions of polytheism are valid, all ways of doing it are fine, etc.)

        There was absolutely no need to curse MGW, and I certainly didn’t do that; whatever happened was brought on them by their own actions. I just needed to steer clear, and was asked to make suggestions to those going. I did, for those who were interested in taking what I said seriously. For everyone else? Well…

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  4. Again, with the anti-piety crowd, you would think that all these people who profess that we few have no power over them and profess to laugh at the idea of miasma, would spend *untold hours* days, weeks, trying to convince themselves and us that they are in the catbird seat when these things are discussed.

    Either fish or cut bait. Either these things bother you, and you know we are right, or they don’t. Don’t say they don’t, and then go on page after page of how wrong we are. That makes you all liars. Confession is good for the soul, at least I am told.

    Just. Stop. Making. Pious. People. Evil. O.K.

    Just go off and do what you believe in your faith to do and just ignore us. O.K.

    As for PSVL’s blog, I have a traumatic brain injury, and I *understood* PSVL to discuss why *e* wasn’t going. Not that the rest of us should not go. And I read with my mouth moving, slowly. I believe that it is a deliberate mis-reading because that way, they can be the victims and overcome the evil piety posse and be heroes in their own stories.

    As for me, I am a Roman polytheist, ritual purity and rituals done correctly is how we do piety. To us, it is our way of showing proper respect to the Gods. I am not telling anyone who isn’t a Roman polytheist that they have to be pure. But I will tell them if they attend a **Roman ritual**, they had better take a full bath, put on clean clothes, and cover their heads, or we don’t do the ritual. And will keep redoing the ritual if anyone gets anything wrong in it.

    But a non-Roman ritual or Pagan ritual, knock yourself out but don’t expect me to participate. It would be a breach of impiety on my part, and breach of hospitality on your part.

    Liked by 4 people

    • And if all this is just a bunch of hoo haw, why’d they do cleansing, wards and other forms of spiritual protection?

      Liked by 2 people

      • thetinfoilhatsociety

        *waving hand wildly in the back* I know, I know pick me!

        Because it is important to DO the ritual things in order to put oneself into the right mindset for the ritual, for the feels. If you don’t to ALL the things, it can’t put you into that altered state where you feel like you are accomplishing something.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Here’s a feeling that is unknown to many of the critics: feeling conflicted. Some of what the great Rev. Fred there is saying are things I don’t think some people who are often critical of polytheists have ever understood, and yet they’re presented as simply as one could wish, such that a very young child can appreciate them. The idea of it being good to be curious also seems lost on them in their “tow-these-lines-or-else” views, and likewise that some people can do some things and some can do others, and that’s all good, as opposed to “no specialization or differentiation of roles is allowed! We must all be equal in every way!” which means that history, training, and experience are all meaningless…

        Well, anyway, yes. That video makes me smile every time I see it, and takes me back to my childhood very much. That Daniel Tiger now runs the neighborhood, I can’t help but feel, is a bit of a loss.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Exactly.

      I didn’t say “People MUST DO THIS (or die)!” I said, “If you want to look away now, look away…here’s the situation as I see it; if you think those concerns are important, this is how I’d suggest dealing with it.” Not even “If you agree, YOU MUST do as I am COMMANDING here.” For fuck’s sake…

      Liked by 3 people

      • Oh but anyone even suggesting a way to act is being a big mean evil AUTHORITY figure and all authority must be flouted because we are all apparently 8 years old! Sigh.

        Reminds me of how some people react to my posts about “here’s my personal experience as a certain sort of specialist and my advice for others who are on a very similar specific path” as if I’m yelling at every pagan everywhere to flagellate themselves unless they are as hardcore as I am. People these days are so fragile that if you even state an opinion, on the internet, they respond as if you are forcing them to do something.

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      • Yes, exactly…the number of times I’ve been yelled at by someone saying “Stop speaking for all polytheists!” when I have literally said “This is just my view, and I only speak for myself” in a post being reacted to…well, you can guess, and know well enough yourself.

        Perhaps all of them should look up the word “authority” and how, you know, the first six of its nine letters spell “author” because that is the common origin of both words! If you’re an author, you have “authority”–but what that might mean, or what one claims for it, is something else entirely. If they’re stating their opinions publicly in writing, and are excoriating others for attempting to be “authorities” in the process while not admitting that is what they are also doing, then there’s an inherent hypocrisy in the whole matter.

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  5. Kenaz and I were discussing this privately, and I mentioned that that people need to make a choice: Do they want a religion or a subculture?

    If they want a subculture, they can pretty much make the rules as they go along. They can also get to do some serious cosplay as a bonus.

    If they want a religion, they need to understand that the concept of ritual impurity is the rule rather than the exception in historic religious traditions. If this is too “triggering,” they need to take a step back and seek competent spiritual direction before holding themselves up as religious leaders.

    It really isn’t that difficult to understand.

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  6. I literally cannot believe what I am reading here. We have known for years now due to competent archeology that systematic murder of the impure was RAMPANT throughout much of the ancient world. Entire wedding parties were given poisoned alcohol and forced to drink by the capitalist city-states due to the miasma they incurred. Mothers, new-borns, and midwives were all thrown into volcanoes or off of cliffs due to the implications of child birth! Soldiers came home and fell on their spears, entire armies wiped out in a moment due to this FASCIST concept. Perhaps all of you here, in your terrible perfidy, are willing to lie about the past and your religions, but not me. We must NEVER forget the Miasmacaust.

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  7. Most Leftist thought processes are forms of projection of their inner ideology onto others. Why is that? It could either be denial of said ideas or trying understand where exactly such dark thoughts come from. However, since some believe that the Gods and Radicals cadre are out to destroy polytheism from the inside out then perhaps it is another long stream of strawman arguments.

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