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Nero Looked Out His Window and Watched Rome Burn

A gay, Jewish journalist gives interviews while in hiding as a rioting mob calls for his blood in the streets below.

This isn’t Berlin 1939, it’s Berkeley 2017. It’s not the Nazis we need to worry about; it’s the SJW cultural Marxists.

The social justice left is the biggest threat to freedom in the US, more than anything else, including president Trump and his cabinet. Their willingness to use violence to silence anyone with whom they disagree, their hysterical fear mongering to prevent differing viewpoints from being aired, their slander and libelous attacks on anyone who doesn’t tow their party line, their lack of patriotism, their obvious contempt for America and its constitutionally protected rights, and their obvious indoctrination with cultural Marxism make them a clear and present danger to the security of this nation. We should all be concerned about this and yet, and yet, otherwise intelligent people will look at the political violence, designed to prevent free speech and consider it a good thing. Wake up, folks.

Today there are riots in Berkeley, CA. Fires have been lit, rocks thrown, buildings looted, and an immigrant speaker had to be spirited away by a security detail because of threats to his safety. Berkeley—ironically with its history of defending free speech, you know, the right enshrined in the First Amendment that underpins all our other rights and freedoms—is now the site of riots that are making world news.

Watching this is so surreal because these are the exact same problems we’ve been dealing with in our communities for the past couple of years, just on a large scale and far more dramatically. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s a quick refresher). What’s the common denominator? Marxism, always and inevitably. It goes after our fundamental freedoms (especially religious freedoms). And given that we have a generation of students subjected throughout their entire academic career to unthinking cultural Marxist indoctrination (we let all those communists and hippies go into education…bad idea that. They shouldn’t have been let anywhere near academia), they’re ill prepared to connect the historical and ideological dots.

It’s time to get woke, as the left would say, but we need to educate ourselves and wake up to the absolutely nihilistic, ahistorical, anti-theistic, unpatriotic, anti-family, anti-tradition dogma behind their rioting. Social justice? Not hardly. Social justice is a perversion and a mockery in its name. It doesn’t seek actual justice but the enslavement of the masses and if our traditions have any hope of survival, we need to crush this now, inexorably, or they will crush us.

And if you think this is hyperbolic, consider the history of Iran. In the 1950s it was a progressive, modern culture with Western values, women in education, medicine, law and prosperity was high; they had a bright future. Then they started having protests just like this on college campuses, which turned into riots, just like this. Khomeini came to power and now they’re a backward, impoverished, totalitarian state. And the women, their future there isn’t looking so bright. (They sure don’t go around with pussy hats). I could draw similar parallels all the way back to ancient Rome but we don’t need to: this is happening here today. You can either allow it, or stand and resist it, stand in support of our fundamental freedoms as Americans. Drive this communist trash out (with your words, your humor, and your commitment and engagement with the political process – while they go around muttering about punching Nazis and the more delusional among them actually acting on it). I am so deeply ashamed to be an American right now. I have never been more disappointed in this country than I have been today.

Here’s a full news report along with one of those aforementioned interviews:

Are You Really Ok With This?

I never, ever thought I’d be writing something supporting the AFA. I’m not a member and I’m not folkish but over the last couple of weeks as more and more people in our communities dogpile on them, I’ve been watching from the side lines growing more and more concerned. Then yesterday, I saw this article and that the not so aptly named Camp Courage had, at the last minute, caved to pressure from HUAR and others who were calling in and refused to honor their contract to host an AFA harvest gathering. The AFA was left scrambling to find a new venue, which I’m told they did. That’s when I decided I had to say something.

Why are more people not up in arms about this? Seriously. Do you not see what is going on?

A group made a statement articulating its values. They never said that they spoke for all of Asatru or Heathenry. They specifically said they don’t monitor what their own members do or how well they adhere to these values. They made a statement about their core values on their own facebook page, to their own members. Whether or not you agree with that statement is beside the point. They have both freedom to speak and freedom to assemble in this country. Moreover, groups and traditions have the right to make decisions about their values and membership. If one doesn’t like the result, well the adult thing to do is to find a group or tradition more suited to one’s own values. That of course, predictably, is not what happened here.

Now, I rather expected the Troth to take a run at them. There’s been long standing tensions between the folkish and universalist camps within Heathenry and they are after all competing for the same demographic. There was never any expectation that the Troth would take the high road. (For the record, I am most adamantly NOT a member of either the Troth or the AFA. I have theological issues with them both). As you can see from the link, they’re not even responding to what the AFA actually said; they’re responding to what they would like us all to believe they said. What I didn’t expect was for everyone else to unthinkingly jump on the outrage brigade with them.

No one seems to have given a thought that this is polytheists attacking another group of polytheists – and not just verbally but with real world consequences; or more troubling, to the long term effects of such behaviors. I am old enough and have been a polytheist long enough to remember when gatherings were kept secret, when groups didn’t post about things, when there was a veil of secrecy over who was doing what and where, and on the way this stifled the growth of our traditions. Is that what we want to go back to?

Those attacking the AFA are doing so thinking that they are perfectly justified in doing so, and may even think they are doing a good thing. After all, these people think differently. They don’t tow the leftist party line. They don’t give a rat’s ass about what HUAR, Rhyd, G&R, tumblr or any other group of people might think. They have to be brought down. Well, it’s the AFA today but I think HUAR and co. are testing the waters, just as they were doing when they tried to brand me a racist for posting a video critical of rape gangs (really people, read my blog and make up your own mind there). They’re doing this to see A) how people react and B) if they can whip the communities up into a frenzy and take down this organization. What’s next? Are they going to go after John Michael Greer because he disagrees with Rhyd?  Or will it be some poor group of Dianics who just want to be left to practice their tradition in peace? (I happen to think Dianics are ludicrous but you know what my response is to that? I don’t try to attend their gatherings). Whose livelihood are they going to destroy next? They’ve already managed to get a teacher at Cherry Hill to resign. It’s no longer enough to say “I disagree with their position on X and here’s why,” now the opposition has to be demonized (regardless of what their position actually is, mind you. Let’s call them far right, fascist, racist, homophobic, transphobic insert charged term du jour here). It’s no long enough to have one’s own space, now opposition must be silenced and brought to heel until they confirm ideologically.

Think about that. While you’re patting yourself on the back for protecting diversity, think really hard about that.

Think about who might be next. Think about your own gatherings disrupted because someone doesn’t find you ideologically pure enough. Think about the phone call to your boss outing you as Pagan, Heathen, pseudo fascist (even if you’re not). Rhyd is going around (most recently on John Beckett’s patheos column) talking about how there is no witch hunt from the anarcho-Marxist left. He’ll still be saying that I’m sure, when they come for you

If you’re not ok with this, say something

Rhyd’s call for an anti-fascist witch hunt hasn’t resulted in any witch hunting but his friends on tumblr haven’t seemed to have caught that memo.

 

EDIT apparently some people think i agree with this horse shit (the article linked below). I do not. I find these tactics repugnant. I posted to alert people as to the depths to which some will sink in order to silence free speech and  to prevent our traditions from rooting and growing.

Case in point:

I particularly like these leaps in logic (and law):

2. Trap them. Catch them doing or saying something illegal and record it. Anonymously notify the correct authorities. If he’s racist he’s probably also a raging misogynist, here is a pretty high percent chance he beats women. Bust him for that.

3.Sabotage. Sabotage everything. Their protests, their social events, their rituals…their relationships. Sabotage them physically, sabotage them magically. Block them at protests. Blast distractingly loud noises in the vicinity of their rituals. Curse them liberally.

NO pun intended, I’m sure.

I guess freedom of speech really isn’t free. or a thing. anymore.

Is this the community you want? Are these the tactics of which you approve? Your silence makes this possible.

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. 

 

Just in case you haven’t noticed…

In case you haven’t noticed I’m something of a controversial figure within our communities because of the uncompromising stances I take on a lot of issues.

For instance, I’m against raping children:

This is not a grey issue. There is no “let us understand why they believe as they do.” No. Just no. It is the duty, the god damned sacred duty of a community to protect and nourish its most vulnerable members: it’s children. A community that can’t do that frankly has no right to exist.

As well as those who defend and cover up such despicable acts:

In pretty much every case, when those victimized attempted to out their abuser to the community, to get help and protection in the past, they were demonized, told it was their fault, told they were creating drama, told to back off and be silent, told they were bitter and had an agenda. Some of that is still happening now as they come forth again to tell their experiences. This doesn’t just happen in cases of abuse, by the way. I”ve seen it happen in various Pagan and Heathen communities when folks objected to bullying. Suddenly they were ‘over-reacting” or “attacking” said bully. Suddenly all such egregiously foul behavior was “justified” and it was the victim who was in the wrong. Furthermore, when I hear – as i have been in this particular case– of priests and priestesses who *were aware* of a person’s proclivity toward abuse, but who chose to do nothing because they didn’t want to have to deal with it, I consider those “clergy” to be every bit as culpable as the abuser him or herself. It is the job, the primary fucking job of a priest to create safe and sacred space. It is a job of a ritual leader to ensure that those least able to defend themselves (children, those new to the community, young people) are protected. you know what isn’t our job? Turning a blind eye to sexual predation.

I have organized fundraisers to benefit the victims of rape:

So I was talking with my friend Elizabeth (who is going to be part of the ground crew for the Polytheist Leadership Conference) the other day about Kenny Klein and the Frosts and how sexual predation and child abuse are still important issues even if folks would rather talk about the latest controversy out of Patheos. I mentioned that I was going to be auctioning off some of my paintings at the end of the month with the proceeds going to benefit RAINN and how I was really looking forward to the panel on sexual ethics that would be happening on Saturday at the Conference since we’ve got a lot of speakers with experience and interesting perspectives on the topic lined up.

I stand against human trafficking:

One of the books I’ve been ploughing through the last couple of days, mentioned an activist nun, a bad-ass woman Sister Joan Dawber. Her ministry involves helping to free women who have been sold into slavery—and in NYC alone, recent estimates point to upwards of twelve thousand people, mostly women who are survivors of human trafficking. That’s only those who have survived. It doesn’t take into account those who are living in degrading, painful, abusive, humiliating, and dehumanizing conditions against their will now.

And sexism:

He’s teaching his daughter to limit her world, to be afraid. He’s teaching her that she can’t get hurt and get up again and conquer. He’s teaching her to not be bold or curious or adventurous, not to push herself to her limits and beyond. He’s teaching her that she needs a man to rely upon in scary situations, that she can’t problem solve, and he’s teaching that boy that the girl is so much more important, that he is expendable in relation to his sister (and if you don’t think that message has a part to play in man on woman violence, think again).

And homophobia:

before writing “Please, Master,” Ginsburg had been locked up in a psych ward for being gay and had been subjected, against his will, to electroshock therapy and that perhaps a poem like this was his fucking declaration of independence. I might have asked them how LGBTQI people are treated socially today, and Gods know there are enough news articles about discrimination and death that I could have brought to the table with just a cursory internet search to bolster the discussion. Hell, a comparison of contemporary Russia and the US would have filled a class.

And transphobia:

I find myself more aware of those around me when I’m going to the toilet (and I have OAB – I go to the toilet a lot so I have quite a bit of time to contemplate the bathroom insanity in this country). It’s not lost on me that not only are those bathroom laws transphobic, but they also force feminization on women, a very particular 1950s brand presentation. It’s utter bullshit. (And let me tell you, the first person to accost me for using the ladies room is going to get the crudest, grossest, rudest response I can muster – and they’d better hope I’m not menstruating at the time—such bigotry deserves no less and I can be amazingly crude when the situation calls for it). I have been accosted in the past because people have assumed I was gay. The most egregious occasion occurred in Europe. I was walking arm in arm with my mother. We both have short hair and apparently that’s all that’s needed for a certain type of small-minded bigot to make assumptions. We were nearly attacked. I stood my ground against the three attackers while my mother went to get the police and fortunately they backed down but it was very close and I never again went out with her without keeping one eye peeled for potential violence. That changed the way that I look at all of this. These bathroom laws are about forcing a specific gender compliance, nothing more. It’s not only trans folk who are being harassed, but there have also been cases of women with short hair (longer than mine, I might add), and cancer patients having been harassed too. This is about forcing men and women to dress and comport themselves in a certain way, a way that the fundamentalist Christian right finds appropriate. Well, fuck them. THEY are the problem, not trans people who need to pee.

I oppose using threats and other forms of intimidation against women:

Basically, we have a self-styled “elder” (though I can hardly think of anyone who deserves that appellation less and he’s certainly no one of worth, let alone an elder, in any tradition that I practice) Christian Day who recently ‘outed’ a number of witches in an online forum for working under pseudonyms. When one of these women contacted him pointing out that she was being stalked and harassed to particularly dangerous levels and that she used a pseudonym for her safety, he not only dismissed her comments, but went on to say that he hoped her stalker was successful and that she should call out his (Christian’s) name when she was being raped.

(Especially the kind of murder, rape, torture, and imprisonment regularly employed by Marxists.)

And I condemn genital mutilation:

I studied FGM in fair depth when I was doing my first graduate degree (a good deal of my coursework dealt with women, religion, and violence) and i thought seriously about posting photographs of exactly what this entails here, but I”ll spare my readers. It isn’t ‘circumcision’ as it’s so often called but outright mutilation on girls sometimes younger than five. I learned about it when I was six or seven — i accidentally stumbled across a book my aunt was reading, a novel that begins with the female protagonist undergoing this torture at age five. I was disturbed and then later when i really understood what i’d read, horrified. I’m no greater fan of male circumcision. I don’t believe personally that it compares to FGM. Sorry, just no. that doesn’t mean, however, it isn’t also a form of mutilation. I love penises in all shapes and sizes: cut and uncut but I would personally object to having a child circumcised. if a man wants to do so when he is of age, that’s great. that’s his choice, but that’s not my choice to make. it’s irreparable. I have a friend who’s a nurse and she described during training witnessing a circumcision (and almost got kicked out of nursing school for vociferously protesting the lack of anesthesia–oh, you didn’t know? Doctors then and quite often now don’t anesthetize babies undergoing male circumcision, the attitude being that children don’t feel pain like adults. let’s just think about the dehumanization of that for a moment, not to mention that the boy’s first experience of his genitals is going to be one of aggravated violence). She said the newborn was taken a few days after birth and strapped down to a cold metal table, with his legs strapped apart and the doctor came in with a clamp and would cut him, sans anesthesia. I was nauseated. As I said, no problem if a man wants this done as an adult but I don’t think we should be cutting bits off our children as a matter of course.

You know what? I’m going to keep doing this no matter how unpopular these views are or the lengths people go to try and shut me up.

If you don’t like my beliefs or how I express them – too fucking bad.

Polytheism has always been International

So Rhyd must be trying to raise donations on his patreon account. I’d just been thinking, it’s time for him to start another controversy—his donations are down—and lo and behold a friend sent me this today.(1) 

Rhyd thinks he discovered Europe. How colonial of him.

Sweetie, polytheists have been networking with our European cousins for thirty plus years. Glad you could finally join the game. Just because we think you happen to be full of shit, doesn’t mean we’re isolationist.(2)

Heathenry and Asatru have (for longer than I’ve been Heathen so we’re talking well over thirty years) communicated with and networked with groups in Iceland, Scandinavia, and Germany. I have worked with Asatru Ring Frankfurt and my Northern Tradition colleague Raven Kaldera has lectured and traveled all over continental Europe. Hell, his NT series sells as well in Russia as it does here in the states (and that’s saying something). I and other Heathens have lectured all over Europe, my last in London a couple of years ago. The PLC—remember that? It’s what gave Rhyd and Co. the idea for MGW—was an international event. We had a rather large delegation from Greece. My Friends of Mani is international and so is my husband’s tradition. Most polytheists I know have ties in some way, shape, or form to our European co-religionists. To us, that’s just the way polytheism works. We live in the age of the internet, the age of air travel. We communicate and inspire each other. This should not surprise anyone. I’m just surprised Rhyd is only now figuring this out but I guess like everything else, we polytheists got there first. Sorry, dude.

 

Note

  1. You can track these things. Check it out here. His patreon is down -4.44% from last month. You can’t make this shit up.
  2. Though I do note that Rhyd didn’t allow comments on his blog–how isolationist of him. tsk tsk

 

 

Tsk, Tsk, Tsk, Giving Yourselves Away

So the humanist and Marxist “pagans” over at G&R apparently seem to think that our Gods are dead. In a recent post one of their authors completely reduces Dionysos to an accessory, using the name as a prop for mis-managed, poorly researched entheogen work. It makes a difference how we talk about our Gods and doing so doggedly in the past tense likewise makes a powerful statement. “Dionysos was….” well, no, children. Dionysos IS but if you actually were to put it in the present as it ought to be you’d have to deal with the fact that you’re co-opting and appropriating the Gods, images, and symbols of a living cultus to which you do not belong. Tsk. Tsk. What would the social justice warriors think?

Of course it’s clear by Rhyd’s response to being called out on this by a priest of Dionysos that he clearly doesn’t care. The Gods simply aren’t important to these people and neither are our traditions or our communities. How can they be when G&R is so clearly pandering to the humanists and atheists (ally with them and you’ll outnumber actual polytheists won’t you? Fortunately for us, we court quality over quantity every time). Can’t have the reality of pesky Gods messing things up. Apparently can’t have consistency or respect for living traditions either.

I posit that G&R in general and Rhyd in particular have a vested interest in making sure that our traditions cease to be LIVING traditions and become merely fronts for his Marxist garbage. This article is just one more vivid example at their game of erasure: of our Gods, our traditions, and our polytheisms. Piss on them.

Trigger Warning!!! ;)

I never thought the day would come when I found myself agreeing with Rhyd Wildermuth and the Gods&Radicals crowd.

However, reading the latest from Dr. Bones, a “Conjure, Rootwork, and Hoodoo practitioner who blogs at Disinfo:

We vagabonds, we tortured, we bottom of the pyramid say YES! But among the magical folk there are those who do not share our vision, fools who either deny they have been lied to or greedily devour those same lies and lose their Unique. Do you want to know the truth? Those fools that would deny the pain that has forged your very existence, would doubt that there are MILLIONS of us, that would disbelieve every fact, figure, and statistic you might give them revealing that each and every injury is something SYSTEMIC and NOT ISOLATED, all while remaining wedded to a dying ideology, are in fact OUR GREATEST ALLIES! Their indifference only fans the flames of fury in our hearts, dear Reader. Their indifference allows the cancer to spread and forces more souls to be raked across the coals of Capitalism! And it is this suffering, this pain, that is our greatest gift, for in it all the lies The Blind Ones still stutter are instantly burned to cinders! Before we became well-read, before we found our philosophers, we knew our path: our politics rose from indignation, our theories from nightmares of insignificance, and our dreams built on struggles of Insurrection!

I’m beginning to think they might be Right:

Our Decadent Society: New Right theorists criticise modern civilization as being in a state of ‘decay.’ They tend to be heavily anti-Modern and sometimes anti-civilisationist, believing that society needs to return to a more noble, healthy, and ‘natural’ order. Our Lost and Despoiled Lands: “Blood and Soil” is a crucial aspect of New Right thought, though this takes many forms. Regarding ‘soil,’ there is a tendency towards Nationalist identity through relationship to land (European lands, primarily) and the desire to protect it from foreigners. Also, they tend to co-opt Indigenous and First Nations language regarding sovereignty without actual alliance with post-colonial and anti-colonial politics. Our Great Threat: The New Right creates group identity and coherence through focusing on external human threats. Immigrants and particularly Muslims are the primary ‘enemy at the gates’ in European New Right movements, as in North America.

That shit’s dangerous and we really should keep a vigilant watch against it in our communities.

I also heartily agree with Crystal Blanton when she writes:

When people from privileged cultures or backgrounds attempt to dictate what is and is not cultural appropriation versus cultural exchange, they are reinforcing the imbalance of power that has continued to steal the voice from people of color throughout history. The best people to speak on the use of their cultural treasures are those who struggle in systems that erase them.

I wonder if we’ll get more insightful commentary like that at her presentation at Many Gods West.

Or Rhyd’s session on how to Fascism:

For most the term fascism has become a hollow snarl word, an expression of enormous disgust and opposition. Across society the word is used freely and without understanding for what it actually means.

Perhaps someone who can afford the steep registration fees will report back for us?

I also wonder if C. Thompson will be attending, considering their apparent disagreement:

Did…did he just snark at how Rhyd constantly talks about his impoverished upbringing? Holy shit, I think he did. I think Chris here really did just fire off a shot a Rhyd. Rhyd constantly talks about his impoverished upbringing and how it drove him to Marxism and anti-capitalism. And it kinda looks like Chris just told him to shut up about it. Damn, talk about breaking the shieldwall.

C. Thompson has a history of trying to shout down those he disagrees with, just like his Antifa friends did at a public speaking engagement in Canada:

Seriously, people, *seriously*?!

The rumor-mill is in full effect with certain people associated with a certain site implying that I or my husband are responsible for this:

http://rhydwildermuth.com/

I’m not going to speak for my husband beyond saying that I asked him and he just laughed and said, “Not my style.” We’re different people with different ideas and if he considers this an important enough matter he’ll make his own statement.

But for myself, I would like to emphatically state that I did not do it, I don’t know who did it, and if I did I’d tell them to take that shit down because it’s not funny. (FFS, people. Satire takes subtlety. I’ve been accused of many things in the course of my working life, but that has never been one of them). That’s the kind of thing people try with me all the time so why would I turn around and do that to someone else? Or have you guys forgotten about this sickening site:

https://polytheistrestoration.com/

I don’t have to resort to such cheap rhetorical tricks – merely holding a mirror up to the horrible things these people say and do is enough. I can read. That is why I always provide links, so you can go and read too and make your own judgments as opposed to just taking my word on something. Maybe you don’t know me well, but I am not a shy and soft-spoken woman. I don’t hide and take pot-shots at people from the sidelines – I wade right into the thick of it. Say what you will of me, you always know where we stand with one another.

So whoever is responsible for these sites – do you honestly think you’re helping? (and as to who might actually be responsible and whether or not they want to ‘help,’ I think we really should be asking the eternal question: cui bono? Because I read the first site, and it was written by an insider, or someone with an insider’s knowledge of Rhyd and his work). This situation has gotten bad enough without you throwing more gas on the fire. If you can’t out-argue the other side using truth and reason, you don’t deserve to win.

Come on people, we can – and should! – be doing better than this.

 

A Heathen Shouldn’t Have To Be The One Saying This But…

Since this latest imbroglio started with Rhyd and the G&R crowd, I’ve noticed that the terms ‘racist,’ [and ‘fascist’] are being thrown around with less and less care. What started out with Rhyd’s underhanded rhetorical free-for-all is turning into (just as many of us predicted) a witch-hunt. Now, it seems one is a “racist” if one doesn’t agree with Rhyd and his supporters. That is apparently all it takes. Racial bias need play no actual part.

In addition to crying “bullshit,” I want to parse that out a little bit because it’s an incredibly damaging trend, and not particularly damaging to our traditions, mind you, but damaging to the very work of social justice that Rhyd and his buddies purport to want to do. How?

Well, to go back to an argument that we’ve had ad nauseum: words mean things. If we start accusing everyone of being racist (or fascist, or sexist, or any other –ist) every time they disagree with our positions on other matters, those words are going to lose their meaning. When that happens, we will be numb and blind to actual incidents of racism and violence that very much deserve our attention and action. Language shapes our ability to perceive our world accurately. What they’re doing with their unfounded accusations (or founded on nothing save that the person disagrees with them on some other topic) is eliding the meaning of these words and that elision has the power to damage our long term ability to participate in recognizing the types of system inequalities and institutional biases that are so at work in our country and that so make up the fabric of racism in America today.

Basically if everything is racist than nothing is.

Here’s an exemplum to help you: It’s like the incident a few weeks back when college students supposedly got “traumatized” by pro-Trump graffiti. This isn’t trauma. Trauma is having a student suddenly have an abreaction wherein they viscerally relive childhood abuse right in front of you; trauma is a veteran crippled by PTSD, trauma is a survivor of domestic abuse unable to get close to anyone romantically out of fear, trauma is a survivor of rape who wakes up every night screaming, trauma is the mother of a young black child who has to worry about whether or not her kid is going to get shot on the way to school simply because he’s black, trauma is a lot of things larger and smaller in emotional scope than this but what trauma isn’t? Seeing Trump 2016 written in chalk and having a melt down over it. Trauma does not mean seeing something you don’t like and personally disagree with and choosing not to handle it like an adult. That’s not trauma. It’s also not racism. (And before the Rhyd brigade can accuse me of it, let me be clear: I’m in no way a Trump supporter. I find the man vile).

Let me let you in on a little secret: we can have different political beliefs and still behave like decent human beings. Disagreeing does not make us racist. Disagreement in the instances with which we’ve been dealing lately in our communities means that we’ve considered the same material that another person has and we’ve come to a different opinion about the way we’re going to practice our religion and live our life.

Go here  and read the comments. This is thoughtful and thought provoking discussion happening. For instance in the comments Eric S. asks a question that I think is quite salient to this current argument:

“That leaves me wondering: how safe will the coming decades be for polytheists, druids, hermeticists, etc.? Is there a possibility that, say, an act of domestic terrorism could get tied to some odinist skinhead group and lead to a crackdown on potential sites of radicalization, and that essays like the one on G&R could inform who winds up on watchlists? Or that, in the event widespread radicalization in the community, the entire occult scene, whether political or not starts looking to outsiders like a hotbed of sedition? One advantage of the pagan community since I’ve been involved has been the fact that the it’s been safe to be public and open, to hold rituals in parks, have public clergy, and so on without worrying about much more than being called silly or getting witnessed to. Do you see it as a possibility that within the next decade or so, we might have to learn to return to the same sort of cultural marginalization and tight-lipped discretion of the ‘60s and ‘70s?”

and likewise commenter “Kevin” notes:

“I’ve read Wildermuth’s article closely, and concur with your assessment. At one point he explicitly endorses the notion of guilt by association, actually using that word as he exhorts the reader to pin the tail on those secret persecutors who have ever read or discussed the works of Julius Evola. It all sounds to me like a game of Spot The Evil Space Lizard.

Even worse than the dubious slipshod logic, there’s something off about his tone, an unpleasant fusion of aggression with paranoia. I hope it doesn’t spread, but fear that your prognostication may prove well-founded.”

Now I don’t agree with everything Greer posited, not even close, (his lumping of polytheisms under the neo-pagan umbrella being first and foremost on that list) but I don’t have to in order to engage with his ideas and in order to appreciate the conversation that it has provoked. Ideas are being discussed and in some cases (thank you Eric S. whoever you are) taken to their most disturbing conclusions, a type of forethinking that seems to be perilously lacking at times in our communities (a failure of fortitude or one of imagination, I don’t know).

and yet if you go here, the second commenter, C. Thompson, says the following

“Now, they’re not even pretending that anymore and are just openly taking racist and right-wing stances along with the most dishonest forms of character assassination I’ve seen in a long time.”

Obliquely (or maybe not so obliquely) accusing Greer (and the rest of us in case you missed it) of being racists. That’s not thought provoking. That’s obscuring the discussion. Show me where that’s happening that doesn’t involve merely disagreeing with Rhyd. I’ve gone over Greer’s article closely and this is a laughable assertion.

[EDIT: C. Thompson has clarified his racist comments here.]

Rhyd and his supporters are attempting to hammer home one narrative of what it means to be a polytheist, devotionally inclined, of what it means to be anything other than aligned with his version of the radical left. They are giving us one narrative into which we must of needs be pressed ,a narrative that, when we attempt to speak for ourselves, says “toe this ideological line or you’re racist, you’re a fascist, you’re a monster.” It no longer matters if any of it is true.

So let me be quite clear: they’re using obfuscation and insinuation (without ever providing examples) to shut down discourse, distract when they’re losing an argument, and besmirch reputations. That is the very definition of a McCarthyite witch-hunt.

Enough of these foofaraws. Stop trying to colonize our religious communities with your oppressive and dictatorial politics. Stop trying to get co-religionists to be suspicious of and hateful towards one another. Stop attacking our traditions and our Gods. Stop making a power and money grab by stirring up endless controversy. Or know that we’ll be here to stop you. And we Heathens don’t back down.