When Radical Christians Co-opt Religious Symbols
I read a really interesting piece in The Atlantic on how radical Christians (mostly rad-trad or radical-traditional Catholics) have co-opted the rosary as a tool of violence. I can’t help thinking about how the Nazis took our runes and Heathen symbols to use to promote their cause. There are some pretty scary parallels there.
What the Radical Christians Are Doing
Their latest fad is to drape rosaries over their semi-automatic rifles (usually AR-15s), take pictures of them, and posting them. It’s a not-so-subtle threat to those of us who don’t have their beliefs that they believe themselves warriors of their god. Nevermind that Jesus always preached peace. But why the fuck would they want to listen to that Jew anyway? (Assuming he even existed.) They’re a bunch of Nazis, anyway.
Why I Find this Objectionable
I have no problem with someone owning an AR-15 or some other semi-auto rifle. Their choice. I have no objections to people owning prayer beads or rosaries or whatever. Hel’s bells, back when I was Catholic, I prayed on those. I still own rosaries and other prayer beads inherited from my parents and in-laws. What I object to is the blatant and crass use of their religion and religious beliefs with the not-so-subtle underlying threat of violence.
It makes me want to go all Viking on them.
Radical Christians are Co-opting Sacred Symbols for Hate
I never thought in a million years that something like the rosary would be used for hate. But then, if there had been any true Heathens around the time of Nazi Germany, they probably would felt the same way on seeing the adoption of the sun wheel, Irminsul, runes, and our myths as being a reason for attacking and slaughtering millions. The similarities are staggering.
What’s more, it seems the more rad-trad the Christians are, the more alt-right they are. Or more appropriately, the more Nazi they are. And they are using holy symbols as a way of giving their cause validation in the eyes of their god. A god who is basically a Canaanite god that was adopted by the Hebrews and later by the Christians.
Make no mistake: radical Christians are dangerous. And the more dangerous they are, the more likely they’ll become embolden and go after people who aren’t like them. That includes minorities and people who don’t worship their god. People like us.
More Issues with Radical Christians
Case in point: radical Christians are also getting bolder when it comes to pagan gatherings. According to the Religious News Service, Christian groups are now harassing pagan festivals with bullhorns and preaching to try to deter generally peaceful pagan gatherings. And apparently law enforcement isn’t doing a lot to stop them. Imagine what would happen if a pagan group was to interrupt a Christian gathering? I guarantee they’d get arrested.
It’s truly as if the radical Christians want a violent confrontation so that the pagans end up looking bad. Because Christians would never resort to violence. <koff> For some reason the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, and most of the witch trials spring to mind. Call me crazy.
Taking the High Ground
It feels odd to tell those of us whose ancestors were Vikings to not get into a brawl with these radical Christians, but that’s exactly what I’m going to do. We will not win this if we’re being shown as instigators in a fight. Even if we’re not the instigators, the fact we resorted to violence would come off as bad. Because the group that throws the first punch loses in this. The media will eat this up and we will look like the aggressors. Okay by you? You might have won the fight, but you lost the war in the court of public opinion. Look no further than Antifa. Hel’s Bells, they’re listed as a terrorist organization. Think about that a moment. Heathens aren’t terrorists, or shouldn’t be.
Time to Make Ourselves Heard
Even so, it’s time we make ourselves heard. The Christian extremists are bullies. They expect for us to back off every time. We can’t; otherwise, they win. But we can do this with less risk. Pagan festivals need better security and work with law enforcement beforehand to let them know we expect help if the Christians come to call. Get on the law enforcement’s good side, even if the individuals don’t agree with our beliefs. It’s hard to put fault in someone obeying the law.
What You Can Do
You are not helpless. As a Heathen, you know this. Maybe you shouldn’t go toe-to-toe in combat with these fuckers, but you can make a difference.
What about your day-to-day life? Can you write? Start blogging and tell people about Heathenism. How about a podcast? A newsletter? Get creative. Get the word out any way you can. Don’t want to use your name? A-Okay. Use a pseudonym — many Heathens and pagans do, myself included. Hel’s bells, I’ll even talk about your endeavor if you tell me about it and I like it.
Don’t have time? Support those who promote pagans and Heathens, or even just freedom of religion. Maybe it might be a donation to The Wild Hunt, one of the bloggers on Patheos, or a favorite YouTube person. If you’re feeling particularly generous, even donate to my Patreon account (link below), if you think I’m doing a decent enough job promoting Heathenry. I’m not intentionally shilling for myself, but rather giving you ideas how you can make a difference.
Vote for candidates who don’t promote Christianity over other religions. Donate to their campaign funds, if you can. Or if you can’t, try volunteering to help the candidate’s campaign out. You can make a difference.
I don’t need to quote the Havamal to remind you to be wary. These are troubling times and the Christian extremists are going to great lengths to push their agenda. We need to push back, but in a safe manner. Don’t risk your life or the lives of your loved ones, because we need every single Heathen voice to stand firm. Use pseudonyms. Take precautions. You can still work against the Christian extremists without risking lives, especially your own. Stay within the law. Tyr wants it that way.
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