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50 Shades of Nazis

50 Shades of Nazis

Nazis, seriously? A reader of this blog commented on a post of mine saying he’d be rather be called a Nazi over Antifa.

What is this world coming to? Seriously?

Kids, it’s not either/or. It’s “None of the Above.”

Nazis, Seriously?

How the fuck did we get to the point where people align themselves with the Nazis? The NAZIS, for the gods’ sake. These were the bad guys in WWII. They believed in a “master race,” even though race is a were the bad guys in WWII They believed in genocide. They committed countless atrocities.

No Communists, Either

I’m not a communist apologist, either. Stalin and Mao (to name a few) committed atrocities in the name of communism. Mass murders and genocide. Even today, communists oppress and murder people. People are not free under their regimes. According to the Washington Post, Antifa is the equivalent of leftist neo-Nazis. So, both Antifa and Nazis are bad.

Where the Wackos Meet

You go too far right or too far left, and the methodology of the institutions look the same. Oppression. Mass murder. Destruction of people’s rights. In fact, the sides who oppose each other start behaving like each other the farther right or left they go. Sure, their rhetoric might be different, but those are just words. I’m talking action.

If your side is the one talking about harming other people, murdering, or proposing lunacy instead of logic, you are part of the problem. You have become like your enemy, and I honestly can’t see any real difference.

Freedom, or Just a Way to Harm People?

In the United States, we value freedom. But freedom doesn’t mean you can do anything you want. Your behavior and rights stop where you are harming someone. In other words, I have the right to swing my fist all I want to as long as it doesn’t impact someone’s nose (or body). Likewise, I don’t have the right to cough on, breath on, or otherwise spread my germs on people during a pandemic. Yeah, wearing a mask sucks. Deal with it. Don’t want to get a vaccine? Don’t expect to keep your job in healthcare.  Get a job that isn’t affected by the mandate.

Conspiracy Theories

Conspiracy theories abound on both sides of the political spectrum, but I hear more from the far right than the far left at the moment. People no longer use logic. Instead, the more fantastic the claim, the more they believe.

Look, if you (or anyone, for that matter), make a fantastic claim and expect me to believe it, you’d better have PROOF. And not a “well, Faux News says…” Give me testable, verifiable proof of your claim by legitimate sources. Because the more fantastic the claim is, the more proof you need.

You CAN Be Neither Far Right or Far Left

Honestly, people. You don’t have to throw in your lot with the goosesteppers of either camp. No, you don’t have to agree with everything one side says or another side says. You can use LOGIC to deduce which claims are true.

Nazis and Antifa followers are both wrong. You don’t have to follow either of them.

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Living in an Age of Censorship

Living in an Age of Censorship

Like many people on the Interwebs, I read the opinion piece in Forbes, Amazon Should Replace Local Libraries to Save Taxpayers Money.  (Thanks to the magic of the Internet and cached content, you can see what was supposedly “deleted.”) Now, before we get into the discussion whether or not I agree with the piece, let me state emphatically that I think it’s wrong on a multitude of levels.  That being said, I also think that Forbes should not have pulled the article in response to the shitstorm that ensued over it.  Yeah, it is a form of censorship.

Living in a Land of Confusion

Forbes caved to pressure from the masses, pure and simple.  Whether the piece was well-researched or not, was completely immaterial.  Why do I say that?  Because it is a fucking opinion piece, folks.  That article is the opinion of the writer, who may or may not have the same opinions as the Forbes magazine.  It may not be a popular opinion; it may not even be a valid opinion.  But it is an opinion, nonetheless.  It doesn’t mean that the person is right or intelligent.

The opinion piece brought up something unpopular.  Oh well.  Does that mean that magazines and news outlets should cave when someone objects to something they wrote?  Does this mean that they should censor their opinions for fear someone or something is going to call them on it or make such a fuss that they look bad?

The “C” Word

Yeah, I just used the “C” word: censor.  Granted, it’s not the government cracking down on free speech, but it might as well could be.  You see, just because an idea is unpopular doesn’t mean it should never be talked about.  I mean, if this guy wants to talk about shutting down libraries in lieu of coffee shops and Amazon bookstores, who the fuck am I to prevent him from talking about it?  It’s his idea and if Forbes thought it was good enough to print, they should just stick with it and take their lumps.  They’re not inciting violence, nor are they talking about doing something illegal.  The author just put his unpopular opinion out there.

Whether you think Forbes should not have published something like that is immaterial.  Forbes published it.  They needed to put on their big boy (or girl) pants and deal with the fallout.  Because not everything everyone publishes is going to be popular with people.

Where the Line Needs to be Drawn

At this point, you’re probably wondering what I think about other more controversial views, such as racism, Nazism, slavery, or child pornography.  Obviously, I’m against those things that exploit innocents, and I am sure as shit against things like slavery, racism, Nazis, and child pornography.  That being said, there is a lot of gray when it comes to freedom of speech.  Writing a racist blog is one thing; inciting people to riot or to kill other ethnicities because you don’t like the look of that person is another.

I have to draw the line at harm and things that exploit other people.  If it causes harm, or intends to cause harm, I have to be against it.  If it is just a bunch of trash talk, then while I don’t like it, I certainly tolerate it, because not everyone is going to agree with my point of view.

Destroying Freedom of Speech Destroys Your Right

One thing I have never understood is why people are so quick to give up their freedoms when their own group is in charge as if it will never affect them.  In America, at least, nobody’s party is in charge forever.  When you deny freedoms for the other groups, you’re denying yourself freedom when the other groups get in charge (which inevitably happens).  It’s like you think the good times are going to keep on rolling forever, and you can’t see beyond the next week, let alone four years from now.  One thing is for certain: you give up a right, even if you aren’t using it now, and you will regret it.

So the morons who goosestep in their mom’s basement want to march?  Okay, let them.  If they get out of line and break the law, throw their asses in jail.  If you don’t let them march, then when you want to march to promote Heathen awareness or something like that, the Christians may decide you are too controversial to march.  After all, you offend them with your pagan gods.

Censorship Doesn’t Make the Ideas Go Away

One of the big problems with censorship is that ideas that are censored simply go underground.  In the face of overwhelming opposition, people don’t change their minds, they look  for other people to validate their beliefs.  When Christianity came into power, the pagans went underground. Eventually, many of them converted just to avoid the consequences, but paganism never went away 100 percent.  Many people simply adopted the appearance of being Christian while still keeping with their pagan traditions.  We can see that even today.

Being Tolerant of Other’s Ideas

You’re not going to agree with everyone.  Some people are going to say things that in your mind are positively stupid and unenlightened.  Get over it.  Let them say their piece and present a rational argument against them.  Don’t turn it into a shouting match, because you’ve lost the argument and the discussion.  Why do you think I frown mightily on ad hominem attacks?  It’s not because my feelings are hurt — it’s because it is a form of bullying that turns people off to the conversation.  When you start attacking the person rather than discussing the idea, it becomes obvious you don’t want a conversation.  You just want to shout me down.

That doesn’t work.  Never has.

I hope I’ve given you something to think about.  Maybe something actually clever.  Let me know what you think.

Don’t Thank God for a Rescue…

Don’t Thank God for a Rescue…

And for that matter, don’t expect your god to perform a rescue either.

Read on if you want to know why I’ve got my panties in a wad today.

I read the Patheos post, For the Thai Boys: Thanks Be To God! For the Hispanic Refugee Children: Please, God, Bring Deliverance, and I did the typical facepalm.

Read More Read More

Wiccatru — Or Should We Take Another Look at the Other Pagans?

Wiccatru — Or Should We Take Another Look at the Other Pagans?

I ran across this rather interesting post on Patheos entitled Wicca: A New Major Religion, and yeah, it got me thinking.  If Wicca could be considered a major religion, are we doing Heathenism a genuine disservice by not occasionally courting it?  Here are my thoughts and why we may want to consider a bigger tent when it comes to our religion.

The Article and Why the Numbers Might Be Important

If anything, the article reaffirmed my belief in the big tent model when it comes to Heathenism.  If the numbers are correct (and I suspect they might be), we need to treat our pagan brethren with a little more respect.  The tl;dr version is that Wicca may have, by low estimates, around 2 million practitioners in the United States, making it the third largest religion in the US, after Judaism.   (Atheists and agnostics make up a larger percentage than Judaism, but since they are not a religion, they aren’t factored in.)  Now granted, when compared to more that 300 million people, that may not seem like many, but the reality is that 2 million votes can sway an election quite handily.  Which brings us to Heathenism.

Heathenism by the Numbers

I’m not going to tell you that the numbers I give you are definitive. For one thing, no one has done a completely accurate census and counted every single Heathen on the planet.  The current census counts were done on a strictly volunteer basis and most required some sort of participation in social media.  That being said, the Norse Mythology Blog came up with a number 16,700 in 2013. This seems a little low to me, undoubtedly because I suspect that some Heathens, for whatever reasons, don’t bother answering polls.  I suspect the number is bigger because the piece I wrote, The Gods are Not Your Bitches, got a whopping 13,062 views.  Now, granted, some folks may have gone back and reread it, and some folks may have read it who were not Heathen, but the idea that one of my posts reached nearly all Heathens is ludicrous.

I’ve seen likes on various Heathen groups on the web, and have seen numbers in the 60K to 100K.  That to me seems more likely with a guessimation of maybe 150K to 200K total Heathens in the world at the top end, when you count crossovers from Wiccans and goosestepping moron Odinist Nazis.

Why We Need to Ally Ourselves with the Wiccans, or My Big Tent Belief

So, for argument sake, let’s say we have about 100K to 200K Heathens worldwide.  Personally, I think it is around 100,000, but let’s go with that bigger number, for argument sake.  That means that we maybe have a tenth of the numbers Wiccans have, if Wiccans have a conservative 2 million in the United States alone.  And our numbers are worldwide, not the United States, alone.  So, we have 2 million people who could easily be on our side because they’re polytheistic.  Granted, they worship all sorts of gods and goddesses, but the reality is that they could strengthen Heathenism if we let them.

I’ve proposed this big tent belief in an earlier post which has met with some derision from the recon segment. Wiccans are not our enemies here.  In fact, you’re likely to find allies from Wiccans who worship Freyja and Freyr, or any of our other gods and goddesses.  We can find more Heathens there who will help us politically when it comes to issues we have.  Plus, if we’re inclusive, we have a lot more Heathens who can help shape Heathenry.

To Those Who Want to Exclude Wiccans

Those who want to exclude Wiccans, even though they worship our gods, are being shortsighted.  Heathenry should be open to bringing in others, not just those who are willing to do the homework and speak the gibberish some Heathens do. We need the Lokeans, the Rokkatru, and yes, even the Wiccatru.

Why?  you may ask.

Do you really want Heathenry to stay small?  Do you really want it to be taken over by racists?  Do you really think it’s a good idea to stay exclusive and not inclusive?  Look at the Wiccans.  They really don’t have a lot of dogma, and thus have big numbers.  Maybe Heathenry could learn something from Wiccans.  And Hels bells, I don’t even believe in magic.