I’ve read quite a few blogs and probably hundreds of comments about my latest work on The New Right and its intersections with some Pagan and Polytheist belief.
Why would I read those? Because I was, after all, trying to start a conversation. I guess I did, and I’m glad of it, though of course a lot of the conversation has been kind of awful.
I should say though, I’m not surprised. By that, I don’t mean ‘because people are awful and cruel and see how they are proving my point?’
Rather, I mean that I had the same reaction when I started looking at these matters. Actually, I felt awful and wanted to scream and call people names and generally create a monster out of those who would suggest there are parallels and even potentially already-existing influences between what I thought was native or exclusive to polytheism and New Right ideology.
I will be writing more on that in awhile. Currently, I’m trying to finish fulfilling orders and shipping to patreon patrons while preparing to leave Seattle for several months on pilgrimage. I’ll be writing about that too, soon.
But in the meantime, I wanted to publicly thank a few critics. Not the sort who called me a “Divisive Leftwing Unemployed Brownshirt Fascist,” or a direct danger to Polytheism, or an enemy of the gods, or….well, yeah. I had to read an awful amount of personal attacks by people who’ve never met me and some who have.
I want to thank and direct my readers to a few people whose posts about these matters didn’t do that, and for the most part attempted to argue with my ideas.. I make no statement of agreement or disagreement on these posts, only that they really ought to be given space for their attempts to wrestle with my ideas, rather than dismiss them by crafting a monster to slay.
Re: Gods&Radicals and New Right Debacle, by ColdAlbion
On Misrepresenting Devotional Polytheists, by G.B. Marian
Asking The Wrong Questions, by John Beckett
The Gods Are Bigger Than Us, by River Devora
If you come across more, I will be happy to post them here.
2 thoughts on “Ad Astra, not Ad Hominem”
Hey man, I might disagree with you on some things, but you don’t seem like a monster to me. (Augustus Sol Invictus, now THAT’S a monster.) I’ve seen this sort of thing happen a couple times before – back in the 1990s and in the 2000s – and frankly, it scares the piss out of me that our community still hasn’t learned from events like that. We can still Other each other right along with the best of them. Anyways, you have a safe pilgrimage and try not to dwell on all of this too much. And if there’s ever anything I can do to help, just let me know.
Hey there. Thank you for signal boosting my blog post. I am hoping this broader discussion continues to trend towards civil and productive on all sides. I think lots of folks have been bringing up useful and important things for all of us polytheists and pagans to think about and evaluate in our own smaller communities.
I do have to say, my blog post I actually wrote several weeks ago, and it wasn’t exactly written in response to your article nor any one specific topic, but more to throw in my $.02 on a whole host of conversations I have been following but haven’t had the time nor bandwidth to actually address (though certainly the various conversations that have sprung up around your post pushed me towards editing and actually publishing it). These conversations, about who and what is a polytheist, what role (if any) hierarchy can or should have in any one specific tradition, and what (if any) role should politics and political activism have in our religious communities are conversations that have been happening in a variety of places online and in person for the past several years. And I am glad to be participating in the broader dialogue about all of these things. I continue to believe that most folks on all “sides” of these conversations have more in common than we have differences, but I think we frequently all speak past one another. That being said, clarifying where the differences lie is an important process, and I for one am glad when folks show their “true colors” (for better or for worse), because then I have more of a sense of where to place my energies, who to ally with and who to speak privately or publicly to about my concerns.
If you did have thoughts about the contents of my post, I would be interested in hearing them, privately or publicly. I am open to dialogue about all of this. As someone who is also navigating the trust of a handful of folks as someone providing classes and some amount of spiritual guidance to others, I am committed to staying in conversation about power, consent, empowerment, and lifting up other people’s voices as well as questions around theology and religion.
Blessings on the continuation of the conversation, may it continue to trend towards civil and productive. And blessings on your upcoming pilgrimage!