Friday, February 3, 2017

The danger of PolitiTheism

Firstly, I want to apologize for the nearly year long hiatus from blogging. Many changes took place over that year, more than I want to really discuss in this forum. I continue to do Pagan things and teach, but at a greatly reduced amount. Since my divorce was finalized I have a bit more free time to write , so hopefully this will be a more regular thing,

There is a very disturbing trend I'm seeing in the pagan/polytheist world that I call PolitiTheism, and it's becoming more vocal and prevalent in post-Trump landscape. It's one where primarily Leftist Social Justice Warrior types feel that it is a fundamental part of their faith to take political stands. They actually believe their paganism logically leads to poiltical action, and often justify it through some rather unusual logic. Typically you don't see Rightists or Libertarians doing this mental gymnastics - to them typically politcs is wholly seperate from faith. But the lefties tend to fall into this way of thinking.

I've had both online and face to face conversations with these kinds of believers, and to a one they seem to conflate their faith with actions they defend as socially just. Such as being a Morrigan devotee or a self-described priest necessitates getting involved in local marches for things like Black Lives Matter, or some such activity.

Now I am pretty vocal about my own politics at times. I'm what is termed a Classical Liberal, i.e. the origial Libertarians. I grew up on a diet of Locke and Rousseau and Jefferson. I hold with what the Founders of the Republic called "Rightful Liberty". That liberty that is inherent and does not infringe on the liberty of others in its excercise. That respects the rights of life, liberty and properly, and fundamental is the idea that no one owes anyone more than the basic respect of the original concept of the Social Contract. I won't initiate force, and neiter will you. Anyone may defend themselves, but not initiate force. And free market capitalism is the most consistent econimic expression of these views.

But I don't condescend to use my faith in the Tuatha or my devotion to the Morrigan as justification for these beliefs. At core, I think is it downright blasphemous to do so and beyond foolish for two very big reasons.

First, blasphemey. A word you don't hear very often in Paganism, but one that is the most accurate IMO. Think about the nature of the Gods, not as ideas or archetypes, but actual living entites with agency. Their reach and power is vast, and so much greater than the miniscule concerns of a microscopic race, in a remote corner of the universe , blathering on about how important they are. Humans are also bounded in a very short time from a geological and astronomical sense, barely a handfull of millennia away from eating bugs and living short brutal lives, They think they are the pinnacle of creation and that the Gods of the universe are falling over Themselves to hear what ridiculous poltical opinions they have. And they credit these vast powerful beings as if they cared?

It's hubris. And quite frankly very self serving. And impossible to believe, makes me marvel a the coincidence when a person with a straight face tells me that the Morrigan Herself would approve of stopping traffic on a bridge to protest a shooting half a continent away.

Secondly, there's a real danger of believing one's own bullshit, especially when one has convinced himself it's the Voice of the Gods. All sense of reason and proportion goes out the window, and it's terribly easy to fool oneself into thinking that any action in the name of this delusion is justified. First it's trying to censor the speech of people you disagree with politically, or boycotting events where they might speak. Next it's smashing windows and burning cars. In very short order the first brick is thrown into a person's face, or somebody gets beaten to death, and the narrative in the delusional's head supports this, saying the Gods want it that way.

This is how crusades and Jihads get started.

Now don't misunderstand, we all have political views, but politics is a manmade system for manmade problems. The Gods don't give a shit about your politics, just as you don't give a shit about the politics of an ant colony. Its important to the ants, no dobt.

So my advice is drop the pretense of saying your Gods want a political end. They don't. They never do. It's men that want political ends, and use theimage of the Will of the Gods to manipulate and justify their actions. Don't be like that, operate with integrity and own your political views.