Iran issues stark military warning to United States

Somebody oughta tell these idiots that it's not generally considered a good idea to go poking about in a beehive with a sharp stick... especially when the current queen bee may be crazy enough to take up any challenge.

Not that I think they'd listen: they are, after all, messianic fundamentalists, and god is on their side. In short, they're strikingly similar to the folks they're trying to provoke ...

AFP - Iran said it could defeat any American military action over its controversial nuclear drive, in one of the Islamic regime's boldest challenges yet to the United States.

(link) [Yahoo! News: Top Stories]

23:00 /Politics | 0 comments | permanent link

An Essay for An Easter Weekend

Heathens are a pretty diverse group - it's often said that if you ask five heathens for their take on a particular subject, you'll get six opinions! Nevertheless, some of the attitudes shown by a few of my fellow heathens never cease to amaze me. And the most amazing of all is an extreme reticence towards "Christian-bashing".

On a certain level, I can understand this fully, and indeed try very hard not to bash Christians. Some of my best friends follow the Desert God, and they're all fine individuals. However (you knew that was coming, didn't you?)...

This does not mean that I cannot critique their theology. They show absolutely no hesitation in critiquing mine, nor do I expect them to. Yet some heathens resolutely equate any negative mention of Christian theology as "bashing on Christians", and loudly and roundly condemn it.

This is lunacy: an attack on an idea is not an attack on an individual or even a group of individuals who espouse it, it's an attack on an idea. I can attack communism as an ideology of State sanctioned murder without believing that every communist is a murderer, and I can certainly point to what I see as the flaws in Christian theology without believing that every Christian is a complete idiot or overtly evil. I can blast Christian leaders when they speak with authority on the subject of theology without implying that their followers are equally culpable.

Being unable to distinguish between attacks on Christianity and attacks on Christians seems to be quite a problem in the heathen and neo-pagan communities: perhaps it's because we're such tiny minorities and we're afraid of bringing the wrath of the majority down on our heads. But I don't think so - I think that we're just too damned nice and too blasted tolerant.

Christians seem to have no problem blasting our theology: you'll never hear an orthodox Christian say that our path is an alternate road to their Heaven. They will always loudly (and often too pompously) proclaim their love for us sinners while at the same time telling us we're little deluded dupes following an evil desert god they call Satan. And while some of the more obnoxious of their leaders do sometimes mount personal attacks on non-believers, in general I think Christians feel they can attack our theology without attacking us personally. And they're right.

What brought all this to the fore for me was the posting of an essay called On Easter by Edwin Kagan to a Heathen message board. Mr. Kagan is a pretty fiery atheist, and his essay is certainly not for the faint of heart theologically. Nonetheless it constitutes criticism of the Christian theological underpinnings of the Spring Festival, and as such, is a contribution to the debate on it's validity and the place of heathenry in relation to it.

The posting of this message to the board brought instant howls of protest: "I've never been a Christian and don't care what they believe. This has no relevance here.", "Why do we feel we have to bash Christians to be Heathens?", and most amazingly of all "I'm a Heathen, but that doesn't mean I'm anti-Christian."

Here is my response to the list:

I'm having a tough time understanding what some folks on this list are finding offensive about this.

I saw no personal attacks on individual Christians in the piece, in fact, I saw no attacks on Christians as people at all. What I saw was a blistering attack on Christian theology. A theology, need I remind the list, that considers each of us "unsaved" at best and "Satanic" at worst. An utterly intolerant theology that mocks our gods as "demons" and our priests as "servants of evil".

These folks don't do the "all gods are one" bit, or the "all people are good" trip. It's their way or the highway, so to speak, and they consider that the highway leads to eternal torment. Ours.

If you've not experienced attacks on your religion from Christianity, then I daresay you've not been very open about your faith. Or you've not been reading the papers or watching the telly. Perhaps it's a regional thing (I'm in the Midwest), but from what I see in the media, I would doubt that proposition.

If you don't care what Christians believe, as you see no relevance to your life, then I may I be so bold as to suggest that you wake up and smell the coffee. They are the dominant religious force in our Western culture, and they're becoming increasingly active in the political arena as well. Most affirm (falsely) that the US was founded as a "Christian nation", some openly espouse a theocratic State. If we are unable to proclaim our resistance to their theological claims, how will we defend ourselves politically when those claims make inroads into our schools and governments?

Interestingly enough, their gospels speak of "turning the other cheek" when attacked - so the bit of fiery polemic in question shouldn't bother them in the least. On the other hand, I see nothing in our lore that demands we "turn the other cheek". And I, for one, will not.

I'm sick of being attacked on a daily basis in the Christian media, on Christian message boards and even by door to door God salesmen as being the very essence of evil in Midgard. I want to thank my friend for posting this: it is indeed another arrow in my quiver to repel the attacks on the honor of the gods and goddesses that I hold dear, even if it was written by an avowed atheist. In fact, I would go so far as to say that most atheists I've met disbelieve in the Christian god because of the inherent contradictions of their "revealed scriptures", and have no idea that the ancient ways are still a viable (and much more rational) spiritual path available to the modern world.

If I cannot respond to Christian attacks on a private message board devoted to folks who ostensibly follow the same gods as I (and not the slave holding god from the desert), then where can I respond? Should I simply stay silent, even among my peers, as my grandchildren are harassed and attacked as "unbelievers"? Have we nothing to say about Christianity?

I daresay that Eyvind Kinrifa had a thing or two to say on the subject, and it cost him his life. As it did many others in eldritch days - we have a long and sad list of martyrs ourselves preserved in the Heimskringla and other bits of lore, and undoubtedly many more who lost their lives in silence. Have the spiritual inheritors of these heroes become such wimpy wusses that we refuse out of fear of giving offense to defend ourselves or even answer our attackers?

I hope not.

23:00 /Asatru | 6 comments | permanent link