About the previous ask, thank you for the swift response. that's dreadful. Do they know that most polytheists don't even have that agenda? That some of us come from ethnic backgrounds ourselves? That our reasons would be for love of the gods, not to promote hatred. If anything, they are not true polytheists, they are terrorists just like any other terrorists there are in the world right now. Also correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think /ancient/ religions promote hatred in any way or form?
White supremacists are definitely aware that the majority of pagans and polytheists oppose their agenda. They’ve been confronted by organizations like Pagans Against Racism and Heathens United Against Racism. The reports of many pagans and polytheists recently resulted in one racist, misogynist, homophobic and transphobic Heathen group being banned from Facebook for offensive behavior. Many Big Name Pagans blog against hate on platforms such as Patheos and polytheist.com. Here at Tumblr, the Valkyrie Squad was created to combat racism, sexism, misogyny, ableism, homophobia and trans-phobia in the Heathen community. Many of us, including me, have encountered racists interested in Hellenic, Roman, Kemetic and Celtic religion here at Tumblr, and confronted them with the knowledge that their views are not held by the majority.
By and large, the prejudices of the ancient world were different than ours. But make no mistake: ancient cultures were often xenophobic and took for granted that people from other cultures could be bought and sold as slaves. That perception was based on cultural superiority, not skin color. Yet we also know that people traveled widely, and married people from distant places. Large, multicultural cities embraced a wide range of religions from many lands. While some cultures rejected gay or trans individuals, some religious cults welcomed them. Mainstream religious festivals commonly invited everyone to participate, though some ritual activities were open only to women or to men.
But there is no question that our gods love ALL humanity. They created the universe and all life. The gods encourage everyone to practice virtue, to love whom we will, to practice hospitality and welcome strangers. The gods do not restrict their calls, their attention, or their benevolence to people of any one race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual preference, gender identity and expression, ability, mental and physical health, age, financial means, level of education, or political perspective.
The majority of modern pagans and polytheists don’t seek to replicate the cultures of of antiquity. Few people fetishize ancient cultures to the extent that they reject modern medicine, or refuse modern hygiene and sanitation. In the same way, most modern pagans and polytheists reject xenophobia, racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, and ableism, and support humanity’s historic trend towards more freedoms for more people, and peace between nations.
Racists come up with all sorts of delusional rhetoric to support their views, and to disparage those who oppose hate. For instance, they accuse anti-racist pagans and polytheists of being “contaminated” by Judeo-Christian teachings on sin and morality. White nationalists justify their beliefs about racial purity with pseudo-science, and subscribe to “alternative facts” about history. They reject any suggestion that their gods call people who aren’t white to worship them, and say such people are “delusional.” They certainly don’t study the Delphic Maxims, the Laws of Ma'at, or the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius - and if they did, they would only disparage these great moral and ethical teachings as “slave morality”. You’re right, Anon - they are like any other terrorists in the world right now, seeking to spread their hateful views through intimidation and violence.
Today, we are challenged by prejudice from mainstream religions, assaults by atheists, and attempts by white supremacists to appropriate our gods to promote their hate-filled messages. Our response must be to maintain our focus on our gods and our community. There is no reason for any one person to shoulder the responsibility to resist hate all alone. Let us respect and assist other pagans and polytheists of good will, because we are allies in this conflict. Let us remember to take care of our physical and spiritual selves, so we have strength for the long haul. And let us worship and share our love for our gods, because they’ve been through worse than this, and persisted through the centuries. The gods are our source of strength and solace in difficult times and situations, and they take pride in the diverse communities we create and maintain.
May our conduct always find favor with our gods, and may our communities be blessed!