Thursday, May 13, 2010

To A Warrior, There Is No Status Quo

To a warrior, there is no status quo. There are no conditions that cannot be challenged. There are no situations that oppress the human spirit that cannot be overturned, with enough work, with enough dedication, with enough fight.

We do not fight in order to fight. We fight because we have seen comrades, and know of ancestors, who have had their backs broken by conditions which destroy them. We fight because we have seen what certain kinds of conditions will do to a man and his dignity. We fight because a slavish way of life produces slaves who are less than human. And we say that not because we hold some social darwinish superiority, but because our human heart is still alive enough to see what happens to people when they lose their freedom.

There is nothing they can give you that will compensate you for the loss of your freedom. The citizens of the empire live in great luxury, luxury produced at the hands of slaves. That luxury will not compensate you for the loss of your soul. The stable home, bought by you under property arrangements that never make the land truly your own, where it is ever subject to tribute to feed the empire's armies, it will not compensate you for the loss of your freedom and your soul. There is no sexual arrangement of pleasure that will compensate you for the loss of your soul. Gold will never make good on freedom lost. And freedom matters. Because its presence or absence determines the kind of werman or woman you will become.

Look around. Rome struggles with any remaining Teutonic values of tribe and land and freedom. The indigenous and the imperial are locked in terrific struggles, with the dominant powers in the ascendant.

You do not have to accept this.

This is not in tune with the ur-law.

This is not supposed to be and this does not have to be.

If you can find comrades, you can fight.

And even alone, you can raise your fist in the air and resist. Defiance is life! And if you are a real heathen, you have Gods who celebrate you in your defiance.

Do you think the Gods did not have to struggle to make this world? Do you think they did not have to struggle and fight again and again to challenge that which tried to gain a foothold in this world that turned back the clock on the good they had so laboriously brought into it? Do you think it was easy for Frey and Freya locked in that mountain dungeon, under the rule of Beli and Gotvara, stripped of their freedom, the coming springtime stolen from them year after year after year? Not knowing whether the other Gods were even trying anymore to rescue them? Do you think even after they got out, it was easy to regain their composure and their fullness? Do you now understand why Frey vowed that he would always "release the captives" whereever he might find them? That role of liberator was founded upon profound struggle, and understanding of what it is like to lose one's dignity when one is made a slave, whether that is in subjection to addiction, to tyrannical authority, to various forms of captivity, or all of the above. Freedom matters.

John Dominic Crossan has a wonderful passage in one of his books where he talks about what the Roman God Jupiter had become within the context of Empire, what his invocation truly meant, and what the God Yahweh signified at that time, and he resists their identification, on the basis that they had come to mean very, very different things. Crossan, as a Christian, is of course unfair to his pagan opponents, as most are, for truly Jupiter did not always represent the will of the Empire, and more importantly, where he was made to do so, this did not truly represent his history of worship within the Latinate tribes. (And Christians, who turned their Prince of Peace into an Inquisition-loving, Crusades-bearing, Imperialist slaughterer have no foot to stand upon, for they should know better than most how corrupted religious practice can twist how people can experience a God, and that that has everything to do with the corruption, and nothing essential to do with the nature of that God.) Nevertheless, Jupiter was invoked in the law-courts where the empire with a stroke of the gavel took away rights of those they had colonized, and Yahweh was being invoked as a God of the Oppressed, and for whatever value it may factually have (and people will be arguing over this for some time), the rubric itself, of seeing that it makes a difference which God (conception)s you call upon, stands as significant, particularly when we are discussing Teutonic Gods.

I have very little in common with folkish ideology here. I didn't come to these Gods simply because they were the "Gods of my ancestors". Hell no. If I had discovered that the Gods of my ancestors were nidings who wished a slavish existence for people, I would have discarded them easily and immediately into the wastebin of history, ancestors be damned for slaves, and these Gods, these Gods would have approved and patted me on the back! And in fact, if you think about it, I did, because the Gods of our immediate ancestors, many of us, that is, were Christian Gods, and we rejected them as slavish. So if the Gods that preceded these slavish conceptions were just as slavish, they would just as easily have gone into the waste-bin, and I would have gravitated towards these Gods, or conceptions very similar to them, wherever I could find them, regardless of the genetic coincidence of those conceptions.

For I will not follow slavish Gods. I will not follow Gods who would have me be a slave. I will not follow Gods who would wish less than the freedom that makes for dignified, human existence. I will not follow Gods who do not wish us to fight against degraded, corrupting conditions that rot and destroy a man's soul.

And for the record, it is the slavishness in Christianity which I repudiate and hate. I do not hate its call for restoration of Golden Age values, and mercy, and love, because those are -- make no mistake here or we are not comrades -- the values of my tradition, too. But without freedom, all of these good and wonderful things turn to shit. I want to say these things, and make this clear, because there are people who hate Christianity because it talks about love, and to these people, I say, Go back to Jotunheim, troll. There are people who hate Christianity because it envisions restoration of Golden Age values, and to these people, I say, You are not my friends. There are people who hate Christianity because all they can imagine is a limited, grim existence full of cruelty and harshness, where only the most dominant can survive, and to these people, I say, get a life. Seriously. What has such to do with Gods of great celebration, victory, honor, and freedom?

To a warrior, there is no status quo. Whatever degrades the human spirit not only can, but ought to be, fought. And these are Gods who egg you on to do so.


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