The whole “cuck” phenomenon first came to prominence on the Alternative Right. As Rightstuff.biz writer Auschwitz Soccer Ref (sic) explains:
“Cuck” … is an irrational word that cannot be deconstructed with reasoning. Just as “racist” hits rightists hard because it attempts to psychopathologize the healthy preference for our own race, “cuck” is devastating to leftists because they are being described as the most humiliating kind of man possible, one who gets aroused by letting another man—or other men—have sex with his wife. Leftists and conservatives are not literally cuckolds, they are simply traitors. However, just like “racism” transcends political terminology like “fascist” and brings morality into the discussion, “cuck” transcends political terminology like “traitor” and brings sexuality and gender into the discussion, thus widening its implications. For years this kind of transcendent, weaponized term was missing from the right’s lexicon, but now it’s here, and that’s why “cuck” is so hurtful to the left and kosher conservatives.
As Polytheists, we believe in Gods – lots and lots of Gods. What’s more, we love our Gods. We have deep devotional relationships with our patron Deities: we shape our lives in accordance with Their demands and expectations. Even the Gods we do not personally love and serve we respect. We acknowledge They are greater than us because, well, they are Gods. For most of recorded history this was the default religious setting: it is still accepted as a given in large parts of the world.
In the West, alas, Polytheists are a small minority. Since before the Western Roman Empire fell, Christianity has been the religion of the realm (hence the name “Christendom” to describe Europe and distinguish it from the Ummah). The rise of the Caliphate and later the Ottoman Empire spread the arch-monotheist faith Islam throughout much of Africa and Asia: the Colonial Era saw crosses erected throughout the Americas. Then the Enlightenment saw the rise of a new Monotheism — Secularism — which privileged humanity and its instruments Reason and Science. (As is not uncommonly the case this new religion quickly split into two warring theoeconomic flavors, Capitalism and Communism). All these Monotheisms look askance upon Polytheism: if they don’t condemn it as blasphemy they mock it as primitive superstition.
As a result, Polytheists have often felt obligated to reassure readers they are not air-headed fluffy-bunnies play-acting a Harry Potter LARP; to stress that they are perfectly normal other than their strange religious beliefs; to laugh along when their faith makes them the butt of “jokes.” This has not created new opportunities for mutual understanding. It has not gained us the respect of those who do not share our beliefs — and why would it? If you don’t honor your beliefs, there is no reason anyone else should.
We at Polytheism Uncucked are not ashamed of our Gods. We will declare Their presence and sing Their praises no matter how unfashionable that might be. We don’t think Them archetypes, symbols, euhemerized heroes, personified natural forces or anything other than the Wellsprings of Being. Yes, we’re aware that this is a minority view; yes, we know we could be wrong; no, we do not wish to convert or proselytize to anybody. But it’s our view and we’re sticking to it. You don’t have to agree with us, but we don’t have to agree with you either.
(If you’re an angry atheist getting to ready to type a “THERE ARE NO SKY FAIRIES!!!” response, stop for a moment. Think about your life after death — or your complete lack thereof. Now ask yourself “Do I want to spend my precious few moments above the ground screaming at random strangers like some street preacher trying to enlighten the sinners? Or should I go out and have fun while I still can?” You’re welcome).
Centuries before the witch hunts which fueled the much-beloved “Burning Times” myth, worshippers of the Old Gods were slaughtered en masse. Our sacred groves were burned and churches erected atop them. Our temples were wrecked so thoroughly that even the names of many of our Gods have been forgotten, never mind their sacred rituals. Today Polytheists in the Islamic world are subjected to violence and abuse on a daily basis: Polytheists elsewhere face continuing pressure from Christian missionaries to reject the faiths of their ancestors and become New People in Jesus.
Some people may be offended when we call this what it was and what it is — genocide. Some may fear that we are encouraging violence against Muslims or Christians. (We are not. If you read anything here and think otherwise read it again, only more slowly this time). We are not going to soft-pedal when we see real problems. If you find our words offensive, ask yourself what upsets you. Are you angry because we are so terribly, terribly wrong — or because we’re right?
(We are of course human and do make human errors. We’re happy to fix mistakes as soon as they are pointed out: we’re less worried about assuaging your butthurt).
We don’t hate anybody’s ancestors but we love our own. You should do the same. Your ancestors are worthy of veneration wherever they came from and don’t ever let anyone tell you differently. If loving our ancestors makes us racist, then racists we are and racists we all should be. The ancestors were not perfect — and indeed many Polytheists would argue that we are here in part to right ancestral misdeeds — but they are in our blood and sinew and to deny them is to deny ourselves.
And so here we are. A new publication is born and a new Polytheist voice is raised. What we write here may ring through the aeons or it may vanish with the next server upgrade. Until that time we shall speak to you with one voice and proclaim the Gods are Real, the Gods are Many, the Gods are Here.
12 thoughts on “So Why is our Polytheism Uncucked?”
“Your ancestors are worthy of veneration wherever they came from and don’t ever let anyone tell you differently.”
If only people would get over themselves and realize and understand that our ancestors come from all over the damn place, this wouldn’t be a problem. It only becomes a problem of racism when people start enacting exclusionary and discriminatory policies based on this idea, which they clearly do while blatantly turning a blind eye to their own ancestors that are not of the particular descent they wish to honor. i.e. ignoring the fact that the Vikings and their immediate predecessors were so well traveled and traded as far as the middle east and they intermarried with people wherever they went — including the middle east and, as recent genetic evidence in Iceland suggests, North America.
It really is too bad that human ego, ignorance, and fear result in behavior so abysmal and disrespectful to the ancestors and, I would assume, to the gods by extent. I wish people would get on board with the idea that wherever your ancestors are from they are worthy of veneration instead of using ancestor veneration as a smoke screen for racism, thus disrespecting the ancestors and making it harder for the rest of us to practice openly because they’ve essentially branded us with that bad name.
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There are very few universal taboos you can find throughout the many flavors of Polytheism. The biggest one I have noted is “Do Not Defile the Dead.” If everyone’s ancestors are worthy of veneration, then one should show everyone’s ancestors due respect. And saying “Group X is congenitally criminal/greedy/stupid/lazy/etc.” is unquestionably disrespectful to that group’s ancestral dead.
That being said, there is something to the contention that the religions of pre-Christian Europe were tribal faiths rather than world religions. There was never a move to bring Odin to the benighted masses or to encourage conquered peoples to accept Thor as their personal savior. And I’ve seen very little interest in Asatru or Heathenry among People of Color. The only African-American person I can think of offhand who is deeply involved in Heathenry is Patty “Oz Tech” Hardy, former head of the Temple of Set and one of the most intelligent people I have ever corresponded with. She was a high-ranking member of Stephen Flowers’ organization, and I know they’ve had the “racist” and “Nazi” label slapped on them a few times. So I can’t help but wonder how much of this is a tempest in a teapot. I see a lot of outraged white folks screaming about racist Heathens. I’m not hearing a lot of complaints from PoCs claiming they tried to get involved in the AFA but were shut out.
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Not hearing them doesn’t mean they’re not there, or even that someone may have had their interest piqued but backed off before they got really dedicated because they got wind that they weren’t welcome because the concentration of melanin in their skin is too high. Not to mention that people generally tend to not make many real attempt to get involved with an organization who makes it so plainly obvious that they’re not to welcome your efforts of involvement (specifically as you cited, the AFA). Why waste the energy only to be met at best by passive aggressive dismissals or at worst verbal violence? I mean, unless they’re trolling of course. I’ve known a few trolls in my time would go that extra mile for the joke.
Even assuming that just because you haven’t heard people of color speaking up about these issues means they must not exist (or exist in such small numbers that they don’t matter?) doesn’t really change the fact that ancestor veneration has been and is being used as an excuse to enact exclusionary and discriminatory policies in certain groups and that those policies are pretty blatantly connected to race (usually alongside some heteronormative and gender-based things as well). Small numbers of people of color being affected by the discriminatory practices in some pagan groups or by the highly racialized propaganda those groups peddle isn’t an excuse to not call out such bullshit where it occurs, just like the historical fact that old pagan religions (Norse or otherwise) didn’t conquer the world with their religion and mostly kept to tribal religious practices isn’t an excuse to not call out bullshit in modern day paganism, which is not the same as the paganism of the days of yore by virtue of existing in the modern world.
In any case, the roots of Norse paganism still were not exclusionary in nature, regardless of whether or not priests of Thor went out proselytizing. The history of Scandinavia doesn’t support the exclusionary nonsense (so much raiding, yes, but also so much trading and intermarrying across nationalities) nor does the genetics. The genetics bit being why I honed in on “your ancestors are worthy of veneration wherever they come from” bit of the blog post: if pagans of any bent are going to practice ancestor veneration, then pushing racist policies in their organizations is either incredibly counter-intuitive or just plain ignorant, or very probably some mixture of those things. If they truly are descended from Vikings, there’s a reasonably good chance they have dark-skinned ancestors (again: all that intermarrying and interbreeding) not to mention the whole fuckton of archeological and genetic evidence that supports the Out of Africa Theory. In short: ancestor veneration seems like a very silly thing to do if a person just patently refuses to acknowledge the diversity of their ancestors. If they called it “selective veneration” I might be less prone to highlight the ridiculousness of their stance based on the historical and genetic facts because at least then they’re being honest about it. I’d still call it bullshit, though.
In summary, what I mostly aim to get at in this discussion generally: can we please leave the practice of mis-using our religious beliefs and practices to justify our bigotry instead of actually holding ourselves to the standards of our religious values to the televangelists?
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I’m sorry, I always like to cite sources but I am very, very tired and forgot.
This book talks about the relationship between the Norse and the Saami, which included trading, raiding, and interbreeding long before the age of the Vikings: https://books.google.com/books?id=q_7CAwAAQBAJ&lpg=PR21&ots=38g6Fiygvb&dq=norse%20and%20saami%20interbreeding&pg=PR21#v=onepage&q=norse%20and%20saami%20interbreeding&f=false (wow that is a bullshit lookin link but what’re you gonna do? Google books, man)
This one touches on genetic evidence for at minimum bringing folks back from the middle east from their trading escapades and breeding with them: blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2011/05/the-genetic-complexity-of-prehistoric-sweden/#.V7u7YzWrSec
This one speaks specifically to Iceland, where there is genetic evidence that the Vikings returned to Iceland with a Native American lady who went on to have little half-Viking half-Native babies (I bet they were adorable) http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/11/101123-native-american-indian-vikings-iceland-genetic-dna-science-europe/
As an after thought and a post-script, it seems that tribalism was less about excluding people from the tribe and more about maintaining a close-knit community. Excluding people from the tribe would have weakened the genetics so intensely that we probably wouldn’t have made it to the Viking age cuz incest. Separate tribes intermarried all the time for reasons of alliances and whatnot, and the same was probably true where the Saami are concerned, considering their proximity. Marriages may well have come about because of trading deals. The Vikings never would have been the trading powerhouse they were if they were exclusionary, and let’s be real: the Vikings do not the credit they are owed for their trading prowess.
Not to mention, long before the advent of the Vikings there were much smaller, much closer-knitted, family based nomadic tribes and those folks bred with Neanderthals ( http://phys.org/news/2016-02-neanderthal-dna-subtle-significant-impact.html ). Tribalism is a real thing, but not really a thing that excuses exclusionary practices given how it actually worked back in the day.
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Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
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Also, no one on the left is “devastated” by being called “cuck”. One has to still be beholden to notions of women as property and women as inferiors first, and then one has to feel threatened or ashamed of infidelity. Last time anyone checked, the left was the political home of the sexual revolution, feminism, no-fault divorce laws, and equal pay laws. And getting cuckolded is a betrayal, not a moral failing, out of the hands of the poor bastard.
Racists, on the other hand, do and say racist things. It hurts as an insult because there’s actual harm implied. There’s a long nasty history of racism everywhere, and even the most anodyne rules and decrees often have a hidden animus to them. There are entire organizations dedicated to racist ideals (and boy howdy do they love the word “cuck”), of both political and religious stripes, while none are dedicated to getting cheated on. It takes a willful level of cluelessness to think “cuck” and “racist” are equally insulting or even applicable.
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“Not hearing them doesn’t mean they’re not there, or even that someone may have had their interest piqued but backed off before they got really dedicated because they got wind that they weren’t welcome because the concentration of melanin in their skin is too high.”
I don’t pretend to be up on the latest SJW slang (mostly because I can’t be bothered), but isn’t this pretty much “white knighting?” It sounds like a white person saying they’ll speak on behalf of all those outraged colored people because they just can’t or won’t do so on their own behalf.
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I keep asking for one example of a Person of Color who is complaining about the AFA’s “ethnic religion of northern Europe” statement. So far nobody has been able to provide me with that example. It would certainly make their case a whole lot more convincing.
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I have some issues with what seem to be a couple of underlying assumptions in this piece.
“Cuck” is effective only in revealing the insecurities, interaction style, and politics of the person wielding it. I have no need to “uncuck” myself – or my faith – because the insult’s invalid to begin with, even if it’s being used as a metaphor for weakness or the inability to defend oneself or who/what one holds most dear.
As polytheists, we already demonstrate our ability to stand up for our beliefs and our ways of relating to the Gods. If people don’t see the Gods the way we do, *that’s not an insult*. There’s no reason in the world for someone who hasn’t experienced the Gods as we have to agree with us or accept our world view as the correct one. Mutual respect is what’s needed, far more than agreement on belief.
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All gods, except Hephaestius it seems. You can’t claim to honour all gods when calling some of them insults.
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