Rhyd Was Right (About This)

Earlier in the year, there was a great amount of controversy, drama, and discussion over Gods&Radicals’ publisher Rhyd Wildermuth’s essay called “Confronting the New Right”.

The premise of this essay was that radical right-wing individuals were becoming more prominent in Paganism. Wildermuth called out several types and groups of Paganism as places where they might be found.

He received a great deal of criticism of this. People equated this to Senator Joseph McCarthy’s famous list of Communists during the Red Scare.

While I disagreed with his approach, I don’t think that it can be denied that he was right about the radical right and radical right ideas becoming more visible, more prominent, among Pagans and polytheists. We now see how the so-called ‘alt-right’ is enjoying a surge in popularity. Neo-Nazi and other white nationalist groups are becoming a part of our political conversation. Mainstream media is now talking about these assholes thanks to Trump’s victory and his selection of Steve Bannon for his Cabinet.

Now, this is a religion blog. It’s not a political blog. Though I have strong beliefs and feelings about politics and my own religion informs those beliefs and feelings, I’m not about to impose my politics upon others. However…

I believe in freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of expression but some political philosophies seek to disenfranchise certain elements of society.

If you consider yourself to be ‘right-wing’, that’s fine.

If you’re a conservative, I’m OK with that.

But if you sympathize with Nazis or the misogynistic anti-Semitic racist “alt-right” or other white supremacists, who seek to disenfranchise others from politics, I’m not OK with that. If you believe it’s OK for others to beat up LGBT people for being LGBT, I’m not OK with that.

Now I’m not antifa. I’m not in any place to beat anyone else up physically, nor would I. I’m a pacifist. I do not believe in violence. But we cannot allow for these viewpoints to be normalized. I ask that you speak up if people express viewpoints that seek to disenfranchise LGBT people or women or other minorities.

Especially if you see them in Pagan or polytheist groups. You don’t have to be on the Left to see that Nazism or similar ideas are not acceptable.

I’m not looking for ideological purity but seeking to politically disenfranchise black people or Hispanics or women or LGBT people is not OK, regardless of where you stand politically.

~ by R.M. McGrath on 11/23/2016.

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