Paganism and Racism


Most Pagans and Heathens are not racist. Yet any Heathen knows that there is unfortunately a prominent number of individuals who use Paganism as a justification for racism. The usual logic for this thinking is that Pagan Gods typically are affiliated with a particular land and people: The Norse Gods being the Gods of the Scandinavian people and etc.

Many of the racists in the Pagan tradition also say that racial mixing is against the natural law, and “survival of the fittest” insinuates a superiority of certain races over another.

Yet even the concept of “race” is a misnomer. The technical definition of a species is anything that can mate within a group and produce children. If a white man and a black woman have sex, they will make children. If I have sex with a zebra, no such luck. Therefore, all humans are a members of the same race.

Are we all the same? No. All humans are different with a variety of skin colors, heights, weights and illnesses. Yet most humans have more genetic similarities with one another that various breeds of dogs and cats, since humans as a species are very young – only 40,000 years old.

Also, racism is not part of the natural law. Nature favors genetic diversity. The most obvious example is inbreeding. Those who inbreed create more genetic illnesses. Many of the famous royal families in history were rampant with insanity and Hemophiliacs because nobles liked to keep their blood line clean (more like clotted). Purebred animals tend to have weak health and many genetic diseases, while Mutts are much healthier pets.

In genetics, there are weak and strong genes. The wider the gene pool, the greater the availability of dominant genes. The more narrow the gene pool, the greater the prevalence of weak genes. Biologically, strong and dominant genes have a greater chance of being chosen than weak genes. If a tall person has sex with a short person, there is a greater likely-hood that their child will be tall than small. Gregor Mendel showed this effect in his experiments with peas . Yes yes, I know that humans don’t work like pea plants. Yes, human traits blend in intervals with light and dark skin creating caramel colors, and brown and blue eyes resulting in a few hazel eyed children. Yet all the same, nature has a tendency to pick the dominant genes over the recessive ones in children.

Also, in relation to Pagans, all cultures have a mix of influences from other cultures – unless they live underground and no one knows about them. The vikings, for example, were notorious explorers. Archaeologists have found remains of Indian statues in Norse homes. People tend to think of the Norse people as pillagers and raiders, but they were more prominently known back in the day for their aptitude in trading and exploring new places. Therefore, as a people, it can be said that their strengths came from their ability to explore and learn about other cultures – not to isolate themselves from the world.

Europeans in general are mutts, since there were several waves of invasions from various Asian cultures over time.

At the end of the day, race is just a concept – a false bracket- and should be left by the wayside in favor of incorporating the various strengths that all the cultures have to offer.

In the modern world, we use the system of time developed by the Babylonians, math developed by Arabs, gun powder and sails thought up by the Chinese, an alphabet created by the Romans, days of the week inspired by Norse Gods and the list could really go on forever.

Therefore, I believe the focus in Modern Paganism today should be on trying to learn from the indigenous traditions of all the world’s cultures. Some people call this “Cafeteria Paganism” and have mixed feelings about the practice. I’m not saying that you have to believe in everything. Rather, I’m saying that it is good to recognize the potential of what other cultures have to say. Around the world today, there is a sort of informal awakening taking place. In this awakening, people are becoming aware of the fact that our ancient ancestors had wisdom about living on the planet that could be helpful to us today.

27 responses

  1. *applause* Hail! Well written and well said! Heathenism needs more thinkers like you being vocal about these issues.

    March 25, 2012 at 5:02 am

  2. Marty Smith

    I disagree with your assessment of race. In biology, the term race is basically equivalent to a population (group of individuals living in an area) or a sub-species. So for example, humpack whales in the Pacific Ocean and humpback whales in the Atlantic Ocean are the same species, but different races. The rule of thumb is that you have different sub-species when two groups of animals could successfully interbreed, but for an extended period of time, just don’t. You see this in humans too: for most of human history Japanese and Malinese people, as one example, never interbred (and to a large extent, still don’t). Referring to them as them different races is completely accurate.

    April 21, 2012 at 5:23 am

    • Hrmm…that’s a good point that you make about the term of “race.” But it’s a tricky thing to apply to humans. How do you define biologically different characteristics? My sister has blue eyes and light hair while I have dark eyes and dark hair, does that make us racially different? Also, there are many situations in history where people from different geographic areas, with different biological characteristics have interbreed. In fact, that’s almost all of humanity. There is no such thing as a “pure” group of people. Only people with more genetic isolation than others. And even those genetically isolated people can trace their lineage to some group of people who invaded their area or migrated from elsewhere.

      April 22, 2012 at 9:14 pm

      • Marty Smith

        It’s tricky. What you’re seeing is that biology doesn’t fit into neat little boxes like people want it to. Imagine if, using you as a zero-point, we created a big spectrum of genetic similarity ranging from 0% (an identical twin) to 100% (no genetic similarity at all. On this spectrum, we plot a point for every organism in the world in terms of how similar their genome is to yours. Optimally, we would see distinct clusters with space on either side. There would be a cluster of organisms that are all about 99% similar to you, and these are humans. There would be a cluster at 97%, and these would be chimpanzees. There would be a cluster around 50%, this might be a certain type of tree. Unfortunately, this ideal doesn’t exist. When we define what a species is, we often don’t see a clear distinction and we choose one logic or another for drawing a line down the middle to say “these are one species, these are another.”

        Yes, we can all trace our linneages back to a single people, but we can also go further and trace them back to a single bacterium. So at some point- again, often arbitrary points, we draw lines. I won’t say that this hasn’t been used for nefarious purposes in human history, ancient or recent. But classifying populations of humans who tend to in-group and sexually select amongst themselves, and whom can be broadly generalized and distinguished from other such groups by a set of physical characteristics, is an entirely acceptable application of what a race is. Again, let me add the caveat that I’m speaking as a biologist, and we tend to use the term subspecies; race is simply the equivalent characteristic in sociology.

        The main argument against this is that modern communication and transportation are starting to erase those boundaries in the world. They do still exist- if I randomly choose a person from Gabon and a person from Sweden and ask you to tell me which is which, you’ll probably guess correctly. But the last few hundred years of history- chiefly in North America- have seen this trend start to disappear. It isn’t gone. But America is certainly a case study in it going.

        May 7, 2012 at 9:23 am

      • Yes you’re right, there are various different ways to look at race. Taxonomy provides ways to bracket populations so we can study evolution and adaptation, which can be helpful sometimes. In terms of studying genetic illness and historical cultures this principal can be helpful. Yet I do not see this Taxonomy as the ultimate truth, merely an organizing principal.

        The dangerous thing about the concept of “race” is that it often becomes a tacit determination of which group is privileged and which group is not. Which group lives in the ghettos and which group does not. It teaches people at a very young age “This man is my brother, but this man is not.”

        I believe it is important to talk about culture, heritage, nationality and ethnicity. But when you separate people into different racial groups, it makes people believe that some people are sub human – or some people are less than human. We’re all human.

        May 8, 2012 at 1:52 am

  3. I agree that we are all human, but I also agree that there needs to be a line some where, because if there were no lines we would have sex with our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers and any animal that will stand still long enough. lol.

    January 13, 2013 at 8:37 pm

  4. Popi Oso

    I’ve been reading at your posts and its been a pleasure to see a well developed and articulate, well developed voice expressing egalitarian humanist values within Celtic reconstruction/education. Stay true to your reach beyond the horizon.

    February 18, 2013 at 2:15 pm

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  6. Endovelicus

    Fantastic post! Very informative and concise.

    March 31, 2013 at 8:57 pm

  7. Thank you Endovelicus.

    April 1, 2013 at 10:05 am

  8. Aryan

    Illuminating and well-versed

    May 3, 2013 at 5:07 pm

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  11. There can never be a non racist pagan….

    February 22, 2014 at 2:47 pm

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  13. Omnia

    How are mutts superior to purebreeds?
    Are you saying that a dirty little scavenger mutt is superior to a German Shepard?
    Or that a Doberman is inferior to a little bit of everything?
    There is a reason why people prefer purebreeds over mongrels.

    Now sure, you can argue that “purebreeds” are actually two species combined via selective breeding, which actually is mixing, yet selective breeding is very different from breeding with everything that will give offsprings.
    You can see in the case of wolves and dogs how racism happens in nature too. They hate the shit out of each other, yet they can still breed. The children of these unorthodox pairings are half wolves, which are hated by wolves and feared by dogs.
    These half-wolves might seem like a superior version of both, but they actually have the quality of neither. They lack the strength of a wolf and the loyalty of a dog.

    If you are gonna make these analogies in the future you shouldn’t use nature at all.
    Nature is raw and cruel and has nothing to do with whatever neo-hippies that hide behind name pagan think of it.

    It is normal for people to hate each other, it is a natural defense mechanism to destroy anything that will oppose and endanger your own tribe.

    March 18, 2014 at 1:58 am

    • It’s an argument about genetics. The more diverse the gene pool, the less likely a child is to get two recessive traits.

      So you say nature isn’t diverse eh? What about the Amazonian Rainforest, the most diverse environment on the planet? In terms of farming, diverse fields are stronger than mono crops. Farming only one crop leads to famine, but farming multiple crops at the same time strengthens the soil and is insurance against famine.

      Also the strength of the mutt depends upon its environment and yes its breeding. Scientists have found a new type of bear called a Grolar Bear. It has both the traits of a grizzly and polar bear. Because of global warming, this Grolar Bear is more fit for its environment than its polar bear ancestor.

      In your argument you admit that some purebreds can be the result of mixed breeds – just ones that are carefully selected. So could we do the same with humans? Pick the smartest and most attractive in each group of people and try to get them to mate together?

      In your argument, you’re assuming that I’m advocating free fucking without self control. That is not what I’m advocating. I don’t believe in the free love nonsense. Nothing in life is without consequence.

      My argument is that diversity in genetics is strength against disease. This is scientific fact.

      March 18, 2014 at 9:50 am

      • Omnia

        ‘My argument is that diversity in genetics is strength against disease. This is scientific fact.”

        With this i agree, inbreeding should be prevented at any cost.
        What you refer to racism is more than racial intermixing (which is simply wrong on it’s own, whiteblack mixed children have higher percent of having genetic and skin diseases).

        Then again, if you really want to nobody can do anything about it. But your millennia of white/black/asian heritage is simply going to vanish just because of your generation.

        Racism today is tied with people’s countries swarming with immigrants who want to impose a foreign culture on their own.
        A country loses it’s national identity over time, it’s residents degenerate to western perception of freedom (which turns them into passive robots) and become the so called citizens of the world. These people have no identity and are tolerant to the point of Jesus Christ and him turning a cheek when struck, they also adopt foreign culture to try and find themselves in it (which can be observed in Americans wanting to be Irish on st. Patrick day and proceed to vomit everywhere).

        The bottom line is, racism is natural. Hate for the foreign, unknown and different is also natural. Diversity is a very nasty word, but when it comes to genetics even mixing is better than interbreeding. Tolerance is a horrible word used and abused constantly.
        You should be tolerant by default when you can live with different races and cultures, but if you don’t want to participate you’re suddenly labeled as non tolerant.

        I am glad that i am white, and i am glad to come from a country that still holds true to it’s values. I respect other cultures except for the select few, and i respect other subraces of men as long as they don’t impose on my own culture.

        Sharia Law dictates that pagans are unfit for conversion and should be executed, this refers mostly to Hindu religion since it’s the biggest practicing religion in the world, but can easily be applied to any other pagans. Be careful with your tolerance.

        March 21, 2014 at 1:16 am

      • Youfálan

        Although it is rational to say that possessing a diverse set of elements is more advantageous than possessing but one, it isn’t right to think that when it comes to a person’s racial composition, a person who is mixed will inherent all the qualities of the races involved unabated and pure.

        For example, Africans on average tend to possess speed in comparison to other racial groups while the European and/or Asian gene pools tend to favor strength.
        So people of African descent are faster while Eurasians are stronger.

        If a person is mixed between African and European genes it does not mean that he/she will be both very strong and very agile.
        She will instead be a little faster than the average European and a little stronger than the average African. BUT she will also be much slower than the average African and much weaker than the average European.
        You can confirm this line of thought just by looking at the person : physiognomically,she will neither have a fully broad African nose (evolved to breathe in more air while running from predators in extreme heat) nor a sharp/protruding European nose (evolved to filter and humidify the arid and cold air during the Ice Age).

        Now,even if you tell me that it’s worth it to water down whatever qualities the purebred parents had in order to receive qualities from purebred parents of another race, you can not tell me that mixing races is any good for the GLOBAL diversity of our planet.
        If anything,the greater the differences between peoples the more intense the diversity is.
        In a hyperbolic scenario where we would annihilate cultural differences and we mix all peoples with extremely different qualities as much as we can for a good number of generations,what kind of anthropical diversity would you find ?? Absolutely none! For at least a million years nature has been constructing the races and now we would ruin it just because …. it’s jolly? cute ? fun to do so?
        Racial diversity is a beautiful and natural thing.As a pagan,should you not be celebrating nature?

        (I’m not going to provide sources for the speed/strength claim; since it’s veracity is irrelevant let’s keep it just for the example’s sake.)

        March 21, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    • komrad_jabroni

      It’s actually well-known that mutts are superior. They are generally healthier and live longer than pure breed dogs. It’s called “hybrid vigour.” Look it up!

      Basically, they avoid all the inbreeding that occurs when falsely maintaining a so-called “pure” breed. There was no German Shepherd “breed” until the late 1800s, so really, there’s nothing “pure” about a “pure breed” German shepherd.

      And, contrary to your first point, I would MUCH rather have my “dirty little… mutt” anyday over some stupidly over-priced, sickly designer dog. I feel bad for the dogs falsely manufactured in such a way, actually. Yay, let’s give them a bunch of health problems like hip-dysplasia just so we can have a cool looking dog. Pffft…

      May 12, 2014 at 1:56 am

  14. “whiteblack mixed children have higher percent of having genetic and skin diseases.”

    Do you have scientific proof for your claim?

    I agree with putting some limits on immigration. Not necessarily for racial reasons, but for reasons of national safety and protection for the middle class. I think many of our nations leaders support nonstop immigration because they want a source of cheap labor to replace the middle class, and anyone who argues against this policy can easily be labeled a “racist.”

    I think immigration should be implemented according to a country’s needs. It should be a careful and selective process which prefers those willing to fit into the national culture and have skills to offer, rather than allowing anyone and everyone to show up.

    There needs to be a balance. Nonstop, mass immigration can be a bad thing, but no immigration can be bad too. We need a middle ground.

    March 21, 2014 at 9:34 am

    • Omnia

      I don’t know how this particular article is true, but give it a read.

      http://majorityrights.com/weblog/comments/the_health_consequences_of_race_mixing/

      Black Bear and Polar Bear are both Bear family, yet their species are different.
      But for some reason it’s wrong to scientifically label humans as different sub species, this also happens with race mixing when it comes to science. They are forcing this pseudo science that mixing is good because of the proven fact that interbreeding is defective to the genes, so they assume that the polar opposite is good.
      As in you saying that the middle ground needs to be found with migration, it’s the same with procreation.
      Don’t fuck your relatives, but also don’t fuck something that is so different from you. Find a middle ground. This is my opinion entirely.

      *hindu is the biggest practicing PAGAN religion(my previous comment)

      March 21, 2014 at 1:50 pm

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  16. Great discussion.

    You might be interested: http://foundations21stcentury.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/profiting-from-eugenics-the-case-of-shabazz-muhammad/

    And:

    http://foundations21stcentury.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/the-naked-ape-the-truth-about-eugenics/

    I believe in Natural Law, however this falls.

    Keep up the good work.

    August 12, 2014 at 9:07 pm

  17. Snue

    I encountered this really weird racist and transophobic pagan on a site *cough* deviantart *cough* that was a real nutter, I wish that person could see this. Sad thing was this person had tons of followers that seemed to believe in what the person sad.

    October 11, 2014 at 3:28 pm

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