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.