Paganism cannot be divorced from theism.

By The Veiled Witch:

Those who uphold the idea of pagan atheism should be viewed in askance. Paganism is defined as the belief in deities that are outside of the Abrahamic model and not part of other major established faith practices such as Buddhism or Hinduism. …

Paganism can not be divorced from theism in any of its many manifestations. Belief in deities is a defining characteristic of paganism. It is nonsensical to argue that one can be pagan and an atheist at the same time. The cognitive dissonance that comes from combining the two systems of thought renders application of this supposed belief system null. At best, you have someone who is an agnostic with heavy leanings towards humanistic belief systems. At worst, you have someone who is hostile to paganism in any of its manifestations. …

The pagan atheist community is actively working to undermine the defining traits of the pagan community whilst attempting to seek shelter in that larger community.

Yes!  When atheist Pagans or Pagan atheists or whathaveyou call themselves “Pagan” there are undermining the core meaning of Paganism.  It is an attack on us and everything we stand for.

“If evil though knowest, then proclaim it to all as evil, and make no friendship with foes.” — Havamal

Polytheists and Native Americans have something in common.

From Amanda:

You know, maybe a few weeks ago, I read some post of his about why he identifies as a Pagan. Something like “I use God-talk in my rituals” was what he said. It took a while for it to sink in why that phrase bothered me, but it suddenly dawned on me when I was reading about this local Native American Pow Wow coming up in my town. “Oh, so that’s what cultural appropriation feels like!”

I thought of that before I saw any posts from you or any other polytheists online, so I just want you to know that you’re not the only one who made that connection. I try to be nice and respectful of other cultures and try to avoid cultural appropriation, but being a white person, I always assumed I would never experience it myself and therefore could never fully understand what it’s like.

But I think this is as close as it might get for me. I take the gods seriously, and this Halstead fellow, as you say, doesn’t believe in the gods, he just uses them. He thinks speaking their names in ritual spices it up, but he doesn’t believe they actually exist or anything. It’s like people who slap sacred Native American symbols onto keychains and t-shirts because they think it looks nice, but they either have no idea what it means, or they don’t care if some people think it has a deeper meaning.

I guess one thing I can be grateful for is that hopefully that bit of insight will help me have more empathy towards indigenous people who complain about their cultures being appropriated. Now I might understand how that feels a little bit better than I did before.

This is what it is about!  We are an oppressed people.  Only Native Americans have only been oppressed for centuries.  Polytheists have been oppressed for millennia.  And you wonder why we’re angry?!

“If evil though knowest, then proclaim it to all as evil, and make no friendship with foes.” — Havamal

Without the Gods, nothing is sacred.

From Sarenth Odinsson:

In order to have a sense of what is holy, one must have ideas and concepts related to holiness.  In order for these ideas and concepts to be related to holiness, it must have roots in a religion, a theological framework, in which holiness as a concept is able to take root.  If one’s religious framework has no Gods, there is nothing to consecrate.  If there is no God or Goddess, no Holy Power to consecrate, then there is no holiness just as there is no profanity or things lacking in that consecration.

The very notion that an atheist can declare or recognize an image as holy is illogical on its face.  An atheist framework is one in which there is no God or Goddess, and thus, no sacred.  One may hold things reverently, that is, with deep respect, but without a religious framework that very concept that one may hold anything as holy has no basis.  An atheist claiming to hold something as holy is a person claiming something to which one has no right by either religious framework or the result of one’s own philosophy. …

Atheism cannot be invested in this understanding as it has no basis for holiness and the sacred, as atheism denies both on their face by its very outlook.  Atheism denies that Gods exist, and in so doing, denies the cosmology They are rooted within.  The notion of holiness within an atheist context, therefore, cannot exist.

This is just simple logic.  Only the gods are holy or sacred.  Atheists don’t believe in gods.  Atheists have no concept of sacredness or holiness.  Simple.  Logic.

“If evil though knowest, then proclaim it to all as evil, and make no friendship with foes.” — Havamal

Polytheists are under attack!

From Galina Krasskova:

Polytheisms are under attack worldwide. Daesh, for instance, has been quoted as saying that “Whenever we take control of a piece of land, we remove the symbols of polytheism and spread monotheism in it.” – an ISIL terrorist (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.” Symbols are obviously important and Daesh has made good on their word too, looting and destroying (as in reducing to rubble and dust) polytheist sacred sites. Within our own communities, a large majority of Pagans are not only diametrically opposed to polytheism, but I believe dedicated to its eradication (how else is one to interpret the constant breech of our traditions, the ongoing attempts to co-opt our religious terminology and to water down our traditions until they are meaningless, and the insistence from so many quarters that atheism – a religious position in and of itself—is part of Paganism?).

Whether it is ISIS terrorists who appropriate the name of the Egyptian goddess or an atheist blogger who appropriates the images of an Egyptian goddess, the effect is the same.  It is an assault on the gods.  It is an assault on polytheism.

“If evil though knowest, then proclaim it to all as evil, and make no friendship with foes.” — Havamal

Atheist Pagan bloggers are no better than Islamic terrorists.

From Tess Dawson:

If it is not an “archaic” extremist militant group like Daesh trying to erase the gods of my tradition and my heart, and all of the gods of the lands of the Middle East, with propaganda, machine guns, jackhammers, or explosives, it’s “modern” and “rational” persons in the media or, as in this case, in mainstream Neopagan blogging, desecrating and trying to erase them through subtler, less obvious means. These latter are dirty and insidious means, which generally slip past modern audience’s emotions and critical thinking “radars” when the explosive damage of Daesh is more likely to be noticed and treated with the horror, the anger, and the acknowledgement the deities deserve, the ancestors deserve, and frankly we deserve, too. (I wonder sadly, though: is this notice because the explosions draw the attention of the “modern” West because of the horror done to the gods, or because of the statement of cowboy defiance against the West implicit in these acts?)

We all — beings from deities, to ancestors, to humans, to many other beings — we all deserve better. We deserve to see these situations made better as best we can manage for all involved. We can’t do that without seeing the truth of these assaults for what they are first; assaults not merely on remnant history or symbols but on the fabric of meaning and upon our gods themselves and the relationships held most sacred in this world. (And these matters certainly extend well beyond the deities of the Near and Middle East, but the scope of this writing specifically addresses these desecrations.)

There exist in our world many harms, and some are very obvious. Some are much more subtle harms, which can cause the same damage and erasure that Daesh can wreak, often without present notice at all. No bombs, no jackhammers, no machine guns aimed at the ancient artifacts which are images of the gods… “funny” manipulations and desecrations of an image accomplishes a similar goal of erasing the deities and desensitizing us to the wrongness in one blow.

You may think that a blogger can’t do as much harm as a terrorist.  But you’d be wrong.  Bloggers can be terrorists.  They don’t blow up temples.  But they blow up sacred images in the minds of people.  Whether they use real bombs or word bombs, they deserve the same treatment.

“If evil though knowest, then proclaim it to all as evil, and make no friendship with foes.” — Havamal