I get fascinating email

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Here’s a couple of emails I received recently, both from the same eddress:

i find your attempt to christianize paganism laughable. the first time i heard your name i knew you were one of these blasphemous hippie idiots trying to destroy paganism and turn it into some pacifist sterile PC bullshit. and i saw a video of you wearing the star of david. thats why i serve morrigan. there is no way you can soften her, and turn her into the joke that you have turned the rest of the old gods into. i also think it’s funny how you promote letting n***ers and f***ots in and then call people like me, who’s ancestors worshipped these gods “fake”. i always like to listen to people like you when i need a laugh. and you jews are really arrogant nowdays. you dont even try to hide what you are doing.

i find it interesting how you take up for your filthy jew ancestors, claiming to be a pagan. ANY pagan who knows history should hate jews. it was the jews who bribed constantine to enforce christianity, and thats why rome got it’s ass kicked. and here you are trying to do the same thing. like i said, it’s obvious wether you try to deny it or not. you’re just another filthy judeo-pig and nobody with half a brain would give you a second thought.

This is just so wrong, on so many levels.

1) The family name is German-Wendish. A lot of Jews came to the USA from parts of Europe with Wendish names, but so did a lot of Lutherans, such as my great-great-etc.-grandfather, Adam Bonnawitz in 1749. My direct father was Presbyterian, my mother Roman Catholic. (I could post a scan of my baptismal and confirmation certificates, but the writer, like the crazed Obama-phobes, would probably insist that they were forged.)

2) As for ethnicity, I have about a dozen different ancestries, mostly Celtic and Germanic, plus some Native American. To the best of our geneological research, I don’t have a single Jewish ancestor — not that I would care much if I did. I probably have more “aryan” ancestry than the writer has, and I don’t care about that either.

3) I’ve never worn a Star of David in my life. I frequently wear a pentacle, which ignorant fools who can’t count often mistake for one.

4) Since I’m not Jewish by either tribal ancestry or religious ancestry, the anti-Semitic raving against me is entirely off-target, not to mention nonsensical and historically ignorant. The early Christians made a concerted effort to infiltrate and subvert the Roman Empire. They started killing Jews, along with the Paleopagans, as soon as they had the power to do so.

5) Creating Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship as a public Pagan “church” does not “Christianize” Paganism, except to those who equate all organized religions with Christianity. It just makes Paganism more accessible to those who need it.

6) As for the Morrigan, I’ve been a worshiper of Her for forty years and even wrote a popular hymn to Her that I use in ritual. I think She would find idiots like the writer far more objectionable than myself.

7) Of course, I “let” African-Americans join ADF. Most of them have more Irish ancestry than I have. Most Irish-Americans whose families have been here for more than a few generations have some black ancestry (and vice versa), because freed slaves and indentured Irish servants frequently married. I don’t have any AA ancestry that I know of. I might through the French Canadian side of the family, but it wouldn’t bother me if I did.

8) We have a lot of GLBTQIZ members in ADF because we’re not using the Wiccan yin-and-yang energies to generate power for our rituals. So gender and orientation are irrelevant to participation in ADF, as they should be in all religions.

9) No, we don’t hide what we’re doing, either in ADF or in my career as a whole. We’re creating Neopagan movements for people who want to live and pray in the 21st century, not the 17th. We actively discourage racists, homophobes, anti-Semites and other ignorant bigots from joining us. So I’m not at all upset that the writer doesn’t want any part of what we’re doing, and that makes me very happy.

I am an old hippie and my politics are extremely liberal. That doesn’t mean everyone in ADF or the Neopagan movement as a whole shares those characteristics, though I suspect the vast majority do. This is yet another area of life where Oberon’s Principle of Non-Choice prevails: “If you don’t like it, you can’t have any!”

I thought about posting this jerk’s eddress in this blog, but decided against it. Losers like him thrive on attention and wilt when properly ignored. Feel free to discuss him in your comments, however.

About Isaac Bonewits

World famous (or is that notorious) Druid/Wiccan/Heathen/Santarian author, speaker, pundit, etc. Google me to see what I've been doing with my life and what my friends and enemies think about me.
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9 Responses to I get fascinating email

  1. Hmmm… I think I got a letter from this same guy on Wednesday. I don’t know; the spelling errors, syntax, and general eau de douche bag was much worse. Either way, you aren’t alone ;)

  2. sari0009 says:

    Eh. The world is full enough of purposeful ignorance, a most common “bad faith decision.”

    As for race, there is only one race, the human race (fuzzy sets and all).

    My mother was brought up in Nazi Germany and was taught the oddest bull roar about race as if it were fact. It didn’t jive with what I observed so I looked into the concept of race, starting with family lineage. It turned out that our supposedly all white ancestry involved some Native American and quite possibly (some of my relatives, from my mother’s side!, look Asiatic) some Mongolian from the Estonian branch of the family tree. I’d have to cough up some money to prove it though but why do it?

    With some more digging, I saw the maps of human migration and other related information.

    From studies in history, languages, and archaeology, I gathered that all of our human ancestors were constantly traveling, trading, invading, and mixing socially and genetically.

    The best we’ve got are fuzzy sets and race turns out “to be more a social or mental construct than an objective biological fact.” http://premium1.xanga.com/sari0009/671514273/the-human-race-and-species-question/

    From working in pathology, I learned that humans have much more interesting variances than those associated with “race.”

    From learning more about neurodiversity, I learned more about some of those differences.

    The world is far more (!) fascinating than what seems so superficially “apparent.”

    Hate is the most boring thing around. They just try to make it interesting with false accusations, ignorance, really bad logic, violence…things that don’t make very good substitutes for compassion, personal excellence, character, imagination, curiosity and all that great stuff.

  3. I think I may have met that dimwit in person. The chest-pounding arrogance and bizarreness reads as oh-so-familiar.

  4. Bardic68 says:

    I’ve been having a bad couple of days; this actually made me laugh out loud for the first time in weeks. I know it’s really sad how ignorant people can be about life, let alone specific aspects of it, but I’ve learned to let them amuse me, rather than irritate me.

    Of course, the highly accurate reply and comments following really improve my mood for the RIGHT reasons. “Eau de douche bag” . . . I love that; it’s quite appropriate. Gods, I’m glad that most people aren’t that thick-witted, and I’m glad there’s enough folks like you (I’d say us, but I’m not feeling very wise today) wise enough to refute these arguments with patience and sense.

    On an end note; had that e-mail been from a non-pagan point of view, I think my mom could have written it. Sad.

  5. Noira says:

    I find it remarkably stupid when the most common insult you get from Pagan fundies is that you are either “christianizing” something or you are a Christian yourself. It’s only offensive, I guess, when you share their conspiracy worldview…?

    I think Isaac here is pretty antichristian, more than I would support, but obviously for some people the meaning behind the labels doesn’t make any sense, so they call him Jewish anyway :-)

  6. ibonewits says:

    I don’t consider myself anti-Christian, I consider myself anti-religious-lunatics. In that category I include fundamentalists of all religions (including Pagan ones), the hierarchies of the Roman and Orthodox churches, and anyone else who uses religion as a club to oppress people.

    When I talk about the history of Christianity’s impact on Pagans and magicians, I must necessarily report on its history of genocide against Paleopagan peoples and their religions, as well as the murders of hundreds of thousands of “heretics,” beginning in its very earliest years. There isn’t much available in English (the only language I read) about the Islamic genocides of Arabian and African Paleopagans, but I know it continues in Dafur and West Africa even today.

    Just because we know nice people who call themselves Christians, Muslims, or Jews, doesn’t mean we should ignore the behavior of their predecessors or co-religionists. Until liberals and moderates in those faith families silence their fanatics and terrorists, they can expect the sane peoples of the world to look at them with suspicion.

    For more on this, see my essay Anti-Christianity and Who Hates Who. The Pope and American Fundamentalists may agree that modern culture is becoming “Anti-Christian,” and that they are “the only minority it’s still safe to oppress,” but those are the thoughts and words of oppressors terrified that they have lost their once-tyrannical power. Good.

  7. sari0009 says:

    It seems to me that issues of race and faith-based identity have a tendency to get uglier faster than any multi-disciplined orthopraxy that emphasizes functional virtues and character.

    However, many paths of orthopraxy seem to occasionally get twisted by race and faith-based identity conditioning, usually by the those somehow handicapped by emotional issues and other factors; nature or nurture, I care not.

  8. coloradocelt says:

    Amazing what kind of kooks email can uncover. You gotta have a good laugh at this one! This matches one I received telling me that Ollamh Fodhla was actually the prophet Jeremiah, and that I should get it through my head that the Irish were actually the 13th tribe of Israel. He then went on to say that Mesa Verde and Chaco Canyon could never have been built by the Hopi and it was actually Druids from Ireland who engineered them!

    Ah, kooks. They do may life interesting, no?

  9. Ravenhull says:

    You know, over on a message board I frequent, we have a term called “pCm”, or psudo-Christian moron. As time has gone on, we’ve added pJm’s and pMm’s and such to that same category. Well, what we have here is a ‘pPm’ I do believe.

    Perhaps it is a good idea to remember that no matter what faith is practiced out there, no matter how benign in nature, some idiot is going to try and use it to justify their bigotted views. Maybe we all need to see such people in our own faiths to remind us that the p[instert]m’s of other faiths don’t represent them all.

    That said, thank goodness for freedom of speach and the power of the internet to let some people broadcast their views to a wider audience. It lets us know who the idiots are…

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