Monday, 27 February 2017

What is the Relationship Between Paganism and Violence?

In the last 100 years more people have died as a result of violent aggression than have in ALL preceding recorded history - mostly because of non-Pagan, religious land grab wars which victimize whole countries and involve total populations. Therefore, it is actually easier to write an article on Paganism and Peace, than Paganism and violence.
It is actually easier to write an article on Paganism and Peace
Define Violence
In a time where there was no police force - people had to be responsible for their own defense. All lives, black white and brindle, mattered and justice was a community agreement. Previous to the establishment of the first Christian empire in the 3rd century AD by Constantine, the majority of people did not live in urban buildup therefore the vast majority of people on the planet lived peaceful agrarian lives untouched by war and violence. Hence violent aggression is not more evident in past -in fact far less so than now.

Lots of evidence to suggest ancient societies fought battles between teams of elite volunteer soldiers only, which avoided involving the majority of an area's citizenry and left the majority of the males (women and children) free to produce the means of living and more young. These battles were by in large border skirmishes or tribute disputes. The ageing population lived to 70+ years, which is on par with us today. Ageing populations can only be maintained in peaceful societies where enough of the young exist to care for the elders.

Pagan = Pacifist
The word “Pagan”  was originally a Roman insult for a country dweller, (Like our term Red-Neck) This insult was used as a put down to discourage those who sort a loophole to get out of conscribed military service. Pagans   used their worship of many gods to avowing doing military service and killing people and there by killing people. Originally it was a term used to denote what we today might call a pacifist. To combat his trend, Rome did not outlaw the worship of indigenous god - it encouraged the ambitious to abandon their "ignorant Pagan” path and only keep the official "refined Roman" religious celebrations. The Pagan desire to avoid military service by their employing their polytheistic loop hole holy-days (holidays) may have been the Roman motivation for adopting the militarized styled Christian faith with only 2 major celebrations per year.

It is ironic that although Christian civilization brought about a widespread lessening of the value of life and the horrors of religious wars  that correlates well to the significantly shorter life expectancy.  From Roman times,  pro-pagan-da   has been utilised to to convince the masses that Pagans ignorant and violent. This propaganda  continued to be utilised very successfully by the post roman Christian theocracy. 

Human Sacrifice = A Biblical Practice - Not Pagan
Christian Religions have pushed the idea that Pagan societies practiced human sacrifice. Yet, no physical evidence exists of this and the rare cases that are sited historical propaganda are sited as exceptions and as shocking.

Yet the truth is that human sacrifice was fundamental to and especially prevalent in the Bible. The Old Testament is all overtly about human sacrifice - Jesus became god's ultimate human sacrifice in the New Testament who taught his disciples to sacrifice themselves like lambs to the slaughter. Therefore, the whole bible and all of its related religions are about human sacrifice. I have seen so may museum exhibits where they are far too quick to encourage the use of the word "sacrifice" in relation to Pagan practices rather than of more obvious alternatives. That's Academics for you I'm afraid , they each interpret evidence as they perceive it or according to the political agenda that will advance them through the academic ranks the fastest.  Yet, there are unsolved archaeological enigma surrounds the grizzly finds at excavations of the Neolithic Villages of Herxheim in Modern day Germany. Yet few consider the obvious alternative that these and and the Scandinavian the bog men are far more likely to disgraced executed criminals. I have seen so may museum exhibits where they are far too quick to encourage the use of the word "sacrifice" in stead of more obvious alternatives. Some uncovered funerary rites that involved cannibalism. Cannibalism did exist in many cultures more as a way to express dominance over enemies than because of a need for food. Even some Australian Aboriginal language groups were cannibalistic too, surprisingly, the matriarchal ones like the Wirradigree. A translation of the Maori battle chant the Haka reveals this over cannibalism too

Ka mate! Ka mate! Ka ora! Ka ora!

I die!      I die!       I live!   I live!
Ka mate! Ka mate! Ka ora! Ka ora!
I die!      I die!       I live!   I live!
Tenei te tangata puhuru huru
This is the hairy man
Nana nei i tiki mai
Who fetched the Sun
Whakawhiti te ra
And caused it to shine again
A upa … ne!          ka upa … ne!
One upward step! Another upward step!
A upane kaupane whiti te ra!
An upward step, another.. the Sun shines!!
Ha La Ha (tongue out)
I will eat you all up

Pagans Make Much Less War Compared to People of Abrahamic Faiths. 
Pagan warrior culture are fascinating. The ethics of the vast majority of earth based Pagan cultures world wide past and present, is defense of home hearth and children. Conquering, wars and aggression was not - Sure we have the Viking/Greek raids in their need for arable land - But violent conquest, domination and destruction of any other civilization was not their aim - They were stealing to feed their families - Many times the Greeks/And Vikings were paid off so they did not attack - And they were happy with it. It was not the love of violence for violence sake as is portrayed in the popular media. They were business men and they both had true democratic governments. 

However, the conquest and the inquisitions and the dominance sort by "the people of the book" is based upon violence and child sacrifice - The whole bible is a political document that devised domination and control of nations through the use of child sacrifices. The book of "Judges" in the bible, documents god's plan for systematic genocide in the name of the angry, jealous, hateful, mountain god Jehovah, who promised Abraham real-estate he didn't own for perpetual child sacrifices forever of (the first born of every man, beast and fowl under Abraham's care and his descendants into eternity- Jewish, Christian and Islam - The whole terrorism thing arises from this age old conflict as to who has the right to be the genuine sacrifice - and neither society is willing to reject that level of indoctrinated violence as unethical (and down right stupid)
The Buddhists(the Catholics of the east) practiced child sacrifice until the 20 century. Each new Tibetan Buddhist temple had a small casket buried under its corner foundation stone so that the spirit of the child would become the temple’s guardian spirit. It was the Tibetan Buddhists that backed/pushed Ghengis and Attila in their invasion into the west and Scandinavia - Ponder that even though Hitler had deeply held Pagan beliefs it was over ridden politically by the Catholic Church that pushed his empire's establishment claiming it to be the 'Reich of the 1000 year reign of Christ' - and the Tibetan Buddhists jumped on board with this lauding him as the prophesied Matraiya.

So whilst the basis of modern Christian society is fear of torture and bullying by the emissary of the angry, jealous mountain god - Pagan ethics taught individual empowerment, strength and noble right actions in defense and preservation of family and honor - even challenging, questioning defeating the Gods if they behaved in an overly violent or less than noble way 
Boudicca queen of the British Celtic Iceni tribe who led an uprising against the occupying forces of the Roman Empire in AD 60, who had killed her husband and raped her daughters

Please refer to Shé D'Montford's articles on Pagan Ethics and Pagan Orgins in 
"Who's Afraid of the Big Bag Witch"

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