Neo-Paganism is sweeping the First World — and that’s a bad thing *UPDATED*
Over the past few days, in connection with posts about Islam’s innately violent nature (which I see as being different from the fact that Europeans used violence in Christianity’s name), I’ve come up with a little mantra:
Europeans, who initially were not that far from paganism, brought the sword to Christianity. Christianity, which came from the Jews not the European pagans, did not bring the sword to Europe. Islam, by contrast, brings its own sword to the game.
I’ve also suggested that Europeans, by abandoning Christianity, are reverting to paganism. There’s that word again: “paganism.” It’s been sounding in my brain like a tocsin.
The more I look at Europe, the more I’m convinced that Europe has returned it its roots. It is, once again, a pagan continent. America is running in that direction too, but to the extent our continent was populated by post-pagan people, who destroyed or marginalized the indigenous pagans found here, we are traveling down that same path more slowly.
Before I start running away with this concept, I’d better start defining my terms. What exactly do I mean by “pagan”?
1. Pagans are not monotheists nor do they believe in an abstract god. Instead, pagans are earth worshippers, who see mystical forces behind natural processes and assign gods (plural) to explain those forces. The gods are not driven by rational or just behavior, but act like humans would if there were no constraints on them.
2. Pagans believe in human sacrifice to propitiate their arbitrary and capricious gods.
3. Pagans do not have a set, overarching moral system underpinning their religion and their lives. Ones acts are always done with the idea of satisfying this god or that, or of keeping oneself in good odor with the mob. Each gods’ demands are personal to that gods’ random, often cruel, desires. Good behavior, including sacrifices, satisfies these gods; bad behavior begets punishments.
4. Pagans use sexual excess, including pedophilia, homosexuality, and ritual prostitution, as a key concept in their worship. These ritual sexual behaviors are often tied to fertility rites, sacrifice, and ritual frenzies.
5. Pagans rely heavily on drugs and alcohol as part of their rituals, with the out-of-body experiences derived from those drugs serving to connect pagans to their gods or enhance prophetic abilities.
6. Pagans are willing to co-opt the gods that other, unrelated pagans worship. After all, what’s one more or less god in the pantheon of all-powerful, random actors? Pagans, however, are extremely resistant to two things: (1) abstract gods and (2) gods that impose an abstract code of moral behavior.
With that definition in mind, let me just run down some of today’s trends, culled from all over the First World, and presented in the same order as the pagan attributes I’ve described above:
1. Gaia worship replaces monotheism. Global warming has long since parted ways with science. It is an enclosed, non-falsifiable system such that every event, whether predicted or not (indeed, often the opposite of what was predicted), proves that global warming is real.
This faith is expressed in terms of Gaia worship, with the focus being on the harm we cause “mother earth.” To true Gaia-worshippers, the well-being of plants and animals must inevitably trump the well-being of humans, who are viewed as an invasive species on Gaia’s soil.
Gaia is entirely irrational (especially insofar as she refuses to follow the computer models), something that increases her worshippers’ devotion to her powers. Exhibit A for this is an article by British journalist David Rose detailing the hysterical, threatening attacks launched against him for daring to question the faith.
2. Human sacrifice is an inevitable byproduct of Gaia worship. In the name of halting climate change, Gaia worshippers are more than willing to sacrifice humans. Not all of them are as forthright Eric Pianka who advocates killing of 90% of the earth’s human population in order to save Gaia. All of the climate warmists, though, are totally okay with starving people to death all over the Third World by turning their food crop into biofuels.
When you think about it that way, we’re lucky that the Gaia worshippers only ask us First Worlders to live in cold houses, give up our cars, shlep salmonella sacks, shrink our houses, give them permission to search our garbage, use a single square of toilet paper, etc. It could be a whole lot worse.
[UPDATE: A friend reminded me that I forgot about abortion, which is often justified in terms of keeping the population down to protect the earth.
UPDATE II: And he sent a really cool link on the subject of child sacrifice.]
3. The death of an overarching moral system. In Europe, especially in England, traditional morality is dead. This is most obvious when it comes to women — whether one speaks of their relationship to themselves or to the culture at large.
I was speaking with Thomas Lifson the other day about the huge uptick in the number of young women who convert to Islam, especially in England. My take on the subject is that these women live in a broken culture that doesn’t serve them well.
Without standards, a generation of young women has no behavioral or sexual boundaries. As one could readily predict, they are brutally abused and demeaned by men. (It’s unfair that even when men behave as badly as women, it’s women who end up on the downside of the cultural collapse, but that’s how it is.) For these women, who live in a culture that encourages them to be self-destructive, binge-drinking sex objects, there’s something both comforting and uplifting about being told that, if you give up sex and drinking, and hide your face from the world, you will regain your self-respect.
For all its talk of “feminism,” there’s nothing in Western culture that offers this specific promise of true self-worth. Every woman in a “slut walk” must know, somewhere deep inside, that women with true self-respect don’t need to parade around in tawdry underwear screaming that people had better respect them or else. Likewise, the college girl hooking up with a different guy every single weekend can tell herself she’s liberated, but in the back of her mind (or maybe creeping towards the front) she just feels used. (I see this with one of my little Bookworm’s friends. Those girls who are more promiscuous have become increasingly depressed and self-loathing in the years that I’ve known them. They keep throwing themselves into more beds and, to their bewilderment, feel worse, not better, about themselves.)
There are other areas that show our collapsing moral system: The death of marriage, bringing with it the blight of children raised in increasing poverty and, in the black community especially, children who are more likely to commit crime. The endless creep of moral relativism also means that people are applauded for saying that those who kill in order to control and enslave are identical to those who fight to maximize individual freedom. No, they are not equal, and no, they never will be equal.
Pause here for the inevitable poster:
One doesn’t need to look to war to see the appalling effects of moral relativism. In a world in which morality is described by each person’s own desires, the 10 Commandments are effectively dead. There is nothing to stop theft, rape, adultery, and even murder. “If it feels good, do it” has become our defining anti-moral principle. The only constraints on our actions are tribal lines, rather than moral ones. It’s okay to rob from, rape, or murder the tribe around the corner; just don’t do it to your own tribe.
4. Sexual excess has become the hallmark of Western culture. Fay Voshell has written a compelling piece about the sexual excess that characterizes western culture. One doesn’t have to agree with her that this is a bad thing (although I do agree with her), but one cannot deny the hypersexualized world she describes.
In our post-modern, neo-pagan world, academics and elites around the world are working hard (and with increasing success) to normalize pedophilia; sex weeks sweep colleges; young people’s relationships don’t last for months or years, but for hours and, sometimes, even minutes; same-sex marriages have become a cultural battle cry, never mind that, unlike heterosexual marriages, they provide no societal benefit; incest is okay if you use birth control, and the distinctions between sexes are all in your mind.
Each of these issues signals the end of traditional Judeo-Christian sexuality. This has happened before, of course. One only has to read the Old Testament to know how the Jewish people (and, later, Christians) stood for a sexuality grounded in heterosexual marriage, and how it was always sex that the surrounding Baal worshippers used as a way to undermine that moral tradition.
5. The reverence given to drug abuse. Drinking has always been a part of Western culture, but it’s always been something that the moral arbiters have frowned upon — or, at least, since the Christian-era, they’ve frowned upon drinking to excess. In today’s Western world, though, the youth culture floats away on a sea of alcohol, blowing plumes of tobacco smoke and munching on mushrooms as they float by.
Colorado is proving instructive in this regard, and that’s not because everything’s been wonderful since the state legalized pot. The state, which used to be a stalwart, and successful, red state, with gun rights, drug laws, and traditional morals, has, under the tender care of the Leftist locusts, become exhibit number one in what happens when the pagans take charge: It’s anarchy all the way, and only the strongest, most brutal, most feral, and often most sadistic, thrive when anarchy is the norm.
6. The hostility to traditional gods. A very shocking recent poll said that the only nation the British hate more than Israel is North Korea. Think about that for a second.
North Korea is a vast gulag, complete with death camps, slave labor, systemic mass starvation, and tyrannical and increasingly insane rule. Israel is a multicultural, multi-religious, democratic society, that gives full civil rights to all people legally within its borders, regardless of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or country of national origin. It has the most moral army in the world, one that puts itself at extraordinary risk in order to prevent civilian casualities amongst it enemies. Free speech is a given. And yet the British hate it. They hate, hate, hate it!
What makes Israel different from all the other states the British are willing to love, whether theocratic Iran, still-communist China, prison-state Cuba, etc.? I can hear you saying “Well, duh! What makes it difference is that it’s a Jewish state, so the antisemities, ranging from Muslim to Leftist, hate it.”
True — but I have a more subtle theory about why all the First World antisemites hate the Jews and the Jewish state. This hatred goes beyond the fact that Marx, like Mohamed, told his followers to hate Jews. Marx and Mohamed must have had a reason for this. I think the reason is because Judaism is about justice and morality. You either love those concepts, believing that they create stable, successful societies that elevate man to his highest state of being, or you hate those concepts and, like all pagans who are made to feel bad because they’re very close still to the animals from which all humans come, you want to destroy the entire idea of ethics and justice.
Don’t forget that past pagans, whether Egyptian, Greek, Roman, or Assyrian, even as they happily borrowed each others gods, always tried to kill the Jews. Current pagans are behaving precisely the same way. Rather than confront their guilt at deviating from the moral high ground, they avert their eyes and seek to destroy those on the moral high ground who remind them of how far they’ve fallen.
To conclude: The above argument, based upon my definition of what constitutes a pagan and tying that definition to modern trends, explains why I believe that we are in a neo-pagan era. Now it’s up to you: Challenge my argument or, as I know you can, make it better!