And, thus, my chagrin at the nature of discourse on politics and current events in 2015.
Pagans are sharing this article all over social media. Some say that he should be judged on his politics, not on his religious beliefs. Some are now arguing about whether or not he's a real pagan. Still others completely missed the part where this was about a Senatorial candidate and jumped right to "OMG U guyzz, stop being, like, sooooo ignorant about Paganism and majjyyyck already, ok? Like, stop oppressing us."
So, before we jump on the #PaganRage bandwagon and come to the defense of this person because he said this:
I did sacrifice a goat. I know that's probably a quibble in the mind of most Americans. I sacrificed an animal to the god of the wilderness...Yes, I drank the goat's blood.
I beg you, in the name of Sense and Research, don't forget to read the rest of the articles, in which he says stuff like this:
[on being investigated by the FBI, US Marshals, & other law enforcement for inciting militia action against the government on his YouTube channel] I guess it makes me feel flattered that they think I am a threat to the stability of the system. It makes me think one man can make a difference. You do not initiate force. If the government is waging war on citizens, we as citizens have the right to self-defense on government.
[from his own FAQ on his website] Certainly there are some positive aspects of democracy, generally conceived. For one, the likelihood of violent revolution is lessened – at least in Western countries. It is also true that many gifted statesmen have thrived in democratic government, including Pericles, Alexander Hamilton, and Abraham Lincoln – though the great men are always the least democratic. And yes, it is true that women and racial minorities have been allowed to participate in the processes of government to an extent previously denied categorically – though it cannot be said that this has ever made government “better.” We must ask ourselves: Do these meager benefits outweigh the chaos and disorder, the cultural degradation and political mediocrity, which are characteristic of democratic government?
Also, he admits that he publicly renounced his citizenship in 2013, but now that he wants to be a political candidate, he said:
Legally renouncing US citizenship is difficult. Section 349(a)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act stipulates that one must first travel to a US Embassy or Consulate located in a foreign country and seek an audience with a consular or diplomat. After that officer has judged you to be relinquishing citizenship voluntarily and with sound mind, you must sign an oath of renunciation with the officer as a witness. Merely stating in a letter composed on US soil that one renounces one’s citizenship has no legal weight whatsoever. More importantly, the renunciation in question was intended as a religious act and has no bearing on his candidacy for the Senate.
And, on his embracing of Neo-Nazis as supporters and friends:
It has been said that I associate with neo-Nazis and skinheads. You're goddamn right I do. I am a criminal defense lawyer, and I am proud of the work I have done for the American Front. Invictus wrote. Every Libertarian in America should be supporting them as victims of an overreaching Government, and for the record, I am proud to call them my friends.To be fair, in this last regard I don't mind a civil rights attorney arguing for the rights of hate speech, however distasteful. Slippery slope argument and all that. But, it's the embracing of these hate groups as friends that is incredibly troubling.
Pagans, witches, and all those that practice an alternative spirituality, please...please...stop immediately embracing anyone that even remotely smells of being Pagan. It makes us look uninformed and ignorant, and we're better than that. Also, just because they're Pagan doesn't mean someone is worth defending. (Remember when we all immediately jumped to defend Irving Davis before actually doing our research?)
Be careful out there in the social media sphere, Rioters. And, before getting your #PaganRage on, consider doing this:
Love and Lyte,