Wanderings of a Taoist Viking

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Location: Beaumont, Texas

Texas nationalist, dog lover, gun nut, knife knut

Sunday, August 3, 2008


From when I started this blog, I've drifted a bit again, back toward being more Christian than I was Pagan, but not all the way to "burn the witches!" fundie. It's more like what I was before studying Asatru/Heathenry, but with more respect and appreciation for my ancestors. I almost think of it as "folk christianity", but then that leads into trying to define what that means, and that made me start pondering the whole "labels" thing as ways of defining and excluding groups and subgroups. I considered the label of "folk christianity" as a way of including the ancestor-acknowledgment and still recognizing that my most recent ancestors (oh, for about the last 1000 years!) were themselves Christian. Plus, I'm not much for denominational worship (gave up on church-going a few years back, tired of the near-constant "we need more money" pleas), and I can read the Bible just as good as any preacher (and the time spent at the local Wesley Foundation debating theological points gave me the background I think comparable to any barely-passed minister).

The whole thing with labels being artificially limiting is probably why I put "no preference" on my dogtags. For example, if I say I'm Protestant, that automatically rules out being Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, or any other world religion. If I say I was raised Methodist, one might assume that I would be unfamiliar with Calvinist doctrine and Wiccan ceremony. If I'm A, then that excludes being B, and I'm tired of that yes/no, black/white polarity of religious grouping. As much as we joked about a friend and his "pagan" sermon where he claimed to see God in the trees and in the rivers, I think seeing the Creator in the Created makes us more aware of our own part, of being with Nature, not apart from it. Too many times we look at someone who is part of a certain religious group, and they are doing something stereotypically against that religion's precepts, so we say "oh, look, they're being a hypocrite" when by my reckoning, no, they're just being a normal human, doing what they want as a individual, instead of obeying every little rule that someone else made oh-so-long ago. Historically, Christianity was a splinter group of Judaism, but that doesn't stop us from slamming back some pork ribs at a BBQ. (I think it was in one of Paul's letters that he told the new converts that they didn't need to do everything as the Jews did, as long as they kept certain principles, making it OK to eat some non-Kosher foods. It was more important to change corrupting behaviors (like whoring and lying) than to change diets.) Even that is an example of "we're not like those people" to show group differences.

I'm too tired of trying to define myself by what and who others are, I just said to myself, "fuck it, I'm gonna do what I feel is right for me, if somebody else don't like it, they ain't me anyway, fuck 'em!" I want to live by the "leave me the fuck alone" doctrine, where you don't bother me and I don't bother you. There's still certain standards for civil behavior, but I'm tired of the "because my god said so" as the reason for a rule's existence.

I think I've about rambled myself out, so I'll end here, while I can still compose a coherent sentence.

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