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WND Commentary
The heathens of Hardyville

By Claire Wolfe
© 1999 Claire Wolfe

With churches outnumbering bars five to three, Hardyville -- my little mid-nowhere town -- probably has to be considered a churchgoing place. From where I sit -- which is usually on my front porch, waving at folks as they head for the ward building or the Kingdom Hall -- it certainly looks that way.

Not all Hardyvillians find their religion in churches, though. Last Monday morning, a full day after the Baptists and the Methodists and the Catholics did their thing, a tiny band labored to the top of Hangem Hill before dawn and celebrated the rise of the sun at the solstice.

Yeah, we've got pagans in Hardyville.

Uh oh, controversial stuff. I can talk about monkeywrenching and rebellion on WorldNetDaily, but religion is trouble, trouble, trouble. Long about now there are three common reactions.

  1. All pagans are Satan-worshipping, globalist New Agers.
  2. I'm tired of hearing about anyone's religion. What a waste.
  3. Pagans in Hardyville, eh? Tell me more.

1. All pagans are Satan-worshipping, globalist New Agers.

If pagans are evil, then you'd be wise to follow Sun Tzu's winning advice: Know your enemy. Learn in detail what they think, do and value so you'll be able to fight them most effectively. Of course, when you investigate, it could turn out that -- while you might never accept them as your best friends -- they're not all your enemy, either.

2. I'm tired of hearing about anyone's religion. What a waste.

Understandable. Thanks for reading to this point, and I hope I'll have something more to your taste if you come back next Thursday. You can click here to return to WorldNetDaily's front page. (This is, however, not only about religion...)

3. Pagans in Hardyville, eh? Tell me more!

Glad you asked. Who went up there on Hangem Hill? You might be surprised to learn.

Meet Julie Cochrane, WorldNetDaily reader. Julie's a computer programmer and rebel spirit. She's written some sharp (and funny) advice on how to protect your privacy by screwing up "Dr. Spook's" databases.

Julie's also a witch. She says, "The Wiccan Rede and the Threefold Law ["Everything you do comes back to you times three."], taken together, work out to be remarkably similar to the libertarian ethic of abjuring the initiation of force. As a result, Wicca and libertarianism tend to be pretty natural bedfellows. ...

"While Wiccans as a rule think it is improper to proselytize, most of us have a corresponding principle that when someone asks 'the right questions' we have a moral obligation to answer."

Then you're not part of a covert movement (as some writers have averred) to co-opt government schools, destroy children's moral grounding and impose a global New Age Order?

"Pagans? Plot? Impossible. Leading neo-pagans is so frequently compared to herding cats that I think I may be getting a hairball."

Do witches worship Satan?

"It's probably more proper to characterize Satanists as people with Christian beliefs who are rebelling. Margot Adler's book Drawing Down the Moon is an excellent resource for comparing and contrasting the different neo-pagan religions. Because confusing pagans with Satanists is a common enough mistake, Adler discusses Satanists and Satanism in her book (along with about a bazillion different neo-pagan religions)."

Meet Bob, another WorldNetDaily reader and a Second Amendment supporter.

He's a witch, too. Bob belongs to the most traditional arm of Wicca, the Gardnerians, founded by Gerald Gardner decades before the New Age movement began.

Do you guys worship Satan?

"We simply don't believe in any such deity or being. Never have."

What do you think of the idea of using government schools to influence children toward globalist values?

"Well, frankly, pagans and witches doubt and question authority. Would government schools teach that to our kids? LOL!"

Well, what do you believe?

"I believe there is one power behind all things. Reverence for all nature, belief in the existence of Goddess and God; belief in a Power which unifies visible and invisible forces, and the use of the Threefold Law."

Finally, meet Stephen McNallen. Also a WorldNetDaily reader. But not a witch. Steve is an Asatruar -- founder of the Asatru Folk Assembly.

A former Army Ranger who's worked on his own with freedom-fighting groups in Burma and Tibet, Steve is a follower of hard-fighting Norse gods -- gods that were also found among the ancient Saxons and Germanic tribes. He speaks in hard -- and freedom-fighting -- terms.

Are all pagans part of the New Age, anyway? I don't consider Asatru ... as New Age at all. I am a committed anti-globalist and I hate the saccharine, white-light wimpery that pervades much New Age material.

New Age, Aquarian philosophy and classical Christianity share common ground in the sense of believing that the whole human race can and should be fitted into one belief system. This is diametrically opposed to native/indigenous/ancestral ("pagan") religions, which identify their religion with their tribe or nation. ...

Asatruars don't want to rule the world ... and we sure as hell don't plan on being ruled, either.

In keeping with his intention not to be ruled by any agents of force, Steve considers bearing arms both a right and a rite. Uninfringeable and sacred.

Satan worship? "It makes as much sense as me accusing [WND writer] Kaye Corbett of being an agent of Marduk -- to which he would reply, quite reasonably, that he doesn't believe in Marduk."

Asatruar are folks no tyrant would want to mess with:

Asatru places high value on human freedom and on individuality. This applies both in worldly and in spiritual matters -- we honor our deities, but do not grovel before them. To us, the Gods and Goddesses are models, inspirations, friends; but never are they our masters, or we their slaves. We do not bow before them when we call on them, nor do we surrender our human sovereignty to them. We do not beg from them, sacrificing freedom for a handout.

They are, however, folks many Christian freedom fighters might recognize:

The family is one of the pillars of Asatru. Our people have always been devoted to their family, clan, and tribe. Far from being outmoded, these organic social forms are more important than ever in today's rootless world. This is not mere sentiment; it is a guarantee of liberty. Where the family and its natural extensions are functioning properly, the power of competing entities, such as the State, will be limited. Where they are non-existent or crippled, all power gravitates to the State by default, and freedom dies.

We believe in the worth and effectiveness of human action. By heroic deeds you can take your life in your hands and be the master of your soul. You are not the pawn of historical forces, condemned to whine about being born into "a world you never made." You can make your own luck!

Courage is one of our more prominent values -- the courage to face an enemy in battle, to risk all to do what is right, and to be uncompromising with ourselves. Freedom, family, and tribe would disappear without courage; only the brave can meet their responsibilities to kin ... and to themselves.

All these values are under assault today. Intrusive governments, transnational corporations, and religious slavemasters would pull down the free ways of our ancestors -- which, Thomas Jefferson wrote, predated Christianity -- and replace them with a combination of the sheep flock and the anthill; our only function would be to produce, consume, and obey. But it doesn't have to be that way.

It doesn't.

Wiccans, Asatruars, and thousands of unaligned neo-pagans -- love 'em, ignore 'em or hate 'em. It's up to you, of course. But before any outraged Christians gather fuel to burn these folks at the philosophical stake, you might stop to think about how small the freedom movement is, and about what passionate freedom lovers these people are.

There are some real global control freaks out there, working to commit every freedom-killing evil. Against their drive for worldwide submission, we need every friend we can get. Me, I remain a skeptic about religions. But I'll joyfully take these and my precious Christian companions-in-arms.

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