In a previous blog entry, I discussed the importance of checking groups online before you join to make sure they are not actually bigoted or connected to bigoted groups and hate groups. But, now it is time to get even more personal, and follow that same idea in our own personal pages and friendships. In that previous blog, I described the reasons we should be careful about what groups we join online, and what problems joining the wrong groups could cause, as follows: “One, we let them think we agree, and that they will not be fought, and that they are winning. Secondly, we may inadvertently make other people think that we agree with those types and cause them to think we are bad too, or that these guys are ok if even WE agree with them. Or, even worse, someone who is part of a targeted group may not trust us as allies or as safe people to reach out to if they are ever in trouble.” ..Now, if we are to be careful about what the general public sees us letting slide by associating with certain online groups, why would we not want to be more careful about the people we choose to be on our personal pages, on friends lists, and in personal circles or actual friends? Do you really want that kind of hate in your circle? More importantly, do you want people to see that you not only tolerate it, but befriend it too? Imagine how your friends who are the targets of that hate would feel seeing you be friends with someone who attacks them. Imagine how you would feel if one of your friends let their other friends attack a group you were a part of. We can not let it slide. And this applies to ALL forms of collective hate. Whether it be Anti-LGBTQ+, Racists, Xenophobia, Islamophobia, Anti-Lokeans, Anti-pagan, even Anti-christian, it’s all wrong. It does not matter what group or demographic is being attacked. Now for religious groups especially, we do not lump the whole religion in as bad and evil simply because of those who twisted it for their own purposes. None of them. Just as we have to tell people constantly that Heathens and Norse Pagans are not all white supremacist and a white only religon, and we have to tell people that Lokeans aren’t just fan girls or edge lords, we also don’t do other religions that way either. Call the false claimers what they are, fakes. Terrorists even at times. But do not call ALL of a particular religion evil. It hurts when people do it to us, so we should use that understanding to not do it to others. So when we see our friends and relatives and facebook friends, saying all these things, we do not sit quietly and allow it to continue. We speak up. If you see your friends saying bigotted statements, correct them. If they disagree, call them out on it. And if they don’t let up, or they do it again later, then just let them go. Cut them off. Because staying let’s them know that even when disagreeing, you won’t stop them, and you’ll “agree to disagree”. That is not a disagreement. That is a moral line that needs drawn. Yes, it can hurt to let go of a friend when you find out they weren’t as nice as you thought and they had terrible ideology. But won’t it feel worse if someone accuses YOU of being a bigot or supporting them by continuing to be friends with them?
Now, I know I usually tie in some spirituality and reference to the Lokean and Rokkatru path in these blogs. I just don’t feel I should have to on this one because it’s something that is basic human decency and the right thing to do no matter what path (if any) you follow. But, since I’ve been accused of being wrong and “gate-keeping” by saying that Loki would not agree with that hatred, I will. One, no god in all the pantheons actually condones racism, hate and bigotry. None. No religion teaches that. Not even the Abrahamic faiths we are used to hearing things like that from actually teach that. It was man twisting the beliefs to fit their agenda. Just like the WS & Nazi punks do with Heathnery now. But if you want to get Loki specific, consider who and what he is, and what he went through. First, he is Jotun. A group that was hated, feared, and even hunted by the Aesir simply because they were born from the wrong hunk of Ice. He had three of his children kidnapped and bound, or cast out, just because of how they were born. And when he stood and called out the other gods for their own unpunished wrongs, his other two children were murdered, and their entrails used to bind him. Because he spoke up. Did he lay down and say “I’ll just take it because I should have kept quiet and turned the other cheek”? NO. He writhed and wriggled and shook to still try to break free. He writhed and pulled so much that it made the ground shake. Yes, he, Loki, and his will to keep fighting even when knocked down, is what causes the earthquakes. And he will break free. And he will come for those who did it. He took the risk of death and lost his children for the sake of speaking up. And yet you think he doesn’t want us to have the nerve to speak up against friends, who at most will just not talk to us anymore, when they show hate? We have to stand up to hate no matter who says it, or how much we love them. And here’s a little secret that is going to both burn and cut deep. If you see these things happening and you let it slide or remain friends and acquaintances with these people, you are guilty of the same hate that they spew. You are helping them. You are part of the problem. And that’s all there is to it.