LGBT People Aren’t Nazis and Christian Extremists Aren’t 1930s & 40s Jews

I rarely talk about my milk-religion, although on the balance my experience growing up in Judaism was a positive one, because these days I am about as bad a Jew as is possible in 2014.

Being a surgically sterilized polytheistic pagan who regrew his foreskin, I’m pretty much the embodiment of a broken link in a chair of ancestry going back hundreds or even thousands of years. There are likely people out there who do greater disservice to the faith, but you’d be hard-pressed to find one on short notice.

However, while I may have betrayed the faith of my forebears, racially my background is purely Eastern European Jew.

Given that it’s an identity I generally reject, you might imagine that it takes a staggaringly grievous offense to fill me with anger as a Jew. But in the last few weeks, right-wing Christianity has been doing a bang-up job of it.

I am thirty-three years old, and thus belong to the last generation to be raised surrounded by survivors of the Nazi concentration, work, and death camps. From a young age I was told the stories of my people’s systematic dehumanization and mechanized extermination.

Before my thirteenth birthday I’d seen photos and read accounts of the world’s first factory-based genocide: the piles of corpses, mounds of ash, death chambers build for efficient wholesale slaughter, and the emaciated frames of hopeless survivors being liberated by the advancing American and Soviet militaries/ These are all part of my racial memory, and central to the experience of what it meant to be a late 20th-century Jew.

For a long time, I believed that Scott Lively’s disgraceful book The Pink Swastika, which asserts that…the Nazi party was entirely controlled by militaristic male homosexuals throughout its short history and is often touted or referenced by Christian extremists, was the lowest the right could sink.

The last few weeks have proven that belief to be tragically incorrect.

I’m going to draw on the excellent Right Wing Watch for these links, since I don’t want to drive traffic to the original sources (most often Matt Barber’s vile website), but those sources are all cited within the posts I’ve linked to:

  • Far-right columnist John Biver said that “…full capitulation to the homosexual agenda… or it will be re-education, incarceration, bankruptcy, marginalization, and state-sanctioned ridicule… or worse… are there any available cattle cars around?” He was alluding to the cattle cars in which millions of Jews were shipped to extermination camp.
  • Pat Fagan, a senior fellow at the Family Research Council, criticized a United Nations report on child sex abuse in the Catholic Church by comparing it to Kristallnacht, the pogrom against German Jews in 1938 seen by many as the true beginning of the Jewish experience of the Nazi Holocaust (as distinct from the Nazi oppression and extermination of other populations such as the Roma, the disabled, and homosexuals)
  • Christian extremist Matt Barber said, “Christians are going to have to start wearing a yellow cross. Are we in 1939 Germany here?” He was referring to the yellow Star of David worn by Jews in the ghettoes and later the camps. Gay men wore a pink triangle, lesbians wore a black one (which was multipurpose), and Roma a brown one.
  • Indiana pastor Jeff Allen, writing (again) on Matt Barber’s website, said of gay and liberal activists: “Many of them really do console themselves with fantasies of their own Kristallnacht, in which Christians are euphemistically “taken out of the way” as part of the ‘gay’-stapo’s ‘final solution’ to the ‘Christian problem.'”

And that’s just the last few weeks! However, lest you feel I’m unfairly picking on Matt Barber, going back further we find:

  • Bryan Fischer on the Supreme Court’s marriage equality rulings: “…doing to [Christians] what the Nazis did to the Jews”
  • And one more classic from Fischer: “Ladies and gentlemen, they are Nazis. Do not be under any illusions about what homosexual activists will do with your freedoms and your religion if they have the opportunity. They’ll do the same thing to you that the Nazis did to their opponents in Nazi Germany.”

And so, for all the Christians, homophobes, and right-wing activists who don’t seem to get it, speaking as someone who is racially, if not spiritually Jewish, allow me to make something abundantly clear:

Not being allowed to discriminate against LGBT people, have prayers to your particular god read at state-funded functions/institutions, or have the government make legal policies based on your particular holy book, is most emphatically not the same as being torn from your homes and families, and then systematically exterminated.

If you think that it is, your life has been so blessed with social privilege that you have become disconnected from reality.

Peeling Back Layers of Ugly: The Gay Reality

Wintersong:

A heart-wrenching and heartfelt account of a sister’s challenging journey into accepting her gay brother. It’s a good read about how love really can conquer. Most importantly though, stories like this one are useful reminders in a time when the dominant narrative in the LGBT world is that people who aren’t instantly accepting are inherently lost to our lives. As the struggle for equality has progressed, the community narrative has begun loosing sight of the fact that some of our best allies and staunchest supporters had to work to get there.

Originally posted on IndeedIAm:

This was it.

The expectant tension was building in our awkward phone conversation to an almost unbearable degree.  I felt myself struggling to regulate my breath and appear nonchalant.  He struggled for words, a way to open the door, for the very first time to anyone.

His fear became so present, it felt like we may shatter when he finally found the words.

My brother is gay.

When he finally told me, a few months from graduating high school in the spring of 2004, every single bad, derogatory, judgemental comment I had ever heard about gay people played out in my memory. We did not grow up in a home where bigotry and hateful speech was ever uttered.  But we grew up mormon.  A place where they talked about the sin of homosexuality.  A place where t.v. shows like Ellen, or Will and Grace were considered immoral and inappropriate.  Where…

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An environmentalist interpretation of the binding of Loki

Wintersong:

This is a really fabulous way of seeing things

Originally posted on Rebalancing Acts:

This has been hanging around in the back of my mind for about a year now. I took a crack at a draft earlier this year, to get some of my thoughts down; that draft has been sent to join its ancestors.

I was thinking over the Lokasenna, and the myth about Loki’s binding, and the various players in that myth, and I realized that another way of looking at it is about civilization’s attitude towards nature.

The Aesir are commonly seen as gods of civilization, whereas Loki is not only a Jotun, from the part of the pantheon where deities are aligned with primal natural forces and phenomena, He is (among other things) a god of change, which is one of the most fundamental natural forces there is. While there are other Jotnar who are accepted among the Aesir, Loki never seems to be as fully accepted among this…

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Announcing Gods’ Mouths 2.0 – A New Collaborative Pagan Blog

Wintersong:

Very excited by this new project and I hope lots of you will join us (and reblog)!

Originally posted on Gods' Mouths 2.0:

Gods’ Mouths 2.0
Following our own paths… together

 

We are extremely excited to announce a new collaborative alternative spirituality, paganism and spiritworking blog project with the return and reboot of “Gods’ Mouths.”

The new managing editors, Alex Bettencourt of Rock of Eye, and Wintersong Tashlin of Notes From A Barking Shaman, intend to present content from contributors with a broad diversity of relationships to spirituality, faith, gods, spirits and magic.

Posts on Gods’ Mouths 2.0 will explore the complexities of our lived experiences as spiritual and/or magical beings in ways that challenge us as readers to broaden and question our own understandings faith and practice. But through it all, God’s Mouths’ writers and editors will strive to ensure that our content does not pass judgement on people whose beliefs (or lack thereof) differ from our own, or seeks to non-consensually impose a fundamentalist worldview on anyone.

In…

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Ordeal and Community

Wintersong:

Caer has some wonderful thoughts on Ordeal in a community context

Originally posted on Not All Who Wander Are Lost:

I’ve been facilitating and participating in Ordeal rituals for damn near a decade. One fairly constant aspect of my experience, whether I’m the Seeker or the Guide, is that these rituals tend to be individualized. They are crafted start to finish for one person, with one goal in mind, and the experience of the Seeker rarely affects any larger community.

This is completely understandable. Ordeals are not for everyone, of course, and there is no reason everyone should walk that path. It also plays into the near fetish we Americans have for the individual who exists outside of/rebels against/is distinct from the larger community. Especially in the case of Ordeal work, since so many Ordeal mechanics actively contradict the mores of the larger community. There are logistic concerns as well – getting a number of Seekers undergoing the same Ordeal in the same location as the number of skilled Guides…

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