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throwaway wrote

That is true, I'm of course not denying that i am descended from Christian peoples - but there is a good argument to be made that, of the two, paganism is the one most rightfully and truthfully belonging to us, if you are of the conviction that one should follow the beliefs of their ancestors.

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GaldraChevaliere wrote

My main issue with the argument is that while Christianity is undeniably a colonizing and imperialistic instrument, ancestry in a heathen context cannot be reduced to an ur-culture or a bloodline, and that misunderstanding is what leads to a lot of the racist shit associated with our community.

Your ancestors are the sum of both your ethnic culture and your social culture's histories, and don't just include your direct predecessors, but also adopted family, chosen family, and people who have fought for the causes you hold close to your heart. Kropotkin and Tolstoy are as much our ancestors (assuming you're an anarchist) as Ivar the Boneless or Owain Glyndwr.

I do, personally, believe my personal blend of hiberno-gallic and finno-scandinavian heathenry to be the best way to represent my ancestors into the future, but I believe that chiefly because they most truly represent what I think is moral and right to live by. The Gods of Eire and Gaul, the Aesir and Vanir, and the shamanistic practices of the Finns uphold ideals that are important to me and best represent them in my mind, but they're not unique in holding them. If I thought something like liberation theology better fit my beliefs and ideals, I'd as easily follow that and still be doing right by my lineage.

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indi wrote

If it seems that way, it's probably only because Christianity was so much more flamboyant in violently spreading its doctrines, and much better at keeping records of its progress.

It's very likely - in fact, almost certain - that pagans butchered just as many heretics to establish their beliefs as dominant as any other religious tradition did, and the only reason we don't know it is because they didn't keep records. We know for a fact, for example, that ancient European religious practised human sacrifice, and that they used prisoners of war to do so. Who do you think they developed those techniques and practices on, if not nonbelievers in neighbouring tribes?

(It's also likely that even if we did have perfect records, people would probably be moving the goalposts about which traditions really "count" as pagan and which don't.)

Trying to determine what the "true" beliefs of your ancestors was is a waste of time. Even if it were possible to determine, there's probably no valid answer. It's possible that the very first tribal shaman who came up with the very first proto-religious claim used force and threats to get their tribe to go along with them, meaning that if you're ruling out beliefs forced upon your ancestors as not "truthfully belonging" to them, then no beliefs "truthfully belong" to them.

And not only is it a waste of time, it's counterproductive. All it's ultimately doing is separating humans into different "teams" based on bullshit. Who cares whether proto-European pagan beliefs are "rightfully and truthfully" yours and Semitic beliefs are not? We're all just monkeys from Africa in the end anyways.