In The Journal Of Contemporary Heathen Thought there is an article of Alain de Benoist called Intolerance and Religion. In this article De Benoist argues that religion is one of the major sources of the world’s conflicts, especially monotheistic religions.
Indeed, what is most striking, when studying Europe’s ancient religions -the pagan ones- is precisely the fact that they do not know any form of intolerance which is, properly speaking, religious in nature. These are polytheistic religions to which peoples adhere without thinking for one instant that they must criticize other people’s needs to sacrifice to other deities. These religons are strangers to fanaticism. They know neither religious presecution, crucades against “infidels” or “non-believers,” nor war in the name of God. More orthopractic in nature than orthodox, they equally know nothing about notions of dogma, schism or heresy.
So how comes that the author of On Being A Pagan gets six pages in a pagan journal to rant about the “Abrahamistic faiths”, a hobby of many heathens? Sure, more than a few followers of the “Abrahamistic faiths” do not give a very good example of ‘religious tolerance’, but when ‘we’ claim to be ‘better’ because we are ‘polytheistic’, would it not be logical to start giving a proper example instead of continuously rant against Christianity in particular? Sure, we can go on quoting the Bibles’ and Qur’an’s bloody passages, keep telling about the bloody pasts and the fanatics of our own time, but to what end?
Personally I prefer to look at the bright side. If Christianity did not incorporate so much ‘heathen’ elements in our parts, who knows what would have come from them? Also, I prefer genuine religious people over the larger part of our contemporaries who care for nothing but their career, house, car and prestige. I have had better discussions with Muslims and Christians alike, then with people calling themself “pagan” while they are actually atheistic politicians. I do not say that we have to tolerate anything that is done under a guide of religion. Surely not, much of what happens under a pretended religious banner is nothing but the lowest level of fanaticism. A person who is truely religious understands that another person with perhaps another faith, is truely his brother or sister. The fact that abominations are executed with religion as excuse, does nothing about the religion itself, or what it should be. And to close this little flow of thought, we should not tolerate, meaning, seeing things through the fingers that we disapprove of, but respect what is to be respected and that because we are religious.