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“If Hitler invaded Hell I would at least make a favorable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.”  - Sir Winston Churchill

Our halls resound with the usual litany of arguments concerning Laufeyson, pro and con.  At this point, proffering the usual theological divides (real or imagined) serves no purpose. Respective minds are largely set in their established vantage points:  those so inclined hail him, and those that aren’t, don’t.  Simple.

 I instead seek to approach the subject from another angle, one I feel that beggars attention.

Let us forget for a second the main thrust of e-list polemics and Facebook fisticuffs regarding the issue.  Let us for a moment cast aside our Ivory Tower debates about the Lore. Instead, let us ask a simple question or two.  Who, at this moment, is our real enemy? Whom do we face as our immediate threat?

The question is largely obvious.  If the “we” of whom I speak are Troth members and other inclusive Heathens, then the enemy before us is an insidious “they,” those who sully our faith with racist adulteration.  Nazi scum.  From my observations, the membership largely agrees.  Trothmoot 2018 saw a strategic visioning session facilitated by Redeswoman Laura “Snow” Fuller.  In assessing potential threats to our organization, those present decreed the probable danger came not from the Son of Laufey but the ghost of Hitler.

All of this is meant to say the Great Loki Debate (The Lugubrious Lokean Loggerheads?), hashed out ad nauseum is at best a distraction from our true enemy.  At worse, it proves an impediment.

The arithmetic of alliance concerns itself with addition and multiplication, not subtraction and division. The art of diplomacy is forged upon shared interests, not on differences.  Churchill and Stalin, hardly predisposed to be friends, learned to find common ground in the face of the Wehrmacht’s advance. Allies don’t need to share the same practices; nor do they necessarily need to even like each other.  They merely need to be invested in fighting a mutual foe.  Therein lays a lesson.

Whether it is on the domestic front in North America, or courting potential allies in Europe, the Troth does itself a strategic disadvantage in actively alienating devotees of Laufeyson. Most Lokeans I have met, because of who they are and Who called them, are natural anti-fascists who would stand against the racialist scourge.  More people means more membership funding for the good work the Troth does.  More people means more hands to staff our departments, more drive and energy to see them to task. Many Lokeans also seem to be inclined to the esoteric: if Loki brings chaos, then having a cadre of skilled magicians and tranceworkers to throw chaos in the face of the enemy would seem to have a certain tactical utility…

I don’t personally hail Loki.  He does not fall within my spiritual proclivities or cultural viewpoints.  But I have begun to see a bigger picture, and whether or not I entreat Laufeyson is not the most salient point.  Our organization offers a big enough tent that different factions should learn to give one another space, to agree to disagree.  Compromises on ritual grounds could and should be forged. At the end of the day we should derive succor from what unites us.  We believe in our gods, and we believe our gods are for anyone who approaches them in good faith.  Ours is a vision of inclusiveness and a song of hope.  We stand a bulwark against the flames of bigotry.

What are we really trying to accomplish, who can be our allies in our agenda, and who truly opposes us?  As the Rede debates policy, as the membership fills out a forthcoming survey, let us keep an eye on the long game. 

 -- Jeremy Baer
Redesman, The Troth

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November 2018

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