Anti war protests, Isaac Bonewits and all that!


New Member
As a British druid, I feel that some clarity has to be brought to the war on terror, the Iraq war and Mr Isaac Bonewits’ comments on pagans in the military.
Firstly the protests that took place in Britain when president bush visited recently were both smaller and not a true representation of how the British people feel, not that you would know it if the media was to be believed. The numbers involved in even the largest protest would account for less than 0.1% of the UK population, and a surprising number of the protestors were not British coming from other European countries, many of these were more anti US than anti war. Finally all public opinion polls showed more people in this country supported both bush and the US than were against them. Unlike Mr Bonewits I do not feel that the mainstream media are always ‘professional’ or show the whole story.
What happened on 9/11 2001 cost 3,030 lives it seems to me this is something Mr Bonewits chooses to ignore. Anyone who thinks it has nothing to do with Saddam Hussein is either being deliberately blinkered or just plain foolish. It has been proven that Saddam Hussein has consistently given money to the families of suicide bombers.
The last time there was an attack on the US to cause such an appalling loss of life was on Pearl Harbour, when 2385 people were killed, but unlike 9/11 only 54 were civilians.
It may seem hard to believe, but at the time there was a percentage of the US people that didn’t what to go to war with the Nazis and had successfully kept the US involving itself before that time. I am sure the Mr Bonewits would agree with most, that Hitler and the Nazis were both vile and evil and needed to be dealt with, but what of Saddam Hussein?
Just a note: - To compare and liken the soldiers of the US army with Nazis belittles not only himself and the US soldiers but also lessens the horror of the Nazis and what they did. How can he truly believe he would be taken seriously as an intelligent human being? I, like many people I know, was disgusted by this comment. I wonder does he also include our British Prime Minister Churchill, a druid himself, in that description for the choices he made in the war?
Lets look at Saddam Hussein. March 1988 in the village of Halabja 5,000 people lost there lives, over 65,000 others suffered severe skin and respiratory diseases, these added to the abnormal rates of cancer and birth defects have resulted in over 20,000 more deaths to date. All this was caused by one attack with a combination of chemical agents including mustard gas, sarin and VX, added to the human cost was the horrific devastation to the natural environment. One of about 280 chemical attacks Saddam launched against the Kurds in 1988. In that year, in a nine month period over 182,000 Kurds went ‘missing’, and since taking power in 1979 it is believed over 1.3 million people have been killed or disappeared. Add to this the wars with Iran etc. and in the context of a population of only 25 million it is a greater cost in lives than the Nazis in Europe.
The love of nature has always been a part of druid lore but it is but one of the many tenets, as is to watch a person hurt or subdue a weaker one and does nothing is as evil as the act itself. So I would be more impressed with Isaac Bonewits if he had argued for action earlier, instead of looking at the US army as baby killers, he should look at himself and how his attitude contributes to the death and suffering of innocents. In my opinion he and people like him are the baby killers not the armed forces, by forcing inaction the murder with words instead of guns.
Mr Bonewits should look a little more at history rather than propaganda and idealized movies.
I would rather Mr Bonewits calls himself a ‘neo pagan’ than druid, as I truly believe he doesn’t understand what one is! As keeper of the Gorsedd lore, we do not view ourselves as ‘neo pagans’, but that said we do believe that most ‘neo pagan groups’ take many of the tenets of druids and later Celtic druids as their own. I have written to many ‘ neo pagan leaders’ in both the US and other counties offering to share some of our lore, I include both Starhawk and Mr Bonewits in this, and have had a mixed response. I exchanged several E-mails with Mer, Star hawk’s assistant, pointing out that pagan groups should be inclusive not exclusive and sexism whether positive or negative was not something that should be part of faith and groups such as the Hassidic druids etc reinforce separatist views and wished pagans could focus on their common goals and believes rather than their differences. Mer did not agree with everything I said but I believe that over the years Starhawk herself has become less rigid. As for Mr Bonewits I expressed the same disbelief at the diversity in the neo pagan movement and how groups with the same tenets have apposing views. Needless to say I have had no response as yet, maybe if I had put a date on the header signifying a paying job a response would have been more likely.
As for druids and warriors Mr Bonewits has “not done his homework.” We, as do many look at pagan values as part of our faith and did not start out, like Mr Bonewits did, as a protest against other religions and viewpoints. We do not use the lore that has been to a great extent been corrupted by the Romans or later by the catholic religion. But the lore passed down by the Mona Gorsedd.
War is not a good thing, in that I do agree with Mr Bonewits, BUT druids have always known that in some cases it is NECESSARY.
Two thousand years ago Bodacia fought against the Romans not only for her kingdom and right to rule but she swept across into other kingdoms to protect Mona, The druid lore and the way of life. This was ordered and supported by the druids.
When Mona was attacks thousands of men women and children and 20 lesser druids made there stand against the Roman army to let their high council escape with the lore we still follow today. The retribution the druids cast forth that day were horrific and promised the destruction of all Rome had stood for. Many warriors and innocents lost their lives.
Because of this the druids made a tenet on fostering. A warrior knew his family would be looked after, warriors were revered and to become a foster parent to a fallen warriors family was considered greater than looking after your own children.
So YES, all of you serving in the forces are WARRIORS.
I have a student over in Iraq, The first US citizen we have agreed to teach, I perform the ‘amddiffyniad defod’, protection rite for him every day as well as a blessing for everyone over there. If you wish for me to add your name or that of a family member or friend to the protection rite let me know, or if there is someone that has been injured and conventional medicine has not helped I as a true path healer would be honoured to assist them.
Like the warriors of two thousand years ago you are the line that stands before us and protect our freedom and way of life. Offering the most precious gift of all, you.
Maybe Mr Bonewits, and the small but vocal group like him, will one day realise that is also the gift you freely give them.

Bendithion to you all, whatever your faith

Robert (Keeper)[/b]
Well I entirely (or nearly so) agree with the first half of your post, but I have to say I really don't get the second half. But thank you for your support either way.