Thursday, September 15, 2016

Inconvenient Truths

Every time I think about written history I whine to myself about how incomplete it is.  And by incomplete I am referring to not having it all in one gigantic volume, with the various reference points to take the seeker to the answers of "why."  It would be interlocking, answer all questions, and dispel all mysteries.  Even if this could be accomplished it would take a fleet of 18 wheelers to transport it.  But who am I kidding; general, written history is full of blank spaces.  

Humanity, within its' various factions competing for supremacy, has managed to wipe out some of this historical information.  This shit happens when books are burned, libraries are torched to the ground, and practitioners of truth are put to death.  All of this has happened with Monotheism being the biggest culprit.  However, we do have written accounts that have come down to us, written by Christian writers of that time, that help modern historians paint a picture that is different from what authority wants us to believe.  

The general rule of thumb is that Christianity "conquered" Europe when Iceland made its' decision (about 1000 CE).  Not so.  Let's take a step back about 150 years. 

The 30 Year Saxon Wars were brutal but the people, the Saxon people were restless.  The Lex Saxonum, the Law of the Saxons codified by Charlemagne, allowed the nobility, the upper crust to insanely increase their wealth at the expense of he common man; the common man was exploited. something Monotheism does very well.  Long after Charlemagne's death but during the rule of his grandsons. the common man came together and called themselves Stellinga.  

The Stellinga (comrades - Stellingabund) was comprised of freemen (frilingi) and freedmen (lazzi).  These two "classes of people" were the lower and lowest rung of Saxon social status.  These folks wanted to toss Christianity and return to the way things were before the Christian usurpation; a return to ancient tribal customs that would restore their rights.  The struggle of the Stellinga went on from 841 - 845 when they were finally crushed by their own nobility.  Monotheism, under the pen of Charlemagne took away their rights and gave their overlords the power of life and death over them, something that was not just missing but totally foreign to their ancient ways.  Let's jump a few centuries.  Let's talk about blood lust.  

Christian Crusaders were defeated by Saladin in the so-called Holy Land circa 1187 CE ; they were kicked out and went back to Europe.  These fellows were down on their luck and resorted to the common practice of looting, pillaging, burning, and raping within their home countries to provide themselves with an income.  Here is where I get my wrinkles rankled.  The chaos created by these "Christian Knights" is a historical fact but how often does the general public here about it?  But how often do we hear about the "barbarism of the Heathen Vikings?"  Think about this point.  I digress.  

The popes of that era were not happy with these guys and decided to send them on another crusade.  They sent them to the pagan Baltic states; the papacy did not care about the rape, looting, burning, and pillaging that was done to heathens - it was all done for the faith.  And the major motivation at that time was land and money (for the Church and for the upper nobility).    

Two hundred years of bitter fighting ensued, with the death toll of Balkan folk to be one million or more.  Finally in 1387 CE, Lithuania officially accepted Christianity but her western territories did not come in line until 1413 CE.  Balkan nobility readily accepted Christianity along with the unlimited exploitation granted by this foreign usurper:  free men were made into serfs and told that a good Christian must work hard for his overlord.  But this fight was not over.  Within their homes and forest deep, the old religion was practiced well into the 18th century.  This was something that was practiced through out northern Europe, either in some actual form, folkway, or folk tales (an in-depth study of the Reformation will tell about Protestant reformers finding pockets of  heathenry/pagandom and how they treated the "heretics." - worse than the Roman Inquisition).  

It is hard to write about such a broad period of human history; the more you search, the more you discover and thus a larger story emerges, something I alluded to with the reference of 18 wheelers.  And, it certainly calls into question anything remotely related to a "complete Christian victory."  

If Christianity had truly conquered northern Europe, the Roman Church would not of had a people to launch a crusade against and the Protestant Reformation would not have discovered vast pockets of "heretic heathens."  Also, if victory was complete, what folklore would have survived?  After 3 or 4 generations it would have evaporated like the morning dew.  Now, heathenry/paganism is growing by leaps and bounds in the Baltic States and Russia (much to the chagrin of the Russian Orthodox Church, who encouraged the people's practice of their ancient folkways).  A bit about myself.

Admittedly, I have grown lazy.  All of the information above and so much more can be found in University Libraries.  However, I chose the Internet for the above.  Frankly, you will need "a fleet of 18 wheelers" to haul it away; you will discover there is much more to this history than "complete victory."

Note:  the picture above is of a popular Baltic States sculpture (called - The Pensive Christ) depicting Jesus.  In my opinion, there is nothing victorious about it.

                                                  Copyright @ 2016 Terry Unger

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