27 August 2007

Prison Ministry Revisited

An argument is breaking out on a mailing list I read. One member who has "convict" in his screen name posted, asking about blots and other events in his part of the Southeast and saying "I have been away from my people for too long". The response was light, and I didn't bother responding to him at all because it was pretty clear to me that he was more than likely in the joint.

Day before yesterday, he posts the following:

hope all had a great blot and plenty of mead. hail the 14 words and
hail odin.

The response he got from another listmember was rather..."forceful". Simply put, he was told where to go and what to do with his "fourteen words" when he got there--a sentiment that I agree with, to be honest.

(For those who don't know: "The Fourteen Words" refer to the white supremacist slogan "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White children." It's often shortened to 14W, and is sometimes paired with "88", which is shorthand for "Heil Hitler"--H being the 8th letter of the alphabet.)

This has sparked a great uproar, with several people defending the racist and saying that those of us who flamed him aren't being hospitable. One of those people is a member of a group that has a very active prison ministry--which readers of this blog know is something that I am dead-set against--so of course his comments didn't exactly win me over.

So I find myself forced to wonder: when, pray tell, did it suddenly become okay to welcome outlaws into our midst? Outlawry certainly does still exist, folks; the only difference between outlawry today and outlawry 1000 years ago is that today's outlaws are sent to prison rather than left to the less-than-tender mercies of whoever happens to come across them.

Were I in prison, would I want access to a godhi/gydhja and ritual items? Of course--but I certainly wouldn't expect them, and I'd know full well that as an outlaw, the gods wouldn't want anything to do with me. I know my ancestors certainly wouldn't! Prison ministry is a fool's errand, in my opinion. I don't want to be associated with outlaws and dirtbags, and the responsible thing for any heathen to do (in my opinion, of course) is to stand up and tell these luckless pieces of garbage "Sorry, but you're on your own until you have paid your debt to society."

Just because Hospitality is a virtue of our folk, that doesn't mean that we have to be hospitable to outlaws.