Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Missing Link: When Ancestors Don't Match Your Religion

Natufian burial in Israel. Natufians were the prehistoric
ancestors of the Canaanites. 
One issue in polytheism that does the Macarena on my last nerve is the insistence that a person must have an ancestral and ethnic connection to the polytheistic religion that the person practices. The deities call whom the deities call, and sometimes they ignore ethnicity and culture. There isn’t much arguing you can do--and it is pure hubris to try. And sometimes (usually) the deities know something you don’t: perhaps a hidden element of ancestry, perhaps a person of that culture or ethnicity has claimed you as kin without your knowledge, perhaps the deeds of a previous ancestor have endeared your family to these deities of different cultural backgrounds, perhaps there’s a past life connection there (if you believe in past lives). Or maybe they believe you will honor them well. Who can know?