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and Civil Law
“And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marveled at him.” Mark 12:17, (Authorized [King James] Version)
Is there any difference
between secular or civil law, the law of the ütländer, and tribal, or the
law of the Innandgardh? If
there is, which should take precedence?
If our Christian neighbors
are any indication, there is, as evidenced by the rather famous quotation
above. In context, Jesus and his people were Hebrews living under the influence and
might of a secular Roman state, with a pretender to the formerly
priest-kingly throne imposed upon them. So,
in essence, they were a tribal, religious community, where secular and
spiritual were intertwined, with tribal law addressing governance as well as
worship, living under a strictly secular, universalist state.
So, too, do we Germanic
We are heirs of a people
whose law dictated commerce, governance, as well as ritual observance,
spread through and intertwined with the agricultural year.
We also live in a diverse, multicultural (to use an often ill-defined
term) and stubbornly and strictly secular state.
Where, then, should tribal leave off and secular law begin?
One must first look to the
origins of that secular state. Germanic
law and legal custom and style and history of governance are the basis of
Western civil government, albeit with heavy Latinate influences.
Therefore, our law is the foundation of today’s societal
With that in mind, the
tribal apple does not need fall far from the tree.
We would first, I would
hope, seek to be good citizens of the Innangardh, observant of our
household, clan and tribal laws as they arise and traditions as they evolve.
But, then, we must seek to be good neighbors, which means that we
should strive to be good citizens.
Furthermore, we are a
people who don’t tend to withdraw into ourselves, as did the Hebrews and
Imperial Chinese and others. Separatism
may extend to being selective of attendees in our ritual observance and
jealous of our family privacy, but we must recognize that civil separatism
cuts us off from a civil and societal tradition which is of, in effect, our
We should therefore strive
not to function as fully participatory citizens in the wider secular world
by scrupulously observing civil, and, in fact, by participating in it’s
formation and execution. In a
tightening political climate, and with identity politics being widely
popular, participation in civil governance is essential to the preservation
of our identity as a tribal people by ensuring that we have informed
representation of our point of view involved in the governing process.
Moving in a mass to Idaho,
building a “compound”, only forestalls the inevitable intrusion of
foreigners into our lives, foreigners who probably won’t understand us.
In other words, Idaho will eventually figure out that we’re there.
The current generation of
Germanic heathens in Vinland have a lot to offer their neighbors.
They are participants, after all, in the revival of a
thousand-year-lost holy tradition, and so know what hard work and personal
dedication is. Many have the
eloquence, common sense, and combativeness needed to get things done in the
secular arena. So, the civil
society has as much to gain from our participation as we have from
participating. We gain jobs, and therefore wealth, contacts, and the assurance that we have a
voice in the guiding of civil affairs. The wider civil society gains talent, inspiration and plain strong backs to bear
Tribal law which is drafted
counter to the aims and practices of civil law – for instance, tribal law
which mandates or permits multiple marital partners or lowers the sexual age
of consent – is doomed to failure by marginalizing and, in fact,
criminalizing tribal people in the eyes of their civil neighbors.
This makes such tribal law impractical at best, however much one may
insist that we be allowed to live according to our own lights; and
destructive at worst, as it creates in the midst of civil society a class of
Just as there must be room
in tribal law to accommodate clan and household observance and evolving
tradition, we must try to represent ourselves in civil society in such a way
as to ensure that there is room for us to live according to our tribal laws.
This requires our presence in the governing process.
Furthermore, just as household law must not counter clan law, so
tribal law must not seek to countermand or refute civil law.
In short, we must be the
practical people our ancestors were, and live in the world that presents
itself, not the world of our imaginings.
Through it all, we must remember that we need to be good neighbors. This is the wisest course.