It’s a line from the science-fiction Terminator films: “There is no fate except for what we make.” While this may be a popular culture cliche from the 1980s, there is an element of truth to it, and it most certainly ties back to the Christian faith. Humanity has a tendency to default back into the “fate mode,” which is the idea that our future is set and cannot be changed. Modern man is no different, the only peculiarity is that modern man is a bit schizophrenic on the issue. While modern man tends to believe that societies can change their fate, if given enough impetus and push, there is this strange notion that individuals cannot change their fate, which is a contradiction you see. Because if individuals are prisoners of fate, then so is society, and the future is just as concrete as the past. If fate is real, then what will be, will be, and there is nothing we can do to change it — ever!
Fate is the default mindset of the human race. It’s a form of hopelessness, and a resignation to the Epicurean philosophy that it really doesn’t matter what we do now, so live for the moment and enjoy the present with reckless disregard for the future. It’s a way of excusing one’s self of sin. However, when followed to its natural conclusion, the end result is depression and hopelessness. If fate is real, then our destinies are sealed before we ever started in life. Our behavior cannot be changed. Thus both individuals and societies are locked into a path that will eventually go where they were destined to — as the fates allowed — and it does not matter what we do to try to change course. Every attempt to change both our individual and collective future is futile. We are locked into a destiny we cannot control.
Ancient Paganism was heavily into fate. It was an integral part of the belief system. Ironically, modern Neopagans ignore fate, preferring instead to adopt the Christian mindset of self determination (free-will). However, whether they intend to or not, many of them still subscribe to fate, albeit a modernized version of it that imprisons the individual while at the same time asserting that society can change (a laughable prospect when you think about it). This is especially true of those who have adopted the cultural Marxism of the political/social Left.
The ancient Greeks personified fate as three women: Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos. These were also known by their Roman names: Nona, Decuma and Morta. The three women served as a personification of fate, spinning the web of human destiny. Clotho (Nona) spun the thread of human destiny, Lachesis (Decuma) dispensed it to each and every individual, while Atropos (Morta) cut it, determining the length of one’s life. Whether or not the Greeks/Romans actually believed in these personifications as literal figures is unimportant. What’s important to understand is that the concept of fate itself (unchangeable destiny) was well defined, and believed, in both Greek and Roman Paganism. Fate was not just limited to Greek and Roman Paganism. The ancient Germanic form of Paganism — Heathenism — was also heavily steeped in fate, which was known as Uror, Wyrd, Wurd, or Wurt depending on the Germanic language. The Heathens also personified fate as three women called the Norns who live at the base of the cosmic Yggdrasil tree that holds the universe together. The Celtic Pagans, on the other hand, had a singular personification of fate, a mysterious goddess by the name of Morrigan, who rules over fate and war.
The concept of fate was useful to the rich and powerful in these civilizations. They could justify their social class as the “will of the gods,” and need not show compassion for those below them, unless they simply chose to out of the “goodness of their hearts.” Thus, there was no sense of social responsibility, and nobody was considered his “brother’s keeper.” If you were poor, sick or weak, that was just your fate. It was the will of the gods. The rich would owe you nothing, so be grateful for whatever you get. Likewise, if you were forced to steal, or sell your body for food (prostitution), again this was your fate. You were meant to be a thief or whore, and that too was the will of the gods. You might try to work your way out of these things, and you might be successful for a while, but in the end you would always default back to your fate. You were born to be a thief, or whore, and so you will die as one, because that is your fate. That is what the fates intended you to be, and nobody could escape his/her fate. Fate was useful to the rich and ruling class, because it helped to keep everyone in their place. For those in the lower classes, it was an imprisoning force, literally a “mind-cage,” that kept them in a hopeless state, never aspiring for anything better and always settling for the status quo. Let me make this perfectly clear; fate was integral to ancient Paganism, an absolutely necessary part of the religions, which could not properly function without it.
It was into this ancient world of fate that Christianity entered the scene. Built on the Jewish concept of free-will, Christianity put forward the idea that there is no fate except for what we make. Nobody is prisoner to the will of goddesses who determine our future, because such deities don’t even exist, and the true God (the Creator of the universe) has willed that all people regain mastery of their lives by submitting to Jesus Christ as their true Master. Christ calls all people to holiness and dignity, and with his divine help, anyone can attain it. Fate was thus replaced with free-will, and in doing so, adherents to Christianity were liberated from the mind-cage of fate, and freed to become holy and dignified. Christian churches were set up in people’s homes initially, and later in chapels, for the express purpose of not only worshiping God, but also as charity hubs to help the poor, sick and weak change their condition in life. Alongside free-will came the concept of charity, wherein it was taught that “we are our brother’s keeper,” and with this was introduced the idea of social responsibility to help the weakest among society. No longer would charity be the good fortune of just a few benevolent lords, but now the social responsibility of all wealthy people.
This is why modern Neo-Paganism is somewhat of a joke, because many such adherents intentionally omit the concept of fate. They literally ignore it, and instead adopt the Christian concepts of free-will and charity. Why? I suspect it’s because they inwardly know the truth…
Fate really and truly does suck, to use modern slang, and it sucks pretty hard. Two-thousand years of Christian ascendancy have taught even the Pagans that. They simply won’t go back to it, but in failing to return to it, they cripple their own desire to fully return to Paganism. Neo-Paganism is not ancient Paganism. It’s a hybrid or half-breed, consisting of Pagan deities and trappings, wrapped in a cloak of Christian charity and free-will. These people are neither Pagan nor Christian, but rather wannabees of both. You can’t be truly Pagan without fate, just as you can’t be truly Christian without Christ. Neo-Pagans are people stuck in the middle, seemingly paralyzed and unable to commit to either one religion or the other. This is why their movement is doomed and will eventually fall to Islam, as it is already doing in Europe. Mark my words, a century from now the dominant religions will be Christianity and Islam. Neo-Paganism will be relegated to a bizarre trend that defined the transition from Christendom in the 1900s, to a Christian/Islam stalemate in Europe by 2100. Ancient Paganism couldn’t survive on its own two-thousand years ago, even with the government backing it. So neo-Paganism won’t survive the 21st century either. Many young people may boast of being neo-Pagans now, but their grandchildren will either be Christian or Muslim. Mark my words on that one.
The biggest proponents of fate in the modern world are, surprisingly, not neo-Pagans but rather cultural Marxists, manifested in the political/social Left, in the mainstream media, in higher education and in the Democratic Party. These Leftists push a modified (and irrational) form of fate that teaches the idea that individuals are bound to fate but societies and civilizations are not. They push the idea that an individual cannot escape his/her fate, but a society or civilization can. It can be molded and shaped into anything based on social engineering. All you need are the right people at the top, to tell others what to do. In other words, certain modern demigods (known as Socialist politicians) can will society to become a Socialist/Green utopia, even though individuals are trapped in their own individual fate. Putting aside the fact that the Greens are actually Red, let’s jump right into the Leftist idea of individual fate.
Leftist individual fate is based on the pseudo-science of geneticism. Now genetics are a real thing, of course, which determines the color of our hair, eyes, skin and a host of other body features. It also plays a role in disease and certain specific behaviors. That’s genetics. However, geneticism is a completely different thing. Geneticism (as opposed to genetics) is the idea that our entire personal makeup, including all of our choices, are determined by the DNA in our genes. This is categorically false. We are not animals, nor is our entire behavior bound to a genetic-fate, but that is exactly what the Left would have us believe. This is most clearly manifested in the gay and transgender movement. The idea is put forward that people are “born gay” or genetically predetermined to commit sodomy (sex with members of the same sex). In other words, it’s genetic-fate. There is no way out. If you’re “born gay” by genetic predetermination, then there is no way out. When you reach puberty, you will begin to burn with passion for members of the same sex, and you will eventually have sex with them, whether you want to or not. It is your fate, and there is no way out. It’s determined by your genes. The same argument is put forward for transgender people, and is now being explored for pedophiles as well.
This is pure hogwash! Geneticism is not science. It’s a religious tenet, called fate, and we’ve been here before. In antiquity it was personified as goddesses. Now it’s given a pseudo-scientific explanation, but it’s the same thing! It’s fate, with no way out, and you just have to accept it as your destiny. If you’re “born gay” you will “be gay” and there is no way out. If you were “born trans” you will “be trans” and there is no way out. If you were “born pedo” you will “be pedo” and there is no way out. Just learn to accept it, and know your place in the world. It is your fate.
I’m going to level with you. I’m going to tell you how it really is. It’s garbage. It’s all garbage, and if you believe it, you’re a fool. Jesus Christ died to pay the penalty for our sins, and show the world that there is no fate except for what you make. Don’t fall for it. The political/social Left (these cultural Marxists) are only telling you this to condition you. They want to put you in a mind-cage so you’ll be easier to control. They’re already doing it. They’ll have you voting in favor of Marxist solutions in the form of “social justice” and “Green manifestos” even if it means impoverishing you. They know you’ll do it, because these same people are telling you that you can’t help being gay, trans or pedo, because it’s all genetic. They say; “you were born that way, now go and vote as we tell you.” And if you’re that eager for somebody’s approval, you’ll do it. But it’s a lie. You’re no slave to genetics. You have free-will. You can choose your own path. And if you want to be free, I mean truly free, you can be by putting your trust in Christ and asking him to help you overcome whatever sin is holding you back from the holiness and dignity God wants for you.
Fate sucks. It sucks so hard that even neo-Pagans don’t believe it anymore. The only people left willing to peddle that garbage from the ancient world are cultural Marxists on the social/political Left. Christianity has always taught that there is no fate except for what we make, and we can conquer all things through Christ who strengthens us. Fate is used by the rich and powerful to control us, to put us in mind-cages, and condition us for obedience to their will. On the surface, it seems to give us an easy way out, a way to escape responsibility. “It’s not my fault, you see, because it’s just fate. It’s genetics. I can’t help it.” Yet once we liberate ourselves from responsibility for our actions this way, it won’t be long before other people excuse us of responsibility as well. When that happens, they come to expect certain behaviors of us, and if we don’t deliver, we’re told we’re only denying fate. People with no responsibility for their own actions are little more than animals, who must be told what to do, and expected to obey. Society will expect a gay man to be gay, and when he ceases to be that, he disappoints. Thus it gets increasingly more difficult for people to be liberated from sinful behaviors. Social pressures now play a role.
All around the world we are beginning to see a new trend of homosexual men leaving behind their homosexual behavior. Some are living celibate lives. Others are getting married to women and starting families. The political Left frowns on this, because it flies in the face of their genetic-fate narrative. It’s simply not supposed to happen according to their worldview. Gay men are supposed to stay gay, because it’s in their genes, right? Wrong! While it is possible that same-sex attraction may be genetic (even though that has not been proved), that doesn’t mean that homosexual behavior is. In the end, we have free-will. We choose our own actions, regardless of our temptations. If we want to be free people, then we must take responsibility for our actions. We must own them. Otherwise we are not free. We have placed ourselves into the mind-cage of fate, which only leads to depression and hopelessness. There is a reason why the ancient Pagans gave it up. There is a reason why they converted to Christianity in droves. There is a reason why they gladly left it all behind in exchange for free-will and redemption in Christ. There is a reason why today’s neo-Pagans would rather half-breed their religion with Christianity in order to avoid going back to it. Fate only leads to hopelessness for the weak and poor, but it leads to social stability for the rich and powerful. This is why today’s cultural Marxists on the social/political Left are peddling that garbage in the form of geneticism, or genetic-fate.
So if you’re ever tempted to look into one of those neo-Pagan religions, just remember, it’s a hybrid creed — a mixture of Paganism with Christianity — because not even Pagans want to go “full Pagan” anymore. If you’re ever tempted to blame your sin on genetics, just remember that the only people peddling genetic-fate are cultural Marxists on the Left, who also want to impoverish you and set up themselves as our absolute rulers. But they need your vote to do it, so they’ll tell you whatever you want to hear. “It’s not your fault. You can’t help it. It’s in your genes” (wink, wink). Meanwhile, Christ died to take the eternal penalty for your sins, so you could conquer them and be free. Unlike the animals, God gave us free-will, and Christ stands ready to help us overcome any sin that keeps us from the holiness and dignity God want’s for us. Do you want it too? You can have it. There is no fate except for what we make.
Shane Schaetzel is an Evangelical convert to the Catholic Church through Anglicanism and was trained as a catechist through the University of Dayton – a Catholic Marianist Institution. Shane’s articles have been featured on LifeSiteNews, ChurchMilitant, The Remnant Newspaper, Forward in Christ, and Catholic Online. Shane is an author of Catholic books, which can be read here.