This comment was made on The Wild Hunt recent Pagan Community Notes in response to HUAR calling out Irminfolk as a racist religious group.
“If your definition of the word “hurt” means “Anyone who holds a belief that I don’t like” then I agree, racism hurts people. But of course that’s nonsense. What hurts people are *actions* and *policies* in the public area. A private religion having it’s own bylaws, charter, and mission statement is not hurting anyone. The moment they take those beliefs and try to diminish the rights and freedoms of others (remember you don’t have a right to join any religion you want) then we can chat about hurting others. I’m not surprised at the lack of critical thinking on these posts, it’s pretty standard for the modern Pagan community. And if you read my first post, which sounds like you didn’t, I said “have a right to define who can be a member and what the criteria is. If you don’t believe that you’re trodding on the very notion of religious freedom.” Note, I said if you don’t believe the above you’re trodding on religious freedom. I did not say, as someone implied, that simply criticizing them was doing so. I never called to ignore actions. Stop reading what you want into my words. But again, having read your comments loads of times, pretty standard fair for you so I expect you won’t.” -Danielle Amourtrance Verum
This kind of rhetoric shifts the goalposts of a conversation or downplays the legitimate concerns or complaints people have in an effort to claim that the effects of a racist religious organization are not harming the larger religious community they claim to be a part of and do not actively cause harm to that larger religious community. From personal experience with racists in Heathenry, I call bullshit.
I damned near did not become a Heathen because of racists. The first person I met who was Heathen was a racist. He worshiped Odin. I initially ignored Odin’s call because I was under the assumption that the community I would be looking to for guidance in following Him was racist. How could I join a community where my own family members were hated? Racism actively harms religious communities in where it is found not the least because it pushes people to turn away from it. Racism makes enemies where we could have allies.
Racism actively harms Heathenry because it is damned hard to shake the public perception that anyone who worship the Norse, Germanic, Ænglisc, and other continental and non-continental European Gods are racists. The tattoo I bear on my chest for Odin, a valknut on my left breast, is seen by many as a symbol of hate. The valknut I wear around my neck is seen by many as a symbol of hate. Even my son’s Mjolnir necklace is seen by some a symbol of hate. The symbolic representations of my God, and the Runes He sacrificed Himself to Himself for, namely the Runes Tiewaz, Sowilo, Algiz, and Othala are seen as symbols of hate. The Rune Othala is actively banned from display in Germany due to its use by the Nazis. The Rune Sowilo similarly is problematic as the SS officers used it in their insignia. Were a Heathen to seek to use the flyfot or swastika on a banner, as a tattoo, or in art otherwise, those who use it would be seen to espouse racism, genocide, and anti-Semitism.
Racism actively harms religions. It associates the religion with atrocities such as murder, genocide, discrimination, and hate. Racism denies our common humanity, indeed, it denies the humanity of other people outright. It limits the ways in which a religion can express itself effectively, pushing us to ignore, downplay, or outright restrict the use of certain symbols, or combinations thereof. It gives more leverage to those who would deny us our rights. It gives supposedly tolerant mainstream religions another avenue to attack our religious community’s right to exist.
Racism is what enabled America to be built on top of the bodies of countless Native and black indigenous peoples. Entire tribes of First Nation people wiped out and made into pariahs in their own homeland. Entire groups of black tribes and nations displaced, divided, abused, and murdered. Racism began as an idea, continued as a genocide, and has not stopped killing, maiming, displacing, and denying people their human rights.
Racism is what allows capitalism to keep on chugging as cheaply as it has. It, together with its usual cohorts of capitalism and imperialism, is what enabled United Fruit to set up shop in Guatemala under a military coup manufactured by the United States. Racism allows millions of people, children and adults, the world over to become so many numbers to those here, denied the reality of suffering under the weight of need and an exploitative global economic system set to prey on those needs.
Racism actively harms because it enables those who would use institutional, dog-whistle, and more covert forms of racist, ethnic, and other forms of discrimination to flourish. It encourages, rather than challenges and fights this filth. It engenders fear, hate, and denial of people’s needs, rights, and values. Look no further than Ferguson or Detroit to see what racism does when those in power enforce its ideas, and act on its beliefs. Look in your own town. Racist arguments are ready to hand that blames the immigrants for loss of jobs for white people, as if would-be middle-class white folks would sell fruit on the side of the road in 100ºF heat, or would work 80 hours per week to keep their HB-1 visa, only being paid for a fraction of it, in the end earning only a fraction in of what their American-born white colleagues make for a 40 hour work week.
Racism actively harms Heathenry by denying the most basic concept found in the lore regarding humanity’s origins: that we all descended from common Ancestors, brought to life and blessed by Odin, Vili, and Vé. Ask and Embla are the common Ancestors of humanity according to the Creation Story. Odin did not throw them back into the sea, but took Them up as They washed onto the shore, and breathed life into Them, and through Them, into us. He did not say “This tree is too brown” or “This tree is perfect and white”. He took our Ancestors as They were, washed up on shore; driftwood.
Racism hurts people, and harms the Heathen religions because it sets up the false premise that if one is not related ethnically or looks a certain way that they cannot be Heathen. It hurts the people who would join the various Heathen religions, and it turns people away from our Gods, Ancestors, and vaettir. It disrupts the cycles of Gebo, gift-for-a-gift, before it they can begin, by denying that anyone can reach out to the Gods.
Note: this is not saying that there should be no standards for religion. Anyone who has read this blog for any length of time should know this. There should be standards for religion. Yet that standard should not be made on the color of a person’s skin, something so foolish as blood quantum or divisions of ethnicity. Are my eyes German? Are my legs Dutch? Is my left ring finger French? Are my teeth American? Can you divide up your body so easily according to your ancestry? Then how much harder for another human being. So much for ethnicity and blood standards.
Can you practice the religion? Can you respect the strictures of the religion? Can you understand what you are doing well enough that calling yourself a Heathen means something? Ancient Heathens intermarried wherever they roamed, whether trading or settling. They brought back wives from the places they visited, and assimilated with the people where they settled.
All of this being said, if Irminfolk wishes to continue imposing their ridiculous ethnicity and blood requirements, so far as I know they are free to do so. However, as they are not being censored and as I and others see they are actively harming our religious communities, we too shall use our right to speak against them and their racist, ethnocentrist policies. We shall continue to speak against them, and people like them. Their policies are insulting to Heathenry, and are harmful to the Heathen religious communities who believe that everyone, regardless of ethnicity, origin, blood ,etc. has a right to be in our communities.
When a group out in public to declare their policies and claim they are Heathen, you are no longer operating privately. When these policies are laid out for the world to see, this group opened itself up to criticism, rightly deserved. Irminfolk absolutely has a right to make these policies, and make these policies known as far and wide or as quietly as they wish. They are not immune to criticism, nor should they be.
For those who claim to follow the religion of the Heathen Gods, Ancestors, and vaettir who are racist, their words are nothing more than speaking out both sides of one’s mouth. They are lying to themselves, to the Ancestors, and to the Gods they claim to worship. They are lying to the public when they proclaim “This is Heathenry!” They are liars in denying our common humanity in Ask and Embla, in denying that all people are blessed with life by the Gods.
I ask all Heathens who believe in equality, the rights of others, and in our common humanity to stand up to the racists in our midst. Deny them platforms from which to speak. Denounce their lies when they are spoken. Speak out and speak strongly. Give them no comfort, and allow them no place in your halls or worship.
I give you rede, Loddfafnir, heed it well!
You will use it, if you learn it,
it will get you good if you understand it
If you know that someone is evil, say so.
Never give friendship to your enemies.” -The Hávamál
38 thoughts on “Why Racism Harms Heathenry”
Reblogged this on Torch and Hailstone and commented:
I agree with this post entirely, but I will add that one does not need religious reasons to believe that all people are people regardless of colour and all people deserve fair and equal treatment. Irminfolk is racist and disgusting and we should absolutely not stand by while they and others shit all over PoC and Heathenry. Racism absolutely harms Heathenry.
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Tell me how I am racist? You claim that the “Irminfolk are racist and are disgusting” (your words with grammar correction). Whom do you know who is a part of the Irminfolk? What makes you think the things you do about people you have not met?
I am personally calling you out on this point. Back up your claims or be quiet with your slander. Tell us all how you came to this conclusion.
You have every right to believe whatever you wish about whomever you wish, but when you start posting in a public forum (which this is) It becomes legally slanderous. So here is your chance to back up your statements with factual data to support it. Or you can go Troll off someplace dark and think evil thoughts about people who have done you no harm. Your choice.
Thank you for correcting my grammar.
Incidentally, I do have reasons for calling the Irminfolk Odinist Community racist. A few weeks ago, HUAR brought their bylaws to my attention. In those bylaws were very clearly detailed the criteria for membership, and those criteria required a minimum blood requirement of various ethnicities, including “Germanic”, ” Celtic”, and “Aryan”, among others which escape my memory. Conveniently, the bylaws have been taken down, possibly due to the backlash from several Heathen groups. At the moment, the Wayback Machine is under maintenance, but here’s a link in case you want to look (http://irminfolk.com/bylaws-of-the-irminfolk/#Article_13_section_3). Quite apart from the focus on European whiteness often associated with supremacists, being selective and exclusionary on the basis of “blood” is racism. Instead of being preoccupied with ancestry, they should be focused on right action. We are our deeds, not our race, for gods’ sakes.
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A reasoned response, and true in all points. But as Mike Sagginario mentioned below the requirements for membership in Irminfolk are extremely stringent for a reason, we are folkish in our beliefs as has been mentioned many times, and membership in the organization is a form of stewardship. However that doesn’t mean that we do not associate with, demean, or in any way consider other people to be less human than we are. It is simply our way of ensuring that the direction the Irminfolk moves in will be in line with the folkish tradition and with our values and beliefs.
We all have friends, relations, or even family that do not understand what we do. Isnt it better to find the common ground between the different sects of Asatru, Theodism, and Icelandic traditions so we can all move forward together than to spread dissent and distrust amongst each other’s tribes?
ABSOLUTELY. I resisted Team Norse for a good five years, despite being Norse-curious and it was because I had met local Heathens who were folkish and anti-GLBTQ.
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Reblogged this on facingthefireswithin and commented:
I will remain silent on some of the politics of the screed but other parts and the sentiment make sense.
Does Racism harm Heathenry? Yes, to this I will agree. It harms us in the public perception and does make it harder for some to come to our Gods. In this, it is bad.
But will we ever not be considered racists by the mainstream? I doubt it. We are worshiping “White” gods from “White” countries and taking pride in “white” things. This is the definition of racism as it exists by all those who call Heathens racist. We could silence every real racist out there and the larger pagan community and larger world community would still consider us to be racist because we honor and take pride in “white gods/white history” rather than shame those things as inherently racist. This is why I have pretty much stopped calling out those heathens people have declared “racists.” I do not wish to any longer hunt my religious kin so as to make myself appeasable to the masses. I may not agree with everything a “racist” heathen believes, but his faith is in my gods. Why should i figuratively kill a man of my faith in an attempt to appease a stranger who thinks all who worship as i do are racists and should be destroyed?
As for the Irminfolk bylaws. They aren’t racists. Do they have a quota on genetics in order to be a member? Yes. But so does every Native American, or really any group that’s for a specific ethnic or racial group, out there. That in an of itself is not a racist act, or if it is, then the Huar dishonor themselves by not attacking all “Racist” blood quota. Instead HUAR attacks only heathens, their own people, rather than honorably call out all racists from every group. HUAR, in fact, are engaged in racist acts themselves because they only attack one group based on skin color, rather than hold all peoples accountable to the same standard.
It is said that racism comes from ignorance. If this is so, hunting, ostracizing, and bullying people who hold racist beliefs will not change them, and it will not protect Heathenism. Better then, to love and educate those who hold such beliefs. Teach them that the Gods do not hold to such thoughts, and Heathenism will be made stronger, no matter what the outside world believes in us.
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I’ve said it before and I will say it again: The European peoples, definitely including the Germanic peoples, gave their culture to the world *at gunpoint*. We have no business now claiming that it should be exclusive to us, and no business claiming we are oppressed for having to keep sharing it.
The Norse gods and Their people aren’t known for staying home and keeping to themselves. They’re known for wandering, trading, and conquering. That means sharing, exchanging, and even forcing our culture, our values, our beliefs, on anyone we come into contact with. I can’t say it’s only fair that those other people then take on our culture, values, and beliefs, because it would be ridiculous to call colonialism “fair”.
If you want to try and argue that Europe only acted like that because of Christianity, then I cry bullshit, because all of Europe was *terrified* of the Norsemen *before* conversion specifically because of this behavior, and it was the culturally Germanic people who did things like stop to kill all the Jews in their local area before continuing on to the Crusades.
I’m not proud of this part of our heritage, but I am obliged to acknowledge that it’s part of our history. As such, it is completely fucking ridiculous to complain now that our culture is shared among the people *we forced it on*.
To little. Too late. If our Ancestors wanted to keep it all for us, They should have stayed home in the first place.
Ember, that is a far, far over simplification of European and Human history. There were a number of reasons as to why the Europeans left Europe to explore, trade, and conquer, not the least of which was imperialist expansion from middle eastern empires. (A brief timeline will show that the Age of Imperialism in Europe follows nearly exactly to the year that the Spanish managed to reclaim their homeland from centuries of occupation in 1492. If that year sounds familure, it’s because that’s when Columbus sailed and discovered the Americas. If one recalls, he was attempting to find a route to India and Asia in an attempt to find not just a cheaper way to get goods from there, but to prevent that capital from funding the Islamic Empire which had occupied the Spanish and pirated the Mediterranean for hundreds of years).
Were their sins committed? Yes. Were they the worst ones in history? Hardly. Bad, but not the worst. Every other group out there is as capable, and responsible, for the exact same actions. The only difference is that it has occurred different times then our present ones. Does that mean that because it was “shared” in the past it cannot be kept now? I’m not following your argument there unless it’s some sort of “White people owe the world” type of thing, which, really, was a large argument for all that “gun point sharing.”
Oh, look it’s the Arab trader argument (without directly invoking them) https://abagond.wordpress.com/2009/10/03/the-arab-trader-argument/
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caelesti, i was not invoking or even referring to that argument. I was referring to historically documented events. Events that had direct effects on European history and influenced the actions of European nations.
But, since you want to bring that up I will ask you. Do you believe that “white” people should be held to a different moral standard than everyone else in the world? are other peoples in this world allowed to commit injustices, crimes, and villainies but not “white” people? In committing such acts, is the harm made lesser because it was not done by a “white” person?
Sorry- it sounded like that argument (I see a lot of the same ones over & over!) No, I don’t think “white” people should be held to a different moral standard. Human beings are opportunistic creatures. I don’t think people in different sides of this discussion have common understandings of racism, white privilege and other concepts, so I don’t think further discussion here is especially productive or helpful. I’ll keep blogging and trying to educate on my blog, and you keep doing so on yours and hopefully we can come to a better understanding.
Reblogged this on EmberVoices: Listening for the Vanir and commented:
This. Read this. –Ember–
I feel a strong need to speak up in this case. As a member of the Irminfolk I strongly disagree with the idea that we are racist in any way at all except to say that we are proud of our ancestry and are not afraid to speak up about it.
Being proud of who you are and of your heritage does NOT equate to hatred or denigration of anyone else. I personally believe that northern european roots make a stronger and more worthy person than many others, and I have no shame for actions I personally did not involve myself in or for stuff that happened before I was born. Again this does not constitute racism. And I would ask readers to consider that putting down organizations which actively promote Asatru values and seek to restore honor to our people is not in fact a far worse crime than any form of self love could be.
I agree that being proud of your ancestry & culture does not mean being racist. I do think culture is a lot more important than ancestry- a child adopted from Korea but raised Asatru will be more culturally Germanic than Korean. Likewise, many Heathens with the “right” pedigree have a more Christian mindset. I would not take issue with groups that stressed being grounded in a cultural worldview (Germanic, Celtic, Slavic etc) learning language, practicing customs, etc. rather than ancestry. In fact I think those things are essential to any culturally-based religion. I do not believe we should feel guilty for things our ancestors did, but I do think we need to take responsibility and admit when we still benefit- and sometimes suffer- from things we inherited- whether it be musical gifts or an addictive personality.
I am a member of the Board of Directors of the Irminfolk.
As Danielle’s quote above points out so eloquently, critical thinking and logic seem to be a short commodity with the left-wing extremist political advocate sort of Heathen genre represented here.
Extremists harm Heathenry.. plain and simple. And this witch hunt is the basest form of political extremism I have ever witnessed.
First, let me repeat for those unfamiliar with the rest of precedent conversation that while The Irminfolk holds a core group to a specific exclusive requirement, we do not hold these same standards to guests or friends.
We are a folkish Odinist community. We consulted with an Amerind tribe, as well as Christian “church planters” and legal counsel when drafting our Bylaws. The intent was to define a standard that would allow us to maintain a Folkish characteristic that would last with specific- mandatory intent, while keeping a sort of flexibility that would keep us from necessarily becoming isolationist in relation to other heathen groups. Good fences, good neighbors sort of thing.
Because, while the people who have been voted in as members have strict requirements (one of which includes being of European Ancestry and accepting the “folkish” manner of practicing heathery) we do not hold our guests and friends to these requirements.
Becoming a “Member” of the Irminfolk distinguishes one from being a guest of ours in one specific way: the right to vote on how we run things. Full members can become a part of the directing process. That and members are oathed and contracted to us and therefore we are comfortable providing certain privileges like access to our library and such.
We have NEVER HAD ANY problem getting along with native Americans… No problem co-hosting events with groups of people who fundamentally disagree with our overtly folkish resolution. We openly welcome discussion on the matter and when people who would not qualify to become a member for one or another reason.
“We are folkish, it means this and this… your opinions seem to lean more toward a Universalist point of view… If you feel so strongly, let me refer you to this book and this group. Check them out.”
There’s no reason to quarrel. But it is the CORE COMPETENCY of these rabid liberal wierdo pages who seem to exist solely on the internet. The word “racism” and the topic of race rarely enters the topics among us… It is YOU communist troll groups who never shut up about race issues.
Do you want to know what ACTUALLY harmed heathery in a quantifiable and real-world manner? It is the fact that the witch hunt brought on by Ryan Smith et.al and HUAR, in collaboration with the violent political extremist group ANTIFA caused The irminfolk to cancel it’s children’s outing to the Philly Aquarium because of security concerns following threats including death threats.
Exclusive membership in a private organization, and the practice of Folkish Heathen spirituality, are both protected Civil Rights in the United States. Creating an atmosphere where mothers cannot bring their young children on public group outings without fear of violence, “exposure”, intimidation, and lost privacy is an intolerable, terrorist criminal act.
Despite the fact that the Irminfolk does not engage in practices that put others down or victimize anyone, and we openly welcome collaboration with people whether or not they share our religious philosophy, Ryan Smith, Administrator for HUAR, and representing its membership body, insists that the legitimate exercise of peaceful, lawful, and legally protected practices of free assembly and free association must be policed, discouraged, disbursed, and coerced by his unincorporated extremist group.
HUAR’s tactics focus of generating an atmosphere of menace and intimidation in an attempt to engender a chilling effect on the ability of peaceful, law-abiding, Heathen Religious groups to carry on their rights to practice their faith in the manner they choose. Ryan Smith urges his followers to aggressively confront anyone his extremist ideology deems “cancerous” and in his writings he instructs his followers to resist urges to “keep frith,” “show respect,” “not tear people down,”and “stop being so negative.”
In the name of “equality and freedom” Smith exhorts the following:
“If we dig out the organized, most egregious examples of these toxins by root, stem, and branch, but leave undisturbed the soil in which their seeds first took root, then we will be passing this terrible burden on to the next generation of Heathens. “
Under the legal doctrine of vicarious liability, publisher Ryan Smith may be held directly responsible for the intimidation his dogmatic rants inspire. We contend he is directly and personally responsible for intentionally infringing upon the Civil Rights of our group through this ethnic-intimidation campaign.
The Federal Civil Rights act of 1964 permits federal prosecution of anyone who willingly injures, intimidates or interferes with another person, or attempts to do so, by force because of the other person’s race, color, religion or national origin” because of the victim’s attempt to engage in one of six types of federally protected activities, including patronizing a public place or facility.
Extremists harm heathery… The Irminfolk is building … extremist liberals with nothing to show for their “religion” are tearing it apart.
As ye sow, so shall ye reap.
“The lady doth protest too much methinks”… – William Shakespeare
I’m reading this blog and these comments from 2014. It’s 2019 now. I pray to Odin that things have changed for you and your group since then.
As an outside observer, someone who has just become a Pagan/Heathen, it was a big eye-opening experience for me to read this. I have come across one website so far of someone with your “nationality purity values”. I was turned off immediately and never went back.
I would be an excellent candidate (except I don’t know if your group takes/took women?) for your group/religion, according to what you described. I am Irish with proven Viking lineage (23andme) on my mom’s side, German and Lithuanian on my dad’s side.
After reading the way you talked to people, I would never want to join your group. There were others who have your same views here that were able to respond while maintaining a level of respect, a calm demeanor, and an understanding that not everyone thinks like they do. I did not see that from your comment. Instead, there was attacks against liberal Heathens, this blog and it’s author, and everyone that didn’t agree with you.
You mentioned that you hate extremists. People get the most upset when they see in others what they don’t like to see in themselves. Think about that. You hate the far left. Maybe your group represents/represented the far-right? It can be like looking in a mirror. We don’t want to see it while we are in the middle of it. Especially when we are full of hate and anger like that. It’s a dark place to be.
People that live like this have deep seeded pain, fears, misunderstandings, confusions, they had tough childhoods, were bullied, we’re brainwashed by their families and churches, programmed by the people they grew up around, etc. They don’t know how to not hate, let go of their anger, not judge people, they aren’t willing to listen to other sides of why people are the way they are, or be kind and empathetic to others. Their hearts and minds are shut as tight as Fort Knox.
I hope that things have changed in these last 5 years. I hope I am preaching to the choir.
Nice words above from a guy who posts stolen pictures of other people on StormFront. Also, if you’re so proud of your bylaws, why take them down?
“Racism” is a very slippery slope in terms of WHO is defining the bounds that consistute “racism”.
If it is considered to be “racist” when you express ANY kind of pride for your family heritage, ethnicity, nationality, etc. – THEN we all have a problem! – Most of the problem is in the politics and the screwy political systems which choose to define, for us, what constitutes racism as churned out by the many “race-baiting-profiteers” out there.
There is the other big problem: OUR OWN IGNORANCE.
We have been led down the “path” to associate family background, heritage, nationality, ethnicity, tradition, culture, etc. as being the same as “race”. – When we all allow ourselves into this metasticised form of politically-induced and accultured ignorance, – then the real question of what really constitutes “racism” becomes all the more murky.
It is more the acts and the actors who harm anything, NOT merely the ideas. It is also up to those who actually care to take to themselves the responsibility to BE the better example, rather than carping about the ill in the first place. So, all of the carping and in-fighting is most likely what causes the greatest harm to ANY religion, church, or group.
– “Just my thoughts.”
I agree Rev.
An attorney had the same sentiment when we set out to try and “define” in a legally enforceable way, what “folkish” heathery is. There needed to be a discussion and enumeration about what we feel was an adequate circumscribed definition of “ethnic European”. Later we enumerated as many terms as we found to be of common usage in a myriad of easy-to-find reference books.
This alone is what set off the witch hunt, that culminated in death threats which led us to be forced to cancel a heathen Children’s outing.
This is EXACTLY what racist terrorism is… by definition. And they are such hypocrites that they cannot even see what they are doing.
Anybody with even a C average in High school should be able to count all the Logical Fallacies in the OP; it’s why I declined to encumber this thread to go point by point. I TRUST that most people are not as stupid as that.
But what people need to be aware of is that HUAR attacked the Irminfolk because we are white… They openly and overtly engaged in an ethnic intimidation campaign that resulted in death threats, and caused us to not be able to attend a planned event.
THAT is “heathery” to you people?
You all have SOO much time on your hands after you are done successfully managing your personal affairs, and your work, and then helping build your heathen communities, and contributing with tangible things like art and skills, and volunteering for jobs within your Non-profit’s board, etc etc, that you also have time to launch an elaborate ethnic intimidation campaign based on left wing political advocacy?
Or do you not do these things? Do all these groups collecting charity money not have a non-profit charter? And they are not so worried that it’s time to start closing the books for Fiscal year 2014 because they don’t report to the IRS? Are they all just internet losers with no real Heathen kindred or community?
Stop wasting your time with plastic 99 cent store Halloween decoration nidpoles, and start CONTRIBUTING something positive.
If my being Folkish is SUCH a threat to you that all of the great things you all accomplish would fall to ashes by my mere existence… then you are to much of a weak beta loser to hack it anyway.
For all the rest, who are not so pathetic, you are welcome to reach out to us. The Irminfolk is easy to find. We are a lot easier to have a discussion with than these deranged communists anyway.
I might not have expressed my views so strongly as Mike did, but his basic point is sound. If you have questions about us, ask. We are here and we are not leaving. Our faith and belief is strong enough to be questioned. However to those who choose to make slanderous commentary from the safe anonimity of your internet chaise loungers I say that you are no heathen yourself if you will not stand up face to face and man to man to speak your mind. I welcome all topics of discussion and will gladly speak to anyone with questions on this, or any related topic. Feel free to message me on FB. As Mike said, we’re easy to find.
To back up a bit- from what I recall, HUAR was founded after the shootings at the Jewish community center in Kansas City (as the shooter called himself Heathen/Odinist) Folks who identified with Heathenry gathered together to make statements against hate & to raise some money for the affected community. I think that is something people of both so-called folkish & universalist views supported. I disagree with the folkish policy, but I do not believe people with folkish views necessarily promote violence against people of color, and I certainly do not want to promote violence against anyone who is peaceful. Religious groups do indeed have rights to determine membership and have criteria that employers, public schools and other institutions cannot have.
I do think we have different understandings of what “racism” means, and it seems we are talking past each other. In HUAR, we see ethnic/cultural pride as being different than pride in one’s skin color and the historical status that entails. Many of us *are* pale-skinned people and we want to hold people like us to a higher standard. Many of us are the descendants of long-assimilated immigrants or African slaves, Americans are a very mixed bunch indeed. Given that we speak English, grow up with German fairy tales & folklore, and Norse mythology can even be found in comic books (however watered down) this makes Heathenry more accessible to a broader range of people. Likewise with Greek mythology. I am new to Heathenry myself, I have spent many years as a Druid/Celtic Pagan, a path I still follow, but wanted to learn more of Germanic traditions as the area I live in (Minnesota) is very heavily German & Scandinavian, I have many friends who speak German & Norwegian etc. We have a wonderful Irish music & cultural community here as well. To be frank with you a lot of European cultural organizations would die out if we get hung up on who has the right ancestry- we mostly are interested in- who will show up, who will volunteer to set up the event, who will practice the music, the dance, the language and pass down those traditions. It sounds like that’s what you’re trying to do with Irminfolk, but I’m not sure why having a requirement of ancestry is necessary, but it is your group.
Your tempered and reasonable response caused me to have to back up indeed… to re-read and confirm that you are claiming to be a member of Huar. I’m used to vitriol and incoherent hate-rants from that sector. You might want to curse at me a little bit to stay on their good side. They tend to maintain a united front against “racist” white people.
I am familiar with Glen Miller and the Kansas city Shooting. I am of the belief (but I may be mistaken) that HUAR existed before the charity drive was established by Ryan Smith. The AFA collected money and contributed to it (rather than compete with it) … and much to everyone’s dismay and horror, I heard a few days later that HUAR had a discussion about returning the money! Then its members and associates issued memes condemning Steve McNallen.
All very consistent with Ryan Smith’s demand that his followers “avoid frith”.
A very interesting side not about Glen Miller is that he wasn’t an Odinist at all. He was Christian Identity through and through… And a Klan member, and all kinds of off the wall things. His “Odinist” proclamation was just a Honey pot to try and affect a new market.
But even more Interestingly, the “secret informant” who was feeding Ryan Smith information about me a few weeks ago, and being buddy buddy with HUAR and Philly Antifa, is the same mole who was in close contact with Glen Miller. Small world, I guess. Probably just a coincidence. But strange bedfellows nonetheless.
The Irminfolk is a Folkish Group. We may not agree on whether Asatru is ancestral or cultural and possibly never will. I am of no allusions that I should engage in any arguments with anyone on that point. Talmudic quibbling is not my core competency. It’s a waste of time and a distraction from getting good things done (have I mentioned the Irminfolk prides itself on “Getting Shit Done” IRL?). But when setting up “bullet proof” foundations for the organization, we wanted to protect against insurrection from groups EXACTLY like HUAR. Trolls who would attempt to join, just to agitate for their Xanax-fueled political agenda.
And the Bylaws apply to our members only, who act as a core cadre in stewardship of the organization. After our reformation on Midsummer ’14 we became real snobs about who can gaze upon the scepters of power. Drunks, Drug users, criminal gang members, they are also on the “we’ll call you, don’t call us” list. Then there are things that can’t be codified into law at all… Like “dumbass” and “loser”.
I know some of the people who come around us are much more “left wing” than I… and we get along just fine by collaborating on the things we DO agree on. It’s irrelevant to our mission, really, and the topic rarely comes up (except in the context of “Uni attacks”).
Some of our guests and friends make it a point to sample different events around the NE united states, especially East Coast Thing. They consistently report getting the third degree about their association with us evil racists and feel outcast for not joining in a spastic frenzied chorus of “Fuck the Nazis!”.
To try and help ease the tensions, especially for the people we knew were going to be attending ECT, we left a gift of our Irminfolk Branded Cherry Wheat beer. And they had to have a discussion about whether a gift from us pariahs should be accepted.As a result, a few people reported they may stop attending ECT in the future.
THAT is exactly how NOT to build a community or garner support. It’s divisive agitation and it leads only to dissolution.
The Irminfolk is not a threat to Heathenry, and if we are, contact us and explain which action we took which interfered with your rights. We can work on something which is mutually agreeable. What IS a threat is a group Like HUAR constantly agitating and “avoiding frith” and doing NOTHING positive at all.
Reblogged this on Adventures of a Baby Pagan.
Reblogged this on A Heathen Naturalist and commented:
I’ve been having a blog post or two swirling around in my head on this matter ever since that Wild Hunt post. (By the way, I’m that someone he’s referring to when he said, “I did not say, as someone implied, that simply criticizing them was doing so.”) Unfortunately, it’s finals week, and I haven’t had time to sit down and write out a post that does this subject justice (nor was looking forward to dealing with the trolls that might show up). So thank you Sarenth for posting this in the meantime!
I teach in a city that’s over 60% Hispanic, and my students reflect that demographic pretty closely. I wear a Valknut under my shirt every day to work, since I associate Odin with my job as a college professor. Racists are a big reason why I remain deep in the closet about my religion, especially at work. What if one of my students were to find out I was Heathen, start Googling online, and find something like “Wotan vs. Tezcatlipoca”, a blatantly racist essay written by the leader of one of the two biggest Asatru organizations in the United States? What if that student was one of the students who didn’t get as high a grade in my class as he thought he deserved, and then assumes it was because I was harder on him because he’s Hispanic?
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Amanda, as a nurse I am in something of the same position as you are with regard to the greater community we both serve. However, I am not in closet about my faith and I speak openly about it when and where the situation is appropriate. I do not believe one can be a “closet heathen” and still be truly heathen. I understand that many will disagree with me on this issue and that is their right, I simply ask you this. When called upon to account for your deeds will you hide who you are then too?
Thanks for calling me “not truly Heathen” for trying to protect my family’s livelihood.
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Reblogged this on Ironwood Witch and commented:
Hail and well said!
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I began the path of Heathenry in 1996, and I have never, ever, had a problem with expressing myself and my understanding of heathenry as it developed over the years. The only time I ever experience a negative attitude is from other (Left wing communist) Heathens.
As with any misunderstood subject, all one has to do is enlighten the ignorant in a clear, simple, and non-condescending manner.
When I was in college, someone found a symbol I was wearing (I don’t remember if it was a rune or perhaps a valknut) on the ADL’s website. He asked me about it, and I explained that leftists control freaks like the ADL have an agenda to profit off of selling race hate, but the symbol I am wearing predates any of that political stuff and is irrelevant to whatever their articles shriek about. Later, I dug up a more rational article about the symbol and gave it to him. He understood, and later convinced the IT department to add the ADL’s website to the list of “extremist” websites which pops up a warning about political advocacy and bias.
I find that extremists on both the left and the right use these symbols and this religion as the battleground for their own deep psychological problems and personality disorders. On the Right, extremists use Asatru as a means of projecting grandiose idealism which is missing from an otherwise dysfunctional or unfulfilled life. Born losers love to fantasize about knights in shining armor, when they should be contemplating and dissecting their own failures.
And on the left they fall mostly into the delusions of the special victim cult.
They invent boogie men who aren’t there because they are projecting their own inner demons onto others to shout them down in effigy.
Liberals are the biggest racists I have ever encountered. They come across as demented, unhinged, hate-filled and irrational in almost everything they attempt.
Liberals, I find, see race in everything where even overt racialists wouldn’t. Race is an obsession of theirs. It’s constantly on their mind. It debases their thoughts just as bad as any Klansman, and prevents open discourse. Left wing Anti racists drive just as many wedges and engage in just as much hate and any right wing racist. They are both demented and deranged. Neither has any effective role in building anything good.
They need each other because the friction is the end they crave, and they lash out constantly to sooth their own problems. Much like the polar opposites on a horseshoe magnet.
This “horseshoe effect” is exactly why the FBI sets up fake KKK and then fake Antifa cells to fight each other, to create honey pots to justify their “investigations”.
NONE of it is relevant to heathenry, and most rational and balanced people cannot get comfortable around such friction.
Extremists, just like some of you, are just as much of a problem as the people you seek to censor and incite terrorist attacks against.
Frankly, I’ve found people of many political views to have constructive and not so constructive attitudes towards race and ethnicity. I’ve only been civil, but you are being hostile in return. I think we’re getting into mud-slinging here rather than actual communication. What I am curious about is how different people learn about race and how they define “racism”, as we don’t seem to be on the same page. http://paganleft.wordpress.com/2014/12/12/howwhat-did-you-learn-about-race/
Want to continue the “what is race, etc” discussion over on your page? I will be more temperate there. I do have some opinions on your statements, but it’s your page, I am deep behind enemy lines here, and I didn’t want to intrude upon your blog. I’ll post there if invited.
This blog here is openly calling for censorship, and has contributed to the hostility my group has faced.
When we received death threats and had to cancel events, Huar entered a whole new legal threshold for us. Ethnic intimidation and Terrorism. So I will remain hostile to “attack the Irminfolk” advocates until the threat is incapacitated, either by a full and public statement of retraction, or an indictment; whichever can be secured first.
Yes- so long as you do not attack HUAR or any of its members, liberals or other groups and focus on your own experiences. I am a political scientist by training, so I am curious about how people develop their ideas.
The reason I am here is because of my recent experience with liberals and Huar.
Most well adjusted people, myself included, usually ignore the fringe “racism is everywhere even though there is no such thing as race, except black people are a race, but white people aren’t, except white people are always bad” nonsense.
I think It is all absolutely irrelevant to Heathenry to go in endless circles with people who think there is no such thing as race, yet the substantial part (well over 80%) of all these blogs are obsessively focused on complaining about race topics. These are clearly NOT religious groups. There’s not one picture of a congregation on one of the blogs I ducked into, just endless rants about marxism, communism, liberalism, and other political focuses that would prohibit a non-profit charity from operation. NONE of this stuff is heathen, or even religious at all! And I think it is plain for all to see. My inbox is pretty lit up by people who also see these things as I do.
Huar attacked ME and mine, and has yet to issue a retraction, apology, or condemnation of the criminal acts they are responsible for. Huar believes that it has an inalienable right to hold in absentia “racism tribunals”, based on convoluted standards it makes up on the fly, and issue edicts to police a community is has NOTHING to do with. Then wants protection and immunity when their actions piss people off?
THAT is my personal experience. If I didn’t experience that, I wouldn’t be on this blog.
HUAR, its members, THIS BLOG, yours, and several others are liberal political advocacy groups -not religious organizations- that have declared openly that it is their goal and aim, purpose and scope to adversely affect Folkish Heathen groups and prevent their function.
On December 10th you wrote:
” If we tolerate racists in the name of frith and hospitality, while claiming this or that doesn’t “technically” count as racism, people will rightfully not trust us.”
I have come to discover that “Racism” and “Racist” are words used by liberals to mean “I don’t like this” and has little to do with any real meaning the lay man might associate with these terms.
I am curious how people are supposed to trust the likes of HUAR, and yourself, when both you and HUAR OPENLY advocated and justify tactics which have encouraged threats of violence against children?
You do not condemn the actions or tactics of these hate-mongers. You stand up for them. You want to be trusted? You think cowardly anonymous death threats are respectable?
I DEMAND a full, public retraction by HUAR. Then I would consider building trust in it.
Until then, I want HUAR, the uninsured, unincorporated political advocacy group that subornates interstate terrorist threats and operates charity drives without a charitable charter statement to be brought to account. And being uninsured and unincorporated, that means the individual members.
“If we tolerate racists in the name of frith and hospitality, while claiming this or that doesn’t “technically” count as racism, people will rightfully not trust us. Referring to pre-Christian European cultures and people as “white” is highly anachronistic.”
It is this line, and the attitude it suborns,which is what racism is. You define an ethnic group (white people), put it down and diminish its status, then make a call-to-action that it should not be tolerated. It’s exactly what racism is.
This is obvious to even the most basic lay man. The general attitude this blog exudes, in post after post, is that you are a racist political advocate who has an irrational, paranoid, delusional hatred of white people, and you attempt to justify your racial prejudice by tinseling it with pre-christian European spirituality.
From the CDC website when cross referencing the search terms “Chronic Delusional Psychosis” with “racism” we find:
“Clearly, anyone who scapegoats a whole group of people and seeks to eliminate them to resolve his or her internal conflicts meets criteria for a delusional disorder, a major psychiatric illness.
Extreme racists’ violence should be considered in the context of behavior described by Allport in The Nature of Prejudice.2 Allport’s 5-point scale categorizes increasingly dangerous acts. It begins with verbal expression of antagonism, progresses to avoidance of members of disliked groups, then to active discrimination against them, to physical attack, and finally to extermination (lynchings, massacres, genocide). That fifth point on the scale, the acting out of extermination fantasies, is readily classifiable as delusional behavior.
Their strong racist feelings, which were tied to fixed belief systems impervious to reality checks, were symptoms of serious mental dysfunction. When these patients became more aware of their own problems, they grew less paranoid—and less prejudiced.”
Now, please allow me to recapitulate the events leading up to my wading into the back alleys of of universalist heathenry.
My Tribe, a Folkish heathen organization set out to circumscribe a definition for our belief in Folkish heathenry and in so doing, created a broad definition for what we mean by “Ethnic European”.
Huar, a communist political advocacy group which promotes race-hate, then held an in absentia “trial” to determine if that met their unpublished and completely arbitrary definition of “racism”.
Huar determined that our expression of Folkish Heathenry is to be met with expressions of antagonism, recommended avoidance of members of the disliked group, promotes active discrimination against us, and the result has been at least two unlawful terrorist threats.
So let us compare which is “RACIST” by definition; shall we?
My group, which promotes Folkish heathen Spirituality as a native religion for ethnic Europeans, and does not scorn or bother anybody else. And whose successes have helped promote Heathenry in general, and who attract dozens of families with scores of children, regardless of their beliefs.
Or, Huar, who’s methods and tactics have progressed through four of five of the points used on the scale to diagnose mentally ill racists?
Part of what brought me on my path to Asatru was the strong ethic of taking personal ownership of your own situation, not to scapegoat others for my own demons and shortcomings.
The Huar representative above has decided to delete my conversations and denies Huar is responsible when people make threats.
So I will repeat my deleted challenge here, because so many of the good guys are reading this thread now and I think discrediting Huar is an important service to the heathen community. The support we have received from good family people from so many walks of life is a strong indicator to convince me of this.
You openly promote intolerance. Your own statement above evidences that fact. When you go beyond simply “disagreeing” to promoting antagonism, avoidance and boycotts of groups you disagree with, that becomes an attack.
When that attitude coalesces into creating an atmosphere where someone, inspired by the published rhetoric, commits a crime, that is well within the legal litmus for vicarious liability.
If you are sincere, then would you condemn HUAR publicly if they indeed have threatening rhetoric on their facebook group page right now? Would you condemn and leave the page, and blog about the intolerable situation they have caused?
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