#notinmypaganism

So for those who aren’t already aware, the Asatru Folk Assembly FB page had a post earlier this week that pretty clearly shows their support of both racist ideals and rigidly narrow gender roles. In the event it ends up taken down, here’s a screen shot:

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Along with a couple of the comments they didn’t delete:

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They make it VERY clear their organization isn’t open to anyone who isn’t white–never mind that “white” was a contrived term that not only erased the cultural differences of people from many different European backgrounds but also deepened divisions among people based on skin color. Plus check out the very overt message that QUILTBAG* people aren’t allowed, either. And before you try to defend the AFA as only being about the promotion of European heathen traditions, notice how the comment about “Semite” “poison and tricks” was never deleted, while comments that the AFA folks didn’t agree with have been getting removed within minutes. If that’s not approval of white supremacy, I don’t know what is.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to practice the religion of your pre-Christian ancestors. But “white people” are not an endangered species in need of protection, nor should European paganisms be closed off from people of non-European heritage. Considering the amount of travel and trade the Norse and other Europeans did with other communities for centuries, there was plenty of intermarriage with non-European people anyway, so there goes your notion of historical “racial purity”. And given that a lot of heathens practice ancestor veneration, racial purity is a pretty big insult to those non-white ancestors and the people who loved/married/etc. them and considered them family. As to the insistence on men being men and women being women in a heteronormative framework, the All-Father Odin practiced the women’s art seidr, Loki became a mare and gave birth to a colt, and women were often trained to fight alongside men. Even among the Norse things were not always that cut and dried when it came to gender roles.

We pagans have known for decades there were bigots in our ranks, particularly those espousing “folkish” viewpoints–and now there’s absolutely no doubt whatsoever. Not all heathens consider themselves part of the pagan community (and definitely not all of them are racists!), but enough heathens of all sorts come to pagan events and otherwise share in pagan spaces that this declaration by the leadership of one heathen organization is relevant to paganism as a whole.

As someone who has walked a pagan path for twenty years, as someone who has written multiple books and led rituals and taught many in workshops and classes, as someone who is seen by some as at least a minor authority, and as someone who fully intends to continue being a part of the pagan community, I say: the stance of the Asatru Folk Assembly is not a part of my paganism.

White supremacy spewing hatred and racist fearmongering against racial and ethnic minorities? Not in my paganism.

Discrimination against QUILTBAG people? Not in my paganism.

Gender essentialism in which men must be one way and women must be another? Not in my paganism.

Insisting that the only “real” family is the nuclear, heterosexually-based family while all others–blended families, single parent families, childless families, families with gay parents–are invalid? Not in my paganism.

Allowing the bigotry that pervades the dominant culture to infiltrate our community without a fight? Not in my paganism.

Not in my paganism. Not in my paganism. #notinmypaganism.

*QUILTBAG = Queer, Undecided, Intersex, Lesbian, Transgender, Bisexual, Asexual, Gay

19 Comments.
  1. Why is this a shocker? The AFA has never been shy about their Euro-centric approach to heathen practices. While I do not care for their approach, I don’t have any reason to bash them for it either. They are a private religious group, that is under no legal or moral obligation to be inclusive. Want their concepts and ideas to fade into the ether and go away, quit talking about them.

    • Last I checked, “Just pretend the problem isn’t there and it’ll go away on its own” wasn’t a very effective strategy. Moreover, it’s easy for white people like me (and, I’m guessing, you?) to just say “Ignore it”. We’re not the ones being affected directly by white supremacy and related bigotries. And as a bi pagan I will not stand around quietly while anti-queer stances spread like cancer through paganism.

  2. European

    LOL. Western world is indeed doomed to have serious ideological war, if such nonoffensive , polite message is considered to be declaration of ultra racist white supremacism. Greetings from Poland to people of all races reading this.

    • Knives sheathed in velvet are still dangerous.

      • European

        “Knives in velvet”. LOL. So If I decide to breed only with white women it means Im going to cleanse all other races from the face of the Earth? Nope.

        Does it mean I’m going to kill every white me who have affairs with non white? NOPE FOR GODS SAKE!!!!

        I don’t personally care who other people fuck, as long as they are allowed by the one who is fucked. If someone’s sexual and aesthetical preferences are problem to you than I have a bad news for you about who is the real danger here. Always trying to find enemy in someone who is not hostile per se toward you is a good way to be the one who starts war. Even if you will scream out loud that you are innocent.

        • You may not personally bring violence upon people of color, but the attitude that white people must be kept pure and separate from everyone else is highly associated with race-based violence. Moreover, the fact that the AFA FB page still has not removed anti-Semitic comments suggests they condone such attitudes, which again are very clearly connected to violence. Your “but not me, I didn’t do it!” attitude is part of what allows more hostile people to find a place in spaces like the AFA.

      • Banatigh

        You can say that again, Lupa!

  3. All I can say is that I no longer wish to have my name associated with this or other organizations like it. This hate is what infects the world today. We need a Doctor and fast.

  4. Don Hardy

    Um, QUILTBAG? Seriously? I don’t think so.

  5. The AFA does not speak for Heathenry, nor may they tell us who is welcome within it. The Heathen Freehold Society of British Columbia, and the Troth of whom we are now a KAP Kindred have a rather different understanding of Heathenry.

    https://mainer74.wordpress.com/2016/08/24/heathenry-belongs-to-all-of-us/

  6. Race bating is race bating. Hate speak is hate speak. Hidden behind the guise of reconstructed ancestral tradutuibm religious or speech freedoms holds shallow water legally. The AFA should be very careful thinking that their “right” to be bigots is protected. This being said to a 4th gen Irish tradition with training in 3 other traditions and practice of 55 years….there is no such thing as purity.

  7. You do realize we never wanted to be part of your paganism in the first place, right? But nice virtue signalling.

  8. I’m sorry you had to listen to a bunch of hate speech on your blog, Lupa.

    Who cares what gender or race anyone is, anyway?

  9. Dear Haters:

    The AFA are not a “private group”, they have a very public FB page and post things anyone can see. That’s not private, it’s public. And if they are going to be bigots in public then they are going to hear my opinion about it! I do not support racism, sexism, LGBTQ bigotry, or any other kind of hate, and the AFA has chosen to spew theirs all over the internet. There is nothing private about that, and I applaud Lupa for blogging this. #notinmypaganism]

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