White Nationalists and Asatru
by Erik Lundrbeck
Being half-Hispanic and a proud Asatruar, this problem with white nationalists perverting our religion for their ridiculous racist nonsense needs to be taken on in every arena presented to us. Not only does it pervert our religion, but it spills over into the mainstream media that enjoys anything that will present an uptick in ratings. This is one of those things that generates hype and thus a negative image. It is up to us to fight this with all of our being in honor of our Gods.
My father comes from a small South American country and we have had our run ins with racists who wanted us out of their town. We stayed in said town and never left. Caving into fear only elevates those doing the attacking, whether physical or verbal, onto a faux horse of superiority. Thankfully, the attacks my family endured were verbal and lasted a few months. Once they realized we weren't going anywhere they backed off. Unfortunately for others, this is not the case. We got lucky.
There is an unfortunate tie-in with Asatru that even I fell for: you had to be of Nordic blood. One day, many years ago, I made an oath to our Gods that if I discovered I had Nordic blood I would convert to the faith of Asatru. At the time I had followed a more eclectic pagan faith drawing from many faiths that included Buddhism (which Buddhism is still an aspect of my faith today). A few weeks passed by and my mother (who is of a Northern European heritage mixed with some distant Native American) was doing our family tree and we discovered that we had Swedish ancestors who came to America in the 1700's. Since it was an oath made to the Gods, I honored my oath and have been Asatruar since then. Today, I cringe at such an oath, but when you make an oath to the Gods no matter how lame it may seem, you honor it. Unfortunately, at the time there weren't many Asatru groups to choose from especially AFA being the main one to do research from. Now there's TAC (The Asatru Community), which is a universalist Asatru group which has no racist dogma. It's straight forward Asatru that is presented in a way that doesn't dissuade you from practicing the religion or even being open about it.
However, you have things like white supremacists killing in the name of our religionthat the media loves to run amok with. It's a hard read, but you need to if you care about our faith and about the Gods. And now with tragic event in New Zealand with a white supremacist uttering “Valhalla”, there have been murmurings of anti-pagan sentiments especially from conservative political commentator Michael Knowles from the DailyWire (specifically Episode 315 of The Michael Knowles show found on Daily Wires YouTube Channel). I have emailed him in regards to this, but as of today there has been no response. How can we combat this ignorance? We must educate those who feel our religion is a bastion for racism that it is not a racist religion and it should not be judged as such because of the actions of the few who supposedly hold similar beliefs in the Gods. Perhaps by presenting a missive to each media outlet who reports these heinous actions, by those who supposedly follow our faith, we can attempt to posit our side of the story.
Racists are ignorant, that is a fact. Just think, if racists actually believed in the Gods, then they would know that in essence Thor is a "biracial" God since he is of Aesir and Jotnar blood. That's why I don't believe there is a modicum of faith in the Gods in concerns to racists. It's all about politics and whenever a political agenda mixes with a religion it becomes a perverted form of that religion that lacks in any substance. It becomes a darkened shell with no soul. All you have to do is peruse through history to see this and even today with extremist Islam. It's not about true faith, but rather about expanding a political agenda.
Our duty as Asatruar is to educate the public about our faith and allow them the opportunity to hear our side, our beliefs and present an example that Asatruar is for everyone and not just those of Nordic or Northern European blood. Odin isn't called the All-Father for nothing and that is something each person needs to realize. We may be laughed at and ridiculed by many as a "racist religion" or as a "comic book religion", but how we conduct ourselves as Asatruar and as human beings will start to erode away those ignorantly derived labels. We must never cower away from adversity, we must always confront it head on. That is the Asatru Way of Life.