Modern World’s view on Heathenry
In the ancient world, heathenry and religion in general, played a very important part in world affairs and in people's lives. What role, if any does heathenry play today? Of course this is not a question that one person can answer. So, in place of giving you an actual answer, I shall give you my thoughts on the subject as I can only speak for myself.
In the history of world events, what has heathenry done for us? Well, quite a great deal actually. Today many of our modern societies are based upon Christianity, and all we do is focus on Christianity's effect on human history. How it gave us organization, a better education, light at the end of the tunnel, etc. As well as whatever else Christians shall say. However, there is also a great deal of harm that Christianity has caused humanity, but that is not the point. Many, if not most people overlook heathenry's effects on our past, present, and hopefully future. I am not going to go on with a history lesson, so I will just go over some of the basic things heathenry has done in our past.
Heathenry has created many rich, strongly bonded communities. It has fueled the exploration and discovery of many new lands, including the Americas. Heathenry has given millions of people hope. It has created bonds of love and fellowship between people. Driven many, many major historical events, language, a search for knowledge, a respect for nature and our fellow-man. Heathenry does not teach us to hate others, but to treat them equally. Heathenry has given humans strong moral codes to try to live by. Most heathens have very open minds, something other groups of people cannot say. Above all else, it has given our lives purpose, and with more than just promises of a good afterlife. As I have said before, all of this is opinionated. Has heathenry done harm to humanity that other ideas have not? I am sure it has, but honselty I cannot think of an example at the moment.
So knowing some of the things that heathenry has done for us in the past, what is it doing now? Well, pretty much the same things! However, these things are on a much smaller scale, and in all reality, as sad as it is, do not really affect world events any longer. For me at least, heathenry provides a sense of purpose, a reason to be here. It explains things to me, and to many others. Why the sky is blue, why nature is beautiful and yet can be hostile. Hethenry can, if we look properly, tell us all of these things. In today's world heathenry creates and provides strong senses of bond, and community for those who seek it. A thirst for knowledge, and a want to become better than we are. The world may not see heathenry in this light anymore, and I do not expect it to for a long time. To heathens, heathenry provides many, many things, and to some, is life itself. But that is just how heathens see heathenry, how do other people?
Satanists, devil worshipers, racists, white supremacists, tree huggers, hippies, these are all words that I have heard heathens be called. Wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong. I have said this before, and I cannot say it enough! Of course heathenry has its waccos! But so does every other group of people! ERGH! But that is another post, we do not need to get back into that one now. Many people are, unfortunately, so ignorant to what heathenry actually is, that it is sickening. Stereotypes range from racists, race dominant thinking people, to hippie tree huggers and everything in between. That is not what heathenry is all about, but will anyone listen? For thousands of years heathens have been persecuted for their beliefs all over the world. There were many times in history where the christians would try to eradicate heathens if they did not convert, and in many parts of the world they did just that! So how can a society, that is heavily Christian in its ethics and way of thinking put heathenry in a good light when all throughout their history they were enemies? It is not impossible, but it is a very hard thing to do, for many people. There are of course many very open minded people that do not care what faith you are, and those are the best! If you respect me, I will respect you! I just wish that all people were like that. Heathenry used to have an extremely prominent role in the world, now it is on the sidelines, due to negative thoughts and stereotypes, as well as ignorance. Our place in the world is no where near what it used to be, nor what it should be. So what can we do about this?
Before I go on, I would like to clearly state that while I am only talking about Christians for the "other side", that is just my example, and it applies to all faiths and groups of people. I know that it is not all Christians. Heathens, no matter what other people, or the government will say, are not treated equally comparing to other groups of people. For heathens to get married, it is harder, to get buried in a heathen way it is much more difficult. To openly express our thoughts and ideas is much more difficult then those of the "respected and known" religions. For the most part, I believe that we are looked down upon by society. Why is this? Well for the reasons I stated above, for thousands of years Christians, and other groups have viewed us as threats, and as enemies. Terribly wrong stereotypes are constantly being spread about us, causing fear, doubt and anger. All of these things lower our place in the modern world. For all of the contributions heathenry has made, and continued to make to our lives, and our history this needs to change. Our place in the world needs to become more level with others! (Before you get any crazy ideas here, I am not saying that heathenry needs to be the only religion, or the best, or anything, only that it should be viewed and treated equally). So what can we do? There are a few things that we can start, and continue to do that will greatly help us.
1. Stand our ground: Do not let people's hurtful words, or lies, or any kind of bull shit put us down! We are heathens! We are strong and proud! Show it! Do not be afraid of what you are! If you are afraid of what you are, then maybe you shouldnt be that? If we cannot respect ourselves, and our own choices, why should others?
2. Prove the world wrong!: We need to show the world that the majority of us are not racists. That we are not skin heads or nazis, that we are just like everyone else! That we do not do human sacrifices, that we do not worship Satan. Etc. We need to show by example who we are! Charity, helping the homeless, groups like TAC that show the true nature of heathens!
3. We must educate the world!: One of the things I hate the most is when people think heathens worship the devil. WE DO NOT EVEN BELIEVE IN THE DEVIL! It just drives me nuts! This goes hand in hand with the previous number. We must teach the world who we are and what we are about!
Those are just a few ways that heathenry can become more respected and accepted into the modern world, just a few ways we can get the respect that we have earned and deserve!
What are your thoughts on heathenry's place in the world? Do you like where we are? How would you improve our position? Let me know in the comments below!
Hail Asatru! Hail Heathenry!