Asatru: We Are Not Racists

Asatru: We Are Not Racists

by Gamlinginn

 

Ásatrú is not a racist religion. Anyone who wants to be in Ásatrú should be in Ásatrú. And the word “anyone” means just that: anyone - regardless of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, language, sexual orientation, or other divisive criteria. Today, we live in a multi-ethnic nation (not to mention a multi-ethnic world). As Ásatrú advances, it will inevitably become more and more a multi-ethnic religion.

But, unfortunately, some people seem to think that Ásatrú is a racist religion. Why? Probably because there have been some people in Ásatrú who were racists and some of these have tried to use Ásatrú as a front for their racist views, claiming that it was somehow an exclusively “Nordic” religion, only open to those of “pure Aryan” descent. However, the existence of a few racists does not make Ásatrú a racist religion. Almost every religion has had some racists in it at one time or another. In Sri Lanka, for example, there are some Buddhists who are so racist that they have recently been killing the ethnic-minority Tamils in their country, but that does not make Buddhism a racist religion.

Another reason some might think that Ásatrú is a racist religion is confusion and misunderstanding about the “Scandinavian Connection” of Ásatrú. The truth about this is simply that the Aesir and the Vanir were followed longer in northern Europe than elsewhere, and thus we know about them from there. That is the reason why we use the Old Norse names for the Deities and other terms, and are so interested in pre-Christian Scandinavia. It is fine for those of northern European descent to seek out their cultural roots, but no single ethnic group “owns” the Gods of Asgard.

Some people have suggested that the ancient inhabitants of northern Europe believed in racial exclusivity, in other words that they were racists. I do not believe this. However – even if it was true – it does not matter. Just because a person’s remote ancestors might have been racists is no reason for that person to be a racist today. If one’s great-grandfather was an arsonist, one need not and should not follow in his footsteps. (Those interested in the racial attitudes of the Viking-age Scandinavians should read the article “Race, Religion, and Ásatrú Today,” by Kveldulfr Gundarsson that appeared in Mountain ThunderNumber 5, Summer 1992. This article shows that European descent is not necessary for full participation in modern Ásatrú.)

The characteristics we admire so greatly in the Vikings came about because the Vikings followed the Aesir and the Vanir – not because they had blue eyes or blond hair. These same characteristics are available today to anyone who wants to develop them by following the way of Ásatrú. It is important to remember that admiration for these attributes is not Eurocentric, it is universal. Every culture that has ever existed in the world has inherently esteemed the virtues esteemed by Ásatrú, including: courage, honor, hospitality, independence (and liberty), individuality (with self-reliance, and responsibility), industriousness (and perseverance), justice (including an innate sense of fairness and respect for others), loyalty (to family, friends, and the society of which one is a part), truthfulness, and a willingness to stand up for what is right.

What makes the Ásatrú way of life different from that of other religions, is that the Ásatrú “Code of Conduct” supports and encourages these virtues far more strongly than do other religions – some of which actually discourage several of these ideals. People who have the characteristics we admire acquired them because their culturecontains values similar to those of Ásatrú (in some cases because their culture was rooted in Ásatrú). Conversely, people who have characteristics we dislike come from backgrounds that lack those values because they are no longer taught. This is a social problem, not a racial one. It has to do with the breakdown of the family, and the resultant crumbling of all cultural values. It has nothing to do with eye shape, or hair texture, or skin color.

Ásatrú is a multi-ethnic religion – not because that might be “politically correct” at this point in time, but because multi-ethnicity is fundamental to the theology of Ásatrú. Asgard, home of the Gods, is multi-ethnic. For example, Magni and Modhi, the sons of Thorr, are also the sons of their mother, Jarnsaxa, who is a Jotunn. Who will tell Thorr that his sons should not participate in something because they are not of “pure” descent? And what of the Vanir? Since the Gods of Asgard do not worry over these things, the Ásatrú people of Midgard certainly have no need to do so.

In the Prose Edda there is a passage about the many names of Odhinn that says:

Tha segir Harr: “Mikil skynsemi er at rifiaa that vandliga upp, en thó er thér that skjótast at segja, at flest heiti hafa verit gefin af peim atburdh, at svá margar sem eru greinir tungnanna í veröldinni, thá thykkjast allar Thjódhir thurfa at breyta nafni hans til sinnar tungu til ákalls ok baena fyrir sjálfum sér.” (Snorra Edda, Gylfaginning, XXXII)

Then said High One: “It would take a vast amount of knowledge to cover them all, but it is swiftest to say, that most of these names have been given (to him) because, the many different nations speaking different tongues in the world, all wanted to change his name into their own tongue in order to address and pray (to him) for themselves.”

As for the so-called “ethnic descriptions” of the Deities sometimes encountered in the literature, these resulted from people trying to visualize the unvisualizable. Those who, for example, wrote about the red beard of Thorr did so because they knew men who had red beards. Does a God have a beard of any color? (Theologically speaking, the answer is “yes” but only if and when the God wants a beard, and it would then be any color the God desired. A God does not have human ethnicity of any kind, and is far more different from any particular human than is that human from any other human on earth.) A comparison can be made with the “Asian faces” on Japanese statues of Buddha, who was an Indian, or the blue-eyed paintings of Christ that were so popular in the European middle ages.

All humans, we believe, descend ultimately from Ask and Embla, who were created by the Gods. What color were Ask’s eyes? What color was Embla’s hair? Such questions are ridiculous. Since all humans are related to each other by blood, all humans have the same inherent source-potentials – and the same instinctive longing for the Gods of Asgard who watch over allthe peoples of Midgard, not just some small group of them. Any thinking person, whether or not an Ásatrú believer, can logically see that there is no place for racism of any kind in Ásatrú. Nor has there ever been.

Racism comes from two sources:

  1. A psychological fear of anyone who is “different” in any way.
  2. A psychological need to find someone to blame (a “scapegoat”) for whatever misfortunes happen to occur.

Neither of these attitudes is logical. In the Old Stone Age, little groups of 20 to 30 inbred humans lived their lives separated by vast distances from all others of their species. On the rare occasions when humans from another group happened to be seen, they looked different, and the reaction was to kill them, or at least to drive them away. Times have changed. We no longer shave with stone axes. But for some people the Paleolithic mentality lingers on.

In the Modern Age, racists will become more and more isolated from mainstream society (and reality), living lonely, bitter, and paranoid lives.

Those of us who have spent our lives fighting both alongside and against many of this world’s diverse ethnic groups learned to appreciate the essential similarities of all humans, and to ignore the superficial differences. Every life is filled with combat situations; physical, mental, and spiritual. When facing combat, it is always better to pick allies who share with you the Viking values of Ásatrú than those who share with you only your skin color.

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2 thoughts on “Asatru: We Are Not Racists

  1. By insisting that Ásatrú is for everyone and anyone and can be chosen at will as one would choose a shirt or a book even thought it is clearly the ancestral Germanic spiritual path, is to NEGATE the religions of all other peoples and cultures and state that they are wrong. It implies that Ásatrú is the “only true” spiritual path and assumes that their spiritual teachings, lore, and traditions are wrong. It imposes the Vanir and the Aesir upon all other peoples and denigrates their religious explanations for the nature of the universe. We outright REJECT POLITICALLY CORRECT UNIVERSALISM, OUR ANCIENT FAITH COMES FROM OUR DNA. IT WOULD BE OUT OF CONTEXT FOR A PERSON OF NON-NORTHERN EUROPEAN TO EMBRACE AN EXCLUISVE TRIBAL FAITH. THIS IS NOT OUR OF RACIST INTENT, IT´S JUST HOW IT WAS AND WE DON´T GIVE A DAMN IF PC ENFORCED DIVERSITY-PUSHERS GET UPSET. THINK ABOUT IT, IF THEY HAVE THEIR WAY, IN A CENTURY OR TWO, WE WILL ALL INTERMIX, HOMOGENIZED, NO DIVERSITY, EVERYONE THE SAME, SOUNDS LIKE SOMETHING OUT OF THE KHAZARI COMMUNIST MANIFESTO, and arrogance as being more in line with that of Christianity.
    The Ethno-centric essence of Asatru is often times criticized by those who are new to our ancient ways and even by those of Germanic extraction who have considered themselves to be Asatru for sometime but have yet been unable to clear their minds of the Universalistic mindset of Christianity and the “politically correct” conditioning of the culture predominating our modern society. Ásatrú is fundamentally a folk-oriented belief system and well-suited to followers with cultural and genetic ties to the history and beliefs of the pre-Christian peoples of Northern Europe. The reasons for this are to be found in the nature of the faith itself. The ‘High God’, Wóðinaz,(Woden/Óðinn) known as our All-Father (alfaðer), is described as the creator of our people and the worship of Heathen ancestors is very closely allied to a belief in the halls of the dead and the protection and guidance offered to the living by those who have gone before us.
    The ancient traditional belief of Asatru that spirituality and ancestral heritage are inherently inter-related and has nothing to do with notions of racial superiority. Folkish Asatru has never been a reason or an excuse to hate, or look down on other races and cultures; it is about embracing our own ancestry and cultural heritage in a meaningful and positive way. Contrary to what our detractors like to believe, we recognize the value of the uniqueness contained within all the different and distinct pieces that comprise the human mosaic.
    Ethnicity, Ancestry and the Family form THE main cornerstone of ALL traditional indigenous religions worldwide and throughout the ages. Ásatrú is the spiritual path largely and firmly based on the ethnicity, culture and heritage of Northern Europe, and it is our sacred duty to keep it so.
    For anyone to say that Asatru is not the Germanic ethnic religion, would be to falsify the ample evidence of our ancient sources. There is absolutely NO historical records of any kind even as much as hinting that anyone outside our folk was “converted” or practiced Ásatrú.Synonymous with Germanic, the name Teutonic is linguistically derived from the ancient Indo-European word for God, and has been interpreted as “Tribe of God”. These Germanic Gods and Goddesses are viewed as the very root of the Germanic People, our most ancient family members, as well as inspirational role models honoured and loved for their gifts of the mind, body and spirit that were bestowed upon us from their own divine essences. Thus we are tied to the Gods and Goddesses spiritually, culturally and most importantly, biologically. We are the children of Asgard and the blood heirs to the Aesir and Vanir. This knowledge is in place of our deepest souls, and is the sacred source and well spring of who we are, as such it will never be ignored, forgotten, or compromised.
    All ancient metaphysical or esoteric doctrines mention the decent of spirit into matter, and by tracing the spirit through physicality we see that it emerges in the DNA and the RNA. It is known that there is a trace memory in each cell that tells of its entire history. and that these biological factors are the bridge between consciousness and matter. While this is not new information, its implication has been seriously understated, largely misunderstood, and cannot be emphasized enough.
    As with all other indigenous religions of the earth, The Germanic peoples have a sacred heritage that is very deep but little understood by Universalistic religions and outsiders. The Germanic Folk felt this sacredness in their very blood, as is shown by the fact that the ancient Germanic word for sacred is itself derived from the word blood. By insisting that Asatru is for everyone and anyone and can be chosen at will as one would choose a shirt or a book even thought it is clearly the ancestral Germanic spiritual path, is to negate the religions of all other peoples and cultures and state that they are wrong. It implies that Asatru is the “only true” spiritual path and assumes that their spiritual teachings, lore, and traditions are wrong. It imposes the Vanir and the Aesir upon all other peoples and denigrates their religious explanations for the nature of the universe. We outright reject such religious imperialism and arrogance as being more in line with that of Christianity.
    The Ethno-centric essence of Asatru is often times criticized by those who are new to our ancient ways and even by those of Germanic extraction who have considered themselves to be Asatru for sometime but have yet been unable to clear their minds of the Universalistic mindset of Christianity and the “politically correct” conditioning of the culture predominating our modern society. Perversely it is these self proclaimed Germanic heathens that cannot break the mental chains Christianity has imposed on their minds and they thereby unconsciously subject our ethnic ancestral religion to their Christian paradigms of universalism. In doing so they are unwittingly continuing the Christian assault on our native spirit, to which they would otherwise consciously object. Those who reject the ancestral nature of Asatru reveal themselves as not truly understanding the inherently tribalistic and ethnocentric nature of indigenous religions, and by not allowing to us practice our ancient Religion in its proper ancestral context without applying the inaccurate stigma of racism is the hallmark of religious intolerance, and therein lies the real crime of bigotry masquerading as righteousness. As such, this religious intolerance and disrespect for our tribal ways is the exact definition of discrimination and is the diametric opposite of true diversity. http://odinsvolk.ca/O.V.A.%20-%20ANCESTRY.HTM

  2. marc

    So the reply here shows the problem. This man believes that it belongs to only people German descent and after a whole bunch of Bs on why that’s true he then says its discrimination if we don’t respect his right to be racist. Never once in any story of the Aesir have I ever heard of them caring who or what you are, so I agree with the original post.

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