On April 13, 2014, a white supremacist perpetuated a hate crime on a Jewish Community Center. Some mass media outlets have attempted to identify the shooter as a Heathen, but I’d like to take a moment to reiterate that his values (or rather, his lack thereof) are not shared by Heathenry or Northern Tradition Paganism at large. The Troth has already issued a statement on using the Northern Tradition as a justification for hate crimes and bigotry. And there are Heathens who feel that words are not enough, and have organized a fundraiser to help the families affected by the shooting.
Y’all know that I don’t primarily identify as a Heathen, and there are some reasons for that. One is that I don’t consider my practice reconstructionist in nature, and that’s a large one, but truth be told, the problematic issue of hate groups claiming Heathen identity is also part of why I back away from most Heathen groups. The Troth is the ONLY Heathen org that I’ve ever joined because it has explicit, defined mission statements that are committed to racial diversity, “Membership in the Troth is open to all who seek to know and honor the Gods, ancestors, and values of the pre-Christian Germanic traditions, regardless of gender, race, nationality, or sexual orientation.”
Now, that’s not to say that even the Troth has what I would consider an ideal mix of race; Paganism and Heathenry both suffer from racial diversity issues, which stem from more than just numbers or percentages of racial or ethnic groups. Maybe a frank discussion on how to desegregate and diversify is something we can take from this tragedy. I would welcome such a dialogue, because the more diverse Paganism and Heathenry become, the fewer racist assholes will try to misappropriate our faith. I’ve seen the type of racists who like to show their true colors when they think everyone’s white and they can speak freely. And if you’re reading, and you’re one of those assholes?
You get the fuck off my blog. You’re not welcome here.