Alright, while I am typically known for my work in Hellenic polytheism, when a group under the pagan umbrella spews hate based on race and gender identity, speaking out against that is imperative. I say not here. Not in my house.
The Asatru Folk Assembly posted earlier this week:
“Today we are bombarded with confusion and messages contrary to the values of our ancestors and our folk. The AFA would like to make it clear that we believe gender is not a social construct, it is a beautiful gift from the holy powers and from our ancestors. The AFA celebrates our feminine ladies, our masculine gentlemen and, above all, our beautiful white children. The children of the folk are our shining future and the legacy of all those men and women of our people back to the beginning.”
Again, not in my house. If we don’t stand against this type of of hate and vitriol, then our silence makes us complicit. A line is drawn in the sand, and if we won’t condemn this, take a stand, and clearly state that this is not who we are, any of us under this pagan umbrella, any of us under this human umbrella, then we are complicit. If we don’t pick which side we stand on in these cases, our side will be chosen for us by what we don’t say.
I believe in a “come as you are” religion. My fire is big enough, and bright enough, for all who wish to worship the gods. I will openly denounce those who spread hate, who seek to impinge on the human rights of others, and I will stand beside those who are victims of hate and help to make space for them.
Mythology is ripe with examples of gods and heroes who were themselves, through and through, and didn’t let who they are, or the way they presented, effect their actions or their acceptance of their worshippers. Zeus, Hermes, Herakles, Athena all come to mind.
The AFA is a Norse group (I state that affiliation loosely, so as not to offend any of my Heathen compatriots), and so the myth that I find particularly pertinent is The Lay of Thrym. Thor loses Mjölnir to the giant Thrym, who demands to marry Freyja in order for it to be given back. Freya says “Fuck that! Thor, you messed it up, so you go fix it!” Thor and Loki end up dressing as Freyja and her handmaiden to go marry Thrym. How’s that half-giant/half-Aesir cross dressing Thunderer for a”masculine gentleman”?
If you are a Norse pagan, looking for an inclusive home, I’d encourage you to check out The Troth as a Heathen group, and ADF as an Indo-European group. Both have explicit statements of inclusivity as part of their governing documents.