“Asatru is not a vehicle for romanticized machismo”; #WeStandWithIceland

Yesterday an article from Iceland Magazine made the rounds on FB. Apparently the Ásatrúarfélag, Iceland’s Asatru association, has been receiving hate mail from conservative Asatruar outside of Iceland. Hate mail, from conservative Asatruar outside of Iceland. Just the fact that any Heathen group anywhere–much less the Icelandic Asatru group that succeed in getting Asatru officially accepted as a religion and who is building the new Heathen temple in Reykjavik–would be receiving hate mail from conservative Asatruar because of their stance on gay marriage pisses me off and skeeves me out more than I can even begin to express. The sheer amount of ass-hattery and WTFery and just plain idiotic cutting-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face inherent in this exceeds my ability to even articulate it.

However, Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, the high priest of The Ásatrúarfélag, handled it with aplomb. As the article, “The Icelandic Pagan Association receives hate mail from reactionary pagans abroad”, states:

Hilmar adds that he and other members of the congregation are not interested in using the ancient religion of Ásatrú as a vehicle for romanticized machismo, as well as rejecting any tendencies to inject the practice of Ásatrú with conservative Christian morality:

“We know these texts; we have lived with these texts for a thousand years. We are not coating them in some Viking or warrior romanticism. And we are not obsessing over some books on morality, dating back to the year 70AD, as many of these foreign practitioners of Ásatrú do, considering that book a source on how the ancient religion should be practiced.”

Heilsa to that! Well said, Hilmarsson!

However, Hilmarsson is now worried that these non-Iclandic Asatruar are going to come to the temple’s opening ceremony “to ‘correct’ what those groups see as the incorrect tolerance of Icelanders,” and because of this, they are considering limiting the access of all non-Icelandic heathens to the new temple. While I can understand this reaction, it really saddens me and makes me even more pissed at the racist Asatruar who are causing this problem to begin with.

Luckily, Esteban Sevilla, leader of the Irminsul Kindred in Costa Rica, has come up with a great response. His group penned the following letter in support of Hilmarsson and the Icelandic Asatruar.

Open Letter to Ásatrúarfélagið and Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson:

All the way from Costa Rica, we stand with you and your right to marry LGBT couples. What you have done is admirable and an example to follow, you have stood against racism and homophobia, you believe anyone can practice ásatrú regardless of their ethnicity or sexuality. To me this deserves an applause and I explicitly request others to send you support in your mission.

Please don’t let the words of hate get through you. I remember there was a saying, “if you have enemies is because you stood for something in your life”, unfortunately this is something common, when you do the right thing people will often retaliate or backlash at you. Hatred is a disease permeated into modern society, but it is dying, and the retaliations we get to see from this evil disease are their death throes.

Take any measures you see necessary to protect yourselves, people will understand them I am sure, but also understand that usually these people will not fight outside their computer. Heitharvega Saga says “Boldly do men talk from a distance”, knowing these people who have threatened to drown us in mud or killing us, won’t go beyond a simple blabbering.

It is unfortunate that heathenry experiences these attacks from zealots and bigots, but we’ve always known that usually this comes from the most dogmatic and ignorant people, people who don’t understand the tradition and use it for their personal agenda.

Once again, we stand with you, we support you, keep your stance and protect your own.

Follow the hashtag #WeStandWithIceland

Follow the event on Facebook

“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Signs,

Esteban Sevilla and the Irminsul Kindred.

Hail Esteban Sevilla and the Irminsul Kindred!

Hail Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson and The Ásatrúarfélag Association!

Hail to all Heathens everywhere who do not discriminate against others based on sex, gender, race, sexuality, socioeconomic status, or for any other reason!

MAY YOUR ANCESTORS AND YOUR NAME BE HONORED BY THE STRENGTH OF YOUR WORDS AND DEEDS THIS DAY!

11 thoughts on ““Asatru is not a vehicle for romanticized machismo”; #WeStandWithIceland

  1. This is the comment I left on the article I had read: How very sad that even heathens are influenced by the closed mindedness and intolerance of the Abrahamic faiths to the point that they would do something as despicable as sending hate mail and threatening the sanctity of the first heathen temple to be constructed in 1000 years! And the ironic part is they don’t even realize where their hate and intolerance comes from… When I heard about this temple the first thing I said to my husband was that I want to go to Iceland and renew our vows within those walls!

    I’m so glad other kindreds and heathens from around the world are standing up publicly in support of Iceland’s heathens. I would like to see the AFA and the Troth come out with statements in support as well.

    • Exactly. I hope to be there on opening day; I hope my ability to attend and lend my support to the new temple is not threatened by this asshattery.

      The Troth will likely put out a statement in support; not sure about the AFA. For all I know, the AFA will be one of the groups whose members will attempt to undermine the temple. 😦

  2. Reblogged this on Upon Raven Wings and commented:
    I applaud the Icelandic Heathens in this matter; and as for those who are criticizing them in their decision to marry members of the LGBT community, it might not be a bad idea to start separating your politics from your religion. Failure to make this separation is what paved the way for our ancestors to be converted … what might failure to make this separation do to us now, or to those who will come to call us ‘ancestors’ in the future?

  3. I still cannot believe this is a thing. So, okay. I can completely believe it, but at the same time, really? really?! you guys?

    I know that the Asshatru people are in the minority. I know that there are civil rights minded, level-headed, oh I don’t know, decent people within Heathenry. I do. But, why can’t we keep our idiocy within our country? Why do we have to let others know what idiots we can be? (And I know some of that hate mail must be coming from the US.)

    • I may regret saying this…but if they don’t get over themselves and stop trying to ruin the opening of this temple for everyone else, may Loki show them how to get over themselves in whatever way he sees fit.

      Otherwise, REALLY?!!?! It’s that sort of idiocy that makes me really reticent to actually reach out to the local Heathen community (they exist here, Hellenics not so much)…where I live I fear that I’d run into Asshatru instead of folk I could stomach being hospitable towards.

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