As the discussion on racism within Heathenry has continued, I’ve seen a lot of legitimate griping over the use of the words “folkish” and “universalist”. There is a lot of talk about how the terms are not useful, and only serve to denegrate opinions and perspectives on both sides of the fence. Many will speak at lengths on the matter and how we need to drop the use of the terms, but still continue to use them. No one even seems to know what either of these terms mean anymore, and yet everyone uses them as if the concepts are self explanatory. I am guilty here as well, as I have had an instance where I tried to calm the tensions between two sides. How foolish I was; I was trying to bring peace to two factions, neither of which truly exist.
Well, I am a big believer in being the change you want to see. As such, I’m done with these terms. I refuse to recognize the false parity of folkish and universalist anymore. From now on, it’s just Heathen, Asatru, or Norse Polythiest and that’s the end of discussion. Conversation is a two way street, so I imagine there is some amount of these terminology which is endemic to our faith. Be that as it may, if I can avoid it? I’m avoiding it.
You believe in synchretism? You think it’s the complete antithesis of the Norse pantheon? Congratulations; either way you’re Heathen. You renounce Loki worship? Heathen. You’re a Lokean? Heathen. You have a UPG that makes you believe that Odin really really enjoys My Little Pony and you believe burning the DVDs in sacrifice to him is an excellent way to please him? Uh…I’m a little scared perhaps, but you’re still Heathen. I’m tired of the pointless and unserviceable divisions. They don’t work, and they haven’t worked for sometime. Honestly, I’m not convinced that they ever worked at all.
What term will I use to identify racists?. That’s pretty simple; I will call them racists. I don’t need special code word to describe what I already have perfectly good language for. Racialist elements have, for too long, have the confines of triablism and folkism to hide behind. No, sir or madem; you are not tribal or folkish. You are just racist. A racist Heathen perhaps, but a racist all the same. I’m not going to pretend that disdain for “non-European” heritage is anything but racism, nor am I going to imagine that acting as a racial “gatekeeper” for the Norse pantheons is a task needed anywhere but in the fevered minds of those who craft racial agendas. There is no special distinction needed for these concepts. Call them for that are, and call them nothing else.
While we are on the subject, what about the racists? I cannot abide racist ideologies in my midst. My stepdaughter is half-Peurto Rican, I have learned Chinese martial arts from a Grenadian Grand Master, and one of the proudest family traditions I have is my ancestor’s refusal to give into the ease of prejudice. That being said, answering hatred with hatred is no solution. If you call yourself both racist and Heathen, I’m not going to pretend we don’t share a religion. I’m also not going to stop fighting against an ideology I disagree with; I just don’t need to assault anyone’s name to do it. I am opposed to your beliefs, and that is that.
If you wish to call yourself Heathen, than you are Heathen as far as I’m concerned. It’s that simple. If you identify as Heathen, I identify you as Heathen. End of discussion. Honor the Gods as the spirit moves you, praise the ancestors for the gifts they have given you, and build frith as best as you know how. In the meantime, I’m done with the linguistic cryptology.