I have a face, and Vice.com has an article.

I’ll leave it to you to decide which one is the bigger mess.

Self deprecating humor aside, a Vlog has been something I’ve want to do for quite some time.  I didn’t have some of the right equipment and software however, and my real life has been busy as all get out….so it hadn’t been a high priority for quite some time.

Then Vice.com published an article so hideously poor in quality, that all denominations seem to be in agreement of how absolutely unprofessional the piece is.  The author, Rick Paulus*, has apparently made some really douchey tweets in response to the suggestion that maybe he should have a vague clue about a topic before writing an article about it**.

In short, the whole thing is just a wreck.

The problem is that some of this stuff has happened so fast and so quickly, it may be hard to decipher what’s going on.  So, here is a 15 minute overview that should cover the basics.  I don’t know how often I’ll use this, but it’s certainly possible that it’ll be easier to find time to record video and crop off the garbage then it is for me to sit down and write when my work schedule is what it is.

*He has a twitter…but I don’t want to give him the traffic.  You can Google him if you really want, but you’re not missing much.
**Mr. Paulus is apparently not a regular contributor to Vice.com and is a freelance writer.  Let me say that this makes it difficult to criticize him to a degree…because I’ve done freelance writing and it’s a freaking miserable job.  It sucks, and I’m usually VERY apt to take the author’s side in any sort of matter, because it’s a rough and thankless sort of gig.  So imagine how bad the quality has to be to say that I find it appalling both as a writer and as a Heathen….then realize it’s even worse than that.


Heathen Ethics, Part 7: The Ten Guiding Tempers

Quite some time ago, I talked about my issues with the Nine Noble Virtues.  I had a lot of issues with them too, but that wasn’t because I was against the existence of an ethical code; I was against how the NNV was established and the role it fulfills in Heathenry today.  It was created using the Havamal as the penultimate ethical source that it never was intended to be, and it was presented as the wisdom of our ancestors when our ancestors never head heard of it.  The collected wisdom and ethical thew of our spiritual fore-bearers, reduced down to a handful of words chosen by their superficial connection to a few pieces of good advice that existed in a document that is presented as the Tao of the Norse without a single quantifying statement.*

i1232892707_1A while back, I presented a few guidelines that I thought any proper Heathen code would have to follow in order to achieve a state of practical viability.  After letting the ideas and concepts simmer for half a year,** I decided it was time to try to see what I could come up with.  I took all the material from both versions of the Nine Noble Virtues, referenced the Six-Fold Goal of the Troth***, and then separated the grain from the chaff.  I kept things informed by the manners and thew of  our spiritual ancestors, while giving them the room to breathe in modern air.  They weren’t chosen based on observance of barely relevant numerology; it’s just what felt right and it was what worked for what I was attempting to create.  No hard biases against or for any organization, philosophy, or personally relevant spirituality.  Just a code that I think will serve Heathens well.

Those were my goals at least; I can’t say whether they’ve been achieved or not.  That’s up to, well,  everyone else.

These are the ten guiding tempers, intended as guidelines for living a Heathen life that will give you an enduring name, worthwhile deeds, and a satisfying life.  The first nine are concepts and ideals that should rule your thoughts, as well as the concept or idea that you should balance it  against.  No virtue, as an absolute, will ever yield good results.  Thus each virtues is viewed through the lens of another one that helps to guide and define it.

The tenth temper is a special one, but it is also very important.  If these guidelines do not serve you well, follow the tenth temper and you’ll end up with the results you deserve.

This is not Heathen Bushido.  This is not the legacy of our spiritual ancestors.  All it represents is good advice, as seen by one Heathen, and given to any other Heathen who chooses to use it.

Courage tempers Faith: If our way does not maintain its faith, it will not endure.  If we have faith in our Gods and our communities, we will be strong.  There are times, however, when our Gods will test us and our communities are not at hand.  There will be times in the life of every Heathen when they must handle an issue greater than themselves, and where no amount of aide on physical, spiritual, and social fronts will take care of things.  Faith is your belief within things outside of yourself; courage is the faith your own heart and soul have for their own capacity.  Without courage, faith becomes weak and dependent.

Freedom tempers Courage: If our way does not maintain its courage, it will not endure.  Courage gives us the strength to face any difficulty, regards of the risks.  We are not bound, however, to face every difficulty or our lives would become a meaningless transition from struggle to struggle. Without freedom, we would be forever locked with a constant cycle of conflict without respite to enjoy the spoils of those struggles.  We have the freedom to choose the purposes to which we devote ourselves and a mandate to preserve that freedom for ourselves and our community.  Without freedom, courage leads to exhaustion and lifelessness.

Discipline tempers Freedom: If our way does not maintain its freedom, it will not endure.  The choices we make for ourselves, our families, and our communities must be choices made with agency and purpose.  While freedom is important to any Heathen, freedom unchecked by our own willpower can lead to a life without triumphs, deeds of merit, and a completely self-serving attitude.  We need discipline, control of ourselves and actions, for our freedoms to be truly meaningful things.  Without discipline, freedom leads to a lack of focus and action.

Frith tempers DisciplineIf our way does not maintain its discipline, it will not endure.  When we establish self-control, we are the master of ourselves.  Yet, our perspectives alone should never shape all of the circumstances within our lives.  If we focus to much on self-control, we can easily loose perspectives on all things are not connected to the self.  Without acknowledging our responsibilities to our communities, so much of what we do can quickly become meaningless.  Our discipline should be just as much shaped by our desire for goodwill and community as it should by our own willpower.  Without frith, discipline becomes stagnant and selfish.

Wisdom tempers FrithIf our way does not maintain its Frith, it will not endure.  The well being of our community was of central importance to our spiritual ancestors, but those communities needed more than just goodwill to survive.  The frith they built was also guided by intelligence, experience and wisdom.  Further, our societies and communities are not constructed from and limited by geographical restrictions; who we build Frith with is now completely a choice.  This changes much, and alters entire social models in the blink of an eye.  Now the entire world is at our fingertips, connect societies and communities as never before.  While this allows us to teach and learn as never before, it also gives those who speak with ignorance and greed a louder voice as well.  Now words of wisdom and intelligence are more power and meaningful than ever, for they both guide our communities as well as shape them.  Our choices must ever be guided by sound thoughts and firm understanding.  Without wisdom, frith dilutes and is quickly usurped.

Honesty tempers Wisdom: If our way does not maintain its wisdom, it will not endure.  If a Heathen is asked for their council, they should their true thoughts or none at all.  Without honesty, the sage and correct choices are harder to find and communities become easily led to infighting and ruin.     Without honesty, any piece of wisdom can be a lie and thus the nature of wisdom itself is compromised.  With but a single lie, a lifetime of advice can be render contaminated and suspect.  Without honesty, wisdom becomes foul and poisoned.

Warmth tempers HonestyIf our way does not maintain its honesty, it will not endure.  Honesty is the lifeblood of an honorable life.  Yet, without a hospitable bearing, the blood turn weak and this.  If those who are our guest are given every truth we can think of without request or consideration?  We abuse the privileges of a proper host.  Should we release our words without thought within the house of another?  We abuse the respect and consideration afforded to a guest.  While we should never lie to our quests or to our hosts, we should also respect them all the same and leave their private lives to their own device.  Warmth is a combination of many ideas: hospitality, manners, grith, and more.  All of these things have subtle differences, but they all fly under of being a good person to the souls who we trust to be honest towards and our spiritual ancestors did not grant their warmth strictly to those who were the same as they.  Without warmth, honesty turns to bitterness and callousness.

Pragmatism tempers Warmth: If our way does not maintain its warmth, it will not endure.  Our spiritual ancestors welcomed strangers, yet they were not foolish.  Those who would and have threatened them are not welcome.  They do not give more than they can afford to give, for their first loyalty is to their families.  A good Heathen is one who plans ahead.  They have prepared for the next winter before the previous one has ended, and they plan for the next harvest in the way they gather the present one.  They endure not only by their resilience of body, but also from their resilience of mind.  Long before the fight started, whether it be against robbers of weather, our spiritual ancestors prepared themselves as best they could for it.  They secured their capacity for hospitality and mindfulness with actions and plans.  Without pragmatism, warmth cannot be maintained or established.

Faith tempers Pragmatism: If our way does not maintain its pragmatism, it will not endure.  We must be ready for the unexpected and aware of the known, but we must also leave room for those things for our heart and soul.  We venerate and worship mighty Gods and Goddesses, whose capacity and influence is far greater than the legends alone would tell us.  To loose sight of that is to loose sight of those who help us, guide us, and watch over us.  We must trust those who have built good frith and warmth with us.  To loose sight of this is to loose sight of all that a community can offer.  There will be times were no amount of logic and common sense will see us through.  In these cases, we must trust our luck, our communities, and our Gods to get us through.  Without faith, pragmatism becomes bland and paranoid.

The Tenth Temper – Deeds temper Ethics:   If our way does not consider ethics, it will not endure.  Yet this is but one interpretation of the ethics of our spiritual ancestors.  If you are not satisfied with the deeds that results from the tempers?  Than change them.  Alter them.  Break them over your knee with a sickening crunch so loud that it turns the Allfather’s head.  Make them yours.  Cast them aside, and live your life by your instincts.  Your deeds are your own, and no moralistic code can ever take responsibility for them.  Never lets yourself become so dogmatic and fixated that you fail to hold your ethical beliefs up to the same standard you hold yourself up to.  Without mindfulness of our deeds and their consequences, ethics will always fail.

*While I don’t oppose the Havamal, I certain oppose how it is used by many Heathens.  The Havamal is, at best, a modestly functional compass for making educated guess about the ethical viewpoints of out spiritual ancestors.  I’ll never suggest throwing it out because it certainly has it’s uses, and one can gain some insight by considering its words.  It is not the Heathen Bible, but it still gets used as such; in function if not in name. 

**Wait, how long have I been doing this?  Yeesh.

*** I consider it somewhere between two version of the Nine Noble Virtues in terms of quality.  It’s well intentioned, and serves well as some sort of ethic infused mission statement.  It still suffers from almost all of the same problems however, and thus I didn’t think it needed a whole lot of narration to cover the pros and cons.

Regarding Loki, Part 6: Why I Care About This At All

While commentary and conversation about my blog has been overwhelmingly positive, I have heard a rumbling of discontent here and there, and it’s usually how “pro-Loki” I am.  Let’s clear something up here about my reasons and methodology.  There is going to be very some very strong language here, so be fore-warned.

Also, this.

Also, this.

I am not, in any way, proselytizing on Loki’s behalf.  What happens at your altar is your business alone, so long as it doesn’t involve little kids in an inappropriate way.  As far I can tell, via my own UPG, I don’t think He cares

how anyone feels about Him.  If you want to feel Loki is evil and refrain from worshiping Him?  I don’t care; His influence didn’t depend on your opinion anyhow, so feel free to feel however you want to.  Pray to him, worship him, ignore him, malign him, threaten him?   When I think on that, I get a sort of sensation that amounts to “same shit, different day.”.

I am not here to “fix” the “perceptions” about him; I’m here to point fingers to a completely different kind of sickness.  The kind that injures our faith as a whole, regardless of individual stances of this God or any other.

I have been made to understand that the argument over Loki has caused many leader’s to leave the Troth, which baffled me.  Than there is the AFA, who doesn’t really see the need to bother censuring or calling to heel members of it’s organization spewing racist propaganda that is completely at odds with their own rules.  They do have, however, a rule against Loki.

40232332That we take time to worry about Loki, collectively, on this scale is mind boggling.  The conversation has become a cancer on our faith that grows by the moment.  We can break professional ties, snap frith in half, and ignore terroristic threats made from within our ranks (sometime across our ranks)…because of how we worship and whom we worship.

Madness.  Doubtful of the point I’m making?  Let’s look at a cross-faith example of the same sort of thing at work.

Pope Sideous was a pretty evil bastard, hunh?  You know a Pope has gone off of the strait and narrow when the fact that they were a Hitler Youth* seems almost quaint.  The man stands accused of sheltering and protecting priestly pedophiles, shipping them from church to church before the legal ramifications of their actions could catch up with them.  Now this is a serious allegation, that demands serious attention.  This is a moral and religious leader, and how the Catholic Church handled such an allegation is important.

So when they did nothing about and continued to argue about petty matters of religious praxis which were, in the grand scale of things, fairly inconsequential?  Well, that’s a problem.

Remember how enraged and incredulous lookers on were when the Catholic Church just seem to drum it’s fingers on the counter, and try to proceed with business as usually like nothing freaking happened?  I  was enraged.  All of us who not yet resigned to the moral failings of Catholicism were.

Yet, here we stand…discussing Loki like it’s the most relevant thing in the fucking work.  Have we lost out minds?

We have organizations that aspire to acts of racially targeted terrorism in our ranks, and even a few who already are committed to engaging in such actions.  We are not a legally recognized religion in a majority of the countries of the world, and many locations have not even the legal precedent to allow Heathen to own churches or perform religious ceremonies.  We are mocked by scholars, and a great majority of the public believes us to be little more than a violent prison religion.

I just tried to look up the number of public, Heathen churches in the world.  Google didn’t even understand the question.  That’s right, Google.  You know, the search engine where “If I eat myself” and “Why does my vagina smell?” are auto-completed searches?  I ask a question about public Hofs, and it gives me a blank stare.

If I am hard on the AFA, the Troth, or any other organization?  It’s because I expect better.  I don’t expect McNallen, Aswynn, Stinson, Abel, Lusch-Schreiwer or anyone else to make their organizations and/or writing match my exact desires; this would make me no better than the people I am trying to call to task.  I do expect us, collectively and individually, the most intelligent and the most dense, to look between issues like “racial hate groups that aspire to terrorism and ear mark the lot of us as prison-bound bigots” and “some people worship Loki” and be able to pick out which one has more reaching consequences.

i1232986517_1Our religion has ancient and venerable roots, but the form it takes today is young and vulnerable.  Our battles should be picked and chosen to be only the most vital, and long reaching ones.  The Loki issue….is none of these things.  One way or the other.  These simply is not an issue that demands the level of discussion that we give it.  This should be a matter of choice at a personal/kindred level, at most.

If you or your organization commits to having an official, group-wide policy to Loki worship and doesn’t have the time, clarity, or awareness to put forth energy to address the wanna-be terrorist organizations that try to subvert our entire faith for their own vitriol and scornful egotism?  If that’s what you want to think is important?  Well, I have news for you.

Your own ignorance is causing more discord, disharmony, and world-breaking than an entire pantheon of trickster gods ever could.  This, and only this, is what I care about in this discussion.  If I was against Loki’s veneration, I would feel the same way.

* Yeah, I know; many Germans signed up with Nazi organizations in spite of having no actually sympathy to the Nazi party.  Considering the extreme gravity of the accusations against him….I can’t really give the former Pope the benefit of that doubt.

Heathen Ethics, Part 5: Modern Virtues

40231453The Nine Noble virtues definitely gave me a lot to think about.

I had a bit of a discussion with a historian about ethical systems after I talked about the NNV, and she put forward that ethical codes were mostly for the philosophically and morally lazy.  It’s definitely true that the OR’s was, but I couldn’t help but think that the AFA almost had touched on something amazing.  Further, there had been ethical codes and structures that had meaning before.  The thing is that no one sat under a tree and said “You know what I’m going to do?  I’m going to create a comprehensive ethical system!”.

Well, actually, someone probably did do just exactly that…and the end result was probably a spectacular failure.

A true crucible of ethics is a critical choice, made in less time than it takes to check your e-mail; when we only have time to act.  Telling someone the virtues and strength of courage isn’t a bad thing, but it does nothing to prepare that person for acting with courage.  In my mind, an ideal ethical system makes no choices for us but, rather, trains us so that we make make proper choices when we don’t have time to consider things.

A truly meaningful system isn’t a list of instructions, but an ethical compass the guides the person who considers it.  That compass doesn’t serve you well in isolation; you need a map, and the will to find your bearing.  You provide these things, and in turn the compass provides perspective on your surroundings.  The AFA’s version of the virtues almost did exactly that, and they did it by suggesting that one thing was greater than another.  Yes, it said, sometimes dogma is comforting and there maybe times where your choices should be made in strong consideration of it.  However, you shouldn’t select tradition at the cost of you real and present needs.  How do you define dogma, realism, pragmatism, and their value?  That’s for you, the individual, to decide.

So how do we craft something like that?  How can we create an ethical system for Heathenry that gives us something to chew on, rather than a watered down list?

Anthropological Sources Cannot Be The Primary Source for Material:  I realize that some people will look at that statement and feel like I’m denigrating our ancestors, or throwing away all of the lore in a heartbeat.  I’m not; I’m simply being realistic and considering a broader picture.  Our ancestors lived in an entirely different cultural climate.  Sometimes, the circumstances which made up their society was actively chosen.  At other times, it was made due to the prevailing conditions of society and environment.  Often, I think, it had little to do with what our ancestor did or did not want; it simply was the choice that worked.

Yes, societies were more closely connected back than.  They had to be; the nearest settlement might be two days time away, the winter was coming and lasted nearly half the year, and these crops weren’t going to harvest themselves.  Our ancestors had no choice but to pursue frith and honor grith, as well as harshly castigate those who didn’t, because doing otherwise would have been potentially fatal.  This doesn’t mean we should completely abandon these concepts, but it does mean we are somewhat obliged to figure out where and how they fit in a modern world.  I have Heathen friends, but my survival does not depend on them, and their does not depend on me.  The reasons any of us might pursue frith are unavoidably different that the reasons out ancestors did, and that drastically changes the forms our social ethics can and will take.

My ancestors also raided; every large, successful culture/kingdom/empire at that time did.  This wasn’t something that the Vikings owned, they were just particularly good at it.  Thing have changed here, too.  If I see my neighbors having a BBQ, and I don’t like my neighbors, using my lawn tools as weapons and than attacking them for their pork ribs does not mark me as a proud Viking warrior; it marks me as a dangerous psychotic with a rake.

Anthropological sources are great, but they simply cannot be the only lens we look through.  At the very least, we should also be looking at the cultures of Germany, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and similar places.  While they may have been forced to abandon our Gods, their culture and history are both marked by the actions of their/our ancestors.  Do a little research into how Iceland recently changed it’s own government; the energy, vigor, and strength of our ancestors can be seen in modern times, should we be willing to look for it.

No Mystic Hang Ups: Odin sacrificed himself, to himself, for nine days.  This makes the number nine very symbolic in a mystical sense.  Here is my issue with that: ethics aren’t inherently mystical.  I’m not saying that ethical considerations and spiritual awareness don’t have some overlap, but we shouldn’t be constructing our moral guidelines in deference to symbolic observance merely for the sake of a self-imposed obligation.

If we believe the Gods are Gods, than we believe them to have enough power to influence the process as needed.  If we missed something or added something that did not have a proper place, we can count on the grinding gears of time and the hand of the divine to apply sandpaper and putty wherever it is needed.  The symbolism will take care of itself.

Nothing Included That Speaks to Politics and/or Racism, One Way or the Other:  Yes, that means our ethical system(s) shouldn’t address the various flavors of Nazitru, Hyper-Folkishness, and bigotry that had come up within the Heathen spectrum of faiths in any sort of overt way.  You have no idea how much it irritates me to say that; my Grandfather served in World War II in the US Army.  His unit helped capture concentration camps, and his own actions earned him the silver star.  Nazis in my religion?  That burns me like the heat of a thousand angry suns.

PPar_WightsThat being said, I see no reason in trying to get into some infantile pissing contest with people who never decided to look up the actual etymology of the word “wight”.  Calling them out not only initiates a pointless argument with unreasonable people, it only validates their viewpoint simply by mentioning it.  I’m not trying to entrench the arguement further, and harsh words just gives them something else to fight against.  So no, no special “racism is duper dumb” virtue.  Or, to put it another way, putting a clause in about racism suggests that we had to remind ourselves to not be bigots.

On a related not, we should have nothing that suggests favoritism or insults to the Asatru Folk Assembly, The Troth, The Odinic Rite, Forn Siðr, Asatru, Vanatru, Rokkatru, butchers, bakers, candlestick makers, or anyone else.

When was the last time you saw “group politics” and “ethics” get along in any way, shape, or form?  I know I’ve never seen it work it out, and I don’t suspect I’m alone in this.  This is a code for you; not a list of restrictions for them.

In the end, I think it’s less important come up with a sound and workable code than it is to simply consider one.   If you do feel you need one, these are the rules I’d go by.

Heathen Ethics, Part 3: OMG, 411 4 AFA’s NNV OMG WTF BBQ LOL

ethicAs I was writing about the Odinic Rite’s Nine Noble Virtues, it became clear that I really should take a moment to talk about the Asatru Folk Assembly’s version as well.  After all, they’re worded much differently so they require their own analysis.  After careful consideration of them, the depressing truth is that they’re good enough to reveal how truly good they could have been had they been crafted with more forethought.

In my opinion, an ethical code needs to have an eternal truth it grabs a hold of and lays bare for the world.  This eternal truth can be very broad or very specific, but it needs to be there.  Further, it also must be firm enough to offer a measure of guidance, yet flexible enough to be applicable to just about any circumstance.  There will be questions that a code can’t directly answer, and that’s okay; it’s supposed to be a filter to view the world though as opposed to a sheet of instructions.  Using your own heart and mind to interpret things isn’t just desired, but necessary.

The OR’s NNV fail because they’re very narrow, internally redundant, and crafted to serve numerology over ethical introspection.  The AFA’s, by contrast, is a handful of amazing ideas surrounded by the blatantly obvious.  I get that their virtues are set up to provide a binary comparison to prove which quality you should most actively bring into your life…but at the same time, most of these comparisons are stupidly obvious.

wonka honorLook, I get it; honor is better than dishonor.  The problem is that I understood that before I read the AFA’s ethical code, and even before I was Heathen.  I understood this the moment I knew the definitions of both words, and I suspect I am no savant in this respect.  Of the nine virtues they have, six of them aren’t outlining anything that will change how people see the world; do you have to point out that freedom is better than slavery?  I mean, unless you are into that sort of thing of course.  One way or the other, I don’t think Stephen McNallen is weighing in on bedroom practices.

Strength is better than weakness.  Courage is better than cowardice.  Honor is better than dishonor.  Kinship is better than alienation.  Vigor is better than lifelessness.  Yes, being alive and moving around is better than being stagnant and decaying; glad we cleared up the confusion.  This isn’t philosophy, ethics, or anything very deep; it’s portraying two extremes as the only options that exist, and than pretending that this was some sort of difficult question.

A good one, by contrast, is “Joy is better than guilt”.  If this was another pandering paradigm, the other word would have been “sorrow” or “sadness”.   The choice of guilt provides us with something to think on and consider.  It’s better to be happy than to obsess over your wrong doing.  It’s a denouncement of the theory of living in sin.  It can suggest optimism, living with agency, or treating each moment as if it were your last.  It can mean all of these things or none of them, providing a virtue that opens itself to the consideration of the one that follows it.  I’m a little annoyed that it’s wording suggests that it’s talking more about theological based guilt possessed by  from Christianity, because guilt wouldn’t be much of a consideration otherwise.  It’s still going in the right direction, however.

The best of the bunch, to my mind, is “Realism is Better Than Dogma”.  It’s probably the only one of the virtues that I can appreciate without conditions, because it balances two things that can both be considered valuable in the right circumstances.   You can use tradition and scripture…but all things being equal, chose the most pragmatic option.  See, this does something that six out of nine virtues don’t; it prompts interpretation for the sake of our faith alone.  The value of real world needs against the value of traditions for the sake of respect comes up frequently in Heathen discourse.

Too bad they spoil it with “Ancestry is Better Universalism”.

Well, perhaps spoil is the wrong word.  I feel like it’s more of a subtle slap in the face to Paganism in general (and perhaps the Troth is particular), but this virtue still has a lot it can say.  Considering that it’s being said by the AFA, however, I just don’t understand how it’s choosing to say it.  In moderation, it’s brilliant; contrasting it with “Realism is Better Than Dogmatism” provides a very no nonsense rule of thumb; don’t do something just for the sake of tradition, but don’t forget that the traditions of your family made who you are.  That can be powerful, meaningful, and deeply spiritual if you allow it to be.

The problem come in when you take it at a greater whole.  This is the same AFA that turns a blink eye towards white supremacists amongst it’s ranks.  This is the same AFA whose members have had issues with people of other races professing to be Heathen.  This is a group with a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach to racially based hatred, and it makes their ethical code weak as a result.  Is the AFA calling out universalism because they truly feel that disregarding the ways of your ancestors is cause for concern, or is it because many of these theological concepts come from non-Aryan people?

Indigo FolkishOf the nine virtues, six are functionally useless.  The three that are good are very good, but their message is diluted by principles that don’t have the same strength.  Their function is rendered moot when compared to the organizational politics of the AFA.    When I dug deeper, I found amazing things…but considering the source, I couldn’t blame anyone who refrained from doing that digging.  I look at what many AFA members choose to stand for, and it makes it hard to view the group as anything but racists with fears of the stereotype.

I had been ready to pretty much call it meaningless.  Truth be told, I wish I still viewed in that manner.  I preferred viewing it as a useless pile of pandering dross, over something beautiful ruined by pandering dross and bigots.  The foremost I can mock and have a good time of doing, where the later just makes me feel frustrated and depressed.

So where do we go from here?  Is it wrong to try and have something like the Nine Noble Virtues, or have we just gone about things the wrong way?  There is still the six fold goal to consider, or is it just another list of words?  Next time, we continue to look into how Heathen ethical codes can operate.

Author’s Note: I am well aware that one can be a member of the Asatru Folk Assembly and not be racially motivated bigot.  I am not portraying all members of that organization in the light.  I have heard that the leadership of the AFA combats racial problem when they see them.  Regardless of what their intent is, however, it doesn’t change the prevalence of circumstances that seem to arise from that group.  “We are our deeds”, after all.  I view the organization as having a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in regards to racism.