Recently, there was a blog post from a gentleman named Jon Upsal. I will not reblog it as I don’t agree with it completely, but here’s a link:
…and my response:
This article is nice but doesn’t address the issue. This article focuses on what Folkish truly IS and not the popular idea being presented by groups.
All Folkish are usually stereotyped as racist because most racist Heathens are folkish. Its bad, yes. I’m sorry. I think most people who actually look past an entry-level Asatru book are going to learn that Folkish means importance on ancestry as how to worship and the basis for it. But there are so many that say ancestry is a MUST. They MUST be blood-liked to Scandinavian/Northern European/Germanic tribes or people.
So many people are trying to challenge that notion. It doesn’t help when the racists are louder than the non-racist Folkish Heathens.
How about everyone stop labeling all Folkish heathens as “racist” and the racist and non-racist Folkish groups stop telling people what and how to worship? And then when looking back at “ancestry” you look a little further back then the people of Europe.
What this all comes down to is this – a common misconception that race = heritage. THIS IS THE FALSEST STATEMENT EVER. A blood tie to a tribe is important and I think all will agree on that. If you subscribe to the notion that Heimdallr is directly linked to a king of Sweden, that’s fine. Some don’t (I don’t). But it is not a REQUIREMENT, which is what is preached most loudly from Folkish groups. I separate Folk from racists by labeling racists as Volk as to help avoid a stereotype of a group that is wrong.
Also the examples – Shinto & Amerindian (I assume you mean American-Indian) are wrong. I’ve never met or heard of a Shinto or American-Indian group that says you CANNOT believe or practice what their religion believes. They don’t want people trying to BECOME them. People who immerse themselves in a culture that is not their own* because they feel the “faith” demands it. Someone who finds Shinto as their path then decides to convert their wardrobe, home and appearance as Asian is what these religious groups balking at. It was called “Yellow Fever” and it flared back up in the 90s and early 2000s when Anime hit mainstream America. If you believe in The Great Spirit and wish to follow the plains American-Indian belief, fine but why are you essentially playing dress up to emulate the people and not focus on the faith? It’s not about learning the Sun Dance and performing it yourself, it’s about learning it and not truly understanding it (or even understanding it) and then performing it your way. If you feel strongly about it, don’t pick-n-mix. If you’re true of heart and understanding, their are acceptable cultural ways to become accepted in a Shinto or American-Indian ceremony.
BTW you CAN become Shinto or be accepted into an American-Indian tribe. It’s just not easy and since the 1960s with Eastern & American-Indian ideals being corrupted by Western followers for their own use, suspicion is well-earned from these groups.
* – Now I say “culture no their own” because a 22 year old college kid raised in Dover, DE as a Christian and is European American is not the same culture as a 30 year old Apache man raised on a reservation taught his people’s ways.