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One of the things that bugs me since taking my Heathenry to social media is the sheer amount of Heathens who play “Viking”. There are so many misconceptions people have about this era and roll that it staggers the mind how we balk at Christian ideals yet mirror them in role and action.

First, Viking is not a bloodline or race. Viking was a profession. Northern European/Scandinavians would take to the seas in boats to explore, trade, conquer and raid with/against other villages and settlements. Anyone could be a Viking if they were healthy enough, or connected. Race was not a factor, as race was NOT A FACTOR. No where in the Lore is race mentioned (outside of Aesir/Vanir/Jotun). Slaves were of any color and a person could win/buy/earn their freedom.

Second, Vikings traveled from Scandinavia to North America, Africa, Eastern Europe and their genes made it into the Pacific peoples. If Viking WAS a bloodline, then alot more people could claim to be Vikings then the GameTru/LARPTru/Noble Warrior Modern Vikings claiming it.

Third, community laws and rules of the 8th through 14th century were respected by those living in those communities. But we live in the 21st century (and I can only address the US here as that is where the AAA resides and our focal point) and in America those rules do not apply.

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WAIT. HOLD ON. DON’T APPLY?

Yes. They don’t apply. That does not mean that your right to bear arms or personal space is negated and the government can just steal your lands and tell you how many or what type of guns to own or faith to practice. What it means is we need to RESPECT and FOLLOW the rules and laws of the 21st century communities we live in NOW. Not to do so would be disrespectful and be damaging to your orlog and the frith you owe starting with yourself and ending with the community.

Viking Era: If you kill someone, you have to report it by the third house you meet or it’s murder.

This doesn’t work in the 21st century.

Viking Era: A man could only settle insults by lawsuit the first 2 times, the third must be settled in blood.

Basic elementary school education tells you that words do not allow one to physically harm another. Words are words. If they are untrue, let them roll off you like water from a ducks back. If we teach our children this, we will hurt them as it will be passed on. I am not saying to NOT defend yourself, but from school yard bullies throwing insults, we should encourage our children to go over and break their jaw? WORDS are WORDS. Repay in kind for ACTIONS. If a bully pushes your child, teach them to stand up and jack that bully’s jaw until he’s splayed out like a college kid after a night of tequila shots.

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Yesterday 1/13/2014, on an Asatru FB group, a person told a story about how some Christian youths were talking to him outside of Walmart and asking him questions. After answering them, he turned to leave and one of the youths put his hand on the Heathen’s shoulder and said “Name one thing Jesus can’t do, Pagan.” He replied “stand toe to toe with Thor and live to tell about it.” and left. The response from some Heathens was he should’ve put the guy in a wrist-lock, break his arm, physically harm him, the Christian youth committed battery, you can legally retaliate.

Bull. Shit.

First, no matter what happened here, if you physically can get the upper hand, his buddies are going to call the cops and you’ll be in the police car. Even if you don’t get arrested, it’ll be on your record. Every traffic stop will result in it popping up. This will put a burden on you and your family, all because you didn’t keep your temper and just move on. It’s not “turning the other cheek”, it’s called being responsible. Are the words and a hand on the shoulder from a disrespectful youth worth a blight on your name for the local PD? If this (and it will) comes back to haunt you, it might hurt you and your family – you just damaged frith and your orlog. If this fool had done more then touch your shoulder, then yes, escalate it.

Second, a knee-jerk reaction to this is not what the Havamal teaches. People seem to only chose to respect the verses that stroke their egos. The Havamal teaches us to be aware, be alert, to remain silent and speak and do only as we can do with honor. It does not say to break the arm of a punk kid because they touched you and said something stupid.

In America – we have rules and laws. You live here, that means you must respect and obey them. Disagree with them, lobby for change, hire a lawyer, but you still do not get to break them while they are in effect. Just because someone else can do something illegal and get away with it does not mean you can (or SHOULD) do the same.

We are Heathens. We have a history of harm from other cultures and religions. We should be better.

Be better.

~Thorendal

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