Lately Ive been more active in some groups I havent spoken out in, or on pages Ive Liked and follow. Sadly, one I had actually enjoyed due to their art has proven themselves to be segregationists against everyone not them – be it by skin color or by country of birth and even your parents’ religion(s).
Ive heard arguments from some Asatruars that those not of Nordic descent and living in/raised in and currently residing a Nordic nation shouldnt follow Asatru, because it’s their cultures’ faith and they compare it to Native American faiths. Also that Americans shouldnt practice Asatru because we are not Nordic and have no right to it. Actually, I had a debate with someone who told me that unless you were born into a Nordic pagan household and raised that way, you cannot be pagan and that if you rediscover your pre-Christian cultures’ faith, that no matter what you do, you arent a pagan.
A few holes in that belief..
First of all “Native American faiths” is bullshit. There are literally hundreds of tribes in the Americans, and while some have overlap, they are not centralized or considered the same. When tribes come together, the “brotherhood” witnessed comes from generations being forced to give up their folk beliefs at the end of a barrel of a gun, or economically or socially. And a understanding not of deities, ritual and tribal spirituality, but of a relationship/world view with nature and the land. Relationship with the Earth and the land. Between people with respect and wisdom. Native American tribes to this day are still being treated like 3rd class citizens.
Second, Native Americans, generally do share the same ancestors as all of us. Same tree, different branch, just as Germanic tribes are a different branch as well. European-Americans are included in the segregationist Nordic “native” peoples claim that Americans shouldnt practice Asatru in the context of which I am speaking and I find it hilarious as America is a melting pot – many different cultures all coming together to form a new culture either encompassing them all or further their own in a different environment. AND THIS INCLUDES IMMIGRANTS FROM THE NORDIC NATIONS AND GERMANY. So why cant European-Americans practice Asatru? Because we werent born in any of the Nordic nations, speak the native languages of those countries and have over a thousand years of Christianization?
Finally, saying that we European-Americans cannot/should not be pagan because we werent born into/raised in and currrently live in a pagan culture is utter nonsense. The last Nordic nation to convert was Iceland and both Christianity and folk practice was adopted and practiced. If you can trace your line 1000 or so years back to a people who practiced the native folk ways of the Nordic nations, that is some of PRIDE for your family line but it IS NOT a tool of exclusion of others who might be of a line that adopted Christianity as a voluntary choice (or even an involuntary one). You cannot use a blood argument to included those of blood and excluse those of blood. It’s illogical and frankly impossible.
Sorry, no. We (European-Americans) have the right to practice Asatru – genetically and/or by our own personal choice. And just because we have the right to do so, doesnt give us (or native Norwegains) the right to deny OTHERS their practice of Asatru.
Finally, I just want to say, I have nothing against native Nordic practitioners of Asatru and their countries’ folk ways. I speak above of only a dozen examples I have run across in social media. Never judge a book by it’s cover.