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Hate Is Not a Heathen Value

On April 13, 2014, a white supremacist perpetuated a hate crime on a Jewish Community Center. Some mass media outlets have attempted to identify the shooter as a Heathen, but I'd like to take a moment to reiterate that his values (or rather, his lack thereof) are not shared by Heathenry or Northern Tradition Paganism at large. The Troth has already issued a statement on using the Northern Tradition as a justification for hate crimes and bigotry.  And there are Heathens who feel that words are not enough, and have organized a fundraiser to help the families affected by the shooting.

Y'all know that I don't primarily identify as a Heathen, and there are some reasons for that. One is that I don't consider my practice reconstructionist in nature, and that's a large one, but truth be told, the problematic issue of hate groups claiming Heathen identity is also part of why I back away from most Heathen groups. The Troth is the ONLY  Heathen org that I've ever joined because it has explicit, defined mission statements that are committed to racial diversity, "Membership in the Troth is open to all who seek to know and honor the Gods, ancestors, and values of the pre-Christian Germanic traditions, regardless of gender, race, nationality, or sexual orientation."

Now, that's not to say that even the Troth has what I would consider an ideal mix of races; Paganism and Heathenry both suffer from racial diversity issues, which stem from more than just numbers or percentages of racial or ethnic groups. Maybe a frank discussion on how to desegregate and diversify is something we can take from this tragedy. I would welcome such a dialogue, because the more diverse Paganism and Heathenry become, the fewer racist a**holes will try to misappropriate our faith. I've seen the type of racists who like to show their true colors when they think everyone's white and they can speak freely.  And if you're reading, and you're one of those a**holes?

You get the f**k off my blog. You're not welcome here.

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Lokean nun, writer, swamp witch. Heather is a Pagan monastic, writer, editor, and mother. She has written and edited for a variety of publications and social media, including science journals, romance novels, and technology blogs. She also holds degrees in education and speech-language pathology, and has a passion for historical linguistics.


  • Shirl Sazynski
    Shirl Sazynski Thursday, 17 April 2014

    Well said, and heartily agreed. (Other than that I still identify as Heathen/Rodnova, because that's the historic and modern term used for followers of the old Gods of northern Europe, particularly those who believe in their existence as people.)

  • Amoret BriarRose
    Amoret BriarRose Friday, 18 April 2014

    Well said!

  • Catherine Miles
    Catherine Miles Tuesday, 10 March 2015


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