Continuing the discussion from Twitter users hunt down Seattle Nazi and knock him out:
In the context of “people Nazis hate”, which I mentioned generally didn’t include straight, able bodied white men-
I deliberately omitted that because of the ongoing issue with my own religious community. There are a lot of Christian Nazis- Notably groups like Christian Identity- but there are also a growing number who identify as Norse Heathen.
This is an issue.
As a Pagan and Celtic polytheist (I sometimes identify as a Druid*), I’m pretty close to a LOT of Norse Heathens who are adamantly not racist, and who are not happy about their religion being coopted by the white power crowd- Especially when sacred symbols like the Othala and Sowulo runes begin to be associated as racist symbols.
The generous view is that these people aren’t “called” to worship the old gods, but are simply seeking out a religion that wasn’t invented by brown people. The less charitable view is that they’re literally invading us. In any case, there is now a major rift between racist (or “folkish”) and non-racist factions. There is a similar, though smaller, situation among some Celtic Pagan circles as well.
This is complicated by there being a racial element to these religions themselves, even among those who are adamantly anti-racist.
Essentially, the mythology/lore/history/doctrine/etc. is that of our people. The Eddur say that Heimdall is the father of the Norse people. The Celtic myths describe particular gods and heroes through their relationship to Celtic lands and people.
You can see where racists might glom onto that idea.
BUT- and this is a big but- These stories don’t say anything about our people being superior, or having any claim to foreign lands, or any exclusive knowledge or anything that sets us as a race or culture above or beneath anyone else. It’s simply “this is the culture we’re born into, and it works well for us”.
More importantly, they are quite explicit about not being exclusive or isolationist towards other races and cultures. The lore is full of stories of travelers to and from other lands who are accepted amongst the natives, of intermarriage and siring of children across those lines, of trade in goods and customs and citizens between other cultures. Hell- being hospitable towards guests, especially foreign ones, is as close to a central commandment as most of us get.
Basically, the religion is like a family- The easy way in is to be born into it, but people marry in or are adopted or fostered into it pretty much whenever they’re called to be. Having that particular bloodline doesn’t make you more deserving than anyone else, it’s just a shortcut. And if someone from another race or culture shows up on your doorstep, you make damned well sure that at minimum, they’re welcomed, fed, and rested before they leave.
To myself, and many Heathens I know, this is solidly about “respecting our heritage”- Because again, for a lot of us, the feeling of being drawn to our ancestors was why we got started on this path in the first place. But we are quite adamant that it is possible to revere both your own and other peoples’ heritage, and that the one absolutely does not prohibit the other.
So again, when we come across those who would read some sort of bigoted and racist principle into this, it creates problems- And there is a great deal of drama as this plays out in the larger community.
Anyway, I just thought I’d give some context.
*Or sometimes Identify as Wiccan or just Pagan. If you must know, I follow a Celtic (Druid) cosmology with a Wiccan methodology and a good deal of Norse and Ceremonial Magick influence- So I have strong connections to several Pagan and Heathen communities.