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Switch to Forum Live View Asatruar views on Social Issues
6 years ago  ::  Jan 04, 2008 - 1:53PM #1
L'Esprit
Posts: 15
Hello everyone, I'm new to the community and am in the process of learning about Asatru.  I know a fair amount about the gods, the typical ritual practices, etc.  However, I've never known any practitioners of Asatru personally so all of my knowledge has come from online.  It seems to me that there is a great diversity amongst those that practice Asatru, particularly with regard to certain social issues.  I would be interested in any comments related to typical views on race, homosexuality, and any relationship between some in the community to right wing political organizations.  I've encountered information on some websites that I would rate as being very liberal/progressive as well as information on other sites that I would rate as being conservative/traditional.  Is this diversity typical of Asatru?
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 04, 2008 - 3:50PM #2
John_T_Mainer
Posts: 1,658
[QUOTE=L'Esprit;187289]Hello everyone, I'm new to the community and am in the process of learning about Asatru.  I know a fair amount about the gods, the typical ritual practices, etc.  However, I've never known any practitioners of Asatru personally so all of my knowledge has come from online.  It seems to me that there is a great diversity amongst those that practice Asatru, particularly with regard to certain social issues.  I would be interested in any comments related to typical views on race, homosexuality, and any relationship between some in the community to right wing political organizations.  I've encountered information on some websites that I would rate as being very liberal/progressive as well as information on other sites that I would rate as being conservative/traditional.  Is this diversity typical of Asatru?[/QUOTE]

The gods teach us the virtues to strive towards, and where our duties lie.  Because we are left to judge for ourselves how to meet the challenges and responsibilities that are given us, there can be no one Asatru answer to those questions; no commandments, just the need to judge for yourself.

I am a gun owning, ex-military former competative martial artist who trains his daughters in bow, spear, sword, and rifle.  I hunt, fish, and eat meat.  There are other Asatruar who are vegetarians and pacifists who also accept their personal responsibility to act to change the world, and are at least as firmly on the path as I am.

Race is a wierd issue, as it is a human invention that doesn't translate well for me.  The foundation of the people is the family.  Family is all born, married or adopted in.  Above the family rises the kindred, who are all your relatives, and those people who have tied their life and luck to you, the family you chose, or who chose you.  Linking all the kindreds together through shared duties and ties gives rise to the folk, or the whole of the people.  There really isn't room in that for race.  Family is family.  You may be as white as I am, but share no blood, you are not kin.  You may be blacker than the ace of spades, but have born children to one of my blood, that makes you kin, and joins your blood forever to mine through the children thus born.

About politics, we share an understanding of our duty to protect and defend the community, the nation, and the world in which we live.  The gods leave us no easy way out, the duty to act is ours.  How we act is dependant on our abilities and judgement.  We will support those candidates and parties who we feel will best serve the needs of the folk.

We are more militant and family oriented than many pagan groups, making us more likely to be right winged than other members of the largely leftist pagan community, but really no more right winged than the average citizen in the lands in which they live.

We divide on the issue of gun owning and abortion, with the slight majority being pro-gun and pro-choice.  Divided as well on the issue of homosexuality, with a majority wanting to keep the govornment out of our private lives for reasons obvious to a minority religion, but we do tend towards conservative views towards marriage and sexuality.

In Canada I rate as a Conservative, with Liberal attitudes towards medical care, education, and child protection.  When last I was in the US, I would put my views in the Democrat spectrum.  I am pro-choice, support the ownership of guns, but not hand-guns or assault rifles, by civilians willing to undergo the necessary training.  I support public education and medical care.  I am a strong patriot, and support a strong military and a growing role for Canada in shaping world policy through the unified use of aid and military action to make real differences in the trouble spots, not just bandaid solutions that change nothing.  I support the decriminilization of homosexuality, but beleive that pedophiles and rapists should be put to death.

My opinion of gay marriage is reserved, as while my first reaction to it was negative, a second look required me to admit the the justification for the protection of marriage in our laws was made before birth control meant that DINKS (double-income-no-kids) could reap all of the rewards, while bearing none of the burdens that we designed marriage laws to provide for those who undertook the task of raising the next generation.  Coldly put, a gay couple who adopt are probably more deserving than DINKs who chose to remain childless to avoid any messy, time consuming, and costly child rearing duties.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 04, 2008 - 5:23PM #3
Drknss
Posts: 135
:eek:

err... umm... What John said!

I'm still in shock that I agreed with almost your entire post John. The only thing that I was alittle er uh with was.  " am pro-choice, support the ownership of guns, but not hand-guns or assault rifles, by civilians willing to undergo the necessary training."

I can understand were you coming from. I just love assault rifles WAY to much to agree. LOL!

Not that I've ever completely diagreed with you. Just Heathens usually have different oppions on some many different things. It's easy to have debates over things. You wouldn't think you was going to be debating over. LOL!

Anyways. Take care. :)
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 06, 2008 - 12:19PM #4
L'Esprit
Posts: 15
I appreciate your reply John, it was very well written and thorough.  It's difficult to get an idea of things when you don't know anyone personally that practices Asatru.  Based on some of what you said it seems to me that Heathens, in a general sense, have a more libertarian view of things.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 06, 2008 - 12:21PM #5
L'Esprit
Posts: 15
Drknss, would you say that within the context of these kinds of debates that Heathens generally accept differing views held by others as being validly Heathen?
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 07, 2008 - 1:26AM #6
Chicagoheathen
Posts: 881
I know, L'Esprit, that you directed that at Drknss, but let me just chime in. Yes, for the most part, we accept differing views held by others as being validly heathen, or validly held by heathens. So, for example, we do not all agree that racism is a heathen value. However, that is not to say that a racist can never ever be heathen. If we look back historically at the religion and folkway which we strive to recreate, not everyone was the same, and even jerks and scum, unless they did something so hideous as to be named outlaw, were still heathen and part of the community. Not only do we tolerate diversity in views, we pretty much expect it.
All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 07, 2008 - 2:01AM #7
John_T_Mainer
Posts: 1,658
[QUOTE=ChicagoHeathen;193880]I know, L'Esprit, that you directed that at Drknss, but let me just chime in. Yes, for the most part, we accept differing views held by others as being validly heathen, or validly held by heathens. So, for example, we do not all agree that racism is a heathen value. However, that is not to say that a racist can never ever be heathen. If we look back historically at the religion and folkway which we strive to recreate, not everyone was the same, and even jerks and scum, unless they did something so hideous as to be named outlaw, were still heathen and part of the community. Not only do we tolerate diversity in views, we pretty much expect it.[/QUOTE]

That would be the flip side of using your own judgement and skills to come up with the answers to the challenges and duties given us by the gods.   We have the same number of idiots as any other faith, and given the broad discretion that is mandated by our beleifs, they have a much broader pallet of possible bad choices to pick from.  There are some benefits to a "Ten rules to obey without question or thought"  approach, but without the possiblility of failiure, life would not be a true test.

Besides, until a person is dead, they always retain the ability to grow, learn, and change.  For this reason even our outlaws are given the chance to figure out they have been F-ups and mend their ways.  We don't do forgiveness, so pretty much you are on your own to make resitution once you figure out you have been harming others by your mistakes.  Wisdom often comes with a heavy price tag.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 07, 2008 - 11:21AM #8
thor76
Posts: 109
For me, I date alot out of my race, my currant girl is black, so I don't think much about race. My favorite foods are mexican and asian (thai and vietnamese) so when I marry it will probally be a girl from one of those countries.....but only if shes hot and can cook...  :)

I think bisexual girls are hot (I have some good freinds that are pure lesbians) but look down on bi and gay men because I see them as lesser or somehow deviant from nature. Don't get me wrong, I don't bash gay men, I just think they need help and wouldn't trust them with male children, and I certianly don't hang out with them. I guess that gay people should be allowed to marry but would never vote for it. And I have to question the ability of gay couples to parent well. I mean it would never be "normal" and they would raise the boy to be a woman and the girl to be a man....ok maby not but its still not normal and everyone knows it. But as consenting adults it is their right to do with their own bodies what ever they want, but thats my veiw on homosexuality.

As far as guns, I think hand guns, rifles and shot guns should be fully available to the responsible adult. Hitler was for arms control, and in fact it was the unarmed people he was most successful with killing. I do not trust any government that much. Absulutely not. If we had a better armed society, 9-11 could never have happened. The hijakers would have been stabbed or shot to death. All these idiots that go on shooting sprees would be shot to death, by people who live regular lives, but who happen to be armed. I think drive bys would happen less if more people shot back....

But in alot of ways I agree with John_T_Mainer, esp that last bit about "until a person is dead...."
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 07, 2008 - 2:16PM #9
L'Esprit
Posts: 15
Chicago Heathen, that outlook makes sense to me overall, but I expect that you end up with a great many people saying things in the name of Asatru that you disagree with.  Of course that happens in every religion.  I have to admit that as I've read about Asatru the things that I've found disagreeable on certain websites have stuck in my mind more.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 07, 2008 - 9:29PM #10
Chicagoheathen
Posts: 881

L'Esprit wrote:

Chicago Heathen, that outlook makes sense to me overall, but I expect that you end up with a great many people saying things in the name of Asatru that you disagree with.  Of course that happens in every religion.  I have to admit that as I've read about Asatru the things that I've found disagreeable on certain websites have stuck in my mind more.



Oh yes, certainly, we get plenty of idiots who say all sorts of things and some of those idiots try to say things in the name of Asatruar. That can be problematic, especially when we get some yahoo who demands 3000-Things-No-One-Needs to worship the gods in prison and then whines when he doesn't get them, or some buttwipe who decides that all (fill in group here) must die and by golly gosh Asatru and the gods demands that it be done.

One of the constant struggles is to educate the "mainstream" population that, you know, everyone has their psychos and idiots, and we're no more free of them than anyone else. It's just that, because we're a minority faith, it somehow looks worse.

So we try to educate and say hey, these people are not representative of us. We have to educate and say, hey, this is not something our religion advocates. (No, it doesn't always condemn whatever either, but that's part of the advanced class.) ;)

One of the things that the media especially does not understand, is that we don't have any one person who can speak for all Asatruar. To even be someone who can represent the voice of a part of the community, regional or local group requires a great deal of respect from others, and a lot of wisdom and knowledge, which your general idiot does not possess.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
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