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truth is a 3 edged sword

FOX News video piece on Asatru

Ancient Viking Religion Finds New Worshipers – Including White Supremacists

Article Created: Thursday, 08 Nov 2007, 8:54 PM CST
"Chicago -- Thousands of followers claim Asatru is a real religion. They swear it's changed their lives for the better. But it's also a faith that's been linked to violence and hate crimes. Mark Saxenmeyer shows us just who's worshipping 'the race religion. "

Video report on FOX News website by Mark Saxenmeyer: mark.saxenmeyer@foxchicago.com or you can comment on his blog where other Heathens have also commented.

So I had a few issues with this piece, and decided to contact the reporter. Here's what I sent to him...

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Dear Mr. Saxenmeyer,

I'm writing to you on behalf of a recent piece of yours that I stumbled across online, entitled "Ancient Viking Religion Finds new Worshippers - Including White Supremacists.”

As an adherent of this religion, I must admit to taking a certain amount of umbrage to the descriptive copy accompanying the video piece, which stated “Thousands of followers claim Asatru is a real religion.” I hardly think if we were talking about Christianity that the words claim and real would have been used.

Would you care to know just how ‘real’ this religion is, and the ‘claims’ I have for it?

There are practicing Asatru in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan,
Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, & the United States. Asatru has a presence on every single inhabited continent on our planet.

In Iceland, the Asatruarfelagid in the 1970’s secured legitimate and recognized status by the State as a special religious community. They are the only religion outside of Christianity to be officially recognized by the Icelandic government. In 2003 the Lutheran Church in Denmark (which possesses ultimate religious authority in the country) recognized an Asatru group so that they could perform and conduct marriage ceremonies in the name of the Norse Gods. Additionally, the governments of Norway, Sweden & Spain, also officially recognize Asatru as a religion.

In the United States Boy Scout Troop 1239 in the Greater Salt Lake City Council is all Asatru. There are tons of nonprofit Asatru organizations throughout the U.S. and there are a number of African_American Asatru followers in those organizations.

In terms of the piece itself, I felt it was a mistake to NOT go into more detail on the history of how our sacred cultural items like our sunwheel (the swastiska) was misappropriated for a Christian Nazi party. In fact while Germany used cultural items from the ancient past as iconic power symbols, the irony is that the Nazi party was intolerant of any who were not also Christian. So while they may have relished Wagner’s works making the ancient myths come alive, they certainly had no tolerance for those who genuinely honored and worshipped the ancient Gods. In fact after the Nazi party came into power, there was a group of Odinists who honored the Norse Gods who suffered many of the same persecutions as the Jews at the hands of the Nazi Party.

Some were arrested, some exiled, some were sent to concentration camps (including Dachau), their writings were banned & their property confiscated. Current or past membership in an Odinist congregation disqualified anyone from holding rank or office within the Nazi Party.

Want to learn more? Look up the following Odinists persecuted by the Nazi party: Rudolf Steiner, Rudolf von Sebottendorff, Lanz von Liebenfels, Ernst Issberner-Haldane, & Reinhold Ebertin.

I can certainly understand that sometimes shifting through all of the research out there is difficult, in fact as I discovered when I was working on my Master’s thesis, most of the sources, even from reputable academic and government sources are WRONG to varying degrees. But if you intend to cover our religion, please be a bit more thorough in your research, and grant our religion the respect you would show to any other religion.

Sincerely,

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EDITED: I received a response from Mr. Saxenmeyer, and posted it in my journal.
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Comments

Looks like an excellent letter. I hope most of the letters sent will be so well-written. I'm headed up to school Tuesday and will take notes on the peice (it'll take hours and hours and hours to download on my connection).
In this case I recognize this is someone who doesn't know our ways, and people are more inclined to listen to you when you put forth logical arguments. And show some civility in them. I personally feel that both Frigga and Loki have blessed me with the way of words. :)

His response however... really just makes me cringe. It's not that it's rude or anything of the sort, but as I explain in my latest LJ post, it taints of bias in my opinion.

Ugh that whole piece was rather painful to watch. The thing is that they get Metzger who is like a nazi racist fuck to the max who says that he is using the symbology as an effective tool to motivate his people, not even claiming to be a religious adherent or genuinely worshipping or believing in the Gods. Its one of those occasions where I wish the High Ones would strike him with gangrenous testicles and incurable leprosy just to make an example of him.
wait till you read the response he sent me (my latest LJ entry).

I'm sure those who misrepresent Them will sooner or later get what's coming to Them. But yes, sometimes I do wish for public Thor smiting of such cretins, ya know? To make it crystal clear that our Gods will not be used for someone's personal, and hatemongering, agenda.
Any idea if this story ran on the national Fox News Network or just in the Chicago Metro area? "Fair & Balanced" my ass. I am not at all surprised about his letter to you, as Fox is especially bad with sensationalist news. I wonder if the 'growing trend of lesbian street gangs' they reported on a few months ago where 11 year old girls are forced to join by lesbian gang rape will take up arms against the viking gangs? Pretty much the sad thing is that trying to cooperate with media outlets, scholars, etc pretty much always backfires and makes us look like kooks.
My understanding is it ran in the Chicago area, and then was placed online.

Now that I think about it, the awesomest divine retribution against Metzger would be by Frigga & Freya where the fuckface falls in love with a radical black seperatist, renounces his ways and hits the talk show circuit crediting the Norse Gods for curing him of racism and turns around to become an informant, and after a few Rasputin-like non-fatal assassination attempts mysteriously burns alive and survives again with 98% of his skin burned off only to survive that and later die from an anthrax tainted letter sent by domestic terrorists a-la Mc Veigh. A girl can dream, right?

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