Column: On Inclusive Heathenry

Pagan Perspectives

Over the past year, and especially since the Frith Forge conference in Germany, I’ve noticed increasing use and discussion of the term “inclusive Heathenry.”

It often seems more of a rebranding than a revolutionary concept. Practitioners of Ásatrú and Heathenry have long taken sides over issues of inclusion, with some taking hard stances on either end of the spectrum and many situating themselves in a complicated middle ground. The battles that have raged for so long have been between positions that were often defined by the other side. The universalist position supposedly said that anyone could be Heathen – no questions asked. The folkish position supposedly said that only straight white people could be Heathen – with many questions asked.

Column: Nazis in America

America has welcomed the Nazis. I don’t mean Nazis in the sense of “everyone I disagree with is a Nazi.” I mean honest-to-goodness Nazis with swastikas on their flags and chants against Jews on their lips. They are here in today’s America, and they’re on the march. How did it come to this? How did the United States of America go from nearly 75 years of celebrating the defeat of the Third Reich by the Allies to insisting that one should never, ever punch a Nazi?

Pagan Community Notes: Michael Wiggins, Asatru Folk Assembly, Canadian Wildfires, and more!

DETROIT – On May 4, Michigan’s Pagan community lost one of their beloved leaders. Michael Wiggins was a teacher, artist, dancer and the “face of Convocation,” an annual Pagan conference held in Michigan. He was born into a Pagan family, making him a second generation witch. He was president of the Michigan Education Council and was declared “Michigan Pagan of the Year” in 2013 for his influence on local events and his advocacy work in the community. A memorial fund has been set up to raise the needed money to cover his various unexpected final expenses. The current goal amount, which is now at $10,000, was raised twice over the past four days after donors quickly exceed the original and secondary marks.

The Asatru Folk Assembly and White Nationalism

White nationalist organization the National Policy Institute (NPI) recently held their 2011 national conference, and Brian Powell from Media Matters was there to cover it. While listening to post-apocalyptic plans for a white “ethnostate” and endorsements for recreating apartheid in American towns, Powell runs into a contingent of members from the Asatru Folk Assembly during lunch. “I nodded reluctantly and the four well-groomed white males smiled politely and sat down. What followed was one of the more uncomfortable meals of my life, as I smiled and pretended to concur with their views on affirmative action, the depiction of white people in the media, and their plans to recruit others to the white nationalist cause by use of racist humor. […] The four of them were excruciatingly friendly. They were relieved that they had finally found a place where they didn’t have to “feel out” the conversation before navigating it into the straits of white supremacy.