Luke Babb continues their series about reckoning with the Christian influences of modern Paganism. In this column, they explore one of the most pernicious influences: the culture of American racism, which is entwined with American Christianity and spread into American Paganism.
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.
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?
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.