Written by Judia Krakowski, as told by the International Asatru Foundation
The screen is blank. That isn’t a peculiar thing for a screen to be, but this particular screen needed to have words on it. Unfortunately, those words were being rather stubborn.
It’s been that way for a day and half.
I was waiting for inspiration to hit me. I’d been distracting myself with other tasks until it came to me, but I finished those an hour ago. Now, all I had to do was write a story about our organization.
The story was a detour off our designated course, though. Since we’re a religious organization, we felt telling “our story” was irrelevant. If we were to tell any story, it should’ve been about the Germanic tribes of pre-Christian Europe.
What do they say about the best laid plans?
People wanted an in-depth look at us. The interest came following an unprovoked attack from a fellow Asatru organization. It came within five hours of our launch, so many people hadn’t heard about us.
People knew who we were after that, though.
It launched us into a chaos of progress. We had to adjust our site to handle more traffic. Several programs needed their launch dates moved up because we had a waiting list for them. People were messaging us and sending screenshots of the attack. Everyone wanted to know, “Did you know [unnamed] is attacking you?”
Yes, we did.
Of course, people wanted to know the details, but there was none to give. The attack surprised us more than it did the public, to be honest. What could we say about it?
We were only a few hours into our launch phase. None of us had time to indulge in drama.
It did saddened us to witness it, though, because it went against the tenets of our faith. True, we had expected some form of attack. Given that we wanted to change the face of our faith in the media, we accepted it as inevitable. We weren’t expecting it from another Asatru organization, though.
How were we to grow as a community with such rampant animosity for those that worship the same Gods? Our faith is not owned by any one individual or group. Everyone can worship in their own manner.
Religion is not like pie. There’s plenty of faith to share with everyone.
As it stands, we’re a minority religious community. Our differences should not obstruct the revival and growth of our religion. The future is waiting for us, if only we could realize that we’re not on a battlefield.
Heathens face enough obstacles without the bickering.
We have few reliable resources for learning. There are fewer places of worship open to everyone. Finding supplies and gathering for celebrations is hard. Recognition of our clergy is irregular. There are few programs for heathen veterans or any heathen in need.
Worst of all, the media paints us as racists and lunatics. Neither of which is wholly true.
The six kindreds that built our organization experienced these issues firsthand. The thoughts laid out above were on their minds daily. Everyone wanted a solution, but knew that progress would not happen alone.
We’d have to fight for it, and it was going to be hard. We, as a religion, needed to step up for that fight. We weren’t going to win it going at it alone.
The idea for an organization came from that fierce determination for change. It was a tiny, tenacious spark that had us saying to ourselves, “We can do better than this. We deserve better than this.”
We craved an organization devoted to the faith itself. It would honor all paths as equal, instead of venerating one over another. It would encourage people from every walk of life to worship together because we’re of one faith.
We built an organization focused on several key values:
- Religion is for the world, and it’s not owned by any one individual or group.
- We have no authority to dictate how, why or when people worship the Gods. On that same token, we have no authority to dictate the personal, religious truths of another.
- All paths of Germanic Paganism are equal.
- Our way is not the only way. We can all walk together in peace.
We’re a small organization of determined people following a dream. We’re inviting others to walk with us because nobody is without value.
With that, I leave you to your private thoughts. Our story isn’t long or grand. After all, we’re not that old. However, I believe we’re going to have much more to add in the coming years.