Where to begin ! Where to begin ! Well, lets talk racism first of all shall we ! Right after the Civil War a bunch of Christians threw white sheets over themselves and organized into the Klu Klux Klan. Guess what Dick ?! Not a Pagan among those racists ! Or hey, how about this for prejudice Dick, for the past thousand years Christians have done everything they can to extinguish, or at the very least keep down, any and all religions not their own ! And " Authentic " ! There is nothing authentic about the Christian religion. Christians first splintered into Catholics and Protestants, and now there are so many sects with different views, that whatever purity there was left in that religion is long since been watered down, and the original church doctrines lost forever. Lets see shall we : We have the Roman Catholics, Episcopalians, Methodists, Lutherans, Reformists, Evangelical churches, Orthodox Anglican, Dutch Reformed, Presbyterian, Baptist, Mennonite, Mormon, Catholic Apostolic, Seventh Day Adventists, and Gospel churches just to name a very few.
Now lets go back to that " Authentic " issue. Our religion was, over a number of centuries, taken away from us, and because writing was not a Viking culture norm, there are no documents to back up many of the stories in the Eddas and the Sagas. Yes, many of the Rune Stones throughout Scandinavia show the depictions of exactly what is written in the Eddas, but many say this is not proof enough. Since the early years when Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson, and others throughout the Germanic / Norse world, began to put together the broken pieces of our religion, we have had to deal with this question of authenticity. The truth is that we may never be sure how close to our ancestors religion modern Asatru is. But here is a clue for my friend Dick ! It does not matter ! Religion, all religions, are about the personal relationship between the individual and the God, or Gods, they are honoring, or worshiping. The little rituals, or how many hymns you sing before or after the sermon have little or nothing to do with the personal relationship between yourself and the Gods.
That is one of many things that are wrong with religion in our modern world. It has become as much about the ceremony and the trappings as it is about the actual relationship between the faithful in the religion and their Gods. And in many instances it has become more of a social event than a time to commune with the Gods. And money ! Well I won' t even go there ! If you want to see how money affects religion just flick through your T. V. channels early in the morning, and listen to the Christians begging for your money ! Of course they do promise God will return it back to you tenfold ! These people remind me of the snake oil salesman from the 1880's old west !
What I can tell Dick to better inform him about our Asatru religion is simply that our relationship with the Old Gods, Aesir and Vanir, is authentic. Maybe we do not go through the exact same motions as our ancestors did, but that is irrelevant ! Our love, respect, and our great honor for our Gods and Goddesses is as " authentic " as any human being can make it. And I am absolutely sure that it is as great as any Christians !
- Glenn Bergen ( Ravensheart )