Tuesday, August 30, 2016

For Heathen Service Folk


Racist or homophobic actions or speech are considered to be violations of military discipline under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) article 134, and the Canadian Queens Regulations and Orders 103.60. Recent statements from the Asatru Folk Assembly (AFA) that Asatru or Heathenry is only open to those who are white, heterosexual gender conforming are in fact untrue. This represents their internal policies, not Heathen belief. The AFA present the US and Canadian military a clear-cut, but false, statement that those service folk who express Heathen or Asatru religious beliefs are in contravention of UCMJ 134, and QR&O 103.60. Because the Department of Defense guidelines specifically prohibit this sort of prejudice (http://diversity.defense.gov/About/), the statements of the AFA, if accepted as true, would appear to put Heathen or Asatru soldiers in breach of the policies of the forces and nations they are sworn to serve. This has severe career implications for all Heathen service folk, as well as being a slur upon countless good and worthy men and women who are forbidden by existing regulations to advocate for themselves.

It falls to organizations like The Troth to provide the strong and clear message that Asatru and Heathenry as a whole strongly condemn racism, homophobia, and similar forms of discrimination. For those Heathen men and women who now serve under arms, and who are forbidden to speak in their own defense, let us be as clear as possible.

Racism is not a Heathen belief, nor is sexism nor homophobia. We in the Troth, like many other Heathen organizations, hold and enforce a zero tolerance policy on such behaviors in our halls, and at our events.

As Heathens, we take great pride in disagreeing with each other on a hundred points of doctrine and practice; this is part of our community, part of our ancestral tradition, and not something we are looking to change. We can - and do - unite on some matters though; some matters that are so important, so fundamental to our beliefs that we set aside our differences and speak with one voice.

Two things have brought us together to speak in that single voice in recent years. The first was to all stand behind the Open Halls Project (OHP) to see that all good Heathen service folk had access to support wherever they were based or deployed. The second thing has been condemnation of the AFA’s racist and homophobic proclamations. They do not speak for Heathenry, they do not speak for the many fine men and women who serve our nations under arms, and who have given up the right to speak for themselves while they serve.

We who have served before, we who now stand in support must be that voice, and that voice from not simply the Troth but a hundred other Heathen organizations rings loud and clear. Racism and Homophobia are not Heathen, that is not what our service folk bring to our banners. Loyalty, courage, self-discipline, honour and frith you may find in our teachings, industriousness, self reliance and hospitality as well. You will find no hate in our teachings, no barriers set up against race, gender or sexuality. These things are not Heathen.

Our Heathen service folk stand on guard to defend us all, but to do so, they have given up the right to speak in their own defense. If falls to us, the Heathen community, to raise our voices for them. The teachings of Heathenry are not in conflict with the UCMJ or the QR&O. In fact the teachings of Heathenry are consistent with the highest military and civic virtues. Those in your ranks who you know are Heathen are not just pillars of our community; they are pillars of their service. They are loyal sons and daughters of their nations, offering the gift of service in return for the freedom in which they were raised. A gift for a gift is our way. As these fine men and women are giving us their gift of service, now we give for them this gift; a gift of the words they may not speak in their own defense.

This post represents official Troth policy or is an official Troth statement.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Official Note from The Troth

The Troth is open to all who seek to know and to honor the Gods, ancestors, and values of the Germanic Heathen traditions, regardless of gender, race, nationality or sexual orientation. The Troth stands against any use of Germanic religion and culture to advance causes of racism, sexism, homophobia, white supremacy, or any other form of prejudice.

While we are aware that there are some Asatru organizations that are not inclusive to all people, the Troth's doors are open to all those who may have been excluded due to their ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or ability. The Troth stands against the AFA's vision of what Asatru should be, and we do not recognize their beliefs as representative of a majority of American Asatru (Heathenry). There are no arbiters of who can and cannot worship our deities, but the Gods themselves. We are a family religion, and to the Troth that means all families.

This post represents official Troth policy or is an official Troth statement.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

New Podcast

The Troth's podcasts are being revived!

We have posted an interview with Troth Steer, Robert L. Schreiwer, which was done for Gifts of Wyrd.

Look for future podcasts on topics related to the organization coming from The Troth's podcast channel.

Download the podcast and follow The Troth's official podcast at http://www.thetroth.podbean.com

Hail The Troth!

This post represents official Troth policy or is an official Troth statement.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Completed Repairs

The Troth has completed some repairs to the Forgot Password feature when logging in and has begun also to post new items to the Members Area.

Please do visit the Members Area, and we are happy to take original (or public domain) articles for sharing in the Members Area Library (Documents > Basic > Library). Please contact the Steer if you wish to contribute!

We are also seeking members with writing skills to help us to update the verbiage on our webpages.

Thank you!

This post represents official Troth policy or is an official Troth statement.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Troth Election Results

The Troth election results were announced at Trothmoot 2016!

Elected or Re-Elected to Office:

Robert L. Schreiwer
Lagaria Farmer
Lisa Morgenstern
John T Mainer
Jo Spinks
Mikki Fraser

Robert L. Schreiwer is the new Steersman

The new High Rede of The Troth consists of the following folks:

Lagaria Farmer, named Associate Steer
Lisa Morgenstern 

Tanya Peterson
John T Mainer, named Communications Officer

Amanda T Leigh-Hawkins,  named Officer Liaison

Jo Mckee-Spinks

Brian K. Jenkins

Hrafn Skald

Mikki Fraser

Hail the Rede!

This post represents official Troth policy or is an official Troth statement.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Taking the Pulse of Hatred

In Orlando Florida, the Pulse nightclub was getting ready to celebrate Latin night, but it was not to be. Omar Mateen had other plans. An American born of refugee parents, he came to Pulse with the intention of killing as many gay men as possible, answering the call of ISIS to do so during Ramadan.
Omar killed fifty, wounded another fifty three before being killed. For those who advocate open carry as a cure all to stop mass shootings, he was engaged by armed off duty officers working security early in the battle, to no avail. With a legally purchased long gun and pistol he carried out his attack over an extended period, at times hunting, at times holding hostages, until the police were able to force entry and shoot him.
Before and during the attack he told 911 dispatchers he did this for ISIS and its leader. We have a pure act of Islamic Terrorism against the LGBT community simply for existing.
There are a few side issues that people may get distracted by, lets get them out of the way.
Gun Control hotspots:
He held a licence for the guns used in the attack.
He passed screening checks, even though files existed from multiple investigations for radicalization
There were armed officers present at the start of the attack and that was not enough to stop it
Both sides in the gun debate have points they will latch upon, and points they will gloss over, but the fact is this person had been investigated multiple times, worked in security, and passed all the checks to get his guns just days before the attacks. Legislation would not have prevented this, unless you took guns away from everybody, then it would have been done with fire or explosives instead.
He was born in the United States. He was not a radical foreigner, an enemy agent, and ungrateful refugee turning on their saviours, he was a citizen, born and raised into the country he acted against. He was radicalised, as so many terrorists over the years, by ideas and hatreds that sneak across borders as whispers, far beyond any border defences to stop. Listen closely and you will hear lots of hateful whispering going on even in our countries.

The LGBT community was targeted because conservative Islamics, like conservative Christians, find the existence of LGBT offensive. In the name of Ar-Rahim the exceedingly merciful, As-Salam, the source of peace and safety, and Al-Gaffar the repeatedly forgiving, Omar entered a club where people came together to celebrate joy and love, and hunted down and killed with cold fury, all the while calling out Allahu Akbar (God is Great). Calling out to a god whose bynames include the Merciful and the Lovingkind, he showed nothing but empty hatred, as sadly will much of the responses to the attack from our own nations.
The LGBT community is easy to target, as homophobia is not simply taught, it is preached by many conservative faiths in every corner of our nation. As much as we could point to ISIS and blame them for this, the same hatred is being preached in pulpits across the land, from churches, to temples, mosques, and I will admit what others in my own faith community will cringe at, in holy heathen sumbel as well.
Conservative elements in many faiths, my own among them, target the LGBT Community because they want to, and because we let them get away with it. They are the last group you can go after with impunity, standing on your freedom of religion to practice persecution and hatred, while pretending you are doing something sacred.

Our own Troth has a very firm policy on wilful promotion of hatred against any group, by race, by gender, by sexual orientation, whatever the cause. If you wish to hate a class of human being just for existing, we will come down on you like the Hammer of Thor, and bounce you right out of our halls. Not every group in our faith tradition feels the same.
There are moderate mosques whose teachings are not reflected in this shooting, but it is easier to pretend that this was done by all Muslims. There are moderate Christian churches whose parishioners would just as cheerfully stand in defense or solidarity with the LGBT community as the worthy Heathens of the Troth, but they must also own the existence of many powerful churches whose words are almost indistinguishable from those of ISIS towards the gay, bisexual, lesbian, transsexual communities.
It will be easy to get up tomorrow and scream to take all the guns away, to give everyone guns, to turn against the refugees, to turn against the Muslims. It will be whispered in darker corners that the LGBT community somehow brought this attack on themselves for the crime of not being ashamed to be honest about how and whom they love. The easy thing is seldom right, and the right thing is seldom easy.
Tomorrow I will embrace the diversity of my nation, and my neighbors. Tomorrow I will extend my hand in friendship to those who have been touched by the loss of loved ones, or those who are scarred from what they have witnessed. Tomorrow I will begin to raise my voice against extremism, and the heavy cost our peoples pay when we allow our enemies to turn us against ourselves.
Tonight I will pray to Freya:
We give thanks to the Lady of Life and Love who has shared with us the delight of dance, music and movement, the sweetness of honey, the fire of wine. We give thanks for your gifts of spirit and flesh:
When sunlight gilds the growing grain,
And scatters gold upon the sea,
When apple-blossom scents the air,
In these things, Freyja, I find Thee.

Tomorrow we will take up our banners and shields and begin the clash of will and words that marks this thing we call keeping of the peace, but tonight we call upon the lady of love, the lady of the dance, into whose arms come first pick of all the dead, we call upon her mercy to guide those lovers and dancers who fell this day, that they may find their way to the halls of their ancestors. Great Freya, I ask you let Brisengamen’s renewing light shine on all of those who have lost, that they may heal and again remember the fallen as they were in love and life.
John T Mainer
Communications officer of The Troth
Prayer courtesy of Diana Paxson, Head of the Troth Clergy Program

Friday, June 3, 2016

New Troth-Branded Shirts

In order to meet recent demand for more Troth-branded items, we have created a new Troth online store! There are quite a few t-shirt designs in place already, and more designs for various products are in the works for the future.

Hail The Troth!

This post represents official Troth policy or is an official Troth statement.