Statement of the Asatru Alliance on Recent Events

No man is wholly wretched, though he is not well:
one man is blessed with sons,
another in friends, another with enough wealth,
another well-blessed in his works.
- Havamal, stanza 69

During the unfortunate events of January 6, 2021 at the Capital Building, several photographs were taken of Jake Angeli, a Phoenix area resident and self-styled shaman. The photographs revealed Mr. Angeli 's tattoos which include some of the sacred symbols of Asatru such as the Valknut, the hammer Mjolnir, and what may be an image of Yggdrasill.

The wide dissemination of the photographs resuscitated yet another discussion about the identification of the sacred symbols of our faith with racism and extremist politics. Most notably, an article in Rolling Stone magazine was particularly strident in its criticism but, thanks to the efforts of the Police Pagan Association in the United Kingdom and others, the magazine agreed to temper its rhetoric and acknowledge that the aberrant use of our symbols only occurs among a small minority of people.

We realize that this is a discussion that has waxed and waned for many years and probably will continue to do so well into the future. The recent events at the Capital Building, however, have elevated the discussion to one in which an individual erroneously identified with Asatru participated in an illegal and violent action that compromised public order and safety and resulted in the tragic loss of life. That being the case, it is incumbent on the Asatru Alliance to make our position on recent events and attendant ideological positions perfectly clear.

The first paragraph of the preamble to the bylaws of the Asatru Alliance is as follows:

The Asatru Alliance promotes the native culture of the Northern European peoples. However, we do not practice, preach, or promote hatred, bigotry, or racism. We believe that Northern Europeans can believe (in) and promote their own culture and heritage in a positive manner. This is expressed through our native religion: Asatru.

It is our position that all members of the human family are of divine origin and, as such, are equally worthy of respect, dignified treatment, and equal protection under the law. No ethnicity, race, or national origin is superior or inferior to any other or entitled to more or less rights under the law than any other. As the quotation from the Havamal above reminds us, all people have worth. That worth derives from the divine origin of humanity and, in our view, any position to the contrary is simply not rational.

Indigenous religions come into being, are practiced, and evolve within the context of culture and all that comprises it from language to environment to customs to localized survival challenges. Each is accurate within the context in which it evolved. Therefore, we do not believe that Asatru possesses a more accurate representation of the origin and nature of the universe or the origin and nature of the human person than any other indigenous faith. Asatru speaks to our minds, hearts, and spirits and so we embrace its practice with joy, strength, and resolve. Its paradigm holds for us all that is good, right, and true. We acknowledge that the same holds true for adherents of other indigenous faiths and we do not count variations in belief or practice between faiths as errors.

The second paragraph of the preamble to the bylaws of the Asatru Alliance is as follows:

We do not promote or condone activities of the left or right within our religion. Any manifestation of political activity is outlawed by the By Laws of the Asatru Alliance.

Members of the Asatru Alliance hold a wide spectrum of strongly held political beliefs and opinions. We cherish the laws that guarantee our rights to express differences in opinion and to express our differences through peaceable discourse and assembly. As the second paragraph of the preamble to our bylaws makes clear, it is not within the mandate of the Alliance to support or denounce political positions, parties, or candidates. Our hope is that all our members will live their lives as peaceful law-abiding citizens while respecting the sovereignty of each persons conscience in determining their position and participation in the political process.

The events of January 6, 2021 at the Capital Building did not constitute the lawful exercise of individual liberty. We categorically reject the notion that that there was any legitimacy to that action and condemn the lawlessness, casual disregard for public order and safety, vandalism, theft of public property, violence, and tragic loss of life that resulted from it. We respect the right of every person to hold opinions regarding the legitimacy of the recent Presidential election and/or other political issues. We will never countenance the actions of January 6th, or those like them, as a means of resolution.

I welcome your questions or feedback on this statement and wish you well.

In Frith,
Ottar Fjallakappi,
Asatru Alliance