Sunday, October 09, 2005

What does the word folkish or universalist mean anymore?

I see this term thrown out on Heathen mailing lists, blogs, and message boards, usually in the context of "Jim Bob Heathen is not/too folkish to join my group" It seems anymore that Folkish now equals racist and Unversalists is one step above a Playgan. Rather than being a statement on beliefs, it has turned into a way to slander someone. This is especially true of the word "Universalist." What once meant someone who did not think that being part of the religion of the Aesir and the Vanir had nothing to do with race or ancestral origin is now thrown out as a an insult. Many Heathens I have encountered online have used it as a "more Asatruar than thou" word, using it to degrade and make those who do not agree with them feel unwelcome.

And what about us in the middle. Those who have been called both too folkish and too universalists? Those who consider ancestry to be important, but not vital. Those who acknowledge the impact of a culture highly influenced by the culture of Northern Europe may influence some to become heathen despite ancestory.

Since we are a relatively young movement, and a reconstructionist movement at that, and there really isn't any direct evidence either way in the lore, why bother with this argument? The number of people who are not ancestorally linked to heathenry who are heathen are so small, why do we even care?


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