Declaration 127 against the AFA

Declaration 127 is available for individuals to sign as well as groups and organisations.

Depending on how Heathen-oriented your friends and other followed blog authors are, you may or may not have heard about the recent(ish) problems a lot of people have had with the Asatru Folk Assembly. Although I am a devotee of Freyja I don’t really consider myself Heathen, so the existence of the AFA barely registered. However, the AFA recently, openly, and publicly stated that their organisation is not open to non-white, non-straight, and non-1950s-style-gender-conforming people. Lupa Greenwolf’s post titled #notinmypaganism has screenshots of the AFA’s announcement on Facebook and some of the comments left there.

In response to this announcement, Huginn’s Heathen Hof have created Declaration 127 which has been signed by many different groups and organisations, both within Heathenry and the wider Pagan world. It is also now available for individuals to sign to show their support, and while you do need to create a World Table account to do so, it takes less than five minutes. While I don’t identify myself as Heathen I am associated with Heathenry through my personal devotion to Freyja, through my Heathen friends, and through the Heathen blogs I read. I have signed Declaration 127, and would have done so even if I wasn’t bisexual or a devotee of a Norse goddess. I signed it because I fundamentally disagree with what the AFA said, and while I am cis-female there is no way I currently or would ever conform to the AFA’s views on what ‘feminine ladies’ should be.

We will not promote, associate, or do business with the AFA as an organization so long as they maintain these discriminatory policies.

The AFA’s views do not represent our communities. We hereby declare that we do not condone hatred or discrimination carried out in the name of our religion, and will no longer associate with those who do. We will not grant the tacit approval of silence in the name of frið, to those who would use our traditions to justify prejudice on the basis of race, nationality, orientation, or gender identity.

I strongly encourage you to sign it as well, even if you know absolutely no Heathens. Paganism is still a fairly small world, albeit growing and becoming more public, and I’d rather not have it tarred with the same brush as the AFA. There’s enough suspicion and misinformation on Paganism out there as it is, and I’m hoping that the more people who sign Declaration 127 the closer Heathenry and Paganism will get to being able to say ‘they’re not with us’ in the same way Christianity does regarding the Westboro Baptist Church, or Islam does about ISIS.

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And in conclusion, a quote from one of Ember Cooke’s posts on the subject of the members of the AFA as opposed to the AFA as a whole:

I’ve long said that the AFA is a bad organization, but not everyone IN the AFA is bad.  Right now I’m worried for those in the AFA who don’t actually share those values, who honestly believed the pretty words put forth and that the racist leanings were just an uninfluential fringe within a larger, generally positive organization. I have known folks in the AFA with Semitic backgrounds. I don’t know any QUILTBAG folks in the AFA off the top of my head, but I’m sure there are a few in the mix. There are bound to be some places where if you’re Heathen and want community, your only in-person choice is the AFA or worse, and I worry for those stuck in such places having no better options.

Condemn the organisation and its views, condemn the members of the organisation that hold those views, but don’t condemn all members just because they happen to be members of a group which has only recently openly admitted to being racist, homophobic, bigoted, and discriminatory.

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