|Uni and a Uni|
My reason is quite simple; the term is redundant. Asatru, as originally established in the United States, was originally folkish, and consciously strove to distance itself from the racist elements who would try to turn it into some sort of political movement.
So I'm just going to call it Asatru now.
Asatru is folkish. Anything else is... something else. Universalist Asatru is an oxymoron at best (in the same way that "universalist Navajo religion" would be), and a deliberate attempt at imposing a political agenda on what should be a religious pathway at worst, with the aim of turning Asatru into yet another tool to spread and enforce radical left-wing values, and help destroy native cultures in the process, all in the name of "openness".
Starting in the mid-1990's, the same attempt to turn Asatru into a political movement (this time from the Left) did indeed take hold in the Troth, with the ouster of Edred Thorsson:
The Ring of Troth, as originally conceived, was to act as a body for the training and licensing of a "priesthood" -- to be called Elders. At first, it also steadfastly refused to make any overt statements concerning matters of race or sexual orientation. ... It seems that once the door to "tolerance" was opened, the Ring of Troth was quickly and completely transformed into a "politically correct" version of the troth. (Edred Thorsson, A Book of Troth, p. 19)Religion in general, and Asatru in particular, should be apolitical. Whether that means resisting being co-opted by racists, becoming a tool of political correctness, or whatever political ideology wants to take advantage of the sacred stories of our folk, and the Gods and Goddesses who knew and are our ancestors, those of us who are Asatru must always be vigilant and resist. Part of the problem is that those on the left really can't stop seeing the world through a political lens (or problematic glasses) and thus they instinctively try to turn everything, even Asatru, into a political tool.
"Getting along to get along" with them hasn't worked for the last twenty years, and it's time to stop pretending otherwise. Those who want to turn Asatru into a vehicle to promote a radical left-wing agenda need to be resisted. They are not us, and they should not share the Asatru label.
|I present the new "Uni" mascot|
This has actually been a long time coming. A vast majority of those who think that the worship of the gods of the Germanic folk is universally applicable to everyone (aka "universalists" or "unis") has engaged in a years-long campaign trying to distance themselves from those of us who feel the opposite is true. Well, I'm going to grant their wish.
From now on, they're Norse neopagans. Now they won't have to worry about being confused with us mean old Asatruar. This shouldn't be a bad thing in their eyes; after all:
The Ring of Troth sits squarely within the Wiccan/ neopagan community ... The Ring of Troth reflects an astonishing diversity, including members with inter-racial marriages and kindreds who boast Jewish,black, homosexual, and even transsexual members. (Jeffrey Kaplan, Radical Religion in America (1997), p. 21)More recently, the Norse neopagans have been well represented at neopagan events such as Pantheacon last year, Many Troth luminaries past and present were featured at what is one of the premier neopagan gatherings this year as well. Everywhere you go, there are Norse neopagans featured at neopagan events, as one would expect. Thus do they earn the label. They've already got one foot on that side of the fence. Heck, with the rampant political correctness in the neopagan community, and with the complete SJW dominance of neopaganism in general, they should feel right at home.
I hear there's some room under that vaunted neopagan umbrella, unis. You're already there in spirit, you might as well take the plunge.