Conservative politics in America is usually synonymous with the Christian and Jewish faith. However, there is another part of the conservative movement that does not want anything to do with the Christian or Jewish faith: the neo-pagan far right.
Paganism in the present day consists of worshiping many pre-Christian deities that originated from Europe, North Africa and North East. Belief systems of modern pagans can include ideas from Norse Mythology, Ancient Greece, Egyptian Mythology and Wicca.
There are modern pagans who are peaceful and say that their faith is open to anyone who wants to be a part of them. Despite this group, there are some modern-day pagans who have bastardized the faith in order to push a white supremacist agenda.
This phenomenon on the far right has a name, “Racist Odinism.” The name is inspired by Odin, a respected and admired chief deity and the “all father” in Norse Mythology. White supremacists have long co-opted the Old Norse religion and used it as an excuse for acts of violence and most prevalently in the United States of America.
It is a common belief that Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas in 1492, but some historical records actually dispute this claim and say that the Vikings were the first Europeans to reach the continent. Around the year 1000 A.D., Icelandic Viking, Leif Erikson, had converted to Orthodox Christianity and set out on a mission to spread the faith to the people of Greenland.
Erikson’s journey didn’t go as planned, and he actually ended up in what is modern-day Canada where he briefly established a colony known as “Vinland.” White supremacists who subscribe to the Viking religion have long used this forgotten colony as evidence that white people have ownership of North America.
The main religion among American people who identify as Republican is Christianity according to data from Pew Research Center. There has been a revival of pagan beliefs across the United States in the 20th and 21st Century, beginning in the 80s.
Back in the 80s, there was a white nationalist terrorist group called “The Order.” Its founder, Robert Matthews, was one of the first openly racist neo-pagans.
The Order was eventually convicted of robberies, racketeering and conspiracy, but their ideas persist to this day. Copycat groups have followed in its memory, currently, The Wolves of Vinland operates in rural Virginia.
In addition to these neo-pagan groups having a resurgence, the Christian right has also begun planning to, in their words, take the country back.
Last week, many Christian conservatives flocked to the “National Gathering for Prayer and Repentance” to discuss the current state of American culture in politics. Many Republicans attended the event, including Speaker of The House, Kevin McCarthy.
They came to a consensus that American culture was heading in the wrong direction and American Christians needed to be the main influence in America. Republican Representative, Diana Harshburger, called on Jesus Christ to “remove people that are ungodly from places of authority, put them out to pasture.”
Representative Harshburger is not alone in her assertions, former Arkansas state senator, Jason Rapert, stated that “Christians must take control of the government.”
Given that there is currently a split in the Republican party between the Christian right with Florida governor, Ron DeSantis, and the populist/pagan right, the 2024 primary elections are set to be intense.
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