[EDIT: An earlier version of this article did not contain the full quote from Steve McNallan. We regret the error and have updated the quote in line. We do not feel the misquote fundamentally changes the nature of our criticism and still stand by the rest of the article. — HeathenTalk]
I had intended to write about the nature of the wolf, however as I sat down to write it, the realities of life got in the way. So I am just going to write about some of the things I have seen come up over the last week I don’t expect this to be educational, or informative, but it may possibly be entertaining.
Let’s start with a quote,
“ Germany – that is the German people, not sellout traitors like Merkel – deserve our full support… Where are the Freikorps when we need them?” Steven McNallen.
Now before I start ranting about the inappropriateness of this comment I want to acknowledge Steve McNallen. Steve McNallen, is responsible in large part for the resurgence of Heathenry in America. As one of the first heathen organizers, a founding member of the Asatru Free Assembly, and the leader of the Asatru Folk Assembly, it cannot be denied that Uncle Steve has played an important role in heathenry. We, to quote a heathen I respect greatly, “all owe Steve a debt.” Much like we owe Garman Lord, Diana Paxson, and many of the other first generation heathens. They, cut a trail for us, one that we are slowly turning into an established and vibrant religious grouping. That said, sometimes it is necessary to hold your elders accountable for their words, correcting them if need be.
Firstly, I am not German, Steve is not German, neither of us hold any allegiance to that country, nor her government. We are both citizens of The United States of America, and as such we have no room to speak to the political leadership of another Sovereign Nation, especially in an internal political matter. We are divorced from their political system in every meaningful way. This isn’t to say that we won’t have opinions, simply that our opinions mean absolutely nothing. It isn’t that Steve can’t think that Angela Merkel is a sell out and a traitor, it is simply that Steve’s opinion on Ms. Merkel is without meaning or worth, as is my own. McNallen has take a lot of time to discuss and extol the virtues of tribalism, yet he seems to have completely missed the point.
Secondly, the German people are completely worthy of our support and compassion. I have two German siblings, a German step mother, and my dad currently lives in Germany. It would be impossible to claim that Germany and her people don’t hold a special place in my heart. However I don’t know what the situation on the ground is in Germany, I can’t know the reality of it without going there. I know that none of my family has reported any hardships or negative consequences due to the immigration of the Syrian refugees, though that haven’t expressed any joy over the flood of newcomers.
I know that over the New Year Holiday, and I must assume that this is what Steve is commenting on, there was a rash of horrendous attacks on women. I know that the reports indicate that the attacks were fomented by Germans immigrant descent. However to claim that resurrecting a mercenary group that murdered it’s way across Germany and gave rise to some of the most horrendous minds of the SS is the best way to protect Germans from bad people is much like claiming that in order to keep people from dying of heart disease we should instead shoot them in the head. This is the height of stupidity. It isn’t just that we don’t have any clue or connection to the reality of the situation in Germany, it is also that Steve, perhaps out of ignorance, perhaps arrogance, or perhaps out of the same drive that brought us the Quetzalcoatl versus Odin article that has been so very popular over the years, has delved into the dangerously problematic.
Steve has, in nineteen words endorsed organizations known for their reprehensible, violent, and xenophobic nature. While I am sure Steve meant his statement as hyperbole, or just the private gripe of a layman, he no longer has that privilege. Steve is the leader of one of the largest and most well known heathen organizations in this country, he is probably the single most well known heathen in America. Steve, as one of the most visible heathens among us, must guard his words or he will undo all that he has accomplished.
Steve, if this somehow makes it to you, and you for some reason manage to get here, this bit is for you. You have exhausted, for me, the good will that your hard work had earned you. In fact, you’ve ruined your own reputation. Many people have told me over the years that my concern about you was… misplaced, that I was misreading your words. However your words here have convinced me that it isn’t me who was misunderstanding, rather it is my friends who have misread and misunderstood. Where they had encouraged me to see tribalism, compassion, and reason, I can now only see ignorance, and clumsy racist apologetics. Perhaps, in your agedness you can learn, I don’t hold out hope. I only hope that those I do respect who are members of the AFA, and who I know to be better men and women than you, are not tainted by association to your reputation.