Icelanders: ‘Gimme that old-time religion’


God id dead, but Odin is back!

God is dead, but Odin and his gang are making a comeback.

Many Icelanders have had their fill of the enfeebled Christian deity and are feeling the nostalgic pull of the old Norse gods:

Asatruarfelagid, a neopagan organization, plans to start construction next month on the country’s first Norse temple since Christianity arrived in the island nation roughly 1,000 years ago…
…While the temple will be dedicated to ancient Norse ideals, the leader of Asatruarfelagid said the context is a bit different in modern times.
“I don’t believe anyone believes in a one-eyed man who is riding about on a horse with eight feet,” Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson, a musician who is also high priest of Asatruarfelagid, told Reuters. “We see the stories as poetic metaphors and a manifestation of the forces of nature and human psychology…”

Swamp Rabbit read the news and said, “Thanks for statin’ the obvious, Hilmar.”

He meant that all religious stories are “poetic metaphors” unless you literally believe in Noah’s ark and so on. And that it’s no surprise some people feel consoled by pagan rather than Christian metaphors, which lost most of their remaining allure in the 20th century.

“All them one-god religions is dead,” the rabbit said, “except to fanatics.”

Not quite. A few non-fanatics still wring spiritual meaning out of the one-god religions, but most people in our time put their faith only in rituals and myths that attend to the pursuit of wealth.

“Neopagans don’t make a religion of money,” I said. “They want people to stop fouling up nature to feed their greed. Their gods are aspects of nature. Christians made their god anti-nature.”

The rabbit twitched his nose and sniffed at me. “What you say to them that says people was savages till they swapped old-time pagan religions for the one god?”

“I say Christian civilization gave us two world wars, the Holocaust and the atom bomb. Give the old gods another chance.”

He pondered that one and said, “Ain’t you never heard of Götterdämmerung?”

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One Response to Icelanders: ‘Gimme that old-time religion’

  1. Dave Rogers says:

    Well said, sign me up and I meet you in the forest.

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