The leader of the Ásatrú pagan religion in Iceland has revealed the organization’s welcoming stance towards minorities—especially gay people—has been causing controversy overseas.
Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson revealed earlier this week that the organization has been criticized for its tolerance—with some foreign pagan groups even planning to visit Iceland when the new temple is finished, to consecrate it in their own way in order to “correct the wrong priorities of the liberal Icelanders.” The Ásatrú council is now discussing whether it might need to lock the temple doors and arrange visits by appointment only.
“We have unfortunately received blasts of hate from overseas for the fact that we have let gay issues concern us and fought long for the right to perform same-sex marriages,” Hilmar told Vísir.
Reaction to the news this week, however, proved mostly positive, with a majority of feedback being in support of the Ásatrú Association and its welcoming stance to the LGBTQ community.
“I am an American Heathen and you have my full support,” one reader wrote. “It has clearly passed some of these critics by that to visit another is a sacred homage.”
Others said they agree with Hilmar that nothing in the scriptures of ancient Nordic Paganism says that followers should have anything against homosexuality. Others-still responded that they want to visit the new temple when it opens.
“I support the practices of the Ásatrú Association in our modern society,” writes another American Heathen. “A visit to the temple is on my bucket list. Health!”