This was originally posted on our Facebook page, but we figured it should also be on our blog. Eric may turn this into an expanded version at some later point.
Yesterday someone who claims to be affiliated with a racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic organization calling itself the "Asatru Folk Assembly" (AFA) messaged us to let us know that they will be boycotting our store because we signed a document publicly calling them out for their policies of hatred. Since this person chose to block us before we could respond to their juvenile message, we have chosen to respond in public. The following response is fairly long, but the TL; DR version is: we are firmly committed to welcoming people of all descriptions, identities and ability levels to our store and to our classes, workshops, celebrations and services. The only people for whom our space is not safe are unrepentant racists, sexists, bullies, hard-line evangelists, and others who try to push their hate-based ideologies on others.
Open Letter to the Asatru Folk Assembly:
Yesterday, one of your members messaged us to inform us that they will not support our store due to our signature on Declaration 127, written by Huginn's Heathen Hof and outlining a basic rejection of AFA's recently expressed racist, sexist, homophobic and transphobic positions. This is no loss to us, but we are delighted to take this opportunity to respond in detail.
To be absolutely clear: we don't care. We don't care about your organization, your members, your feelings, your name, or your ancestors (who are probably also furious at your stupidity, but that's between you and them). The reasons we don't care are many, but primarily: we thrive on difference. Our clients come from all walks of life, all ethnicities, orientations, genders, ability levels and backgrounds; they are Heathen, Wiccan, Animist, Voudon, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Agnostic and many other faiths. We love all of them. The only people we don't allow in our space are unrepentant bullies like you. Not because we couldn't stand up to you (try us some time!) but because our primary responsibility is to our customers and to maintaining a welcoming environment for all of our wonderfully diverse clientele.
We don't need your money, and we will never make apology to you or anyone else for standing up for basic human decency. Your juvenile condemnation of us is a compliment. The only thing we want from you is your tears, because they are delicious.
We despise petty discrimination and hatred, we refuse to countenance your hatred by our silence, and we will never do business or hold peaceful relations with the "Asatru Folk Assembly" or any of its active members.
As it says in Declaration 127, which we are proud to endorse:
"The AFA’s views do not represent our communities. We hereby declare that we do not condone hatred or discrimination carried out in the name of our religion, and will no longer associate with those who do. We will not grant the tacit approval of silence in the name of frið [peace], to those who would use our traditions to justify prejudice on the basis of race, nationality,orientation, or gender identity.
The AFA is free to stand for whatever principles it sees fit.
They are free to stand alone."
You do not represent us; you do not represent Heathenry or Asatru in America or anywhere else. We give you no peace, no support, and no silence. If that costs us the business of your little band of bullies, so be it. We don't want you.
World Tree Healing