Civil Unrest

Stories of civil unrest fill the headlines these days. In the United States, and other places in the world, people rise up in protest. Counter protestors rise to meet them. Government forces either fight all of them or side with one of the groups. These stories make for stressful times. What is to be made of all of this.


The first thing to remember is that there is no room for nuance in headlines. The news outlets, and entities pretending to be news outlets, give the headlines that will get the most attention. Those headlines try to both pique the interest of the reader/viewer and create an emotional response. This is not the same as providing details of stories that are usually more complex.

Take the time to get your information from as many sources as possible, including the conflicting viewpoints. The parts they agree on are usually the most true, as far as anyone knows. No matter how fair-minded and professional a journalist tries to be, everyone has limits to their understanding and a worldview that affects their words.

Politicians and Civic Leaders

Also note that there are politicians and civic leaders who get power when there is disruption. They want to build your anger so they can stampede you in the direction of their opponents. Politicians are rarely your friend, and even the best of them must still play the political games. Another thing about politicians who are elected: winning a popularity contest does not magically make anyone an expert on anything.

Keep these things in mind when you listen to any politician or leader. See that their actions are more important than their words. Think about it when you prepare to vote and when you run for office yourself.


Among the voices, there are people with legitimate complaints. The other voices are there to drown them out. Some leaders encourage this just to nullify the real voices that, if heard, could increase the calls for change. It is important to listen for those real concerns because it may concern you too.

For example, law enforcement officers should not kill anyone except in the most dire of circumstances. You may wonder why this is an Asatru issue. Many of those same officers consider themselves Christian. Historically, Christians have been comfortable with killing non-Christians. Do you really want a society where Christian police officers routinely kill people they consider undesirable without strong cause?

Militant Groups

Along with the local protestors, we've seen instances of militia groups showing up in protest areas. They claim to be either counter protestors or that they are there to protect citizens from looters. However, many of these groups are just looking for a chance to hurt people.

The U. S. Department of Homeland Security has released the latest drafts of their threat assessments, and white supremacist terrorist groups have pretty much topped the list( ). The Southern Poverty Law Center ( has extensive lists of these groups. These groups are violent and made up of people who are okay with aggressively killing other people. Many of these groups consider themselves Christian, which makes them a treat to non-Christians as much as they are a threat to non-whites.

In Asatru, we see the fire ettins (giants) as enemies of the Gods. These ettins are more active than the frost ettins who show up in most of the Eddas and Sagas. The fire ettins are all about chaos and destruction. It is Surt, the leader of the fire ettins, who will burn the Nine Worlds in the Last Battle. These white supremacist militia groups are agents of the fire ettins, though they don't realize it, and they just want the world to burn. They see that fire and think only glory.

That doesn't mean you can't have your own group. The intent is the real issue. When a threat comes, you must defend against it. If you have a well-trained cadre of people to help, fine. The problem comes when you go looking for a fight or have to use lies and propaganda to work yourselves into a frenzy to fight.

If you fight when the enemy comes to you, it is defense. If you have to seek out an enemy, it is an attack. If you have to pretend that poor people in another city are attacking you to justify going to their city, you are the attacker and no amount of gibberish will make those words and actions mean something else.


In reality, the world is always a dangerous place to some extent. It is the responsibility of each individual to be as aware as they can be and to take the appropriate precautions. With the advent of the Internet, there is much more ability for persons to misrepresent reality for their own benefit. We have seen governments use computer programs to give the illusion that some ideas are far more popular than they really are. We have seen violent people find like-minded others more easily.

That same communication lets the rest of us be more aware. We can also organize and mobilize as needed. We can learn and talk and try to work out differences.

Try to stay calm. As noted, those who want to make you angry are just trying to stampede you in the direction of their enemies. You must maintain your self-control and gather your information. When you act, it must be from a place of wisdom and knowing. With an immediate threat, you can fight like Thor, but with a complex, growing threat, you must fight like Odin.