Acceptable Levels of Intolerance

Regular visitors to this site know that I advocate a progressive, tolerant version of our religion. I tend to believe Gods intend for all humans to be their allies. It is important to understand, though, that this is different from accepting the harmful beliefs or actions of others. There is an acceptable level of intolerance, but it must be directed at specific harmful actions.
Historically, non-Christian people have suffered a greatly at the hands of the Christians. This could lead to much anger and hatred. I know that I have had my run-ins with the Southern Baptists and generally try not to associate with them. However, I know that most of the members of that group believe what they believe because they have never known anything outside of what their tribe says. They are simply ignorant of the truth and many of them intend to be good people. In this case, it is acceptable to hate what they believe, but feel pity for most of them because they do not know better.
I have also heard that many of the ground fighters of the Islamic State are illiterate and incapable of reading the Koran. They don't know that their leaders are lying to them and using them to gain worldly power. Some may have felt they had no choice but to go along or die. Again, you can hate what they think and what they do, but pity is the better emotion for those poor tools.
In both of these cases, there are people within their groups who do know and understand what they are doing. These leaders do understand the harm they cause. These people are intentionally causing trouble and it is acceptable to despise them. You can despise the leaders of the Islamic State, not because of skin color, but because of the specific evil they do.
You also are allowed to disassociate with those who have different religious beliefs, if you really feel that is necessary. By the very nature of a religion, it is your belief about the fundamental nature of Everything. If someone thinks something else, then they must be wrong simply by definition. However, we tend to acknowledge that our human understandings are limited and may not see all aspects of things. That's why we associate with people who share a similar view and do not require exactly the same view. When someone holds a view that is diametrically opposed to yours, then you run in to trouble.
The decisions of tolerance have a finite effect on our actions. I like cows, but I also like beef. The chemical processes that drive a mosquito are fascinating, and yet I swat them when they try to bite me. If an armed group decides to wage war against my allies or myself, then my inclination is to unleash the full horror of armed conflict on them until they no longer desire anything but peace or have no desires at all.
So, there is no need for me to be intolerant to people who have a different skin color. It is none of my business if two competent adults of the same gender wish to copulate. I don't care if the local Methodists have a potluck supper. None of those things are a real threat. I will welcome all of these people into the service of the Gods, whether they know it or not. However, when someone reaches the limit of my tolerance, it becomes mosquito-swatting time. I hope that you can recognize these limits in your own life, and I hope that your mosquitoes are only mosquitoes.


Many people with European ancestry had their heritage stolen by Christianity. Some of them grasp at the past jealously to try to fill the spiritual emptiness left by that old conversion. This can make them be a little more defensive than they should be.
Of course, some are just jerks.

I am hearing more from people who have this modernist view of our religion. I'm hoping that this becomes the default image of our people as opposed to the Viking wannabes and the white supremacists.

Thanks for visiting.

When many of us say Modernist, we mean that we take the philosophies of the earlier practitioners of our religion and apply them in a modern way. Your example of the Gods in modern dress is a good example. At the time, our ancestors dressed in the fashion of the day and the best allowed by their resources. There is no reason to believe that, if the same person were alive today, he or she would not do the same using materials and styles from today.
As for using the older words, there is some reason for that but it is grounded in the fact that the human mind has some complexity and is not always logical. We still need symbolism and ceremony in order to work with our subconscious parts. Using old names and symbols helps with that. It also helps us maintain continuity with the past. In addition, it helps us separate the mundane definitions of words from their religious meanings. For example, Huginn and Muninn may translate to "Thought" and "Memory", but more specifically they are "Odin's Thought" and "Odin's Memory" rather than just thought and memory in general.
That's my opinion on the matter; I'm sure other folks may think differently.