Forn Sidr of America recognizes diversity as a core tenet of our faith and a core value of the ancient Norse people. A village does not flourish through isolation or uniformity, but through the rich variety of its people and the cultivation of relationships with its neighboring communities.
While the media and some modern Heathen sub-groups often focus on the popular image of Viking warrior culture (prevalent 300 years following the Iron Age), we do not believe this represents the diversity the common Norse people fostered for thousands of years, or that it represents the universal identity of modern American Heathenry. Forn Sidr is a world-affirming religion, which means it’s also a Humanistic (human-centered) religious identity. We recognize the inherent worth in all persons present in our community, including those who have differing ages, physical capabilities, mental capabilities, and traits that may or may not require special accommodations.
While a human-centric organization must acknowledge the needs of all its members, so too must it acknowledge the role European Colonialism played in the conquest of the world. This includes understanding its social, cultural, and economic effects, as well as the privileges and oppression dynamics it creates. Recognizing how European Colonialism influences our society to this day—and what contributions we make to it—is the first step in dismantling cycles of oppression in our community. Practicing self-awareness of our own biases is part of our Tenet of Diversity and allows us to create a more peaceful and affirming Heathen identity.
In relation to this, Forn Sidr of America also seeks to separate Colonial cultural norms from American Heathen cultural norms. We believe that American Heathenry should accommodate the naturally diverse and enriching qualities of the North American populace, which colonial ideals do not represent. Therefore, we see the spectrum of gender identities, sexual orientations, and nontraditional families as valid and inherently sacred to our humanist religious identity.
Ultimately, Forn Sidr of America seeks to provide an American Heathenry that is not only welcoming of all heathens, but can be shaped and influenced by all Heathens. If at any point our policies on Inclusion and Diversity feel inadequate to the changing times, we will identify defunct ideas and update them.
You can read our complete and official Inclusion and Diversity Statement in our Bylaws.