Declaration of Deeds/Declaration 127

Recently, in the midst of my study of Norse Paganism, I came across two very important statements that have been signed by a number of pagan/heathen groups and individuals: the Declaration of Deeds and Declaration 127 (version 2.0). I wanted my readers to know that I support both of these statements whole-heartedly. My blog is a safe space that honors all people and all spiritual paths as long as they don’t seek to oppress or demean others. If you ever see me use a source that does not align with these values, notify me immediate and I will remove it from my site. I’ve posted both statements below for your consideration. I also facilitate The Welcoming Circle with these values in mind.

Declaration of Deeds

We heathens, pagans, followers of the old ways, we are more than the choices that brought us into being; we are more than our orlay (i.e. fate, destiny). Instead, we are our deeds, we are the choices we make and not those chosen for us. In acknowledgement of this we declare the following points:

I. We endeavor to be better than our forebears. Their society was a product of its time and was often deeply flawed, but their religious belief in the gods we hold to be timeless. We endeavor to reconstruct their religion, not the flaws in their society.

II. Our religion gives no basis for discrimination based on race, ethnicity, or origin; the gods have nothing to say on the matter of race. We maintain that a person’s race, ethnicity, or origin does not impede their ability to participate in our religion or our group.

III. Our religion gives no basis for discrimination based on gender, including gender identity, or discrimination based on sex; our religion has divine and powerful goddesses and gods who are themselves complex at best. We maintain that a person’s gender or sex does not impede their ability to participate in our religion or our group.

IV. Our religion gives no basis for discrimination based on sexual orientation; the gods we worship do not always conform to one orientation or another and still hold their positions and importance regardless of their sexuality. We maintain that a person’s sexual orientation does not impede their ability to participate in our religion or our group.

V. Deeds matter to our communities and to our gods, deeds are the foundations of our reputations. We maintain that the basis we are to be judged on is through our actions and our deeds and not merely through circumstances beyond our control.

We are charged in the Hávamál to speak out against evil when we see evil; bigotry and discrimination based on the chances of our birth is just such an evil. We heathens, pagans, followers of the old ways; we join our voices in unison with this our Declaration of Deeds, that we may declare that the chances of our birth that are beyond our control have no bearing on our ability to participate in this religion nor to lead full spiritual lives, but rather that in all cases it is our actions and deeds that truly matter.

Declaration 127 2.0 

As in the past, today we are confronted with challenges and choices. Among the most difficult of these is how to respond to those who intentionally cause harm. As Heathens, our religion gives no basis for discrimination of any kind. Unfortunately, that has not stopped certain actors from trying to do so. Their actions force the wider Heathen community to adopt the qualifying word “inclusive” to define ourselves, and to stand against bigoted people who continuously twist the ancient Germanic religions towards exclusionary, hateful, and violent ends. It is illogical to place exclusionary limits on Heathenry.

We decry the damage the Nazi Party, their allies, and those of similar ideologies have caused historically. We also recognize the damage their ilk continues to inflict. They continually weaponize ancient Norse and Germanic symbols for use in campaigns of exclusion and terror against anyone who does not fit their fantasy. They dishonor our deities.

We hold that the deities themselves created and celebrate diversity. We hold that respect is an inherent right of all human beings. To violate those rights is to forfeit the community’s good graces. There is no greater dishonor.

The signatories listed below represent a diverse set of voices within modern Heathenry. They are national organizations, resource centers, authors, community leaders, local kindreds, and individuals. They come from every branch of our religion and walk of life.
These signatories have signed this Declaration to state their complete denunciation of, and disassociation from, any and all organizations that include any form of discrimination as described below as part of their policies and practice.

Declaration 127 signatories shall not promote, associate, or do business with any organization or entity so long as they practice discriminatory policies and exclusionary ideologies. Discriminatory organizations do not represent our communities. 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 hereby declare that we will not maintain silence just to keep the peace, especially with those who would use our traditions to justify prejudice on the basis of: age, ability, health status, race, color, ethnicity, national origin (including ancestry), veteran status, gender, gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, socioeconomic class, or any other form of bigotry.

We stand together in defiance of unjust discrimination. Oppressive and exclusionary institutions shall receive no support from us. We will actively work against them in favor of a more welcoming faith community and society which embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion.

About David Taliesin

My name is David Taliesin. I'm an writer, teacher and retreat leader who explores the connections between Christian and Pagan Spirituality. E-mail me with any personal comments you'd like to share and I will do my best to answer them. You can also contact me through my Facebook page
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