As much as I want to dive right into Asatru religion, there's something stopping me: The religion has a horrible reputation in the US and Canada because of some racist assholes who use it to fuel their nationalist agenda. Because of this, some people assume Asatru = Nazi/White Supremacist/Nationalist.
To quote a site that is very hard on the eyes and thus I will save you all from linking to it:
Shout out to the worthless Nazis who soiled the name of my ancestor's religion and reputation which followers even today are fighting hard to change.If White Power Folkists really believed that other races were truly inferior, then they wouldn't be lashing out so strongly against them. A strong man does not strike at a weaker one who is no real threat to him. He would ignore him. The fact that White Power Folkists are so strident about the weakness of other races and their inability to comprehend or follow our ways shows their real attitudes they are striving to keep hidden: that they are afraid of others not like them. Not a rational belief at all, simply a chimpanzee-like fear of the Other Tribes. An animal instinct unguided by a thinking, human mind. If they really had the courage of their convictions then they would realize that evolution (favoring, as it does, survival of the fittest) would inevitably weed out the weaker genes itself, with no need for help from them. In fact, one of the most fundamental teachings of Asatru religion is to recognize the ignorance in others and in yourself. Ignorance may be subjective, but we are taught that no human being, regardless of race, gender, skin color, orientation, or other unchangeable factors are any higher or lower on the scale of equality. Therefore, we are strongly and proudly against racism and White Nationalism, as well as any others variants of racism.
And a quote from RationalWiki:
In the United States, Asatru has long had to contend with white supremacist types claiming the religion because it has "Aryan" cred and (unlike Christianity) did not originate among the Jews. The Nazis (the original ones, not the shaved head thugs today) also used significant amounts of Norse symbolism in their propaganda, and placed the Nordic people at the tippy-top of their racial ladder. There is also a strong contingent that takes a "folkish" stance, in which people can only worship the gods their ancestors worshipped (though this is seldom explained what this means to a person whose parents come from far-flung parts of the world), or alternatively, the gods pertaining to the culture in which they were raised.
Notably, this is not the case in Europe; although there is a contingent of racist pagans there (e.g., the black-metal musician and Nazi occultist Varg Virkenes, who burned down an 850-year-old stave church), the most significant group going hand in hand with Asatru is instead the folktro movement, people who promote the still-living Scandinavian folklore tradition without crossing the line into pagan worship.
Although it is much loved among racists, there is nothing in Asatru, either moral or historical, which explicitly supports racism. Even the historic Norse had no problems dealing with people of other races.
On the upside, my birthday is only a few days away. I feel old.