We in the Heathen community are deeply saddened and appalled to hear of the senseless acts of violence committed in Kansas City this week. Our hearts go out to the victims, their families and the Jewish and Overland Park communities. When it was revealed that the shooter claims to practice Odinism, it cast all those who show reverence towards the Gods of the pre-Christian Scandinavian, Icelandic, and Germanic peoples in dour light. We were shocked and dismayed anew that a man would pervert our faiths in such a way.
The gravity of Cross's crimes would make focusing upon CNN's tenuous grasp on journalistic integrity churlish. Cross's “Odinism” does not represent the vast majority of theology that comes from the religion in which Odin is venerated. All faiths have small, vicious, and radical sects within their ranks. These sects never represent the true character and teachings of the religion in question. They cling to opportunistic and self-serving philosophies that as rationalization for acting on the worst pieces of human nature. In short, Cross's actions are horrendous. His tangential and tenuous connection to the Heathen community only increases our collective disgust with his vile ideology and his unforgivable actions.
A concept existed in the time of the pre-Christian Germanic and Nordic peoples that was called weregild; the actions of one reflected upon all those connected to that person, and such misdeeds demanded recompense for what was lost. No one among us can claim relation to Cross, and there is no way to put monetary value on the damage that he so quickly caused. All the same, the Heathen community would like to do our part to help those who have lost so much, due to the actions of someone so twisted.
We are not a religion of hatred and refuse to tolerate the perversion of our faith to justify senseless acts of bigotry. On behalf of the Heathen community, we vehemently denounce Cross and all his ilk. Accordingly, we also extend our deepest condolences to everyone affected by this tragedy. As Heathens we value deeds over words. Please help us to raise funds to give to the families affected and to the communities targeted. We can never undo what has been done or return those who have been lost, but together we can foster unity and denounce the hatred that catalyzed this atrocity.