Reading Time: 3 minutes Asatru lawyer Allen Turnage
Reading Time: 3 minutes

If you visit the website of the “Asatru Folk Assembly,” it makes clear it’s an “ancestral religion” that honors the “spirit of our gods.” Seems harmless enough.

If you keep reading, though, you see this:

If the Ethnic European Folk cease to exist Asatru would likewise no longer exist. Let us be clear: by Ethnic European Folk we mean white people… Asatru is not just what we believe, it is what we are. Therefore, the survival and welfare of the Ethnic European Folk as a cultural and biological group is a religious imperative for the AFA.

It’s a religion of white supremacy.

Under their “Statement of Ethics,” there’s also this declaration:

Healthy families are the cornerstone of folk society and its strength and prosperity is derived from them. We in Asatru support strong, healthy white family relationships. We want our children to grow up to be mothers and fathers to white children of their own. We believe that those activities and behaviors supportive of the white family should be encouraged while those activities and behaviors destructive of the white family are to be discouraged.

The Southern Poverty Law Center says the group operates by saying they’re just trying to preserve their heritage… and they need to defend the purity of their children.

Present-day Folkish adherents also couch their bigotry in baseless claims of bloodlines grounding the superiority of one’s white identity. At the cross-section of hypermasculinity and ethnocentricity, this movement seeks to defend against the unfounded threats of the extermination of white people and their children.

Why is this relevant now? The church is now trying to open a “Midwest regional center” in the tiny city of Murdock, Minnesota. Local residents crowded into the town hall Wednesday night to oppose the group’s potential new headquarters.

Asatru Folk Assembly lawyer Allen Turnage

Lifelong Murdock resident Pete Kennedy told lawmakers and neighbors on Wednesday that if AFA is allowed into town, the community would be known as “the hate capital of Minnesota.”

Kennedy told NBC News on Thursday that he fears other discriminatory groups could follow AFA into town and permanently tarnish Murdock’s reputation.

“These kinds of things get a life of their own. ‘Hey this group was allowed into Murdock’ and then everyone else piles on,” Kennedy, 59, said. “We want to nip this in the bud.”

Good for him and everyone else for speaking out now, before it’s too late. As NBC News notes, a lawyer for the church said the claims against them are “lies”… but didn’t elaborate. He said they’re not a “hate group” because they don’t hate anybody… which is the same line conservative Christians use before they pass laws opposing civil rights.

A church that bans non-whites from joining it, in the name of heritage and purity, is a hate group, just as white evangelicals who want to tear apart the legal marriages of gay couples because they “love families” are haters, just as conservative Catholics who would rather see pregnant women give birth to their rapists’ babies than allow the women to have access to birth control or abortion services are haters. The government shouldn’t play along with their bigotry.

This isn’t a legal issue. This isn’t a religious liberty issue. The land the church purchased is meant to be residential. If they want to use it to build a church rather than a home, they need permission from local officials. That’s the vote that will occur on November 4. Under no circumstances should city council members allow a hate group to flourish when they have an opportunity to legally say no.

The group will still exist. They will just find headquarters elsewhere. No one has to make it easy for them.

(Screenshot via Fox 9. Thanks to Randy for the link)

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Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.