Cari and Lauri Ryding, a couple in Massachusetts, came home from vacation recently to find their house had been egged and their rainbow flag stolen.
So more than 40 houses in their neighborhood put up rainbow flags in a show of solidarity.
Neighbors got the flags from the Rainbow Peace Flag Project, a local organization that gives away free rainbow flags to area residents. Cari and Lauri had originally hung the flag after the Orlando shooting.
“It just happened so quickly — the whole neighborhood said, ‘Get me a flag. Get me a flag. Get me a flag,’ ” said Penni Rochwerger, who lives around the corner from the Rydings. “If we can stop whatever hate is out there, I think that’s really important.”
“We said, ‘Why don’t we all have the flags? They can’t take them from all of us,’” said Dennis Gaughan, whose wife, Maura, helped organize the rainbow response. […]
As jarring as the initial crime was, Lauri Ryding said, the response has helped restore their faith in their community. “Somebody’s fear called them to action,” she said. “But our neighbors’ support and love called them to action, and love conquers hate. Love wins. We win.”
Haha, yeah, you looked up the wrong AFA! No worries - there are a ton of organizations labelled AFA, as I just found out doing my own search on Facebook.
The AFA that I’m talking about is the Asatru Folk Assembly. Founded by Stephen A. McNallen in 1994, they’re a Heathen/Folkish neopagan organization, based in California. Recently, there was a shift in management, as it were, and the newly-elected Alsherjargothi Matt Flavel posted a short commentary on the AFA Facebook page that read:
I rather optimistically assume that that post speaks for itself. If not, I can count at least sexism, transphobia, homo/biphobia, and racism - and I’m sure there’s more “isms” to be found in this disgustingly loaded sentiment. There’s some question of its echoing Hitler’s rhetoric, as well. (To be honest, I’ve never had to deal with neo-naziism before and so I am not well-versed in their literature or ideals. Clearly, that needs to change.)
Now, as I’m not a Heathen, I can’t speak to the organization’s past, but I have seen on multiple blogs that the AFA has always had these leanings and are just being more out and open with them, thanks to Flavel’s election. Several subsequent responses to this post - that have not been deleted by administrators - confirm a veneration of Hitler’s ideals, and all manners of anti-QUILTBAG+ and racist and sexist stands by leaders of a prominent religious organization.
What I can speak to as an Irish Recon is one of the comments, lower down, that the religion of Celtic Recon shares those views. Several CR elders - whatever my personal opinions on their stances and foibles are - spoke out against oppression, racism, etc. on the public CR FAQbefore this ever happened. CR was conceived, in part, as a religion intent on being open to everyone. Unfortunately, a lot of CRs in the greater interwebs believe that Celtic cultures are “for” descendants of those cultures. They argue that people should be worshiping whatever they descended from - with the clear note that if your melanin levels don’t match theirs, you aren’t welcome. Which is absolute bullshit. Before this past July, I had no knowledge of a hereditary link to Celtic heritage (and what link I do seem to have is still, to my mind, questionable) - but because I’m white, I’m still okay to practice? Bullshit. Because if I wasn’t white, I wouldn’t be. If I connect with the religion respectfully, and it’s an open religion, I could be purple and still able to worship. Anyone who says anything else is, barred none, wrong.
So what can you, a hopefully non-racist polytheist, do?
Openly and publically announce your standings. Let no one assume that you’re interested in the sort of values the AFA espouses.
If you’re up for it, publically denounce the values of the AFA. This will open you up to some hostility on the internet, so please only do this if you’re psychologically up for it.
Keep abreast of these topics. I love reading The Wild Hunt every morning, tbh. And if you don’t know what’s happening in the wider community, you can’t take steps to protect yourself and your community.
You may be surprised or not at who has not bothered to speak out against AFA’s views, especially in the Heathen community. Hopefully this will be rectified soon, although it will not surprise me if it’s not.
For example, an entertainment FC basket might include:
Chilled Red [housing Booze Item]
Pince-nez [Ruby glasses head item]
Plush Cushion [minion]
Service: VIP treatment at their next event
Book: The Great Gatsby
We’d love for a representative from each FC sponsoring a basket to have a moment to promote themselves and any upcoming events (1-4 paragraphs) before their basket is auctioned, though that is certainly not required!
Proceeds from the auction will be divided between the sponsoring FCs and the Library.
The Office, Parks and Rec, Community and Brooklyn nine nine all have this special feeling to them that I could never explain before but I finally got it, they are all showes that feel real. Not because they make sense, but because the humor is based on personal relationships between people who deeply care for and about each other. They are all humor based on love! They are lightharted and happy. They dont focus their humor on making fun or people or being negative. The humor is based on friendship and respect! Sure it can be brutal, but at the basis of the showes is this deep caring between all of the characters. And that just makes them so much better because watching showes were the humor comes from a place of mocking and laughing *at* characters is no fun, instead I like showes were you feel you are languing *with* them, where you come to love the characters as if you were one of them instead of feeling like Im an observer of these people being cruel to each other. And that is why i love those 4 showes. Im sure there are others like them, but those are the only 4 comedy showes Ive ever liked and I can finally explain why.
My (bio) sister offered to help me get a “Smash The Partriarchy” t shirt and as much as I appreciate the effort like do I look like some cis femme ‘lady type’ who has a bearded “mostly het” boyfriend who drinks craft beer over here??!?