Unity of Purpose, Diversity of View

The Troth is the leading organizer of inclusive Heathenry. In our halls you will find Heathens who self describe as members of each and every form of Heathenry in existence from Asatu to Urglaawe and every letter in between. The frith of our halls is based on the simple vision of place where all Heathens of good faith can come together and celebrate. We welcome the diversity of views and origins of our folk as we understand this is the foundation of our strength.

We are an organization of individuals, not set in stone, but everchanging. As such we need structure and rules to make sure that no matter what changes outside our halls, or who comes and goes in our hall, the Frith of the hall will be kept, holy and wholly functional. We have a diversity of views, but not all views are welcome here. Some views are not acceptable as they do violate the frith of the hall and the trust of our members. To this end, the Rede and its officers are charged to keep the peace of the hall. To hold such a position is to be charged with keeping the spirit of the hall first and formost, pure to the vision of the Troth as the home of inclusive heathenry. To this end, we all swear the following oath.

I, [Insert Name], accept the position of [Insert Office] in The Troth, for the advancement of our organization, our religion, and our gods and goddesses.

I swear to fulfill my office to the best of my ability, in word and in deed. I will fulfill the responsibilities entrusted to me in a discreet, timely, and responsible manner.

As a leader in this organization and in our religion, I will extend good will to all Board Members, Executive Officers, Officers, and Volunteer Staff and show due respect and consideration to all the members of The Troth.

With The Troth I stand against any use of Germanic religion and culture to advance causes of racism, sexism, homophobia, white supremacy, ableism, or any other form of prejudice.

As my word is my bond, I will strengthen my good name and the good name of The Troth.

Many who are Stewards, Officers, Redesfolk, or volunteers for our beloved Troth come to hold such positions because they are driven to give back to their community as they can, and frequently they do so on both national level through The Troth, and on a local level through other organizations.

By the oath sworn by our officers in any position, membership in a group that seeks to use Germanic religion and culture to advance the causes of hatred is specifically prohibited and grounds for punishment and forfeiture of position.

We are our deeds. We are our words, our actions, our choices. We are the sum of our relationships, obligations and duties. Our measure may be found in the works we support and advance, and for that reason supporting the advancement of organizations that promote hatred and division would be a violation of the oaths sworn by our officers.

The Troth is a frithful hall and it will be kept so. We are people of diverse views, and many are held with the fervour reserved for matters of deep personal faith and community tradition. There will always be issues that we clash on, and we must be free to do so. There must always be some degree of discord in the hall or we will have failed in our duty to be inclusive to the whole spectrum of good and worthy heathens.

We encourage debate and discussion, and we understand the need to attack those arguments that you disagree with. Note that I said arguments. We let our ideas do battle, we let our arguments be tested by the collective judgement of the assembled membership, but we do not attack each other.

To be Troth is to accept something that many communities never will grow great enough to embrace or understand; differing views may be equally worthy. We are not a people of one book or one prophet, not a snapshot of one tribe in a single generation. Ours is a living tradition that comes to us from a hundred tribes over thousands of years. It has been taken up by a hundred kindreds in as many lands. Most groups are doing their very best to get it right, and even with sound foundations in the lore and the thew of their group, they will discover there are points on which their community differs from every other. That is a valid reflection on historical Heathenry.

Modern western thought has been shaped by Christianity, and the two ideas of Orthodoxy and Orthopraxy. One right way to believe, one right way to practice. Not that they ever agreed on what that one way was, but they all agreed there could be only one. While leaving Christianity behind to return to their ancestral altars, too many Heathens brought the desire for Orthodoxy and Orthopraxy with them. In a small community of a single tradition, you may actually be able to do Heathenry this way. You cannot do it on any scale when your members have any diversity of background at all.

The Troth is a frithful hall but not a quiet one. We are the inheritors of a thousand rich traditions, and in these halls worthy folk from every corner of Heathenry gather to learn, to teach, to debate, and to argue. We are free to hammer each others arguments with willful abandon because we hold this truth to be both sacred and self evident; we respect each other as individuals and as fellow Troth members.

We hold each other in some esteem. We who come together in this hall are not automatically brothers and sisters, but we are at least cousins. Like all family gatherings, we can at time be fractious, but there is never a doubt as to the underlying bonds of respect and shared devotion. We gather together in the sight of our gods and ancestors, joining together to offer the wights of the lands as one folk.

We will never tell you that you cannot have a life outside the Troth, nor how to vote, or even how to pray. We will expect that every person who comes into this hall, this sacred frithful hall built over so many years by the hard work of our elders, will hold that trust and keep the frith of this hall, keep that holy vision of peaceful community.

As officers we vow to show due respect to each and every member of the Troth. We acknowledge that as our word is our bond, we will strive always and ever to strengthen our good name, and the good name of The Troth. This is an oath taken by our officers, but it is a goal that all Troth members should hold for themselves.

In this hall we show respect to each other. If you cannot do that, then we wish you well, but you cannot remain in this hall, if you cannot treat others with that respect we hold is commonly owed. The world outside our halls is filled with strife, and we may come here to seek solutions to making it better, but like any Frithstead, we leave our outside quarrels at the door. This is a place for solutions, a place where people of good will come together to learn, to teach, to argue, to celebrate, to worship, and to build community.

The foundation to that community is our shared belief in the sacred mysteries of our various traditions. We come together to share our learning, to advance our understanding, and to share the support and fellowship of our fellow Heathens. That is the foundations, the bedrock, the anchor of our hall, the Officer’s Oath sets and defines our walls, our boundaries. If you hold with the wilful promotion of hatred against any group, your place is outside, not inside these walls. If your vision of Heathenry will not permit you to stand with those who do not believe exactly as you do, then you may well have a place in Heathenry, but it will not be in this hall until you can learn to celebrate, not persecute, diversity.

The Troth is unified in purpose, diverse of view and indeed of membership. Like the world tree our roots are driven both deep and wide which allows our branches to soar high, and sweep broadly enough to include all the beautiful traditions that make up our folk way. Diversity is our strength, acceptance of this is the source of our unity.

Like any family gathering, there are some you look forward to seeing more than others, but at the end of the day, we are all part of this Troth family. Perhaps some of our cousins have customs that look odd to us, but they are at the end of the day, still our cousins. That is the true strength of family. The acceptance of diversity within a greater unity.

John T Mainer
Redesman of The Troth
 

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