Saturday, June 04, 2005

Followup: Times gets it right

The New York Times printed a correction of their earlier statement about Asatru:
An article on Wednesday about a Supreme Court decision upholding a law that requires prison officials to accommodate the religious needs of inmates included an incomplete description of the Asatru religion practiced by some inmates in the case. Based on the brief the Ohio attorney general submitted to the court, the article characterized Asatru as advocating violence by the white race against the "mud races." But other Asatru followers say that the use that some violent and white-supremacist prisoners make of the religion is a perversion of its peaceful and nonracist beliefs.
I confess the dodge language has me a bit concerned, though. There's ample proof that Asatru is not racist in its politics or practices as a general rule. Claiming it's a matter of what its non-prisoner adherents claim versus the court brief is privileging the latter. But it could be far worse. They could have stood by the original statement. And anyone who bothers to read the corrections will be aware of the conflict, putting them miles ahead of a lot of people in their knowledge of Norse paganism. And yep, that's my faint praise department rising up from committee to give its report.

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