Wow quite a thread. . . I say my peace and be gone. . . I am very strong in my faith; right now I have been fasting for 21 days from sun up to sun down I have three days left. I say my prayers every morning and night. I read my holy text and try to make meanings from the poems and riddles that are in it. I freely wear my pendent around my neck making sure everyone knows my faith. The only difference is that I am an Asatru, a heathen. I have been treated fairly by everyone I have spoke to and never fear alienation for my faith, because I know it's my faith and that is all that counts. I have studied many cultures and faiths; I was raised as a Bahai to become a Leviathan Satanist through my teens, was a member of Church of discord and studied the Quabalah, went through the Buddhist stage also. I called my self enclitic for many years until I found my Gods; Odin, Frigg, Thor, Sif, Frey and Freyja. I have taken an oath to my gods and will keep it until I die, never bending only learning more and strengthening my convictions. I hear so much from my peers and those around me, I take no offense to any comments because I can see where others are coming from. To defend ones faith, even if none at all, is instinct and to each their own, and that is how I believe, if you want to know your God as any name then so be it. To some the pagan beliefs might sound silly, but your faith might sound silly to us pagans. I do not believe that our nation is become more secular but becoming more aware of those who walk amongst us. It is sad that some want to convert and judge others which they know nothing about, but that is what our race has always done. To take some one heritage is only destructive and wrong; who would try to create a Norse out of some one from Japan, it’s absurd, I don’t want to be any other then what flow in my blood. I am Norwegian and more I dig into my roots the more I find how much my heritage was trample on because of conflicting religions, I ask why would someone destroy a culture only in difference of beliefs. Why would I want to believe in any other way but before Christianity converted my people, I could be the last to tell the tale and the stories of how we once lived. There are great lessons in the bible but the God is not for all of us. But I smile every time I hear the week days, and I smile when I think of the traditions that still are done everyday without people knowing that they are the heathen traditions. I smile at all the things that are imbedded into our everyday life that stemmed from my way of life. It is in those I see my faith and my ancestors and my faith in the Gods grows . . . Hail Odin, Blessed be to all on this board, and with blithe eyes may the Gods look upon you all. . . .