April 14th, 2014
06:06 PM ET
The accused Kansas killer's neo-pagan religion
By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor [twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']
(CNN) - Frazier Glenn Cross is a white supremacist, an avowed anti-Semite and an accused killer. But he is not, as many think, a Christian.
Cross, who also goes by the name Glenn Miller, is accused of killing three people - all Christians - on Sunday at Jewish institutions in Overland Park, Kansas.
Authorities are weighing whether to file hate-crime charges against Cross, who is suspected of targeting Jews.
The 73-year-old has espoused anti-Semitism for decades. He also founded racist groups like a branch of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Patriot Party, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Both groups have deep ties to Christian white supremacists.
But according to Cross' 1999 biography, he is an adherent of Odinism, a neo-pagan religion that experts say has emerged as one the most vicious strains in the white supremacist movement.
"The faith’s obsession with genetic purity, racial supremacy and conquering supposedly lesser peoples is a recipe for violence," said Josh Glasstetter, campaign director for the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Cross writes in his autobiography, "A White Man Speaks Out":
Odin, often depicted with a white beard and long robe, is chief among the Norse gods, whose pantheon includes Thor, the god of thunder, and Loki, the mischief-maker
In 2010, a white nationalist group, the Council of Conservative Citizens, boycotted the movie "Thor" because it cast a black actor, Idris Elba, as a Norse god.
Cross writes in his autobiography, which remains posted on his website, that he has prayed for Odin to spark a race war in the United States.
On Sunday, Cross "appears to have been acting out a violent fantasy, with himself cast as the brave Odinist warrior of his imagination," Glasstetter said.
What the killings at Kansas Jewish sites say about U.S. hate groups
Though Odinism has been appropriated by white racists, most adherents are peaceful, earth-loving pagans (some followers prefer the name "heathen"), said Jonathan White, an expert on religious extremists and a professor at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
An ancient Viking religion, Odinism resurfaced in northern Germany in the 19th century, where Nazis later appropriated its themes and gods.
Odinist mythology "was a bedrock belief for key Third Reich leaders, and it was an integral part of the initiation rites and cosmology of the elite Schutzstaffel (SS), which supervised Adolf Hitler's network of death camps," according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Odinism also influenced the creation of the American Nazi Party, which was founded in 1959.
Odinism has lately gained in popularity among white supremacists who believe that Jesus is too peaceful and too Jewish to worship, White said. "It's hard to get a violent god out of Jesus."
The Southern Poverty Law Center warns of a Odinist network run out of a California prison, where Asatru, another neopagan religion with roots in Iceland, has also taken root.
"Racist versions of Odinism and its Icelandic version, Asatru, have become increasingly popular theologies among imprisoned racists and others on the radical right in recent years," said the Southern Poverty Law Center in a 2009 report.
Peaceful neo-pagans, meanwhile, have strongly condemned white supremacists who appropriate their religion.
"I want to say that Frazier Glenn Cross is a monster, and it cannot be denied that he's not alone," said Josh Rood, an expert on Asatru at the University of Iceland. "The prison systems, and the white separatist movements have been bastardizing Asatru beliefs, symbols, and myths for a long time."
However, Rood said, white supremacists form a minority - albeit a loud and violent one - of a peaceful and proudly multicultural religion.
Several mainstream neo-pagan and self-described heathen groups have strongly denounced Sunday's killings and are raising money for the victims.
Cross' own public proclamations of faith seem to have taken several twists.
David Embree, a religious studies professor at Missouri State University, said Cross presented himself as a traditional monotheist when he ran for Congress in 2008.
But when he spoke at Embree's classroom in 2012, his views had apparently changed, the professor said.
"He essentially self-identified as an atheist," Embree said. "The more overtly Christian groups in Southern Missouri have pretty much shunned him."
Cross's second in command at the White Patriot Party, Stephen Miller, is a member of the Christian Identity movement, which claims that whites are the "true people of God."
"Though I shared that particular belief, I did not agree with others," Cross writes in his autobiography.
"Christianity is the second biggest trick the Jews ever played on us," he later writes. "The biggest was legalized abortion!"
White said he sometimes refers to the violent strain of Odinism as "Nordic Christianity" because many American adherents borrow from both in creating their racist ideology.
In his autobiography, Cross blends Christianity and Odinism in describing his ideal funeral.
He writes that he would like to be buried in his White Patriot Party uniform. The music would include "The Old Rugged Cross," the venerable Christian hymn, and "Ride of the Valkyries," an opera piece appropriated for Nazi propaganda.
This is how Cross closes the book: "Praise Odin, pass the ammunition, Sieg Heil, and Heil Hitler!"
About this blog
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.
Yet another Jewish False Flag. You will notice that as usual, WHITE PEOPLE, not Jews were killed for Jewish aims and so that Jews can be considered "persecuted".
Odinists do not have equal religious rights in America because of our European ethnicity. Wake up.
False Odinist. Your site smacks of only white supremacy, nothing at all what Odinism is. It's idiots like you that don't even know there are Odinists of many cultural backgrounds. Get your head out of Hitler's #%$.
I am a practicing Odinist gythia (priestess) who fights for the civil rights of Europeans, who are the ONLY people being discriminated against at the present time. You are either a lying Jewish supremacist or you work for ZOG,. No one with even half a brain s fooled by you and the other real criminals and real racists or your stupid, foul, and hypocritical garbage anymore. anymore.http://odinist.org/stephens-media-requires-approval-of-white-genocide-in-order-to-publish/
Ancestor worship does not encompass the worship of other people's ancestors. We are a tribe, a people and we are not universalist. Sorry. Of course even if we were, I would be hesitant to include someone as foul mouthed and ignorant about history as you. https://odinia.org/the-odinist-creed/
I just see maybe MAYBE two people, probably just one, using multiple names to troll and appear as if to have an army of mindless drones. WordPress has already identified Akira and Jeremy as the same person. tallulah and otoh2 are the same person. Doris has conveniently joined the fray making the same misspellings and inaccurate presumptions about posts, so logically speaking, she is yet another fake account. There is no reasonable conversation to be had here when it is only to be had with a sufferer of MPD.
You have MPD too?
That makes 12 of us!
Hey, pal, I am not tallulah. Sometimes I wish I could be as articulate as she is, though.
Doris – learn how to spell Odinist. That might help.
So he hasn't been put to sleep yet huh?
Well, that's because in a corrupt and perverted "Legal system", a murderer like him and others. Have almost more rights than their victims.
On top of that, in such corrupt system the families, relatives, widows/widowers, orphans, friends, fellow workers/students, neighbors etc. of the victims. Have to spend the rest of their lives, paying taxes. So the murderer in jail, can have a place to sleep comfy, 3 meals a day, recreation, clothes, Dental & Medical care, all paid for by the aforementioned. While at the same time the widows, orphans of the victim may struggle to pay for or to have Dental & Medical.
In such corrupt and perverted Legal system. Though there may be hundreds of witnesses, including the Police, photos and Videos of the Criminals committing the Crimes. They still have to take them through costly & lengthy trials, just to make sure that their "rights" are protected, that he or she is the one who did and to find out why they did it. And let's not forget the court appointed lawyers they sometimes get, courtesy of all of us dear taxpayers. Even animals have more rights than victims of crimes like this according to some. The hurt, pain and suffering of victims and their families, relatives and friends is of NO CONCERN in such Corrupt system. To them "justice" in due time is always too much to ask for.
Prov. 14:Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.
Just a general question for atheists/agnostics/skeptics. Do you believe that something can come from nothing?
Not sure if this helps, but I tend not to worry or think about that too much. I tend to think that everything comes from something else. But I think to have a useful discussion of such, I don't think it helps to be too generic. For instance, defining "nothing" and then proceeding with discussion against that definition. (Where other definitions can certainly also be discussed, but arguing about it without a particular definition might be confusing on both sides–just my opinion from listening to different people argue where "nothing" was a factor.)
Nothing is "not anything" and "no thing". There are probably attempts to make nothing mean "something" but that would be an incorrect definition.
And there are attempts to make "something" mean a god... yea, the "God" fantasized about by Middle Eastern Israelite men a few thousand years ago.
We don't know what we don't know yet. Claiming that your "God" is truth, Truth or even more vehemently, TRUTH, is incorrect.
One of the reasons I mentioned that was that someone on the blog here, and I can't remember who, stated there was good reason to suspect that physically in this universe, where we previously thought there was quite a bit of "nothing", that now, based on newer theory, that it would be difficult to find someplace that was pure "nothing". I'm not sure about that, but if that is a reasonable possibility, then it certainly should make us wonder if the posited new norm of "lack of nothing" extends beyond this universe.
"here we previously thought there was quite a bit of “nothing”"
Nothing is not just empty space with no planets, stars, etc. nothing is not anything, not space itself.
Well I think you might have a difficult time proving that type of "nothing" is a reality anywhere in this universe, truthf.
And actually, since we don't know what is beyond our universe, we can take this universe out of my previous suggestion –
"I think you might have a difficult time proving that type of "nothing" is a reality anywhere."
Do you think the universe is eternal?
In a sense, truthf, I do. Of course argument over such depends on terminology. When thinking about a likely beginning to this universe, as suggested by BVG, I like to think of the butterfly. Sure for practical purposes, scientists will come to some general agreement on when the pupa stage ends and when the butterfly stage begins, but is there any real objective truth as to the when it's completely one and not the other? I don't really think we know the form this universe took on just prior to the big bang.
"Nothing" is a vacuum. While space itself is a vacuum it has a great many things in it. The atmospheres of the masses and gravity of each sphere keep the things from flying off into the vacuum.
I don't know about you, but I have quite a bit of crap in my vacuum. I wish it were nothing. Would be less cleaning.
According to Vilenkin,
"It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning (Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176)."
Nothing is nothing. It's not a vacuum or anything else. It is no thing or not anything.
yes belief follower, nothing means nothing. But that is not what is in between the stars. It truns out there is quite a bit where it was once thought to be nothing, so nothing is the wrong word. It turns out that one man's nothing is actually another mans interdimensional something, but since you have no idea the state of things before the big bang, nor do you know what5 will be. It is quite possible that this universe we are in is not the only one that exists, or has existed , nor will exist.
It is quite possible that our Big Bang is a natural occurance, that has happened "before" and will happen in the "future".
There is still absolutely nothing showing any sentience nor "creator" of the universe...nothing at all, except what exists in men's imaginations.
According to Vilenkin,
“It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning (Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176).”
Yes, truthf – I'm guessing you noticed that I mentioned BVG above. The problem is that Vilenkin also has since warned that what their theorem suggests only pertains to THIS universe. There have been some ideas about what might have been beyond what we can project regarding THIS universe, and Vilenkin has given some ideas on that subject including multi-verse. There is just too much unknown about the things prior to big bang.
I don't know.
How do you not know? You think there's a possibility that nothing could become something?
So which one is your "God"? Something... or Nothing?
On the Christian view, God is the Cause of the universe. What would you say on the atheist view?
If you are talking about quantum vacuums then virtual particles are possible.
If you are talking about a more complete nothing, then we have no frame of reference for such a thing to even talk about it.
If you are talking about the origin of the universe, then we don't know whether it came from nothing or something or something else.
The atheist view is that gods do not exist. Atheism says nothing about what an individual atheist does believe.
"Atheism says nothing about what an individual atheist does believe."
That's what I was trying to find out.
Better to use scientific discovery to figure that out instead of 'believing' one way or the other. 'Believing' is a proxy for not trying to find out. The current answer, if you're referring to what came before the Big Bang, is that no one knows. I'd guess your answer to that is: if no one knows, then it must be God's work. But if there's no evidence pointing to God then you might as well say fairies created the universe.
The author of this slander piece is just as much of an idiot as the killer. I am on the path of Asatru and respect my Odinist kin. Odinism has nothing what-so-ever to do with white supremacy. That's as moronic as saying black people who wear African-inspired clothes are black supremacists, or Asians are "yellow" supremacists for following the path of Buddhism.
Just as Hitler stole the swastika, a symbol of protection and beauty, from the Hindu faith and turned it into something bad, so have the white supremacists done with Odinism.
All this author and most people in this thread know of Odinism are from the idiots portrayed in TV and movies wearing tattoos of the path. Get off the internet and actually MEET true Odinists and Asatru folk. Go to gatherings and see that there are many visitors of many backgrounds being treated respectfully and welcomed with open arms.
Odinism is about honor of the warrior spirit. It is about respecting the Havamal and the Eddas and the ancient lore of our ancestors' day. This heinous act was everything that is NOT honorable. This monster proved he was never an Odinist just by committing these murders on innocent people doing him no harm. There is no honor in that and it isn't something an Odinist believes Odin would smile upon. Only someone who has no idea what the meaning of Odinism is would claim this was following the Odinist way.
As for the movie Thor, don't be so stupid. So some white supremacist idiots had a problem with a black Heimdall and you think that means Odinism is racist? I wonder …. What would happen if "The Bible" movie were remade and an all Asian cast was hired. Jackie Chan could play Joseph and Jet Li would be Jesus Christ. It has nothing to do with racism. It's about historical accuracy. How many Scandinavians were black during the Viking age? How many Africans worshipped the Scandinavian gods? Even with that said, Odinists – true Odinists – didn't take the movie Thor that seriously. I mean really! Of all the inaccuracies about the lore, do you morons thing we care more about the color of Heimdall's skin?! It was a MOVIE. It was based on a COMIC BOOK! Odinists don't care!
Bottom line: This freak is not now nor ever was an Odinist. Someone wants you to think that, so you have to ask yourselves who and why.
There is a movement that exists in America right now to pit brother against brother, sister against sister because we WILL collapse if we are divided.
An Odinist doesn't believe in turning the other cheek when he is struck. He will strike back and strike back hard. He will stand side-by-side with his christian, jewish, buddhist neighbors to fight against the true threat to our society, and that threat knows this. Christianity is about forgiving and forgetting. Judaism only fights from Israel. Buddhism is about not hurting any living thing (yet, the Buddhists are finally making a stand against islamic invaders tearing down their temples and burning their families). Odinists? Odinists don't stand by and watch people get slaughtered because "it's God's will." Odinists will never allow sharia law to get a foothold in this country as it has in Europe. Odninsm is growing here and the terrorists are afraid.
Don't be a pawn. Educate yourself and remember the true enemy because someday, possibly soon, your best defense may be that Odinist you slandered here today.
"Don’t be a pawn. Educate yourself and remember the true enemy because someday, possibly soon, your best defense may be that Odinist you slandered here today."
What a self-serving pile of BS. Feel better?
Most people have never heard of Odinism. Most people don't care. And you and your merry band of Odinists don't number enough to defend anything.
And unless azz hats like you START anything, you guys will remain useless as every other cult.
Your naïveté is cute.
What are you going to do? Get your little second amendment warriors all in a frothy lather?
My dear, just because your best friends are the "action figures" on the shelves in your mom's basement, they do not make up "most people." I encourage you to do some actual research. Odinism is a widely accepted religious practice in many parts of the world. It is recognized in Iceland as one of the major religions, and there are groups all throughout Europe and North America (that includes Canada since I'm sure you don't know what extends past your front door).
Tell me again what your kind is doing to stop the radicals from infiltrating the world, because from where I sit, mosques are still cropping up, "good christians" refuse to acknowledge the gigantic mega mosque built on the site of the Flight 93 crash, and all you people do is talk and threaten while christians around the world are slaughtered at the hands of your enemy.
You outnumber any other religion in America, yet you do nothing to fight against the atrocities carried out against your kind. Oh, yes, you sure are useful. Useful idiots.
Doesn't "Odin" (or any of his cohorts) impart to you any wisdom or common sense? This is the second time on only one page where you have 'accused' someone of being a 'Christian', without knowing a thing about them nor about their beliefs or lack of them.
otoh2 – Behave like one, you'll get treated like one. Atheism is about logic and reason, not emotion and hyper-sensitivity.
You're quite the absurd condescending little twit, aren't you?
What you seem to conveniently leave out, Jeremy, is that by definition Christianity is also a cult. Any set of rules created by a hierarchy and passed down to followers who are expected to follow them, specifically when those rules dictate one's personal actions and thoughts, is defined as a cult. Does that mean all cults are bad? No. But some certainly take the opportunity to abuse it and corrupt it and endanger others.
By the explosive reactions here it's quite clear that the majority of posters don't have the first foggy clue what paganism is. This articular is incendiary and exploitative. If he had said "extremist" religion or "racist" religion he'd have been dead on, However lumping extremist Odinism in as just another "neo-pagan" religion is sloppy and ignorant.
It's curious, when someone shoots up a military base, or a movie theater, or a grade school, we aren't getting exposes on how their "Christian" religion made them do it. Instead we get a paragraph buried at the bottom of the article on how the person was being treated by Psychotropic Medications. No one mentions that when a hateful, quite insane individual who happens to be pagan does the same.
Hail, rainweaver! Well said! However, you're trying to reason with a troll using multiple accounts out of fear of his singular world view. I suspect it to be the author defending his ignorance. I believe such trickery tells us all we need to know about the intellect with which we are dealing. Fear of being alone in his thinking, shame at his ignorance, embarrassment at the dishonor he shows of his horrid research skills... Watching him flail about in his inadequacy is enough to give one a migraine!
So basically, you are just another cult member using your belief to excuse violent acts. Nothing new here.
So basically, you're just another christian who thinks everyone who doesn't believe like you belongs to a cult. Nothing new here. Let's see …. how many violent acts has the catholic church and the christian movement created over the last 2,000 years? Care to compare????? No, of course you don't.
While I might admire your shoes, I wouldn't want to be IN your shoes right now... you're in for it now, dear.
Go get 'er, tally!
Oh gosh! Oh no! Not a comment dispute! Save me!! …… Seriously, dude? You're kissing the @$$ of a keyboard warrior and you think that makes you and her/it/whatever special? You people need a life.
Oh, peaches. You're new to this blog, aren't you?
I'm an atheist. I don't believe in gods because there is no evidence that any gods exist. Not a single shred. All religions are cults, even yours. And you, by your own words, are just another cult member using your belief to excuse violent acts.
(thanks for the vote of confidence, otoh. I just don't have the energy to deal with this person today.)
The funny thing is if my common sense allowed me to believe in gods, this would be the sort of religion I would be drawn to. It's just so personally dramatic, and I've always enjoyed a good pantheon.
@tallulah131 – If this posts multiple times, it's because it isn't showing up when I hit "post." Sorry for that annoyances if it does.
Many of my friends are atheists and we have some amazing conversations. True atheists are content enough in their convictions that they don't take to the internet to defend them against everyone who dares express their own faith.
My comment was aimed at setting straight the hypocritical christians who whine about being persecuted for everything and will use any means necessary to prove it … then … as typical as their nature .. they rage against anyone with any belief different than their own.
This idiot is a liar. It doesn't matter if you believe or agree with Odinism. The fact is that he isn't one.
What if he said he was atheist? How would you feel then? All of a sudden, Fox news goes on a rampage of "See?!!? We told you atheists are evil! They are killing innocent christians and jews!!!1!!!!!111!" Would you sit idly by and not say anything? I know the answer to that because all I did was point out that this jerk isn't an Odinist and you went berserk.
Yes, I called you christian because you are behaving like one. Stop going off on people for having their own set of beliefs like the christians do and you won't be mistaken for one. Clearly, you were not always an atheist. You still have that rebellious ex-christian smell.
"True atheists are content enough in their convictions that they don't take to the internet to defend them against everyone who dares express their own faith. "
Oh really? Do you have some statistics on that? Sounds like pure conjecture to me.
By the way, when I key "number of atheists" into Google's search, the first result is "Demographics of atheism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia"
When I type into Google's search, "number of Odenists", the first result is "Did you mean: number of Dentists?
Of course he's a liar. Just as every murderous moron who has ever dabbled in really cool "religions" like to boast about to impress their ignorant audience. Like now. Good job.
Aw, Lady Falcon, aren't you the presumptuous little princess. I get that you think that you and your religion are special, but here's the thing: You don't get to tell me if I'm a real atheist or not. You just aren't that important.
You can believe whatever you want; I don't care. But your comments are filled with threats and promises that you simply have no way of backing, proving that at it's heart, your religion is little different than any other. Prove your gods exist, then you can threaten and promise. Until then, you are no better than the catholics you condemn. Religious wars are destructive and pointless. Haven't we had enough? Why do you feel the need to throw your hat in the ring?
Now there's a "No True Scotsman" – atheist edition?
Every writer who writes about a religion he doesn't belong to is bound to get something wrong. Heck, even writers who share the same religion are going to get criticism from believers. (Witness the criticism and name calling Rachel Held-Evans gets every time she writes an essay.)
This guys is obviously a nut. I don't think anyone in their right mind would take him as representative of Odinism.
Unfortunately, as you can see in these comments, the world is flooded with idiots not in their right mind.
I am an Oxford educated scholar while you are foul mouthed liar with a fake name trying to use European religion for Jewish aims. I would not refer to others as idiots if I were you.
Pay no mind to the Odinia troll. I've had to block it from my site for spam. If you disagree with anything it says, it accuses you of all manner of weird things. It is a Nazi/KKK/Aryan troll attempting to slander true Odinism.