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":

I'd love to see North America's 100 million Aryan Christians convert to the religion invented by their own race and practiced for a thousand generations before the Jews thought up Christianity.

Odinism! This was the religion for a strong heroic people, the Germanic people, from whose loins we all descended, be we German, English, Scott, Irish, or Scandinavian, in whole or in part.

Odin! Odin! Odin! Was the battle cry of our ancestors; their light eyes ablaze with the glare of the predator, as they swept over and conquered the decadent multi-racial Roman Empire.

And Valhalla does not accept Negroes. There's a sign over the pearly gates there which reads, "Whites only."

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!"

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Crime • Discrimination • Neo-Nazi • Neopaganism • Prejudice • Religious violence • Violence

soundoff (1,048 Responses)
  1. onagh

    Pagans have an obligation to Shun this Monster – this is NOT Paganism! We are NOT Christians, we DO NOT Forgive! This man needs to be ostracized from our Communities – let some Cult take him in, but not us, we will not stand for this outrageous behavior!
    The media once again is using it's broad brush strokes to label us.
    While he can claim Odinism all he wants, this is one man – he broke the law. There is NO excuse for this behavior. How dare he drag the rest of the Pagan Community him! UGH UGH UGH!!!! 

    April 15, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
    • indianriver

      This article offends just about anyone of Nordic/Scandi ancestry...Nordic paganism is a part of heritage and history, and many NON-RACIST people recognize this and have no reason to be shameful of their history. This article needs a boat-load of corrections.

      April 15, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Pagans aren't exactly a hom/ogenous group or a close knit community since the term encompasses a vast array of non-mainstream religions.
      Do you think that The Church of All Worlds would join forces with New Normannii Reik of Theodish Belief?

      April 15, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
      • G to the T

        I'm with you, I'm not sure when "pagan" became the name of A religion, but more and more people are trying to use it that way it seems...

        April 15, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          It's like calling every ethnicity that isn't yours a single race....

          April 15, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
  2. hoeech

    Gods don't kill. Only people with gods kill.

    April 15, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
    • Dalahäst


      April 15, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
  3. bryonmorrigan

    Seriously, CNN?

    You used a 1998 article by the SPLC to get your information that "Odinism" was a major part of the Nazis' beliefs? Sorry, but that conspiracy theory, "Ancient Aliens"-type hogwash has been debunked by historians for a LONG TIME. What's next? You gonna start quoting from the "Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion"? The only religion ever promoted by the Nazis was "Positive Christianity". The lack of research evidenced here, and the deliberate attempt to write Hate Speech against a minority religion, is unethical and unconscionable.

    April 15, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
    • seedenbetter

      This is typical liars for Jesus propaganda that Christians always do to divert any bad press about themselves.

      April 15, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
  4. Alias

    So the man went into a jewish establishment and randomly shot 3 people, all christians.
    Isn't that a sign of jesus followers being wrong?

    April 15, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
    • Bad Zut

      No...but it's a sign that Cross was freaking crazy.

      April 15, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
    • bostontola

      Yahweh protected his chosen people. lol.

      April 15, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      No. We are all vulnerable to be the victims of evil.

      "That idiot completely knocked a family to its knees for no reason. My dad should be seeing patients today at his work. Reat would have been in school today studying and being with his friends. There’s no reason, no reason for this. It’s just a tragedy.” Son/Uncle of 2 of the victims

      April 15, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
    • guidedans

      Kansas City is like two-thirds Christian. I think that statistically if you shoot three people, it is likely that at least one of them will be Christian. Not unlikely that they would all be Christian, especially considering that two were from the same family, so it is not really a random sample.

      April 15, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
      • bostontola

        I'm pretty sure it was a joke.

        April 15, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
        • guidedans

          Jokes are only funny if they account for statistical probabilities, boston. I thought that we all knew that.

          April 15, 2014 at 1:17 pm |
        • bostontola


          April 15, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
      • Alias

        He was not roaming the city streets.
        The locations were predominantly jewish. That totally changes the odds.
        Proof the old gods are the only gods.

        April 15, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
  5. dobsonic

    If he was into Odinism then why is so concerned with "The removal of prayer and the holy bible from public schools." ? Because at the end of the day his beliefs are just kooky and bigoted without any real philosophical or spiritual basis. Reading his website is an exercise in going around in circles.

    April 15, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      He ratted out his fellow hate-mongers to receive a lighter sentence. He even claimed the guys he ratted out were also g.ay, which was just an infantile attempt at insulting them.

      April 15, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
      • Bad Zut

        Just how big of a presence was he in KC?

        April 15, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Not very big. He ran for Senate and some radio programs had him on as a joke. He even made it onto Howard Stern, where he was mocked.

          I think he garnered 7 votes, out of a million votes.

          He lived more than 3 hours south of KC. He apparently didn't realize the Jewish Community Center served the entire community, not just the Jewish population.

          April 15, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
        • ausphor

          So you never personally bumped into him in an inst!tution you may have been in at the same time?

          April 15, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          No. He probably didn't go to the inst.tutions I go to that generally welcome, not threaten, Jews, African-American, h.mos.xuals and Mexicans.

          April 15, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
  6. facingthefireswithin

    Reblogged this on facingthefireswithin and commented:
    On a day of bad news, this as well. Speak out where you can against wretches like this.

    April 15, 2014 at 12:08 pm |
  7. cruci000fiction

    Don't believe that one extremist's actions represent the whole. I am sure that Odonists are, for the most part, completely peaceful and sane believers in Norse gods.

    April 15, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
    • Doris

      I don't even think he did a very good job of representing himself. He writes:

      "Christianity is the second biggest trick the Jews ever played on us," yet wants "The Old Rugged Cross" played at his funeral.

      Maybe there is more than one person in that head of his....

      April 15, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
    • igaftr

      Not really peaceful, since you can only enter Valhalla if you die gloriously in battle.

      April 15, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
  8. Dyslexic doG

    if I was powerful enough to create the universe, I wouldn't let men like Frazier Cross kill innocent people.

    I am glad to say that's the difference between me and your god.

    April 15, 2014 at 11:49 am |
    • guidedans

      How would you stop people like this guy from killing people?

      April 15, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Gun control might be a good start. I don't mean taking away, I mean background checks and proper regulations.

        April 15, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
        • guidedans

          I think DD is talking about what he would do if he were God.

          I guess God could have created a universe in which gun-powder did not exist, but He only knows what that universe would look like. I am guessing that it would probably be less ideal than our current set-up.

          Anyway, free-will blah blah blah. DD couldn't make a better universe than God, etc.

          April 15, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          I get what Dyslexic is saying and I suggested what anyone with a functioning brain would do if they were such a good loving, all powerful being.

          Our universe isn't so great, is it? I'm willing to wager that if DD were god, he'd create a world where these types of things don't happen; one of peace, love and eternal grooviness...where everyone was treated equally regardless of gender, fertility, color or Sexual orientation...at least that's my fantasy world.

          April 15, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          DD should demonstrate a better way to live. Not just talk about it and play arm-chair quarterback.

          He fails to even live up to his own standards. That is why he comes across as hypocritical. He can be your hostile and internet-atheist god. Good luck.

          April 15, 2014 at 2:36 pm |
      • igaftr

        Simple. I would put an obstruction in the barrel of the gun. If he then still chooses to use it to fire on people, it will backfire in his face, and the innocents would not be harmed, and it would not interfere with free will.

        Obviously your god isn't smart enough to figure that out.

        April 15, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
        • guidedans

          Yes, God should just immediately smite every person that crosses Him. That is what would make this world more perfect.

          Like a kind of Minority Report set-up. God knows what will happen before it happens, so right before the murder takes place, He jumps in a stops the criminal before he acts.

          But what happens when Tom Cruise gets framed, igaftr? What happens then...?

          April 15, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
        • igaftr

          You asked how i would stop the killing. Too bad you don't like the answer.
          But thanks for comparing YOUR fictional story to another fictional story...that is apples to apples.

          April 15, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          To be fair, God used to get all smitey at the drop of a hat.
          Fail to impregnate your sister in law? ONANIZED!
          Look over your shoulder? ABRACASODIUM!
          Make fun of a priest? URSINE WRATH!

          God seemed to mellow out a bit once He became His own Father....

          April 15, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
    • engineersguidetogod

      The freedom to do good is also the freedom to do bad. So, if you were a god, you would not allow mankind to have free will. To create a workable and lasting system, you would have to make us all like robots - always obedient to you and your ways. Personally, I'm glad God chose to give us freedom, but I'll admit it gets rather messy at times.

      April 15, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        "We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies."
        Martin Luther King, Jr.

        April 15, 2014 at 12:24 pm |
      • bostontola

        What makes you think man has free will?

        April 15, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
        • Alias

          If we don't have free will, who is controlling all of our actions?

          April 15, 2014 at 12:31 pm |
        • bostontola

          Many of our actions have been shown to not be controlled by conscious processes, i.e. by subconscious processes. While many actions are by choice, not all are.

          In the Christian context, we don't have free will to choose Jesus because the choice is under duress.

          April 15, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
        • Bad Zut

          I think this guy was a 'victim' of his own psychosis.

          April 15, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
      • johnbiggscr

        ' To create a workable and lasting system, you would have to make us all like robots – always obedient to you and your ways. '

        So is there free will in heaven?

        April 15, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
        • G to the T


          I've yet to hear a good answer to this question.

          April 15, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
    • Alias

      If anyone were powerful enough to create the universeand read all the minds on earth at once, you would not be able to post the same tired crap under different names.

      April 15, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        I always use the same name. For I am the almighty Dyslexic doG!

        April 15, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          I'm a victim of dyslexia
          I can't tell my right left my from
          Therefore whenever
          I string words together
          The order keeps wronging out come

          April 15, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
  9. narwagner

    But wait – the Irish and Scots are not Germanic. They're Celtic, along with the Welsh, Cornish, and Bretons (from Brittany). O dear, his new North America will start out corrupted.

    April 15, 2014 at 11:41 am |
    • indianriver

      The Irish and the Scots are Gailic in origin, influenced heavily by the Gaets, also known as Normans...short for Norse-Men...which were Germanic.

      April 15, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
      • johnbiggscr

        they were Scandinavian, not Germanic

        April 15, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
      • narwagner

        If you count Scotland as being Germanic because of Germanic settlements, you pretty much have to also include the French (the Franks were German), Spain and Portugal (Visigoths), Italy (Ostragoths), and Poland and Russia (Goths, Vikings). So, the new N. America will be comprised of a lot more than Germanic blood.

        April 15, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
  10. chiz3914

    Religion is the primary source of hatred in the world. Just look around

    April 15, 2014 at 11:41 am |
    • Dalahäst

      I see evidence of hatred from non-religious people on this blog.

      I also see religion produce some good things. I'm grateful for the atheists that see and admit that.

      Just like I know secular and atheist groups that do a lot of good. But some secular groups do horrible things. All people are capable of doing horrible things. Even those who shun religion for all the evil they witness, can turn around and commit their own evil.

      April 15, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
      • Rynomite

        Good and true thoughts. That said, any good religion produces is outweighed by the fact that it promotes ignorance.

        April 15, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Not all "religion" promotes ignorance.

          There are plenty of secular, atheist and non-religious individuals and groups promoting ignorance, too.

          You are capable and probably guilty of doing good and ignorant things in your own life. I wouldn't say the ignorance you promote outweighs the good you have produced.

          April 15, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
    • guidedans

      I think that this is the wrong article to accuse religion of causing hatred. This guy clearly bas.tardized a bunch of different religions to conform to his warped view of the world.

      If this event shows anything, it is that hatred transcends religion and that, if a person is filled with hate, they will find a belief-set that enables them to act out on it.

      April 15, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
    • engineersguidetogod

      The truth is that people are the primary source of hatred in this world. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, with all sorts of religions and non-religions, from all kinds of cultures and backgrounds. If they profess religion, they often use it as a tool to justify their hateful deeds. If they reject religion, they often use it as a target of their hateful deeds. But, that hate itself - that malice; that evil - That comes from the heart of mankind. Abolishing religion is more likely to make it worse than better, simply because religion, when practiced correctly, can often mitigate evil in the heart of a person.

      April 15, 2014 at 12:31 pm |
  11. lookatuniverse

    Quran says (Islamic Scripture)

    “The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be," and he was.” Quran [3:59]

    “No soul can carry the sins of another soul. If a soul that is loaded with sins implores another to bear part of its load, no other soul can carry any part of it, even if they were related. ... [35:18]

    “They even attribute to Him sons and daughters, without any knowledge. Be He glorified. He is the Most High, far above their claims.” Quran [6:100]

    “Recall that your Lord said to the angels, "I am placing a representative on Earth." They said, "Will You place therein one who will spread evil therein and shed blood, while we sing Your praises, glorify You, and uphold Your absolute authority?" He said, "I know what you do not know." [2:30]

    “They say , "We live only this life; we will not be resurrected. If you could only see them when they stand before their Lord! He would say, "Is this not the truth?" They would say, "Yes, by our Lord." He would say, "You have incurred the retribution by your disbelief." [6:30]

    “We have honored the children of Adam, and provided them with rides on land and in the sea. We provided for them good provisions, and we gave them greater advantages than many of our creatures.” Quran [17:70]

    “O children of Adam, when messengers come to you from among you, and recite My revelations to you, those who take heed and lead a righteous life, will have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.” Quran [7:35]

    “O children of Adam, do not let the devil dupe you as he did when he caused the eviction of your parents from Paradise, and the removal of their garments to expose their bodies. He and his tribe see you, while you do not see them. We appoint the devils as companions of those who do not believe.” Quran [7:27]

    “Losers indeed are those who disbelieve in meeting God, until the Hour comes to them suddenly, then say, "We deeply regret wasting our lives in this world." They will carry loads of their sins on their backs; what a miserable load! [6:31]

    ‘Say, "We believe in God, and in what was sent down to us, and in what was sent down to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Patriarchs; and in what was given to Moses and Jesus, and all the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction among any of them. To Him alone we are submitters." [2:136]

    Thanks for taking time to read my post. Please take a moment to visit whyIslam org website.

    April 15, 2014 at 11:35 am |
    • chiz3914

      what a load of crap

      April 15, 2014 at 11:43 am |
    • truthfollower01


      Do you believe in the subst-itution position that Jesus didn't really die on the cross, but that it was Judas. It just appeared to the people to be Jesus. Would you hold to this view?

      April 15, 2014 at 11:50 am |
      • Bad Zut

        Why don't you go to the website if you want to learn more?

        April 15, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          I'm seeking Look's personal view.

          April 15, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
        • Bad Zut

          He is just a drive by poster who is stealing advertising space by spamming his website.
          You'd do better to just visit said website.

          April 15, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
    • Alias

      A woman converting to Islam would be like a black converting to slavery.

      April 15, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
    • Span.k Your Imam

      Universe, do not be spamming us thusly with your website and the Coo-ran-ran so verbosely and pastedly across articles. Here it is now said. Hearken:

      For such overt and voluminous spamming, you must nakedly assume the to-be-spanked position, and so receive. Lean forward now, with hands grasped tightly on ankles. For you

      it will be quite cerebral as such.

      You must receive high frequency applications at significant vigorousness and amplitude to cause bright blushness. Imams present should receive such spanking thusly in triplicate.

      Sitting difficulties will proceed but temporarily if Allah is willing and healing of reddishness is granted.

      Do not be embarrassed as such with red post-spank posteriority. We have experienced vestal goats close quartered in Tehran if you need to be resanctified.

      Of this year, shall no imams be spanked without above goats. No more. The Coo-ran-ran. The Coo-ran-ran.

      Here it is written and must be so.
      Here it is written and must be so.
      Here it is written and must be so.
      The Coo-ran-ran. The Coo-ran-ran. The Coo-ran-ran.
      Said thricely. Hear well. You have been spanken.

      Tehran there.

      April 15, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
  12. Doc Vestibule

    "There's a sign over the pearly gates there which reads, "Whites only."

    Valhalla is a Golden Hall in the realm of Asgard. There are no pearly gates.

    Furthermore, this dude is not exactly living up to the anglo-saxon heroic ideals of strength, courage, honour and humility.
    Imposing size and prowess in battle were of primary importance to that culture, but the measure of a warrior's worth was not based solely on body count.
    For example, when Beowulf announces that he will slay the Grendel, he leaves his sword behind in order to fight the beast on equal terms – mano a monstero, if you will.
    Shooting unarmed civilians is cowardly, nor courageous.
    No Valhalla for you, Odinist!

    April 15, 2014 at 11:22 am |
    • bostontola

      Great observations, thanks.

      April 15, 2014 at 11:48 am |
  13. dotofoz

    The little coward thinks he's a Viking? What a crock.

    April 15, 2014 at 11:21 am |
  14. Dalahäst

    “White men have become the biggest cowards ever to walk the earth.” – Frazier Glenn Cross

    Self-fulfilled indeed.

    April 15, 2014 at 11:14 am |
    • doobzz

      On this point I agree with you wholeheartedly, Dala.

      April 15, 2014 at 11:50 am |
  15. bostontola

    This case illuminates a sad aspect of religion, it gets used by bad people to justify terrible acts. Religion can be the salve to put on a guilty conscience and make the terrible act ok. Sociopaths and psychopaths don't need that, but religion fills in for the rest.

    The worst part is, it get used to radicalize others that are less hateful than Cross.

    Religions would be smart to strongly rebuke this behavior within their own religions, using this event to distinguish sincere religion from the usurpers.

    April 15, 2014 at 10:58 am |
    • The Answer is 42

      How do you get around the fact he was an atheist?

      April 15, 2014 at 11:07 am |
      • Dalahäst

        I don't think he ever called himself an atheist. I heard him spouting off "1 race. 1 nation. 1 god." rants at a rally on tv.

        Where is the info on him being an atheist from?

        April 15, 2014 at 11:10 am |
      • Doris

        Where did it say that, Answer? Is it noted more firmly in another article? In this article I only see where someone listened to him speak and claims that he self-identified as an atheist.

        April 15, 2014 at 11:11 am |
      • The Answer is 42

        I misread the article. Sorry, all. Disregard.

        April 15, 2014 at 11:13 am |
    • guidedans

      I would say that this event highlights a sad aspect of humanity, not religion. It seems like this guy built his own religion to support his beliefs rather than receiving his beliefs from a religion.

      There are other events that highlight the sad aspects of religion, like someone blowing themselves up to get into heaven or someone using violence to convert others to their religion.

      I don't know what this event really illustrates except that people can be filled so much with hate that they forget everything else.

      April 15, 2014 at 12:08 pm |
      • bostontola

        Of course, this event can illustrate sad aspects of religion and humanity, they are not mutually exclusive. The aspect particular to religion is that it can be twisted to justify terrible acts (and has been many times in history).

        April 15, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
  16. jonathanlk

    It is safe to say that in every religion there are good and bad people, some very good and some very bad. So howgood you are does not really depend on which religion you are. He was obviously a very bad Pagan. Christians invented the term '3rd degree torture' (death by pain) in the 1400s when they murdered anyone who would not convert, or who wouldn't confess to a crime they were accused of such as witchcraft. Muslims hijacked a plane and slammed it into the WTC randomly killing 3000 people from 89 dfifferent countries 10% of whom were also Muslims. There were even some Communist murdering Atheists. So this act doesn't mean Paganism is bad. It means they had a bad apple in their midst. Personally I think that it is far more important to be a decent and respectful human being than is is to be this or that religion or belief. I really don't care what else you are if you are decent and trustworthy.

    April 15, 2014 at 10:28 am |
    • martal805

      Well said. I'd just add that in addition to there being 'good' and 'bad' players in in each group, there are some that are content to live and let live, which is as it should be, but others - even if they're basically good, decent people - that insist that everyone must think as they do, which has been messing up the world since we first started this bold experiment we like to call 'Civilization'.

      April 15, 2014 at 10:48 am |
    • truthfollower01


      What or who makes a person "good" or "bad"?

      April 15, 2014 at 11:51 am |
      • myweightinwords

        Is that an existential question? Or are you trying to get back into the whole objective morality conversation again?

        What makes a person good or bad? Their actions. Their words. How they treat those who can not help or hurt them.

        April 15, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
        • truthfollower01


          I'm asking this to Jonathan with morality in view.

          April 15, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
  17. caraschulz

    Wild Hunt takes apart this truly craptastic article by CNN which claims Cross, who killed three people at Jewish centers, is a Heathen. CNN further positions Heathenry as an inherently racist religion.

    First, Cross is an atheist. Which the article mentions, but buries and ignores. Second, no Heathens were interviewed to talk about their religion. Third, the Southern Poverty Law Center is quoted, a group that likes to label every group known to man as racist.

    This kind of journalism is so irresponsible and so harmful. Are there racialists in Heathenry? Of course. Same as there are in Christianity, atheism, Islam, etc. But this writer goes out of his way to further marginalize and stigmatize a minority religious group for the joy of shocking his readers with the evils (gasp and clutch your pearls) of Paganism.

    April 15, 2014 at 10:14 am |
    • Doris

      "First, Cross is an atheist. Which the article mentions, but buries and ignores."

      The article mentions another person who listened to Cross speak and this other person claims that Cross self-identified as atheist. That doesn't come across as strongly to me as his own words in his autobiography where he is quoted. Of course he seems confused – he lashes out at Christians and then says he wants the Old Rugged Cross played at his funeral.

      April 15, 2014 at 11:00 am |
      • caraschulz

        Timeline appears to be:
        Heathen in the late 90's.
        By 2008, back to Christian
        2012, atheist
        Throughout – White Supremist

        Which shows religion, or lack there of, had nothing to do with his beliefs on race or his actions. Yet the article, and especially the headline, strongly intimate that it is the Heathen religion which influenced both. Which is a pile of crap.

        I've noticed the author has updated the article with the Wild Hunt link and a few other bits, but it's still a horrible shock piece.

        April 15, 2014 at 11:39 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "Which shows religion, or lack there of, had nothing to do with his beliefs on race or his actions."

          Total BS. It shows religion and the struggle between the different beliefs was the primary factor in his actions.

          This is like trying to say Hitler was an atheists which I have heard so so so many times but is total garbage based on his own words. Was he an insane meth addicted syphilitic maniac? Of course he was, and this Cross guy was apparently a big fan. Is it really any wonder that these crazy people cause harm? And is it any wonder that a crazy person whos head is being filled with mystical and magical nonsense about angels and demons might act on their crazy? It seems far more likely than a person who is raised to believe we are all responsible for our own actions and as a member of human society have certain responsibilities to our fellow man.

          April 15, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
  18. myweightinwords

    In my experience, those with hatred inside them will find an outlet for that hatred. All too often that outlet is religion, or dressed up in religion.

    I know several Asatru and others dedicated to Odin and Norse religion. I've only ever known one who was hateful and racist, and when he would not allow the others to help him overcome his hate and spite, he was removed from the group.

    The fault lies not in the religion chosen by the person committing the crime, but with the person him or herself. Allowing that hatred to fester, supplementing it with fear and feeding it anger...it is a toxic mix that can drive some over the edge.

    April 15, 2014 at 9:59 am |
  19. totot57

    ... Cross wrote: "I'd love to see North America's 100 million Aryan Christians convert to the religion invented by their own race "

    The religion invented by their own race... That pretty much says it all: let's make up a divine character, put in some rituals and call it a religion. Now I can safely claim all kinds of nonsense "in the name of religion". Dangerous nonsense at times...

    April 15, 2014 at 9:42 am |
  20. samsstones

    Are you going to spend another 36 hours straight through posting and being deceitful? When do you have time to visit your psychiatrist? You really should increase your visits.

    April 15, 2014 at 9:16 am |
    • Dalahäst

      It was only 35 hours. And you spent 37 hours, so, talk about being deceitful.

      And I do question why some who bemoan and ridicule all religious people to the extent they freely admit to scapegoating and stereotyping, spend so much time seeking them out on religious blogs. The ones that actually do post for 36 straight hours seem odd.

      April 15, 2014 at 10:39 am |
    • Dalahäst


      Or Sam Stone/samstones?

      Or are there 2 Sam Stones?

      Do you want me to address you by the different names you have used, too?

      April 15, 2014 at 1:17 pm |
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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.