Minnesota town residents oppose Whites-only church by hate group that wants future to be 'blond hair, blue eyes'
The Asatru Folk Assembly is seeking a permit to transform an abandoned Lutheran church in Murdock into a Midwest regional gathering hall
A small Minnesota town residents, on Wednesday, October 14, packed a special City Council meeting to express their opposition to the establishment of a Whites-only church in the region. The Asatru Folk Assembly, a controversial Nordic heritage church, which wants the future to be "blond hair and blue eyes" has been deemed a white supremacist group. The organization, however, is seeking a permit to transform an abandoned Lutheran church in the Swift County town of Murdock into a Midwest regional gathering hall, reports state. The controversial group's teachings reportedly do not admit non-White, non-European people.
The majority-White residents of the town, however, have pushed back against the organization, fearing that the town will be branded as the "hate capital of Minnesota" and will attract more white supremacists in the area. Multiple people attended the meeting on Wednesday and opposed the group's permit request for their church. Several of the residents had reportedly gathered outside the venue prior to the meeting and had protested carrying signs reading "diversity is the future" and "love your neighbor."
Murdock resident Pete Kennedy, while talking to the Minnesota Star Tribune, said: "We don't want to be known as the hate capital of Minnesota. These kinds of things get a life of their own. 'Hey this group was allowed into Murdock' and then everyone else piles on." Kennedy, later in a statement to NBC, said: "We want to nip this in the bud."
The AFA members, however, have argued that the church is not of hate despite admitting that they would not admit a non-White person "because they're not of northern European descent." Allen Turnage, a member of the AFA's board, told the meeting: "We don't hate anybody. This is our religion. It's our way of practicing our religion. 'A hundred thousand years from now, I want there to be blond hair and blue eyes. I don't have to be a German shepherd supremacist to want there to be German shepherds."
According to a statement on the group's website, it is pro-White and is among groups that seek to practice a pre-Christian and European spirituality. The site states that its teachings are an "expression of the native, pre-Christian spirituality of Europe." "Let us be clear: By European folks, we mean White people," it states.
While the group's statement of ethics says: "We in Asatru support strong, healthy White family relationships. We want our children to grow up to be mothers and fathers to White children of their own. We believe that those activities and behaviors supportive of the White family should be encouraged while those activities and behaviors destructive of the White family are to be discouraged." It also adds that members of the church should be willing to challenge to defend "our folk" with "both cunning and physical skill when needed."
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLA) has added the organization to its list of hate groups, has deemed the group a "neo-Volkisch hate group" that couches "their bigotry in baseless claims of bloodlines grounding the superiority of one's White identity."