While the sudden drop in temperature today might have led some of Bluestem's readers to wonder whether the sundogs have finally eaten the sun, Moorhead area historians assure the Fargo Forum that it's unlikely that Ragnarok, the Viking apocalypse, is unlikely to occur on February 22, 2014.
Not even uncertain stadium funding will hasten the end of the world.
Forum Communications staff writer Emily Welker reports in Dubious prediction sets Viking apocalypse for Feb. 22:
The end of the world might be upon us again.
Little more than a year after the date the Mayans predicted the demise of the universe, the Vikings have us facing their own apocalypse, set for Feb. 22, 2014.
At least that’s the final day predicted by the organizers of a Viking festival in England. The reason for the precise expiration date is fuzzy, though it’s worth noting that Feb. 22 happens to fall during the festival held on the site of an ancient Viking village.
. . .That’s not to say there aren’t a few true believers out there, though Jorgensen and Halvorson are not among them.
Jorgensen said he had to recently provide the Eddas, or ancient Viking texts, to an inmate in the Minnesota state prison system who’s a follower of the old faith. And Iceland granted recognition to its modern-day neopagan iteration, Asatru, back in 1973.
The United States Supreme Court ruled in 2005 that prisons must accommodate practicing Odinists along with those who practice other unusual belief systems, the Southern Poverty Law Center reports:
As practiced by [Prison Affairs Bureau of the Odinic Rite support group leader Laurel]Owen and others outside prison, Odinism tends to be a benign form of paganism, tolerant of others and close to nature. Behind the walls, however, it is likely to take on a more sinister cast, and many prison wardens have long regarded Odinism as the religious arm of white supremacist prison gangs. The U.S. Supreme Court has nonetheless ruled that Odinist inmates have certain rights that prisons must recognize. So while a decade ago a pagan volunteer like Owen would have been dismissed as a kook or, at worst, a gang liaison, Odinist inmates today can wear Thor's Hammer pendants under their jumpsuits and request visits from outside leaders.
Currently imprisoned Austin, Minnesota neo-nazi leader Sam Johnson studied the racist version of Asatru while in jail, according to a 2009 interview with Bluestem.
Image: The original sun dogs doing their bit for Ragnarok.
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