Outside Scandinavia most people do not know what Asatru is or their values so a quick explanation is needed to know what an Asatru believer is - He is one who believes in the old Norse deities as did the Vikings, Asatru is not a religion in the sense as we know it from monotheistic religions but a way of life and spirit and a set of values of some can be found in the Havamal.
Here are some of the stanzas to get an idea of the Havamal wisdom:
Drunk I got, dead drunk,
When Fjalar the wise was with me:
Best is the banquet one looks back on after,
And remembers all that happened.
Silence becomes the Son of a prince,
To be silent but brave in battle:
It befits a man to be merry and glad
Until the day of his death.
The coward believes he will live forever
If he holds back in the battle,
But in old age he shall have no peace
Though spears have spared his limbs.
It is better to die standing than to live on one's knees!
Dignity was very important to our forefathers. It was better to die in battle than to become a thrall of somebody else.
Then there is the desire to 'go get them' who burned our flags and embassies back in 2006, it was something which was beyond our imagination, the feeling I get is that the vast majority of ordinary people are proud of the army to some point, on top of that more than half the soldiers who have gone abroad are signing up for second duties and that is inspite of the Danes have got the highest casualty rates of all the coalition forces in Afghanistan.
This clip from the TV2 News shows the fighting spirit of the Danes in the Helmand province where a journalist is with them on patrol and they get under attack in a fire fight with the Talibans, their happiness is difficult for them to contain, the whole clip is uplifting and makes you feel good - Their strategy is to kill as many Talibans as possible.
4 days ago the Danes provoked the Taliban to attack them after they had raided the Taliban head quarters in a village by raising the Danish flag in the captured head quarters and just waited - Between 30 to 50 Taliban was sent to their heaven as a result - The rules of engagement in ISAF is not to attack so they have to be inventive and illustrated what the commander said "Our goal is to cleanse the area from the Taliban, that is why we are provoking them so they stick out from the civilians"
Its a beautiful story and I am confident no harm was done to the flag.
Unfortunately Denmark is a small country but with a rare spirit these days and there is no way they are not going to fight all the way and die standing.
Contrary to most other countries the Danes have not given one inch to any pressure and which is illustrated in the opening speech of parliament the Danish PM gave a few weeks ago - Denmark calls for fight for freedom - The Danes have been heading the other way, no dhimmitude to speak off apart from a frustrated left and their jihadist pets:
"Denmark is working for the EU to step up its fight for the right to basic freedoms, which are universal and inviolable," Rasmussen told the opening of the 2008-9 parliamentary session in Copenhagen.
Europe should stand together with "the other free democracies of the world in the global defence of these rights," he said, adding that "the freedom of expression is the most important of all freedoms. Freedom to speak, write and draw what one thinks is democracy's vital nerve."
That freedom is "under pressure. We saw that in the affair of the cartoons which still has serious repercussions," Rasmussen said.
The cartoons had been "exploited", he said, as a "grotesque reason to justify the bombing of the Danish embassy in (the Pakistani capital) Islamabad in June."
"We saw it last year when a series of Muslim countries had a resolution adopted at the United Nations seeking to restrain the freedom of expression in respect of religion," he said.
"It is an insult to human rights that the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) should be abused to put freedom of expression in chains."
The Durban II conference has been widely discussed in the medias and some have advocated proposing to make an alternative to the UN consisting of Democratic countries.
But now back to the Asatru believers and this amusingly refreshing story about going to Valhalla.
Don't mess with the Danes or you will one day meet your maker by the wrath of Thor's sons.
Translated from 180 Grader
That Kristeligt Dagblad (The Christian Daily) reports after interviews with Army priests who have been with Danish soldiers in war and on international missions. And the tendency is acknowledged by the Asatru believers society Forn Sidr's secondary chairman Søren Fisker.
"They want to be soldiers and some maybe have got a romantic dream about dying in battle. Then you are assured to go to Valhalla. The Asatru-believe is right up the alley because it emphasizes on masculine values. You are persuaded to show courage and to protect the community, all are values which also belongs in being at war" he explains to Kristelight Dagblad.
Christian Madsen do not know how many Asatru believers there is in the army. But he underscores that they are very visible both in the military at home and on the international missions.