I’ve written before about the delightfully eccentric denizens of the land of Bjork and geothermal energy. I’m pleased to say they have just decided to do something even more than usually odd.

Shortly there will be erected a temple to the Norse gods. Wodin, Frigga, Thor, and the rest of the merry crowd from Valhalla will have their very own new place of worship. I read it will be the first such temple to be built since Christianity took Scandinavia by storm about 1000 years ago.

I find this very heartening news. They’ve got a very pragmatic view here, since a spokesman said, ‘Nobody believes in a one eyed man riding a horse with eight legs, but there’s a lot of interest in paganism.’ Fair play to them, I say. Bring back my favourite Norse god, Loki. You have to admire any belief system that includes such a thing as a god of mischief.

I rather imagine some hardliners from the major religions will be throwing up their hands in horror, but this decision is no less reasonable than building a new church, mosque, or synagogue. Just because it doesn’t fit in with mainstream views it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. It’s worth pointing out that if you believe in a particular god, you’re still an atheist of sorts. You probably don’t believe in Zeus, or Hera, or Apollo, or any of the other citizens of Olympus. Those guys bestrode the world back then, but you don’t believe in them.

I therefore feel we should break out the battleaxes, put another ox on the spit, charge the drinking horns with mead, and keep a look out for eight-legged horses. Stranger things have happened.

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