Radbod, known as the greatest King of the Frisians, spent his life tirelessly fighting against the subjugation of the Franks. While his predecessor, Aldegisel, had accepted Christian conversion easily, Radbod was unwilling to stray from his belief in the Gods of his people.
On the verge of accepting baptism, Radbod turned to the Priest presiding and asked if his ancestors would be waiting for him in the Kingdom of Heaven. Upon being told that his pagan ancestors were burning in Hell Radbod refused the baptism, expressing that he would rather burn in Hell with his pagan ancestors than live in Heaven with beggars.
His rule, 680 – 719 CE, was spent fighting against the Frankish rule and banishing Christianity from his land. Despite losing to Pepin of Hertal on several occasions Radbod never gave up. While never successful in his lifetime, his successors continued the battle for many years after his death.
What can we learn from this story?
Radbod was not bolstered in his mission by success. When he looked back he did not see win after win, but quite the opposite. What Radbod could see, however, was the long line of his Ancestors stretching back to the first in his line. He saw them and he was proud of them and of their faith. Rather than disappointing them, King Radbod did his very best to make them proud and to continue their legacy.
Our culture, our society, as a whole, is under attack. They would have us turn our back on our families and on our folk. They would have us turn our backs on Asatru and our Ancestors. They would see the death of the traditional nuclear family and of the dedicated community. Everything from the books we read to the shows we watch looks to tear down the idea that our Folk should grow stronger together.
Like Radbod we should look behind us to see the long line of our Ancestors standing behind us, supporting us. We should then look forward to the bright future for our children and their children, a future that we should fight for tirelessly, no matter how many times we might stumble along the way.