Sorry, can’t get my head around how he demanded to keep it for reasons of faith but last I checked being pagan meant denouncing faiths.
The Army’s gone to hell in a hand basket.
OH! Wait! There is no hell for pagans.
The Army passed a rule last year that allowed troops to be except from the clean shaven rule if it went against their religious freedom.
The move came after a lawsuit from Sikh soldiers who argued that they should be allowed to keep their beards because cutting one’s hair is forbidden in the faith, as it is seen as a gift from god.
But the rule applies to all religions and now a soldier from the 14th Military Police Brigade at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, has successfully argued that his Norse paganism means he should be allowed to keep his beard too.
Norse paganism was a religion practiced in Northern Europe in pre-Christian times but which has become most closely tied with the Vikings.
Kesh: Sikh’s requirement not to cut their bears
Kesh, or ‘uncut hair’ is the practice of allowing hair to grow naturally as a symbol of respect for God’s creation.
It is one of The Five Kakaars, the outward symbols ordered by Guru Gobind Singh in 1699 to represent the Sikh faith.
The hair is combed twice daily with a Kanga, and covered by a turban.
Rituals such as large communal feasts, animal sacrifices, ancestor worship and gifts to creatures known as wights were all part of the faith. But the religion is most famous for its gods Thor, Loki and Odin, who have inspired countless stories, comic book characters, and the latest run of Marvel movies.
The religion spread from what is now modern day Scandinavia across much of northern Europe, including the UK and Germany, thanks to the marauding Vikings, but the faith all but died out after the introduction of Christianity around 1000 AD.
However, pockets remain in Europe and have been growing in the US since the 1960s. There are now just under 8,000 heathens, as they are also known, according to the 2014 census in America.
And in 2015, the Army had accepted a request to add the religion to its list of faith codes. But before it was granted final approval, the Pentagon announced a review of all religions recognized by the Defense Department.