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heathens aren't pagans

That sentiment is what came out of an article I just read, one of the latest in a series of articles about Dan Halloran, member of the Normani Theod, and the republican candidate in a local NYC city council election. But while politics may be the point of the article, it's not entirely about government politics, but also about religious 'politics' in the pagansphere as well.

"Rob Taylor, who calls himself "the web's most popular Bi-racial Republican pagan," says that the connection between heathenism and racism has been overblown. "It's an urban myth among pagans that all Odinists are white nationalists," he says. And who started the myth? Taylor says it's the Wiccans.

"Wiccans and re-constructionist pagan religions engage in infighting," he says, charging "Wicca is just smearing the competition." Taylor initially came to paganism as a teenager via Wicca, but the young Reaganite soon turned to Odinism. Odinism's rules and order appealed to his conservative nature, while Wicca he now describes as a "fraud" and "a leftist thing -- not just Democrat, but far left politically. Theodism and heathenism are more conservative."

In New York City, there's an organization whose goal, in part, is to unite local pagans of all types. And according to the Queens Tribune, the New York City Pagan Pride Project's legal counsel and incorporating attorney just happens to be Dan Halloran.

But when the Voice called the Project to ask about Halloran running for office, spokeswoman Star Ravenhawk (a witch), says she had never heard of him. And she added: "I don't necessarily consider heathens to be pagans."

Ravenhawk was also surprised to hear that Halloran is a Republican. "Most of us are Democrats," she said, adding that "To be a pagan, you have to have faith in a higher power." She doubted that heathens shared that sentiment.

Source: Village Voice

I do think this is a concern while Heathen/Asatru practices may not necessarily line up with general paganism... we certainly shouldn't have this sort of divide, perceived or real.



I'm sorry but it sounds to me like all the people mentioned in that article are stupid.

We aren't the same, though we use many of the same terms. Think Episcopalians and Mormons. Many terms in common but the theology is markedly different...they're not the same religion.
We DO have the same Enemies. Unfortuantely, most pagans seem more Interested in Placating them by Demonizing us. I Know everyone I Knew in CR and Wicca was trying to stamp out my Interest in Heathenry when I discovered it. Funny, none of them seemed awfully Interested in Killing lil old me, even with my twisted sense of humour. I felt more welcome as an "Out" Gay guy than I did in my coven or grove. 'Course, maybe the reason was the same...that I'm a boring guy who finds sarongs only really attactive on Polinesian Women;>.
As someone who has had to clear up a lot of misconceptions about our religion to pagans and wiccans as much as folks from the Abrahamic faiths... I can say there does seem to be this preconceived stereotype of Asatru/Heathenry being associated with racisom, or just a bunch of males thumping chests and getting drunk.

Well, when I discovered Heathenry in 1990, women were pretty thin. Luckly, this isn't so anymore. To me, it was odd after all the yrs where I was often the only guy in the coven. CR was more equitable, but still tended toward women.
A lot of the racist BS IMO comes from the Progressive belief that everyone is allowed to state that they are Proud of their Ancestors EXCEPT for those from Nordic lands. Le Raza! or Black Power! should be just as unacceptable as White Power! IMO....

heathens aren't pagans

CR? If there's one thing I hate about the Internet, it's acronyms, all of which each could stand for about 10 different things! Sorry.

Re: heathens aren't pagans

CR - I imagine it stands for Celtic Reconstructionism, but that's just my guess.
^_^ I'm sure at least some of them were.
Personally, I find the tendency of Heathens/Asatruar to isolate themselves from other pagans to be rather irritating. Even in my own Kindred, when I mention that I work with other Pagans to help the public face of paganism in general, they often look at me like "Why are bothering?" It's frustrating when one considers the "Religious Right" is still out there. We still need all the allies we can get.
My oath-sister works with all types of groups and ministers at an interfaith church, and is also on staff as a lecturer at an interfaith seminary. Many of the members of one of the kindreds I go to also are active in the local pagan community, and go to a Unitarian church as well.

Yes, our approaches to religion may differ, but I've always seen us working together.

heathens aren't pagans

Well, well, well. Finally here's a discussion about heathenry/paganism *and* (party) politics in the same sentence/article. (Bout time.) Good article - I didn't know the Village Voice was interested - thanks for finding it. (Though: this journalistically trained person, namely me, thinks you should have fully credited the article by providing name of reporter if published, date of article and a link. Just saying!) Points: Firstly: "pagan" and "heathen" mean pretty much the same thing: it really is self-evident, if you just know French and - well, not even Old English! "Heath" is current in modern English. Secondly: there is indeed a conservative strain in all these religions *and* no doubt in Wicca, as there is in most religions. Republican Dan Halloran probably feels very cosy in his Normani Theod - you know something? I never liked the Normans in English History! Always sympathised with the Saxons, Robin Hood and his ilk. Billy the Conqueror never was very popular as an English King. And I'll bet you.,

heathens aren't pagans

.. dollars to donuts that neither of these two republican clowns are at all friendly to Loki! *Conservatives never are*.. well, not the hardliners, anyway. Though it seems to me that the *real* hardliners would be happier with born-again-ism than with any earth religion! But just say "Loki" to them and watch them cross themselves with a swastika or whatever theodists do! Heh heh. Excuse my butting in btw: I'm just a lefty Loki fan and a lurker from the lokeans livejournal community:-) .. Actually I was looking for your "Loki musings": the link wasn't very good.

Re: heathens aren't pagans

Oh I can tell you, I've met Dan and have at a couple of public gatherings been in hall and worshipped with him, and he most definitely is not friendly to Loki. While I do wish everyone was open to Loki, at the end of the day religious beliefs come down to individual beliefs and interpretations, and I respect those with dissenting views from my own. I just ask that I'm left with my right to exercise my 'freedom of religion' :) But as my responsibility as a guest when another is hosting, if they do not wish Loki honored in their home, then I will comply. There are many other Gods and Goddesses whom I adore, and many of which are so rarely honored in ritual: Hlin, Syn, Weyland, Gefjon, Var, Sigyn, etc.

And is this the post you were looking for: http://lokis-dottir.livejournal.com/122237.html

And was the link bad, or was the article bad?

heathens aren't pagans

Hmm, there seem to be some repeated posts on here.. sorry it must be my bad phone software. Can you just delete the repeats? :-)

heathens aren't pagans

And, reading this again, it is amazing to see the *disorganization* in this NY "Pagan Pride Project"! So Halloran is the legal counsel and Starhawk (I've heard of her) is the spokesperson and they've never heard of each other?! Sounds like amateur hour. Loki would laugh. (He's my political advisor you know.) Anyway : I guess paganry, heathenry, and Asa/Wicca/tru all have a long way to go as MODERN movements, rather than reconstructionist playacting! :-/ Still, I am actually one of those "far lefts" by their standards, feared by the Repugs (tell me, have they made Sarah Palin a goddess yet?!) Yet *I* still have hope for heathens et al as a broadly unified, modern belief system... :-))