Dan Halloran is a conservative republican and pagan who is running for City Council in Bayside. If you promise to elect him, I promise to make him the poster boy for pagan silliness. Imagine the fun we could have!
Dan Halloran, the Republican candidate for a City Council seat in northeastern Queens, actively practices Theodism, a neo-pagan faith which attempts to reconstruct the pre-Christian tribal religions of the European Germanic people.
Theodism is focused on the lore, beliefs and social structure of various specific Germanic tribes. The last time I looked into it was in 2007. What I read at the time lead me to believe it was in decline. I guess a couple of hardcore nutters are trying to keep it alive. Dan Halloran fancies himself the king.
Halloran is the "First Atheling," or King, of Normandy, a branch of the Theod faith of pre-Christian Heathen religions assembled in the Greater New York area. A group of dedicated fellow pagans swear their allegiance to him through oaths of fidelity, allowing luck from a series of ancient gods - specifically the "Norse" or "Germanic" gods Odin, Tyr and Freyr - to pass through the King to his kinsmen.
Halloran is a little odd, that’s ok as long as he’s not eating babies, right? Lots of people have come out to support him. He appears to be good guy if you can get by all the pagan playacting.
Although the Tribune's story had no hint of derision for Halloran's religious affiliation, the newspaper was immediately attacked for its perceived ties to Halloran's Democratic opponent. Other publications were quick to defend the Republican lawyer, some sounding offended that a candidate's religion, however unusual, should become a news story during an election.
If Halloran had ran as an Atheist these same people would be calling for his head. Supporters are unconcerned that he dresses in costumes, carries a sword, and plays at being king. Heck, all he needs to do next is come out as a libertarian to qualify as a nutball. However, if he came out as an Atheist, the world would not be so kind.
The real question comes down to is his current self-deception any more significant than his historic Christian/Catholic self-deception. I don’t see a difference, so why worry about it?
Disclaimer: Back in the day, I donned armor, a padded long sword, and a customer made battle helm to fight the King of the Inland Empire for the the right to lead our small band of enthusiasts. It was the SCA and I got my ass whipped. As I recall, our king looked like Charles Manson and fought like a demon on speed. I never had a chance.
Random Thought: I’m pretty sure most of the people from my SCA days are now part of the Pagan/Wiccan movement.