Why I’m Not a Pagan … the Movie “Dragnet”

After the manifold comments from pagans in my last post on Christmas as a triumph over Paganism, I need to explain why I don’t find paganism an attractive religious option. The best way to do that is through a clip of the Dan Akroyd and Tom Hanks movie Dragnet. Note carefully what P.A.G.A.N stands for!

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  • Lydia

    I thought a lot of the main focus of Patheos was to bring respectful dialog between the various religious beliefs. May I suggest you actually study what a religion is about before being so extremely offensive. I’m sure you meant this as a joke, or at least I hope you did, but it just comes off as a petty lash out at a group of religions that your scared of. Thank you for pointing out why I can no longer find Christianity as an attractive religious option.

    • Anonymous

      Send an e-mail complaint to Patheos stating how Bird’s blogs have become solely focused on contemptuously badgering pagans. Nothing may come of it, but if enough people complain perhaps they’ll bounce his pompous @ss off of here.

  • Dan

    Ouch.

  • Luc

    Does this mean we can use movies to shows faults in Christianity, now?

  • http://www.paganawareness.net.au Gavin Andrew

    Friend, clearly you are a sucker for punishment. Still, if you wish to emulate the humiliation of your Lord and Saviour by baiting Pagans, and if this most recent post is your idea of humour, then by all means reap what you are sowing here.

    Still, in expressing your disdain of modern Pagans in this fashion, you forget that we are now in the same position as your spiritual ancestors when your religion was spawned. Remember the fate of the stone that the builders reject.

  • True American

    I’d like to explain why I don’t find Christianity to be an attractive religious option, a decision made based upon inexcusable behavior in the real world, not some nonsense from a trite 80s comedy. A few selections from Wikipedia will illustrate my point:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inquisition
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witch_trials_in_Early_Modern_Europe
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-abortion_violence_in_the_United_States#United_States
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_terrorism
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albigensian_Crusade

    …Just for starters. Maybe if Christians on the whole actually made an effort to be Christ-like I could take their faith seriously.

  • William

    Why are you still on Patheos? Seriously, aren’t there mods or administrators or something that can nip this crap in the bud? This post isn’t even trying to say anything, it’s just a cheap swipe at a group of religions you do not know about or understand, simply because they took exception to a previous bigoted post of yours. Come on Patheos, can we get a ruling here?

  • Donna

    Ah, I should have read this before I commented on your previous article. How silly of me. I’m not sure I would have bothered if I knew your bad research included bad 80′s movies.

    Clearly Dan Akroyd meant to provide a serious theological perspective, that’s why he made the big bucks way away back then.

    I’d be interested to hear what draws you to write a blog on Patheos, since you don’t appear to embrace either part of their motto of “Seek. Understanding.”.

  • Ant

    As a long time reader of Michael Birds blog (and as a Australian) I understand and enjoy his humor. I thought others would also. I was wrong. I never guessed pagans would be so humourless, especially when I think of how pagans like to portray themselves as fun loving. Surely there is a pagan out there who still has a sense of humour? I assure you Mr Bird also has written some pretty funny stuff ripping off Christians!

    I thought all devotees of Jupiter and the war god Mars were long since dead.
    Surely modern neo-pagans don’t take the side of the gods of the Roman empire? Read the original post again (and don’t read yourself into it).

    The over the top sense of ‘offendedness’ is more cringe-worthy than any of the potential objectionable elements in Michael Birds post. And I’m dismayed to think some have already opted for calls for someone to censor Michael Bird! That controlling spirit is of great concern.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000524352678 Ethan Ritter

      So, we’re humorless because…we don’t like it when zealots ignorantly attack our (or rather, the faith of others for the most part) faith and then trivialize our offense and our legitimate arguments and concern? What is wrong with us.

      And as far as I suppose it concerns you, I myself worship the Old Gods of Roma, Jupiter and Mars among them although I don’t have a special affection for them. Re-reading the post, I find it just as offensive to myself and my ancestors.

      And I fully support censoring Mr. Bird. His comments are ignorant and hateful, and have no right to be broadcasted on a forum that is supposed to promote tolerance, understanding, and respectful dialogue.

  • P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

    Ha! Wow! Such a zinger from you again, you little rascal, you! You’re continuing your Saturnalia antics even further–wow, what a dedicated Saturnalian you are! Saturn is pleased, I’m sure–and your Jesus is probably turning over in his grave, or his manger, or wherever he happens to be at this time of year.

    It isn’t as if every Pagan since that film came out has had this same joke put against them. I personally don’t own any goat-skin leggings, but that’s because they’re out of my price range at present, and it’s so hard to find matching shoes.

    (As you may not have noticed–which I note is a problem amongst many of your religion–that in the fuller context of that film, the person who is in charge of the P.A.G.A.N.s is a Christian minister who really just wants money and power for himself. Though they may not wear goat-skin leggings, that continues to describe many of your co-religionists and prominent leaders.)

    After all, you know what “CHRISTIAN” means: Crying Hysterically Repeatedly Insisting Somehow They’re Infallibly Always Noble. It’s true, I saw it in a movie once, and boy is it ever accurate!

    But you know, I’m just joking, so that makes it okay.

  • Mike Bird

    Folks, Dragnet is a funny movie, can’t you pagan guys and gals just laugh at yourselves once in a while.

    • http://sarenth.wordpress.com/ Sarenth

      We can laugh at ourselves, and often do, but what you’re doing with your articles in regards to my religion isn’t funny, it’s poor taste.

    • Anonymous

      We laugh at ourselves all the time. You, however, are just being a jackass, which is not funny.

    • Ursyl

      Right, because that’s even remotely what we do.

  • kenneth

    Pagans actually have an excellent sense of humor about ourselves and of the human absurdities we have within our own movement. I would commend your attention to this article written a few years ago by a noted pagan author.

    http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=caon&c=words&id=9898

    There’s some damn funny, (and funny looking) people in our movement.

    There’s also a vast difference between humor and mockery. Humor, even the edgy sort, goes after the quirks in people and cultures. Mockery seeks to generate laughs at the expense of their humanity.

    A prime example is Jewish humor. Nobody has the low-down on the absurdity and funniness of Jewish life like Jewish comedians. They make ruthless fun of Jewishness. You will agree, however there is a big difference between that and jokes which cast Jews as inherent moral degenerates and blood drinkers.

    Or black humor. Comedians like Christ Tucker and Chris Rock make fun of aspects of black life. Damn funny stuff. The old minstrel shows, where racists white guys took to the stage in blackface…not so much.

    That’s the qualitative difference between funny humor and your mockery of paganism.

    We have a pretty good sense of humor about ourselves. We know we’re as screwy as anyone else in this world, and then some. We like a good insider joke about us, and believe it or not, we wouldn’t object to non-pagans taking a crack at it IF they showed some real understanding of who we are and approached it with a baseline of respect for our humanity and our enterprise.

    Your mockery of us is not funny either in spirit or result.

    There’s nothing wrong in and of itself with Dan Akroyd’s movie. It’s mildly funny, or rather silly, as was most of his work and most such 1980s films. I can laugh at the silliness of P.A.G.A.N. for what it is in the story line. The proble is that you didn’t bring it up out of any sincere interest in obscure 1980s comedies or Akroyd filmography. You did it as a way to kick the hornet’s nest in the pagan community and get a reaction, just as you did with your other recent rants. The only plausible reason you would do these things is either because you feel Christianity cannot inspire anyone without an “enemy” or because you needed to stir the pot and generate hits for an otherwise undistinguished blog which to date had attracted virtually no attention.

  • mamiel

    I like this clip. Even as a parody paganism looks more fun, colorful, and interesting that sitting in a wooden pew, wringing one’s hands over sex, and listening to a pasty white guy drone endlessly on about some boring thousands year old stories of unenlightened, scared, war-prone, dirt-poor, sand-encrusted semitic peoples whose beliefs have no relevance in the modern era.

    “I thought all devotees of Jupiter and the war god Mars were long since dead.”

    Think again. We are everywhere. I’m Honoring Sol Invictus myself tomorrow. You do know what “invictus” means, don’t you?


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