The Jerk VS Bigotry Ratio

I’ve been watching the fall-out from the Halloran piece on The Village Voice since it was published. Every time I thought I had something to say about it, I would notice something else that would make me pause and cogitate.

Straight up, I find Thrasher’s wanton and casual bashing of Pagan religions offensive. It’s unnecessary for this story and the image of a drunken lout staggering over a goat’s bloody corpse is ridiculous. (The artist refused to comment when I contacted him.)

When Halloran first made headlines, I thought he was a bit of an ass, and took some mild heat for saying so. I was thrilled a Heathen had been elected, but I didn’t like him. His interview on Pagan+Politics, with his implication that Wiccans were poor and uneducated, incensed me. Thrasher’s imitation of Halloran’s disdain of Wicca both amuses and irritates me.

However, by and large, it appears the Heathen community is ok with the article in The Village Voice. Which astounds me. Had Halloran been Jewish and treated Judaism in the way it’s treated Heathenry, would this article be acceptable by that community? I think not.

So all I can reason out, is that there is a balance between the jerk and bigotry quotients. The bigger the jerk, the more bigotry we are willing to tolerate in revealing his jerkiness. Tearing down a real scumbag is more important than maintaining the dignity of your faith.

At least, that’s the only rationale I can think of for the response the Thrasher article has gotten. Maybe I’m wrong. Apparently Wiccans really do see the world differently from other Pagans, because I really don’t get what’s going on here.

About Star Foster

Polytheistic Wiccan initiated into the Ravenwood tradition, she has many opinions. Some of them are actually useful.

  • William

    Never expect Heathens to operate the same as your general Pagan, let alone Wiccan. The culture, attitudes, etc. are completely different. This is something many outside the community don’t seem to fully grasp, or they think they do until they get surprised. 

    I think some of the reaction, aside from just being because Halloran is hated, also has to do with some Heathen religious concepts. See, many have negative experiences with Halloran and they view his actions as a part of his orlog. One of these actions is that he broke troth with some people, at least that’s the way they view it. Now, one’s orlog leads to certain outcomes, so spiritually Halloran is just as guilty for the bigotry in the story as the reporter is because he brought the outcome on himself through his actions. If this weren’t the case, and Halloran was well regarded, then the reporter would be focused on as being the “bad guy” in this case. As it stands though, Halloran is viewed as “reaping what he’s sown.” It happens to be a negative side effect that it lands bigotry on the whole community. 

    This is all just my interpretation of what’s going on and I’m sure other Heathens would have other views, but orlog and wyrd being such an integral part of our worldview I just thought they might have something to do with the reaction and figured I’d chime in.

  • David Salisbury

    That’s a very interesting through William, thanks for sharing.

  • David Salisbury


  • LaurelhurstLiberal

    Parts of the article were pretty good, I thought.