US Pagan locks horns with authorities over ID picture

US Pagan locks horns with authorities over ID picture December 30, 2016

Phelan Moonsong, 56, of Millinocket, Maine, ran into a spot of bother earlier this year when he submitted a picture of himself wearing goat horns in an application for an ID card.
But, according to this report, earlier this month – after convincing authorities that the horns were his “spiritual antennae”, and that he had been in touch with the American Civil Liberties Union – he finally received his card.
Moonsong calls himself a Pagan minister and a priest of Pan.
He said:

A lot of Pagans are in the closet and — as with the LGBT crowd — there’s a lot of misconceptions and discrimination that they face, I’ve come to feel very attached to the horns, and they’ve become a part of me and part of my spirituality. The horns are part of my religious attire.

A spokeswoman for the Maine Secretary of Sate said Moonsong did not initially “cite religious reasons” for wearing the horns, a claim which he disputes.

Officials told me that I had to send in some documentation or religious text to show why it was required for me to have my horns on. I said, ‘OK, I’ll go ahead and do that,’ but it seemed like an onerous requirement.

He  added that he sent state officials an essay titled Pagan Religions: A Handbook for Diversity Training.
This report adds that Moonsong has been wearing the goat horns since 2009 after a friend at a Pagan men’s group, whose goat had recently died, offered them to the group. He took the horns home, drilled holes in each one and attached them to his forehead using stretchy, 50-pound fishing line that he wrapped around his head like an invisible skull cap.

He now claims to “feel naked” without them.

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  • Newspaniard

    15 minutes of fame. He’d have loved it if his application had been refused. I hope that when he needs his ID card, it will be refused as he has forgotten to wear his horns (say) while speeding. Another very sad and lonely person.

  • Newspaniard

    OT BUT, remember, the other day when I was pontificating about the drugs companies bringing out actresses to tearfully promote their overpriced and iffy product. They actually did it again on Sky News last night, coming out with the usual heartbreaking, “I will miss my children growing up if I don’t get this £100,000 treatment”. It is so blatant that it’s almost funny. Add a pinch of this or that and double the price. The recurring refrain of the drugs companies.

  • Gary

    Here is something to be pleased about.
    Yes, lets update the honors. Its just an establishment tool to reward sycophants and cronies, with a few humble truly deserving recipients thrown in to make it look respectable. I say really update the honors by abolition. And while we are at it aim for a Republic and get the Royals jettisoned and the Bishops out of the Lords.
    Meanwhile congrats to the two who refuse to be tainted with gongs even

  • Broga

    @Gary: I suppose they keep the military top dogs on board so that Harry can be shuffled into the army when he wants and jump ship when bored. And Idle Andy can call up a helicopter when he wants to travel to a golf tournament.
    The nearest I have got to an honour was being invited to a Buckingham Palace Garden Party. I refused, of course. I was told, “you will probably meet a royal.”
    My kids told me, “Do it and you will never live it down.” There was no chance I would accept.

  • Lucy

    @broga. Ooh you missed a chance there. I went, avoided all royals, enjoyed the truly smashing provisions and marvelled at many things. E.g. Back of Buckingham Palace is totally diffferent from the front… they had two bands…the Queen is very short.

  • barriejohn

    Sir Gary, Lord Broga, and Lady Lucy: Did your worships hear that Victoria Beckham is said to be receiving an OBE? The miserable cow evidently HAD to tell everyone before the official announcement, but then she does seem to consider herself to be royalty.

  • Ratty

    Mrs Beckham? Why? What has she actually done? Or is this a sick joke?

  • Broga

    @Lucy: But did you have to dress up? I was told what I would have to wear. My wife was seriously indifferent i.e. she said “I’m not going.” My children, teenagers at the time, were moaning, “How will we ever face our friends if you do it?”
    I did get within a few yards of Charlie once. I was staying with my in-laws and took my young son to Windsor Great Park. Charlie was standing with a few of his mates and they had been playing polo. I said to my son, “That’s Prince Charles.” He kept saying, “Where, where, I can’t see him.”
    I picked him up and pointed at Charlie who was very close. Security wasn’t tight then. My son, aged around six, said with deep disgust, “Is THAT all!”

  • Broga

    @barriejohn: Victoria Beckham thinks getting one of these baubles, named after a non existent Empire, is an honour. The honour lies with those who refused.

  • Newspaniard

    I say this to the mass of republicans on this site: “President Blair”.
    HMQ, her heirs and successors can stay forever if we can avoid a presidential election similar to that which the USA suffers.

  • Broga

    @barriejohn: This will concern you. Buckingham Palace (the building which speaks) says Brenda is resting because she has a “heavy cold.”
    She is reducing her “royal duties” and has given up being the patron of 20 charities. That must have been hard work. Probably another of the royals will accept the burden. We are so lucky to have these committed royals sweating away at the coal face on our behalf.

  • barriejohn

    Newspaniard: We will NEVER have a presidential system akin to the American one. Ours would be more like the Irish arrangement, where the presidency is mainly symbolic and ceremonial, as our prime minister is the foremost politician in the country (First Lord of the Treasury), and if the people voted for President Blair, or even Charles Windsor, well, at least he would have been voted into office, so I would accept that. The election would not be political.

  • Stephen Mynett

    BJ, I agree, although the German system is not too bad either, their president has minor powers but is mostly ceremonial. Unfortunately some people are not intelligent enough to understand that we could shape our own system and not have to copy the Americans, although it is easier for them to think that way and just be abusive, rather than debate it.

  • barriejohn

    Oh, no; a knighthood for Andy Murray! Has the world gone completely mad?

  • Andy

    As a Pagan I don’t believe in any of the above, it is my right not to believe what I am told. The Greeks had a system of election by lottery, people were obliged to serve in the government if they were unlucky enough to be selected. At the moment we have elected monarchies, who declare belief in religions to win votes and influence people. Political parties buy their votes, a lottery system would select on average from average people in countries. On average people don’t go to war to spread a religious belief, or are even ignorant enough to try. It is the elected politicians who are morons, not the average person in the street.

  • Brian Jordan

    A lottery could produce a parliament of people who, by the very reason of being average, do not have enough experience or talent to run a country (OK, that applies to a lot of politicians too) and it would probably result in the country being run by the mandarins of the Civil Service.

  • Andy

    You obviously have a low view of the disenfranchised electorate in the world. Politicians cause war, create empires and destabilize other countries with different religions or politics they do not agree with, or have resources that they think they should control. The civil service currently run most countries anyway, look at Holland their genius politicians couldn’t agree on a government for three years the country ran fine, without them, they did not declare war on anyone. The politicians have created the mess the world is in today, they buy their votes, and all but a few countries where one has to vote by law like Australia, the vote has dropped to almost 50% or less, which at less than 50% of the electorate voting does not give a government the right to rule or declare war. Politicians are using religion amongst the religious minorities of many countries, it should be turned against them by the none religious silent majority who do not believe they can stop the way the religious right is headed.