The XX Factor

Last Night’s Real Winners: Pagans

Dan Halloran is the next City Council Representative for New York’s 19 th district. He is a Republican. Also, he is the “First Atheling,” or prince, among members of a local pagan group that worships Norse gods. “It is our hope,” he explained on his now-missing website, “to reconstruct the pre-Christian religion of the Germanic branch of the Indo-European peoples, within a cultural framework and community environment.” Excellent.

Halloran is the nation’s first openly pagan elected official. The Queens Tribune reported on his Theodism in September. ” I believe in God ,” Halloran said to calm pagan-shy voters. Fellow pagans booed ; it’s Gods , Halloran! He reassured : “I honor my ancestors and cling to my Hiberno-Norse Culture’s Worldview.” The Village Voice reports extensively on neo-paganism’s sinister side , though there seems to be no evidence that Halloran himself is anything but a stand-up First Atheling. “Adherents of Theodism worship deities, the land, and ancestors, and value honor, oath-taking, family, and tribe,” says California State University religious studies professor Sarah Pike . Put that way, the Republican-pagan connection seems pretty unremarkable.