America’s Top Heathen

Odin himself might have had a hard time predicting Dan Halloran’s strange career on New York’s City Council

Halloran is then challenged on the idea that heathenism would have only one point of view or that a person’s authenticity as a heathen would depend on sharing his pro-choice views. Halloran responded:

If moral paradigms and consistency with tradition are not earmarks and defining characteristics of our religion, then how can we evaluate let alone define ourselves. Are we to become the same inconsistent rabble that the monotheisms are? Do our values and beliefs change to suit agendas and "feelings"? Or do we stand up for our ancestral ways and define ourselves by living in that manner and accepting that code of behavior because it is Recht and Seemly?

A heathen helped us with a translation: In the “old times, a child was born. And if it was sickly, they’d put it out on a rock. If it survived the night, it was strong enough to live, and if it didn’t, it didn’t. It wasn’t a big thing.”

That, the heathen says, was basically Halloran’s viewpoint on abortion: If the soul didn’t even come until days after birth, there was no problem with abortion. And since abortion was medically known “by herbal and mechanical methods” to ancient heathens, it was never a moral problem to them—nor should it be to modern heathens.

Halloran wasn’t just a casual practitioner. “He was our spiritual leader,” Kristoffersen says. “We were sworn to him.”

Now, some of his former followers admit, it’s OK for Halloran not to let his religious beliefs affect his political beliefs on abortion. But being heathen, Halloran could be the first elected official in the United States whose religion says abortion should be legal while his political compass says it shouldn’t. For him to “go from advocating infanticide to sponsoring a pro-life pregnancy center,” as one former follower put it, was beyond them.

And if he wasn’t willing to acknowledge his own religion publicly, “cloaking himself in monotheism” as another put it, the Muslims wouldn’t fare much better when Halloran took on their right to build a swimming pool with some meeting rooms attached in Lower Manhattan.

Halloran turned out to be quite a social conservative, but did he at least fulfill his promise to be a fiscal conservative?

Hardly, if you look at either his political or personal life.

In that interview he did with Pagan+Politics, Halloran boasted that of the two things he was most proud of during his first year of office, first was “raising the funding provided in my district to the highest levels in 10 years for both discretionary spending (community programs) and capital allotments (infrastructure, schools and parks).”

Halloran talked like a Tea Party candidate when it came to spending in other districts. In his own, the pork was turning out to be plentiful. Although he was bringing home the bacon to his constituents, he was proud of his efforts to “stop the Paid Sick Leave and Living Wage bills, which would have crippled small business, attack property tax increases, and push legislation to reform government transparency and funding policy.” If his political efforts were a bit inconsistent, his personal spending became an issue of its own.

According to a January 25, 2011, article in The New York Times, in the previous month, Halloran “requested a building permit for a $60,000 project to add a second floor onto his Cape Cod–style home. On Jan. 3, the Buildings Department denied the request, saying it would make the house too big for the area’s zoning.”

This was odd, the Times pointed out, given that “in January 2010, Wells Fargo began foreclosure proceedings on [Halloran and his wife’s] home. In November, Ms. Halloran, a registered nurse, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, seeking to wipe away $116,521 in credit card debt, while retaining a 2005 Jaguar and their home. Her debts include $14,777 owed to Home Depot, $29,000 on three Chase credit cards and $58,000 on two American Express cards. The couple has an annual salary of $166,660, according to bankruptcy records and Council salary rules.”

Halloran was, to quote a Tea Party talking point, the guy who had bought too much house and ended up in foreclosure. The Times noted Halloran’s spokesman said that the couple “was in the process of a divorce, though no public court records have been filed, and that they planned to sell their house.” (When the Voice called Cynthia M. Halloran, she declined to speak and referred to Halloran as “my husband.”)

Halloran might want the country to go on a spending diet, but he doesn’t seem to be taking that lesson home at night.

Halloran came into office saying that one’s religion shouldn’t be a factor in politics. On the stump, he even referenced the 1657 Dutch, or Flushing, Remonstrance, America’s first document of religious liberty, a petition asking New Netherlands Director-General Peter Stuyvesant to lift his ban on Quaker worship in the colony that would become New York City.

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154 comments
mainer74
mainer74 like.author.displayName 1 Like

Victoria Clare, Steer of The Troth writes:

Dan Halloran (a/k/a O’Halloran) is currently designated as an Elder and Cleric of the Troth, Inc., a New York non-profit religious corporation. Mr. Halloran has not been active nor involved with the Troth, Inc. for many years. He has recently been accused of certain felonious acts. If Mr. Halloran is convicted of these actions, then established Troth disciplinary procedures will be enacted. The directors (a/k/a “Rede”) of the Troth are aware of the issues and Mr. Halloran’s status is being carefully monitored for the protection and integrity of our organization.

Randgrithr
Randgrithr like.author.displayName 1 Like

This is what happens when a Tyr's Godhi becomes an oathbreaker. His wyrd and orlog go right into the toilet. Now the rest of us who practice heathenry have to deal with this Ozzy Osbourne imagery of our faith, propagated to what is possibly the most forgiving, open-minded audience in NYC. It is a good thing that there are plenty of wiccans, heathens and pagans in this community who can speak to the rest of it and assure them that Dan-O's representation of the faith is rather unique, at best.

As with his religious community, his service to the City of New York is a pretense. His trip is entirely one of self-aggrandizement at the expense of convenient enemies, real or imagined - and rather disturbingly often, those enemies are people of color. For the rest of you, be assured that this is not what heathenry is really about.

Christopher N. Corradini
Christopher N. Corradini

Halloran is a loon and a bad politicianBut I find the treatment of not just his religion but the entire pagan community in this article to be bigoted and hatefulI am severely disappointed.If you want to make fun of him for being a wacko or a tea partyer then do it but to belittle not just one faith but an entire faith community is deplorable. I hope this kind of marginalization will not stand much longer.

Cassidy
Cassidy like.author.displayName 1 Like

Reality check, folks:

All religions are ridiculous (the religious impulse, however -- the inborn desire to go beyond our own individual selves and connect with the world at large -- is not).

Theodism/paganism/wicca is even more silly -- tying with Scientology for hilarity though thankfully not evil -- due to the whole made-up nature of it all. Might as well revive childhood beliefs in Santa Claus and North Pole elves!

As for the caricature, it IS fitting AND appropiate though yes the Abrahmaists would bomb the Voice (especially the Muhammadans, though I wouldn't put it past X-tians and Jooz to be too far behind) were it to mock their religion. However, insofar as Halloran pretends to be a Vikingist/Theodman/Blah-blah-blah-ist ***AND*** goes on to enact policies that are Catholic makes his religion fair game!

Anyway, ALL religions are bad...surely in this age of sub-atomic physicists we can come up with a better way of expressing and living our natural curiosity and affinity for the world than to engage in mumbo-jumbo about the stars aligning or Odin's beard or Muhammad's 72 virgins???

Seriously...choosing a religion is but choosing a different color of curtain for your prison cell window -- the prison cells of YOUR OWN MINDS!!!!

Star Foster
Star Foster like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

It's rare to see someone devote so much time to being an asshole. Well done. I'm sure you feel your day has been well-spent.

One Eyed Jack
One Eyed Jack

It is no one's business but the people involved.

Cassidy
Cassidy

Uh, why not? This guy's a public figure, and one who's very much into making religion public policy!

Lara
Lara

You still have to question what sort of person would such a thing though in this day and age, and wether such a person should be allowed to have any sort of political power...

One Eyed Jack
One Eyed Jack

No you don't. A person is free to tie themselves to any other person, in any way that they deem appropriate. If the man wished to acknowledge another as his religious leader, who are you to render an opinion one way or another.

Cassidy
Cassidy

"Follower" should be a most unworthy title of anyone who actually exercises the brain.

Jeffrey Runokivi
Jeffrey Runokivi like.author.displayName 1 Like

Interesting. I have seen a lot of comments claiming offense at the caricature that heads the article. Silly, is it that people have a desire to be offended these days? Its a pretty good likeness, actually. Speaking as a Blotere (a priest who has performed a animal sacrifice) I am more offended by Dan being called a Heathen at all, or more particularly Theodish (something I have been for almost 20 years more or less). I have known Dan-O for a majority of that time and he has been nothing but trouble. I tried to warn people about this 15 years ago, but no one would listen. Well, I guess what goes around really goes around. Its nice to see that the truth does not stay buried forever. Dan is the most cynical and opportunistic type of person. He will say anything and do anything he feels that he has to to get what he wants. It would be nice if he would just move to another religion and bother them for a while.

One Eyed Jack
One Eyed Jack like.author.displayName 1 Like

Funny how none of Dan Halloran's constituents are up in arms at his nonsense and posting on this website. Could it be that they realized their desire to have a blue-eyed blonde-haired boy from the neighborhood over an Asian has patently backfired on them?

Thus far I have only heard a lot of whining from the "heathen community". [sic!] of perceived wrongs he has committed against them (and a few legitimately victimized peopleof his own flock).

Garman Lord used to say "people pretty much get the religion they deserve" and I know this was his take on "people often get the government they deserve". Funny how these two platitudes come to their crowning achievement with the "King of Queens", neh?

Jeffrey Runokivi
Jeffrey Runokivi

Heathen Community, indeed...that one always makes me giggle.

Jeffrey Runokivi
Jeffrey Runokivi like.author.displayName 1 Like

Sorry Jack, Cannot really comment on his rule as Alderman in New York...I live a long way from there. Although, I will say one really good thing about Dan-O...he is extremely consistent. I am sure his Political life is lived very much as his Religious life has been lived. I think the reason that so many Heathens have been commenting is that these people used to trust Dan-O, when they should definitely NOT have trusted him. Knowing him personally, though, I can see why they did...he is a very charming individual. If only he would have used his superpowers for good.

Jeffrey Runokivi
Jeffrey Runokivi like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Ahahahahahahahahahahah! Yes, my sentiment exactly! I am sure that they would also be lawyers.

One Eyed Jack
One Eyed Jack like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

"If an there were priests of Loki, they would surely deny it, clam virtue, and say they were priests of Tyr"

Hawk
Hawk

....and, Mr Thrasher, the point of your "article" is exactly what? Are you presenting a legitimate view or just enjoy mocking another's religion or lifestyle. I find your piece simply shameful and insulting.

One Eyed Jack
One Eyed Jack

Child, you have no idea of who I am, and what I know. You are a good kid, but you have been lead astray. You have seen the evidence, heard it first hand, but like your lord, you choose to put on blinders. One day you will snap out of it, but sadly you will have alienated yourself from all who have cared for and loved you.

I know things about this man that would curl your hair. Don't count me amongst the ignorati.

Valadia Kristoffersen
Valadia Kristoffersen

Halloran was declared an OUTLAW by Garman. Do you want to know WHY??

Cassidy
Cassidy

Please tell! Why not??

One Eyed Jack
One Eyed Jack like.author.displayName 1 Like

No thank you. I have his Witan archives. I know exactly what happened.

Not a DH hater!
Not a DH hater!

I feel I should point out: New Normandy still exists and is growing. The members who remain and the members who have joined are all long time friends or acquaintances of Dan Halloran. When speaking about the split/ breakdown of a group, it is generally wise to speak to people on both sides of the fence instead of just the one side. Obviously, people who are determined to hate someone will only ever say what they want others to hear. I'm sure that the Village Voice never once tried to speak to any member of the tribe still remaining (some of whom have been around for over 20 years) for they would say good things, and we wouldn't want that now, would we. I would also like to point out, having known "Kasidy" personally, that she was in a car accident that caused severe brain damage. Her memory is severely lacking and I don't consider her to be, by any means, a reliable source of information. And as a final point: The Village Voice has never liked DH and will probably continue to write slanderous articles full of misinformation for the shear joy of riling people up.

Shy Guy
Shy Guy like.author.displayName 1 Like

He who likens himself as a king shall be made a fool. In the end, he will not receive the fame for which he sought but shall be maimed for all the wrongs that he will do. These words were spoken to you "Not a DH hater!" years ago and you too are a fool if you have not seen them come to fruition. You can't fix what is broken and it was broken long before its own self-destruction.

Ex-tribe memeber
Ex-tribe memeber like.author.displayName 1 Like

I don't remember Kasidy being brain damaged. She is intelligent, smart and having being with Dan since near the beginning is an excellent judge of his character. She was not someone new to the tribe. She was a wealth of information on the tribe and heathenry and in a major role of the tribe at the time. She is a very reliable source of information, you just dont like she pointed out the bad things that happened at the time.

thenorsewitch
thenorsewitch

@Ex-tribe memeber 

May you be eternally blessed, kind soul. Thank you for your standing. Catie is a child, family problems, emotional problems,  and a general have not (NOT a boyfriend, a job regularly, a LIFE generally.. The type that can be attracted to dan-o's type.. Lost souls..).  I treated her like a daughter.  Typical reaction by a child. 

May the Gods smile upon you forever.. Many blessings!! Your kind words (which are TRUE, btw.. which is nice), mean a great deal... Thank you!! 

Valadia Kristoffersen
Valadia Kristoffersen

Catie, get your facts straight, little one. It is not BRAIN DAMAGE, it is a brain INJURY. I STILL have a 152 IQ, and a Doctorate. (TBI, look it up.) And, I may be brain INJURED, but I am HARDLY brain DEAD. YOU of all people should know that. The facts of what DH did, MANY of them, have not come to light. Truth, he is not someone who is worthy to follow. YOU know what he has done to his FAMILY... You cannot be so naive as to believe that he is a REAL follower of the Old Ways. Trashing me doesn't change anything. Truth is truth. Oh, by the way... I was involved in THEODISM longer than DH has ever been. AND Normandy is dying. Just like his marriage.

Valadia Kristoffersen
Valadia Kristoffersen

One more thing. AFTER my car accident, I reinvented myself. I became a Heathen clothing designer. And, when you consider that, when I looked around Normandy, and other groups, I could see a good percentage of people wearing MY GARB... that tells me that I am successful. Very much so. What I do is professionally made, with the very best material my customers can afford, and I guarantee my work. Case in point. I have been successful even after the TBI. (Traumatic Brain Injury). That is hardly DAMAGED. AND, you would be AMAZED in what I remember. More importantly, what OTHER PEOPLE remember. I am NOT alone in this, NOR was I the ONLY one reporting.

One Eyed Jack
One Eyed Jack

Sycophant.

Not a DH Hater!
Not a DH Hater! like.author.displayName 1 Like

Sycophant, noun: a servile flatterer. I don't remember trying to flatter anyone, though I believe I was trying to put up an opinion about the flaws in this article, mainly the lack of information from anyone who has a differing opinion. Journalism 101: Get both sides of the story. I'm not trying to change the opinion of anyone in the heathen community. That's a feat I don't think any person could accomplish. But for the people reading this article who have never heard of or do not know the man in question, I felt that some kind of rebuttal should be made towards certain questionable "facts" based on the statements of slanderers and haters.

One Eyed Jack
One Eyed Jack

Yeah, we figured you would have to look that up. We even placed bets on it. Looks like I am out a dollar.

Not a DH Hater!
Not a DH Hater!

For the sake of your peace of mind, let's replace severely brain damaged with severe brain injury. It doesn't change the rest of my statement. I will not get personal with here beyond pointing out, again, that I feel your information was inaccurate for reasons both mentioned and not.

Valadia Kristoffersen
Valadia Kristoffersen

It is only slander when it is not true. In this case, it IS true. Be careful when you accuse people of being brain "damaged", btw. And 'Severe' brain damage? I am neither in a chair, nor unable to take care of myself. Mild Traumatic Brain INJURY is a bit, QUITE a bit, different. Ask my doctor. And those 'questionable' facts? Only the TIP of the iceberg. And MOST people know halloran quite a bit better than you do, myself included. I have to agree with One Eyed Jack.I know YOU, too, Catie.

Lokisgodhi
Lokisgodhi

Actually, Carla, it's an astonishingly accurate representation of Halloran.

Lokisgodhi
Lokisgodhi

I'll pick you up a copy of the Voice. Let me know where to send it.

Lokisgodhi
Lokisgodhi

It accurately represents Dan Halloran. A drunken buffoon in a costume.

Lokisgodhi
Lokisgodhi

That's unfortunately because that's what Halloran's type of Heathenry is. New Normandy was always a bad joke. The people who lived in what became Normandy were Christian for five hundred years before it became Normandy. There was never a Pagan Normandy. The most embarrassing part was that Halloran was too stupid to know this.

Don't blame the Voice for pointing the spotlight. Blame the clown it's pointed at for drawing attention to himself.

Lokisgodhi
Lokisgodhi like.author.displayName 1 Like

It'd be more appropriate to have put Halloran in a Nazi uniform.

I was at a Asatru meet up at a pub downtown a few years back (before his political career). A member of Halloran's New Normandy theod spent the whole evening making anti Semitic comments. Halloran was there and said nothing to his person while this was going on.

As far as I''m concerned Halloran is a complete scumbag and a waste of oxygen. Hanging's too good for him and wold be an insult to Odin.

Christopher Blackwell
Christopher Blackwell

As a politician Mr. Halloran is open to attack, but to snipe at whole religion smacks of religious bigotry. Steven Thrasher has done this before in other articles so this is not done by accident, but seems to be a sign of his own religious bigotry. Religious bigotry is considered anti-social in our day and age. I think Mr. Thrasher owes the Heathen and Pagan community an apology for his open expression of his bigotry. As I said any politicians can be attacked for what they have done or have not done though promised.That is not the complaint, but the broad brushing of an entire religion is not acceptable.A Marine Vietnam Veteran and Wiccan

Cassidy
Cassidy

Religion?? Seriously, all religions are ridiculous, and none so much as those which are faddish.

gdewar
gdewar like.author.displayName 1 Like

@Cassidy Ever wonder why atheists are the #1 most mistrusted minority?  It's talk like this.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, you're just stupid enough to think yours are facts.  They aren't.

Thomaspas
Thomaspas

You should hear what Mr. Thrasher and some of the folks at the Voice have to say about NYC's hasidic jewish community...

Cassidy
Cassidy

It's about as nutty as nuts can get. ALL Abrahamic religions are a threat to world peace and human progress, but Judaism is where it all started.

Zach Walls
Zach Walls

The Village Voice ought to be ashamed at attempting to portray heathenism in such poor light. I am a proud heathen and not appreciate the way they essentially mocked our religion. I can understand commenting on political standing points, but when you use someone's religion to try to further mock them AND their community, you have stooped as low as you can in my book. SHAME on this so-called "newspaper" and the author of this article.

Lokisgodhi
Lokisgodhi

Halloran is the one who mocks our religion. The Voice is just reporting it.

Lara
Lara

EXACTLY!!! All these offended people just need to get over themselves in my opinion - Heathens like Halloran deserve to be caracatured! I'm saving the leading pic to my hard-drive because I found it so amusing.

Cassidy
Cassidy

Halloran looks like a Dungeons & Dragons nerd. Seriously, I should know; I was one myself!

Plbuck
Plbuck

The picture is offensive. It looks like Grimmer/Glima Wormtongue from Lord of the Rings. The Runes are not all authentic, either.

Cassidy
Cassidy

You know, there's a reason why this kind of blood & soil sh!t was left behind...it's why even Jews, as nutty as you can get with a religion, no longer sacrifice animals or stone people for masturbating.

David
David

The image is highly offensive. Shame on Village Voice for flaming a religious belief, rather than the person who holds it.

John
John like.author.displayName 1 Like

In Theodish Rite, Halloran swore loyalty to "King" Garman. How funny is that? A "Tea Party" guy swearing loyalty to a "King"?

 
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