The Theodish Republican Running in NYC District 19

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  September 18, 2009 — 53 Comments

While Dan Halloran isn’t the first openly Pagan candidate running for political office, he may be the first to actually have a shot at winning. Halloran, who is running as an “independent” Republican against Democrat Kevin Kim for a seat on the New York City Council, was recently outed as a prominent Theodsman by the Queens Tribune.

Dan Halloran, the Republican candidate for City Council facing primary winner Kevin Kim in the 19th District, already has a leadership role in a vast community that very few people know about – or understand. Halloran is the “First Atheling,” or King, of Normandy, a branch of the Theod faith of pre-Christian Heathen religions assembled in the Greater New York area. A group of dedicated fellow pagans swear their allegiance to him through oaths of fidelity, allowing luck from a series of ancient gods – specifically the “Norse” or “Germanic” gods Odin, Tyr and Freyr – to pass through the King to his kinsmen … When asked Wednesday about his faith, Halloran was uneasy. “I am not comfortable with injecting my religion into my politics,” he said. “I grew up born and raised Roman Catholic. I went to Jesuit schools. Most of my life has been in traditional Irish household.” He added, “I don’t think any of this is really relevant to the City Council race. It’s like talking about what church you pray at. That you understand the divine is the most important part.”

Since being outed by the paper his tribe’s web site has been taken down, but a quick Google search will show you that Halloran, who works as a lawyer in New York City, has a long and prominent history within Theodism and the modern Pagan/Heathen community as well. Will this outing hurt him in the race or within his party? So far the local Republican party seems to have his back.

“Halloran explained that Queens GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa and the GOP executive committee were aware of his faith. Ragusa said Wednesday that Halloran’s religion is not an issue. “If a person performs and does what he has to do for his district, then he will be a welcome breath of fresh air,” Ragusa said.”

But will that situation last? The Queens Tribune’s sensationalist front-page story seems designed to make his faith an issue in this race, and while many cosmopolitan New Yorkers may not blink an eye at Heathen candidates within the party there’s always the chance this story could make some higher-ups nervous. It also remains to be seen if local Democrats will want to use Halloran’s faith as a wedge issue to get Kim elected (and you can be sure I’ll hold their feet to the fire if they do).

As for Halloran as a candidate, he seems to have done well with his campaign so-far. He’s secured the endorsements of the Republican, Libertarian, Independence, and Conservative parties, and will appear on four uncontested ballot lines as a consequence. He was also endorsed by the NYC District Council of Carpenters.

On the issues Halloran seems rather against the Democratic Party’s health care reform platform, raging against the evils of “socialized medicine” at tea-parties. He’s also pro school vouchers, term limits, guns, and tax-cuts. In short, he seems for the most part to be a rather typical libertarian-leaning fiscal conservative. No word on what his stances are on various social issues, but I’m fairly certain he’s for minority faiths receiving equal treatment under the law. If you want to keep track of Dan Halloran, he has a Twitter feed. You can also be sure I’ll be keeping track of this race and giving you updates as November approaches.

ADDENDUM: It seems that Democrat Kevin Kim’s spokesman sent a copy of the Queens Tribune article to journalists all across the city in an attempt to use Halloran’s faith against him.

“Reporters around the city received an e-mail with a pdf of the article attached — from Democratic rival Kevin Kim’s new spokesman … Halloran’s supporters dismissed the story as a “hit” by the Tribune, which has several links to Kim.”

The Queens Tribune, which seems to think being a Pagan is a splashy front-page issue, has a sister company that does consulting and printing work for Kim’s campaign. Though they insist there is an editorial firewall between the companies, it makes the whole thing seem rather suspect. I await official comment from Kevin Kim on this issue, does he believe that being a Pagan should factor into this race? I have e-mailed Kevin Kim’s campaign and await a response.

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Jason Pitzl-Waters

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  • lonespark

    And they put "bound for Hel [sic]." Way to do the research, Queens Tribune.

  • William Hood

    O'Halloran has a rather…uh…contested, controversial, sordid, what-have-you history within Theodism. Just saying.

    • Heather

      Yeah, that is exactly why I'm not thrilled about Huckabee the ex-preacher running for office, among other things.

  • shak el

    I wonder what the NY state consitution says, tho it probably was not an issue when it was last revised.

  • William Hood

    Exactly, not to mention that some claims made about him are very relevant to how positive of a public Pagan figure he would be. So yeah…

    • Paul

      Sorry I didn't know know the gods checked my voter registration before they accepted my prayers

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/Nope Nope

        Cool, I remembered something right! Now, clue me in on my multiple choice spelling and I'll be happy camper!

  • lonespark

    GreenPagan, I really don't know what to say other than that just doesn't make sense. And I kind of feel insulted as a liberal Heathen to have you on my "side."

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  • http://intensedebate.com/people/kauko kauko

    Its funny how the article puts Norse and Germanic in quotation marks as if they are some strange, unfamiliar, foreign concepts.

  • Riverbend

    I wonder if the Republicans (either the party in a formal sense, or its supporters) would make a bigger deal of his religion if he were the opposition instead of their own candidate?

  • Brian Rafferty

    He did hide it. What else would you call taking down his Web site?

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  • Brian Rafferty

    I know and you know what Hel is, but our readers don't. I didn't want them to think it was a typo – that looks just as bad for him as it does for us.

  • shak el

    I wonder about someof the rumors regarding Dan from some pagan festivals…

  • Nick Ritter

    Well quipped. "GreenPagan" is not the one who decides.

  • http://www.openbuddha.com Al Billings

    The fact that he was fired from the NYPD is not in question. It is pretty well known (if not the details as to why).

  • Brian

    He took down his website to protect the people on it who are NOT running for public office you jackass!

  • shak el

    I thought American citizens could not use "titles" like King or athling? I believe their is a constitutional prohibition.

  • Anon1

    The state cannot issue titles of nobility; nothing prohibiting people from name themselves whatever they want.

  • shak el

    Libertarians merely exchange governement tryanny for private tryranny of which the individual has less rights(ask any employee of a corporation).

  • shak el

    I see that someone took down Dan's Theodish site, but its still cache on serach engines and available on the Intervent Archive

  • Paul

    Here here

  • William

    Thank you for clarifying.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Lokisgodhi Lokisgodhi

    I wouldn't have mentioned it if it was a law program. Duh! For the record it was not a law program.

  • Paul

    This is relevant how?

  • Paul

    You sure found this site quick.

  • http://www.openbuddha.com Al Billings

    This was AFTER the events under discussion. It's been over ten years.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Medea Medea

    This is b.s. and you know it.

  • Anymouse

    Don't believe that being Pagan/Heathen should be treated as an issue. The tribal "kingship" aspect of his path, though – that does worry me.

  • Ananta Androscoggin

    Relevant because how a person deals with others, especially those below them in a hierarchy, tells us a great deal about what kind of a person they are.

  • Paul

    I guess some just want facts not rumor, if Dan did X,Y,Z to you or someone you know that would be different.

  • Nick Ritter

    For the sake of accuracy, the flogging was for other misconduct, not (as far as I was informed) sexual coercion.

  • Paul

    *personally wronged you it's one thing* and *repeating something told to you*

  • Morgana Silverseale

    I think Halloran's de facto appeal to the public to consider him a "historic Catholic" muddies the water somewhat.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/PaulFirehawk PaulFirehawk

    At this point I wouldn't worry about it and move on, people will think what they want to think.

  • Paul

    Fair enough,guess now I curious enough to want to know what those rumor's are

  • William

    That all sounds pretty accurate. Sacral Kingship is nothing at all like an autocratic monarchy.

  • Paul

    So guess that would include all high priests and priestess as well

  • Anon1

    Come back when you have something intelligent to say.

  • Paul

    What exactly about his demeanor? Just curious

  • Nick Ritter

    This really ought'nt become a discussion about how weird Theodism is, thanks.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/PaulFirehawk PaulFirehawk

    And here's where the catch 22 comes in, does talking about these rumor's do more harm then good or dispel them?

  • lonespark

    Heh.
    And also…eeeew.

  • lonespark

    I would bet they would. Not that Democrats wouldn't. I'm surprised he does have party support, really.

  • lonespark

    This is what I would have said, if my comments had been well thought out.

  • http://apaganheart.blogspot.com embreis

    If you think corporations, acting through their stooges, can't have you thrown in jail, you're kidding yourself. Corporations ARE government.

  • William

    Yeah, you're right.

  • Nick Ritter

    Old Icelandic would be "meginn".

  • Souris Optique

    Ah. That make's much more sense, now!
    Glad we cleared that up. :)

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  • http://www.openbuddha.com Al Billings

    I dunno. I know Dan from back in our days in the Ring of Troth. He wasn't a horrible sort but I'd never elect him to public office.