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Public Opinion

Post  Achrelus on Thu Apr 11, 2013 4:43 pm

It has been mentioned several times on here that Timothy possibly (more than likely but I don't want to draw any conclusions) shut the old site down because he was running for a public office and did not want to admit that he is/was a Hellenist. Would the public really have such a problem with that? Where is the line drawn for when people will start to have a problem with it?


Last edited by J_Agathokles on Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:07 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Spelling errors)

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Re: Public Opinion

Post  J_Agathokles on Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:09 pm

Well, I think in the United States of America it could be a problem, especially in certain regions. I think it would depend on the state and region whether or not practicing an "unconventional" religion would pose a problem.

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Re: Public Opinion

Post  Erodius on Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:06 pm

Regardless of whether it is just or not, a campaign for public office in the US can very truly be compromised if, should the candidate adhere to any particular religion at all, it comes out that it is anything other than 'Mainline Christian Protestant'. In many places, there would be some suspicion over even a Catholic candidate, and I read numerous interviews, especially following our recent presidential election, that a large number of otherwise Republican voters refrained from voting for Romney primarily because he is a devout Mormon — a religion which, outside of Utah, a large number of Americans seem to view as a suspicious, bizarre, or even dangerous cult.

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"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Public Opinion

Post  Callisto on Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:04 pm

I've actually had this conversation before (about pagan politicians). There are a few openly pagan politicians holding notable local offices - including one who's Republican (no that's not a typo):

Jessica Orsini was an Alderwoman in Ward III of Centralia, Missouri. She was elected in 2006 and re-elected in 2008 and 2010; she declined to run for a fourth term in 2012. She's a Hellenist (Hellenion) and transgender. Yes, elected 3 times and declined a 4th term.

Rita Moran and Edward Lachowicz. She is the Chairman of Kennebec County Democratic Committee and he is the Vice Chair of Kennebec County Democratic Committee (Maine). Rita was harassed by a Christian group but she held her own, they ended up looking the fool and as afaik there's been no further incidents.

Lonnie Murray is Director for the Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District in Virginia.

Erin Lane, ran for City Council in Henderson, Nevada. She lost, but not by much (her opponent won with 51% of the votes). She's a Heathen.

Dan Halloran is NYC councilman, Tea Party Republican (yes, you read that right) ... and a Heathen (he practices Theodism). (Read that sentence again! LOL) There is a kerfuffle over him at the moment - not because he's a Heathen, but because he was caught red-handed in a bribery scandal (google it, it's all over the news).


Covering one's tracks is smarmy and disingenuous. It's assumed that's what he's doing, and it's a shame if it's true. Doing so gives the impression that there's something "wrong" with the religion that needs to be hidden. It shows lack of character to deny one's God(s). It also says a person is untrustworthy - who denies something that is supposedly an important part of their life like one's religion and makes people wonder what else is this person has to hide. It certainly doesn't foster confidence in the individual's integrity or sincerity. It shows far more character to own up to who you are, and intelligent people respect that even if they don't agree with you.



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Re: Public Opinion

Post  Linda on Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:49 pm

I think it's a matter of personality and self assurance if you dare to 'out' your religion or not, when running for office. Some people are more confident to talk about their belief than others - if someone does not want to 'out' his or her religious belief I think we should respect that. After all, as seen in certain places, it can actually become dangerous. And some people do simply not think religion should be an issue, that it has nothing to do with their political persona. (That would, I guess, be my own standpoint if I should consider running for office.) They can tell if asked, but they won't talk about it otherwise.

What I like less is actually people who flaunt their religion when running for office, either to show they're some kind of 'pious' or to draw attention to themselves by displaying an unusual faith. Religion IMO should never be a 'gimmick' !

In Sweden, the general consensus was for a very long time your religion should not be an issue when running to an office, but that has changed and it has become more desirable again to talk about your faith. Our minister of finances sat in TV the other week and talked about his Christianity and last year the Stockholm major talked about his Jewish faith on the day of Raul Wallenberg(*). But it's not without hazard either here, just last week the social democratic party went trough something called the Mustafagate, after having nominated a man to the board (Mr. Omar Mustafa) who turned out confessing to a conservative branch of Islam and having earlier supported misogynic and anti-gay sentiments and suggested that Sweden should bomb Israel because of the Gaza! He lasted a week in that board, then he was asked to resign. And the dust has not yet settled as he has supporters as well.

(*) Raul Wallenberg was a Swedish diplomat known for saving the lives of some 100 000 jews in Hungary during WWII and is celebrated in Sweden yearly on Aug. 4 the day he was born. (1912)
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Re: Public Opinion

Post  Callisto on Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:03 pm

I agree that one should not flaunt their religion as though it somehow validates them; and my personal opinion is that whether or what religion a person belongs to shouldn't be deemed a factor. However the reality is (in the US) that if one deliberately seeks to be a public figure to any extent then it is usually at the sacrifice of one's privacy (often tremendously so). Not just in regards to religion, but the intrusion can extend to one's personal relationships, finances, etc. So if someone is not forthcoming, or gives the appearance of being so, the default assumption (no matter how erroneous) is that they're hiding something for nefarious or guilty reasons, and the thing being hidden must be "wrong" or questionable.

Thus if someone was already "out" in Tim's case, the assumption that his motives were to hide or distance himself didn't make sense, and if it were true, would come off as disingenuous.

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Re: Public Opinion

Post  Out of Phlegethon on Sun Sep 01, 2013 4:51 pm

I think there is a fairly high-up heathen politician in Iceland right now.  But then again, considering the traditional form of Norse democracy being rooted in Germanic religion, shouldn't there be at least one?
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Re: Public Opinion

Post  Out of Phlegethon on Sun Sep 01, 2013 4:55 pm

Callisto wrote:
Jessica Orsini was an Alderwoman in Ward III of Centralia, Missouri. She was elected in 2006 and re-elected in 2008 and 2010; she declined to run for a fourth term in 2012. She's a Hellenist (Hellenion) and transgender. Yes, elected 3 times and declined a 4th term.
What on earth!?!  The Gods save me if the most popularly recognizable contemporary American Hellenists share the same proclivity for "metamorphosis" as this guy!  Probably a perfectly likeable fellow, but my goodness!
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Re: Public Opinion

Post  Erodius on Sun Sep 01, 2013 6:05 pm

While proper tolerance is certainly a good thing, 'alternative lifestyles' are so 'tolerated' by some groups that it has become almost normative, especially in heavily neopagan groups, to live 'alternative lifestyles' — to such an extent that being a non-far-leftist, LGBTQ, polyamorous, drug affirming, bohemian is seen, in my experience, as rather unusual, and makes one a bit of an outsider.

And then these groups moan and whine about how they are not taken seriously and are not publicly respectable, all the while trying their hardest to do everything in their means to flout public notions of respectability and normalcy.

Rolling Eyes  Rolling Eyes  Rolling Eyes  scratch

My mental image:
"Hello, my name is Isis Bluewater Crystalfeather Moonmist/Thor Ravencloud Amun-Ra Flowingwaters, I'm one quarter water-sprite and another quarter leprechaun. I am the reincarnation of Nefertiti, whom I recognized in my last astral travel session. My hobbies include ascribing mystical powers to colorful rocks, and dancing naked in the woods on full moon nights waving my shiny magic-stick/wand and wearing my strap on fairy wings. By day I do tarot card readings at my local 'Metaphysical' shop. I consider myself polyamorous, and regularly engage in recreational drug use — and I am very confused as to why nobody takes me seriously."

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"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Public Opinion

Post  Out of Phlegethon on Sun Sep 01, 2013 6:55 pm

Yes, it's really complete madness.  It would be nice if the spiritualities that honor the Gods could extricate themselves from this subcultural swamp with its swarms of oddities and cranks.  

Some Germanic heathens seem to be able to avoid this stuff, as if they have some special mosquito repellent that keeps away flakes.  But then a lot of them are into all sorts of strains of Armanenism and occult Nazism... Which probably doesn't jive well with the subtle modalities of body dysmorphic disorder that certain culturally-optimistic types call transgender/pangender/genderqueer.
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Re: Public Opinion

Post  Erodius on Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:45 pm

Happily, the Orpheo-Pythagorean/Platonistic tradition has largely avoided New-Ageization — I imagine because of both the emphasis on intellectualism (which tends to turn off the heavily emotionalist New-Agers) as well as the doctrine of the earth being a plane of very low divinity and high corruption, which tends not to jive with the New-Agers' geolatry and idolization of the terrestrial world.

That and our founder's being a rather problematic figure for the more androphobic among the New-Age hoard.

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"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Public Opinion

Post  Apollyon on Sat Sep 14, 2013 2:22 pm

Erodius wrote:Regardless of whether it is just or not, a campaign for public office in the US can very truly be compromised if, should the candidate adhere to any particular religion at all, it comes out that it is anything other than 'Mainline Christian Protestant'. In many places, there would be some suspicion over even a Catholic candidate, and I read numerous interviews, especially following our recent presidential election, that a large number of otherwise Republican voters refrained from voting for Romney primarily because he is a devout Mormon — a religion which, outside of Utah, a large number of Americans seem to view as a suspicious, bizarre, or even dangerous cult.
I can attest to this. Still private in my faith to everyone but my wife, I created a fb account under the name Flavius Claudius Julianus to be able to interact with other faithful.
At their encouraging, I DID finally tell my wife, but when I asked a conservative group if they would be able to vote for a conservative who didnt believe in christ, I got my answer QUICK. Needless to say, my faith is STILL private, and will remain so for the time being. My political ambition is to great to be ended by fanatics. YES, I know a handful of you think my secrecy is wrong, but I remind you of Emperor Julian's feigned christian beliefs until he became Emperor, and I believe I can do great things for America, and even for our faith-even if it is from the shadows.
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Re: Public Opinion

Post  Linda on Sat Sep 14, 2013 3:52 pm

I think it's sad that people running for various political offices can't be fair and square with their faith. Or, if they so preffer, keep it private. After all most of the time, if you don't belong to some extremist group, religious faith matters very little to your political mission.

Besides, my personal opinion is that religion should be kept outside the political sphere as much as possible, because it can be misused in such a dangerous way. Just look at the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt for instance. Without them, I belive the Egypti political landscape would be a lot easier to manage, and it would probably make room for people who could really make a difference for the poor and the supressed minorities rather than being an arena for endless abuse.
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