Pagan Police-What next?


Lord Summerisle invoking the burning of Sgt Howie

Lord Summerisle invoking the burning of Sgt Howie

There is something very appropriate about a policeman being devoutly religious. It sort of goes with the territory. After all, the stern uncompromising opposition to personal liberty and freedom that is central to many religions seems to resonate with the firm hand of the law. Remember Sgt Howie and his demise in the British classic horror movie, “The Wicker Man,” chosen specifically by the pagans for his Calvinistic beliefs to be sacrificed as being pure – (the US remake never understood this critical aspect of the original plot!). So it was somewhat of a shock to discover that some modern policemen are pagans. This week we learn, that the UK Home Office have agreed that police officers who worship paganism are entitled to the same level of recognition as religions and given the same rights to religious holidays.  This means that they get halloween and the summer solstice off as religious holidays. PC Andy Pardy, a leading Pagan officer, has forced the Home Office to recognise paganism as a religion. “A leading Pagan officer”!!!!!! WTF….

Sometimes I feel that the world has gone mad. That I could be arrested for a breach of the peace by categorically denying someone else’s religion by a civil servant employed by Her Majesty’s Government who thinks it’s fine to dance naked on Halloween and worship Earth Gods, just beggars belief.

On the other hand, I guess its as much a religion as the great flying spaghetti monster in the sky.


Filed under In the News, Weird Story of the Week

18 responses to “Pagan Police-What next?

  1. I saw something about this on Mad Hatters site. Very strange indeed.

  2. Mike

    Having known several pagans and done a lot of reading on the subject, I forget sometimes that many people don’t see paganism as a legitimate religion. To me it makes as mush sense as most other religions, and a good bit more than some. It is true that pagans hold some irrational beliefs but, as your book has shown, there is nothing abnormal about that. What I find remarkable is that many (though by no means all) pagans seem to be able to think rationally about their irrational beliefs. That is they recognize that their beliefs are subjective and, at least to some extent, symbolic. The religion does have its share of fanatics and cranks, but it does not seem to be unique in that respect.

  3. I agree with Mike. And what I find appalling is that we feel we can justify or support one religion over another. Either no one should be allowed holidays off (in the Christian world, Christmas and Easter) or everyone should. A few reasonable companies set aside X number of days for employees for religious reasons and employees can choose when to use them.

    • brucehood

      I am inclined to agree that there should be no religious holidays in a secular society otherwise no work would ever get done.

  4. jacarandamimosifolia

    I think we should all just take August as a holiday – like the French, and have done with it. Agree with Mike, however, that it should be no more or less surprising that Policemen should be Pagans or Christians and take holidays accordingly….
    However, he describes Paganism as a ‘legitimate’ religion, suggesting that there are others that aren’t. What are these, and by what definition? And if a policeman followed one what to what holidays should he or she be entitled?

  5. Arno

    How is paganism an actual religion? I thought it was the umbrella term for any religion that is
    1. Non-Abrahemic
    2. So small that its followers are unlikely to stir any trouble if they happened to feel insulted about the ‘pagan’ label (eg. non-Buddhist, non-Shinto, non-Hindu).
    3. Close to utterly extinct due to the ‘persuasive skills’ of the Church (eg. kill anyone who resists) and its foolproof method of handling recorded information (eg. by burning it).
    Now, are these guy’s beliefs Hellenistic, Germanic, Celtic, Slavic, Finnish, some kind of shamanism or maybe Aztec or Mayan? Or is he one of those people who believe in all of the above and mixes and mashes to their heart’s content, without any sort of respect for the archaeological evidence on what the original religion actually practised (eg. wicca and druidism)? Or maybe he is one of those that follows a parody religion that happens to invoke original pagan gods (Discordianism)?
    Still, it is okay with me, whatever floats the guy’s boat I suppose.

    Still, it makes me wonder about how followers of the largest unorganized religion in the world (‘Somethingism’) will be able to handle their religious holidays.

    Oh, and an advice for any government figure reading this: if the government wants its people to work as much as possible; endorse Satanism. After all, it has about the same authenticity as Wicca, neopaganism and Scientology, its ideas and ideals are basically humanism with a vernier of religion, almost all of its practitioners are very well aware that it’s a load of bull, it actively endorses hedonism (good for the economy!) and their only actual sacred day is the particular practitioners birthday (the rest are just decoration).

  6. Mike

    By calling paganism a “legitimate” religion I did not mean to imply that there are some which are not. I’m not sure what criteria could be used to judge such a thing. I only meant that the original post here seems to imply that being pagan makes a person stupid or immoral and that this is far from my own experience.

    • Arno

      According to South Park, whenever it gets tax exemption.

      • jacarandamimosifolia

        And there can be no better authority than that. I’m all for Jedi-ism and Matrixism, both gaining ground fast in the U.S. apparently. As someone remarked, ‘Whilst most religions are based on works of fiction, it’s not everyday you can screen the actual source material for your friends.’

        All of which lunacy lends weight to Bruce’s viewpoint that trying to educate against organised religion is a worthy but more or less futile exercise as someone will always invent something more daft to worship…

  7. what’s wrong with dancing naked or having a belief in a particular mystical relationship with the Earth & Universe.

    Yeah, sure, religion is fucked up… but if someone wants to dance naked with their friends & talk about living in harmony with each other & the biosphere, that’s their business.

    To live with one another, *respect* is key to a mutually supportive & collaborative community.

    the lack of respect we show one another leads to violence, fear & distrust.

    a cop with the personal fortitude to believe something that isn’t ‘approved on high’ … is a cop that might not be prone to beating the bejebus out of a peaceful demonstrator exercising their civil rights…

    just say’n.

    disrespect is sometimes as deadly to society as the ‘moral & spiritual certitude’ that justifies bigotry’s social misconduct.

    If Richard Dawkins wasn’t always being so rude & condescending, perhaps the Jebus ReichWingers wouldn’t win so many points with those witnesses who sit on the fence about ‘Christian Social Mores’…

    If science is used to create social bigotry, its done the job religion could have done to create intolerance for one’s neighbours.

    If some people wish to dance naked & talk about harmony & social respect… what benefits can be had from disrespecting their desires?
    Should we mock everyone on Earth who wishes to find a common ground with their neighbours through spirituality?

    only if you want them to hate you for disrespect & intolerance.

    Sugar catches more flies than vinegar, luv!

    • maybe I should point out that I’m a Canadian… & that we’ve got a particular heritage of laissez-faire attitudes on nudity & ‘moral oversight’ on personal choice…

      Here in Toronto, we have nude & gay-oriented beaches in the heart of the City @ Hanlan’s Point
      …our Supreme Court ruled that its illegal to tell a woman she can’t walk bear-breasted down the street if a man may…

      & “There’s no place for the State in the bedrooms of the Nation”: those unforgettable words were made famous, by the amazing Pierre Elliott Trudeau, in 1967.

      I’m also proud that I was listed as the first ‘humanist’ registered with the City of Toronto on its comprehensive & extensive ‘spiritual & philosophical’ municipal list (everything from Amish to Zoroastrianism, baby!)

      live & let live!
      …or we’ll never get along…

  8. Dostoievski is a recognized atheist. In a fury attack he went to a Chuch and blow out all the candles, he removed all the pictures of saint and he put some picture of erudites mens, then he ignited the candle and he was peace. Perphas he was the atheist more religious.

    I am sorry by my bad English. From spain, from Eduard Punset’s blog.

  9. How odd: I just watched the original “Wicker Man” about two weeks ago during one of my non-sleeping nights. Much better than the remake.

    I think that we should get every religious holiday off, including Scientology holidays (do they have holidays). That way, no one gets discriminated against, and we can all dance naked under the full moon, except of course, for the Fundamentalists, who never dance naked under the full moon, except in Leap Years.

  10. As a pagan, I feel safe saying that it always bothered me that the only holidays I could take off were for religions I don’t follow, so it pleases me that the police now have pagan holidays available for religious leave.

    Of course, the original meaning of Pagan is simply one who is non-christian, so finding out which holidays they are will be interesting indeed.

    In the modern age, Pagan has become a catch-all term for those who practice some form of witchcraft, Odinism, Wicca, or other “metaphysical” faith. Therefore it should be easier to delineate holidays as most of those faiths merge and celebrate the solstice, Samhain, Beltane, etc.

    As for embracing Satanism instead, well, in order for me to embrace Satanism I would have to first believe in Christianity, which would land me back in a world where holidays were only granted to those people whose faiths came out of, or stemmed from, the Bible. Satan is a Christian deity, construct, etc.

    I say bully for the British Police and a Happy upcoming Imbolc/Lughnasadh to PC Pardy. Thank you for coming out of the broom closet.

  11. Charlotte

    I think that the author of this article is a complete idiot, pagans are recognised for their religion so why shouldn’t they have the days off to celebrate their religious holidays
    blessed be

  12. brucehood

    Charlotte I think you missed the point being made here. There are probably well over 365 religions in the world. If we celebrated every religious holiday then no one would work. holiday = holy day

  13. Pingback: May the Force Be With You « Bruce M. Hood

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