Editorial by Cara Schulz
If I told you this was the illustration placed at the top of an article on a Heathen politician in a Pulitzer prize winning news publication, would you believe me? What about if I told you the article was titled America’s Top Heathen?
The target of the article is Dan Halloran, elected to 19th City Council District in Queens in November of 2009. The election was hotly contested and towards the end of the campaign things got ugly when Halloran’s religion, Theodism (a branch of Heathenry) was used to smear the candidate. Disparaging articles appeared in the press and jokes were make. Yet Halloran was still able to win the election by a narrow margin.
Now this article comes out which shows that religious bigotry is still alive and well in the New York press. Oh good. I had thought for a moment that NY journalists had come to their senses and realized that ridiculing a minority religion is against journalistic ethics.
The lengthy editorial appears to have been written to highlight what it perceives as Councilman Dan Halloran’s political failings while weaving in his alleged religious shortcomings. Because of the prominent and vile cartoon and the mocking of his religion it also paints Heathenry as a joke.
Byron Ballard, who commented on the article, says it best, “But this piece takes pot shots at an elected official through the lens of his religion–mocking both interchangeably. And if that wasn’t enough, the author also takes a cheap shot at Wicca. This is a nasty piece, illustrated as offensively as possible, Sure it’s about Halloran, but the title of the piece leaves no doubt about what makes him so preposterous (and somehow amusing)–his religion.”