Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pagan THOR Controversy... It's All Made Up

I happened across an article today that caught my eye rather quickly as it staked quite the all-encompassing claim: "Pagans voice concerns about THOR". 

The article, literally titled "Pagans Voice Concerns about Thor" [by Sarah Pulliam Bailey for the USA TODAY] cites one blog [yes, only one] in which a Pagan individual finds himself taken aback by the plethora of THOR merchandise he encounters during a quick trip into a local Wal-mart.

After reading both the article and its within-mentioned blog [by Eric Scott], I have to say that I believe Ms Pulliam Bailey, in her USA TODAY article, grossly exaggerates the message Eric is expressing in said blog, titled "Valhal-Mart" [which by the way is quite clever and I rather enjoyed that].  In more than one instance Eric explains his understanding of the difference between the Hollywood depiction of the character THOR from Marvel comics and the Thunder God of Norse Mythology.  At the same time, he was a bit disturbed to see hints of his religion's past plastered all over action figures and foam accessories in the toy section of America's largest department store chain.

He writes "At worst, it’s harmless and ephemeral; at best, perhaps more people would learn something about the myths. But it’s not that simple. The truth is, I looked at the toys in my hands and I saw the result of millions of dollars of development and thousands of hours of manpower, put into something bearing the name of a god, my god, and it had nothing to do with me."

Our Faith & Reason column writer at the USA TODAY took this personal bit of disappointment and warped it into a mountain where-in Pagans across the country are sharing concerns about this Marvel box office hit.  Um, do you have other sources to cite that would perhaps lay down credence to such claims?  I failed to see them in your article.   And I will tell you why...

Most Pagans don't, in-fact, have a problem with fictional Hollywood depictions of ancient Gods... or should I more accurately say 'fictional Hollywood depictions of fictional comic heroes inspired loosely by ancient Gods'.  We don't get all up-in-arms over movies such as this because we recognize them for what they are -- FICTION and ENTERTAINMENT.

To claim that we as an entire community of faith have a problem with a particular film because ONE individual faced a moment of surreal creepiness in the toy section of a department store is at the very least bad journalism and at its worst-- embellished propaganda.

Would you, I ask, take the unique account of one preacher or one rabbi or one priest and claim in a nationally distributed news medium [such as, oh I don't know -- the USA TODAY] that this is the opinion of Monotheism followers everywhere?  No!  Because it would be an outright lie.  Shame on you and shame on your editor[s] for choosing to print such an inaccurate piece of work.

A more honest title might have been "One Pagan Feels Somewhat Slighted by Masses Of Thor Merchandise but Understands Thor of the Movies is Not the Same as Thor of Norse Mythology".  Yes, I can see the reason for your embellishments as there is nothing here that is actually newsworthy.


  1. I absolutely LOVE your blog and your topics! Just stopping in to say I've got a little something for you...The Versatile Blogger award. Details here:

  2. You spoil me Green Witch!!! Thank you very much for you kind words. :)