The seeming irrationality of another’s belief

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The Village Voice in 2011 described newly-indicted New York city councilman and alleged bagman Dan Halloran thusly. “[He] was no garden-variety pagan. He was the ‘First Atheling,’ or prince, of his own Theodish tribe, called New Normandy. He had ‘thralls’ who swore their allegiance to him. He didn’t just spend weekends reconstructing the religious activities of the pre-Christian Norse and Germanic gods—he led his flock, about 100 people at its height, in their polytheistic celebration of the gods (plural). They’d gather for ‘blot’ (sacrifice and feast), ‘sumble’ (“boast and toast of the gods”), and play games that, to the outside eye, looked like something from Dungeons & Dragons or a Renaissance fair.” So, what’s the big deal?

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