Pagans voice concerns about "Thor"

“some pagans have been posting concerns about the movie popularized in the comic book instead of in the tradition they follow… Leading up to the film, some pagans voiced concerns over the films depiction of Thor as a deity.” Faith & Reason

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Rob H's picture

It's certainly no surprise that what ends up being a reason to dismiss or ridicule Christianity and the Bible in "Christian mythology movies" becomes a welcoming invitation to investigate and appreciate the features of pagan beliefs whenever witchcraft or pagan mythology makes the big screen. I remember when "The Craft" hit the theaters years ago when I was a witch. Never expected the sudden interest in magic and witchcraft to come up.

Remarkable, on the other hand, how when treated as fiction, Hollywood can get mystery religions and mythology somewhat accurate and definitely impressive while totally missing the mark on anything Christian. And that's when there's easy access to the manuscript!

Gary Peterson's picture

This was an interesting article, even if the USA Today columnist approached it with a lighthearted "tempest in a teapot" wink. How sacred texts are taken, twisted, shaken and stirred by popularizers is a legitimate question. Eric Scott, a pagan, feels slighted by his god's portrayal in Thor, writing that "Their Thor was a god forgotten by all except the few quiet geeks who read his adventures in Journey into Mystery and The Mighty Thor for forty years. It wasn't that they meant to upset or unsettle me; they simply realized that people like me were too few to matter. It's impossible to think of a story about Jesus like this, not written to pander to or irritate Christians, but simply not considering them at all."

I felt a twinge of sympathy for Eric Scott, but for different reasons than he sought. I'm one of those "quiet geeks" who thrilled to Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's interpretation of "the thunder god." If I remember right, in response to letters complaining that the "real" Thor has red hair and a beard, Lee said the Marvel version of Thor was only loosely based on Norse mythology. I remember Thor met up with Hercules a number of times, for example, a strange but fun mythological crossover that would certainly vex Eric Scott like Jesus' appearing alongside Joseph Smith, Mohammad and Santa Claus on South Park vexes me.

And it's not just pagans who have their turf trammeled by Hollywood packagers. I was reminded of Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell, two movies that I don't think were "written to pander to or irritate Christians, but simply not considering them at all." Jesus and biblical truth struck me as incidental to each of those musicals, especially Godspell, which doesn't even include the resurrection (a glaring omission that actually undermines the Gospel message--I'm always amazed when churches and Christian colleges put on this play).

Greedy corporations will sacrifice the desires of adherents and fans and package any product for profit, whether it be sacred or profane. I worked in a Christian bookstore for three years and couldn't believe some of the crass "Jesus junk" we sold. A huge hit on Broadway is an offensive musical titled The Book of Mormon. Faithful people of any religion have to be braced to be bashed in the marketplace these days if there's a buck to made doing it.

I sympathize with Eric Scott because not only am I a Christian Fundamentalist but a Marvel Comics Fundamentalist. This new movie version bears as little resemblance to Lee and Kirby's 1960's-era Thor as their version did to orthodox Norse mythology. So I'll guess Eric and I will both sit at home and stew about what the philistines have done to our once-mighty Thor.


Aaron Blumer's picture


We definitely live in interesting times. We have Christians who don't believe in the supernatural (limit it to a distant past), pagans who do, and an overall cultural climate that is deeply conflicted about science. That is, people appeal to science selectively to dismiss supernatural ideas like creation and the resurrection but then shunt it aside, even fault it, for removing too much of the mystery from life.
The human craving for the numinous lives on, regardless.