The Pagan Chaplain


Syracuse University is historically affiliated with the United Methodist Church. But now, according to a piece in the Daily Orange, the student newspaper, “in response to their increasingly diverse student bodies,” Syracuse has a pagan chaplain. She’s Mary Hudson, who formerly worked in information technology at Syracuse. According to an article in the Syracuse Post-Standard:

Her job, she emphasizes, is to educate, not convert.

“Aggressive proselytizing is not allowed,” she said. “I’m here for students, faculty and staff to come talk to, to confide in, to ask assistance of, just like any other chaplain to make sure they understand their rituals and to teach them to do them on their own.”

Syracuse apparently has 17 students who are registered as Pagans.

This may stem from the fact that paganism isn’t a really a religion at all as much as a type of religion. It’s more like a term used to describe polytheistic, pre-Modern belief systems. Especially ones that are, you know, weird. Appointing a pagan chaplain is sort like appointing a “not-Christian, Jewish, or Muslim” chaplain.

It’s an unpaid position.

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Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer