Darla Wynne’s Political Aspirations: Wiccan priestess Darla Kaye Wynne was not successful in her run for a seat on the Great Falls Town Council. Wynne, who famously sued the town over sectarian prayers back in 2001, garnered only 32 votes.
“A dozen candidates ran for office in this year’s town election, including a former mayor, a school resource officer and the Wiccan priestess who sued the town in 2001, claiming Great Falls violated church and state separation by using the name Jesus Christ in prayers.”
Wynne was in a three-way race for a vacated seat. Todd Smith won the seat with over 130 votes, while fellow contender Donna Bryan came in second with 61 votes. Meanwhile, speaking of Pagans running for political office, Sacramento, CA mayoral candidate Muriel Strand has a blog up espousing her views on various issues.
The Theological Necessity of Goats: The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty has filed an appeal on behalf of Jose Merced, a practitioner of Santeria who sued the city of Euless, Texas over the issue of animal sacrifice.
“Why is it okay to butcher a deer in Euless, but not a goat?” said Lori Windham, legal counsel at the Becket Fund, a Washington-based civil rights law firm that defends all religious faiths against government interference. “The issue of Santeria and animal sacrifice has already been decided by the United States Supreme Court. I’m pretty sure the Constitution of the United States still applies in Euless, Texas.”
The appeal will be heard by the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. Depending on the outcome there, it is very likely this could go to the Supreme Court. For more on this development, see the Houston Chronicle’s article on the appeal.
Vancouver Sex Cult: I originally blogged about this story way back in 2006. It involves a Pagan man who was denied a chauffeur’s permit by the Vancouver police due to unfounded accusations that he would use his position to “recruit” people into an imaginary S&M “sex cult”. Since then, the Vancouver Police Department has been trying to block the case going to a B.C. Human Rights Tribunal, a course of action that has been stuck down by the courts.
“A B.C. Human Rights Tribunal can investigate sexual practices involving “bondage, discipline and submission, sadism and masochism” to determine whether the Vancouver Police Department discriminated against a self-described pagan, the B.C. Court of Appeal says. For the past two years, the department has wasted our tax money trying to prevent the human rights watchdog from investigating a complaint from Peter Hayes, a Vancouver man refused a chauffeur’s permit. The province’s highest court said it would be wrong to interfere with the tribunal’s process at this point and that the objections of the police force were premature.”
A preliminary ruling by the Human Rights Tribunal two years ago stated the case had merit and should go forward. The VPD had argued that BDSM-activities weren’t an “orientation”, and therefore not protected by Canada’s human rights laws, a waters-muddying exercise the courts didn’t accept as valid. Hearings will now resume unless a settlement is reached.
Will Amazon Hurt Small Pagan Publishers: In a final note, news about Amazon’s move to monopolize the Print-On-Demand market (and why that is bad news for small Pagan publishers) has continued to spread. For further Pagan commentary relating to this issue, check out Lupa’s journal (particularly this post), and The Spiritual Eclectic’s Amazon-related posts.
“We have always lived by our convictions and if not submitting to the monopoly that Amazon.com is trying to create-not just over bookstores and publishers but over the entire publishing industry-means we never sell another book on Amazon.com, then so be it. We sell primarily through our websites as it is, and we will find other alternatives to Amazon.com.”
For an extensive overview of this matter, check out the WritersWeekly Amazon BookSurge Information Clearinghouse, anything you could need to know about Amazon’s coercive tactics to seize control of publishing’s “Long Tail”.