Just a few quick news notes for you on this Wednesday.
Bachmann’s Gay-Bashing Friends: Mother Jones reports on the cozy, friendly, relationship between Rep. Michele Bachmann (R–Minn.) and Christian musician/activist Bradlee Dean. Both Dean and Bachmann are scheduled to appear at the upcoming Tea Party Founding Fathers-sponsored Freedom Jamboree in Kansas, billed as the national Tea Party straw poll convention. Journalist Tim Murphy notes that Bachmann has been an ongoing supporter of Dean, despite the incendiary and hateful anti-gay rhetoric spouted by the Minnesota-based talk-show host and Christian youth leader.
“But over the last five years, Bachmann, the politician, and Dean, the metal-head, have formed an unlikely but powerful alliance. Bachmann has helped raise money for Dean’s traveling youth ministry, You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International; guest-starred in his television series; and prayed for his ministry to multiply 10-fold. Dean, for his part, has embraced Bachmann, whose district includes his suburban community of Annandale, as an ally against the gay agenda. But his inflammatory rhetoric and past links to an anti-government organization make Bachmann’s own controversial views seem downright pedestrian—and raise serious questions about the congresswoman’s choice of associates.”
Dean is perhaps best known for his admiring comments concerning Muslim countries that call for the execution of homosexuals (though he says his words were “twisted”, but it’s all on tape for anyone to judge for themselves) and seems to be all for locking gays and lesbians up. Dean’s ministry is directly linked to the scandal of Target donating to anti-gay hate groups. As for Bachmann, we already know she’s no friend to modern Pagans. With Bachmann seriously considering jumping into the presidential race, we’ll have to keep our eyes open to see if conservatives anoint a woman who would seem to have no qualms radically changing our country.
The Unfortunate Return of Eilish De’Avalon: Australian Pagan priestess and Witch Eilish De’Avalon, who garnered international attention last year for dragging a cop by the arm during a routine traffic stop, is now appealing her conviction, despite the fact that she’s quite plainly guilty of dragging the police officer.
“A self-proclaimed witch who says she is not subject to earthly laws is appealing against convictions for dangerous driving and recklessly causing injury. She was sentenced to jail after pleading guilty to dragging a traffic policeman by the arm for 190m. Highton marriage celebrant Eilish De’Avalon told Sen-Constable Andrew Logan in February last year she was not subject to earthly laws because she was from another world.”
Australian Pagans have been concerned about the negative publicity this incident has garnered, especially now that there’s documented widespread distrust of modern Pagans in that country. Ms. De’Avalon’s appeal simply gives the anti-Pagan pundits and culture warriors more fuel for their rhetorical fires. Here’s hoping the unfortunate return of De’Avalon to mainstream press attention is short-lived.
Catholicism and Fertility Rituals: Reuters reports on a centuries-old May fertility ritual at Obando in the Philippines.
“The rite has taken place in Obando for centuries and apparently originated from a pagan fertility ritual where couples once rubbed their body parts against an idol. But the act was later changed by the Catholic Church when they introduced Saint Claire, the patron saint of fertility, to the locals. [...] The Philippines, with 80 percent of its 100 million population devoted Catholics, holds many festivals honouring patron saints that are believed to grant miracles.”
One wonders how many of its Catholic festivals originated as pre-Christian celebrations, and simply substituted a saint for a local deity. There are still a smattering of “animists” preserving the old ways, do they celebrate these festivals in their original forms still? It would have been interesting to know, too bad the report couldn’t have dug deeper.
That’s all I have for now, have a great day!