Rick Perry Endorser: “Stop Voting for Pagans”

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  July 18, 2011 — 159 Comments

I don’t know how Right Wing Watch digs this stuff up, but gods bless ‘em for it. Below is a video of controversial pastor John Hagee, an endorser of  upcoming prayer event The Response, and a man potential presidential candidate Texas Gov. Rick Perry has “worked to cultivate” a relationship with.

Here’s the entire uncut sermon.

As scrutiny of The Response grows, organizers seem to be getting a little nervous. Is that why the link to the endorsers page has disappeared from the website? Back in 2008 John Hagee was too extreme for John McCain, but Dallas Morning News religion reporter Wayne Slater says that you shouldn’t “expect Rick Perry to do the same if he runs.” If so, we’ll have a Republican candidate who proudly accepts the endorsement of pastor who rejects pluralism and blames “paganism” for society’s ills.

I’ll be writing a special opinion piece about this for The Washington Post this week. I’ll let you know when it’s up.

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  • Angela

    I’m appalled but not surprised by the statements. Texas politicians has never accepted Pagans, and as a born and raised Texas Pagan, I have come to accept that. But sometimes, they’re almost saying, “This is a Christian state. No Pagans allowed”.

    • http://PaganCenteredPodcast.com Dave of Pagan Centered Podcast

      Which is precisely why the mayor of Texas’ most populous city is openly lesbian – we are such a “Christian State” ;). /sarcasm

      • Just thinking

        Sweet!

        But you have to admit, those Texas churches are creating church-o-holics, with all the undesirable behavior that comes from that type of substance abuse.

        IT could be caused by the pollution there, since Texas is one of the most polluted states in the nation.

        • http://PaganCenteredPodcast.com Dave of Pagan Centered Podcast

          lol, places like Pasadena, TX are why the EPA has to exist and why the EPA just slapped Texas’ DEP saying their standards were insufficient.

          No contest there, the mainland coast near Galveston has to be one of the most polluted places I’ve ever been – quite… potent, even in winter.

          I pass by Lakewood Church (with it’s $3/car attendance fee and all) every day. If anything, I think that place and the other mega-churches have mellowed out (or just simply drowned out) the fundies that may otherwise get publicity.

          I’d be more worried about those smaller back-woods congregations that outsiders aren’t as likely to stumble into and perhaps are more susceptible to groupthink as a result.

    • Leysiner

      Surely a decent WASP would always favour a home-bred European religion like Paganism over a middle-eastern barbaric ‘religion’ like christianity?

      • Deerwoman

        Considering that the P in WASP stands for “Protestant,” I doubt it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/susan.j.thornton Susan Thornton

    We are here, we are here, we are here! http://therearepagansintexas.wordpress.com/

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1383863376 William Clements

    Cant help but notice Rick Perry’s big ugly face in the sidebar ads. He is a smart one. Waiting until all the visible nutjobs on the republican ticket have exhausted themselves, so he can step in and appear to be the ‘sane and rational’ one, and people are going to fall for it

  • Devin Quince

    so, let me get this straight. I am supposed to worship a God that demands things from me and is jealous? Sounds like abuse to me.

    I also like how he blames Paganism for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan when a right wing God fearing Christian started them.

    Sounds like thsi fat a$$ needs to learn a thing or two about his own religion and God

    • FCpagan

      That would be “right wing God fearing TEXAS Christian” that started them.

      • amanda

        George W. Bush was NOT from Texas. I know, it’s a common mistake, given that he tried to milk his fake-Texanness for political gain, but the fella was from Connecticut.

        Ann Richards, she was a REAL Texan! I miss her.

      • amanda

        George W. Bush was NOT from Texas. I know, it’s a common mistake, given that he tried to milk his fake-Texanness for political gain, but the fella was from Connecticut.

        Ann Richards, she was a REAL Texan! I miss her.

      • Norse Alchemist

        Actually, that would be right wing Allah fearing Muslims that started the wars.

        • Baruch Dreamstalker

          Started one of them. Iraq, despite the rap from Bush, had nothing to do with 9/11 or al Q’s other hits on the USA.

        • Anonymous

          Actually Allah is God, You would know that if you you knew your history of religion better.

    • Anonymous

      As Reichsführer Hagee said, he blames Paganism for it taking a decade to defeat them.

      • Norse Alchemist

        He might be right with that one. WE are the ones with the War Gods and Goddesses. If we had stepped up in the old ways, wars would probably be over and we’d all be a bit richer

        • http://vermillionrush.wordpress.com Vermillion

          Which part of the old ways should folks have stepped up with?

  • Mojavi

    da f**k!?!?!?

  • June Dawson

    Nightmare! Thoughts of the past… Jerry Falwell, even hearing his voice before the pic came up, Gave me Chills! Time has past for us to stay in the broom closet. We need to raise our voices, spread the word, do what we can do in hopes of a equality and a better future, for our children and their children.

  • Richard

    How did we get the image of the devil? Christians overlaid the words about the devil onto the image of Pan. In this case.. we are seeing a similar demonization of environmentalists… stating they are all pagans and casting the perceived “terrible pagan characteristics” unto all environmentalists. While some of us are in fact pagan… most are not. Never forget… they will come after us again if they can.

    • Fritz Muntean

      ‘Come after us again’?

      Who are ‘they’?

      And when did they ‘come after’ any of us?

    • Darshan

      the devil is a mixture of the Jewish Accusing Angel, the Greek Pan, the Egyptian Set and the Persian Angra Mainyu, among others

  • Medusa1us

    The very god he described is the reason I left churchianity. Small-minded, cruel, petty, testosterone-laden and avaricious. Oh. Wait. He described himself!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Priest-Christopher/1580911511 Priest Christopher

    The reason we won WW2 so fast was because we didn’t play around. We went in there and knocked down and drug out. We dropped bombs on Japan so devastating that the places where they were dropped are still feeling the effects today. In this day and time, we don’t knock down and drag out. We mess around. Plus, the enemy we are fighting right now is not like the enemy in WW2, we are basically fighting enemies who don’t come out in lines and face us. We lost Vietnam and America and the army were very Christian back then too, so what’s the explanation for that? The Vietnamese used Guerrilla war tactics too. See the comparison? It’s much harder to defeat an enemy who hides and shoots than it is to defeat an army straight on. What about the Great Depression? America was highly Christian back then too. What happened?

    Why does he have to try so hard to convince people to worship his God? Sounds like insecurity and hatred to me. Standing up there and shouting things about his God does not prove anything. His Bible speaks against religions that are different in an attempt to get people to follow it. He also clearly has no understanding of Paganism. None of the Gods he listed are Pagan Gods. Buddha is not even considered a God. And we don’t worship birds, animals and bugs. And then he blames Environmentalism on Paganism as if environmentalism is bad? What? Why is it bad to ensure that we have a livable environment and planet? Our economy is crumbling because we give the money and power to the rich elite who only care about getting richer and don’t care about sustaining society.

    Voting for Pagans? Let’s see, how many Pagans hold public office? I know of only one. The majority of this government is controlled by people who at least claim to subscribe to Christianity. The President still swears in on the Bible (which they don’t have to, they choose to). Presidential runners especially try to appease the Christians, because Christians are still the majority here. Pagans do not control the government. Freedom of religion does not just apply to Christianity, and upholding religious freedom is Constitutional Law, period. It was a law from the beginning of our nation. It was one of the basic human rights that we and our founders fought and died for, and defeated the enemy who wanted to take our independence.

    • Baruch Dreamstalker

      “And we don’t worship birds, animals and bugs.”

      A lot of us hold the natural environment as sacred.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Priest-Christopher/1580911511 Priest Christopher

        Yes, we do, but because we see divinity in nature. For example, Kemetics, or Egyptian Pagans. They don’t worship the Falcon or the Jackal, they see the divine in those beings. To us, the divine is everywhere. I myself am a Hellenic Polytheist.

        • Baruch Dreamstalker

          You are reiterating your practice and beliefs. I was speaking more generally.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Priest-Christopher/1580911511 Priest Christopher

            I don’t know of any Pagans who worship nature without worshiping the divinity within nature.

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            Perhaps you need to get out more? :-)

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            Christopher, I have a comment of yours by email that has not appeared on the board: “Find me a majority of Pagans who worship nature herself but not the divinity within.”

            I would not expect to find a majority of much of anything among Pagans, we are so diverse.

    • Cigfran

      > The reason we won WW2 so fast was because we didn’t play around. We went in there and knocked down and drug out.

      Actually it had a lot more to do with comparative industrial capacity and a more consistent military doctrine.

    • Darshan

      actually many people DO worship Buddha as a god. When I lived in Korea, they did. There is a big religious battle going on there between the overzelous newly converted Christians and the guardians of the old ways of Buddhism and shamanism.

  • Pagan Puff Pieces

    Wait, people are voting for Pagans? Now, that’s a pleasant surprise.

    I wish people would stop associating nice things with the devil! It’s a real pain. Popularity and quality of life can’t be the only way to measure evil.

    Damn it, we were not miraculously perfectly patriotic wonder people back in WWII. And by using that logic, you could argue Christianity caused the Dark Ages. Oh, sorry, it seems he specifies the Catholic church as responsible, which washes his hands of it. Lovely.

    • http://heathenhall.blogspot.com Joseph

      I get the impression that when someone like Hagee says “paganism” he isn’t talking about Wicca, Asatru, and the ADF. He’s using the term in a very particular way, which is understood by his audience to encompass what they call idolatry, or putting anything before their god. So while “our” kind of paganism would be included in his definition, it’s not what he or his followers think of first off when they hear the term. They think of environmentalists (putting the Earth before Jehovah), communists (putting the State before Jehovah), atheists (putting themselves before Jehovah), etc. Wiccans and Asatruar are waaaaay down on the list of things that would come to mind for them.

      • http://www.wildhunt.org/blog/ Jason Pitzl-Waters

        He clearly states in his talk “America: Titanic of Tomorrow” that paganism “drives environmentalism in America,” a common trope in conservative Christian circles, references Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, which clearly attacks pre-Christian Roman religion, and most tellingly, lists “birds, animals and bugs” as among the things that are not God. So his invective against non-Christians is clearly meant to include contemporary followers of Pagan and polytheist religions. He also notes that we have “allowed the worship of Satanism in the U.S. military,” and this has resulted in quagmire instead of (Christian) victory. While Satanic groups are a different religious phenomenon from modern Paganism, in the mind of men like Hagee the two are intrinsically linked.

        • http://heathenhall.blogspot.com Joseph

          I’m not as much of a Hagee fan as you, I’m afraid, Jason. I’ve not read or seen “America: Titanic of Tomorrow” that you reference. Is there a link or a YouTube version?

          I am puzzled, however, that you somehow link his reference to “birds, animals and bugs” to contemporary neo-Pagans. Not all Pagans and Heathens consider themselves environmentalists, you know. And as far as his reference to Romans goes, this:

          http://www.pfo.org/jonhagee.htm

          seems to indicate he’s talking about the Jews, not followers of the Religio Romana (I’ll give you a shiny non-circulated Nova Roman sesterce if you can provide proof that he’s even *aware* of modern practitioners of the Religio Romana such as Nova Roma).

          Don’t get me wrong; I think Hagee is a whack-job of the first order. But that doesn’t mean we should be attempting to foist on him a grudge that doesn’t exist.

    • http://paosirdjhutmosu.wordpress.com Djhutmosu Si-Hathor

      I love it when they do that. “Oh, the Dark Ages…That’s just them CATHOLICS…!”

  • Kelly NicDruegan

    Ya know… there’s never a good sex/drug/embezzlement scandal when you *really* need one.

    • http://PaganCenteredPodcast.com Dave of Pagan Centered Podcast

      Well, there are some good funds allocation scandals with Perry. For example, when someone apparently got so pissed off at him that they decided to set fire to the Governor’s mansion, Perry had to move out. Here’s what’s resulted: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/17/rick-perry-rental-mansion_n_578311.html

      Bill White’s (D) team dug up quite a bit of dirt on Perry when he was running for Governor last year. I’d expect to see all that, and more, resurrected if this guy runs for President. I speculate that’s the cause for hesitation.

  • http://heathenhall.blogspot.com Joseph

    Of course, it’s interesting to note that when such things are said about people one does not support, it’s considered to be even-handedly evaluating them by the company they keep. However, when it’s done to someone that we support, it’s vilified as guilt by association. Either way it’s the latter from a logical sense, no matter how it’s presented.

    Are there any actual quotes from Perry himself on the subject of pagans? More specifically, has anyone asked him if he supports the freedom of pagans to worship on military bases, or at the US Air Force Academy, or to have Wiccan groups allowed to maintain 501(c)3 status with the IRS? Until that happens, we should stop attempting to attribute opinions and policies to him (or anyone else for that matter) merely based on the fact that they are supported by people who espouse those opinions and policies. Otherwise, you must accept that the same standard be applied to liberal bomb-throwers (literally) who support Democratic candidates.

    Remember, this is never correct:

    Pastor A supports Candidate X.
    Pastor A believes witches should be burned at the stake.
    Therefore, Candidate X believes witches should be burned at the stake.

    • http://www.wildhunt.org/blog/ Jason Pitzl-Waters

      “guilt by association”

      It isn’t just about association, it’s about endorsements. If you rely on the political endorsements of anti-Pagan religious leaders to help get you elected you can’t just pretend there’s some firewall of influence down the road. Who you allow to endorse you reflects on your character, as it did for Obama in 2008 and every other political figure.

      • http://heathenhall.blogspot.com Joseph

        Hagee has formally endorsed Perry’s run for President, and Perry’s campaign (which at the moment doesn’t exist) accepted it? I’d appreciate a link, if you’d be so kind. Otherwise, it’s just two people who have both endorsed the same event, and you make it sound like they’re in some back room plotting the extermination of every Wiccan in the country.

        • http://www.wildhunt.org/blog/ Jason Pitzl-Waters

          “…you make it sound like they’re in some back room plotting the extermination of every Wiccan in the country.”

          Really? That’s how I “make it sound”? Interesting perspective considering I’ve never written or implied anything of the sort.

          • http://heathenhall.blogspot.com Joseph

            Not in so many words, but you’ve certainly been coming down with RDS lately.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bryon-Morrigan/100000104778250 Bryon Morrigan

            …and you certainly seem to have a case of JPW-DS, eh?

        • http://www.wildhunt.org/blog/ Jason Pitzl-Waters

          Hagee is certainly making it known whom he prefers:

          http://swampland.time.com/2011/07/05/behind-the-scenes-christian-right-leaders-rally-behind-rick-perry/

          Do you honestly think The Response is a humble call to prayer and fasting, and not a launchpad for Perry’s presidential run?

          • http://heathenhall.blogspot.com Joseph

            Of course it’s a launch for his campaign. But you are making all sorts of unwarranted leaps and assumptions. Do you honestly expect Perry, from a political point of view, to make a fuss over declining a non-endorsement of a non-candidacy right on the eve of actually announcing? Give the man a little credit!

            I will be on board with your point if and when Hagee endorses Perry for President, and if and when Perry embraces him (and his endorsement). Until then, you’re scare-mongering and condemning by association, and while I understand *why* you’re doing it (in furtherance of your liberal political leanings), it doesn’t make it any more proper.

          • http://www.patheos.com Star Foster

            I think there are plenty Pagan conservatives and libertarians that would join Jason in his concern. Criticizing the Religious Right is not the same as criticizing conservatives as a whole.

          • http://PaganCenteredPodcast.com Dave of Pagan Centered Podcast

            Uhm, speaking as a conservative, you’ve not followed previous Perry campaigns have ya?

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            Joseph, it seems to me you are closing your eyes to obvious political associations with clear implications for religious freedom.

          • http://heathenhall.blogspot.com Joseph

            Baruch: I disagree. I’m just not rushing to judgement based on some rather tenuous associations, is all. I’m waiting for someone to show me what Perry, himself, has said on these subjects before I get all up in arms. I will be scrutinizing what actually gets said at that prayer rally, I assure you.

            Dave: Not being a Texan, probably not, but I did cover him in several elections when I was manager of election polling for the country’s largest opinion polling company, so I’m not completely ignorant. ;-)

            Perhaps you can point me to where he banned Wiccan gatherings on Texas Air National Guard bases, or said that pagans and witches shouldn’t be protected by the First Amendment? That would be more than enough to move me into the anti-Perry camp.

            I don’t think it’s too much to ask that I be shown something that demonstrates he’s anti-pagan based on his own statements or actions, rather than those of people who happen to support him. No politician can be expected to scrutinize (let alone agree with or endorse) every statement and position of every person who throws an endorsement their way.

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            Joseph, once again this Disqus format is making repeated replies difficult.

            IMHO you are taking a cautious posture laudable in a political science professor or someone new to a jurisdiction who does not know the personalities or the issues yet. As a member of a disfavored minority in a “Jesusland” state you’re more like someone studying his hood ornament for rust while his wheels are getting stolen. Just my 02 cents.

          • http://PaganCenteredPodcast.com Dave of Pagan Centered Podcast

            Well Joseph, a few points to clarify. You seem to be under the impression that only one opinion was made. There were several different opinions made on different topics (some based on evidence that was not legally introduced) – he had standing on one issue, but they claimed he didn’t have standing on another issue. If only there was some paper trail showing why he had standing because the prisoners hit a brick wall *glares over at papers being thrown into a fire*… oh, that must be nothing more than an eco-friendly way to heat the building in July :D.

            Appealed to federal court, federal decision, federal implications – not state. It’s not just Californians that got screwed on this, it’s all American Pagans.

            I figure blaming the leader is par for the course, regardless of involvement or lack thereof. Just like Bush got blamed for Hurricane Katrina, Obama can be blamed for this and Rupert Murdoch can be blamed for some underling hacking phones in the UK.

            Given Obama’s desire to pander to Pagans during his campaign, I thought he might actually care about us after election – which has not been the case as illustrated by non-involvement on this disastrous decision.

          • http://PaganCenteredPodcast.com Dave of Pagan Centered Podcast

            My comment was more in terms of him worrying about being endorsed by unsavory individuals or by people in unsavory circumstances.

            On the topic of anti-Wicca, I say that’s best addressed by all the “sky is falling” Christian bashers a few levels up on the comments. He may be crazy pro-Christian but I haven’t seen anything to justify the “sky is falling” response.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PMTLR3IIGKPHZ2YNU3PDXWK4WA Kenneth

      What is correct in this instance is that Candidate X believes he can cravenly pander to the scumbags who Pastor A represents and then pretend that he has no accountability for the company he keeps or the interests he is beholden to.

      • Charles Cosimano

        And if the economy keeps going the way it is, he’s right.

  • http://heathenhall.blogspot.com Joseph

    Whoops! Sorry for the double-post.

  • http://throughthehiddendoor.wordpress.com/ Eric

    Absolutely terrifying, that’s all I can say.

  • http://celestialwitch.blogspot.com/ Delphi

    Were are all these Pagans running for office, we are to stop voting for??
    If there were as many Pagans running the world as he claims, his religion would be the minority. All I can say is this is the kind of person that Christian or not I would want nothing to do with.

    • http://aWorldQuiteMad.blogspot.com aWorldQuiteMad

      Two words for you. Persecution complex.

      They have it.

  • http://heathenhall.blogspot.com Joseph

    (Sorry, this is in response to Star’s comment– “Criticizing the Religious Right is not the same as criticizing conservatives as a whole”– but for some reason there isn’t any “reply” link on it on my computer.)

    I wholeheartedly agree with you, and I criticize any attempts to curtail the religious freedoms of others, whether they come from the left, right, or anywhere else. However, that’s not what I see being done in this particular case. Jason cited that Hagee said some heinous things, then said that Hagee supported Perry, and then said that Perry “proudly accepts the endorsement of pastor who rejects pluralism and blames “paganism” for society’s ills” which is factually incorrect, is a classic case of guilt by association, and which is obviously designed to gin up pagan angst about a potential strong Republican Presidential candidate over something that isn’t– yet– a real issue.

    All I’m saying is that it’s not fair or proper to condemn Perry for things that Hagee has said, until and unless some concrete link between those things and Perry is made. I would guess that the folks leading the charge against this prayer meeting were the same ones saying that tarring Barack Obama with the brush of Jeremiah Wright’s words was unfair. And it’s not like Perry has been going to Hagee’s church for twenty years…

    The double-standard is unworthy.

    • http://www.patheos.com Star Foster

      Obama distanced himself from Wright. Perry has not distanced himself from Hagee.

      Maybe if you were more concerned about the election than calling Jason out as “biased” you’d have noticed that. Perry has a lot of failings as a conservative, including accepting bailout money while criticizing and suggesting Texas secede. Embracing Hagee isn’t improving his position as a candidate, and certainly has alienated swing votes in what promises to be a tight race.

      • http://heathenhall.blogspot.com Joseph

        There would be a lot less “bias” to be concerned about if Jason would follow John McCain’s lead from 2008 in reference to the Wright controversy:

        “I think that when people support you, it doesn’t mean that you support everything they say. Obviously, those words and those statements are statements that none of us would associate ourselves with, and I don’t believe that Senator Obama would support any of those, as well.”

        If Wikipedia is to be believed, Obama left the Trinity United Church of Christ on May 31, 2008. That’s nearly 3 months after ABC News first aired the worst of the controversial sermon excerpts, and 14 months after Sean Hannity had Rev. Wright on his television show (a month after Obama announced his candidacy).

        If Perry needs to “distance” himself from Hagee, I think it would be at least common courtesy to give him the same 15-month window of opportunity from the time Perry announces before he officially separates from Hagee. If it’s good for the goose, it’s good for the gander.

        • http://PaganCenteredPodcast.com Dave of Pagan Centered Podcast

          Or given that Pagans have lost more rights under Obama than under Bush, we should take it as an early warning sign that given hindsight, we should have heeded in the first place. Let’s not repeat the same mistake.

          • http://heathenhall.blogspot.com Joseph

            Pagans didn’t *lose* rights under either Bush or Obama, and indeed had their rights to practice their religion advanced under both presidents. I’m not sure if you’re trying to make some sort of subtle sarcastic point, but either way it doesn’t really work…

          • http://PaganCenteredPodcast.com Dave of Pagan Centered Podcast

            Not sarcastic – here’s a quick recap since you’re “out of the loop” on Pagan rights:

            Bush
            + Gained right to have Pentacle (EDIT) on VA headstone, there’s no shortage of press coverage confirming this.

            Obama
            – Lost right to equal employment. Just listen to the Patrick Mccollum press conference for details.

          • Ursyl

            McCollum didn’t lose a right to employment under Obama. That right was lost back when California made that policy, and as that is currently a state level issue, the President has nothing to do with it.

          • Ursyl

            McCollum didn’t lose a right to employment under Obama. That right was lost back when California made that policy, and as that is currently a state level issue, the President has nothing to do with it.

          • http://www.patheos.com Star Foster

            McCollum’s case began under Bush.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PMTLR3IIGKPHZ2YNU3PDXWK4WA Kenneth

            We had our rights under full assault under Bush. Bush stated in no uncertain terms that he didn’t consider pagan faiths to be real or deserving of accommodation. During his tenure the VA vigorously denied the right of our veterans to have a properly marked headstone. That was done with the express intent of honoring the tone set by the White House at the time and frivolous procedural hurdles were thrown at us one after the other to enforce that directive until years of legal action forced a settlement.

          • Anonymous

            @Dave: McCollum did not lose equal employment rights. He had no standing to bring suit – please, re-read both McCollum’s response and the Court’s decision – The court gives a fairly well-balanced reason for denying the suit, and also gives McCollum and his team a basic framework on how to bring a suit that would pass certification for standing.

            Yes, it was denied on a technicality, but the court also showed what needed to be done to avoid that technicality as well.

          • http://www.patheos.com Star Foster

            Eran, McCollum does have standing under the law. I suggest you listen to audio of his statement from PSG on The Wild Hunt. McCollum was discriminated against, he is clergy and he is chaplain to the inmates who have been discriminated against. He was given only a few minutes to present his case to the 9th and no court has yet seen all of the documents and evidence in this case.

            Every Pagan, as well as other religious adherents, have their employment rights threatened by the case in CA. If policy is allowed to stand then specifying adhering to a specific religion as a requirement for state employment is a precedent in CA.

          • http://PaganCenteredPodcast.com Dave of Pagan Centered Podcast

            The Title 7 precedent set by the 9th Circuit court was set in June of 2011. Until then, it was just a weird policy limited to just California’s Prison and Rehab system. Now, as a result of the ruling – it just takes a BFOQ to ban Pagans from employment for a job.

            That, was done under Obama. Obama has chosen to talk with the 9th Circuit court before on civil rights issues, but is making no known efforts on this case so he must not care about it (either out of malice or ignorance).

          • http://heathenhall.blogspot.com Joseph

            I’m quite “in the loop” on pagan rights, thank you very much, Dave. It just never occurred to me that anyone who knew anything about the McCollum case would lay it at the doorstep of Obama:

            1) The case was dismissed on standing, not merit. That means the question of whether or not the policy is legal, is still open.

            2) The policy being challenged is one at the state level, not the Federal level.

            3) The decision was made by the 9th Circuit court, which is a part of the judicial branch of government, independent of the executive branch.

            4) None of the members of the 9th Circuit, at the time the McCollum case was decided, had been appointed by Obama.

            I’m by far not a big fan of Obama. But fair’s fair, and laying this one on his doorstep isn’t justifiable. One cannot expect him to comment on every case before the Federal appeals court, and even if he did, the courts are an independent branch of the government, and should remain that way.

          • Anonymous

            @Star:
            No, he wasn’t. The court’s decision was based on the fact that the inmates he was administering to did not file in a timely manner or exhaust all options before suing the state. Additionally, because the inmates’ suits could not proceed, neither could McCollum’s. There was no need for the courts to hear all of the facts of the case, because it never got to the discovery phase – it didn’t need to, because the suits could not move forward. His suit could not move forward because of a technicality – he did not have standing (according the the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals – if you are a federal appellate judge with more experience than them and can find a reason why they were incorrect in their judgement, I’d love to hear it).

            “A finding that a state taxpayer has standing to challenge the Five Faiths Policy is not required to ensure that the CDCR follows the Constitution’s commands: Wiccan inmates themselves have standing to assert that the CDCR’s failure to hire a Wiccan inmate violates their free exercise of religion rights as well as the Establishment Clause. See, e.g., Rouser v. White, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 107199, 2008 WL 4283650 *4-5 (E.D. Cal. Sep. 16, 2008) (holding that the plaintiff Wiccan inmate had standing to make an Establishment Clause challenge to the CDCR’s preference for the five faiths). The Court’s holding here is merely that McCollum, who is not a CDCR inmate, does not have standing to insist that the CDCR apply neutral criteria to determine if it should fund a salaried Wiccan chaplain position to served CDCR inmates. Accordingly, defendants’ motion for summary judgment on McCollum’s Establishment Clause claim is granted and McCollum’s cross-motion is denied.”

            (http://www.aele.org/law/2009all04/mccollum.html)

          • http://PaganCenteredPodcast.com Dave of Pagan Centered Podcast

            @Eran_Rathan – read the decision more carefully.

          • http://www.patheos.com Star Foster

            Replying to Eran:

            I’ve had unconfirmed but reasonably reliable reports that inmates have exhausted their options and the evidence of that has not yet been presented in court, because it is part and parcel of McCollum’s case.

            I think one problem with public speculation on this case is that most of the evidence has yet to be presented to anyone, and there are thousands of documents we’ve yet to see.

          • Anonymous

            @Don:
            I have. Let me narrow the quote for you:

            “The Court’s holding here is merely that McCollum, who is not a CDCR inmate, does not have standing to insist that the CDCR apply neutral criteria to determine if it should fund a salaried Wiccan chaplain position to served CDCR inmates.”

            QED.

        • http://www.patheos.com Star Foster

          Wright didn’t make unfounded and prejudiced comments about Paganism. This is a Pagan blog. Therefore, this blog will place a greater emphasis on how this affects Paganism and the comments regarding Paganism. Which is newsworthy because, as I said, this is a tight race. Losing conservative Pagans won’t help Perry.

          Walking around with a chip on your shoulder never helps your argument.

          • http://heathenhall.blogspot.com Joseph

            The perceived size of the chip depends, it seems, upon whose shoulder it rests. ;-)

            Much like humor; it’s much funnier when the other guy’s ox is being gored.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PMTLR3IIGKPHZ2YNU3PDXWK4WA Kenneth

            None of it’s funny at all. If any candidate of any stripe can’t be bothered to make a timely and unambiguous statement of support for our most basic Constitutional principles and freedoms and chooses instead to weasel it in order to hustle a few bucks and votes from extremists, they deserve to have their ox gored. Whatever 15-month window of grace or “one liberal to another” favor may or may not have been granted to Obama by ABC News is utterly irrelevant to us. They do not set our agenda and we do not “owe” any conservative candidate squat for their actions.

            As pagans and more fundamentally as Americans who paid attention in civics class, we are concerned with what we see and hear. Hagee, like a number of other candidates of late, are cultivating relationships and the support of men who quite openly advocate for our government to be run by and for sectarian religious interests which explicitly believe us to be evil or un-American.

            Do we know to exactly what extent Hagee supports the views of his extremist supporters? No. Nor can we say that their influence would lead him to enact public policy with any dire consequences for us. But silence and tacit agreement suggests that he does support their agenda, fails to appreciate the threat to civil society that it poses, or simply lacks the backbone to stand up against it. How he engages this problem, or fails to, will speak volumes about who he is as a man and potential leader, and leaders of our own community like Jason will shine a spotlight on that in a timely fashion and we as pagans will form our own mind on the matter.

        • Grimmorrigan

          Has Perry accepted/mentioned this support? Has he made any attempts to separate himself from Hagee’s statements?
          We can quibble about what was good for the Goose is good for the gander but if Perry accepts this support and does not make mention Hagee’s bigoted agenda then I’m inclined to say that Perry is either woefully unaware of who supports him, doesn’t care who does, or agrees with Hagee. Bringing up what Obama did or didn’t do has no bearing on what Perry will or will not do and doesn’t justify the behavior of either Obama or Perry.

          If we want to talk about what is unworthy in this debate I would suggest we start with with the continuation of this “if so-and-so did it, its ok for for this guy to do it”. Its childish….oh also this: http://inspiredprojectteams.com/Why-Its-Pointless-to-Argue-Politics-or-Religion.pdf

  • http://aWorldQuiteMad.blogspot.com aWorldQuiteMad

    Buddha is not god. Neither is Mary. I’m pretty sure no one’s ever claimed they were. LOL

    But he’s got it wrong that there’s only one god in that book. There’s a lot of gods in that book, but he’d have had to read it to know that. He’d probably also need to read it in the original language, which I’m sure he doesn’t know.

    “Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness…'” Genesis 1:26

    Notes from my Oxford annotated edition state:

    “The plural ‘us, our’ probably refers to the divine beings who compose God’s heavenly court.”

    Which means they are equivalent to (or on the same level as) which ever deity is speaking here. You know the problem with Christians? Those of us who aren’t Christian have studied their book way more than they have. It’s called exegesis. He might want to try it some time.

    What’s funny is, that in the same breath he implies there are other gods. *sigh*

    Why did we win WWII in four years? Troop counts were astronomically higher. We also killed civilians. We carpet bombed Dresden. We dropped a f*ing atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. If we carpet bombed Badhdad, well, the outcome would have been different. But we’re somehow trying to be a bit more civilized now. It’s not really working, but we can pretend eh?

    • Cigfran

      >Neither is Mary. I’m pretty sure no one’s ever claimed they were.

      The Marian cultists cut it pretty darn close.

    • Pagan Puff Pieces

      I agree that there are other factors than simply perceived rates of Christianity, but I think there were a few more factors than our willingness to kill civilians. In fact, I think it’s awfully tempting to pick out an element and credit that for our success, when, if anything, it may or may not have played a role but acted in cooperation with a whole world of differences. Perhaps being “more Christian” or fire bombing cities actually worked against us and made the war harder, but it’s hard to say because we won in the end.

      As an artist, I’d LOVE to cite the power of theatrical, general audience animation and all the work the government provided to artists and animation studios and wave that around, but that that would be short sighted.

      The point is, it’s very hard to make calls like that. And does winning a war make something right, anyway? Well, it may suggest a technique gives results, or that a particular god may be a very effective war god, but does that necessarily mean it’s right?

  • Druidwood

    Next thing he’ll be demanding the death of everyone who doesn’t believe as he does. The sad thing is that the people who listen to him just blindly go along with him without a thought in thier head. You can tell that he has no clue what a Pagan really is. Bunching Satanism with Pagans is a big no-no.

    • http://PaganCenteredPodcast.com Dave of Pagan Centered Podcast

      There’s a lot of history (and fiction) to back the theory that people tend not to murder their fellow countrymen without much psychological brainwashing over a period of years.

    • http://profiles.google.com/morgansher Morgan Sheridan

      Sadly, some of those RWRNJs do think us pagans should be executed as a matter of course. See for a sketch of their programme. http://www.religioustolerance.org/reconstr3.htm

  • Dkroghmcgilly

    Nothing surprises me about politicians. What I will never understand is that so many alleged Christians don’t follow Christ’ s teachings most of the time. Many of them are extremely ignorant about other Christian religions & the only thing they seem to know anything about is what these “charismatic” pastors sell them. It’s really a shame.

    • Fritz Muntean

      Well . . . can you think of any famous and successful Pagan leaders who 1) don’t follow the teachings of the classical Pagan philosophers, and who 2) seem to know virtually nothing reliable about other religions (esp. Christianity & Islam) except that they’re bad bad bad?

      And please don’t get me started about ‘charismatic’ Pagan writers and speakers, and their long-term effect of ‘dumbing down’ Contemporary Pagan discourse . . .

      • http://PaganCenteredPodcast.com Dave of Pagan Centered Podcast

        Where were you going with this? If I’m Wiccan, why should I be adhering to Pythagoras’ teachings? I mean, as a Wiccan, I have moral objection to killing someone that draws an equilateral triangle with 2 sides of length 1, but that’s just me not adhering to the teachings of a classical pagan philosopher.

        • Fritz Muntean

          I was thinking more of Aristotle and his ‘virtue ethics’, or the ethical writings of the later Neoplatonists. But you might want to look deeper into Pythagoras. We honour him mainly today for his groundbreaking work in geometrics. But in his own time he was a major religious figure. Pythagoras invented, or at least codified, the idea of reincarnation. And he pioneered vegetarianism as a spiritual path.

          • http://PaganCenteredPodcast.com Dave of Pagan Centered Podcast

            So, basically just the good stuff and we’ll ignore all the things the old pagans did back in their day that are frowned upon by contemporary moral standards both in the mainstream and in contemporary religions like Wicca?

            It’s one thing to be familiar with the teachings of someone, it’s quite another to follow them.

            I have no intent to engage in a Scientology-like cover-up of the existence of such numerical imperfections like the square root of 2.

          • Fritz Muntean

            What the heck is the ‘numerical imperfection’ of the square root of 2? If being infinitely derivable makes a number ‘imperfect’, what does that say about ‘pi’? Or are you thinking about the square root of minus one? But that’s an irrational number. And what kind of Pagan is going to denounce irrationality as anything but ‘perfect’?

            Yours for perfect irrationality.

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            Fritz, the square root of 2 cannot be expressed as the ratio of two integers. Yet a line that has that length relative to another is easy to draw: The hypotenuse of an isoceles right triangle relative to either of the other sides. This outraged the Pythagoreans.

            The square root of minus one has the unfortunate name of “imaginary number,” I suppose because “imaginary” numbers form an image of the “real” numbers. You’ll find more rigor in mathematics than in math nomenclature. This came more than a thousand years after the Pythagoreans.

      • http://sarenth.wordpress.com/ Sarenth

        Why would I follow a ‘classical’ Pagan philosopher if my Gods don’t hail from Greece?

        • Don

          What does it matter where your gods are from? That has nothing to do with whether or not a philosopher has some valuable insight into human life that’s worth paying attention to.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PMTLR3IIGKPHZ2YNU3PDXWK4WA Kenneth

            The point is that Fritz is trying to say that there are “bad” Pagans in the same way that there are “bad” Christians – ie those who don’t follow the orthodoxy of their central, foundational figures. The problem with that analogy is that we don’t have things like Gospels or messiahs or an apostolic tradition. We’re experiential, not revealed religions.

            The fact is we do, in general, accord a great deal of respect to the pagans of old and even to the founders of our own modern movement. They are worth paying attention to, and of course not all of us do. Nevertheless, the things laid down by pagans of old, even highly respected ones, are not divine revelation or binding on us in any way. We get out our inspiration and marching orders, as it were, directly from out gods and goddesses ourselves.

          • Don

            “We’re experiential, not revealed religions.”

            This is debatable. Roman religion, for example, was revealed to Numa by a water nymph. Romans also frequently consulted the Sibylline books, containing the divinely-inspired utterances of Apollo’s oracle, on religious matters.

            But experiential and revealed religion are not mutually exclusive.

            “Nevertheless, the things laid down by pagans of old, even highly respected ones, are not divine revelation or binding on us in any way.”

            Says who? Homer and Plato were regarded as divinely inspired, the two near demi-gods.

          • Fritz Muntean

            I wouldn’t say ‘bad’ in either case. It’s just the way things are. A situation, as they say, not a problem — because a problem is something you can fix.

            And — we actually do have ‘things like Gospels and messiahs’. The major difference between us and the mainstream religions is that our canon hasn’t yet been closed. But we do have canonical writing — ‘authoritative’ texts that virtually everyone has read, and a very large number of us (including in some cases the writers themselves) consider to be divine revelations. At least a couple of these authors would qualify as messianic figures. Can anyone guess who I’m talking about?

          • kenneth

            Of course I can’t speak for every tradition or even most of them, but very few, next to none of the pagans I have ever circled with or known will ever accept a closed canon. There’s no shortage of authors and “high priests/priestesses” who have a messiah or archbishop complex. I’ve lost track of how many fools proclaimed themselves “king of all witches.” They all get the ridicule they justly deserved sooner or later. There are of course foundational and authoritative texts within various traditions. I may even see divine wisdom in some of them. I don’t, however, consider their revelation to be definitive for all time nor superior to my own revelation. I have no problem deferring to the wisdom of someone who knows a ritual technique or spell better than myself, but I don’t need some priest or bishop to act as intermediary to tell my what my gods want of me. I go straight to the source.

          • Fritz Muntean

            Well said! I’ve always believed that the major point of being a Pagan is that we can tap into wisdom that preceded the rise of the Abrahamic religions in the West. Much of this knowledge — be it philosophy or simply wisdom-sayings — now seems far more sophisticated (spiritually and psychologically) than what we’re offered by the mainstream religions.

          • Don

            “…now seems far more sophisticated (spiritually and psychologically) than what we’re offered by the mainstream religions.”

            Or offered by mainstream paganism, for that matter. All too often I see pagans trying–unimpressively–to reinvent the wheel when it comes to pagan ethics, theology, etc. We have a rich and extensive body of extant literature from pagan antiquity that elaborates very sophisticated polytheistic theologies, ethics, and the like. This corpus is typically neglected for pop-psych, liberal platitudes, and romanticism.

          • Cigfran

            > This corpus is typically neglected for pop-psych, liberal platitudes…

            And conservative intransigence.

        • Fritz Muntean

          I was responding to ‘Dkroghmcgilly’s observation that he couldn’t understand why some Christians don’t seem to follow Christ’s teachings. I’m trying to point out that this failing (along with ignorance of other religions, and reliance on the teachings of charismatics) is common to all religious movements — including (alas) our own.

      • http://heathenhall.blogspot.com Joseph

        Plenty of “famous and successful Pagan leaders” “don’t follow the teachings of the classical Pagan philosophers.” That’s hardly a criterion. Not everybody follows the Religio Romana or Greek reconstructionism, you know.

        • Don

          That’s like saying you have to be German to read Nietzsche or Chinese to read Confucius.

          Anyway, classical philosophy, particularly Platonism, has a very large influence in occultism, ceremonial magic, and neopagan religions like Wicca.

          • http://oldmoonsisterstars.wordpress.com Apuleius Platonicus

            Wolfram, in his “The Roman Empire and it’s Germanic Peoples“, makes the following off-handed comment concerning the Germanic Heathens, such as Arbogast, who played such a prominent role in the Pagan revolt of the 390s: “Their paganism had nothing to do with the traditional Wodan religion, but was the intellectually sophisticated and very modern Neoplatonism of the educated circles in Rome and Gaul.” [p. 66]

            On the one hand, Wolfram reflects the standard Christian trope that anything remotely philosophical could have “nothing to do with” “traditional” Paganism. This is like saying that the religion of Augustine, due to its intellectual sophistication, could “have nothing to do with” the Christian religion. In fact, the latter argument is far more convincing than Wolfram’s ignorant assertion.

            More important though is the fact that Wolfram, in spite of himself, here gives evidence of the fact that over 16 centuries ago many Germanic Heathens were already involved with syncretic and cosmopolitan forms of Paganism in which “classical” Paganism formed a significant component. And it was these Heathens who put up the strongest fight against the coercive process of Christianization.

          • Don

            Huh, that’s interesting. Thanks for that.

          • Fritz Muntean

            You & I don’t agree about much, Curt, but this posting is dead on. Thanks for this, and good on you.

            I’m particularly taken with your remark (below) — ‘Those who delusionally think they can “reconstruct” ethnically pure religious traditions (that never existed) have uncritically adopted conceptions of race that go back no further than the 18th century and foolishly projected these ideas onto our Pagan ancestors.’

            How many of of our fellow Pagans of the Nordish/Asatru persuasions, who are currently caught up in these 19th century ‘blood and soil uber alles’ fantasies, are aware of how these particular pipe dreams finally did play out for the (real) Germanic people (and much of the rest of Europe) in the mid-20th century?

          • Cigfran

            Well, I know I’m persuaded. Clearly, anyone who isn’t Wiccan or a Hellenist is either woefully ignorant or driven by nationalist fantasies.

        • Don

          Seriously, this rejection of classical pagan philosophy is not only foolish, but represents the worst form of ethnocentrism and religious fundamentalism.

          • http://heathenhall.blogspot.com Joseph

            Seriously? You think that just because a particular religion doesn’t draw from every possible philosophical or religious tradition, it is somehow “ethnocentric” and “fundamentalist”?

            Congratulations. You just managed to insult every pagan reconstructionist on the planet.

            Classical philosophy may have a great influence on ceremonial magic and Wicca, but paganism is a much bigger tent than that. You might do well to look outside your own little box.

          • Don

            I am a reconstructionist and practice a culturally specific tradition, but I recognize the value of classical philosophy and theology for its fundamental insights into the human condition.

            It is ethnocentric and fundamentalist to reject anything that inconveniently doesn’t fit into your cultural paradigm merely because it’s foreign. It is little different from when Christians and Muslims reject bits of science that contradict their closed worldview.

          • http://heathenhall.blogspot.com Joseph

            Don, you’ve gone from my original statement, which was that pagan leaders don’t *have* to follow classical philosophy, to your statement that you personally “recognize the value” of classical philosophy.

            You’re not just moving the goalposts, you’re playing on an entirely different field.

          • Don

            Joseph: I’m not changing goal posts.

            Pagans do not need to follow classical philosophy, you’re right. But my point is that to reject classical philosophy merely because it is “foreign” to one’s cultural tradition is silly.

          • http://heathenhall.blogspot.com Joseph

            Don, I can’t speak to whatever form of reconstructionism you claim to practice, but in mine, one of the goals is to recreate the mindset of the pre-Christian Germanic peoples. That does *not* include Platonic philosophy. Sorry if that doesn’t meet with your approval, but there it is. Your approval is just about at the bottom of my list of needs.

            However, your implication that any religion that *doesn’t* embrace eclecticism is somehow “ethnocentric and fundamentalist” is itself bigoted and intolerant, and your casual denigration of those who don’t agree with you on this point as “silly” is both insulting and degrading.

            I will repeat my suggestion; get out of your box and realize that paganism, neopaganism, heathenry, etc. is a bigger tent than you seem to realize, and just because some of us don’t embrace your philosophy or morals doesn’t make us any less pagan, nor does it make us “silly”.

          • Don

            Joseph: you continue to misunderstand what I’ve said.

            My original point in this thread was that pagans, in developing pagan theology and ethics, have generally neglected the extensive and sophisticated classical tradition. One needn’t adopt Platonic or Stoic philosophy, but both traditions have said and continue to say a lot about the human condition and its relationship with the gods that can be quite illuminating in our own development of polytheistic theologies and ethics today.

            My other point, in my coversation with you, was that to disregard this tradition in discourses about polytheistic theology and ethics MERELY because it is foreign to your arbitrarily selected cultural paradigm is a bad form of ethnocentric and fundamentalist. No, Germanic tribes in antiquity were not likely to be reading Plato, but he nonetheless has something insightful and edifying to say about humankind and the gods. What matter is that he is Greek if he elaborates something that reaches towards the truth of our condition? Why can’t Germanic pagans find something edifying about their own gods in Plato? I don’t think that would compromise your Germanness too much.

            I’m not calling on anyone to embrace eclecticism, but rather to not disregard pagan philosophy and theology on the grounds that it is foreign. To do so would be the worst sort of ethnocentrism (notice how I qualified ethnocentrism with “worst form of”; not all ethnocentrism is bad) in that you prefer your own provincial worldview without considering others. You present an antagonism between culturally specific explanations of life against more universalistic one. It would also be fundamentalist in that you adhere to an ossified conception of culture and religion, and disregard any ideas that contradic or are inconvenient to them.

            Again, no pagan needs to follow classical philosophy, but I would hope that they have a sounder reason for rejecting other than “Oh, it’s Greek.”

            A sounder reason would be “Oh, it’s wrong, and here’s why…”

          • http://oldmoonsisterstars.wordpress.com Apuleius Platonicus

            It is worth mentioning that many of the most noteworthy “classical” Pagans were neither Greek nor Roman in any ethnic sense. Porphyry and Iamblichus were both Semites. Sallustius, author of “On the Gods and the Cosmos” was a Celt, as was Vergil. Arbogast, the military leader of the great Pagan revolt of the 390s, was a German.

            Those who delusionally think they can “reconstruct” ethnically pure religious traditions (that never existed) have uncritically adopted conceptions of race that go back no further than the 18th century and foolishly projected these ideas onto our Pagan ancestors.

            Classical Paganism was thoroughly cosmopolitan, as is modern Paganism.

          • Aine

            Was going to post this farther down, but only reply thing was here.

            You first statement included this: “famous and successful Pagan leaders who 1) don’t follow the teachings of the classical Pagan philosophers”, and later you say that you didn’t claim that Pagans needed to follow the teachings of classical Pagan philosophers but just need to recognize their value. Which is it?

  • Anonymous

    Time to start beating those plowshares into swords…er….rifles.

    • Fritz Muntean

      Ah so. Famous Pagan philosopher Confunditus once said: “Man who fight fire with fire need REALLY BIG fire extinguisher!”

      How big is YOUR fire extinguisher?

      • http://PaganCenteredPodcast.com Dave of Pagan Centered Podcast

        I once heard (not sure how accurate it is) that a tactic in some martial arts is to use a person’s momentum against them. By that tactic, instead of extinguishing the extremism, one would encourage it to the point everyone, even fundies, would think they’re off their rocker (e.g. Westboro Baptist).

        • kenneth

          There is a great deal of truth to that. Tai Chi is one such art that does that. I often find that one of the best tactics with extremists is to let them have their say and they reveal themselves for who they are. It’s no accident that Palin’s campaign managers went to great lengths to make sure she was only heard before carefully selected and friendly audiences. The other beauty of extremists is that they tend to devour their own as readily as outsiders.

        • Baruch Dreamstalker

          Dave, I learned that as a basic technique in Judo (50 years ago) but I think it’s pretty fundamental to martial arts generally.

      • kenneth

        That depends on how hot a fireman you are! :)

      • Anonymous

        anzioironworks.com

        http://youtu.be/CvSwzoAkvXg

        20mm: What the modern Pagan needs in their broom closet just in case while watching the end of the Christian hegemony.

        It’s better to have one and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

        There’s no do overs in life or death self defense situations.

        • Fritz Muntean

          Har har. You’ve got a 20mm in your closet? Ah, boys and their toys.

          Me, I’ve got a stunning A-line, and some really adorable smocks in MY closet.

          And for some reason the ‘Christian hegemony’ seems more threatened by a man in drag than they do by a kid in camies, even if he’s waving around an expensive piece of hardware. Go figure, y’all.

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            The camo symbolizes (at least) a threat to the body. The drag represents (or is) a threat to the soul. At least that’s how they see it.

            (And I assume that expensive harware isn’t a Blackberry…)

          • Fritz Muntean

            Ah yes, a threat to the reactionary soul!

            Back in the day, we used to have a song about that:

            “Sex and drugs and rock’n’roll,
            Doodah Doodah.
            Detrimental to your soul,
            Oh Doodah Day.
            The Moral Majority,
            Don’t eat no LSD.
            That’s all right,
            We’re not up tight.
            More for you and me!”

          • Fritz Muntean

            And no, it’s not a Blackberry. More like hardware for when basic communications skills fail. For a real giggle, go to the sites brother NRAinTheIronMask posted.

        • http://PaganCenteredPodcast.com Dave of Pagan Centered Podcast

          One shouldn’t need a persecution complex to justify having a means of self-defense. We don’t have teleporters – if bad stuff goes down in your house, the police are 10 to 90 minutes away depending on where you are in the somewhat populated continental US.

          Can you hold off a home invader for 12 minutes with your present stock of skills, health and weaponry? You may live in a good neighborhood, but the visitor to one of your neighbors may not be such a good person worried about your community’s well being.

          Down here in Texas they used to have a PSA that went something like “the first 12 are on you” noting it took an average of 12 minutes for a local police officer to arrive on-scene after a 911 call in Texas.

          • Fritz Muntean

            The best defence against home invaders is a firm grip on quantitative reality. The likelihood that anybody (even in Detroit, even in Texas) will be the victim of a home invasion is several orders of magnitude less than the statistical likelihood that some member of the household will fall victim to a tragic firearms incident.

            Most of these victims are children. Some are spouses.

            Meditate on that.

          • http://PaganCenteredPodcast.com Dave of Pagan Centered Podcast

            That statement is correct only if you limit your weaponry to firearms. Furthermore, even if you analyze those cases, you will find most of the time (but certainly not all), the incident was caused by irresponsible gun ownership – lack of proper weapon maintenance, lack of a locking gun cabinet (and keeping it locked) etc. Essentially, these people treat firearms like they’re TV remotes. With that level of criminal irresponsibility (in cases where this is caused by irresponsibility), it’s a miracle their children even survived to the age they did.

            Practically speaking, there’s no need for lethal weaponry to hold off an attacker. As has been shown in many crisis situations, once an attacker is down, unarmed individuals are capable of keeping an attacker subdued. There are many effective options that are not designed to be lethal (admittedly, everything has the potential to be lethal – including breathing) such as BB guns and paintball guns to inflict pain even if you don’t have pepper spray-filled paintballs.

            A lot of Pagans seem to like swords, why not acquire a weapons-grade sword and learn to use it as a weapon? Keep it secured in a high enough place to keep the children away from it.

            There’s a lot of things that fall into the category of weapon – I think it’s more important to have a plan that works with what you have right now (even if it’s just jumping out a first floor window, hopping over the back yard fence and running) than be one of those idiots that panic-buys a firearm they don’t know how to use, let alone treat responsibly.

            Anything that can kill must be treated with respect and be given the routine attention it is worthy of.

            This is all without considering taking up a martial art or researching online how to talk down these people to weaponize one’s body and mind.

            And if you have children, make sure you’re preparing them for the world that they will be living in – just try not to traumatize them in the process.

          • Anonymous

            One correctly placed shot with a .45 loaded with Corbon’s Glaser Safety Slugs across a ten foot room will pretty much hold them off for eternity.

            I hope no Pagan ever has to shoot someone in self defense. But it’s better to be prepared and not need it than to need it and not be prepared.

            If someone has to leave in a body bag, I’d prefer it be one of them and not one of us.

  • Just thinking

    I remember once, a woman claimed she was fired from Texas-based Mary Kay for being pagan. That was the year I stopped using Mary Kay and never went back. I don’t know what happened to the lawsuit. But I do know that Texas is full of religious CRAZIES!! The Religious CRAZIES are pathological and most likely clinical in nature.

    • http://PaganCenteredPodcast.com Dave of Pagan Centered Podcast

      And so is California, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Missouri… etc. Point is?

      – A Texan.

    • http://vermillionrush.wordpress.com Vermillion

      Everywhere is full of religious crazies. Texas & the South have by no means the monopoly on them. I think maybe the reason we hear about them so much is because the mainstream media automatically assumes they’re from there, so they just pay attention to only that area.

      ~A New Yorker, surrounded by religious crazies in Manhattan.

  • Obsidia

    Rick Perry reminds me a lot of George W. Bush. Even his way of communicating (or not!) is similar. And I believe his endorsement of this kind of “tribalist” religion is also similar. Did we learn any lessons from “W”? If so, this would be a chance to use ‘em! ;-)

    • http://PaganCenteredPodcast.com Dave of Pagan Centered Podcast

      Perry proved he can win an election without communicating back in 2010, perhaps he thinks he can do it again. Perhaps we (America) may let him.

  • amanda

    The only good I can think of that can come from a Rick Perry presidential campagin is that he might have to resign from the governorship for it, and then after TEN LONG YEARS we’ll finally be rid of Governor Goodhair.

    The downside is that if he wins, he can do a lot more damage as president than he does as governor. Texas actually has one of the weakest governors in the country. He’s really just a figurehead. A very embarrassing figurehead.

    • http://PaganCenteredPodcast.com Dave of Pagan Centered Podcast

      Yeah, it’s depressing. I cheer myself up by believing that electing Texas governors to the US presidency is a giant game of Punk’d put forth by Texans. Sooner or later those 49 states will catch on.

  • amanda

    The only good I can think of that can come from a Rick Perry presidential campagin is that he might have to resign from the governorship for it, and then after TEN LONG YEARS we’ll finally be rid of Governor Goodhair.

    The downside is that if he wins, he can do a lot more damage as president than he does as governor. Texas actually has one of the weakest governors in the country. He’s really just a figurehead. A very embarrassing figurehead.

  • KB

    Should he declare his presidential candidacy (which I believe he will after this “Response” debacle,) I urge all educated voters to pay close attention to the history of Texas politics over the last 5 or so years. Sadly, Christian extremism is very strong, very well funded and very well entrenched in this state’s government- from localities, to the school board, to the state house, to the executive. And Perry is a proud, active part of that. You don’t even need to look at the endorsers of this one event. His very own words and actions reveal his religious extremism clearly.

    Pastor Hagee or no Pastor Hagee by his side, even the mere idea of him in the White House terrifies me.

    • http://PaganCenteredPodcast.com Dave of Pagan Centered Podcast

      At least in Texas, there’s a strong independent spirit among the people – especially the teachers that live near me who have disregarded all that extremist Christian political BS that’s being pushed on them as “science.”

      What worries me is that much of the US is full of people that have the mentality “rules are rules, we must follow the rules regardless of practicality or common sense” – allowing this crap to have a much worse impact than we have seen in Texas.

      • KB

        I will have more faith in that independent spirit when I start seeing results from it in who is holding office in Texas. It has yet to get us a new governor or a state house that doesn’t do its level best to destroy women’s rights or a board of education that doesn’t want America the Christian Nation and Young Earth Creationism forced on every Texas public school student.

  • Elnigma

    Dobson, Hagee, and Fred Phelps are in the same category.
    Free speech within limits allows some people to be verbally abusive. Sometimes they get support from other bigots, but the majority of Christians find them distasteful.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QQFBUSALD677EKQQMSJQKOQWQE Ronald

      I agree Elnigma that a majority of Christians find them more than distasteful. But of course, these particular sects of Christians only see themselves as being the only ‘real’ Christians. While I do not fear them I think it’s safe to error on the side of caution in regards to these men and their followers.

      • kenneth

        The extremists are a minority, but they are a VERY sizeable and well funded minority in this country. They have essentially taken over one of the two main parties in our system. That’s way more than we can afford to dismiss.

        • Elnigma

          Well, yeah, I remember these creeps – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arlington_Group

        • http://PaganCenteredPodcast.com Dave of Pagan Centered Podcast

          “The extremists are a minority” + “They have essentially taken over one of the two main parties in our system”

          Remember this next time someone asks you to register to vote or there’s an election. These people are going out to cast their votes, are we bothering to cast ours?

          They have proven that minority groups like us can have significant power over government. Let’s act upon that proof.

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            The problem is that the Christian extremist minority is larger than all of us Pagans put together, and already has an authoritarian organization because that reflects their theology while we have much looser organization because that reflects our theologies.

          • http://PaganCenteredPodcast.com Dave of Pagan Centered Podcast

            Surprisingly, nope.

            Family Research Council, one of their largest orgs, only has 455,000 people

            http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/family-research-council

            Estimates put the number of Pagans between 750,000 and 1,200,000 nationwide.

            I’m thinking the Open Hearth Foundation will be an organization we Pagans can get behind to represent us in DC. The Pagans there really know what they’re doing, manage to get stuff done at The White House (holy crap cool) and understand the important role they can play at short-circuiting anti-Pagan legislation like was done back in the 1980s (or was it 90s, I’m fuzzy on that detail).

            Iris from the Open Hearth Foundation was interviewed by Lamyka on Lamyka’s Wiccan Podcast – a good listen, it’s worth your time: http://lamyka.libsyn.com/open-hearth-foundation-dc-pagan-community-center

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            The Christian Right is a helluva lot more than Focus on the Family.

            I wouldn’t try to damp your optimism but I can’t share it until I see results.

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            I want to make it clear I responded above to the last sentence of your post. I’m not at all suggesting we fail to vote!

  • http://PaganCenteredPodcast.com Dave of Pagan Centered Podcast

    For those of you who are not aware there’s a response to The Response – here’s the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=191010564280573

  • Anonymous

    Well. Before the Pagan Revival happened in the 1970s in America, the evil were already everywhere. He blamed it on Environmental group as being Pagans? These churches/christians were everywhere and have all the money that hurts our taxes, go figure. I grew up in a christian home before I turned Pagan and I know what it’s like. John Hagee thinks Paganism cause society’s ill? Look at themselves as they don’t want to see in the mirror. I mean come on, there are over 150 million Americans are christians and nearly 300,000 Pagans (I can be wrong with 300,000 as there may be more). It doesn’t fit as Pagans spread evil in America. He’s barking up at the wrong tree as he needs to barking up at himself and his fellow Texas christians.

  • Rhsims1993

    Haha They fear what they don’t understand. Guess we have alot of power then if our presense makes them tremble in there pants.