Unleash the Hounds! (Link Roundup)

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  August 20, 2011 — 17 Comments

There are lots of articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans out there, sometimes more than I can write about in-depth in any given week. So The Wild Hunt must unleash the hounds in order to round them all up.

That’s it for now! Feel free to discuss any of these links in the comments, some of these I may expand into longer posts as needed.

Jason Pitzl-Waters


  • Baruch Dreamstalker

    “Name one other organization that regularly has to declare that the things said by its own spokesman should not be construed as reflecting the views of the organization itself.”

    In a sense, the Catholic Church. According to the folks over at Get Religion, the newspaper L’Osservatore Romano is supposed to have the skinny on Vatican goings-on, but it frequently goes off half-cocked (in the manner of the Italian press generally) and occasionally the Church has to make a public statement contradicting something in L’OR.

  • AnonGuest

    That was courteous of Roy Exum. Bravo.

    • Anonymous

      True enough. He comes across much better than many of the people who e-mailed him.

      • abraxasMN

        That was a bit embarrassing. I am sure he didn’t pick the worst of them, either

      • To be fair, when one attacks others, one should expect being attacked. Exum’s response was indicative of virtue, but the reactions of others, as excerpted by Exum, were not iniquitous.

        • Anonymous

          Well, iniquitous or not, it is certainly ineffective if your goal is to change minds and influence people. If you just want to piss people off because you are pissed off, I suppose it is fine. To anyone not familiar with the issues, though, all it does is makes the idea that Pagans are a bunch of freaks not worth taking seriously seem all that much more believable.

          • Well, that’s just the point, isn’t it? When attacked, one is not necessarily out to change minds and influence others, only to assuage pain. However, if anyone is going to think that it’s just the Pagans who are a “bunch of freaks”, they might want to look at their own actions, or the actions of just about any other group of people. I really don’t think that anyone is really so stupid as to think that such reactions are unique to Pagans, unless they are already predisposed against Pagans in the first place – and predispositions of that sort can almost be defined as “stupidity”.

            I’m not saying that it is virtuous to write in that manner, I am just saying that it is understandable and even justifiable.

          • Norse Alchemist

            Actually, I don’t think the point is to assuage pain. I think the point of counter attacking is to make sure you don’t get attacked again. When a man stabs you, you don’t hit him with an axe cause it hurts, you hit him with the axe so he doesn’t stab you again.

          • The point is to make sure we and our rights to be and practice, are taken seriously. For the most part, we have a pretty good balance of carrot and stick. We have lots of people doing great outreach work, which has radically shifted public perception of pagans in much of the popular culture.

            On the other hand, when some decide they’re going to belittle us and dehumanize us, they need to be shown, quickly, that they will have a hell of a fight on their hands. No one has to like us, but they WILL respect our right to exist, one way or another. Exum’s column seemed to be motivated by ignorance rather than malice. I think his apology was a pleasant surprise, and at least sounded sincere. It seems like both sides are wiser for the encounter and I think most of us want to, or have shown Exum some appreciation for his apology.

        • Indeed, none of the emails that Exum quotes from were in the least bit iniquitous. One called him “pathetic”, which he very arguably is. Another invited Exum to kiss her Pagan ass, which is a perfectly reasonable response to someone who calls you a liar with no honor. Two others gave Roy a little taste of his own medicine by mocking some of the more disgusting/ridiculous aspects of the death-cult of Jesus — but in both cases the mockery was done using accurate, if crude, descriptions of actual Christian beliefs and practices.

      • AnonGuest

        Yes, he did.

      • I agree. I found myself reading some of the emails he quotes, and found myself wanting to email him and apologize, even though I had not emailed him before in the first place.

        • I think Mr. Exum is a role model for us all. We can’t expect everyone to already be well informed about Paganism. Christians who are open-minded about a counter-cultural minority religion like Paganism are rare enough, but someone who actually can admit they were poorly informed and then publicly apologize and reach out to the offended group as Exum has, well I think such a person is rare in both Christian and Pagan circles. Some of the emails he received from Pagans were worse than his original column, I think. Sometimes Pagans can be as intolerant of Christians as Christians can be of Pagans. I wish all of the Pagan responses had the same measured tone and generosity of spirit as Exum’s retraction had. If we could all follow his lead, by admitting when we have been petty or ignorant, then I think that might go a long way toward healing the animus that Christians and Pagans feel toward each other.

  • Anonymous

    “way to achieve dominion is not to become ‘America’s Taliban,’ but rather to have kingdom-minded people in every one of the Seven Mountains…Family,so that they can use their influence to…permeate all areas of society.”

    WTF does this even mean, to put kingdom-minded people in “the family”? The only two possibilities I can see are equal parts idiotic and horrifying–either they create a bureaucracy to regulate families, or they insist that all families are headed by a Christian fundamentalist who believes in the appropriate dogma.

    Can anybody think of an interpretation of that statement which doesn’t involve howling stupidity?

    • Baruch Dreamstalker

      To bring up kids to take their places as adults in kingdom-centered families, and set their face against anything (like gay marriage) that violates their idea of a kingdom-centered family. I don’t know if that passes the non-howling-stupidity test but it’s what I took the term to mean. YMMV.

    • Norse Alchemist

      Actually I don’t think “The family” he’s talking about here are your typical home family. I think he’s talking about the “Family of Christ” or something like that. Of course he could be talking about converting families, one member at a time. It’s probably both.

  • I don’t care what your religion is… as a hobby farmer who keeps chickens, I say that having them in your cellar is a BAD idea. They poop. They poop six times their weight each day, it seems. They kill each other… in their quest for dominance, they often peck each other to death. Do you REALLY want chicken poop and corpses stored next to the supplies for your hair care? Bacteria alert! My daughter, the cosmetologist, is shuddering. Not cruelty, not a religious crusade, just common hygienic good sense!