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.
- For those who haven’t been following the Fox News/Tucker Carlson Pagan holidays at the University of Missouri saga, the Religion News Service (conveniently headquartered at Mizzou) gives a quick run-down. Of course that isn’t the end of it as Fox News host Bill O’Reilly decided he needed to have a go at the issue last week, and despite the requisite mockery admitted that “I don’t see anything wrong with this as long as the university is upfront about it … it is a movement, there are Wiccans and Witches and they do what they do … this is America.” Tonight on BlogTalkRadio Circle Sanctuary’s Selena Fox will be hosting a Pagan town hall on what our community can learn from this experience.
- PNC-Minnesota has a piece up about the much-talked-about PantheaCon 2013 panel on privilege held in the COG/NWC/NROOGD suite, and moderated by T. Thorn Coyle. Quote: “The panel opened with Coyle talking about what is meant by privilege. ”If you have clean drinking water coming out of your faucet, that is privilege.” She emphasized the discussion about privilege would not be about placing blame, guilt, or victimization but about gaining a deeper understanding of one another and exploring differences and common ground. Privilege is often defined as the advantages a person or group has that are so normal to them they are usually unaware of them.” I had tried to attend this panel, but it was completely full by the time I arrived. I hear an audio recording was made, and hopefully this will be made available soon. I also hope this discussion can be continued more formally at PantheaCon next year.
- NPR explores religious exemptions, who gets them, and why. Quote: “Religious exemptions are nearly as old as the nation. Early debate centered on oath-taking and bearing arms in militias. Today, they’re over where to educate children, whether to vaccinate them, who your church can hire or whether your synagogue pays taxes on its land, even what you can wear in a photo ID or if you can skip the photograph altogether.”
- A trove of unpublished poems by Rudyard Kipling are finally seeing the light of day. Kipling was much admired by many Pagans for works like “Puck of Pook’s Hill” which included the now-famous lyrics for “Oak & Ash & Thorn.” Quote: “The 50 unpublished poems are being included alongside more than 1,300 of Kipling’s poems in the three-volume Cambridge Edition of The Poems of Rudyard Kipling, the first ever complete edition of his verse, out on 7 March.”
- In March, a new book about Christian history will be released that will no doubt draw the attention of many Pagans. “The Myth of Persecution: How Early Christians Invented a Story of Martyrdom” by Candida Moss, a New Testament scholar at the University of Notre Dame, posits that the persecution narrative that many Christians cling to was largely fabricated. Quote: “[Moss] challenges some of the most hallowed legends of the religion when she questions what she calls “the Sunday school narrative of a church of martyrs, of Christians huddled in catacombs out of fear, meeting in secret to avoid arrest and mercilessly thrown to lions merely for their religious beliefs.” None of that, she maintains, is true.” For some, these revelations are nothing new, but that they are being presented in a high-profile fashion is, I think, important. Will Christians confront their own persecution narratives?
- Gary Lachman, author of “Madame Blavatsky: The Mother of Modern Spirituality,” explains why Carl Jung is so important. Quote: “We may not agree with everything he says, but that isn’t important, and Jung himself always encouraged people to think for themselves. But by showing us how to look within, Jung introduced us to the most mysterious thing in the universe: ourselves.”
- Why should same-sex marriage be legal? Because not every religion agrees with Christian thought on the issue. Quote: “Now anyone can come along to the centre to have their wedding. Perhaps people might assume that the centre is just for Hindus and we want people to know it is open to everyone, regardless of race, religion or sexuality. This is one way of us integrating with the community.”
- The Patheos Pagan Portal has posted audio from their Pagan Intrafaith panel at PantheaCon 2013. Quote: “I’m in favor of a “big tent” definition of Paganism that is inclusive and welcoming – but if Paganism is going to survive as a diverse movement, we need to improve communication between different traditions and paths. I know that meeting Pagans with radically different beliefs and practices has helped me a great deal in developing my own, and I want my community to continue to be a place where that kind of inter-tradition communication can happen.”
- I’m voting for the former instead of the latter, Chas.
- Did we stop eating horses because it was a “pagan” custom?
- Meeting a Vodou priest in Haiti. Quote: “Vodou is still alive in Haiti — whether we can see it or not. It is a religion with deep roots from West Africa. The great influence of his ancestors is still strong with Lisma. I was only there to observe and learn more about him. An encounter with someone like Lisma and immersing myself in other cultures is why I continue to travel to unknown places. Although, I will never fully understand the complexities of vodou, I now have a better understanding of the people and history of Haiti.”
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.