Isaac Bonewits’ Battle With Cancer: There has been some not-so-encouraging news in the saga of Pagan author and theologian Isaac Bonewits’ battle with cancer. It seems the rare form of colon cancer he was diagnosed with has not been responding to the rounds of chemo he’s been undergoing, and the prognosis from doctors has been grim.
Isaac and Phaedra Bonewits
“A very stressful day for both of us. Isaac’s very weak from last week’s chemo, so he is back in the hospital for a few days. A very frank talk with his oncologist was not encouraging. In short, the best they can do is control his disease. He will not get well. If he cannot tolerate chemo at levels that control the tumors, there is nothing else they can do.”
At this point doctors say that nothing short of a miracle would help, so Phaedra Bonewits is calling for everyone to “kick the magic into gear” and make that miracle happen. As someone who has family living with cancer, I can understand the pain and heartbreak involved, and I wish healing and strength to Isaac and Phaedra in this trying time. I’m sure that in addition to your prayers and invocations, a donation towards their climbing medical costs wouldn’t hurt either. For up-to-date news and information, you can follow their Facebook fan-page.
The Case of the Missing (Secular) Cross: It seems that someone, or more likely a group of someones, unhappy with the recent Supreme Court decision regarding a Christian WWI memorial on public lands in the Mojave Desert, took the law into their own hands.
“Less than two weeks ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the controversial 7-foot-high Mojave Desert cross could stay put, but on Sunday someone else decided it should go. Investigators who arrived at its former perch Monday found a few bits of rusty metal, 1.6 million acres of desert and a big mystery on their hands. “One day it was there, the next day it wasn’t,” said Linda Slater, spokeswoman for the Mojave National Preserve, where the cross stood for 76 years. “It was bolted directly to the rock, and the bolts were cut. Someone has that cross.” Whoever that someone is could have driven right up to it, knocked it down, loaded it up and been in Las Vegas, Barstow or dozens of other communities in a few hours, officials said.”
The Liberty Institute, who are representing the memorial caretakers, as well as several veteran groups in this case, are offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved in this act. Currently there is some debate as to if the cross can be replaced before all litigation has been exhausted, since the issue of the congressional land transfer was sent back to the lower courts. Naturally, advocates on both sides of this legal case are condemning this act, but some, like the Alliance Defense Fund and American Thinker, are already framing this act of vandalism as a salvo in a great left-right war for America’s soul.
“Personal. Sickening. Disgraceful. Vets symbolize what is good in America. The thief who did this represents what is bad. And there is no middle. The war in America is an age-old war and must be fought with old tactics. Truth and facts are weapons of the right. They must be deployed with vigor against the Left.”
Whoever did this was truly stupid. They didn’t solve the issue, and have instead confirmed the worst suspicions of conservative activists, and tarnished the efforts of those fighting for a clear separation between church and state in this country. There will be another cross, and if the ACLU of Southern California should happen to ultimately win, we’ll no doubt see a truly national uproar and civil disobedience to go along with it. I don’t agree that the Christian cross can be a secular symbol of death, and I think it muddies the waters of religious establishment in this country, but this should not have happened. Anyone who is secretly (or not so secretly) cheering this, doesn’t understand the setbacks this will put into play.
More on the Maetreum of Cybele: The Watershed Post has an in-depth look at the ongoing legal struggles of the Maetreum of Cybele, a Pagan temple and convent located in upstate New York. It’s filled with all sorts of wonderful details, like how the Maetreum’s Reverend Mother, Cathryn Platine, has become something of a local anti-tax icon, and how they aren’t the first to run into this sort of local tax trouble in the area.
“Balking at giving tax exemptions to property owned by religious organizations is a local tradition. Desperate for revenue and besieged by the many sprawling, tax-free estates of churches, monasteries, ashrams, and yeshivas, the region’s town assessors tend to turn a jaundiced eye on exemption requests. Catskill Town Assessor Nancy McCoy is no exception.”
Ironically, Catskill recently gave Wal-Mart a big tax break, citing the high court costs of not doing so. History may repeat itself, as court hearings in this case so far haven’t been overly favorable to Catskill, and have allowed the Maetreum to re-serve their suit to include the School Board and the County, blocking any action on collection of taxes until the case is settled.
That’s all I have for now, but before I go, be sure to check out the newly posted two-part interview with author Erynn Rowan Laurie over at Patheos. In it she discusses Celtic Reconstructionism, poetry, and her involvement in the newly-launched Warriors & Kin group-blog project.