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.
- The New York Times looks at Vodou, noting how recent negative news portrayals have “shaken the tight-knit and largely secretive” community. The piece also interviews academic and progressive activist Dowoti Desir, founder of Ogun’s Task Force for Haiti, a member of the Haitian Diaspora Coalition. There’s also a photo slideshow and video to check out.
- Speaking of Vodou, Foreign Policy Magazine looks at the recent election of Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly as Haiti’s next president. They note that Martelly’s extensive involvement in rara music and culture, “often affiliated with Vodou congregations and believed to be under the patronage of a spirit in the unseen realm,” was a key element in his campaigning. More on Martelly, here.
- Stephen Hodgson, a Wiccan in Minnesota’s prison system, has “filed a federal lawsuit against the state alleging his religious rights have been violated.” Nor is this some unfounded jailhouse complaint, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights says that “probable cause exists to believe that an unfair discriminatory practice was committed.” According to Hodgson, prison officials have “decided Christianity is the way to go and everybody else should fall in line.” Which reiterates the opinion and experience of activists like Rev. Patrick McCollum in his testimony to the US Commission on Civil Rights. I’m in contact with the PNC-Minnesota bureau now about following up on this story in the near future.
- Has the Supreme Court undermined the Establishment Clause? That’s the opinion of the Interfaith Alliance and Justice Elena Kagan, who says that the 5-4 ruling on Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn “threatens to eliminate all occasions for a taxpayer to contest the government’s monetary support of religion.” SCOTUSblog notes that the decision “came very close on Monday to taking away altogether the right of taxpayers to go to court to challenge government programs that provide financial aid to religion.” Potentially scary stuff for minority faiths in the United States.
- Erynn Rowan Laurie notes that launch of three new reconstructionist Pagan blogs, The Presence of the Past by Disirdottir, A Wolf-Man, Not a Wolf in Man’s Clothing by Faoladh, and Finnchuill’s Mast by Finnchuill. Be sure to also check out the essay concerning “Aisling, Ársaíocht, agus Agallamh” that follows the news of that link.
- A Murray State University college paper profiles Wiccan Kyra Ledbetter, a senior who notes that the religion helped her transform “from that terrifying girl in middle school to a member of volunteer programs.”
- Have you been missing 70s-era occult-influenced metal? Meet Blood Ceremony, whose latest album ‘Living With The Ancients’ was released by Rise Above on March 7th 2011. Check out their track “The Great God Pan.”
- Over at Patheos.com columnist P. Sufenas Virius Lupus examines “coming out theology” and whether it’s necessary for modern Pagans. This is an excellent examination, and I urge everyone to head over and read this.
- Speaking of Patheos.com, Brendan Myers responds to criticisms of his recent piece “Thinking Shall Replace Killing.”
- What happens when you expose monotheists to polytheistic festival culture? They love it.
- Immortals director Tarsem Singh wants to fight the “idea that all gods that were wise had to be old.”
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.