Archives For Presidential election

(Pagan) News of Note

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  November 8, 2008 — 3 Comments

My semi-regular round-up of articles, essays, and opinions of note for discerning Pagans and Heathens.

It seems our troubled economy is sparing no-one. The International New Age Trade Show has canceled their East coast show for 2009 (the West coast show is proceeding normally), citing concerns over the “current worldwide economic situation”.

“In light of the current worldwide economic situation, we’ve decided to postpone the INATS East show until 2010. By waiting out these hard times, we feel we’ll be better able to provide the buyer attendance that is crucial to exhibitor success. It’s always our goal to provide the optimum situation for both buyers and exhibitors. With the holidays upon us and the predictions being made about retailer slow-downs, we feel it is in our exhibitors’ best interest to postpone at this time.”

So much for that “one decimal point”. Will Pagan festivals and conventions also see postponements, cancellations, and moves to smaller venues as the world tightens its collective belt? After all, it’s hard to buy trinkets and take time off work when you’re barely making ends meet. Thanks to Juliaki for tipping me off to this developing story.

We aren’t the only ones noticing that Republicans have lost the non-Christian vote.

“For Republicans, the news only gets worse. Not only is the country becoming less White Anglo, it’s becoming less rural, and perhaps even less religious. Meaning, in political terms, less Christian, specifically less Protestant. Most Catholics voted Democratic Tuesday. Jews and Muslims mostly voted for Obama. So did that still small but growing minority—mostly Asian-American—raised in the Buddhist or Hindu traditions. So, in all likelihood (the exit polls don’t get into these areas) did those who were raised as Christians but now consider themselves New Age, neo-pagan or simply indifferent. Every year, there are more of these folks, fewer of the stereotypical traditional American—the rural, white Protestant whose ancestors have been here for generations. Every year, the country gets more diverse, more metropolitan, more cosmopolitan, even a bit more secular. In the process, it gets less Republican.”

The strategy of doubling-down on conservative Christianity may have seemed like a great idea thirty years ago, but in an increasingly religiously pluralistic society it can cost you elections.

Speaking of the Obama victory, I’ve rounded up reactions from some notable Pagans, including Thorn Coyle, Starhawk, Deborah Oak, Hrafnkell, Cat Chapin-Bishop, Erynn Rowan Laurie, and Judith Laura. Meanwhile Pagan authors Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and Edain McCoy have sent out a call for spiritual protection for our 44th president.

“We have been made aware that a clear and present danger hangs over the head of Sen. Barrack Obama. Unfortunately, we still live a country where many are taught to hate and fear others based on nothing more than the hue of their skin. Our community mobilizes all the time to send healing and protection to others, and we hope you will join us in a multi-faith magickal effort to keep Barrack Obama–and his family–safe from harm as he transitions into the role of our President.”

They are asking for focused workings at Yule/Midwinter and on inauguration day. Also, while technically not a Pagan, I think Nobel-winner Wangari Maathai eloquently puts forth a prime concern among many Pagans looking towards the next four years.

“If there is one thing I would personally wish of Obama, it would be to fight for the environment. I would urge his administration to help Africa protect its forests and to adapt to the changing climate. We know that Africa will be very adversely affected. The post-Kyoto protocol negotiations are ongoing, and forests must be included as part of the solution. I hope America will support that.”

Here’s hoping that global warming and the environment is at the top of his priority list, for all our sakes.

Though the Halloween interview season is over, that hasn’t stopped New Jersey monthly from interviewing local Pagan shop owners and the editor of the forthcoming “Thorn” magazine.

“For those who want to explore paganism in relation to modern culture, Thorn Magazine, will make its debut this month. Editor Chip O’Brien said it’s the only one of its kind in the northeast. He hopes this Matawan-based publication and website will ‘illuminate the joys and complications of living ancient paths in the wired era.'”

Nice to see a reporter actually scour the state looking for Pagans to interview, though overall points have been deducted for not fact-checking claims that Wicca stems from “ancient Egyptians and Celtic lore”. Still, a generally decent overview of the Pagan business community in the state.

In a final note, it looks like all sorts of litigation of interest to modern Pagans will be in our future. South Carolina is going ahead with their controversial “I Believe” license plate design, Bill O’Reilly is gearing up to fight the Christmas Wars once again, and the city of Green Bay, Wisconsin, has decided to include religious displays after all.

“Yesterday’s Appleton (WI) Post-Crescent reports that the proposed policy that would have allowed only secular displays on government property has now been changed. By a vote of 8-4, Council added language stating that the U.S. Supreme Court has approved combined religious and nonreligious displays, and that city officials, at their discretion, may permit these as well as purely secular ones. Before final passage, Green Bay’s city attorney will study the new language.”

You can click here for a quick overview of the whole sordid religious mess caused by Green Bay’s mayor and city council because they want to place a plastic baby Jesus on their building (litigation is already pending). Also, keep an eye out for news of the the Supreme Court case Pleasant Grove City v. Summum, which will hear arguments on November 12th.

That is all I have for now, have a great day!

I don’t know if you heard, but Barack Obama won the race for president of the United States of America last night. Though “won” doesn’t quite express the historic margins of victory on display here. The Obama campaign won commanding majorities of several key demographics.

“Mr. Obama built a coalition that included majorities of women, independent voters, political moderates, Hispanics, African-Americans, people of most income groups and education levels and voters under age 45, according to nationwide surveys of voters leaving the polls on Tuesday and telephone interviews of some people who had voted early.”

So the pollsters, psychics, practitioners of divination, and other “spiritually advanced people” who predicted an Obama win can rest easy in the knowledge that they were correct. Which brings us to the Pagans. How did they vote this election? Thanks to The Witches’ Voice, we have a rough snapshot of who our community supported in 2008.

Witchvox 2008 Presidential Poll

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Pagans overall preferred Obama and the Democratic party, with nearly 3/4ths supporting Barack Obama. This is an improvement of almost 2 percentage points over Kerry in 2004. Republican-leaning Pagans on the other hand seemed deeply unhappy with their party’s nominee. While Bush garnered 17.7% of the Pagan vote in 2004, McCain dropped seven percentage points, with most of those voters migrating to the “None of the above” category. In contrast, only 1.5% of Pagans went with “other” in 2004. Could the appointment of Sarah Palin, with her ties to anti-Pagan “spiritual warfare” churches, have been a poison pill for conservative Pagans?

This election cycle also saw progressive Pagans vote for the Green party in larger numbers, 3.2% this year as opposed to 0.8% in 2004. Support for Ralph Nader, who ran as an independent in 2004 and 2008, remained stable with around 2.5% of the vote in both elections. Among the smaller political parties, the Libertarians were hardest hit this election. While 5.6% went for Michael Badnarik in ’04, only 2.3% voted for Bob Barr. I can only imagine that Barr’s anti-Pagan past came back to haunt him.

While Pagan Obama supporters must be very happy right now, it wasn’t all good news for us. Paganistan (aka Minnesota’s Twin Cities) saw the reelection of congresswoman Michele “investigate the liberals” Bachmann, a woman unafraid to dump money on anti-Pagan charities. It also isn’t looking very good for gay marriage in California (anti-gay marriage bans were also passed in Arizona and Florida). Earlier this year I explained how these marriage bans interfere with the religious liberties of Pagan clergy willing to perform ceremonies for gay couples.

Despite these political setbacks, I can say I’m truly happy that the age of George “I don’t think witchcraft is a religion” Bush is finally coming to an end. I’m also pleased to see the emergence of a more politically engaged Pagan movement. I look optimistically to the future of America, and the continuing growth and influence of modern Pagans in our world.

ADDENDUM: Nate Silver at the 538 blog has posted exit-polling data from the election and finds that the Witchvox poll numbers are pretty darn accurate (with 73% of religious “other” voters preferring Obama).

For Democrats worried that all those positive polls are wrong, Kenyan witch doctor John Radima is here to reassure you.

John Radima points towards the pro-Obama casting.

“A witch doctor in Kogelo, western Kenya, where Obama’s father grew up, on Saturday also predicted victory for the Democrat. John Radima, who lives not far from the home of Obama’s grandmother in Kogelo, threw stones, bones and shells on the ground and “read” them. The message was that Obama will be the winner in the November 4 election.”

The spirits may have spoken, but don’t let that stop you from making your own voice heard this Tuesday. Also, when watching the results roll in tomorrow, take the advice of Democratic and Republican pundits, and ignore the exit polls (and don’t forget to participate in The Witches’ Voice Presidential Poll).

I just wanted to take a minute to point everyone to the Witches’ Voice presidential election poll. It is embedded on their front page, and only takes a second to make your selection. The larger the sample the more accurate the results, so spread the word, and be sure to participate. I’ll be weighing in with some analysis of the results on Wednesday. You can look at the results (and some commentary) from four years ago, here.

You can also catch up on The Wild Hunt’s reporting from this election season. Oh, and don’t forget to vote on Tuesday! I’ve already voted here in Wisconsin, so I’ll be relaxing and watching the results come in.

I had never heard of Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann until her recent brush with infamy, when she advocated that Barack Obama, and other liberals, be investigated for “anti-American” views by the press.

Michele Bachmann

Michele Bachmann

“What I would say is that the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look. I wish they would. I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out, are they pro-America or anti-America? I think the American people would love to see an expose like that.” When asked about Sen. Barack Obama’s views she said, “Absolutely, I’m very concerned that he may have anti-American views.”

However, channeling Joseph McCarthy is hardly unique among the far-right, what has caught my eye about this witch-hunting poster child is the fact that she is funneling tainted contribution money into an anti-Pagan charity.

“Earlier this month we reported Bachmann’s connection to Frank Vennes Jr., convict-turned-good who was also a heavy Bachmann contributor. She wrote a letter on his behalf requesting a pardon, but pulled it after his homes were raided in connection with the Petters’ fraud investigation. Her campaign reported that she donated at least one of Vennes’ contributions to charity, but wouldn’t specify which one. Bachmann donated a $9,200 contribution on Oct. 3 to Minnesota Teen Challenge, according to Minnesota Independent.”

A quick look a the Minnesota Teen Challenge web site would lead you to believe they are a run-of-the-mill faith-based anti-drug and alcohol organization. But appearances can be deceiving. Local anti-Bachmann bloggers have dug through the organization’s newsletters and found some pretty familiar rhetoric.

“We would have people put curses over candy and place jewelry with demonic symbols in Trick or Treat bags. When the kids take it willingly, it opens the door for demonic attack. Kids would be sick for weeks after Halloween. Drug dealers were out in full force. We would all try to recruit at least one person to come back to the Satanic meeting. Usually, we would just try to impress them with different displays of demonic power, like levitation and casting spells.”

If that weren’t all, the scandal-tainted money was donated to a charity that used to be run and funded by the very person who tainted it in the first place!

“Frank Vennes is a former board member of Teen Challenge. He’s also involved in the nonprofit Fidelis Foundation, which has served as a fiscal agent for — and donated millions of dollars to — many evangelical ministries and other religious organizations, including Minnesota Teen Challenge.”

Now supporting a charity that peddles in lies and distortions of Pagan religions is most likely the least of her worries at this point, but it certainly gives some insight into what causes Bachmann is willing to support. Being socially conservative is one thing, but unthinkingly supporting a group that teaches mentally vulnerable children with addictions that we are evil is another matter entirely. Here’s hoping that Paganistan can elect someone a bit more friendly to our faiths come November.

Remember back in 2002 when John “Let the Eagle Soar” Ashcroft, then Attorney General, ordered the half-naked statue of the Spirit of Justice to be covered by a drape?

“The [Department of Justice] spent $8,000 on blue drapes that hide the two giant, aluminum art deco statues, said spokesman Shane Hix. For aesthetic reasons, he said, the drapes were occasionally hung in front of the statues before formal events. The department used to rent the drapes, but has now purchased them and left them hanging. The drapes provide a nice background for television cameras, Hix said … ABC News reported that Attorney General John Ashcroft ordered the statues covered because he didn’t like being photographed in front of them.”

Well, it isn’t just Republican politicians who want to avoid being photographed around the bared breasts of a goddess. It seems Democratic VP candidate Joe Biden’s campaign team was a little bashful around a proudly (half) nude statue of Diana the huntress.

Joe, meet Diana. Photo by Javier Manzano.

“Normally, Diana the Huntress – the statue of her, that is – poses au naturel in front of the Union Depot building in downtown Pueblo. But on Wednesday, that changed. At least for a few hours. “I don’t think they wanted bare breasts showing,” said Mike Randall, the person in charge of putting a makeshift shift on Diana, goddess of the hunt and the moon. “They said cover her up, so I put her in a toga,” said Randall, who used a large swath of black cloth to cover Diana’s unmentionables and a bunch of black string to keep his creation from blowing away. The enormous flag was added after the toga alone was deemed inadequate to keep Diana out of the picture.”

Diana covered. Photo by Javier Manzano.

A word of advice to politicians, don’t sweat the statues! It just makes you seem prudish and overly concerned with avoiding a potentially embarrassing photo (plus, I would love to get some great shots of politicians standing in front of pagan deities to use for my blog). Also, I can’t imagine it would be good luck to throw a toga and flag on Diana’s statue (she just doesn’t seem the acquiescing type). I’m just sayin’.

PS – Here is a shot of the de-toga-ed statue of Diana.

(Pagan) News of Note

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  October 13, 2008 — 1 Comment

My semi-regular round-up of articles, essays, and opinions of note for discerning Pagans and Heathens.

A botanica, Centro Botanico La Santisma in San Diego, burned down on Saturday after a lit candle sparked a larger fire.

“A lit candle in a voodoo supply shop sparked a fire, destroying the San Diego store and damaging an adjacent taco shop. San Diego police Sgt. Ray Battrick says the blaze’s intense smoke caused officials to evacuate several homes in the Grant Hill neighborhood when the fire broke out early Sunday morning. Firefighters said the Centro Botanico La Santisma store was a total loss, with nearly $350,000 in damages. The store sold herbs, amulets and other items related to Santeria, voodoo and other religions.”

Luckily, no one was injured in the blaze. A chilling reminder to all Pagan and occult stores to be careful with candles, and to have a healthy fire-insurance policy.

Jay Clarke looks at the large variety of Samhain/Halloween events happening in Salem during the month of October. Including the Salem Witches Halloween Ball (not to be confused with the Cabot Witches Ball).

“On Nov. 1, the Day of the Dead, another massive party – the Salem Witches’ Halloween Ball – also takes place at the Hawthorne and on the adjacent grassy Common ($150 per person). The Common, fittingly, is where some scenes of the popular Hocus Pocus movie about long-dead witches were filmed … Yes, Salem has real witches – more than 3,000 of them, who practice Wicca. They detest both the stereotype of wickedness as presented in the Wizard of Oz and the nose-twitching antics of Samantha in television’s Bewitched.”

I think “detest” is a somewhat strong term. I happen to love the “Wizard of Oz”, and find “Bewitched” (and the play/film that inspired it “Bell, Book, and Candle”) to be quite charming at times (especially Jack Lemmon as Nicky). Also, $150 dollars? Yikes! That’s a little too rich for my blood.

According to Arnold Conrad, the former pastor of Grace Evangelical Free Church in Davenport, non-Christians around the world are praying for Obama to win the presidential election.

“There are millions of people around this world praying to their god—whether it’s Hindu, Buddha, Allah—that his opponent wins, for a variety of reasons. And Lord, I pray that you will guard your own reputation, because they’re going to think that their God is bigger than you, if that happens,”

Conrad made these remarks at a recent McCain rally in Iowa (before McCain ever arrived). This is certainly a shock to the Pagans and non-Christians who are planning to vote for the Republican, Libertarian, Constitution, or Green party come November. One can only wonder what will happen to Conrad’s faith should God let his “reputation” be harmed by an Obama win.

Are comic-book superheroes thinly-disguised gods for our modern age? Performance artist Justin Lamb seems to think so.

“I wanted to do a show exploring why superheroes and comic book culture have gotten so popular lately. I started researching it and started finding a lot of weird little similarities between superheroes and religion, which has a nice little nerd following of it’s own if you haven’t noticed. I wondered if subconsciously, do the things that attract people to these religions also attract people to these heroes.”

Perhaps Lamb has been reading “Our Gods Wear Spandex: The Secret History of Comic Book Heroes”? Or he could just be a big Grant Morrison or Alan Moore fan.

In a final note, the New Statesman publishes an interesting examination of secularism, and recent attempts to push forward a watered-down “positive secularism” by France’s Nicolas Sarkozy and Pope Benedict XVI.

“To speak of positive secularism is to imply that there are two kinds of secularism, one good, the other bad. The supposedly good one, put forward by the Pope and his acolyte Nicolas Sar kozy, is a secularism that would allow politics to mingle with religions. One which would, for instance, turn a blind eye to sects and their actions, one which would accept that people be treated differently according to their faiths, one which would blur the frontiers between the public and private spheres. Sarkozy certainly knows a great deal about the blurring of the two distinct worlds whose separation has been France’s trademark for at least two centuries.”

Only one kind of secularism guarantees the rights of minority religions, and it isn’t the “positive secularism” envisioned by the Pope. Creating a “secularism with exceptions” sets us on a dangerous road where some are more equal than others.

That is all I have for now, have a great day!

Just when I thought this story couldn’t go even further down the Christian extremist rabbit-hole, up pops another revelation about a Sarah Palin coreligionist.

“On June 13, 2008 Mary Glazier told attendees at the “Opening the Gate of Heaven on Earth” conference, who represented many of the New Apostolic Reformation’s top leaders, that she had been present at the inception of Sarah Palin’s political career and that Palin was in her personal prayer group : ‘There was a twenty-four year old woman that God began to speak to about entering into politics. She became a part of our prayer group out in Wasilla. Years later, became the mayor of Wasilla. And last year was elected Governor of the state of Alaska. Yes! Hallelujah! At her inauguration she dedicated the state to Jesus Christ. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!'”

Who is Mary Glazier? She is the founder of Windwalkers International, and is a key figure in the Third Wave/New Apostolic Reformation movement. Part of C. Peter Wagner’s inner circle. Wagner, as I have pointed out before, is the man who is waging a war on the “Queen of Heaven”, whom he equates with pre-Christian goddesses, Islam, and Mary within the Catholic Church.

“Peter Wagner appears to be afflicted with a rather bizarre form of paranoia. He sees the world controlled by a demonic force he calls “the Queen of Heaven.” He sees this demon in everything from ancient Moon goddess religions to Islam (e.g., the crescent moon), to environmentalism (Gaia), feminism, witchcraft, and even in mainstreem Christianity (e.g., Catholic respect of Mary as the Mother of Jesus). That’s the purpose of the book, to help you, too, see that all these disparate religions are really united, and that the Virgin Mary is the demon behind it all.”

Glazier’s claims directly tie Palin into the world of anti-Pagan spiritual warfare. While some conservatives have defended the anti-witchcraft blessing of Palin by Thomas Muthee saying it was acceptable because of his cultural context, Glazier, who has her own witchcraft story, has no such excuse.

“In 1995, Mary mobilized a prayer network for Alaska’s prisons and began experiencing spiritual warfare as never before. She had received word that a witch had applied for a job as chaplain of the state’s prison system… Mary recalls, “As we continued to pray against the spirit of witchcraft, her incense altar caught on fire, her car engine blew up, she went blind in her left eye, and she was diagnosed with cancer” … “Ultimately, the witch fled to another state for medical treatment. Soon after, revival visited every prison in Alaska. At the women’s correctional facility in Anchorage alone, 55 of 60 inmates found Christ. “Ask largely,” Mary says. “Intercessory prayer is making a major difference in North America.”

I’ll give you a moment for this to sink in. Glazier and her prayer warriors claim to have made God blind and give cancer to a Wiccan chaplain. Is this anything but the most malefic of magic? Any Pagan who proudly claimed to have given a Christian cancer, or put out one of the eyes of a Christian, would be rightly shunned and rebuked. Within this community of extremist Christians Glazier and her fellow prayer warriors are lauded as heroes, holy warriors striking a blow against Satan and the “Queen of Heaven”. While these warriors are quick to post disclaimers saying their efforts are “merely” spiritual, who knows what an unbalanced mind would do with this sort of rhetoric.

This adds to the questions I would love to ask Sarah Palin (not that she’s taking questions). Not just if she approves of the spiritual warfare techniques of the Third Wavers, but if she personally prayed for harm to come to one of our own (she was still deeply enmeshed in the movement back in 1995 after all). Sadly, while Obama and McCain were grilled on their religious stances, we’re supposed to take it on faith that she will respect the rights of non-Christian faiths should she be elected?

Since I first posted about Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin’s troubling co-religionists, the mainstream press and several major blogs have homed in on the blessing Palin received from the African Bishop Thomas Muthee.

“Palin describes the visit of Pastor Thomas Muthee to the Wasilla Assembly of God in 2005. “As I was mayor and Pastor Muthee was here and he was praying over me, and you know how he speaks and he’s so bold. And he was praying ‘Lord make a way, Lord make a way,'” Palin remarked. “And I’m thinking, this guy’s really bold, he doesn’t even know what I’m going to do, he doesn’t know what my plans are,” she continued. “And he’s praying not ‘oh Lord if it be your will may she become governor,’ no, he just prayed for it. He said, ‘Lord make a way and let her do this next step. And that’s exactly what happened.'” “So, again, very very powerful, coming from this church,” she added.”

Muthee is feted by fellow Christians in America and in Africa for driving out the “spirit of witchcraft” that resided in the village of Kiambu, Kenya. Now it seems this wasn’t purely spiritual warfare on the part of Muthee, but involved stirring up mobs and driving a local fortune-teller out of town.

“According to the Christian Science Monitor, six months of fervent prayer and research identified the source of the witchcraft as a local woman called Mama Jane, who ran a “divination” centre called the Emmanuel Clinic … after Pastor Muthee declared Mama Jane a witch, the townspeople became suspicious and began to turn on her, demanding that she be stoned. Public outrage eventually led the police to raid her home, where they fired gunshots, killing a pet python which they believed to be a demon. After Mama Jane was questioned by police – and released – she decided it was time to leave town, the account says.”

As I pointed out previously, this isn’t some isolated third-world preacher, Muthee has toured America, received mainstream press coverage, and gave 10 consecutive sermons at Wasilla Assembly of God (Palin’s former church). He is a strong proponent of the spiritual warfare tactics endorsed by “Third Wave” Christian churches. Knowing that she was willingly blessed by an anti-witch fanatic, someone who has helped stir up the kind of mobs responsible for the horrific deaths of innocent men and women in Kenya, makes me reiterate my previous closing statement on this matter.

“What Pagans need to know, especially those who are considering voting Republican, is if Palin condemns or rejects the spiritual warfare teachings of the Third Wave movement. A movement that essentially espouses malicious Christian magic. Pagans have seen first hand that the religious opinions of Presidents have been used in the past by government agencies to deny us our legal rights. What would happen if our vice president thought we should be supernaturally eradicated?”

Does Palin still credit Muthee (via the power of “Jesus”) with “making a way” to power for her? Does she know and approve of Muthee’s spiritual war against “witches”? I think it would be important to know these things before election day.

Here I was thinking to myself that the chances of a modern Pagan angle to the Republican VP pick of Alaska’s Sarah Palin would be truly minimal. Sure, you had her support of aerial wolf hunting (a cruel method that violates the ethic of “fair chase”), and her drill-happy attitudes towards ANWR, but nothing explicitly anti-Pagan had emerged. But a number of bloggers, most notably Bruce Wilson at Talk2Action, have been digging into Palin’s religious background and found some disturbingly anti-Pagan connections.

“Sarah Palin’s churches are actively involved in a resurgent movement that was declared heretical by the Assemblies of God in 1949. This is the same ‘Spiritual Warfare’ movement that was featured in the award winning movie, “Jesus Camp,” which showed young children being trained to do battle for the Lord. At least three of four of Palin’s churches are involved with major organizations and leaders of this movement, which is referred to as The Third Wave of the Holy Spirit or the New Apostolic Reformation. The movement is training a young “Joel’s Army” to take dominion over the United States and the world.”

These “Third Wave” Christians believe in supernatural powers, demon possession, curses, and ongoing spiritual warfare. Most of them are loosely grouped around C. Peter Wagner, founder of the World Prayer Center, and coiner of the term “Third Wave”. Wagner believes that one of the greatest opponents to Third Wave Christian dominance is The Goddess.

“Several of their top prophets and generals of intercession spent weeks in intensive prayer to “confront the Queen of Heaven.” This queen is considered by them to be one of the most powerful demons over the earth and is the Great Harlot of Mystery Babylon in Revelation … Wagner and his group also claim that the Queen of Heaven is Diana, the pagan god of the biblical book Ephesians and the god of Mary veneration in the Roman Catholic Church.”

Wagner is so serious about the “Queen of Heaven” (you know the one the ladies made cakes for) that he has written two books on the subject: “Confronting The Queen of Heaven” and “The Queen’s Domain”. Third Wave Christians participating in spiritual warfare against the Queen of Heaven believe their efforts (directly or indirectly) have caused earthquakes, hurricanes, large fires, and killed Princess Diana and Mother Teresa.

As for Palin herself, she spoke approvingly of being personally prayed over by Thomas Muthee just before winning governorship of Alaska. Muthee is a popular figure among Third Wavers for driving out the “spirit of witchcraft” that resided in Kiambu, Kenya.

“He and his wife committed to six months of prayer with various types of fasting before ever entering Kiambu. Their goal in prayer and fasting was to ask God to reveal the name of the demonic principality ruling over Kiambu and keeping the city under such oppression. God revealed through a vision that a spirit of witchcraft was the ruling principality there and that a number of other demonic spirits were functioning under the headship of witchcraft. An effective strategy for conquest would be to topple the spirit of witchcraft first and thus bring the coalition of evil spirits into disarray and drive them from the city.”

Muthee’s vision of spiritual warfare fits right in with the Third Wave’s, and he has spoken at churches across America, including 10 consecutive sermons at Wasilla Assembly of God (Palin’s main church until very recently). The idea of that sort of anti-witch hysteria being imported and cross-pollinating with extremist American Christianity is troubling.

While Palin has striven to present herself as a “post-denominational” Jesus follower, it should be noted that most Third Wave Christians also present themselves in this manner. Also, lest you think this article is some sort of liberal Pagan anti-Christian take-down, it should be noted that this Christian movement has been deemed heretical by several (conservative) Christian groups, including Fundamentalist Baptists.

What Pagans need to know, especially those who are considering voting Republican, is if Palin condemns or rejects the spiritual warfare teachings of the Third Wave movement. A movement that essentially espouses malicious Christian magic. Pagans have seen first hand that the religious opinions of Presidents have been used in the past by government agencies to deny us our legal rights. What would happen if our vice president thought we should be supernaturally eradicated?