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 infamous serial killer Richard Ramirez, dubbed the “Night Stalker” by the media, died this past Friday of natural causes at the age of 53. On death row for a series of gruesome home invasion murders during the 1980s, Ramirez fed into the larger “Satanic Panic” thanks to an obsession with Satan and pentagrams which manifested during his violent spree of destruction, rape, and death. More on Ramirez and his death can be found, here. Reactions from some of Ramirez’s victims.
- The FBI has announced that it will start tracking hate crimes involving religion, including Pagans. Quote: “The hate crime tracking will include ‘all self-identified religions in the United States as listed in the Pew Research Center’s Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life (2008) and the Statistical Abstract (2012) approved by the U.S. Census Bureau,’ Fischer wrote in an email. ‘The recommended list includes Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness, Orthodox, Other Christian, Jewish, Islamic (Muslim), Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Other Religions, Multiple Religions-Group, and Atheism/Agnosticism.’ Upon approval by FBI Director Robert Mueller of the new groups, ‘the FBI will make the necessary Uniform Crime Reporting Program technical enhancements, procedural changes, and manual revision to begin collecting this data,’ Fischer said.” Pagans, Native American Religions, New Age religions, and Unitarians are all covered under the Pew Forum’s “Other Religions” category.
- Will Brighton become a pilgrimage site now that there’s a memorial plaque honoring Doreen Valiente, the mother of modern religious Witchcraft? That’s the assertion of the Doreen Valiente Foundation. Quote: “Doreen is celebrated across the world and is regarded as the mother of modern witchcraft. It is one of the fastest-growing religions in the US with millions of members worldwide. It could be hugely beneficial for the city. I know that a few witches are travelling across the pond for the blue plaque ceremony.” You can read more about the Doreen Valiente Foundation, here. The commemoration ceremony will take place on June 21st. You can read all of my coverage on this story, here.
- On the final day of the conference entitled “Sorcery and Witchcraft-Related Killings in Melanesia: Culture, Law and Human Rights Perspectives” that took place last week in Australia, a representative for the UN Human Rights Commission said that immediate action is needed to protect women accused of sorcery, and that the government of Papua New Guinea needs to do more. Quote: “However implementation is the big obstacle because you may have a law, but then if you don’t have the police capacity to enforce it, or if the police themselves view the situation of sorcery related killings with indifference, then we still have a big issue of how to address impunity, because as been said, it’s not how stiff or how high the penalty is or how harsh, it’s if you know the consequences will lead to your imprisonment and if you will face justice.” More on this here.
- Cindy Jacobs, a leader within the New Apostolic Reformation, whose rabid anti-Pagan, anti-indigenous antics I’ve reported on before, surprised almost nobody when she recently called for Native American and indigenous people to repent their heritage. Quote: “If you have in your bloodline any animus [animism?], any Native American blood, for instance — not all Native Americans worshiped the serpent or crocodile, many did — but you might want to renounce that and repent for the generational iniquity [...] If you are — perhaps you’re Mexican and you might have indigenous blood in you or Mayan blood — those who have Aztec blood in any way, you need to repent for the sin of animism before you begin to deal with this spirit.” Charming, as always. Her extremism does more to drive people away from Christianity than the most vocal Pagan critic.
- Indian Country Today reports on how New Age woo demeans and threatens The Great Serpent Mound in Ohio. Quote: “Kenny Frost a Southern Ute citizen, has worked to protect sacred places for more than 20 years. He is a well-respected authority on Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act issues and law and frequently consults with state, federal and tribal governments. ‘The protection put down by Native people at sacred sites is still there. Non-Native people dig around and see what they can find; they may end up opening a Pandora’s box without knowing how to put spirits back,’ he notes.”
- “Sorry Pagans,” that’s what Baylor history professor Philip Jenkins says as he engages in the hoary exercise of telling Pagans about how stuff they thought was pagan was actually, totally, not. Quote: “In reality, it is very hard indeed to excavate through those medieval Christian layers to find Europe’s pagan roots. Never underestimate just how thoroughly and totally the Christian church penetrated the European mind.” So why even bother, am I right? I know this is a popular topic for columnists looking for material, but we aren’t ignorant of the scholarship, and cherry-picking two (popular) examples isn’t going to embarrass us back to church. You’d be surprised at how well-versed some of us are in history.
- Religion Clause reports that a judge has allowed a gangster’s Santa Muerte necklace to remain as evidence during the penalty phase of the trial (for which the defendant was found guilty of murder). Quote: “The court held that appellant had failed to object on any 1st Amendment religious ground to introduction of the evidence.” Further, the judge says they may have allowed it even if the defendant has objected earlier in the case noting the faith’s ties to narco-trafficking. Could this ruling lead to a problematic precedent? I suppose we’ll have to wait and see.
- Christians opposed to same-sex marriage know that the battle is lost. Quote: “Just 22% of white evangelical Protestants favor same-sex marriage, but about three times that percentage (70%) thinks legal recognition for gay marriage is inevitable. Among other religious groups, there are smaller differences in underlying opinions about gay marriage and views of whether it is inevitable.” I think that means marriage equality has won, don’t you? Now to undo 50 years of legislative hysteria.
- Speaking of marriage equality, it’s very, very “pagan.” Quote: “As to the future of America – and the collapse of this once-Christian nation – Christians must not only be allowed to have opinions, but politically, Christians must be retrained to war for the Soul of America and quit believing the fabricated whopper of the “Separation of Church and State,” the lie repeated ad nauseum by the left and liberals to keep Christian America – the moral majority – from imposing moral government on pagan public schools, pagan higher learning and pagan media. Bill Bennett’s insight, “… the two essential questions Plato posed as: Who teaches the children, and what do we teach them?” requires deep thought, soul-searching and a response from Christian America to the secular, politically correct and multicultural false gods imposing their religion on America’s children.” That’s David Lane, one of Rand Paul’s point men in improving his relations with evangelical Christians. I’ll spare you the Dragnet P.A.G.A.N. reference.
- “Occult,” a new television series in development for A&E, follows the exploits of an “occult crime task force.” Quote: “‘Occult’ revolves around Dolan, an FBI agent who has returned from administrative leave after going off the deep end while investigating his wife’s disappearance. Eager to be back on the job, he is paired with an agent with her own complicated back story who specializes in the occult. Together, they will solve cases for the newly formed occult crimes task force.” Whether the show actually gets on the air is still an open question. If it does, we can start a betting pool for when Wiccans, Druids, and Asatru are mentioned in the series.
- Frank Lautenberg, the Democratic Senator from New Jersey who passed away recently, took an active role in combatting the revisionist Christian history of David Barton. Quote: “I want those who hear me across America to pay attention: ‘Christian heritage is at risk.’ That means that all the outsiders, all of those who approach God differently but are people who believe in a supreme being; people who behave and live peacefully with their neighbors and their friends. No, this is being put forward as an attempt — a not too subtle attempt — to make sure people understand that America is a Christian country. Therefore, we ought to take the time the majority leader offers us, as Members of the Senate, for a chance to learn more about how invalid the principle of separation between church and state is. I hope the American public sees this plan as the spurious attempt it is.” For why David Barton is infamous among Pagans, check out my previous reporting on his antics.
- Finally, here’s some pictures from the Pagan Picnic in St. Louis!
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.