(Pagan) News of Note

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  October 22, 2008 — 3 Comments

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

That sound you hear is the sound of Rev. Rapid Cabot Freeman’s moral high ground collapsing. Just yesterday I was reporting about how he was possibly discriminated against when his talk at a local library was canceled. Now, in the midst of his story getting wider coverage, Freeman has been arrested for harassing an ex-friend.

“Rusty Freeman, who is also known as the Rev. Rapid Cabot Freeman, was charged with second-degree harassment. Police said on July 12 they received a complaint against Freeman from Kelly Hajduk, who alleged that he was harassing her. A couple of hours before Hajduk filed her complaint Freeman called her residence and she had her friend pick up the phone and tell him to stop calling. Freeman called back immediately and left a voice mail, stating that he was not afraid of the person who told him to stop calling, the warrant said. Hajduk told police that she told Freeman on numerous occasions to stop calling her, but he did not stop, the warrant said. Hajduk said she even got her attorney, Frank Manfredi to send a letter to Freeman, informing him that he is to have no “direct or indirect” contact with her or the matter would be referred to police.”

I guess the lesson here is that publicity is a two-edged knife. If your going to invite the press into your life, make sure you aren’t going to do something that will get you arrested in the process. What might have been Freeman’s big moment in the sun, has instead become an embarrassment for the wider Pagan community.

Speaking of embarrassments, we have a double-dose of Halloween-themed Christian propaganda for you. First the Tucson Citizen runs an editorial from Shaunti Feldhahn about the “dark” and “evil” side of the holiday.

“But many continued to celebrate Halloween for dark purposes. Today, that has translated directly into very real, very evil Oct. 31 witchcraft and satanic ceremonies, which I have heard something about from two friends who were raised by satanist parents.”

Raised by Satanist parents?!? I wonder what they did for Christmas? Feldhahn also quotes veteran anti-Pagan author Steve “What’s the Deal With Wicca” Russo concerning how Halloween can “desensitize” you to evil. Luckily they are just trying to “provide answers”, and not tell you what to believe about the (dark, evil, Satanic) holiday. Meanwhile, The National Catholic Register takes a shot at New Age Oprah fans by interviewing Moira “Ransomed from Darkness” Noonan.

“There is power in these anti-Christian practices and teachings, but the power is not divine. It’s a power that leads us away from Christ by trading in our Judeo-Christian beliefs for a “new” way of thinking about ourselves and the world.”

I always find in fascinating how far-right forms of Christianity inevitably reinforce the spiritual and magical claims of their “enemies”. A tactic that may rally the faithful, but also one that builds up what they say they want to see obliterated. It’s why some Christians are just as eager as some Pagans to believe that Wicca is the fasted growing religion in America.

While I’m on the subject of Christian belief in the occult, we have a doozy of a story from the loony spiritual warfare fringe. It seems that a message from Flo Ellers (a member of the End-Time Handmaidens) claims that Barack Obama’s relatives in Africa are casting malicious spells against John McCain and Sarah Palin.

“…when Obama visited his tribe in ’06 and as late as Jan. ’08 he went to every elder’s home which has a “shrine” inside to worship the genie and asked for their blessing. She was told Obama and Odinga were both “destined” before they were born to be president/leader of their nation. They say “he is the chosen one”. She said Obama’s grandmother sacrificed a black and a white chicken to the “goddess of the river” so both whites and blacks will vote for Obama. All Islam loves and worships Obama. The world is mesmerized by him. Oprah’s 200 million followers are out to elect Obama. Also, Dick Morris of Fox News was sent to Kenya to help Odinga run his campaign! I find that unbelievable. The occultists are “weaving lazy 8’s around McCain’s mind to make him look confused and like an idiot”. Bree K. said we need to break these curses off of him that are being sent from Kenya.”

Wow. I mean, really, wow. You see its the Obama-supporting Pagan/Muslim witches in Kenya that are making McCain seem erratic and confused. That can be the only answer. Just wait until they stumble upon Isaac Bonewits’ site. Also: “The End-Time Handmaidens” would be the best name ever for an all-female metal band, just sayin’.

On Faith asks: does religion empower women? Starhawk’s answer? It depends on the religion.

“The Pagan and Goddess traditions are deeply empowering for women. Along with the images of what theologian Carol Christ has called ‘the beneficence of women’s power’, our ritual circles are places of emotional and practical support, where women (and men, too) can find friendship, healing, at times a cheering squad to help us take a new step, at other times, a thoughtful critique to help us make a needed course correction. We create rituals to honor women’s cycles and life changes, celebrating our young girls when they first begin to menstruate and feasting our older women in croning ceremonies at the end of menopause.”

Deepak Chopra’s response is also worth a read.

In a final, sad note, M. Macha Nightmare marks the passing of Sequoia Greenfield. Priestess, activist, and aviator, Greenfield was one of the first members of Z Budapest’s Susan B. Anthony Coven No. 1.

“This is a woman who traveled the world, mostly alone. I remember when, on her first trip to India, she wrote wonderful travelogues to her friends describing her experiences. (This was before the Internet.) She once described how she was in an unfamiliar small village in India, when there was a celebration to a Hindu goddess (name lost in the recesses of my senior mind), the villagers grabbed her and put her at the head of their procession. Evidently, that particular goddess had red hair and here came this stranger with red hair just on the goddess’ feast day, so I guess they considered Sequoia to be the goddess incarnate.”

ay she rest in the arms of the Goddess, and return to us again.

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

Jason Pitzl-Waters