(Pagan) News of Note

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

The right-wing site NewsBusters, who expose liberal media bias by reveling in their own conservative media bias, takes a few pot-shots at Margot Adler’s coverage of Dylan Mortimer’s Public Prayer Booths for NPR. NewsBuster Tim Graham seems particularly unhappy they sent a “pagan witch” to cover this story.

“NPR sent reporter Margot Adler – the pagan witch – to address this issue, and she just happened to stumble across the New York City Atheists as she opened the story … it’s hard for most listeners to buy the argument that Bronstein [of the New York City Atheists] “just happened to be walking by.” If Adler didn’t contact him beforehand … another reason for skepticism: Adler failed to just discover a protester in August as she delighted in a piece of public art that satirized waterboarding SpongeBob Squarepants … There’s no spokesman for “organized religion” in the prayer-as-art story…”

It seems that Graham’s biggest problem with Adler is that she isn’t a conservative Christian, that an atheist was hanging around when she recorded the report, and that she didn’t talk to some conservative Christians. Oh, and she didn’t find a (Christian or conservative) protester to talk to in a completely unrelated story. Mr. Graham obviously hasn’t done much in the way of “man on the street” reporting (too busy writing about Hillary Clinton I expect), or he would know that you take what you can get, and sometimes it isn’t completely and perfectly ideologically balanced.

The Oregonian positively reviews a new play by Marc Acito entitled “Holidazed”, a comedy that follows a normal Christian family who take in a homeless Pagan teenager.

“Susannah Mars shines at the story’s center as Julia, a typical suburban mother trying to survive a mother’s many holiday duties. This year seems like any other until she gives a bag of Halloween candy to a homeless girl. When the girl asks her name, a random act of kindness becomes a personal encounter, prompting Julia to take her home for the night … As played by Ana Reiselman, Luna makes a wonderful catalyst for change. Sassy but loving, tough but fragile, she is first and foremost a human being, deserving of love and dignity. While paganism may seem strange in a holiday play, Luna’s knowledge of it strips away the family’s illusions about where their supposedly Christian traditions began, opening their eyes to simpler truths.”

The play runs at the Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland, Oregon through December 28th. You can also read about the process of making “Holidazed” in this separate Oregonian article. If any of my readers in Portland end up going to this, please post a review!

The Scifi blog IO9 points us towards an upcoming mythical indie film about Thor’s last day on Earth.

“Don’t let the generic indie guitar music fool you, this looks like quite a little cutie. The film follows Thor, the Norse God on his last day on Earth, as he knows he must die to save the planet. On his final day the fearless warrior traverses about a little suburb meeting people and causing a chain reaction through each character.”

The film’s official site can be found, here. A film about Thor with “themes about goodness and the power of cool”? Count me in.

Pope Benedict XVI in questioning interfaith dialogue shocker!

“Pope Benedict XVI cast doubt on the possibility of interfaith dialogue but called for more discussion of the practical consequences of religious differences. The pope’s comments came in a letter he wrote to Marcello Pera, an Italian center-right politician and scholar whose forthcoming book, “Why We Must Call Ourselves Christian,” argues that Europe should stay true to its Christian roots. A central theme of Benedict’s papacy has been to focus attention on the Christian roots of an increasingly secular Europe.”

Marcello Pera, a conservative backer of Silvio Berlusconi, has long railed against post-Enlightenment attempts to “build up a society without God”. Yet, long before Europe’s “Christian heritage”, it had a vibrant pagan one. Pera and Benedict have both intimated that Western democracy can’t survive without God, but fail to mention that Western democracy wasn’t invented by the “Judeo-Christian” tradition.

In a final note, a wealthy Druid and his hereditary Witch wife, when forced to downgrade from their Weymouth mansion to a detached house in Dorchester, decided to take their megalith with them.

“The stone circle megalith was originally erected in the grounds of Abbotts Court by Burberry fashion house founder Thomas Burberry in the early 1900s. The Burtons bought the mansion in the 1980s and could not live without the monoliths when they downsized to Dorchester. Neighbours watched in bewilderment as druid John and hereditary witch Suky used a crane and a huge truck to transport the 6ft stones to their new abode. The couple – both antique dealers – aligned the stones at special points along a powerful ley line around the garden to encircle themselves with positive energy.”

Now that’s what I call landscaping!

That’s all I have for now, have a great day!