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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.
- First off, I hope all my readers, friends, and supporters out on the East Coast, and in the path of Hurricane Irene, are safe and have taken proper precautions. Though the storm is less intense than first expected, there’s still plenty of damage a storm of that size can do. COG First Officer Peter Dybing offers a prayer for safety, as does ADF Archdruid Kirk Thomas. Some Wild Hunt readers are checking in at this site’s Facebook page.
- New York City Councilman Dan Halloran, one of two openly Pagan/Heathen elected officials in the United States, appears in the new documentary “9/11: Reflections Then and Now.” Halloran lost his cousin, Lt. Vincent Halloran, that day, and nearly lost his brother, Patrick. At a special screening of the film, Halloran said that “one of the most important things to remember is almost every New Yorker was touched by this tragedy, a 9/11 family in New York is not a unique thing.”
- At his blog Morehead’s Musings, John Morehead does a follow-up interview with attorney Dan Stidham (original interview, here), who represented Jessie Misskelley of the West Memphis 3 until 2008 (at which point he became a judge). Stidham says that “Satanic Panic convicted the WM3 and the hard work of many people from all around the world refused to let this injustice stand.” I would suggest reading the whole thing, as there’s a lot of great information to be found there. You may also want to read Peg Aloi’s further commentary on the WM3’s release.
- Remember the mini Internet tempest that was the Circle of Moms contest? In short, a group of Pagan mom-bloggers did better than expected in the “faith” category ranking contest, sparking some unfortunate behavior by some Christian participants (though several Christian mom-bloggers did apologize for the behavior of their coreligionists). In any case, the fruits of that victory, in which the top 25 get special featured site interviews, is now up. Congrats once again to Mrs B., Angela, Lily, Joni, and all the other Pagan mom-bloggers who made it.
- Bill Keller at the New York Times Magazine argues that we should be asking presidential candidates tougher questions about their faith, and shares the general questionnaire that he sent out to all the candidates. While Get Religion slammed Keller’s editorial as “bizarre” and called the questions “loaded,” I would love to hear honest answers from the candidates to the question: “(a) Do you agree with those religious leaders who say that America is a “Christian nation” or “Judeo-Christian nation?” (b) What does that mean in practice?” Meanwhile, Dave Niose, president of the American Humanist Association argues at Psychology Today that concerns over the religious right aren’t overblown.
- The sensationalism-drenched case of Angela Sanford, a Wiccan who killed Joel Levya in what some media described as a ritualistic sacrifice, has seemingly come to an end. Sanford has plead no contest to second-degree murder, and will face sentencing in October. Sanford originally said the killing was in self-defense against an attempted rape, but that story soon unraveled as the details didn’t fit, and her cell phone listed Levya’s number under “sacrifice.” What really sparked Sanford to violently murder this man remains unknown.
- Here at Patheos, P. Sufenas Virius Lupus discusses the roots of homophobia, and bluntly states that it has no place within modern Paganism, and that Pagans supporting political candidates who engage in homophobia is an affront to our religious values. Quote: “If modern Pagan religions and forms of animism and polytheism, which are supposed to revere nature to some extent or another, maintain homophobia of any sort (even if it is out of adherence to some ancient texts or traditions, which themselves often have resulted from Christian influence or inadequate modern interpretations of difficult terminologies), then they are aligning themselves with fundamentalist religious viewpoints that would happily seek to outlaw, and even execute, those who are “guilty” of homoeroticism or gender variance. Voting for conservative candidates who have espoused a religious position like this because one agrees with them on fiscal issues is a direct affront to every religious value one upholds as a modern Pagan or polytheist.”
- It looks like all the recent direct-action activism to protect the San Francisco Peaks in Arizona is having some effect, the business magazine Fast Company has run a spotlight on the Hopi Tribe’s new litigation against the wastewater pipeline currently underway. Fast Company’s article is too glib by half, but it is at least getting the story back on the radar of mainstream media. You can read all of my coverage on this story, here. For ongoing coverage of direct-action activism, check out Censored News and Indigenous Action Media.
- In a move that should surprise no one, Texas governor Rick Perry continues to woo influential and high-rolling conservative Christians, including David “paganism and witchcraft were never intended to receive the protections of the Religion Clauses” Barton. Perry has a long history with Barton, a fact that should make any Pagan nervous, if the giant prayer rally featuring several NAR participants didn’t already.
- Reviews of “The Wicker Tree,” the forthcoming companion film to the classic 1973 Pagan-themed horror film “The Wicker Man,” are pouring in from FrightFest 2011, and they aren’t pretty. Total Film complains of a “near-absence of momentum or intrigue,” while WhatCulture! says this film is far sillier than “The Wicker Man,” and that the “film suffers through not making us care” and calls the Christopher Lee cameo a “pointless waste.” Ouch! You can read all of my “Wicker Tree” coverage, here.
- Zeus and Hera have been removed from the Acropolis for safe-keeping, their Parthenon metope will be replaced with a copy, while the originals will be on display a the Acropolis Museum in Athens.
- Has King Arthur’s famous round table been found? The answer is a firm maybe.
- An important lesson in framing Pagan pride from Hecate.
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.