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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.
- The historic site of Wounded Knee is now for sale on the open market. The current owner, James Czywczynski, makes some rather insulting claims about why he’s selling it. Quote: “For some reason, they cannot see economic development and they cannot see tourism and they cannot relate. They want everything for free is what it amounts to I guess.” The Oglala Sioux see the price as artificially inflated, trading on the massacre when the land itself is valued in the thousands, not millions. Quote: “We see that greed around here all the time with non-Indians. To me, you can’t put a price on the lives that were taken there.” What happens next is uncertain. There are claims that some buyers are interested in buying the land and giving it back to the tribe, but it’s just as possible someone will buy it in order to make money off someone else’s tragedy.
- The Southern Poverty Law Center shares the experiences of a lone Jew in a highly racially segregated prison. Quote: “It is an inviolate rule that different races may not break bread together under any circumstances. Violating this rule leads to harsh consequences. If you eat at the same table as another race, you’ll get beaten down. If you eat from the same tray as another race, you’ll be put in the hospital. And if you eat from the same food item as another race, that is, after another race has already taken a bite of it, you can get killed. This is one area where even the heads don’t have any play.” I think it’s important to share this after my story yesterday about Even Ebel. This is the toxic atmosphere in which Paganism behind bars is being practiced.
- Jack Jenkins, a Senior Writer and Researcher with the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative, writes about how mainstream journalism still doesn’t do religion coverage very well. Quote: “Yet religion seems to be having an increasingly hard time getting a fair shake from another major player in American life: the media. The breadth and quality of religion reporting in the United States has atrophied in recent years, with once-robust religion sections now all but erased from the pages of the nation’s leading newspapers. Meanwhile, religion reporters have either been laid off or forced to re-shift their professional focus to covering religion ‘on the side.'” The truth is that it’s even worse if you’re a member of a religious minority. We just hope the new episode of “Wife Swap” treats us gently, and we scarcely dream of the coverage larger faiths get.
- Just thought you should know that being for gun control laws is very, very, Pagan. Quote: “Frankly, it almost would seem that animism won’t go away. The left, which is largely made up of people who don’t believe in Jesus Christ’s blood as being necessary for our salvation, view inanimate objects as possessing their own will. That’s animism, that’s a return to the most pagan of paganism and look at what nutty political views it ends up supporting.” That’s Larry Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America, an organization that believes the NRA is too soft on protecting the 2nd Amendment. Here’s one Heathen’s response to Pratt’s animist ramblings.
- In response to a number of recent articles, Evangelical Christians Paul Louis Metzger and John W. Morehead confront the issue of predatory proselytism. Quote: “Moreover, friendship is sometimes abused, when it is reduced to the end of evangelism. In one instance where an Evangelical has been involved in a high-profile relationship and dialogue with a Mormon scholar, many Evangelicals have called for an end to the relationship after a period of time because the Mormon has not converted. Aren’t relationships valuable in and of themselves without being used merely as a tool to convert others? For all our emphasis on personal relationships, one might be left to wonder how relational the Evangelical movement as a whole is.” For more on my personal interactions with Paul Louis Metzger, click here.
- The case of Kyrja Withers, which I’ve covered here at The Wild Hunt, is finally starting to get mainstream media attention. Quote: “New Port Richey police, who have stationed a cruiser outside the Withers’ home, said they are investigating the attacks and the perpetrators could face hate crime charges. “They are really good people and they don’t deserve to be treated like this. We are going to do whatever we can to prevent anything further from happening,” detective Greg Williams said.” More here, from ABC Action News in Florida. PNC Florida is also on the story.
- David Silverman punches holes in the theory that the “9/11 Cross” is a “secular artifact.” Quote: “The decorated crossbeam was seized by Father Brian Jordan, a Roman Catholic Franciscan priest, and a religious relic was invented. During the next 10 years, the 17-foot cross was moved, repaired, mounted and copied. Religious services were held in front of it at St. Paul’s Chapel. Worshippers further modified it, carving “JESUS” on the top and etching prayers on the side. The cross was labeled unique, a sign from the Christian god, not merely a crossbeam plucked from the rubble of a terrorist attack. Then the cross became profitable –purchasable through church gift shops and Web sites.” The point Mr. Silverman makes is a simple one: Equality is an all-or-nothing concept.
- Yes, people were into “the occult” in Colonial America. Quote: “The boundaries between orthodox religion and illicit occultism may be more porous than some would like.” (Hat-Tip to Invocatio)
- Will the new Iggy and The Stooges record succeed? Let’s consult some psychics! Quote: “In the clip above he consults a fortune-teller, a voodoo practitioner, and a tarot reader in order to get the skinny on his new album’s success.”Here’s a direct link to the video.
- Military members are free to share their faith, so long as they don’t harass people. Quote: “If a service member harasses another member on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, or disability, then the commander takes action based on the gravity of the occurrence. Likewise, when religious harassment complaints are reported, commanders take action based on the gravity of the occurrence on a case-by-case basis.” But what about the power differentials? Who decides where the line is between “sharing” and “harassment”?
- The Centro Espírita Beneficente União do Vegetal opens up to NPR in a rare interview. Quote: “Tai Bixby is a real estate broker and representative mestre, or head pastor, of the Santa Fe congregation. ‘We don’t consider the tea to be a drug at all,’ Bixby says. ‘The effect of the tea is that it increases a person’s ability to feel and perceive reality.'”
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.