Unleash the Hounds! (link roundup)

There are lots of articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans and Heathens out there, sometimes more than our team can write about in-depth in any given week. So The Wild Hunt must unleash the hounds in order to round them all up. LEWES, Del. —  The Cape Gazette, a newspaper covering the cape region of Delaware, published an article titled “Sept. 24 AIDS Walk Delaware seeks walkers, sponsors and donors.”

Wiccan Priest Erik Walton is Riding to End AIDS

“I’m doing this ride because I can,” Erik Walton
Twenty-six years ago, Erik Walton, an eclectic Wiccan living in San Diego, received the most dreaded diagnosis of the time; he was HIV positive. By 1996 his health had deteriorated to the point that he collapsed at work with viral pneumonia. Walton had lost a great deal of weight and his t-cells, a type of white blood cell that helps the body fight off infections, had dropped to fifty-five. He could barely walk, and his doctors didn’t hold out much hope. Then Walton decided to take his health into his own hands.

On Faith: What are the implications of Pope Benedict’s statement?

My latest response at the Washington Post’s On Faith site is now up. Here’s this week’s panel question:
Catholics and condoms. In an interview with journalist Peter Seewald, Pope Benedict XVI said that condom use may be acceptable under “exceptional circumstances” such as use by a male prostitute in order to prevent the spread of HIV/ AIDS. Interpretation of the pope’s pronouncement has varied. Many insist that the church’s teaching, which bans birth control, has not changed, but others see the pope’s statement as opening the door to a broader conversation about human sexuality in the modern world. What are the implications of Pope Benedict’s statement on condoms in terms of AIDS policy, the church’s teaching on sex and its view of women? Here’s an excerpt from my response:
The vast tragedy is the blind insistence that simply encouraging abstinence would somehow work. According to UNAIDS, there are more than 7000 new HIV infections each day.

(Pagan) News of Note

My semi-regular round-up of articles, essays, and opinions of note for discerning Pagans and Heathens.Raymond Ibrahim, editor of “The Al Qaeda Reader”, discusses the new movie “Beowulf” in The National Review, and complains about Hollywood’s pro-pagan and anti-Christian stance.”By now, the oft-recurring negative portrayals of Christianity in major Hollywood movies have become hackneyed and predictable. The recent rendition of Beowulf only reinforced this trend. The same subtle depictions and motifs present in movies from decades past were once again present, a favorite being the attempt to try to depict pagans as “open-minded” and “free-spirited” peoples, or, quite anachronistically, as medieval counterparts to the modern, secular, liberal. The idea being that pagan peoples – unencumbered by the suffocating forces of Christianity – were/are happy, passionate folk, able to live life to the fullest.”To prove his point he cherry-picks a handful of pro-Pagan (and pro-Muslim) films spanning several years (including “Excalibur” and “The 13th Warrior”). But his argument falls apart when you stack up the recent number of Christian-positive films (“Evan Almighty”, “Amazing Grace”, “The Chronicles of Narnia”, “The Passion of the Christ”, and “Millions”) against his “pro-pagan” selections.