Yesterday, and in less than a week, The Wild Hunt’s Fall Fund Drive met, and then surpassed, its $6000 dollar goal. While I was always confident that this campaign would eventually meet its goal, I had no idea it would do so with such alacrity. I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of my readers, my community, in helping The Wild Hunt go independent once again. To fund a new vision for the site, and Pagan news. So thank you, whether you donated $5, $50, or $500 dollars, you all made this happen.
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. Michael Lloyd’s (excellent) new book “Bull of Heaven: The Mythic Life of Eddie Buczynski and the Rise of the New York Pagan” recently celebrated its publication in Manhattan, and the New York Times covered it for their City Room blog. Quote: “So many friends and followers of Mr. Buczynski turned out, that the evening became one of the largest Wiccan summits in New York in years. “It’s a blessing of the gods,” said Michael Lloyd […] His was just one of many invocations of the Wiccan gods, which quickly turned into a giant prayer circle, with chanting and singing of Wiccan prayer and song in veneration of Mr. Buczynski, an openly gay Wiccan priest who died in 1989 from AIDS.” Kudos to Lloyd for his book, and for enabling such positive coverage of Pagans in New York (despite the “Eyes Wide Shut” crack from reporter Corey Kilgannon).
“Your right to swing your arm leaves off where my right not to have my nose struck begins.” – John B. Finch, 1882
If you follow religion news these days, you can’t help but be inundated with the current debate over what, exactly, “religious freedom” means, and what its limits are. The most popular manifestation concerns Catholic opposition to new contraception guidelines set forth by the Dept. of Health and Human Services (a topic I’ve covered before), but a large number of enterprising souls have taken this proverbial football and are running as far as they can with it. The most recent effort to “protect” religious freedom comes from a consortium of 66 Republican lawmakers who have written a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta asking for an investigation into “a series of steps signaling hostility towards religious freedom” by the Air Force.
Pagan Community Notes is a companion to my usual Pagan News of Note series, more focused on news originating from within the Pagan community. I want to reinforce the idea that what happens to and within our organizations, groups, and events is news, and news-worthy. My hope is that more individuals, especially those working within Pagan organizations, get into the habit of sharing their news with the world. So lets get started! Cherry Hill Seminary Names Two New Department Chairs: Pagan learning institution Cherry Hill Seminary has announced the appointment of chairs for its Community Education and Pastoral Counseling departments.
In yesterday’s link roundup I mentioned that the LA Times did a feature on Pagans in the Air Force Academy, I thought it was merely OK, but it turns out that the piece had been edited from a far more mocking tone according to Star Foster at Patheos. “Because I’m an idiot, I didn’t take a screenshot of the article, which has now been edited for tone. (I will always take screenshots going forward, just in case.) Her previously snarky piece is now much calmer, yet still complains that the Air Force is spending money to be inclusive of non-Christians. While I’m glad they removed some of the cheap jokes, I don’t think you should edit an article that much after publication without an editor’s note explaining the change.” Lest you think the alleged earlier version was simply in Star’s imagination, Mark Thompson at Time’s Battleland blog also picked up on the LA Time’s anti-Pagan snark and calls them out on it.