For the second time in five years, Ft Hood, Texas is the site of a mass shooting by a lone gunman. For the second time in five years, military members, dependents, and area residents must deal with the emotional aftermath. Among them are members of the military’s first officially recognized Pagan congregation, the Ft. Hood Open Circle. “We still have to go to work here every day.
Pagan Community Notes is a series focused on news originating from within the Pagan community. Reinforcing 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 let’s get started! Yesterday, a shooting at the Fort Hood military base in Texas killed 3 people, and injured 16, before the shooter took his own life.
A have a few items that just can’t wait till Saturday! Starting with a rather awful editorial from The Chicago Tribune’s “The Seeker” blog that seemingly equates tolerance towards Pagan soldiers within the military with a look-the-other-way atmosphere that led to the horrendous Fort Hood murders. “Fast forward to 1999, when an Austin, Texas newspaper published photos of a Wiccan ceremony at Fort Hood. Theologically conservative Christian clergy joined with indignant Congressmen to protest the Army’s acceptance of Wiccan practice. As reported in Hannah Rosin’s contemporaneous account for The Washington Post, these clergy threatened to disrupt the protests, going so far as to call on Christians not to enlist or reenlist in any branch of the military until Wicca was banned from military posts.
I’m back from the wilds of Florida! Before I begin my lengthy Pagan-news catch-up, I’d like to thank the folks at the Florida Pagan Gathering who were excellent hosts, and all the folks who attended my talks, they made my first time at such a gathering a truly memorable one. As time allows, I hope to write further about my experiences there, but for now it’s down to brass tacks! We start off with the horrible tragedy that occurred when U.S. Army major Nidal Malik Hasan opened fire on a military processing center at Fort Hood in Texas, killing 13 people and wounding several more. For an in-depth analysis of the various religious angles in this story, I urge all of you to check out the recent posts at Get Religion dealing with the matter, meanwhile I’d like to briefly explore a Pagan angle that has emerged since the incident.