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. A lot of people are reacting to the fact that the new Miss America, Nina Davuluri, is of South Asian descent. Unfortunately, a subset of those reactions were vile, racist, and astoundingly ignorant. Reacting to the comments, Davuluri said that she has “always viewed Miss America as the girl next door, but the girl next door is evolving as the diversity in America evolves.” Of course, there are also people who aren’t fond of the spectacle of pageants, but at least that’s a valid social critique.
A few quick news notes for you on this Sunday morning. Protecting Sacred Lands: The Environmental News Network reports that the Biodiversity Institute at the University of Oxford, in partnership with the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) and World Database on Sacred Natural Sites (SANASI), is creating a world map that will display sacred and holy places, including forests in an attempt to raise awareness for biodiversity conservation. A team of scientists from the University of Oxford are working on a world map which shows all the land owned or revered by various world religions. This “holy map” will display all the sacred sites from Jerusalem’s Western Wall, to Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, to St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.
Nine years ago a group of Muslim extremists hijacked four planes and rammed them into the World Trade Center towers in New York, into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and crashed one into a field in rural Pennsylvania after passengers and crew struggled to retake the aircraft. 2,977 innocents (of all faiths and backgrounds) died, and the United States, and some would say the world, hasn’t been the same since. The current upheaval over the “ground zero mosque” and burning Korans in our country stems from the unhealed wounds of that day. Today various protests, counter-protests, urgings, pleadings, rites, political functions, and events all centered on the 9/11 attacks will transpire. September 11th was one of the things that started me on the path towards Pagan blogging and journalism.