Unleash the Hounds (Link Round Up)

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. WILMINGTON, N.C. — Michael and Cheyenne Kupper were arrested and charged with felony child abuse and human trafficking Friday June 10. According to local news reports, the couple was “harboring a 27-year-old female victim as a servant,” and their six children showed signs of neglect. A New Hanover County Services representative added, “One of the children reportedly had fleas in their hair.” According to the same reports, a relative, Elisa Barrett, is claiming that the charges of child neglect and human trafficking are ridiculous. Barrett believes that the alleged victim “is framing the Kuppers” because she lost her job and “could not have Michael Kupper for herself.”

Mauna Kea and the Battle to Preserve Sacred Space

There are many surviving ancient and sacred spaces around the world. Some are protected and used for spiritual practice; some have become popular tourist destinations; and some are left to the whims of a changing culture. These sacred spaces range from human constructions to natural lands built only by the elements. From the ancient Greek temples in Agrigento, Italy to the ruins in Arizona’s Wuptaki National Monument, these spaces resonate with many contemporary people in their work to honor, reconstruct, practice and celebrate time-honored religious traditions, the associated cultures and surrounding ecology. Unfortunately, many of these unprotected spaces, whether purely natural or human-engineered, are open to threats posed by modern construction in the name of so-called “progress” and industrialization.

Renting school buildings to religious organizations: legal?

This past week Hawaii’s New Hope Churches agreed to settle a lawsuit originally filed in March 2013 by citizen activists Mitchell Kahle and Holly Huber. The “qui tam whistle-blower” lawsuit argues that these New Hope churches misrepresented time spent renting public school facilities costing the school millions in lost revenue. In an August press release, the plaintiffs claim that there has in fact been “widespread abuse and outright fraud perpetrated by churches often with the explicit approval or knowledge of school principals and/or their designees.”

The New Hope Churches make up only 3 of the 5 original defendants. Along with New Hope, the Calvary Chapel of Central Oahu and One Love Ministries were also accused of falsifying records to avoid paying rental and utility fees. The plaintiffs estimate that New Hope Oahu alone owes 3.2 million for the rental of Farrington High School.

Unleash the Hounds! (Link Roundup)

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. Climate Progress reports on efforts by an alliance of Native American nations, activists, and environmental groups, to stop the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline through Lakota land. Quote: “In the wake of the State Department’s Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statementfor the Keystone XL pipeline which sparked nearly 300 protest vigils across the country, a group of Native American communities have added their voices to the calls to reject Keystone XL. In a joint statement — No Keystone XL pipeline will cross Lakota lands — Honor the Earth, the Oglala Sioux Nation, Owe Aku, and Protect the Sacred announced their intention to peacefully resist the construction of the pipeline slated to cut through Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska.” You can read the full statement, here.

The Hula Dance: From Sacred to Commodity

This week my column comes to you from the sandy shores of the Florida coast. For the last ten years, I’ve celebrated the Summer Solstice in the sunshine state with many other visiting “sun worshippers.”  As I’m taking a break from (sub)urban life, I figured that I’d take The Wild Hunt with me on vacation. No. I’m not going to make you sit through a slide show of vacation photos.  I would like to take you on a journey to explore one of paradise’s most iconic symbols – the Hula. I have always loved dance – the sacred, the ethnic, the purely artistic and even the raise-the-roof, pump-up-the-jam variety.