Mitt Romney and “Demonic Activity” at Liberty University

It hasn’t been a very good week for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. The presumptive Republican nominee has been dealing with the revelations of “troubling incidents” related to bullying gay classmates in the same week that the president gave his support for same-sex marriage rights. Now, in what can only be called unfortunate timing, Romney will be giving the commencement speech today at Liberty University, the school founded by televangelist Jerry Falwell. “Whatever the exact explanation, Romney and his team clearly do not feel that they can take the support and – maybe more importantly – the enthusiasm of evangelicals for granted the way most previous Republican nominees could. This could severely complicate Romney’s efforts to separate himself from what to general election swing voters are some of the most unappealing aspects of the modern Republican Party.

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. Michael York, author of “Pagan Theology: Paganism as a World Religion”, writes a response to Christian apologist Peter Kreeft. Kreeft’s article “Comparing Christianity & The New Paganism” says that “new paganism is a joining of forces by three of the enemies of theism: humanism, polytheism and pantheism,” to which York counters that “Kreeft betrays the essential dichotomizing bi-polarity of the theistic construct.” I recommend reading the entire, highly enjoyable, response.

Not Ready for Pagans and Atheists?

In December of last year, I reported that a UU Pagan group in Albemarle County, Virginia generated some controversy when they took advantage of new school board rules that allowed the distribution of religious-themed flyers to school children.”Some local Pagans who attend Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church, a Unitarian-Universalist congregation in Charlottesville, decided to take advantage of the new forum as well. They created a one-page flier advertising a Dec. 9 event celebrating the December holidays with a Pagan twist and used the backpack system to invite the entire school community…The flier invites people to ‘an educational program for children of all ages (and their adults), where we’ll explore the traditions of December and their origins, followed by a Pagan ritual to celebrate Yule.'”This was all a result of threatened litigation brought by the late Jerry Falwell’s Liberty Counsel, when the school refused to allow the distribution of Bible camp literature.”A letter from the Jerry Falwell-linked Liberty Counsel has prompted the Albemarle County School Board to change its policy. The Board will now allow religious organizations to send home fliers with school children in backpack mail.”But all this “religious freedom” at school isn’t going down too well. Pagans were bad enough, but then the atheists got involved!”The county began allowing religious activity fliers but promised to revisit the issue in a year.

A Few Quick News Notes

If you are looking for more religious commentary on the passing of Jerry Falwell, I urge you to check out the On Faith blog panelists, where you can hear opinions ranging from fawning to critical (no response from Starhawk yet). Also adding their two cents are the Get Religion blog, and the religious mega-site Beliefnet.Yesterday marked the release of the DVD for the stunning Academy Award-winning adult fairy-tale Pan’s Labyrinth. You can read my review of the film, here. The DVD comes in two editions, a single-disc version, and a double-disc deluxe version featuring making-of features and other extras. Guess which one is on my birthday wish list!Finally, the New York Times has a published a story on Wiccans by Neela Banerjee.