Just News, No Fooling

I’ll spare all of you the seemingly obligatory April Fools’ Day post, where I pretend I’ve converted to Christianity (or atheism), or run some clearly farcical story where a famous Pagan does something out-of-character. It isn’t that I don’t enjoy a well-done joke, it’s just that I like to leave such things to the professionals. Besides, April 1st is not only my lovely wife’s birthday, but our wedding anniversary as well. So I’ll be out for most of today properly celebrating both occasions. So before I head off, let’s do a very quick round-up of some (real) Pagan news.

Quick Note: Bahrain Joins the Anti-Sorcery Trend

The tiny island nation of Bahrain, a neighbor of Saudi Arabia, is making sorcery a crime. New anti-sorcery and witchcraft additions to the penal code have already been passed by the Parliament, and the country’s consultative (Shura) council (an appointed parliamentary “upper house”) have just approved the new additions according to Arabian Business. “Shura Council officials approved the addition of a new article to the law outlawing sorcery and witchcraft, the Gulf Daily News reports. This would allow judges to give additional weight to such cases brought to prosecution, councillors have claimed. People found guilty of sorcery and witchcraft would face unspecified jail terms and undetermined fines or both, the paper reports.”

Disney’s Bad Voodoo and other Pagan News of Note

Top Story: Pop-culture critics have been seemingly too distracted by the 3-D CGI spectacular that is “Avatar” to give much attention to the latest Disney 2-D hand-drawn “princess” movie. Luckily, Religion Dispatches delivers us temporarily from discussions about Hollywood’s pantheism to instead talk about presentations of New Orleans Voodoo in “The Princess and the Frog”. According to Michelle Gonzalez Maldonado, assistant professor of religious studies at the University of Miami, the film gives a “prejudiced and misinformed” reading of the often misunderstood religion. “I do not know where to begin my comments on how this film perpetuates offensive stereotypes about Voodoo. The loas are represented as evil spirits full of greed and anger …