TWH – Today marks Memorial Day in the United States. It is a day to honor the many men and women who have died in military service. The departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs together reportedly state that over “1.2 million people have died fighting for America during its wars dating back 241 years.” The VA has a breakdown of the losses per conflict since the American Revolution. In a 2016 blog post, Druid John Beckett wrote, “Let us remember our warrior dead. Let us remember those who answered the call to do what had to be done and who sacrificed all they had. It is right and good to celebrate their courage and valor.”
Many Pagans, Heathens and polytheists have served or are serving in the U.S. military, and still others are members of military families.
NORFOLK, Vir. — It was announced that Patheos, one of the most popular religion-based websites, has been purchased by BN Media Associates, LLC, the owners of BeliefNet. According to the announcement, “The joining of the two web sites under one umbrella will open up further opportunities to foster the faith and spirituality discussion in a real and honest way. Combined, the websites reach 15 million unique visitors and generate more than 50 million page views each month.” BN Media Associates, a holding company which is known to have had an evangelical focus, purchased BeliefNet in 2010.
TURKEY — On July 15, reports exploded across the world’s media that there had been a military coup against the regime of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (pronounced Erdon) in Turkey. The reaction across the European Union, which Turkey is negotiating to join, was shock and intrigue. Erdogan, who first came to power in 2003 (as prime Minister until 2014, and President since then) is regarded in Europe as a divisive, authoritarian figure with Islamic fundamentalist leanings. Since Erdogan’s ascendancy, Turkey has slowly been transformed from the secular, progressive Islamic vision of Kemal Ataturk into an increasingly religious and conservative state. Such a change has resulted in an increasing amount of pressure on Turkish Pagans for years.
MELBOURNE — The Black Lives Matter movement has reached Australia. So far, there have been rallies in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane. The ABC, Australia’s state-owned and funded national public broadcaster, reported that 3,500 people attended the Melbourne rally on Sunday, July 17. The movement, which began in the U.S., has a struck a chord with Australia’s aboriginal people. Although aboriginal people make up only about 3% of the Australian population, they reportedly make up 26% of the prison population.
Over the week, there have been online rumblings that the American Council of Witches is trying, once again, to form. A Facebook page was opened on Sept. 11 and has remained fairly quiet until the past two months. And, it wasn’t until two weeks ago that the page began to receive significant attention, both for and against the council. The American Council of Witches (ACOW) was originally created in 1973 by an eclectic group of practitioners, many of whom are no longer living.