Canadian Affirms Oath of Citizenship on Pagan ‘Holy Book’

[Reprinted from the Pagan Newswire Collective blog Pagan+Politics. Article by Cara Schulz.]

There is no act more political in nature than making an oath of citizenship to a nation. On Tuesday, Melissa Gold, a Pagan living in Canada did just that.   Like many new Canadian citizens, she did so with her hand resting on a book containing stories, poems, and hymns sacred to her religion.  What makes this event extraordinary, and possibly a first in North America, is that the book wasn’t a Bible, a Torah, or a Koran – it was a text containing Hesiod and Homer. Melissa agreed to speak with Pagan+politics about about her experience and what it meant to her.

Quick Note: Dan Halloran Interview Now Up at Pagan+Politics

Cara Schulz’s interview series “Pagans in Politics” at the PNC blog Pagan+Politics has just posted its second installment; this time talking with New York City Councilman Dan Halloran.  This is the first interview Halloran has done with a Pagan media outlet since his election in 2009. Dan Halloran

Here’s a brief excerpt:
What do your co-religionists (Theodish) think about your new position? Are you able to fulfill your religious obligations to them? Do they feel your new status brings them increased good fortune? The problem with change, is that it always disturbs the status quo.

Pagans In Politics Series Begins at Pagan+Politics

Over at the PNC blog Pagan+Politics Cara Schulz has posted the first interview in a series of interviews with Pagan politicians. The first installment is with Nevada State Assemble District 29 candidate Erin Lale. Lale is running on the Libertarian Party ticket and recently got the backing of a local Tea Party group. Here’s a brief excerpt:
“Yes, the deck is stacked against third party and independent candidates, in several ways: district boundary lines are drawn to protect incumbents; campaign finance laws favor incumbents (the winner of the election gets to keep unused campaign funds for next time and keep building up their war chest between elections, but losers by law in Nevada must close their campaign bank account and give away any unused campaign funds to charity or to other campaigns); corporate and union donors usually only give to Democrats and Republicans (my individual donations are running about even with what the incumbent did in the last election, but I only have individual donations, while she also gets corporate and union donations, so while I raise about $500 she raised $150,000 in the last election; we’ll have to wait til the election is over to see how much she raised this time. And that doesn’t even count the advertising bought for her by her party and by corporate, union, and special interest groups) so I can’t afford to do a big ad campaign; the traditional media, newspapers and TV, usually ignore third party candidates, although I got a really good interview in the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Voter Guide last Sunday, and I’m all over the internet and radio; some media, including not just internet radio shows but even broadcast TV, frankly email candidates promising news coverage if they buy advertising, and even more blatantly, local news channels — including publicly funded PBS!– refused to allow any candidate for governor who had not raised tens of thousands of dollars to participate in the televised debate; people have the attitude that the election is a horserace and they are supposed to bet on the winner, so voting one’s conscience to vote for a third party or independent candidate is somehow “wasting your vote”, and people think they should vote for the lesser of two evils instead of voting for what they believe in.”

Pagan Community Notes: On Faith, Pagan People, Prisons, Surveys, and More!

Pagan Community Notes is a companion to my usual Pagan News of Note, a series more focused on news originating from within the Pagan community. I want to reinforce the idea that what happens to and within our organizations, groups, and events is news, and news-worthy. My hope is that more individuals, especially those working within Pagan organizations, get into the habit of sharing their news with the world. So lets get started! On Faith Adds Another Pagan Voice: I’m pleased to announce that The Washington Post’s On Faith site has added me to their panel of religious specialists and generalists.

Guest Post: (Another) Heathen Candidate Picks up Tea Party Endorsement

[The following is a guest-post from Cara Schulz. Cara is a member of the Pagan Newswire Collective’s political commentary blog Pagan+Politics and one of the coordinators of the PNC’s Minnesota bureau. As a politically conservative Pagan she has spent several months reporting on the modern Pagan experience from within the Tea Party movement.]

Nevada State Assembly candidate Erin Lale, known in the Pagan community as a cinematographer and author, has picked up several prominent endorsements including a nod from the Tea Party.
From the Press Release:
“May 31, 2010 – Erin Lale, candidate for Nevada State Assembly District 29, was endorsed by local Tea Party organization Anger is Brewing*. Lale has also been endorsed by the LPN Vote Caucus, Liberty-Candidates.org, Gun Owners of Nevada, and the Fraternal Order of Police.