Pagan Community Notes: AAR, Pentacle Quest, Parliament of the World’s Religions and more

ST.PAUL, Minn. – Pagan, cultural anthropologist, and artist Murphy Pizza has been elected president of the Upper Midwest Region of the American Academy of Religion (AAR). Over the year, local AAR chapters hold their own meetings across the United States, separate from the national event. The Upper Midwest region held its meeting March 31-April 1 in St.Paul, Minnesota. It was during that meeting that Dr. Pizza was elected to the new office. She has previously been serving as Vice President, and is now taking on a new leadership.

Building Pagan Temples and Infrastructures: Part Two

In part one of this series, The Wild Hunt looked at several successful infrastructure projects in order to see what they have in common. Today, in part two, we examine a Celtic temple and a Pagan community center to see what went wrong and what we can learn, along with a few other examples of infrastructure that appear to be doing well, but may face challenges in the future. “I’ve been running a ‘pagan’ organization complete with a paid clergy and a permanent temple building for 15 years. Is it because I don’t identify as Pagan or go to this ‘pagan community’ for membership and support? Or is it something else?

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.

Quick Note: Pantheism Not Paganism

The Utah Standard-Examiner talks to author Sharman Apt Russell on the event of her visit for the Weber Pathways’ Seventh Annual Author Dinner Event. Russell, well known for her science and nature books, branched out in 2008 with “Standing in the Light: My Life as a Pantheist”, which explored the history of pantheism, and her own devotion to that religious philosophy. “Tell someone you are a pantheist, and she is likely to wrinkle her brow in confusion,” said Russell. “Tell her you believe that the universe is a miracle worthy of awe and reverence — and she may well nod her head in agreement.” Which is all fine and good, some of my best friends are pantheists after all, nothing to write home about within the scope of this blog.

Who Gets to Be A Conscientious Objector?

The Washington Post reports on a Quaker who, with the help of the ACLU, is suing the U.S. Government for not providing a way to note conscientious objector status when fulfilling the requirement to register with the Selective Service System. “The United States, which has an all-volunteer military, has not had a draft since 1973. But the Selective Service System collects information from men ages 18 to 25 in case Congress reinstates conscription into the armed forces. [Tobin] Jacobrown, of Indianola, Wash., said he has not filled out his Selective Service forms, as required by law, because they do not have a space for him to indicate his status as a conscientious objector. As a Quaker, he said, he cannot sign the forms without such a provision.