My semi-regular round-up of articles, essays, and opinions of note for discerning Pagans and Heathens.We start off with news of a custody case involving accusations of anti-Wiccan judicial bias. An Arkansas woman, who says she lost custody of her son due to the judge’s perceptions of Wicca, has lost her appeal to the state Court of Appeals.”A Southeast Arkansas woman who argued she lost custody of her son because of a judge’s perception of her alleged practice of Wicca lost her appeal Wednesday before a divided state Court of Appeals Wednesday. In a 4-2 ruling, the appeals court affirmed a decision granting custody to the child’s father, though the judges disagreed on whether the lower court considered the mother’s religious beliefs. In her appeal of Chicot County Circuit Judge Robert Vittitow’s decision, the mother noted Vittitow described Wicca in his opinion letter as ‘a religion, movement, cult or whatever it that may be.’ The judge also wrote that while the mother testified she was only joking when she told the boy’s father that she was involved with Wicca, the ‘court believes she is much more involved than she would lead us to believe.'”The two dissenting judges claim that the majority simply ‘set aside’ concerns over religious bias and that the initial ruling ‘impermissibly considered’ her religious beliefs.
My semi-regular round-up of articles, essays, and opinions of note for discerning Pagans and Heathens.Over at the On Faith site, the panel weighs in on abortion. Pagan panelist Starhawk gives her take on “abortion and The Goddess”.”Women are moral agents, and in the Goddess and Pagan traditions, we are each our own spiritual authority. We have a right to wrestle with these issues ourselves, not have them predetermined for us by government authorities. We have a right to determine what goes on inside our bodies. To deny that right to women is to invite government intrusion into all kinds of private and personal choices.
Since I first posted about Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin’s troubling co-religionists, the mainstream press and several major blogs have homed in on the blessing Palin received from the African Bishop Thomas Muthee. “Palin describes the visit of Pastor Thomas Muthee to the Wasilla Assembly of God in 2005. “As I was mayor and Pastor Muthee was here and he was praying over me, and you know how he speaks and he’s so bold. And he was praying ‘Lord make a way, Lord make a way,'” Palin remarked. “And I’m thinking, this guy’s really bold, he doesn’t even know what I’m going to do, he doesn’t know what my plans are,” she continued.
Starhawk has jumped into the Sarah Palin fray over at her On Faith blog:”Whenever I hear someone say, “God is on my side,” I think, “Yep! Just another argument for polytheism.” Because, hey, Sarah Palin’s God may want her to build the pipeline, but I’ve had personal communication from Thundering Herds of Reindeer Gods that say, “No way!” Ereshkigal the Goddess of the Mesopotamian underworld is raging mad at the number of innocent children’s souls she’s had to process since the U.S. started bombing Iraq–she doesn’t like that sort of thing. And the great, protective Earth Spirits who sleep in the bottom of oil reserves are roaring in my ear, “Disturb us at your peril!”
Here I was thinking to myself that the chances of a modern Pagan angle to the Republican VP pick of Alaska’s Sarah Palin would be truly minimal. Sure, you had her support of aerial wolf hunting (a cruel method that violates the ethic of “fair chase”), and her drill-happy attitudes towards ANWR, but nothing explicitly anti-Pagan had emerged. But a number of bloggers, most notably Bruce Wilson at Talk2Action, have been digging into Palin’s religious background and found some disturbingly anti-Pagan connections. “Sarah Palin’s churches are actively involved in a resurgent movement that was declared heretical by the Assemblies of God in 1949. This is the same ‘Spiritual Warfare’ movement that was featured in the award winning movie, “Jesus Camp,” which showed young children being trained to do battle for the Lord.