Editorial: Je suis Charlie?

This past Wednesday, three Islamic extremists carried out a deadly attack on the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo, leaving 12 people dead. A national hunt for the terrorists came to a violent end when French police caught the two remaining suspects, and simultaneously ended a connected hostage situation in Paris. Within hours of the initial attack on Charlie Hebdo, the French government, its people, and much of the world demonstrated outrage, denouncing the act as an assault on freedom of expression. Cartoonists around the world flooded Twitter with their own work in support; international media outlets reprinted or retweeted the drawings of Charlie Hebdo’ artists. Others spoke out in solidarity with the murdered journalists.

Ready To Spread Those “Secret Pagan” Rumors?

Tired of the “Obama is a secret Muslim” rumors? Starhawk has (jokingly) proposed that we fight fire with fire and start claiming that McCain is a secret Pagan.Senator McCain? Is that you under there?”You don’t have to be a Pagan to win my vote–in fact, I’d advise you not to be a Pagan if you want to win an election. Hmmn, perhaps we don’t make enough use of unpopular religions. Since there’s a widespread internet lie that Obama is really a Muslim, perhaps we should counter with the rumor that McCain was seen dancing naked in the moonlight, wearing goats’ horns.

Obama the Lightworker Watch

While some have wondered if Presidential candidate Barack Obama is the Messiah, others have speculated a less Christian-centric role for the charismatic politician. Back in June, columnist Mark Morford said that several “spiritually advanced” people are claiming Obama is a Lightworker.”Many spiritually advanced people I know (not coweringly religious, mind you, but deeply spiritual) identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, of relating and connecting and engaging with this bizarre earthly experiment. These kinds of people actually help us evolve. They are philosophers and peacemakers of a very high order, and they speak not just to reason or emotion, but to the soul.”Now, Obama has caused a minor stir, and given “Obama as pan-religious enlightened being” watchers something to chew on by giving a press conference in Jordan at the Temple of Hercules. Obama at the Temple of Hercules”Barack Obama strode onto the world stage on Tuesday with trademark audacity, or as his political enemies would have it, a dearth of humility, in the symbolic shadow of Jordan’s Temple of Hercules.

(Pagan) News of Note

My semi-regular round-up of articles, essays, and opinions of note for discerning Pagans and Heathens.Yesterday was the Chinese New Year (the year of the Rat), and April Rabkin of Slate.com details how China’s Communist government has worked over the years to eliminate Taoist and indigenous religious traditions associated with the holiday.”Perhaps the most significant blow to Chinese New Year was the government’s decision to forbid the annual burning of the Kitchen God, whose paper effigy hung above the stove … for more than 50 years, the Kitchen God’s effigy has been censored material. While low-ranking gods like the Lords of the Door, who guard courtyard gates and inner doorways, were more tolerated, the Kitchen God was not. In the more traditional countryside, peasants evaded censors by printing the Kitchen God at home on crude wooden blocks. But many young Beijingers I recently asked had never heard of the Kitchen God.

I Guess We Have Our Candidate*

Humorist Jon Carroll, writing for the San Francisco Chronicle, reveals Hillary Clinton’s real platform.”All the manipulative people think I’m manipulative. They can’t figure out how I do it. Heh. I don’t do it; they do it for me. All the controlling people think I’m controlling, but they’re just mad because they can’t control me.