C. Peter Wagner on NPR’s ‘Fresh Air’ Today

I’ve written at some length on the Christian movement known as the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), a group that’s been getting increased media scrutiny lately due to their proximity to presidential candidates like Texas governor Rick Perry. Some may believe I’m over-stating their influence, or that I’m being somewhat paranoid in my coverage,  so it’s always a good thing to have relatively level-headed media outlets to compare your own findings/suspicions with. Back in August the NPR interview program “Fresh Air” interviewed Rachel Tabachnick of Talk To Action, a leading researcher into this movement, and promised to follow-up interview with a NAR member for rebuttal/response. Today that promise is fulfilled as the show interviews C. Peter Wagner, one of key architects and Apostles of this movement. It is Wagner who articulated the movement’s battle against the “Queen of Heaven,” and penned several books on the subject of spiritual warfare.

Alive and Well in Kiambu

Amid the media frenzy over all things Sarah Palin, with a seemingly new scandal or story popping up every other day, it is little wonder that not a lot of background journalism has taken place. While assorted reporters and pundits were happy to play the video of Palin being blessed by African Pentecostal leader Thomas Muthee, few have been able to dig into his claims of driving out “witches” from the town of Kiambu in Kenya.”According to the Christian Science Monitor, six months of fervent prayer and research identified the source of the witchcraft as a local woman called Mama Jane, who ran a “divination” centre called the Emmanuel Clinic … after Pastor Muthee declared Mama Jane a witch, the townspeople became suspicious and began to turn on her, demanding that she be stoned. Public outrage eventually led the police to raid her home, where they fired gunshots, killing a pet python which they believed to be a demon. After Mama Jane was questioned by police – and released – she decided it was time to leave town, the account says.”Since then, many have wondered, what happened to Mama Jane?

Update II: Palin’s Anti-Pagan Coreligionists

Just when I thought this story couldn’t go even further down the Christian extremist rabbit-hole, up pops another revelation about a Sarah Palin coreligionist. “On June 13, 2008 Mary Glazier told attendees at the “Opening the Gate of Heaven on Earth” conference, who represented many of the New Apostolic Reformation’s top leaders, that she had been present at the inception of Sarah Palin’s political career and that Palin was in her personal prayer group : ‘There was a twenty-four year old woman that God began to speak to about entering into politics. She became a part of our prayer group out in Wasilla. Years later, became the mayor of Wasilla. And last year was elected Governor of the state of Alaska.

(Pagan) News of Note

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.

(Pagan) News of Note

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.