Pagan Community Notes: Teo Bishop + Cher, FishBird, CUUPS, and More!

Pagan Community Notes is a series focused on news originating from within the Pagan community. Reinforcing 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 let’s get started! You may remember one year ago when rising Pagan figure Teo Bishop revealed he was also singer-songwriter Matt Morris, a 1990s Mickey Mouse Club alum who has collaborated with Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera, among others.

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. An Indonesian politician is opposing a law that would effectively outlaw the practice of witchcraft in the name of preventing fraud. Quote: “Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party politician Permadi, who claims to have psychic powers, disagreed with Andi’s argument, saying the article fails to protect the rights of psychics and witches. He said that not all people who could perform magic and cast a spell on someone else use their power wrongly, as some witches use their power in a positive way.” Permadi went on to say that “if you want to make this law perfect, you should involve people who understand witchcraft.” Seems perfectly reasonable to me. 
Religion Clause’s usual round-up of prisoner free exercise cases includes one that involves an Odinist, and one that includes a practitioner of Native American religious practices. 
Lisa Miller at the Washington Post looks at efforts to keep polyamory advocates quiet within the Unitarian Universalist Association.

What Does the Growth of Unitarian Universalism Mean?

There’s a certain truism that’s been adopted by commentators and analyzers of religion in the United States (and more broadly in the West), that liberal Protestant Christianity is in a demographic death spiral, and thus liberal forms of Christianity itself are in danger of winking out of existence. Conservative columnist Ross Douthat, author of “Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics,” made waves this past Summer by asking if liberal Christianity could be saved. “…if conservative Christianity has often been compromised, liberal Christianity has simply collapsed. Practically every denomination — Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian — that has tried to adapt itself to contemporary liberal values has seen an Episcopal-style plunge in church attendance. Within the Catholic Church, too, the most progressive-minded religious orders have often failed to generate the vocations necessary to sustain themselves.

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. Was “PaganDASH” a success in Australia? Last year I reported on efforts in Australia and Britain to encourage more accurate census counts of Pagans by asking respondents to use a uniform Pagan-[tradition/faith] format. Now, the preliminary numbers for Australia have been released, and while the total number of adherents to Pagan religions has grown, that growth rate has remained stable since the 2001 census (around 3-4 thousand new adherents every 5 years).

Unleash the Hounds! (Link Roundup + Crowdfunding Update)

Welcome to the latest installment of Unleash the Hounds, in which I round up articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans. Before we get started I wanted to give an update on the Pagan journalism crowdfunding experiment I launched on March 21st. The very excellent news is that not only have I reached my fundraising goal of $1850 dollars to send The Wild Hunt to Chicago in November so that I can cover the American Academy of Religion’s 2012 Annual Meeting, but I’ve surpassed that goal by hundreds of dollars. All in less than a week! Thank you!