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. There’s an excellent long-form journalism piece at Medium on the controversial issue of King Tut’s DNA. Quote: “The possibility that Mormon researchers were trying to convert the ancients was a particular, peculiar threat to Egypt’s sense of self, but it soon became apparent that it wasn’t just the Mormons that the Egyptians were worried about: it was all foreigners.” Everyone knows that World Net Daily (aka World Nut Daily) is your prototypical “Obama is the Antichrist” conspiracy site, I don’t think anyone disputes that.

The Kids Are Alright and other Pagan News of Note

Top Story: The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has released a new study, entitled “Religion Among the Millennials”, that tracks the beliefs and views of the generation born after 1981 (and who largely came of age in the year 2000, hence the name).  The report asserts that Millenials are far more “unaffiliated”, religiously speaking, than the previous two generations, and less concerned about “culture war” issues like gay marriage and abortion than their predecessors. “Young people are more accepting of homosexuality and evolution than are older people. They are also more comfortable with having a bigger government, and they are less concerned about Hollywood threatening their values. But when asked generally about morality and religion, young adults are just as convinced as older people that there are absolute standards of right and wrong that apply to everyone. Young adults are also slightly more supportive of government efforts to protect morality and of efforts by houses of worship to express their social and political views.”

Who Has the Greatest Investment in Christianity’s Pagan Past?

Recently Get Religion blogger and religion-beat journalist Mollie Hemingway, while discussing a major religion-based factual error in a piece by Slate.com, made this assertion concerning the media and the “pagan” roots of modern holidays. You get a basic fact like what Candlemas commemorates wrong and it kind of casts doubt on the whole piece. Not to mention that Noah asserts the pagan connection without substantiating the claim elsewhere in the piece. There is literally no explanation — we are just to take him at his word. That’s my biggest beef with the “Christian holy days co-opt pagan festivals” meme that is so popular with the mainstream media.

(Pagan) News of Note

My semi-regular round-up of articles, essays, and opinions of note for discerning Pagans and Heathens.As if sensing that the recent Pew Forum study of America’s religious landscape would show that modern Paganism continues to grow, while Christianity’s majority status is eroding, a growing number of anti-Pagan articles have appeared warning the faithful of our growth. One comes from Janice Crouse, a senior fellow with Concerned Women for America, who warns of the growth of Wicca and “Earth Worship” among the Christian youth.”Janice Crouse, a senior fellow with Concerned Women for America, says it’s disturbing that many young people in evangelical churches are experimenting with the Wiccan religion. Church leaders and Christian parents, she warns, must be ready to counter that growing interest among their youth. Crouse cites an article in Religion Journal which said youth pastors in the Southern Baptist Convention were worried about large numbers of evangelicals taking part in Wicca, a religion that involves nature worship, stresses moral autonomy, and includes remedies and spells … [Crouse] says the interest in Wicca can be traced to recent books featuring witchcraft and similar topics.”Meanwhile, WorldNetDaily prints the cover story from their recent Whistleblower magazine issue dedicated to the growth of Witchcraft in America.

The New Anti-Paganism

Now that the Democratic party is rushing to publicly embrace God and close the “religion gap” with rival Republicans, and with secularism seemingly on the run (or at least out of fashion), some Christian conservatives are looking towards a new scapegoat that will appeal to their audience: Paganism. While certain segments of Christianity have always been a bit obsessed with “the occult” and other “dark forces” that could imperil one’s soul, this new anti-Pagan alignment casts Christians as caring individuals wanting to cure a religious “sickness” caused by an irreligious secular age.”If you think that secular humanism has become biblical Christianity’s most threatening opponent in contemporary society, Peter Jones wants you to think again. He will tell you – politely but emphatically – that you’re at least a decade or two behind the curve … Jones calls it neo-paganism. Around the world, in dozens of shapes, names, and forms, it is winning the allegiance and hearts especially of young people who are already disillusioned with the empty promises of secularism and materialism.