Commitments Large and Small

Thorn Coyle has a new essay on her blog titled “Theologies of Justice” where she discusses some of the Catholics she’s worked with and their deep commitment to social justice. She references Archbishop Oscar Romero, who was assassinated 30 years ago in El Salvador, as well as priests and nuns who have gone to jail in this country for protesting nuclear weapons.Many of the comments on Thorn’s blog emphasize that Paganism doesn’t need martyrs – a position I’m inclined to agree with. A few martyrs … [Read more...]

Pascal’s Wager

In the most recent Standing Stone and Garden Gate podcast, Brendan Myers presents – and then refutes – Pascal’s Wager. As with all the podcasts Brendan and his partner Juniper do, this one is entertaining, enlightening, and well worth your time. I’m glad to see the professional philosopher tackle one of the most annoying attempts to make exclusive Christianity seem reasonable.Pascal’s Wager says that it is more reasonable to believe in God (who, of course, is the God of Christianity) than not, b … [Read more...]

The Faith of Spring

Spring is a season of faith. Not the kind of faith that asks us to believe that Ra spoke and the sun rose and the winds blew, nor the kind of faith that asks us to believe that beyond death there is peace and freedom and reunion with those who have gone before. There’s a place for that kind of faith, but that’s the faith of Samhain.The faith of Spring and the faith of Ostara is the faith of our parents and grandparents, the faith of experience. The faith of Spring says that if we plant the see … [Read more...]

Full Moon

Full Moon Invocation adapted from Doreen Valientein Witchcraft For TomorrowO Goddess of the Rounded Moon,The queen of all enchantments here,The wind is crying through the trees,As we invoke thee to appear.The cares of day departed are,The realm of night belongs to thee;And we in love and kinship joinWith all things that are wild and free.As powers of magic round us move,Now let time’s self dissolve and fade.Here in place between the worldsMay we be one with nature made.Thy consort is the Hornèd O … [Read more...]

Saint Patrick’s Day

Ireland - photo from NASAI freely admit to some mixed feelings on Saint Patrick’s Day. Saint Patrick is credited with converting Ireland to Christianity. As someone who wonders what the Western world would look like if monotheism hadn’t taken it over completely, I don’t see this as a good thing. Some have said that Pagans celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day would be like Native Americans celebrating Columbus Day. Except, as usual, our legends don’t exactly match up with the facts. Jason at the W … [Read more...]

Gods and Earthquakes

Star Foster at Patheos has a blog post from Saturday titled “When Bad Things Happen to Good Pagans” where she attempts to understand the earthquake in Japan. She asks why the gods of Shinto (the native religion of Japan) allowed this to happen… and she can’t find an answer.We live in a culture dominated by the Abrahamic monotheistic religions. As a child, I was taught that “He’s got the whole world in his hands” – God is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent. Such a god has all power, and wit … [Read more...]

The Briefcase Test

Anne Hill at Blog o’ Gnosis has an interesting piece up called “Does Your Religion Pass the Briefcase Test?” It’s inspired by a story about Scientology and some absurd levels of secrecy:When you reach an exalted level of Scientology, you bring your own locked briefcase to a desk, someone puts a few sheets of paper into it, you go to a secure room, unlock the briefcase, and then you can read these documents—once—before returning them the same way.I have no experience with Scientology. Based on w … [Read more...]

Authority, Part 2

Legitimate authority needs no enforcement mechanism – its power flows from the rightness of its decisions. Arbitrary authority is meaningless without the power to enforce its decisions. And many authority issues have nothing to do with laws and the power of government. What power do authorities in the common world have – what can they really do? Soup Nazis may be able to keep you from getting their soup, but they can’t throw you in jail. I think many of our authority issues with people like … [Read more...]