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.

That’s it for now! Feel free to discuss any of these links in the comments, some of these I may expand into longer posts as needed.

About Jason Pitzl-Waters
  • http://kallisti.writingkaye.com Kaye Bohémier

    In my experience, it’s generally too much to ask Christians who feel threatened by religious diversity to break bread with us and actually engage with us as people. After all:

    “If anyone comes to you and doesn’t bring these teachings, don’t take him into your home or even greet him.” 2 John 1:10

    “And now I make one more appeal, my dear brothers and sisters. Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them.” Romans 16:17 (Oddly enough, this is probably also used to combat teachings about evolution.)

    “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy [acc. to section notes, Gnostic and Greek], which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” Colossians 2:8

    That said, I hope that this is helpful publicity for their moot. I mean, not everyone keeps up on what’s happening in their local Pagan community (the 80:20 rule), so the article should catch interested strays.

  • http://nicdhana.blogspot.com/ Kathryn NicDhàna

    Unless she also goes by another name, I have no idea who LaQuetta Purkiss is or why she is saying that.

    While “Celtic Reconstructionist” has become such a big umbrella some of us don’t even feel the term is useful anymore, I still find her generalization inaccurate. While the founders of CR were (and still are) largely leftish, greenish radicals, I wouldn’t even generalize about political beliefs under the umbrella anymore. I’m one of those leftish, greenish radicals, and certainly no libertarian.

    • http://nicdhana.blogspot.com/ Kathryn NicDhàna

      In a bit more detail: I’m not a big fan of our current government. But I trust corporations even less.

      Communities have to place restrictions on the harmful actions of their members, in order that the community can survive. In small communities, this is handled by individuals and small groups of people. On a national or global level, we wind up with governments. While I may not be a fan of our current system, and I’m not a liberal who thinks slight adjustments to the current system will solve our problems, I also think it’s escapist to not use all the tools at our disposal. So we work with people who want to change the system from within, as well as those who are working to preserve, empower or create alternative systems. There are many fronts to work on.

  • Sri

    Wait, an opera about John Dee? That should be intriguing.

  • http://tairis-cr.blogspot.com Tairis

    I have to disagree with LaQuetta Purkiss’ assertion there. To be fair, as a left-leaning CR in Scotland, US politics are often kind of anathema to me, but few CRs I know across the Pond – and elsewhere – would fit a conservative, libertarian description.

  • Paul Pigman

    Without completely dismissing LaQuetta Purkiss’ opinion on Celtic Reconstructionists (CR), I have to say I’ve seen little to support her view of a strong strain of the “Libertarian” in CR. Then again, I’m a little more of the old school of CR. I may not support government action unequivocally but I have even less faith in the so-called captains of industry to regulate themselves. That, in my opinion, has an approaching zero chance of positive outcome for the environment.

    I have an exceedingly poor opinion of the Libertarian perspective, which I find mostly espoused by privileged white people whose social Darwinist views border on the sociopathic. My opinion and your mileage may vary.

    • http://badocelot.com badocelot

      To be fair, there are actually a number of left-libertarians who support progressive ends through libertarian means. On the other hand, they end up spending much of their time debating their more numerous right-libertarian brethren.

    • Guest

      Actually most, if not all, of the so called “social Darwinism” (leaving aside totally the fact that Darwin himself insisted his views should not be applied socially) comes from Christian and/or colonial conceptions of racial theory. Said racial theory of course being an excuse for colonialist activities, usually something along the lines of “we’re taking you over and making you Christian and ‘civilized’ because you’re brown and pagan”.

      You’ll notice that most, if not all, of the libertarian thinkers who write heavily about topics related to social Darwinism are themselves deeply devout Christians, particularly Catholics. What’s particularly telling about these particular “thinkers” is they often skirt the edge of (or openly support) slavery. Some of them even go into great detail about the finer ethical points of slave owning, based on the Biblical model naturally.

      Usually, in my opinion/experience, these types are libertarian because they oppose state intervention on the grounds that they believe it’s the Church’s job to rule over peoples’ lives. They also tend to be strict authoritarians at home with little respect for their spouses and tend to parent “best” with the use of the phrase, “because I told you so”.

      There are a variety of motivations for wanting limited government intervention as well as a variety of areas that libertarians disagree on when it comes to what should and shouldn’t fall under the responsibility of the State. Usually, people being people, these motives are suspect at best. Like when folks advocate “states’ rights” when they mean “my individual right to be a bigot”.

  • http://sonneillon-v.livejournal.com/ Sonneillon

    *dies laughing* I have that DC Talk album! I had never seen the music video though… I may never achieve the vertical again. XD

    • http://www.wildhunt.org/blog/ Jason Pitzl-Waters

      Then you’ll love this even more:
      http://youtu.be/T6YnCKsYXEM

      • http://kauko-niskala.blogspot.com Kauko

        Sometimes I just need a good reminder of how strange the early 90s were…… sigh.

      • Crystal Kendrick

        Wow. That’s bad even for Christian rap. And is that Bill S. Preston, Esquire?

      • Crystal Kendrick

        Wow. That’s bad even for Christian rap. And is that Bill S. Preston, Esquire?

        • http://www.wildhunt.org/blog/ Jason Pitzl-Waters

          No, just a reasonable facsimile thereof.

        • http://www.wildhunt.org/blog/ Jason Pitzl-Waters

          No, just a reasonable facsimile thereof.

        • Elnigma

          Bill S. Preston could have found a “Sugar Hill Gang” record through time-travel

  • E.S. Leaders

    I should probably throw in a few thoughts, since I attended Texas Tech and am familiar with that particular group, and briefly met some of the students from LaQuetta’s group (The White Oak Willow Grove) when I was there, and saw LaQuetta speak at a pagan pride event and was not impressed. They have a very narrow view of what Druidry and Celtic Reconstructionism is, and seemed to want to have very little to do with the greater Pagan community. I was living in Lubbock when I first began exploring Paganism and was met with a lot of hostility from them, and I think some direct quotes from some of LaQuetta’s disciples might best clarify the group’s stance and show that their beliefs are not in line with any Celtic Reconstructionists I have met since. I might also mention that she’s a Chemistry Professor who has set herself up as a guru and a cult leader and I did not meet a single one of her disciples who was not a chemistry major at Texas Tech… these are the words copied and pasted directly from my e-mail correspondence with the grove, these are not LaQuetta’s own words, but they are espousing the philosophy of her group:

    “On your idea that we should believe our ideal but not renounce all others, I think you are being overly judgmental and new age. We do not think that everyone should belong to our order, we are polytheists and therefore there are many people who serve many gods. All are ok. However, you asked if you can join our group, and that is a different matter entirely. You are under the false preconceived notion that we are a supportive learning community who will accept members with a diversity of beliefs. I think that you should really look at OBOD. It is a british order that is world wide and focuses much more on the celtic spirit and the elightenment view than on archeology. It believes that one can be any religion adn be a druid. (though i find that to be blasphemy. My religion, though it has a philosophy, is so much more than that!). We follow the Celtic dogma (and yes i meant dogma) that we feel is correct. There are other sects with their own beliefs that we do or do not believe in or agree with. But they are perfectly correct and right in their own belief structures, but cannot be reconciled with ours.”

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PMTLR3IIGKPHZ2YNU3PDXWK4WA Kenneth

      I had SO hoped that the pagan movement would somehow be spared the scourge of fundamentalism, but human nature being what it is, it was only a matter of time. How long before these “dogma” based groups start evangelizing and aggressively proselytizing? So many people who become pagan like to recreate all of the same pathologies and mindsets they experienced, and profess to hate, in their birth religion. They’re basically just evangelicals or conservative Catholics who happen to have overlaid a new pantheon over their old beliefs.

      • Baruch Dreamstalker

        Kenneth, I am certainly no fan of fundamentalisms, Pagan or otherwise, but I don’t think we can dismiss a profound shift in belief structure simply because the person retains some old characteristics. LaQetta wasn’t prosyletizing nor declaring hers the only way; she was offering an opinion that quite a few of us don’t agree with.

    • Erynn Rowan Laurie

      Wow, that’s pretty messed up. I can’t believe these people actually have much of a clue what they’re talking about.

      • E.S. Leaders

        Do note that I was speaking hastily and out of some very negative experiences I had many years ago when I still lived in Lubbock… the excerpt from the e-mail speaks for itself, and someone who had enough influence in that group to be writing from the e-mail address posted on the group’s website and therefore someone in my mind speaking for the group did have those opinions. Everything else was from rough memory though and was written largely out of emotion. I saw a reference to a group I had a bad experience with and without thinking publicly expressed my unfounded opinion on another person (something I try to never do). I suppose you can take from this that yes, dogma is alive and well in all religions (and perhaps even in all groups), but the more important thing to remember is that even the most diplomatic of us are occasionally guilty of unjust defamation, and any statements about the character of a person or group are best ignored because the person probably wouldn’t have made them if he/she was thinking with a clear head. I thought I’d learned that and moved past doing things like that but I guess we all have lapses.

    • Anonymous

      It sounds to me like they’ve taken a fundie xtian worldview and thrown a CR wrapper around it. Why is it that so many people insist on becoming followers of yet-another-made-up-’tradition’ and acting like it was handed down from god hirself?

      The other big problem here is the mainstream media making the incorrect assumption that there is any kind of agreement amongst pagans about anything. This woman was clearly interviewed because of her credentials as a professor, and the reporter assumed she spoke for more people than she was qualified to speak for. I wish they’d stop doing that. Just like interviews at crime scenes, they always seem to deliberately choose the least-qualified person present.

  • E.S. Leaders

    That said, I do think there’s a slight trend towards a slightly more eco-anarchistic approach to politics in the general pagan world. This does not, however, a trend away from environmental ethics and certainly not a trend towards conservatism, just a trend towards individual action from the bottom up rather than a dependance on the government to solve our problems. I think the philosophies presented in books like Daniel Quinn’s Beyond Civilization and My Ishmael (despite his brief critical comment about Wicca in The Story of B), or books like John Michel Greer’s The Long Descent and Beyond Civilization (which is really very similar to Quinn’s stuff, and of course written by the head of AODA), represent something closer to what I see more and more when I talk to the pagans I know…

    • E.S. Leaders

      Of course, there are still plenty of politically liberal pagans, and lots of pagans who look at our political system as an unnecessary evil and the left side of the political spectrum as the lesser of two evils, but the trend I mentioned above is really the closest thing I’ve seen to an actual conservative libertarian trend in paganism (and its really neither of those things)…

  • Anonymous

    Jason,

    I thought that your WaPo column was spot on. Thank you for making those points and making them so well.

    I think that this quote:

    “He describes being ‘raised in a ‘[P]agan’ household with no religion whatsoever. . . . We had all sorts of weird idols in the house,’he says,”

    is telling. Apparently, he WAS raised in a religious household, one with statues and pictures of various divinities of “all sorts.” Yet that’s not considered a “real” religion — he says that he was raised with “no religion whatsoever.” I think this demonstrates why, for example, it’s ok for a state to refuse to pay Pagan prison chaplains, and for the Army to deny Asatru veterans headstones with their own religious symbol. As long as Abrahamic religions (and, ok, maybe Hindus and some kind of Native American “church,” (although “church” is an European concept)) are the only “real” religions, Pagans are going to struggle for our rights.

    And it’s why I’ll continue to object to the use of the word “faith” (or “faiths”) as a substitute for the word “religion” (or “religions”). As long as “religion” essentially means “a religion based upon faith” rather than upon experience, thought, or emotional congruence, Paganism won’t be considered a “real religion.” The more that we buy into and adopt the terminology of what Thorn Coyle calls the “overculture,” the more harm we’ll do ourselves, without meaning to do so.

    • Pagan Puff Pieces

      Are you sure the deciding element was amount of control, dogma, or suffering? Because, next to the big “real” faiths, Pagans may seem on the surface to have “no” religion because they lack a lot of the things that, well, tend to turn people away from “religion.”

  • Baruch Dreamstalker

    “Wiccans tend to be liberal and favor government restrictions, Celtic Reconstructionists like herself lean more conservative and often oppose federal government intervention, unless industries or individuals refuse to regulate themselves.”

    This constructs the basic difference between liberals and conservatives as one of opinion as to whether the industries or individuals in question have done a good job at self-regulation.

    Which is what it often boils down to in practice.

  • Wildhunt

    I have met CRs and Gaelic Polytheists who are authoritarian and those who are who are libertarian. As such, I don’t associate CR with any particular political view.

    I do think that a libertarian outlook can be a natural fit, but a case can be made for the other side, too.

    Libertarianism is greatly misunderstood. For instance, we are often no more sanguine about corporations than progressives and revile special government privilege given to them that enables some of the most egregious offenses.

    • Anonymous

      Libertarianism is greatly misunderstood. For instance, we are often no more sanguine about corporations than progressives and revile special government privilege given to them that enables some of the most egregious offenses.

      And I am Marie of Romania.

      • Guest

        Sadly that is the case. Far from libertarianism being misunderstood it is, in my opinion, mis-used by clever and greedy people to further their own immediate self-interest at the expense of others and at the expense of the ideology itself. Thus it becomes a case truly of: “looks good on paper but never works out in reality.”

        • Kelley

          There’s some truth in what you say. The term “libertarian” has been largely co-opted by authoritarians, much as the term “liberal” was before it. But that doesn’t change the philosophy of liberty itself. “Libertarian” is no more “greedy and self-interested” than “pagan” is “devil-worshipper”, save to those who wish to revile the religion.

          If someone is engaging in actions “at the expense of others” then that’s initiation of force and would be considered criminal to a philosophical libertarian. Trespassing, destruction of property, fraud, theft — no libertarian thinks those are not criminal.

          • Guest

            I’m not arguing that libertarianism espouses anything authoritarian, on paper. But in reality people who claim to be libertarian can do whatever they want. Does that change what libertarian is on paper? No, but it does color people’s perception of libertarianism when the only visible/powerful “libertarians” are authoritarians in “freedom fighter” drag.

            Not unlike how for every person who believes Pagan means something positive there are, at least, 10 people who believe it means something negative. There’s a lot of bad PR to be waded through both for Paganism and libertarianism.

            The problem I see is that most “true” (Whatever that means) libertarians are wasting their energy coming back with rhetorical/scripted answers to questions as to the integrity of libertarian practitioners in positions of power. This in tern creates an aura of Utopianism if you ask me.

            The glorious free-market paradise that never quite manifests because of the “main innovators” manipulating the political process for their own ends like a couple of brothers we won’t mention. Or a man who somehow, after one of the least libertarian political careers in recent memory, managed to secure the nomination of the “Libertarian” Party.

  • Anonymous

    Anyone who genuinely, sincerely believes that property rights trump environmental protection is no Pagan in my eyes. You gotta draw the fucking line somewhere.

    On the other hand, I would cheerfully nominate such people for the “Neopagan” category.

    • Guest

      I would argue that the practice of companies (or anyone) dumping their waste, in the general (i.e. public) environment in particular, without regard for their responsibility to dispose of it properly (and thereby deal with their own business/personal liabilities) is not only guilty of ecocide but violation of property rights (as understood in this context to be a violation of of my, in the specific and general sense, right not to have my public, I lay claim to public land on the basis that public land is everyone’s concern/responsibility, or private land contaminated with their, again the general their, waste).

      Understood in a libertarian context, at least as I understand libertarianism I would argue that environmentally disastrous dumping by businesses and individuals is tantamount to a violation of the non-aggression principle and grounds for some serious “Don’t-tread-on-me” style ass kicking.

      Unfortunately most “libertarians” today are corporately owned subsidiaries of a little business enterprise called “looking out for our immediate self-interest” rather than “rational agents engaged in their own self-interest”. That being the case I find, personally, that environmental protections are not only necessary, they become de facto libertarian! After all the state need not be large to be effective but it does have to protect all of our rights, including our right to an environment not polluted to shit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1546700084 Valerie Herron

    “Is there anything more charming than Christian rappers?” this officially goes down as my favorite opening sentence to a paragraph, ever.

  • Anonymous

    I guess that I’m as Celtic as the next Californian whose forebears immigrated from Ireland and Scotland.

    My recollection, dim and tinged by youth, is that they (those forebears) were good American citizens of their times who were not particularly antipathetic to America’s government–federal, state, of local. They valued their rights and responsibilities as citizens in the American polity quite highly.

    If there was a national government that I learned to dislike and distrust from them, it was the government of the United Kingdom.

    Maybe I am unclear on the concept, but it seems to me that Celtic Reconstructionists would be paying attention to governments that had a marked historical impact (according to the period in question) upon Celtic, lands, peoples, cultures, and affairs.

  • Anonymous

    For those who commented they don’t know LaQuetta Purkiss, I sincerely hope you have the opportunity one day. For those who don’t agree with her opinion, seems to me everyone is entitled to an opinion and we don’t have to agree with one another. LaQuetta does not presume to speak for all of the ‘greater Pagan community’. As a matter of fact, if you asked, she would tell you that she represents herself and those in her grove (although the grove membership is vocally capably on their own).
    I have never attended Texas Tech, but I am well acquainted and familiar with Ms. Purkiss and the ‘Yew Leaf Willow Grove’ (not “White Oak…”). I feel it necessary to set a few things straight, since some have expressed a much different opinion than I, and I would dare say the rest of the grove’s membership and associations.
    E.S. Leaders referred to grove members as “disciples” and part of her, “cult”. Wow. Well by definition I suppose any and all religious groups and organizations can be called a ‘cult’ if someone doesn’t care for them (for whatever reason; real or imaginary) and where members actually and passionately speak about what they believe. This of course would include all the Pagan and non-Pagan religious/faith-based and non-groups. Everyone, let’s please be careful about pulling out that Witch beater board shall we?
    Because the grove’s, “beliefs are not in line with any Celtic Reconstructionists I have met since”, does not delegitimize them. I was frankly amazed that after you stated you brief encounter, no attendance at any ritual, or studies of grove material, don’t know the grove’s name, and can’t quote LaQuetta directly (nor state who you were quoting)…that you came to a conclusion at all. As a point of correction, there are more than 6 grove members I know of personally who are not chemistry students and not even students of Texas Tech.
    By your own account you “briefly met” and heard LaQuetta speak once. I have had the pleasure of knowing LaQuetta for over 10 years. Perhaps if you had known her and the grove better, you would have been present when she and the grove assisted at all the Lubbock, TX PPDs; whereas the, “greater Pagan community” as you called it, bickered from the second year and had petty disputes amongst the groups (which continue to today). I believe it was two years ago when LaQuetta helped to mediate a working relationship between PPD committee members when a dispute broke out between committee groups that threatened the entire, “greater Pagan community” of Lubbock.
    Years earlier, LaQuetta was also a behind-the-scenes supporter of the Psychic Fair held there and championed the event while others locked themselves in a building and would not talk to a street evangelist with a reporter who came to disrupt the event. She has since rescued New Agers and others of the “greater Pagan community”, when they were cornered by some very loud and aggressive non-Pagans at other psychic/holistic events, namely the Amarillo Harvestfest (one of those she recused was my young daughter).
    For several years, LaQuetta has also been an active member of the “greater Pagan community” committees such as an annual campout that encompassed W. TX as well as SE NM. Perhaps you didn’t know that the grove has hosted open rituals and invited the “greater Pagan community”; the latest being last Lughnasadh in a public park in Lubbock. And perhaps you did not know how LaQuetta wrote and co-conducted two wedding ceremonies within the last couple of years (one as a rededication of a couple from the grove, and other a compilation of 5 Pagan traditions including the Blackfoot First Nation Tribe).
    She has also opened her house and her heart to those in need such as taking in a fellow Pagan who needed a place to stay between apartment contracts. She is respect by the local Asatru Kindred as well as an eclectic Wiccan coven, my own group in SE NM, as well as several, eclectic solitaires within TX and NM.
    Now, if you are suggesting that LaQuetta Purkiss and the grove do not freely distribute their rituals, grove work and studies to just anyone who wants them; you’d be correct. As a matter of fact, I don’t know many, legitimate groups who do without getting to know someone who is seriously interested in studying their ways.
    As I never met you at a PPD, and don’t know you now, I can only surmise that your opinion (which some seem have taken as some gospel) is nothing more than sour grapes. I assure you, you don’t know LaQuetta Purkiss or the Yew Leaf Willow Grove. I invite everyone to do so before casting judgment; personal or public.

  • Iboudicca

    Like many of you I have paid a price for my religious beliefs. My religion has cost me some friends, some family and jobs and was a factor in the breakup of my marriage of 29 years. I had no idea my use of the “c word” (conservative) in an interview to a local paper would push so many peoples buttons.

    For most of my 57 years people have told me that things “have to be this way” or they “have to be that way”. Yet I have managed to find third alternatives which allowed opposing groups to keep most if not all of what they wanted. I really believe we can have it all. We can have a beautiful environment and industry. That may make me a dreamer, but as the song says “I’m not the only one.” If both sides would just avoid the knee-jerk reaction to words like “conservative” or “liberal” and really listen (not just hear) to each other it is possible.

    For the record.
    1. I am a polytheist and will not deny the Gods and my ancestors. I and the other Grove members look to archeology and the lore for examples on how to honor the Gods, Goddesses and ancestors.
    2. While I have never meet Erynn Laurie, I have read some of her writings and our views on the Gods are actually quite similar. I was unaware of her political views. I avoid reading political articles because I believe we are all capable of making up our own minds.
    3. Just because i “tend” to be more conservative than other Pagans/Heathens that doesn’t make me a right wing extremist. It makes me a moderate. I am not a Libertarian. Never have been. I didn’t say there should be no regulation, but in an ideal world the industries would regulate themselves out of respect for the earth. Alas we do not live in an ideal world. If you want to know my politics I am (grab your heart medicine if you need it) a moderate Republican. Yes we exist, although we are an endangered species. I refuse to give total control of the Rupublicans to evangecials.
    4. The gay members of my Grove and my gay friends would be surprised if someone told them the Yew Leaf Willow Grove or myself were anti-gay. So would my trans-gendered friends.
    5. Only one of the members of my Grove is or ever was a Chemistry Major at TTU. He is in Med School now. Several members are professionals and a few are students at one of the colleges. Texas Tech is not the only college in Lubbock. Members ages range from the early 20s to late fifties.
    6. I started the Grove because many people asked me to teach them. I did NOT, I repeat NOT start the grove and then recruit members. I have never wanted to be the “guru” of a “cult” as ES Leaders states. I teach because I can; NOT as a sort of power trip. In fact I do not remember ever meeting ES Leaders.
    7. I am NOT a professor at Texas Tech University. I am Professional Staff. A person with an MS in Chemistry that oversees the General Chemistry Teaching Laboratories. These Freshman level labs serve over 2000 students every semster.
    8. I recently became advisor to the Texas Tech Pagan Student Union because the previous one left TTU for employment elsewhere. All student organizatons at TTU must have an advisor that is either faculty or full time staff. I did it because no one else would and if I didn’t do it there would be no organization of pagan students at TTU. Also just so you know, I let the students run the organization and come to me if they have a question or need my help.

    LaQuetta Purkiss

    • E.S. Leaders

      I am very sorry for letting my bad experience those many years ago lead me to speak out in such an untoward way. I did try to point out that the person I corresponded with might not have represented your opinions, though I did speak to a few other members who treated me with similar hostility when I tried to attend events and meetups. I was at a very early place in my journey, and my experiences with your group were my first experiences with other pagans. Perhaps I was searching for community at too early a place in my path. I have long since left Lubbock and even Texas, and all I have left of my experiences with your group are the e-mails I have kept from my correspondence with a representative of your group (I refuse to name names for the sake of privacy), which I interpreted as telling me that in order to worship with your group, I needed to convert to a specific dogma and abandon everything else that I saw as valuable. I’m sure that if I had met you in a different context, or perhaps had met you in person before I had recieved those e-mails I would have had a very different first impression. Unfortunately, by the time I saw you speak, I had already recieved those e-mails and built up a preconcieved notion of an arrogant, elitist, dogmatic group built around a personality. I had already been told (or at least felt I had) that relating to the gods, the myths, the spirits, and the history/archeology in my own personal way, by by own personal interpretation was unacceptable, and I had no interest in being required to convert to a belief system even if it was something I mostly believed in order to join a group, so I never tried to make contact again. The lesson here for me, I suppose is that we always carry our own baggage into first impressions… and character judgements of people or groups cause harm and are generally unfounded, even if out of personal hurt we feel they are gospel. Also, I suppose one or two members of a group do not make up the voice of the group as a whole. Thank you for clarifying your viewpoints and helping me put an end to a very rough spot in my personal history. I can’t say I regret not having become a member, because at that place in my life I really did need room to find my own way, and I’m not sure I could have done it in a setting that required a specific theology. But I do regret letting the e-mails and my negative experiences with the few grove members I met lead me to come to a place where I made unfair judgements that have carried even to these many years later rather than leading me to seek you out personally for clarification upon having those experiences.

  • http://www.magickal-media.com Alice C. “A.C.” Fisher Aldag

    Asks Jason, “Is there a strong libertarian streak in CR concerning environmental policy that I’ve missed?” I can’t speak for all Celts, all Celt Recons, or all Celtic-based folkloric religions or Celtic-based magio-religions, but yes, many, MANY of us embrace conservative values… at risk of starting another flaming debate! Conserving the environment, while supporting business and reducing the size of government, are not mutually exclusive goals. I personally worship the Earth and Nature thru a Celtic-based family folkloric tradition… and believe that strong businesses offering solar, wind, geothermal and other forms of energy will support both our environment and our economy.

    • Iboudicca

      Glad to meet another dreamer.

  • Elnigma

    YAY NEW YORK!! Hopefully will be legal everywhere else soon!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=501005243 Alison Leigh Lilly

    To counterbalance some of the negative Christian-related news in this link round up, I wanted mention that I just got home from attending a four-day-long progressive/emergent Christian festival, The Wild Goose Festival, where my presence as a Pagan was not only welcomed and encouraged, but actually bragged about on their Facebook page!

    Besides social justice and environmentalism, another big focus of the Wild Goose Festival was interfaith dialogue. These are the kinds of Christians that we Pagans need to be reaching out to and connecting with, instead of spending our time complaining about (and thus giving more attention to) every petty slight from the Christian Right.

    • Elnigma

      Good point. There’s more in the middle than in the extremes.

    • Anonymous

      At the Wild Goose website, one reads the following:

      “The festival is rooted in the Christian tradition and therefore open to all regardless of belief, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, denomination or religious affiliation.”

      I wonder when this became part of “the Christian tradition”? I also wonder which Christian sects have adopted this “traditional” view, and how many of the world’s two billion plus Christians even remotely resemble this “tradition”?

      • Anonymous

        It became a part of the “christian tradition” about the time they wrote that passage on their website. As far as christian sects who have adopted that “traditional” view- just the organizers of the goosey festival, as far as I (or any student of history or modern religious movements can tell).

      • Baruch Dreamstalker

        Five hundred years ago normal Christian behavior between churches was to burn one another’s adherents at the stake and invade countries with different established churches. This has pretty much died down and a rhetoric of tolerance put in its place. (Indeed, dominionists use that rhetoric to portray themselves as discriminated against.) This past and this present define a trajectory in the Christian tradition, and Wild Goose is trying to project it to some end point. You are correct if you say this makes them as odd a fish as any of us; I take this as reason to defend them if attacked.

    • http://www.wildhunt.org/blog/ Jason Pitzl-Waters

      Ali, I hope you are going to write about your experiences?

    • http://vermillionrush.wordpress.com Vermillion

      I wish progressive Christians like the ones who run this festival got more airtime then the yelling hate everyone who isn’t like them ones :/

      • Anonymous

        The reason why “more progressive christians” like these don’t get “more airtime” is because they don’t reflect the actual christian tradition, in any of its forms, and the world and other christians are aware of this. They aren’t looked at as representatives of christianity, just as liberal kids (and cotton-hearted adults) who can’t divorce themselves from their sweet notions of what they want christianity to be. If there was a true element of this attitude buried deeply at the heart of “traditional” christianity, it would manifest itself today and historically in religious sects (and it has not) and it would be recognized and discussed.

    • Anonymous

      This goose festival you attended is well-named. They do not represent historical Christian tradition in any manner whatsoever, and they don’t represent the vast majority of modern christianity, either. Sounds like one tiny localized team of liberal CINO’s (christians in name only) who like booze and festivals, and who want to draw upon the strength of a large worldwide tradition like christianity (and all the social non-threatening acceptance it brings them) while divorcing themselves entirely from the sordid history and oppressive modern impact of the tradition. It’s the “let’s have this cake and eat it without any hint of consequences” crowd that we’ve all come to love so much- and you’re acting as quite the cheerleader for them.

  • http://mo-thearmann.blogspot.com/ Teresa

    As a practicing CR myself, I have to say the news of “a strong libertarian streak in CR concerning environmental policy” (or indeed a libertarian streak concerning anything) is news to me and I’ve been a member of the community for nearly 5 years now and that includes being friends with a few of the founders. From my experience when it comes to politics, the majority in CR seem to lean towards the left side (and I include myself here).

    Also, I’ve not heard of this LaQuetta Purkiss either.