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.
- Michael York, author of “Pagan Theology: Paganism as a World Religion”, writes a response to Christian apologist Peter Kreeft. Kreeft’s article “Comparing Christianity & The New Paganism” says that “new paganism is a joining of forces by three of the enemies of theism: humanism, polytheism and pantheism,” to which York counters that “Kreeft betrays the essential dichotomizing bi-polarity of the theistic construct.” I recommend reading the entire, highly enjoyable, response.
- SF Weekly blog Exhibitionist looks at recent incidents of animal sacrifice in the Bernel Heights area and explains why they probably weren’t committed by Satanists or adherents to Santeria. The article by Beth Winegarner interviews Mary Ehm, owner of La Sirena Botanica, and yours truly. My two cents: “A good deal of the fear, misinformation, and rushed conclusions in these matters is partially due to anxiety over cultures and traditions we don’t understand, and partially due to the actions of various ‘occult experts,’ who have been sensationalizing and over-stating the problem of ritual animal sacrifice to law enforcement and animal welfare officers.”
- A former Liberty University student reflects on Jerry Falwell’s infamous “the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians” 9/11-blaming comment. While Austin Carty is still an evangelical Christian, he says that he now sees “through this miasma of misunderstanding to see such a mentality for the insidious lie that it is.” My final word on Falwell came at his passing in 2007, where I pointed out that his “intolerant buffoonery was the perfect caricature of anyone opposing the free exercise of our faiths.”
- Tanja Diamond, author of “Beyond Sex: Tantra- A Practical Guide to Extraordinary Living,” blasts the Phoenix Goddess Temple for giving tantric sex practices a bad name. Meanwhile, in the comments of my initial report on the arrests, clients, and visitors, have been speaking up with their thoughts. In addition, some local Pagans have been giving their perspective in my follow-up post.
- In a clip provided by Right Wing Watch, Cindy Jacobs, a leader within the New Apostolic Reformation, lays out the theological importance of Rick Perry’s ‘The Response’ event: What did the indigenous people worship? [...] in Texas here and all of the coast around Houston and Galveston and some of that area, the Native American people were cannibals [...] We just had a prayer meeting in Houston a little a week ago, the governor of Texas, really as an individual instigated this, and 35,000 people showed up to pray and it was only a prayer meeting called within three months, three month period of time. So what happened? The land is starting to rejoice, you see, because of that prayer.” Jacobs, you may remember, gloried in the destruction of Haiti for breaking the “strongman of the occult”, and blamed Shinto for the destruction and horror that the citizens of Japan faced in the aftermath of the recent earthquake/tsunami. She’s now involved in the DC40 campaign.
- British actor, mixed-martial-artist, and reality show contestant Alex Reid has allegedly been knighted by King Arthur (no, not that King Arthur, this King Arthur). Reid traveled to Stonehenge earlier this year to “find peace and draw energy from the earth,” after a public breakup with wife Katie Price.
- At Patheos, P. Sufenas Virius Lupus sings the praises of smaller, more specialized, deities, specifically Sterculinus, the god of manure-based fertilizer.
- Last month I reported on the decline of religion in the West, and how “least-religious” Estonia seemed to have plenty of religion, just not the formal church-based Christian religion that many consider the default. This assertion is backed up by a new editorial by Ringo Ringvee, adviser at the religious affairs department at the Estonian ministry of the interior, who says the Paganism is thriving in Estonia. “A new phenomenon during the last 15 years has been the rising number of Estonians identifying themselves with a nature-spirituality that could be defined as the Estonian neo-paganism.” It should be noted that Ringvee also stresses that this isn’t a majority of Estonians, and that “during the ancient holy days the groves are not filled with people.” Still, this is a data point in the assertion that Paganism can and does grow in a post-Christian secular environment.
- According to an Asia Times editorial, Taiwan is still ruled by the occult (yay?).
- The bared breast of the Roman goddess Virtus will grace a proposed 23-foot-by-11-foot mural depicting the progress of Norfolk, Virginia.
- Our condolences go out to the family, friends, and fans of actor Andy Whitfield. Whitfield recently passed away after a long fight against non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He is perhaps best known for playing the Roman gladiator Spartacus in the Starz series “Spartacus: Blood and Sand.”
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.