Updates: Demonic Influences, Ministerial Exception, and those Pagan Olympics

Just some quick updates on stories previously discussed here on The Wild Hunt.More Discussion on Exorcism and Demonic Influences: Last week I took issue with Patheos Catholic columnist Fr. Dwight Longenecker, who made the argument that Aurora, Colorado killer James Holmes may have been demonically possessed. Now, Religion News Service has picked up the story, bringing this controversial view to a much wider audience. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qK58CZslAs"Longenecker dismissed the range of explanations for what might have motivated Holmes -- a bad childhood, mental illness, social awkwardness, extreme political or religious views, or exposure to violent video games or to the Ba … [Read more...]

Why We Should Reject the Demonic Possession Narrative

Over in the Catholic section of Patheos, Fr. Dwight Longenecker explores the idea that James Holmes, responsible for 12 deaths in the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting that happened last week, may have been demonically possessed. According to Longenecker, "demonic infestation is a rare, strange and terrible psycho-spiritual affliction" that "maybe" afflicted Holmes."What makes a mild mannered, promising young scientist decide to arm himself to the teeth, walk into a suburban movie theater and start killing innocent people at random?" What a tempting idea, that an external evil took control of Holmes and instigated his actions. That it was an embodiment of Evil itself that guided … [Read more...]

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.First off, we have an update on the ongoing John Friend Anusara scandal, this time with Friend directly addressing his views on Wicca. It comes from a NY Magazine feature published this past Sunday, and in it he says that "I take Wicca really seriously," and "I have taken Wiccan oaths over the years where death is actually the consequence of telling the truth." I'm not sure what he's implying exactly, that he withheld the truth about his coven due to oaths? That he was … [Read more...]

Tennessee’s “Monkey Bill” Becomes Law and other Pagan News of Note

Top Story: On Saturday, I wrote about the impending enaction of a bill in Tennessee that could require schools to “teach the controversy” of evolution and global warming. Opposed by the ACLU, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute of Biological Sciences, and the Tennessee Science Teachers Association, it nonetheless was allowed to become law without the governor's signature on Tuesday."Republican Gov. Bill Haslam allowed the controversial measure to become law without his signature and, in a statement, expressed misgivings about it. Nevertheless, he ignored pleas from educators, parents and civil libertarians to veto the bill. The law does not … [Read more...]