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...]

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.Damien Echols of the now-freed West Memphis 3 discusses his interest in the art of tattooing, and the ink "talismans" he designed, for the Needles & Sins tattoo blog. Quote: "This one is for success in all ventures. And that's what it says around it in the Theban alphabet; it's also nicknamed the Witches' Alphabet. And inside is my name and the word "success" entwined." Echols' interest in the occult and Witchcraft was used against him in court during a time of moral p … [Read more...]

Tokenism in Government Prayer Fails Again

In the long-simmering battle over the inclusion of (largely Christian) prayers at the beginning of government meetings, an assumption held sway that a written policy of pluralistic inclusion would provide a fig-leaf of legal protection against lawsuits from organizations like Americans United or the ACLU. At least that was the assertion of the conservative Christian advocacy organization Alliance Defense Fund (ADF). In their "model public invocations policy," the ADF noted how important it was to have an inclusive "neutral" policy on paper, if not in actual practice. "The bottom line is that any policy adopted and implemented [...] must ensure that the invocation opportunity is n … [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.- The Olympic flame for the 2012 London games was lit yesterday at the Temple of Hera in Greece, though it did go out briefly during the ceremony. Luckily there was a back-up flame, and the torch started on its week-long journey around Greece. Once in Britain it will make a 70-day circuit in the lead-up to the Olympics. Despite the pageantry, some aren't impressed, while others made snarky jokes about the flame going out. Still, it's always nice to see echoes, reminders, that … [Read more...]