Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Update: Beebe, AR Pagans: "We have the right to exist"

The Seekers Temple and its founder need support -- lawyers, legal aid, support and voices heard from the pagan community, etc. Here is their webpage where you can find out more, including contact info for the city council who have refused -- illegally, unconstitutionally --- Bert and Felicia, High Priest and Priestess, the right to open city council meetings with their prayers. (Read more at their site; link below.) Now, unfortunately, this harassment has caused them further hassles, for example, they used to go to the prison as part of their religious outreach (I know pagans in my own community who do this) but, because of the illegal and immoral interference by the local Christian authorities, that has been revoked.

We have the right to exist: We have gotten lots of emails and we thank you for every single one.
Perhaps it is time Mayor Micheal G. Robertson heard the same? His office may be contacted at 501-882-6295, FAXED at 501-882-8140 and Emailed at mikewhf@sbcglobal.net. No threats please, just tell him that we have the right to exist and are not going away.

Anti-Semitic riots in Europe ‘took us back to 1938′ - The Washington Post

Tragic, and frightening. No mention of how these views are expressed in the States:

Anti-Semitic riots in Europe ‘took us back to 1938′ - The Washington Post: Across the European Union, there is “a worrying level of discrimination [against Jews], particularly in employment and education, a widespread fear of victimization and heightening concern about antisemitism online,” found a 2013 European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights report. Such discrimination, it said, “all too often remains unreported and therefore invisible.”

A recent survey suggested France had the highest percentage of residents — 37 percent – who were openly anti-Semitic, reported The Washington Post’s Anthony Faiola. In Italy, one-fifth of the population felt that way; in Germany, more than one-fourth. Other studies also found rising levels of anti-Semitism in other parts of Europe.
One thing that is not gone into in this article is the issue of Arabs, Muslims and non-Jewish immigrants moving to Europe, who then turn around and protest the reality of finding themselves expected to co-exist with others, including Jews. It's a topsy turvy sick world when the onus, world wide, is put onto Jews and Israel.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Benham Group Disrupts 'Synagogue Of Satan' Unitarian Universalist Worship Services, Receives Proclamation From Mayor | Right Wing Watch

American Taliban, the "Operation Save America" uber-Christian group invaded a service at a Unitarian Universalist church:


Benham Group Disrupts 'Synagogue Of Satan' Unitarian Universalist Worship Services, Receives Proclamation From Mayor | Right Wing Watch: Flip Benham’s group Operation Save America disrupted the services of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans on Sunday while the congregation was honoring a member who had died. The organization framed their action as simply an effort to “present the truth of the Gospel in this synagogue of Satan” as part of their efforts “to defeat the culture of death.”
If you think use of the phrase "American Taliban" is a bit hyperbolic, I think the following puts their agenda into context; one of the Operation Save America's followers, after disrupting the UUC service, said the following:

During an open “meditation” time, Deanna shared the Word of the Lord. When the female “pastor” took issue, Deanna reminded her that, “It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones” (Luke 17:2). (From Operation Save America, as reported by Right Wing Watch)
Scary. Lest you think these clowns are merely clowns, and they are, they are also dangerous clowns.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

"Religious Requirements to Hold Public Office?" at The Wild Hunt

From The Wild Hunt: Religious Requirements to Hold Public Office?:

 "It may not surprise anyone that the word “God,” “Almighty God,” or similar, is written into the constitution of all 50 states. In most cases, such words are found in the preambles and in the, often required, oaths of office. The mention of “God,” or the like, is used predominantly in reverent thanks or acknowledgment of a divine goodness.



However, what most people do not realize is that eight of the states also include a religious component to a citizen’s eligibility to hold public office and, in two cases, to testify in court or serve on a jury. These states include Arkansas, Maryland, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina. While the language of each state’s “religious test” is slightly different, the ultimate idea is the same. In all cases, the laws exclude the Atheist from participating in officials roles. Beyond that and depending on one’s beliefs, these constitutional regulations could potentially exclude many citizens of minority faiths, including Pagans and Heathens."


Excellent article on the history and laws concerning religious beliefs in America -- and how some who hold office blatantly defy the constitution, clearly believing their beliefs trumps all.

"Wife of Wiccan Priest Recounts Religious Discrimination": TIME

Update from Carol Kirk, on her husband's disinvite: Wife of Wiccan Priest Recounts Religious Discrimination:

"Blake Kirk was uninvited from giving the invocation at a city council meeting in Huntsville, Ala. after it was learned that he's a clergyman of the Wiccan faith." 

Mother Mary Oracle Cards


I love this card; it's from Doreen Virtue's Ascended Masters Oracle Cards. I don't have this deck, but have been considering purchasing it. I do have Virtue's Mary, Queen of Angels oracle:






"America's Overwhelming Contempt Toward Atheists and Muslims" | Alternet

Alternet: America's Overwhelming Contempt Toward Atheists and Muslims. Everyone hates atheists, although atheist isn't specifically defined. Is agnostic included, or a part of the category of "atheist?" Other religions, such as pagan and wiccan are not included. Still, it's clear: atheists are hated by all ages, all religious groups, and Muslims don't fare any better. A tad better under naive and politically correct Democrats, but not much.

Selfie Toaster: Mass Culture Transubstantiation

Image source here




Well now, there's this item that allows pop culture to indulge in mass transubstantiation. From Jezebel.com, who reports:  The Selfie Toaster Is Exactly What It Sounds Like:



"According to Jenn Harris at the LA Times, (which is nobly stepping up its bread beat, from the looks of it, going after that elusive Pulitzer for Baked Goods reporting), a company named Burned Impressions in Vermont is selling toasters that make bread selfies. For the bargain price of $75, you can buy a signifier of the end times, aka a toaster that will burn an image of you onto a piece of bread.

It's the same company that created the Jesus toaster and the Rapture toaster with images of Jesus and bodies floating up toward the sky."


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Do Most Christians Even Know the 10 Commandments? | Alternet

Do Most Christians Even Know the 10 Commandments? | Alternet: But the truth is, very few Christians know the Ten Commandments from memory, for two very good reasons.

One reason is that the Bible actually gives two different sets of Ten Commandments, and they don’t match. In Exodus 20, Moses comes down from Mount Sinai with a set of stone tablets. (This is the most popular version.) Then he gets mad and smashes them and has to go back up and get another set. And God says, “Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.” (Exodus 34:1). But then, apparently, God can’t resist tweaking them a little. Ok, a lot.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Vagina in a tree

From the skeptic-debunker blog Virgin Mary (again), this post on shapes in trees that represent the BVM, at least to some. An example of the skeptic view from this blog:"When a person who was pre-infected with beliefs in a fictional virgin…" so you can see that the writer is not a friend of the anomalous and Fortean realm. However, it's a good blog for news on images seen as religious visitations. Related post here.

Mary Magdalene via Wikipedia


"Beloved Disciple" in the Gospel of John, Mary Magdalene; by El Greco ca. 1580
Mary Magdalene - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Mary Magdalene (original Greek Μαρία ἡ Μαγδαληνή),[2] or Mary of Magdala and sometimes The Magdalene, is a religious figure in Christianity. She is usually thought of as the second-most important woman in the New Testament after Mary, the mother of Jesus.[3] Mary Magdalene traveled with Jesus as one of his followers. She was present at Jesus' two most important moments: the crucifixion and the resurrection.[4] Within the four Gospels, the oldest historical record mentioning her name, she is named at least 12 times,[5] more than most of the apostles. The Gospel references describe her as courageous, brave enough to stand by Jesus in his hours of suffering, death and beyond.[3] ~ Wikipedia


George Romney (26 December 1734 – 15 November 1802)




And this:

In the four Gospels, Mary Magdalene is nearly always distinguished from other women named Mary by adding "Magdalene" (η Μαγδαληνή) to her name.[2] Traditionally, this has been interpreted to mean that she was fromMagdala, a town thought to have been on the western shore of the Sea of GalileeLuke 8:2 says that she was actually "called Magdalene". In Hebrew מגדל Migdal means "tower", "fortress"; in Aramaic, "Magdala" means "tower" or "elevated, great, magnificent".[11] Talmudic passages speak of a Miriam "hamegadela se’ar nasha", "Miriam, the plaiter of women’s hair" (Hagigah 4b; cf. Shabbat 104b), which could be a reference to Mary Magdalene serving as a hairdresser.[12] ~ Wikipedia


Thanks to Michele Witchipoo for the link. As with Mary, I am deeply interested in the story of Mary Magdalene, and fascinated by the changes in the sacred myths surrounding her.


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Walmart sorry for selling decorative Nazi ‘work makes you free’ poster

No comment needed:



Walmart sorry for selling decorative Nazi ‘work makes you free’ poster: Retail giant Walmart has apologized for selling a home decoration poster of one of the Nazi’s most notorious concentration camps.

The poster on Walmart’s website featured the front gate of Dachau Concentration Camp, showing the inscription “Arbeit Macht Frei” — or “Work will make you free.” Tens of thousands of prisoners died in the forced labor camp.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Paganism & The Boy Scouts from Raise the Horns

I didn't know about the origins of Boy Scouts, very cool and too bad it's become the fascist-military-Christian-patriotic and homophobic institution it is today:

Paganism & The Boy Scouts: There’s a lot of what feels “military” in today’s Boy Scouts, but it wasn’t always like that. In the United States the Scouting movement began with Ernest Thompson Seton, and his Scouting was radically different from what would follow in its wake. Setton’s Scouts focused on woodcraft, outdoor skills, and a deep and abiding love of the natural world. Seton’s version of Scouting was what I liked most about the Boy Scouts. Setton’s Scouting was also infused with the (for lack of a better term) white man’s version of Native American Spirituality. Setton spoke of the “Great Spirit” in nature, all while trying to keep his creation compatible with and acceptable to Modern Christianity.

The Persecution of Witches, 21st-Century Style - NYTimes.com

Western (American) Christians going over to other nations to preach the word against homosexuals (see John Oliver) and witches. Which then creates the space for the locals to get involved:

The Persecution of Witches, 21st-Century Style - NYTimes.com: Another factor, particularly in Central Africa and its diaspora communities, is the advent of revivalist churches, in which self-styled pastor-prophets rail against witchery and demon possession. They often claim to specialize in the casting out of evil spirits, sometimes charging for the service. Many of those congregations have emerged from Western evangelizing efforts.

One of Nigeria’s most popular Pentecostal preachers, Helen Ukpabio, wrote that “if a child under the age of 2 screams in the night, cries and is always feverish with deteriorating health, he or she is a servant of Satan.” As that implies, children in those communities are especially likely to be identified as possessed.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Local Wiccan uninvited to give city council invocation due to ‘community fears’ (poll) | WHNT.com


Not my God, once again:
Local Wiccan uninvited to give city council invocation due to ‘community fears’ (poll) | WHNT.com: “I gave the invocation earlier this year, at the time they did not ask me what my faith affiliation was, but when they did this time and I told them ‘Wiccan,’ I was told I was no longer invited to give it,” Blake told WHNT News 19 from his home Thursday night.
Another "If it ain't Christian, it ain't right" from the South, this time Alabama. No matter Mr. Blake had led meetings before with invocations, no matter the constitution, no matter hypocrisy and irony, Mr. Blake has been uninvited due to "community concerns." ACLU, are you going to take this on? They so far have been unresponsive to the case in Bebee, Arkansas of a Pagan whose permits were abruptly yanked when the city found out his store and church were not Christian, but Pagan.