52 posts tagged america
A change to obscure procedural rules in the U.S. Senate and the upcoming 2014 elections could be a dangerous window of opportunity.
Bill Maher is under fire after hosting LGBT activist, author, and comedian Dan Savage Friday night on his HBO show, “Real Time,” and demanding Time Warner cancel Maher’s show.
"You should actually read the list. Aside from being humorous, that the jokes can actually be made by Maher and Donohue is unable to refute those that aren’t just jokes, but real accusations, it’s extremely embarrassing for Donohue to advertise it at all."
"[E]xclusionary religion — in other words all religions that identify people as “saved” or “lost,” or of the right tribe or race, or that demand the holding of correct doctrinal beliefs — is a killer. Religious faith needs to be put back in the category of personal subjective experience where it belongs. Religion that claims to be “The Truth” (a la Billy Graham delusional evangelical-type thinking) is an exercise in exclusion, in dividing the human race into “us” and “them.” It leads to the Tea Party mentality. It must end."
"We opened a door that lost God’s protection over our environment," said the Christian historian VIDEO
Please don’t let this idiot win an election. :-\
Dipshit McDoofus belongs far away from political office, I agree. But - Odin forbid - should he somehow make the national stage, he will only serve to embarrass and further discredit the theo-fascist wing of the far right.
Nina Davuluri, Miss New York was crowned the winner the 2014 Miss America Pageant. She is the first contestant of Indian descent to be crowned Miss America.
This is America. The worlds melting pot, where every culture and race comes together to get disrespected and harassed EQUALLY. Except if you’re white because remember, this is America.
I’m sorry, I forgot that having white skin was a characteristic of being an American.
we need to take the internet away from those imbeciles.
Why does Murica hate America?
On Sunday, Politico published a lengthy piece exploring why Christian pseudo-historian David Barton has retained his political influence and popularity despite recent blunders with his highly questionable view of history. In short, he never backed down, accused his critics of being partisan operatives, and simply waited for the attention span of the American public to move on.
“Barton has bounced back. He has retained his popular following and his political appeal — in large part, analysts say, because he brings an air of sober-minded scholarship to the culture wars, framing the modern-day agenda of the religious right as a return to the Founding Fathers’ vision for America. ‘It has been shocking how much resistance there is to critically examining what Barton says,’ said Scott Culpepper, an associate professor of history at Dordt College who has critiqued Barton’s scholarship. ‘I really underestimated the power of the political element in evangelicalism.’ In March, Barton gave his presentation on America’s biblical heritage to dozens of state legislators in Kansas. In May, he spoke at the official National Day of Prayer breakfast at the Fort Leonard Wood Army base in Missouri. He rallied activists at the National Right to Life Convention in June with a rousing speech drawing on the Declaration of Independence to make the case for abortion restrictions. Cruz followed Barton in the program and echoed his analysis to thunderous applause.”
Barton has made it clear that in addition to his normal causes, he’s willing to advise the next Republican candidate for United States President.
“Barton hints he’ll soon be back in the arena of presidential politics, advising candidates looking to appeal to the religious right. ‘I remain available to whoever wants to move that ball down the court,’ Barton told POLITICO. […] ‘Barton has huge standing among “social conservatives that make up a significant base of a caucus electorate,’ said Craig Robinson, editor of The Iowa Republican website. ‘You want to appeal to those people if you’re a Ted Cruz or a Rand Paul.’”
So what makes David Barton different from any number of conservative Christian movers and shakers? Why is The Wild Hunt paying any attention to his political (re-)ascension? Because he’s on-the-record as saying that modern Pagans don’t have constitutional rights. Back in 2010 Barton’s organization Wall Builders sent in an amicus brief in a case coming before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that involved California’s prison chaplaincy system, a Pagan chaplain, and a policy that limited the hiring of paid chaplains to certain faiths. After a prologue explaining Barton’s bona fides as a historian, the brief gets right to the point.
“…this Brief surveys the historical data to demonstrate that no matter which of several possible definitions is correct, none of them support McCollum’s Amici’s assertion for the simple reason that the Founders did not intend the Religion Clauses to protect paganism and witchcraft […] The true historic meaning of “religion” excludes paganism and witchcraft, and thus, does not compel a conclusion that McCollum has state taxpayer standing […] paganism and witchcraft were never intended to receive the protections of the Religion Clauses. […] There are, of course, references to ‘heathens’ and ‘pagans’ among the writings of the Framers, but there is no indication that those belief systems, including polytheism, are considered ‘religion.’”
There are any number of political and social views participants in a free democratic society should tolerate, but the view that religious minorities, specifically Pagans, shouldn’t have the same rights and protections as Christians isn’t one of them. The fact that Rep. Michelle Bachmann wanted Barton to teach Constitution classes to incoming members of Congress is chilling once you remember that he’s convinced the Constitution only protects Christians. So consider this post a place-holders of sorts, a reminder to watch the race for the U.S. Presidency in 2016. Anyone who would invite Barton on as an advisor, seek his endorsement, or use him as point-person for evangelical outreach is inviting someone who stands against a pluralistic and inclusive society. This isn’t about partisanship, it’s about the simple fact that our leaders, no matter their party, should accept the basic premise that religious freedom and religious protections are for all religions.
A final point: America’s Founders new exactly what their new Constitution would do, and that it would even protect us Pagans someday.
“The bill for establishing religious freedom, the principles of which had, to a certain degree, been enacted before, I had drawn in all the latitude of reason and right. It still met with opposition; but, with some mutilations in the preamble, it was finally passed; and a singular proposition proved that its protection of opinion was meant to be universal. Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word “Jesus Christ,” so that it should read, “a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;” the insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and Infidel of every denomination.” – Thomas Jefferson
The notion that our Founders were blind to our possible emergence is revisionist folly.
Over the weekend, Pastor John Hagee railed against Harry Potter readers, Ouija board users, and rock music listeners because they’re all heading away from Jesus and toward Satan:Here’s the truly horrific part:He’s not joking. People like him exist! And there are…
This is the kind of crap I grew up around. Kinda retro, in a quaint sort of way.
Commission focuses on free speech in church, but faith community split on explicit endorsements.
Faith leaders have issued a report arguing to lift the ban on endorsing political candidates in tax-exempt churches, despite the majority of Americans supporting the ban.
Because dictating morality to a populace assumed to be incapable of governing themselves really is that important.
Did the U.S. kill the man who wanted to take the stress out of sex and use orgasms to heal the world?
The Galileo of the Twentieth Century.
I know I’ve posted this piece before, but if you haven’t read it, YOU MUST.
In the Years of the Primal Course, in the dawn of terrestrial birth,
Man mastered the mammoth and horse, and Man was the Lord of the Earth.
He made him an hollow skin from the heart of an holy tree,
He compassed the earth therein, and Man was the Lord of the Sea.
He controlled the vigour of steam, he harnessed the lightning for hire;
He drove the celestial team, and man was the Lord of the Fire.
Deep-mouthed from their thrones deep-seated, the choirs of the æons declare
The last of the demons defeated, for Man is the Lord of the Air.
Arise, O Man, in thy strength! the kingdom is thine to inherit,
Till the high gods witness at length that Man is the Lord of his Spirit.
"When I first came to this world, I gave to you my great pentagram, timeless measure of beauty through proportion. And it was shown inverse, that creation and change be exalted above rest and preservation."
— The Book of Coming Forth By Night
If you’re an Athiest don’t celebrate Christmas.
I don’t care how materialized and commercialized it has become, it is a holiday to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and until that is officially changed don’t celebrate just for presents.
I only observe the pagan, pre-Christian parts. Which is to say, everything but church.
Exodus International to Shut Down Thirty-seven-year-old ministry for those with same-sex attraction marks its last national conference Irvine, Calif. (June 19, 2013) — Exodus International, the ol…
After over 3 decades of ministry and gay conversion therapy,Exodus International, one of the leaders of the “ex-gay” movement, announced that they will shut down.
I always cry at happy endings…
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 infamous serial killer Richard Ramirez, dubbed the “Night Stalker” by the media, died this past Friday of natural causes at the age of 53. On death row for a series of gruesome home invasion murders during the 1980s, Ramirez fed into the larger “Satanic Panic” thanks to an obsession with Satan and pentagrams which manifested during his violent spree of destruction, rape, and death. More on Ramirez and his death can be found, here. Reactions from some of Ramirez’s victims.
- The FBI has announced that it will start tracking hate crimes involving religion, including Pagans. Quote: “The hate crime tracking will include ‘all self-identified religions in the United States as listed in the Pew Research Center’s Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life (2008) and the Statistical Abstract (2012) approved by the U.S. Census Bureau,’ Fischer wrote in an email. ‘The recommended list includes Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness, Orthodox, Other Christian, Jewish, Islamic (Muslim), Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Other Religions, Multiple Religions-Group, and Atheism/Agnosticism.’ Upon approval by FBI Director Robert Mueller of the new groups, ‘the FBI will make the necessary Uniform Crime Reporting Program technical enhancements, procedural changes, and manual revision to begin collecting this data,’ Fischer said.” Pagans, Native American Religions, New Age religions, and Unitarians are all covered under the Pew Forum’s “Other Religions” category.
- Will Brighton become a pilgrimage site now that there’s a memorial plaque honoring Doreen Valiente, the modern of modern religious Witchcraft? That’s the assertion of the Doreen Valiente Foundation. Quote: “Doreen is celebrated across the world and is regarded as the mother of modern witchcraft. It is one of the fastest-growing religions in the US with millions of members worldwide. It could be hugely beneficial for the city. I know that a few witches are travelling across the pond for the blue plaque ceremony.” You can read more about the Doreen Valiente Foundation, here. The commemoration ceremony will take place on June 21st. You can read all of my coverage on this story, here.
- On the final day of the conference entitled “Sorcery and Witchcraft-Related Killings in Melanesia: Culture, Law and Human Rights Perspectives” that took place last week in Australia, a representative for the UN Human Rights Commission said that immediate action is needed to protect women accused of sorcery, and that the government of Papua New Guinea needs to do more. Quote: “However implementation is the big obstacle because you may have a law, but then if you don’t have the police capacity to enforce it, or if the police themselves view the situation of sorcery related killings with indifference, then we still have a big issue of how to address impunity, because as been said, it’s not how stiff or how high the penalty is or how harsh, it’s if you know the consequences will lead to your imprisonment and if you will face justice.” More on this here.
- Cindy Jacobs, a leader within the New Apostolic Reformation, whose rabid anti-Pagan, anti-indigenous antics I’ve reported on before, surprised almost nobody when she recently called for Native American and indigenous people to repent their heritage. Quote: “If you have in your bloodline any animus [animism?], any Native American blood, for instance — not all Native Americans worshiped the serpent or crocodile, many did — but you might want to renounce that and repent for the generational iniquity […] If you are — perhaps you’re Mexican and you might have indigenous blood in you or Mayan blood — those who have Aztec blood in any way, you need to repent for the sin of animism before you begin to deal with this spirit.” Charming, as always. Her extremism does more to drive people away from Christianity than the most vocal Pagan critic.
The Great Serpent Mound
- Indian Country Today reports on how New Age woo demeans and threatens The Great Serpent Mound in Ohio. Quote: “Kenny Frost a Southern Ute citizen, has worked to protect sacred places for more than 20 years. He is a well-respected authority on Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act issues and law and frequently consults with state, federal and tribal governments. ‘The protection put down by Native people at sacred sites is still there. Non-Native people dig around and see what they can find; they may end up opening a Pandora’s box without knowing how to put spirits back,’ he notes.”
- “Sorry Pagans,” that’s what Baylor history professor Philip Jenkins says as he engages in the hoary exercise of telling Pagans about how stuff they thought was pagan was actually, totally, not. Quote: “In reality, it is very hard indeed to excavate through those medieval Christian layers to find Europe’s pagan roots. Never underestimate just how thoroughly and totally the Christian church penetrated the European mind.” So why even bother, am I right? I know this is a popular topic for columnists looking for material, but we aren’t ignorant of the scholarship, and cherry-picking two (popular) examples isn’t going to embarrass us back to church. You’d be surprised at how well-versed some of us are in history.
- Religion Clause reports that a judge has allowed a gangster’s Santa Muerte necklace to remain as evidence during the penalty phase of the trial (for which the defendant was found guilty of murder). Quote: “The court held that appellant had failed to object on any 1st Amendment religious ground to introduction of the evidence.” Further, the judge says they may have allowed it even if the defendant has objected earlier in the case noting the faith’s ties to narco-trafficking. Could this ruling lead to a problematic precedent? I suppose we’ll have to wait and see.
- Christians opposed to same-sex marriage know that the battle is lost. Quote: “Just 22% of white evangelical Protestants favor same-sex marriage, but about three times that percentage (70%) thinks legal recognition for gay marriage is inevitable. Among other religious groups, there are smaller differences in underlying opinions about gay marriage and views of whether it is inevitable.” I think that means marriage equality has won, don’t you? Now to undo 50 years of legislative hysteria.
- Speaking of marriage equality, it’s very, very “pagan.” Quote: “As to the future of America – and the collapse of this once-Christian nation – Christians must not only be allowed to have opinions, but politically, Christians must be retrained to war for the Soul of America and quit believing the fabricated whopper of the “Separation of Church and State,” the lie repeated ad nauseum by the left and liberals to keep Christian America – the moral majority – from imposing moral government on pagan public schools, pagan higher learning and pagan media. Bill Bennett’s insight, “… the two essential questions Plato posed as: Who teaches the children, and what do we teach them?” requires deep thought, soul-searching and a response from Christian America to the secular, politically correct and multicultural false gods imposing their religion on America’s children.” That’s David Lane, one of Rand Paul’s point men in improving his relations with evangelical Christians. I’ll spare you the Dragnet P.A.G.A.N. reference.
- “Occult,” a new television series in development for A&E, follows the exploits of an “occult crime task force.” Quote: “‘Occult’ revolves around Dolan, an FBI agent who has returned from administrative leave after going off the deep end while investigating his wife’s disappearance. Eager to be back on the job, he is paired with an agent with her own complicated back story who specializes in the occult. Together, they will solve cases for the newly formed occult crimes task force.” Whether the show actually gets on the air is still an open question. If it does, we can start a betting pool for when Wiccans, Druids, and Asatru are mentioned in the series.
- Frank Lautenberg, the Democratic Senator from New Jersey who passed away recently, took an active role in combatting the revisionist Christian history of David Barton. Quote: “I want those who hear me across America to pay attention: ‘Christian heritage is at risk.’ That means that all the outsiders, all of those who approach God differently but are people who believe in a supreme being; people who behave and live peacefully with their neighbors and their friends. No, this is being put forward as an attempt — a not too subtle attempt — to make sure people understand that America is a Christian country. Therefore, we ought to take the time the majority leader offers us, as Members of the Senate, for a chance to learn more about how invalid the principle of separation between church and state is. I hope the American public sees this plan as the spurious attempt it is.” For why David Barton is infamous among Pagans, check out my previous reporting on his antics.
- Finally, here’s some pictures from the Pagan Picnic in St. Louis!
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.
I find it quite comical that the current conspiracy theory that the Illuminati are trying to control our government and other aspects of life goes directly against what the original Bavarian Illuminati were about, which was to oppose superstition, abuse of power, and prejudice, as well as control of the freedom of philosophy and science. The current belief is that the Illuminati are controlling the government, preventing information from the public, and that they are abusing power as the ones in power.
The roots of the contemporary Illuminati conspiracy fantasy (imaginary bullshit doesn’t qualify as a “theory”) ultimately boil down to good old-fashioned superstitious fear of atheism. Unlike Freemasonry, the Bavarian Illuminati did not discriminate against atheists, and membership did not require belief in a supreme being. Its model of the perfectibility of Man was in step with the emerging Enlightenment philosophy of the time which realized that [“Judeo-“]Christianity, long assumed to be the “foundation” of Western civilization, was really something more akin to scaffolding, something that may have served a purpose at one time, but was perhaps overdue to be dismantled and cleared away to make room for more refined tables of values and conceptions of who Man really is and how he should see himself.
The rest is commentary; the dynamics of dirty politics and psychological fearmongering from the late Nineteenth Century to the present day explain the rest. For a great historical perspective on the historical, actual Illuminati that really existed and the way its specter influences the present American political climate, I recommend Architects of Fear: Conspiracy Theories and Paranoia in American Politics by George Johnson. Reading it today, it’s almost spooky to realize it was written over thirty years ago.