Signs & Portents

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Pagan News Beagle: Fiery Tuesday, September 6

The political atmosphere in Turkey continues to grow more repressive in the wake of the failed coup. The Wild Hunt takes a look at the role of religion in the U.S. election this year. And a look at why Virginia's governor is trying to restore the voting rights of several thousand ex-prisoners. It's Fiery Tuesday, our weekly segment on political and societal news from around the world! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

The Turkish people may have found themselves in a genuinely no-win scenario. After the anti-democratic coup earlier this year, the victorious Erdogan regime has wasted little time restricting civil liberties and issuing widespread warrants for the arrest of opposition figures. Haartez has more details on the situation here.

Women have long had a complicated and fraught relationship with the Catholic Church. On the one hand, abbesses were among the most powerful individuals in the medieval Church and the sanctity of the Virgin Mary have enshrined the importance of female worshipers. On the other hand, the Church has perpetuated patriarchal norms and restricted the priesthood to men alone. But in deeply Catholic Spain, change may be afoot as a shortage of priests causes the Church to look toward women as leaders.

Religion and politics officially do not mix in U.S. politics, which enshrines the separation of church and state in the Constitution. However, because people in politics do tend to be religious, the truth is often a bit more complicated. At The Wild Hunt, Heather Green examines the role of religion in this year's presidential election... and what it has to do with Pagans.

It's hardly a secret that the Chinese government is a highly restrictive regime, which attempts to control and manage what information is received by the public. Nor is it unknown that the government takes a harsh stance towards human rights activists perceived as "agitators." But now there are concerns that ostensibly neutral media, such as those in Hong Kong and Taiwan, may be helping perpetuate the Chinese government's narrative against activists.

When you're a free citizen it's easy to overlook the rights of prisoners and ex-prisoners. It's simple to say, "if you can't do the time, don't do the crime." But the truth of the matter is that criminal justice routinely and disproportionately targets minorities and frequently employs harsh sentences for relatively minor infractions. Coupled with the harsh conditions ex-prisoners often find themselves after they've served their time and that's part of the reason Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe is seeking to restore voting rights to much of the state's ex-prisoner population.

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Aryós Héngwis (or the more modest Héngwis for short) is a native of the Pontic-Caspian steppe, born some 5000 years ago, near the village of Dereivka. In his youth he stood out from the other snakes for his love of learning and culture, eventually coming into the service of the local reǵs before moving westward toward Europe. Most recently, Aryós Héngwis left his home to pursue a new life in America, where he has come under the employ of BBI Media as an internet watchdog (or watchsnake, if you will), ever poised to strike the unwary troll.


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