Shellfish are a monstrous evil that Almighty God, giver of freedom and liberty, commands us in Leviticus to suppress. They also smell bad. [...] Any person who willingly consumes or sells shellfish is guilty of a felony, and shall be fined $666 thousand per occurrence, and/or imprisoned up to 6 years, 6 months, and 6 days.
PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
President Obama announced last week that the United States and Cuba are moving toward normalizing their relationship. I may have the world’s strangest set of credentials to comment on this. I have been there twice, both times legally. I have visited Cuban schools and talked to the students. I have presented on Cuba at professional conferences, universities, and to church groups. I was doing research in Havana on the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution (nothing interesting happened).
From the Wild Hunt: Robert Rudachyk is seeking the nomination to become the Liberal Party of Canada‘s candidate for the federal riding of Saskatoon West. What makes this run for office unusual is that Rudachyk appears to be the first openly Heathen candidate to run for public office in Canada.
Here at the Pagan News Beagle, I've decided to have themes for each day of the week, based on my version of the Five Elements. (Air, Fire, Water, Earth, and Spirit.) Plus, a "Science for Pagans" feed for the weekend. It keeps things interesting for me in organizing what stories to share. Hopefully it will be interesting for you, too!
Tuesday -- whose name comes from the Norse god Tiuw, often also related to the Roman god Mars -- I'm dedicating to the Element of Fire, and articles related to activism, politics, and passion.
Here's today's Fiery stories:
How exciting to become a member of the PaganSquare community! It is an honor and joy to reach out to you, sharing my thoughts and feelings, building a bridge between my home in Athens, Greece and people who live in all corners of the world. My goal is to look at the present with fresh eyes, tracing its hidden connections to our Pagan past.
As my first contribution, I have decided to focus on a hot topic: the movement that challenges the dominant models of sexuality and relationships demanding the rights of LGBTQI* people. The bearded face of Conchita Wurst, the transgender woman who won the Eurovision singing contest, still haunts the mind of people around Europe. The request for the acceptance of same-sex marriages is heard again and again in Greece, as well as in other countries.
The #HobbyLobby Supreme Court case today is complex, and its import for Pagans not clear. Court tried to rule narrowly, but left open many important issues for further decisions.
Clear winners: family-owned businesses (even corporations that are not publicly-traded) that have religious objections to various mandated public policies, organizations and people opposed to certain kinds of contraception and to abortion. Pro-life groups rejoice, as well as employers of all sizes and types. (Can "religious exemptions" apply outside of contraception? Unclear.)
Clear losers: female employees of said family-owned businesses who want contraceptive services covered under their employer-paid health care. (Though this will be somewhat dealt with by the Obama administration plans to cover such care itself, similar to exemption given to religious non-profits such as the Catholic church.) Opponents of "corporate personhood" gnash their teeth.
Up in the air: how far will the "religious exemption" go for family businesses?
Links to more coverage: http://www.religionlink.com/source-guides/religious-freedom/
Most of my friends are Pagan. If I were a member of a majority religion, this would be quite average. I go out of my way to find such friends, and this has served me well. Pagans don't judge me for what would be odd and quirky in average American culture: talking to land spirits, a fondness for discussing theology, and a willingness to embrace difference. All of these have been instrumental in my growth and healing, and in becoming a better person. I love my community and am deeply grateful.
And yet, I often find myself feeling frustrated when talk turns to politics.* This is not shocking I’m sure. And it would be easy to do what we so often do with our relatives, and just not talk about that particular subject. What is hard for me about this is that within the Pagan community, I have felt safe enough to allow my deepest wounds and secret places to be seen, and yet I may still be lambasted for holding an opinion that runs contrary to the majority. Should I do what I do with my family and set aside that part of myself? That would be hard. As with my spiritual path, my understanding of human behavior and history continues to grow. These are insights and understandings that I want to share and mull over with others, especially people who might not agree with my position. If my ideas will fall under the first challenge then they are not worth maintaining. But I don’t usually get to do that....