Signs & Portents

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Pagan News Beagle: Fiery Tuesday, July 28

China puts the pressure on nomadic ethnic minorities along its northern border. Feminists within Orthodox Judaism struggle to make their voices heard. And the Scandinavian far-right takes a populist stance. That's right it's time for Fiery Tuesday, our weekly news segment on political and social news from around the globe. If you're looking for a Pagan perspective on the news, here's our take!

For all we might imagine China as a monolithic entity here in the West, it's actually an enormous country with a rich culture of diversity and disparate traditions. But some of those traditions may be under threat if the central government has its way. The New York Times takes a closer look at the plight of China's nomadic minorities, centered predominantly in sparsely populated areas like Tibet, Inner Mongolia, or Xinjiang and how the government is pressuring them to give up their lifestyle.

When we think of the clash between religious morals and feminism, we're most likely to probably imagine Christianity and Islam. But they're not the only religions in the midst of a debate about women's role: Orthodox Jewish women want their voices to be heard too. This piece from The Huffington Post shares some of Orthodox Jewish feminists' greatest qualms.

Here in the Western world, the position of Christianity is, despite what some people might think, quite secure. But what about the rest of the world? In some places, such as Libya, North Korea, or Kenya, Christians are under dire threat of religious persecution by either local extremists or their own governments.

What's the difference between cultural appropriation and religious syncretism? It's not always easy to tell but that doesn't mean the difference isn't a vitally important one. Over at Patheos, John Beckett discusses how to blend cultural and religious traditions respectfully and what isn't okay.

The word "populist" has a long and complicated history. Broadly speaking, it means policies that appeal to "the people." More specifically, it's been used to describe both "far left" movements like anarchism and "far right" movements like fascism. In Sweden and other Scandinavian countries many groups associated with the latter have increasingly embraced policies which are being described as "populist," which could, if successful, threaten the ideal of Scandinavian social democracy.

Top image by Frankie Fouganthin

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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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