Pagans, atheists, Christians and the battle for equal treatment

I like the line about it being a “siren song.” Once these ignorant hypocrites who cry “war on Christmas!”, among other things, become aware of what the privilege of the majority gives them, they’re often repulsed by the idea of affording that privilege to others.

“Equal treatment” is a siren song few faith communities can resist. But applying it is often messy for government at best—and dangerous for religion at worst. In a country with thousands of religious groups, how can schools or city halls open the door to all? And if and when state money flows to religious institutions, what happens to the independent and prophetic voice of faith?

Wherever the courts ultimately draw the establishment-clause line on these difficult questions (and there are many line-drawing battles to come), the days of an unlevel playing field are numbered. The legal trend is clear: If government provides access or benefits to some, it had better be prepared to provide the same for all.


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How the Romans invented the text message

I’m fascinated by etymology. Even more so when it’s weird, nonsensical etymology.

What have sports pavilions to do with butterflies? What’s the connection between fairies and foxgloves?

And what links text messages to an ancient Roman writer?

A fascinating book on the weird and wonderful origins of English words has just hit the top of the bestseller list. Here, Mark Forsyth reveals a few of the best definitions.

Roman rules: Orator Quintilian was the mastermind behind today's mobile phenomenon

Roman rules: Orator Quintilian was the mastermind behind today’s mobile phenomenon



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Is Mormonism a cult? Who cares? It’s their weird and sinister beliefs we should be worried about.

I grew up Mormon and ditched the church at around 14 due to clear indications that their doctrine simply could not be true. I found out that they also revised both the doctrine as it became politically advantageous to do so, and their history as it became a source of embarrassment, used against them by the religion’s foes.

So I’ve been really interested in how the evangelicals and Baptists would cope if a Mormon were chosen as the Republican candidate. I really hope to see more like what I just read in Slate:

I have no clear idea whether Pastor Robert Jeffress is correct in referring to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, more colloquially known as the Mormons, as “a cult.” There do seem to be one or two points of similarity. The Mormons have a supreme leader, known as the prophet or the president, whose word is allegedly supreme. They can be ordered to turn upon and shun any members who show any signs of backsliding. They have distinctive little practices, such as the famous underwear, to mark them off from other mortals, and they are said to be highly disciplined and continent when it comes to sex, booze, nicotine, and coffee. Word is that the church can be harder to leave than it was to join. Hefty donations and tithes are apparently appreciated from the membership.



Posted in Beltane, Ritual | Leave a comment

As Satanic as a silkworm…

Yoga is Satanic. Ok, so by this logic, what isn’t Satanic?

You wouldn’t know it by looking at me, but apparently I am a Satanist. Which is weird because I have never skinned a cat, bitten the head off a chicken, growled in tongues, or carved pentagrams on my chest with a blunt cheese knife. I don’t even like cheese.

But, according to Father Gabriele Amorth, the Vatican’s former chief exorcist, I am Satan’s spawn. Evil personified. Destined to get funny red eyes. In a few years’ time, I’m bound to kill.

All this because every Monday night, I choose to lie on a slightly stinky mat and get floppy. And after an hour-and-a-half of floppiness, I cycle home and feel so peaceful that I can almost smell some sort of god nearby.


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Breastfeeding moms stage “nurse-in” protests at – Flash Player Installation

Go moms!

Should breastfeeding be allowed in public? The oft-debated controversy that pits moms against retailers and nosey onlookers reached a fever pitch yesterday when women across the country protested Target by holding “nurse-ins” at more than 100 stores in 35 states.

PICTURES: Breast-Feeding State by State: Who’s #1?

“Feeding your baby is nothing to be ashamed of,” North Texas nursing mother Angela Jackson toldCBSDFW.comduring a nurse-in. “I feel like asking someone to move to feed their baby is basically segregation.”


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Church members reject Christmas

Personally, I have a lot more respect for Christians who go against the grain…

Presbyterian church members have “repudiated” the celebration of Christmas as paganism and superstition.

The Outer Isles Presbytery of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, known for its strict observance of the Sabbath, also declared its opposition to its ministers participating in Christian ecumenical services.

A spokesman for the presbytery said: “There is no authority in the Word of God for the religious observance of Christmas or any other so-called holy day. In the main, these celebrations are worldly and contrary to the religion of the Bible, being derived from paganism and superstition.”

The presbytery said it did not agree with an ecumenical service at the Royal National Mod as well as a similar service shown by Gaelic TV channel BBC Alba on Christmas Eve which involved ministers from the Church of Scotland and the Free Church, as well as a Catholic priest.


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Timothy Leary’s Eight Circuits of Consciousness

Excerpted from Robert Anton Wilson’s Cosmic Trigger: Final Secret of the Illuminati Tunnel-Realities and Imprints

Let’s try Dr. Leary’s perspective on these mysteries.

To understand neurological space, Dr. Leary assumes that the nervous system consists of eight potential circuits, or “gears,” or mini-brains. Four of these brains are in the usually active left lobe and are concerned with our terrestrial survival; four are extraterrestrial, reside in the “silent” or inactive right lobe, and are for use in our future evolution. This explains why the right lobe is usually inactive at this stage of our development, and why it becomes active when the person ingests pyschedelics. Continue reading

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Anti-Wiccan book prompts year’s second pine cone assault

LAS CRUCES – A juvenile boy could be cited for assault after allegedly attacking another boy with pine cones after he showed him a book about Wicca, according to New Mexico State University Police.

Officers were dispatched to the Aggie Express on Monday at 4:20 p.m., where the alleged victim, 14, said he had gotten off the school bus and was talking to another boy about a book he had, “Protecting Your Teen from Today’s Witchcraft: A Parent’s Guide to Confronting Wicca and the Occult.” The alleged victim said he “recently has chosen to change religions to Wicca and the book was given to his dad by a friend of his dad’s,” according to the police report.


Posted in News, Tolerance, Witchcraft | Leave a comment

Psychology lecturer is also a practicing Wiccan

Laura Wildman-Hanlon, a practicing Wiccan, is not your Hollywood witch. She doesn’t wear a pointed hat or have green skin, and she certainly doesn’t turn men into frogs. This she says, is not at all what real Wicca and witchcraft are about.


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The Yule Log and Wicca connect – The Times of India

The Yule Log and Wicca connect – The Times of India:

Burning the Yule log was a symbolic gesture to bring back warmth to the world, and is a ritual followed by Wiccans across the world.

Yule is an ancient pagan festival that’s celebrated during this time of the year. It is also known as the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere and the summer solstice in the southern hemisphere due to seasonal differences.

Sangeeta Krishnan, who practices Wicca, says, “In Norse paganism, a Yule log was dragged into the house, put in the fireplace and decorated in seasonal greenery, then burned throughout the night. Burning the Yule log was a symbolic gesture to bring back warmth to the world.”



Posted in Media, News, Solstice | Leave a comment