Thursday, April 1, 2010

Christian Militia and Real Pagans

My latest exchange on Twitter:

onfaith: Why does the media keep referring to arrested Michigan extremists as 'Christian' militia? How are they Christian?

My response: Why do they refer to Muslim extremists as Muslim? If it's what they call themselves, is it our place to proclaim them non-Xian? The IRS goes by sincerity of belief. Extremists who define their actions as springing from their faith are generally sincere about why they need to kill people or at least not be forced to treat them fairly.

Too much BS circulates about what a 'real' Christian is and isn't. The same goes for Pagans. I'm tired of hearing about which groups or people are 'real' Pagans or witches. A recent blogger began Project Pagan Enough:
Project Pagan Enough seeks to say that - no matter your beliefs, practices, looks, or loves - you are pagan enough. We can argue theology back and forth all day long and disagree with one another's fluff-factor until the cows come home, but it is high time that we stop denigrating one another's level of being pagan. Paganism does not have a set definition, and there is definitely not a dress code or music-loving requirement.

We can hold debates over what the titles 'Christian' and 'Muslim' and 'Pagan' and 'Witch' mean, we can stop extremists from killing people in the name of their faith, we can explore history, philosophy, and anecdotal evidence... but people are going to keep referring to themselves by specific religious titles because that's part of their self-definition. Arguing over them is, basically, arguing about the opinion of your invisible friend as opposed to theirs.

Or, more to the point, it's arguing semantics. It's of interest to intellectuals and theologians, but, practically speaking, you're better off judging people by their deeds, not their labels.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Not really the focus of his article, but a nice observation.

From Doctor Grumpy in the House:
So when you can't get in to see a doctor next month, I'm sure you'll find yourself saying "Well, I can't find anyone to treat my Parkinson's disease, but it doesn't matter because I know it was SO much more important that my legislators spent their valuable time arguing for/against gay marriage than trying to maintain jobs and health care."
I don't know if Doctor Grumpy is gay-friendly or not, but he won't see you after 2/28/10 if you're using Medicare.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Gays vs. Democratic Party | Washington D.C. |

Gays vs. Democratic Party | Washington D.C. |
In 2004, Andy Szekeres, then a 21-year-old budding Democratic strategist with several political campaigns already under his belt, was working as the Wisconsin LGBT field coordinator for John Kerry’s presidential campaign. Szekeres estimates that he and his team registered 26,000 new gay voters across the crucial swing state that year, and on Election Night, Kerry won the state by about 11,000 votes—less than 0.5% of the overall vote. Though the win can be attributed to the support of various constituencies, there’s no question that Wisconsin would have wound up red—not blue—if it hadn’t been for gay voters’ strong backing of the Democratic ticket.

Fast-forward five years to Maine, where social conservatives proposed and funded Question 1, a November ballot initiative that, like Proposition 8 in California, successfully repealed marriage equality in the state. Szekeres worked as finance director for No on 1/Protect Maine Equality, which opposed the initiative. But he says his experience with the Democratic Party was significantly different this time. While the national party had been more than happy to enlist the support of gay donors and campaign workers in its effort to get Kerry elected in 2004, it couldn’t be bothered to involve itself in the fight to maintain those voters’ and workers’ right to marry.

Much, much more follows this intro at the Advocate's website.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Wild Hunt: Good News at the Air Force Academy and Other Pagan News of Note

Top Story: The U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, once the poster child of creeping Christian militarism and religious intolerance, has apparently made vast improvement in recent months. So significant are these improvements that even Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation is impressed, and accommodations are being made for minority religions, including modern Pagan cadets.

Definitely a change from past military protocol.

Jason was also kind enough to direct me to the blog for Pagans attending the Parliament of World Religions. You can find a video of the panel at People Call Us Pagans.

Very, very nice.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

give to LLF

give to LLF

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Friday, December 11, 2009

X-Posted: The War on Christmas: Politics or Personal Problem?

I'm beginning to think this is an annual post for me. This year's post is over on my author's blog. There's always someone complaining about how liberals like me are attacking them, so it's a hard subject to avoid.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Obama administration reps meet with many faiths at PWR

Obama administration reps meet with many faiths at PWR

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Patrick McCollum, a Pagan, was among them. He reported that Native American, Australian Aboriginals, and members of Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhists communities were on the guest list.

Good reading!