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wSunday, November 16, 2003


Prayer from the Heathen Masses

From the always indispensable World Net Daily. They’ll make you laugh, make you cry and make you feel the overwhelming urge to drink like a sailor, sometimes all at once.

Witches, or practitioners of the Wicca religion, can pray at a county's board meeting, a federal judge ruled.

Erm, okay…is she going to raise her hands up to the Great Mother Goddess in a room full of Christians? Seems kinda stupid to me and very PC. She’ll probably get laughed at either to her face or at behind her back. Why oh why to Witches and Pagans set themselves up for such ridicule in public? Must be some leftover victim complex of the Burning Times. I’m all for freedom of expression of one’s religion, and I know, I know full well that most Pagans are at the very least ridiculed by their Christian brethren from time to time if not openly harassed. I’ve found the former to be the commoner instance, though.

Officials in Chesterfield County, Virginia, discriminated against Cyndi Simpson, a Wiccan, when they barred her from being on a list of clergy who can open the board of supervisors meetings with prayer, said U.S. District Court Judge Dennis W. Dohnal, according to the Chesterfield Progress-Index newspaper.
The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia and Americans United for Separation of Church and State.


Usually when the ACLU gets involved, you know that it’s a left or far-left cause. Admittedly, no difference in this case, but it makes me wonder how much of this is Cyndi Simpson wanting freedom of religion (which, incidentally everyone in this country already has) and how much is just antics from the Left and a religion that to most of it’s practitioners is very pro-woman and anti-man.

Wicca is regarded as a natural religion, "grounded in the earth." Followers of its many different forms generally believe all living things, as well as stars, planets, and rocks, have a spirit.
In a letter of explanation to Simpson, County Attorney Steven L. Micas said, "Chesterfield's nonsectarian invocations are traditionally made to a divinity that is consistent with the Judeo-Christian tradition," the paper reported.


No, if you are Pagan, especially Wiccan (which is in fact an organized religion with set rituals, literature and litanies galore) you are not and cannot be consistent with the Judeo-Christian paradigm. That’s not to say that co-existence and a mutual respect is not possible.

But the judge ruled the board violated Simpson's constitutional right of equal and free expression of her religious beliefs.
Meanwhile, Dohnal argued, Christians are allowed to express their religious beliefs by delivering the "legislative prayer" allowed by the U.S. Supreme Court.


News Flash: Christianity is the dominant religion in this country. Does it not stand to reason that the majority of legislators not to mention the population at large is going to fall into that category?

Expressing delight with the outcome, Simpson, 47, said she believed the decision would bring credibility to witchcraft as a religion, the paper reported.

Wonder if Ms. Simpson has had a date in the past 20 years or so. Also, speaking from experience, I have known many older, single and often very bitter women turn to Wicca for solace, protection and the illusion of power. Why? Because all men are eeevill and the Goddess keeps men in their place by either lowering them to the status of consort or son.

The ruling was a victory for non-majority religions, said Kent Willis, executive director of the ACLU.
It demonstrated why church and state should remain separate institutions, he contended.
"As the framers of the Constitution understood from their own experiences, when the state uses its vast power to endorse religious activity, it will always make losers of some faiths and winners of others," said Willis, according to the Chesterfield daily. "That jeopardizes religious freedom."


The Framers did endorse the free exercise of religion, however, there wasn’t such a thing as Wiccans back in their day. (ed note-there were nature worshippers, though)

Now, I would feel a bit foolish getting up in front of a bunch of people whose religious beliefs are very different from mine and praying. Just couldn’t do it. While having her rights protected is a good thing, I would wager about the only thing this is going to do for her is earn ridicule from the masses. Paganism in any of its myriad forms will never be the dominant religion, anywhere. We’re not a religion of proselytizers (though stories like this make me rethink that a bit) and we have no gospel to spread. We do not have a divine Redeemer but rather a pantheon of angels, demons, gods and goddesses to choose from. Damn, if this keeps up, the Wiccans will be doing the Jehovah’s Witness thing in another few years, going door to door handing out pentagrams and sage sticks. My message to the liberal Pagans out there who make up the majority and give the sane ones a bad rep: deal with the place your religion/spirituality has in American society, stop whining about Pagan Persecution, The Burning Times, and the Patriarchal Paradigm of Oppressive Christianity and just live your lives. Or get one if you don’t have one already. And you can take that broom and stick it where the sun don't shine.


posted by Kendra at 10:58 AM


wThursday, November 13, 2003


Victoria's Excesses

Okay, first off, I love, Victoria's Secret; pretty stores, ridiculous lingerie I cannot afford (nor wear very convincingly) and tons of scented lotions and candles. In short, a fun side trip when I have to brave the dreaded suburban mall. On rare occasions, I have shopped there and admit that their commercials while pretty racy, are cool. But an 11 Million $ Bra!? Being a practical sort of gal I expected perhaps cups made from the carefully tanned hides of baby pandas and straps of mink, but nooo, sapphires and diamonds-ick, sounds cold to me. And there are those who claim this to be a sort of high fantasy fashion. After looking at the thing, I am inclined to believe that whoever designed this thing was probably just high instead.

I just wish they sold those full-length angel wings in their stores. Now that would make for a fun evening.

posted by Kendra at 2:55 PM


wTuesday, November 11, 2003


Focusing on the PC Family

Been gone a bit...veeery swamped and I have only a skitch of time today, so without further ado, I bring you this from once again, my home town, Denver. Seems that the state wants to tell a mom what she can and can't say to her daughter in the privacy of her own home.

DENVER — Like many Christian churches, the one attended by Dr. Cheryl Clark displays an assortment of religious pamphlets in its foyer, including some published by the Promise Keepers and Focus on the Family.

It was those materials that prompted a Denver judge to forbid Dr. Clark from exposing her daughter to anything "that can be considered homophobic," according to an appeal filed last week by Dr. Clark's attorneys and obtained by The Washington Times.

I am not, repeat am not a fan nor supporter of Focus on the Family, but they've got the right to say what they want regardless of how many people listen to them or not.

Dr. Clark, who left a lesbian relationship after converting to Christianity about three years ago, is embroiled in a custody battle with her former partner, Elsey McLeod. In April, Miss McLeod won joint custody of Dr. Clark's adopted daughter and restricted Dr. Clark from including anything homophobic in the child's "religious upbringing or teaching."

So mom found religion and now she wants to teach her daughter. Where's the problem, exactly? Oh, here it is:

The purpose of Focus on the Family is to strengthen the family in America," said Bill Maier, the group's vice president. "It is a sad commentary when a judge would consider a church homophobic because they display our materials."

So she's a conservative Christian who has chosen the literal "straight and narrow". Doesn't say anywhere in the article that she's telling her daughter gay people are followers of Satan or anything.

As an aside to this story, I have a very dear friend who is a lesbian. While that in and of itself doesn't bug me (she has a really cool girlfriend who is helping me refinish a dresser right now) I have heard her tell her young daughter on several occasions that all men are bad. That's what gets my goat. Basically, if you're a gay parent it is a-ok to teach "hetero-phobia" but not to be a straight parent who encourages a traditional relationship. Bullshit.

And for those of you who have sent email, give me a bit of time, I'll answer you. I've been snowed under for about a week and a half with vet appointments, doctor appointments and a couple of pretty serious projects around my apartment. Posting will be up to speed again soon.


posted by Kendra at 2:47 PM


wThursday, October 30, 2003


Halloween Observed

Halloween is observed in the Pagan community as the Night of the Ancestors or Night of the Dead. While many covens and circles try to connect with the spirits on the other side for guidance, diviniation or power, there are some of us who observe Halloween in a far quieter and less flashy fashion.

Halloween is the time of year that I take to reflect upon things that have ended in the past year. It is the night that I light a candle for my ancestors, the Irish and German immigrants who first came to this country seeking a better life, and for my more recently deceased relatives who I knew as a child growing up. I meditate on what they taught me, whether it is how to bake a pie, do car repairs or listen with a caring heart and compassionate mind to a friend in need. I remember my departed pets, those little companions I have been blessed to have in my life throughout the years and all the joy they brought to me. I think about what is to come in the year ahead. This year, as in the last two, I pray to the Divine for victory over the enemy, strength for the leaders of the United States and her allies, and the perseverance of all citizens of the free world in the struggle against those who would see us dead or enslaved rather than free. This year I feel will be especially difficult, given that so very many Americans have in the words of other bloggers “fallen back asleep” and thus into complacency. I pray that we will wake up again without another catastrophe befalling us. I pray for the planet, for its’ continued health and the companies who mine our natural resources to continue to be responsible stewards of the environment while assuring that we all have gas in our cars and water in our homes. I would like to say that I pray for world peace, but that is a silly and impossible dream. Instead, I pray for relative peace and stability and safety; that me and mine are safe and fed with a roof over our heads in the coming year. I pray for my friends of all faiths, for I am truly blessed to have such a diverse circle of them. I pray for America, for our troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere around the world that they continue to put their lives on the line. We are grateful for your presence around the world and for your sacrifice. You are not forgotten.

I'm outta here for the next couple of days to celebrate. Happy Samhain/Halloween to everyone out there. Stay safe and have fun and for those of you with pets, remember to bring them in well before dusk; there's a lot of crazies running around loose and some of them aren't of the good variety.


posted by Kendra at 3:18 PM


w


Pets and SARS

I was afraid of this

House cats and ferrets can get the SARS virus and pass it to other animals, a new study shows, raising the obvious question: Can they give it to people?

I am the proud owner of three little beasties better known as domestic ferrets.

Cats and ferrets are the first pets included on an exotic list of animals scientists think may be able to harbor the virus. However, the virus seems to be so versatile that it could have jumped to humans from a variety of animals, co-author Albert D.M.E. Osterhaus said.

For the Nature study, researchers inoculated six cats and six ferrets with the virus cultured from a person who died of SARS, adding drops that contained the virus into their trachea, eyes and nose.

The cats and ferrets began to show their infection two days later in excretions from the throat, and researchers found they produced antibodies within 28 days. When the animals were later euthanized, the virus also was found in their respiratory tract.


While I'm not going to start dipping my little carpet sharks in Lysol just yet, a visit to the vet is probably in order. And for those of you with cats, here's somewhat better news:

The cats did not appear to be affected by the virus, but they did develop a mild case of pneumonia. The ferrets became lethargic, and one of them died four days after it was inoculated.

Yeah, I'm a little worried and probably won't be taking my monsters out socializing this winter like I usually do. If there's other ferret owners out there who have caught this story and have some info, feel free to email me. I'm going to keep my eye on this one for developments and will post any additional details I may run across.


posted by Kendra at 7:51 AM


wTuesday, October 28, 2003


Mail Bag

Back on the job for only a few days and already I’m getting strange email. This started on a thread over at the Emperor’s place about what form or forms of Paganism myself and another commenter by the name of Orion practiced. You can find the thread here. I’m not too sure what Mo is getting at by asking what forms of Paganism people follow; while I talk very openly about what I believe, I try to stay away from the fancy words (see below) and use spell-check so people can make sense of what I’m saying. Initially I thought he was just curious, but it turns out he wanted to quibble a bit (I think). Below are the emails he sent and my reply back. Honestly, I think that Mo’s question is almost as silly as going into a room full of Christians and asking what denomination everyone is and then wanting to bicker about it.

Hi Kendra,
So you're a syncretist.
I sympathise very much with this.
It seems that now that traditionnal establshed gods have been debased (i'm not sure it's the right word...) the best way of practising what used to be done by prayers and strict protocoles should be done with the practices and avatars of all one finds most appealing. Most conform to self-representation and longings and such...


Notice that Mo never gives a reason why he sympathizes. Also, this guy has no grasp on the English language. I disagree with his statement of “traditional established gods have been debased”. Churches are still standing and lots of people go so I can’t agree with his statement of debasement unless he’s telling me that’s where he lives. The rest of the paragraph made my eyes bleed.

Here’s my reply:

Wow, I learned a new word! You would be correct in applying that term up to a point, due to the fact that I've gone a little bit further and have begun to incorporate my somewhat scattered beliefs under the umbrella of the O.T.O. (don't know if you're familiar or not, but in a nutshell this is ceremonial magick that draws on a lot of Freemason structure among other things) I have rediscovered something that followers of the bigger organized religions know intrinsically; in many ways it is better to have a structure and framework for worship with specific rules, rituals and protocols. This is a post I am currently working on, but due to the great complexity of the issue I don't expect to have it refined and posted for another week or two. Ultimately where I stand on this issue is that structure is an essential component of any religious/spiritual practice; without a few ground rules it's just a bunch of savages dancing around a campfire

I thought that had pretty much closed the subject and answered what I thought was his question, but no. This afternoon, another communiqué from Mo:

Well I gess that what you lose in personalisation, you gain in efficiency and clarity.
Besides, it also helps permit collective practices (do you do that??).


Mo, religion is personal, whether you go and sit in a church with 500 other people or in your living room. You entirely missed my point of structure. It provides a framework for people to work within to praise, worship and revere the Divine. It does not take away from the personal experience nor automatically grant clarity or efficiency (who ever heard of an efficient religion?)

I think sycretism still fully applies, even if you institutionnalize your faith somewhat.
In Brasil, one sycretist faith is huge and thoroughlly institutionnalized.
Sycretism is basically just the compilation of scattered elements.


Think all ya want buddy about what does and doesn’t apply, and perhaps syncretism is an appropriate term for many Pagans, but then it would be an appropriate term for lots of other people. Christians still draw from the Old Testament as well as the New. Angry God-Job/ Nice God-Mary Magdelene, but still God. Interestingly enough, most people don’t consider that to be syncretism, just their religious structure and beliefs.

And he doesn’t tell me what faith in Brasil (sic) he’s referring to.

So here’s my advice to Mo: 1) Get a computer with spell-check because your emails made you look like an illiterate college student trying to impress a chick by using big and unwieldy words like syncretism and 2) If you really want to argue with someone, be clear on what you’re arguing about. Sending obtuse emails saying you “sympathize” doesn’t cut the mustard around here.

Sheesh.



posted by Kendra at 2:22 PM


w


Smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em

From Deroy Merdock at National Review:

Comedian Tommy Chong began a nine-month federal prison sentence on October 7 for operating a glass-blowing shop that sold pipes to marijuana smokers. Prosecutors were not impressed that his Nice Dreams Enterprises marketed a morally neutral product. Chong's pipes, after all, could be used with loose-leaf tobacco, just as any stoner in an Armani suit can smoke pot in a lawful Dunhill meerschaum.

Point and point. Stoners through the ages have used anything and everything for smoking apparatus. What’s next, suing Coke and Pepsi for selling their product in aluminum cans that can be converted into pipes?

In fact, as the Los Angeles Times reported October 10, Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Houghton's court pleadings sought Chong's harsh punishment because he got rich "glamorizing the illegal distribution and use of marijuana" in films that "trivialize law enforcement efforts to combat drug trafficking and use."

How’s about throwing a few Budweiser CEO’s in the pokey? Not only to they manufacture a subpar product, they use girls in bikinis and “guys night out” scenarios to market their product. Of course that will never happen since booze is legal, and pot ain’t. How many people are killed by drunk drivers every year? Lots. How many killed by rampant stoners? I’d guess none since most stoners can get lost in their own back yards when they’re high, and probably have no idea where their car is, let alone the keys to it.

At last, the homeland is secure from Chong, a 65-year-old comic whose merchandise spared potheads from fumbling with rolling papers. Could there be any greater triumph for public safety than that? And in this peaceful world and placid nation, taxpayers can rest assured that officials are using their hard-earned cash as wisely as possible.

Let’s all breathe a sigh of relief that another eevill stoner is behind bars. Sleep well America, your Oreo cookies and cans of Lysol are safe from theft once again!

Just go read the whole thing. Most if not all readers of this blog will probably agree that the War on Drugs is the biggest waste of time and money this nation has seen in the past 30 years. We have a far more pressing war to fight against those who want us dead for who we are and what we represent. Let’s take the zero tolerance policy from the War on Drugs and start applying it to the War on Terror. Then we can let Mr. Chong free and give his cell to someone far more deserving of incarceration.


posted by Kendra at 12:30 PM


wMonday, October 27, 2003


Things to do in Denver when you're Muslim

From the Denver Post:

Inside a storefront in an Aurora shopping center, 15 young children in stocking feet hunch over notebooks filled with basic Arabic words, waiting their turn to parrot back pronunciations to their teacher, a Sudanese immigrant.

So far, so good. Immigrants moving to America for a chance at a better life. Nice picture.

Twenty-five miles away in Northglenn, an imam prepares for sundown prayer in a building across the street from the House of Rock nightclub. Three men join him to bow, sit and prostrate themselves on a colorful rug. He offers raisins, nuts and cookies to visitors.

Let me be the first to say, Rock the Casbah!

The Muslim holy month of Ramadan, expected to begin today in North America, will be welcomed at 11 area mosques scattered from Denver's Five Points neighborhood to Golden and Greeley.

I hope the media realizes that they're being a bit stupid. After two years of fighting extremist Islam, we aaallll know what Ramadan is. Get it? Good.

Each mosque has a dominant ethnic group: Indians and Pakistanis at the Aurora Islamic Center and Afghans at the Metropolitan North Denver Islamic Center in Northglenn.

Their founders, aware of Islam's message of unity, are careful to emphasize they are not trying to create ethnic enclaves.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that whole 'unity' message applicable only if you're Muslim or a Jew or Christian willing to accepted lowered status? Surely doesn't apply to my definition of unity. And there are still people out there sitting mainly in left field that ponder why the Middle East has become what it is after so many centuries of culture, medicine, mathmatics and poetry. Division among sects? Nah, couldn't be that.

For years, Islamic life in Denver was centered at three Sunni Muslim mosques.

There is no full-time imam, and none is needed. In Sunni Islam, which is nonhierarchical, a congregation member best versed in the Koran, the Muslim holy book, can lead prayer. That practice makes it easier for new mosques to form.


That last sentence is the money quote. I would imagine that not only is it easier for new mosques to form, but possibly for more extemism to form as well. Just a thought.

Altogether a very nice and friendly article, but I have one question: How is it that one group gets a glowing news article about them that basically says nothing (click on the link if you don't believe me, this one was the very devil to comment on) and when another religious group just happens to have a major holiday in a mere four days? Besides , one certainly doesn't read in the newspapers around Christmas time of all the devout Lutherans kneeling and taking Communion. Multiculturalism and tolerance indeed.

posted by Kendra at 12:08 PM


w


All Witches Own Brooms, But Not All Brooms Are Owned By Witches

At least once during this season, some modern Witch/Wiccan crawls out of the woodwork to whine and complain about Harry Potter being such a retard and riding his broom backwards and then explaining the reason(s) why one rides with the bristles in front. Right around that point in the article, I just kinda tune out and start singing the lala song since I really don't care much about educating the masses in a politically correct fashion. The commentary made by these people is typically no more than an stab at 15 minutes of fame and it's always some silly, rather unkempt looking individual who usually runs and operates a school in some remote location to teach students to connect with Ma Earth. But here at the Militant Pagan, we stomp on peace activists who have turned Wiccan because it's trendy and PC and listened to far too much Neil Young. So for those interested, here's the skinny on ye olde besom:

Uses for a Broom
1) Swept clockwise around your ritual space, this will purify (so long as your besom is made out of the right stuff, Scotch Broom is what the "original" bristles of brooms were made out of) your working area. If you're real ambitious or just bored and have a good working knowledge of herbs you could substitute Lavendar-Tranquility and Healing, Henbane-Cursing, or even Acacia-Protection for the bristles.
2) If the above suggestion of tying dead plants to a stick doesn't appeal to you, fear not, you aren't alone. A good broom can be purchased at your local magick shop. Prices seem to range anywhere from $30.00 on up. $30.00 for a broom that can't even really sweep your floor has never seemed very practical to me, but what do I know?
3) Go to your local grocery or bargain store. Buy a plastic one. Spray paint it, tie feathers on it, whatever makes you happy. Then just remember to use it for rituals, and buy another one for the weekly housework.
4) Forget the besom altogether and use whatever else you have handy. I've seen circles purified, opened and closed with a wide variety of tools. Wands, staffs, swords, feathers, etc. Basically anything that points and/or sweeps and corresponds to the appropriate elements of your work.

So, when you see the cardboard witches this Halloween riding their brooms backwards just like that little confused Warlock Harry Potter, remember it's probably safer for a warty nosed witch to go jetting around on a broom rather than a sharp pointy sword.



posted by Kendra at 9:23 AM


wSunday, October 26, 2003


New Link

To Two Dragons an interesting little blog that seems to have a bit of everything; politics, opinion, even a baby that likes hot sauce. Yup, that one'll grow up a right-wing tyrant for sure. Anyway, go give their blog a looksee, it's worth a stop and isn't completely heavy or frivilous (not that there's anything wrong with that) just a little of both.

posted by Kendra at 2:42 PM


w


Attack of the Halloweenies part 1

Last Samhain (Halloween for the nonpagans in the audience) I struck gold with Mr. Hal Lindsey and his ridiclous article on the eeevils of Halloween. I been as lucky this year-yet, but I did find this. Great Pumpkin, can't the fundies leave anything alone? Since there's not really much on the website that makes it worth visiting, here's one quote that I thought was worth reproducing:

Light the Night is a Christian outreach
for Halloween night and an excellent opportunity to take back
ground in which the enemy has controlled for too long. In
allowing our "light" to shine on a very dark night,
it is a very simple way to combat that darkness with the love
of Christ. It is also a very non-threatening way to get to
know your neighbors and bless them at the same time.

Remember, more light means less
darkness. Why not join us in taking this night back with the love and light for Christ.


Silly Christians, everybody knows that the darkest night of the year is actually the Winter Solstice which falls on December 22nd, right around Christmas. Besides, fear of the dark, better known as Nyctophobia is probably treatable with psychotropic drugs or possibly a good strong shot of witch's brew. Were I a Christian, I would look forward to Halloween being the one night I could at least pretend to be evil. My philosopy is we're all Pagans on Halloween and if someone out there doesn't like it, too bad. Why, just reading this little blog here puts your immortal soul on Satan's A-List, or didn't you know that?




posted by Kendra at 1:32 PM


w


A long, overdue thanks and apology to everyone

As I said in an earlier post, I ran into personal problems this past year like old people run into farmers markets. So, for those interested, blogging fell off my priority list for the following reasons:

1) Got laid off from a major oiiilllll company 1 year ago
2) Spent 4.5 months unemployed, swilling cheap beer and watching Springer after performing the daily job hunt ritual
3) My mother (where do I begin?) went to the hospital, then a nursing home for a while; about 2 months during Thanksgiving/Xmas. She is a diabetic with kidney failure and that is just the tip of the iceburg. 1 year later and she's still around, yay Mom!
4) My dear boyfriend of 3 years went loony this last June and tried to take his own life, not once but twice by slashing his wrists. Suffice to say, he is currently enjoying a very long extended vacation at La Casa del Locos. We are no longer together.
5) All of the above events were interspersed with a car engine blowing up, my previous apartment being broken into and property stolen and a bunch of little stuff that has made me jones for Prozac more than anything else during the past year. How I made it through unmedicated is a miracle. If any of you out there prayed/sent good vibes/did some nice magick all I can say is it must have helped. Thank you, thank you.

While I like sharing my opinion on world and social issues, I haven't been one to typically tell all on my blog in regards to my personal life. However I felt that my readers and fellow bloggers deserved a straight explanation after giving me so much wonderful support. I will continue to blog, though I ask for any of my old buddies who have stopped in to please give me a little time. While I want back in the clubhouse, I don't expect to trade it for the doghouse (yes Emperor, I have been visiting regularly, just keeping quiet and lurking) any time soon. I will be doing some construction as well as housework here at the Militant Pagan, but if you're a blogger and either an old friend or new I promise that I will update my links as time permits and if you want to link to me, I vow not vanish into thin air again like a lame Las Vegas illusionist. Or, if I must, I will provide a decent explanation as Ms. Lucas recently did and go on hiatus in a civilized fashion.

posted by Kendra at 9:49 AM