Signs & Portents

A news blog for updates on PaganSquare, Witches&Pagans, SageWoman, Crone, and anything else related to BBI Media's community and web services. Check here for news about our site, information about our social media presence, and any changes in either our services or features. May or may not be run by a sapient serpent.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form

Pagan News Beagle: Fiery Tuesday, May 26

Politics and religion: difficult subjects which many consider unsuited for polite conversation. What happens when they mix? In many ways its inevitable; people care passionately about politics and they also care passionately about religion. That doesn't mean it's always easy though. This week we take a look at the different ways in which political and religious values are clashing over the world and how, in many cases, that bleeds over into discrimination and bigotry. All this and more for this week's Fiery Tuesday.

Very recently Ireland made history when it passed a bill legalizing gay marriage through a popular vote, rather than through a legislative vote or a judicial decision as in all other cases around the world. Needless to say, not everyone in the deeply Catholic Ireland is happy about this. In reaction to the vote, Diarmuid Martin, the archbishop of Dublin, has said that the Catholic Church needs to make a "reality check" in regards to its ability to reach young voters.

Speaking about tensions between the Muslim and Western world, one of Qatar's most prominent women, Sheikha Moza bint Nasser al-Missned, calls out Westerners for dealing in double standards that quickly forgive Western violence but remark on violence by Muslims as indicative of their culture. She also decries the way Westerners often talk about Muslims as if they were all the same: "Islam has never been monolithical," she says "The homogenization of Muslims into a fearful and unknowable ‘other’, separate from the beauty and nobility of Islam and its civilization, is at the root of Muslim-phobia.”

On a more positive note, The Huffington Post has this story about a Sikh man who removed his turban—"an integral part of the Sikh faith"—to help an injured boy in need. Afterwards, the man, named Harman Singh, was unexpectedly aided in turn by strangers inspired by his example.

Many Pagans feel relatively comfortable using the word "gypsy" but were you aware that the term is rooted in a history of racism and xenophobia? This post from a Roma woman (the ethnicity usually labeled "gypsies") describes what the term means to most Roma and why it's generally considered highly offensive (like the N-word or K-word).

Lastly, this article in The Guardian talks about the dangers of mixing religion and politics... regardless of the specific brand. Should the same laws of political expression and association apply to religious leaders? Or should they be held to a higher (and more restrictive) standard?

Last modified on

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.


Additional information