When I first started writing for W&P my intent was to focus more on nature and Spirit here, more technical, interfaith, and political issues over at Patheos. Such plans are nice, but rarely maintain themselves, and that one was no exception. On either end.
I just published what I think is an important post on Pagan religion and environmentalism over there as part of a big discussion on the topic. Perhaps some of you who do not watch that site regularly might want to take a look at it.
The #HobbyLobby Supreme Court case today is complex, and its import for Pagans not clear. Court tried to rule narrowly, but left open many important issues for further decisions.
Clear winners: family-owned businesses (even corporations that are not publicly-traded) that have religious objections to various mandated public policies, organizations and people opposed to certain kinds of contraception and to abortion. Pro-life groups rejoice, as well as employers of all sizes and types. (Can "religious exemptions" apply outside of contraception? Unclear.)
Clear losers: female employees of said family-owned businesses who want contraceptive services covered under their employer-paid health care. (Though this will be somewhat dealt with by the Obama administration plans to cover such care itself, similar to exemption given to religious non-profits such as the Catholic church.) Opponents of "corporate personhood" gnash their teeth.
Up in the air: how far will the "religious exemption" go for family businesses?
Capitalism seems invulnerable today not because anyone likes it, informed decent people do not, but because it is hard to imagine a realistic alternative. State socialism failed, and failed in a horrible way.Going back to the land is impossible for more than a relative few of us.Markets work better than explicit controls and markets seem inevitably to generate capitalism.We seem trapped.
But markets are not as predictable as economists claim and most economists confuse their theoretical categories with the real world of men and women. Consider the Mondragon cooperativesin the Basque country of northern Spain. In September, 2012, I had the opportunity to visit these cooperatives in September of 2012 as part of an annual study group organized by the Praxis Peace Institute.Given all that I had heard, I felt that while I could not easily afford to go financially, I could not afford not to go intellectually.
Every religious tradition stands in some tension with its society, legitimizing some things in terms of a larger eternal context, but in the process challenging others, sometimes deeply.As NeoPagan religions increase in America this same pattern is developing. This essay explores how the logic of Pagan religion leads us to question the legitimacy of some important contemporary institutions, particularly the joint stock corporation, and with this questioning, the way our society views the world.
More deeply than most religions, NeoPagans legitimize and honor the goodness of this world, the sacred immanence that shines through all things.Consequently, from a Pagan perspective living well in our world requires observing appropriate ethical and moral relationships.This insight cannot help but lead us to criticize attitudes treating this world as noting but a means for human ends.