There's been a powerful disturbance in the Force the last couple days.
Yesterday, the group that calls itself the Asatru Folk Assembly left a Facebook post which I have screen-cap't at right....
PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
I've started and deleted this blog entry half a dozen times, both in my head and on the screen, over the last several days. It's hard to know what to say when your heroines fall, when your leaders betray you, when your inspirations prove to be hypocrites of the worst sort. And even if it's not the first time -- and it's not the first time -- it doesn't get any easier. What do you say when the place that you came to for healing and liberation is exposed as a site of pain and oppression for others, especially for others you care about? How do you stand up and say, "Not in my name"?
Then again, how do you not?...
A Jewish intellectual discusses the dilemma of protecting Jews abroad and opposing the repression of Arabs in Israel. A transgender Mormon explains why he's sticking with his faith. And members of Iran's ancient Zoroastrian faith face the challenges that come with dating outside of their religion. It's Faithful Friday, our weekly segment on news about faiths and religious communities from around the world! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Two days and one hundred years ago, women first achieved the right to vote in Canada. This was in the Manitoba provincial election; the federal government followed two years later. So it is perhaps fitting that the day before is the day I finally chose to start reading "The Handmaid's Tale."
I've been a feminist and a science fiction fan since childhood, so many people have recommended this book to me over the years. The year it was published, 1986, I was eleven. I think someone first recommended it to me in 1991, when I was protesting the Gulf War. I always meant to read it. It was "on my list," especially as a Canadian. Margaret Atwood is considered to be one of the most significant Canadian writers and "The Handmaid's Tale" is a feminist icon.
"A goddess!" I exclaimed, as I approached a large rounded feminine figure in the National Museum of Ethiopia.
"No!" A man's voice echoed throughout the room.
When he noticed people's glances upon him, the museum guide lowered his voice: "That piece is a very, very old", he said hesitantly. "It is pagan. She comes from the Oromo people, the largest ethnic group here in Ethiopia."
I could not peel my eyes off the figure. The unexpected discovery piqued my interest.
"Does she have a name?" I asked hopefully.
Instead of answering my question, the guide told me about Ethiopia's most famous woman:
Yesterday, on Oct 15th, mega-church Mars Hill's pastor Mark Driscoll resigned after a number of allegations and scandals. I have stayed out of the discussions and conversations, but there is one memory that keeps haunting me and I finally chose to share it. May our religions, whichever they may be, always bring out the best in us and encourage us to be our true selves.
In today's dispatch we include "airy" topics both literal and metaphorical: two stories of NASA space science, and three accounts of Pagan topics in academic circles.
This story is a personal favorite: a team of amateurs and retired scientists have "recaptured" a NASA satellite in the first-ever case of "citizen" astrophysics....