PWN: KaliSara joins the show

After an unfortunate hiatus, Pagan-Musings Podcast Channel is pleased to announce the return of the Pagan Weekly News. Zaracon’s health has prevented him from devoting any time to podcasting right now, so KaliSara has volunteered to fill his seat for PWN. Everyone at PMPChannel hopes to hear Zaracon return to the internet airwaves very soon. On her debut edition of PWN the hosts discuss many issues that have some bearing on the Pagan community.

Your hosts spent a good deal of time talking about Charlie Hebdo and freedom of speech/expression. On Thursday 15 January 2015 RevKess published an article on PaganActivist.com giving his opinion on the shootings and how people should realize that freedoms have consequences. You can read that article here, read his addendum in comments on that page.

In advance of the 2015 State o the Union Address they dwelt a good portion of the show on some of the topics that President Obama will discuss in his address.

  • Net Neutrality
  • Community College
  • Racial Tensions
  • Housing
  • Minimum Wage

KaliSara  and RevKess also discussed news items that have a direct bearing on the Pagan community, especially in the United States.

Mention was also made on upcoming events such as PantheaCon and the Between the Worlds conference. As well as music and book news.

  • Alex Bledsoe announced that at least three more books are in the offing for Tufa Tales
  • Mama Gina is scheduled to release her third CD in February – tune in on Sunday 25 January at 7pm Central to hear an interview with Gina about her musical career and her newest CD release on the Pagan-Musings Podcast with RevKess and KaliSara
  • Celia is working on a children’s story CD
Music
  1. Crow Women – In the Fire – Crow Goddess
  2. Damh the Bard – Sons and Daughters of Robin Hood – Antlered Crown and Standing Stone
  3. Crow Women – Healing Circle Song – Crow Goddess
  4. Mama Gina – Waking Panther – digital single
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PWN: War, war is stupid and people are stupid….

Fair warning, on this edition of the Pagan Weekly News both RevKess and Zaracon get up on their soapboxes. Way up!

War is a topic that no one really wants to talk about. Unfortunately it is the topic on a lot of people’s minds these days. In the United States, the Middle East, Russia, and elsewhere around the globe. Neither Zaracon nor RevKess have served in the military, but they know many people who have or are currently serving active duty. RevKess’s father served over seas during the Korean “Conflict” (War) and several of his nieces and nephews have been in the Middle East during the second Gulf War. War, conflict, strife. It all touches us somewhere and somehow. Whether we are at work, serve in the military, or know someone who is. It touches us all.

Before diving into the meat and bones of the main topic for the show, Z and Kess spoke briefly about crowd sourcing and funding. Taylor Ellwood recently published an article on that very topic on the Agora for Patheos Pagan Channel. The Pagan-Musings Podcast Channel has been a big proponent of crowd sourcing and plans to continue to be so. Having helped with projects for Tuatha Dea, Brendan Myers, Frenchy and the Punk, The New Alexandrian Library, and many others.

“I’m fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.”~George McGovern

A note about the Israeli-Palestinian War: Heather Greene, columnist on The Wild Hunt and National Public Information Officer for Covenant of the Goddess, encouraged RevKess to reach out to Pagans in the Gaza area. Several false starts later he concluded that technology was not going to allow it to happen. Facebook messages and other attempts met with error messages and software failures. There are Pagans in that area and the hosts of PWN hope to be able to give them a voice in the near future.

 

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Call it a conflict, call it a war. The military shambles in the Gaza Strip have been going on for decades, if not centuries. Here are some links to articles that give background and current information on the war in the Israeli-Palestinian area.

More from the Middle East

Russia and the Ukraine

In Pagan News

MUSIC

  1. PWN intro courtesy DragonSong
  2. Culture Club – War Song (clip)
  3. Damh the Bard – Sons & Daughters of Robin Hood – Antlered Crown & Standing Stone
  4. SJ Tucker – Poem of War – Ember Days
  5. Heather Dale – United at War – Call the Names
  6. Paradiso & Rasamayi – Wisdom Warrior – Attuning to Oneness
  7. SJ Tucker – Alligator in the House – Sirens

 

PWN S4E8: Pagan Pride Day Season, news and more

Pagan Weekly News, week of 24 July 2014

The Pagan Weekly News is, as the name implies, a weekly news program from a Pagan perspective. Over the years the show has moved around a lot on the weekly calendar, but RevKess and Zaracon strive to bring the listener the news in a timely manner. At its current day of the week, PWN is trying to settle into a new routine. The time of the live broadcast may continue to fluctuate, but for now it will be on Thursdays.

Just in time for Throw-Back Thursdays, KaliSara has been posting links to past episodes of programming on the Pagan-Musings Podcast Channel. You can follow those listings through our Facebook page of the channel or by following RevKess on Twitter. This week’s TBT episode is Herbs and Some of Their Uses from 6 February 2010. Might be time to revisit the topic.

Pagan Pride Day season is about to start. It officially runs from August 1 through October 31st. With events all around the country, some states having more than one event, and reaching across the globe, PPD is quickly becoming one of the largest and most popular Pagan outreach celebrations. One of the largest PPD events in the world is held the first Sunday of August every year since 2009. the UK’s PPD is in Central Nottingham with over 1500 Pagans attending and more coming every year. With any luck maybe one or more of the PMPChannel hosts can make it to one of their local PPD events.

Links to topics covered

Links to stories not covered, but of interest

  • George Takei talks frankly, with some humor, about his experience in the Japanese-American internment camps during WWII.
  • Conflicts in the Middle East are putting priceless archaeological treasures at risk, including a recently discovered mythic temple of Musasir.

MUSIC

featuring brand new music from Frenchy and the Punk

  1. PWN intro courtesy Aetopus
  2. Frenchy and the Punk – Don’t Fear the Rabbit – Bonjour Batfrog
  3. SJ Tucker – The Great Velocipede Migration – Wonders
  4. Celia – Red Alabaster & Blue – Red Alabaster & Blue
  5. Celia – Metta Prayer – For the Asking
  6. Frenchy and the Punk – La Vie de Boheme – Bonjour Batfrog
  7. Wendy Rule – Deity – Deity
  8. Cernunnos Rising – Wise Old Yew – Urban Druid
  9. Lis Addison – My Big Community – Grace of the Green Leaf

Frenchy and the Punk will be in Omaha on 31 July 2014, Thursday. They will be performing at the Barley Street Tavern with Anonymous Henchman.

SJ Tucker and Betsy Tinney will be in Lincoln on 19 August 2014, Tuesday. They will be performing at the historic Ferguson House, a concert sponsored by KZUM and the Wayward Concert Series through the Unitarian Church of Lincoln.

PWN S4E7: A Brand New Day and more

Regular listeners of PWN have grown accustomed to the show floating around the week. RevKess’s schedule is always a mess at his bills-paying-job and Zaracon has concerns that sometimes make it difficult for him to do shows. In an attempt to remedy at least the scheduling issue for RevKess, they have elected to move the show to Thursdays at 9am Central. This will soon be reflected in the show’s graphic.

In this first edition of PWN on Thrusdays RevKess found himself going solo for the majority of the show. Zaracon was able to join in towards the of the show. Both hosts hopped up on the soap box from time to time. (That box of soap gets so much use it needs new wheels!) This week is no exception to that.

Links to Stories Covered

  • PantheaCon 2015 is in full swing when it comes to planning. You can submit your presentation ideas to them for Round 1 consideration at their website http://pantheacon.com/wordpress.
  • While you may be considering your ideas for PantheaCon it is also coming up on Pagan Pride Day season around the globe. You can go the Pagan Pride Day website to find out what might be going on in your area and make your plans now.
  • Pat Robertson has told a mother that her son might be under demonic influence, causing severe stomach pains.
  • Retired Methodist minister Charles Moore self immolates for “social justice”. Moore was an ally o the LGBTQ community as well as a staunch supporter  of the abolition of the death penalty, among other civil rights issues.
  • Conservatives in the Republican party are doing more than just murmuring about the idea of impeaching President Obama. Former governor of Alaska Sarah Palin started in on the impeachment talk by saying “no mas” to what she sees as Obama’s lax border control at the Southern border of the United States. Two polls, one from the Huffington Post and the other from the Rasmussen Report, indicated that nearly one third of those polled think the President should be impeached – the Daily Mail has a summary with infographics. The list of reasons for impeach is rather …. crazy, though.
  • The conflict in the Middle East between Israel and Palestine is heating up even more than usual. Israel and the radical Islamic group Hamas have been doing more than just posturing. For a history of the conflict you can view the Wikipedia entry. The conflict has even boiled over in the United States, in Los Angeles pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian demonstrators clashed on 13 July. European broadcasters aren’t even immune to protest, the BBC sees protesters outside their broadcast house accusing the network of bias.
  • In recent months thousands of children and youths from Central and South America have been intercepted while trying to the cross the southern U.S. border. Over 52,000 children have been detained, some sent back while others have received medical treatment – most are been considered for deportation. Opinions vary about what should be done about these refugees. Immigration reform has become a hot button issue once again.
  • This week’s column on the Wild Hunt from Heather Greene discusses religious observances in public schools and new laws developed to protect the students’ rights to practice their faith.
  • Fellwater, book one in the “Hidden Houses” series by Brendan Myers, has been re-released in its professionally edited and revised version. Thanks to the support of Kickstarter backers, Myers was able to pay a professional editor to help him improve books one and two, edit book three and two novellas. Kindle edition available here, paperback  can be ordered here.

MUSIC

  1. PWN intro courtesy Aetopus
  2. Blackmore’s Night – The Click Ticks On – Shadow of the Moon
  3. Lis Addison – My  Big Community – Grace of the Green Leaf
  4. Wendy Rule – Evolution – The Wolf Sky
  5. Damh the Bard – Only Human – Cauldron Born
  6. Bone Poets Orchestra – Interlude at Sunset – Belladonna Smiles

PWN S4E6: What we’re really say is….

On the Pagan Weekly News RevKess and Zaracon do their best to bring you news, views, and information that is of interest to the Pagan community. Along the way we often discuss religious intolerance/persecution and the brighter side of our religio-spiritual umbrella: festivals, books, and music. This week’s edition is no exception to that pattern. As the title of this edition implies, Zaracon and RevKess discuss some of the popular memes that are floating around on the internet, primarily on Facebook. What is a meme, you might be asking. It used to mean “an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation.” It has come to mean “a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc. that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.” Many of the memes that we see in social media are political in nature, especially during an election year. Whether they are political or not, memes are often half truths at best, out-right lies at worst. Many of the memes that people share seem humorous at first glance, if you look at them again you note that they are insulting to one group or another. Here is a prime example of such a meme. It is true that many who use politically correct speech are sugar coating things, but not because they cannot handle the truth. More often than you might think it is because they are trying not to insult someone else. This one makes no attempt to avoid insulting people. It does, however, bring to light what many think of politically correct speech. An example of how politically correct can be more insulting than sugar-coated would be many of the attempts the straight community use when talking about the gay community, in particular the trans community. See, look there. In an attempt to be general and “politically correct” I left out lesbians and bisexuals, gender queer and gender fluid. Other attempts to be more encompassing of everyone who might fit into that community is the abbreviation “LGBTQA” Even that collection of letters leaves people out.  Some like the acronym “SOGI”, sexual orientation and gender identity. This term is confusing for some, a literal look at the term would encompass the entirety of humanity. Perhaps that is the point. Maybe, just maybe, people should call it as they see it, or to use a phrase “call a spade a spade.” And then you have the opposite end of the spectrum. Memes that point out something that many might consider to be true. In this situation, many might consider it a fault to need alcohol and drugs to be entertained. Agreed. Drugs and alcohol are not necessary to have a good time. They can make for a little extra entertainment – like when your friend gets so drunk they can’t walk without falling down. In moderation, though, alcohol is fine – even some drugs are fine in moderation. RevKess would rather enjoy a glass of wine at dinner or while watching a movie than toke up, or even go out to the clubs. Combing through several pages of racist memes, none could be found that weren’t in some way disgusting or too far into the racist field (I think I need a shower now). But it is easy to understand that a racist meme is just wrong, insulting. Whether they are directed at whites, blacks, Jews, Asians, Latinos, whatever. They are all disgusting and insulting. After all this, there are some memes out there that are just down right funny, cute, or enlightening. Here is an example of one that is inspiring – at least for the bibliophiles out there. Just look around at RevKess’s home and you will see bookcases in every room (save the bathroom) and stacks of books literally to the ceiling. Never enough bookcases. And of course there are the snarky memes.

LINKS

Before we start with the links, RevKess would like to apologize for a tidbit of misinformation. He failed to double check the publication date of an article about Andy Griffth. Mr. Griffth died on July 3, 2012.  The article he saw just before going live was in memorial of him.

  • In the New York Times, opinion columnist Nicholas Kristof talks about how religious freedom is in peril, focusing on how Muslims seem to be using the idea of religious freedom to persecute non-Muslims – primarily in the Middle East and “underdeveloped” countries.
  • The Pope apologizes to Buddhists for the Christian Colonial Rule of Sri Lanka. Is it enough?
  • Rev. Chuck Currie, a minister for the United Church of Christ and columnist for Huffington Post – Religion, writes about how religious freedom is in under attack, and not how you might think. His focus is on how the SCOTUS ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby’s religious exemptions for certain birth control coverage may lead to further misuses of the law and the protection of freedom of religion. “In a nation as diverse as the United States of America, it is critical that the federal government be trusted to follow — and indeed, to role-model — equitable employment practices. We believe that our mutual commitment to the common good is best served by policies that prohibit discrimination based on factors that have no relationship whatsoever to job performance. We are better and stronger as a nation when hiring decisions are made based on professional merit rather than personal identity.” – from a letter Currie wrote to President Obama.
  • On the Wild Hunt, Cara Schulz writes about the SCOTUS decision, after breaking things down in understandable terms she quotes several Pagans who voiced their opinions. RevKess is quoted.
  • RevKess’s full opinion piece on the SCOTUS decision for Lavender Hill.
  • In the days following the SCOTUS decision many businesses and organizations have begun prep work to petition for religious exemptions from Obama’s promised executive order to ban discrimination of LGBTQ employees of federal contractors, and the current draft of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act before theHouse. RevKess wrote an opinion piece for Lavender Hill after the announcement that  the Nation Gay & Lesbian Task Force, the ACLU, and other civil rights groups have withdrawn their support for the current version of ENDA.
  • In the current edition of the Pagan Community Notes on the Wild Hunt, Jason PItzl-Waters talks about the New Alexandrian Library Project and the special issue of Green Egg in honor of Morning Glory Zell.
  • Heather Greene has written a two part series on Pagans on campus for the Wild Hunt. Part 1, Part 2.
  • Cara Schulz, taking a step away from the seriousness of SCOTUS, birth control, and religious freedom, writes on the Wild Hunt about discovering Pagan ethics in modern secular life – Football.
  • Silverspring on her blog writes about why some people may choose to remain in the broom closet.
  • Writing on Witches&Pagans’ blog, author and lecturer Karen Tate talks about integrity in Pagan writing. Read an excerpt from her new book Goddess Calling on the blog Bad Witch.
  • On Patheos, T Thorn Coyle writes about public priesthood.

MUSIC

  1. PWN intro, courtesy Aetopus
  2. Damh the Bard – The Parting Glass – Tales from the Crow Man
  3. Big Bad Gina – Freedom Connection – Lake of Dreams
  4. Leigh Anne Hussey – She is Grandmother – Homebrew
  5. Mama Gina – Summer of the Fae – Goddess Kiss’d
  6. Spiral Dance – Weaving the Summer – Magick (also available on their best of CD, The Quickening)
  7. Frenchy & the Punk – The Circus Parade – Hey Hey Cabaret
  8. Celia – Carry Me Home – Carry Me Home

PWN: Faux news, discerning the truth from fiction in the news

RevKess and Zaracon freely admit that the Pagan Weekly News is not part of any recognized mainstream news service.  They do however endeavor to provide as accurate of information as they can during their broadcasts, often fact checking before, during, and after each broadcast to make sure that their information is correct. That said, PWN has earned a reputation in the Pagan world as a source for news.

Image from Faux News:Fairly Unbalanced on Facebook

Beginning the show with updates on the Marion Zimmer Bradley scandal and the discrimination issues Seekers Temple is facing in Beebe, AR (pt. 1, pt. 2), they moved to other cases of religious discrimination and separation of church and state in the United States. In the second hour Zaracon had to excuse himself for health reasons. RevKess moved into a discussion of how to discern truth from fiction in the news media.

LINKS

  • A Pagan priest in Huntsville, AL has become the center of national media coverage because of the city council changing their agenda and denying him the duty of the opening invocation for their June session.
  • Online source of information on religious tolerance, Wiccan section of the site.
  • SCOTUS’s recognition of Wicca and Santeria as religions protected under the law.

MUSIC

  1.  PWN Intro courtesy Aetopus
  2. Wendy Rule – From the Great Above to the Great Below – Black Snake
  3. Dragon Ritual Drummers – Zombi – Passage
  4. Lia Scallon – Mystery of Life – The Luminous Pearl
  5. Frenchy and the Punk – Make it Happen – Hey Hey Cabaret

 

PWN S4E4: Seekers Temple Updates & Religious Discrimination Around the World

On Thursday 19 June 2014 Zaracon and RevKess hosted Bert Dahl, high priest of the Seekers Temple in Beebe, Arkansas. The news broke in Pagan media early last week that the Seekers Temple, established in 2009 in El Paso, Arkansas and seeking to relocate permanently to Bee, had become the target of apparently systematic religious discrimination from the office of the mayor and the town’s council. A nearby church had also begun focusing alleged harassment on the Dahl family by shining the light of a bright lighthouse sculpture through their windows.

On Monday 23 June 2014 Zaracon hosted a music and call-in show to support the Seekers Temple while they were attending the June Beebe Town Hall Meeting.  The original intent of Monday’s show was for someone with Seekers Temple to be dialed into the show so that everyone listening could hear exactly what happened at the meeting. Unfortunately that did not happen.

According to HP Dahl, the mayor and the town of Beebe has given them a new option, to have their property rezoned and restructured to build a separate building after dividing the property into two properties. An option that really is not an option, a minimum investment of $250,000 to do such a project. Seekers Temple was opened on 13 December 2008 in El Paso. No apparent issue there. It was only after the Pagan community asked the Dahls to move their residence and the Temple to Beebe and the Mayor (9 months later) figured out that Seekers Temple is a Pagan church.

Monday the 23rd was the monthly Town Council Meeting in Beebe, AR. Record-setting attendance at the meeting wowed citizens and the mayor, but little real resolution resulted. Christians gathered on the lawn of the town hall and prayed around the flag pole while Pagans (including several from the Southern Delta  Church of Wicca – ATC) gathered around a tree and sang songs and chants. Bert Dahl was allowed a private backroom meeting with the city zoning committee, but not allowed to speak before the open assembly. Local media source Arkansas Matters had this brief report on the meeting.

It would appear that Pagans are not the only ones who face religious discrimination in Beebe. Catholics and other non-Protestant religionists have contact Seekers Temple saying that they have been denied a church or been subjected to some form of religious persecution. To the best of PWN’s knowledge, only Protestant institutions exist in Beebe.

Dahl repeatedly stated during his visit today that letters, emails, and phone calls of support are welcome. He also emphasized that any contact with the Mayor, the town council, or other governmental entities in Beebe and the state of Arkansas should be written or conducted in a calm, civil manner. An example of how visitors to the Beebe area who are Pagan can help is to shop the local businesses and somehow indicate that you are Pagan or Pagan-friendly.

Continued support for the Dahls and the Seekers Temple can be sent via email at priest@seekerstemple.com. Funds can be donated via PayPal at seekerstemple@yahoo.com, all funds raised are used by the Temple, not the Dahls themselves. Some of the funds may also be used to help with the legal costs related to this situation, up to and including the criminal case for “disorderly conduct” filed against HP Dahl. To date, the largest single donation to the Temple after the news broke was from an atheist.

Links to other Religious Discrimination related articles

  • A growing coalition of politics is urging the Obama administration to drop a  Bush-era exemption on religious discrimination when it comes to religious based organizations that receive government grants. On Patheos, apparently conservative Christian blogger Gene Veith writes in his posting on this issue “A major take away for religious organizations: Don’t take federal funds!” RevKess would agree, but for different reasons: religious organizations should be privately funded, not government funded.
  • Political and religious refugees from around the world may also experience religious discrimination when seeking asylum. On World Refugee Day, a Sudanese refugee in Israel talked with the media about how he is treated in the Israeli refugee camp in Holot as a Muslim and a black man.
  • The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing a New York-based insurance company for firing employees who decline to participate in religious activities on company time.
  • In Missouri, a proposed Student Religious Liberty Act would clearly define and combine state and federal laws that prohibit religious discrimination in public schools.
  • Obama’s recent executive order to prohibit federal contractors from discriminating against LGBTQ employees has led to a debate about religious discrimination. The debate hinges on the idea that the owners/operators of a business who have strong religious beliefs against LGBTQ people should have the exemption and ability to hire and fire based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • A recent study of religious discrimination in hiring and firing in the Southern U.S. indicates that those who list some form of religious affiliation on their resume are 26% less likely to be contacted by an employer – unless they are Jewish.

MUSIC

Kept to one artist for this  broadcast. Damh the Bard, a Druid in the UK and a podcaster, was one of the first Pagan musicians to give PMPChannel permission to air his music. We would like to extend another hearty thank you to Damh for his willingness to share his  music in this manner. Visit his website for more of his music, his podcast, and to keep tabs on what is going on in the UK with Pagan and specifically Druid issues.

  1. Damh the Bard – Pipes of Pan – Herne’s Apprentice
  2. Damh the Bard – Sons & Daughters of Robin Hood – Antlered Crown & Standing Stone
  3. Damh the Bard – Pagan Ways – Cauldron Born

You can find the Pagan Weekly News on FaceBook. You can email the hosts of PWN and other programming on the Pagan-Musings Podcast Channel at paganmusings@gmail.com. Follow PMPChannel on Twitter.