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A Walk on the Wild Side: Introduction to a Goddess-honoring Tradition Where the Witch and the Tantrick Meet

A Walk on the Wild Side: Introduction to a Goddess-honoring Tradition Where the Witch and the Tantrick Meet

By Chandra Alexandre….
Today, a robust and dynamic complexity of religious thought and engagement is being achieved through new traditions in which symbols, deities, and rituals (some only recently constructed) inform by connecting to passions, devotion and a desire for engaged spirituality not contained by country of origin—practitioner’s or deity’s. Add to this a confluence of feminism, goddess-focused spiritualities, and access to various forms of Hinduism, as well as a growing Indian-American population with Hindu diasporic roots and bi-cultural sensibilities, and we find a Western Shakta Hindu perspective and related forms of worship and practice emerging that assert both authenticity and independence from the Hindu source. One such emergence is the countercultural religious tradition known as Sha’can, what I fondly call a (R)evolutionary Shakta Tantra

Mercy Rule Rules: When Catechism Loses the Religious and Spiritual Battle to Soccer

Mercy Rule Rules: When Catechism Loses the Religious and Spiritual Battle to Soccer

By Michel Camille Bordeau….
There is an ever-increasing body of research in psychology, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, and religious studies that question the often assumed connection between theistic religiosity and spirituality. What’s gravely missing from traditional theistic assumptions is that spirituality as much as religiosity are matters of external influences. Were we ‘ingodtrinated’ and or taught spiritual practices early enough in life to internalize them? And, as much as they are matters of personal choices—did we have a choice early in life? Do we still have a choice now that environment is less of an influence? Do we always have a choice? Determinism is not as self-evident as we traditionally believe…..

Terry Jones and Free Speech

Terry Jones and Free Speech

Terry Jones has a right to free speech, regardless of how repugnant. Just as I lauded the Supreme Court’s decision regarding Snyder vs. Phelps, I will stand beside Terry Jones (way far away!) to protect his right to free speech. Any limitation on his free speech is a limit on my free speech. The government has no business telling anyone what to say or not to say. The First Amendment to the Constitution explicitly states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” How difficult is that to understand?

Review of Anthony Le Donne, Historical Jesus: What Can We Know and How Can We Know It?

Review of Anthony Le Donne, Historical Jesus: What Can We Know and How Can We Know It?

By James F. McGrath, Exploring Our Matrix….
Perhaps the most important contribution of this “new perspective on history” is its emphasis that the earlier quests for uninterpreted facts was misguided. When we consider something or someone significant, we interpret it. And unless we find something significant, we do not remember it. Therefore, all memory is interpreted. This should not surprise anyone, and yet the modern quest for certainty has trained many of us to desire more, even if such desires can never be satisfied.

Of Eggs and Bunnies…

Of Eggs and Bunnies…

By Lady Arsinoe
Can you feel the change? There is a fresh sparkle in the air. The world is being reborn! Life is returning! Flowers are popping up everywhere. Animals are nesting and preparing for the next generation. You may even have a tickle in your tummy that you can’t really explain, that leaves you excited for the new day. Everywhere, signs of rebirth and renewal can be found. Trees are putting on new leaves. Birds are singing. Life is Good!

Retreating to Dzogchen Beara: Eastern Spirituality in Western Ireland

Retreating to Dzogchen Beara: Eastern Spirituality in Western Ireland

By Melinda Rothouse….
From the moment I stepped into the van, I knew I had entered a different world. The other passengers are already well-acquainted with the weekly O’Donaghue bus from Cork to Castletownbere, a little town somewhere far out on the Beara Peninsula in West Cork, Ireland.

Heading home from a day of commerce in the city, many passengers carried loads of shopping bags that filled the narrow aisles while others were making a weekend commute to the Peninsula. A musty odour permeated the vehicle, smoky—dusky, an infusion of cigarette smoke and body odour, perfume and food. Aromas left behind by the countless passengers who made the trip many years past.

A Wiccan Perspective on Satan, Evil, and all that Biblical Stuff

A Wiccan Perspective on Satan, Evil, and all that Biblical Stuff

By Lady Arsinoe…..
The Wiccan idea of evil is vastly different from that of the Abrahamic religions. Wicca is a nature-oriented spiritual path that tends to focus inside ourselves and then outward to our relationship with the Universe. We do not see evil as being something outside or “other”. As a result, Wiccans have no convenient excuse for ill behavior; there is no “the Devil made me do it!” in Wicca. Evil exists only because mankind has evil tendencies. Wiccans understand that we, as human beings, are responsible for our own actions. No outside Deity of Good or Evil makes us do anything. We see humans acting out of Good or Evil because humans want to, and we reap the benefits or consequences of our actions accordingly. We see everything we do as coming back to us according to the Threefold Law: whatever energies we put out into the world comes back to us threefold, be it for good or ill.

Contemplating Religious Plurality

Contemplating Religious Plurality

By Anthony Fisher
Why? All truth comes from God! How inexhaustible is God that He might reveal a shard of Himself in an idea or in a system set far apart from our own? How small are our minds that we would fathom that any revealing of the divine must take place within our own religious practice? The Western world is terribly guilty of this. Countless practices are guilty of this. We take a shard of God and build a temple around it saying, “this is God holistically and completely.” We take the Gospel of Christ and say this.

Reggae, Rasta and Homophobia

Reggae, Rasta and Homophobia

By Hannah Spadafora….
On November 27th, 2010, protesters in Sacramento, CA gathered outside musical artist Capleton’s reggae-dancehall concert to oppose the violent gay-bashing ideas his lyrics promote. This isn’t the first protest against reggae artists calling for violent homophobic acts in their music. Other reggae artists criticized and boycotted over the last decade for anti-homosexual lyrics include Beenie Man, Buju Banton, Sizzla, Elephant Man, T.O.K., Bounty Killa and Vybz Kartel. A major leader in the campaign against the homophobia found in dancehall music (the reggae spinoff popular in United States and western Europe) is Stop Murder Music, who eventually initiated the “Reggae Compassionate Act”.

Close Mindedness on Religion

Close Mindedness on Religion

By Michael Hodson, Go, See, Write….
At the end of 2008, I quit my law practice in Northwest Arkansas and took off on a round-the-world journey with two rules: no reservations and no airplanes. Sixteen months later, I finally made it back home, succeeding on the no-planes portion of the challenge and almost making it without any reservations. Since getting back, I’ve continued with my overland adventures and have been writing about them at Go, See, Write. One day last summer after getting back from my journey, I was having lunch in town and a friend of mine came in and took a seat next to us and asked the almost-automatic first question I get these days: “Where was your favorite place?”

Cantwell v. Connecticut – Jehovah’s Witnesses Challenge The State

Cantwell v. Connecticut – Jehovah’s Witnesses Challenge The State

One of the key practices of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is proselytizing, which at the time in question, included passing out literature or playing recordings. In the late 1930’s, the Cantwells were doing just that on Cassius Street, a street with a very high concentration of Catholic residents, located in New Haven, Connecticut. Each Cantwell was arrested that day under a statute that stated that no one may solicit money for any religious or charitable purpose without receiving approval from the Secretary of the Public Welfare Council.

A Muslim at Christmas with love and Jesus on his mind

A Muslim at Christmas with love and Jesus on his mind

By Hesham A. Hassaballa….
Yet, that does not mean that the day has absolutely no significance for me as a Muslim. As I walk the halls of one of the hospitals at which I work, I see several Nativity scenes on display, and it gets me to thinking about Jesus Christ (pbuh). It reminds me of him and what a powerful and wonderful Prophet and Messenger he was. Even though I don’t celebrate Christmas, it does not mean I don’t have Jesus in my life.

The Mythology of Matthew Ritchie: An Attempt to Rewrite the Beginning of the Universe…Sort of…

The Mythology of Matthew Ritchie: An Attempt to Rewrite the Beginning of the Universe…Sort of…

What do you get when you cross a group of drug-addicted thugs with some musically inclined angels, a gang of corrupt cops, a soon-to-be pregnant actress, an astronaut, and a Golem? According to Matthew Ritchie, you get the Big Bang, or the beginning of the universe as we know it. Or not. It could also bring Armageddon or the Apocalypse. It is a fall from the heavens (one might choose to say ‘grace’); it is a simple event that gets the universal ball rolling. It all depends on the button pushed- the character chosen (who chooses is still a question up for debate)

Holy Men: Encounters with Pope Benedict XVI and the Dalai Lama

Holy Men: Encounters with Pope Benedict XVI and the Dalai Lama

By Suzanne Degnats
On September 22, 2010, I attended a blessing service given by Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican in Rome. One month later, I attended two sessions with the Dalai Lama in Atlanta, Georgia during his visit to Emory University. Being an outsider both to the Catholic religion and to Buddhism, I found many similarities at the events surrounding these two political and religious leaders.