As long as the grass grows and the poverty shows
During the election cycle we tend to ask: What does America mean; where are we going? And then someone decides to check on the Indians to find out the answer, as though Indians represent America’s soul hidden in the attic. And of course politicians have long stood next to their “souls” and posed for pictures on the campaign trail.
Within the last year, Diane Sawyer and “20/20″ did a special on the sorry conditions at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, and the New Yorker featured a grim photo essay on Pine Ridge too. The New York Times published a piece on brutal crime at the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming and another on the deep financial problems at Foxwoods, the Pequot-owned “world’s largest” casino in Connecticut. Indians make the news, but the news isn’t really news, it’s just a way for the country take its temperature. Read full story from latimes.com
Indian Benefits: Misnomer and Propaganda
Contrary to popular belief, especially among non-Natives, American Indians did not simply relinquish their rights to lands, waters, and other natural resources. Indeed, as a result of historic negotiations and treaties between the U.S. government and tribal nations, federal agencies are obligated to provide specific rights, services, and protections as payment for the basic wholesale exchange of the land mass of the United States.
Misnomer—the use of a wrong or unsuitable term to describe something.
The United States contractually owes tribal nations. “Indian benefits” is a misnomer for the debt owed to Native peoples. The federal government pledged through laws and treaties to compensate for land exchanges accomplished through the forced removal of tribal nations from their original homelands. Unfortunately, payment is commonly expressed as “benefits.” This term—benefits—implies giving assistance, subsidy, or even charity, rather than deserved reimbursement. The Department of Interior even describes the obligated recompense for American Indians as benefits on its webpage. Read full story from indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com
Catholic groups sue over federal contraception mandate
(CNN) – The University of Notre Dame and “a diverse group of plaintiffs” filed lawsuits Monday challenging the federal mandate that religious employers offer health insurance that includes coverage of contraceptives and birth control services, Notre Dame spokeswoman Shannon Chapla said.
The Notre Dame suit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Northern Indiana, is one of a dozen filed Monday by 43 separate Catholic institutions in different federal courts around the United States, Chapla said.
The lawsuits are efforts to “vindicate the country’s constitutional and traditional commitments to religious freedom and pluralism,” Notre Dame law professor Richard W. Garnett said in a university statement. Read full story from cnn.com
Truce between Obama and Romney on faith?
Washington (CNN)– A political truce may be brewing between the Obama and Romney campaigns on the issue of the candidates’ faith and religious practice. An all-out war over such issues nearly erupted last week, but neither campaign would take up arms. Read full story from cnn.com
‘Witch’ killings described in book
A 350-year-old notebook which describes the execution of innocent women in East Anglia for consorting with the devil has been published online.
Puritan writer Nehemiah Wallington wrote passages on his attitudes to life, religion, the civil war as well as the witchcraft trials of the period.
By 1654 Wallington had catalogued 50 notebooks, of which only seven are known to have survived. Four are in the British Library, one in the Guildhall Library, one in the Folger Library in Washington DC, and one at Tatton Park in Cheshire.
The Tatton notebook describes battles and skirmishes of the English Civil War period and the disturbing violence of the 1640s in which dozens of East Anglian women were killed. Read full story from newsletter.co.uk
Government releases UFO sighting and policy files
(Reuters) – The government Thursday released 35 previously classified files documenting sightings of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) by the military and members of the public dating back to the 1950s.
The files contain around 8,500 pages which mainly cover the period from 1997 to 2005 and include photographs, drawings and descriptions of flying saucer sightings, as well as letters the Ministry of Defence sent eyewitnesses in response to their accounts.
Policemen, a soldier, a RAF officer and members of the public report sightings of objects including a “chewy mint shaped solid craft” and aerial objects resembling a “ring,” a “jellyfish” and a “silver voile spin top.”
In one account a man said he believed he had been “abducted” by aliens in October 1998 after seeing an unidentified craft hover over his London home and finding he had gained an hour of time in the process. Read full story from reuters.com
As a scholar who has written books and articles on the Bible and homosexual practice, I can say that the reality is the opposite of her claim. It’s shocking that in her editorial and even her book, Unprotected Texts, Knust ignores a mountain of evidence against her positions.
It raises a serious question: does the Left read significant works that disagree with pro-gay interpretations of Scripture and choose to simply ignore them?
Owing to space limitations I will focus on her two key arguments: the ideal of gender-neutral humanity and slavery arguments. Read full story from cnn.com
Spiritual panel explores ideals
The Nordic Lounge was host to the Anthropology Student Association and Pagan club’s Spirituality Panel on Thursday Feb. 24, where leaders and teachers from different faiths shared their personal stories and discussed the main aspects of their respective faiths.
Hinduism; Spirituality of Recovery Programs, also known as the 12 -Step Program; Asatru, a Norse/Germanic Paganism; Soka Gakkai, a form of Buddhism; and Wicca were represented.
The speakers talked about their faiths and shared with the audience their gods, myths and history.
Dennis Price, an undecided major, said, “I really am grateful that the Anthropology and Pagan Clubs make this possible for us. I think it is essential for us to know about the spiritual paths that they took. It’s like putting on different glasses to see different effects.” Read full story from lbcvikingnews.com
US declares eastern cougar extinct
WASHINGTON – The US Fish and Wildlife Service declared the eastern cougar officially extinct Wednesday, even though the big cat is believe to have first disappeared in the 1930s.
The eastern cougar is often called the “ghost cat” because it has been so rarely glimpsed in northeastern states in recent decades. It was first placed on the endangered species list in 1973. Read full story from rawstory.com
13 face charges of arson
THERE was pandemonium at the Naphuno magistrate’s court in Limpopo when 13 people appeared in court for allegedly burning the houses of people they accused of practising witchcraft.
The accused, all aged between 19 and 50 years, were arrested on Monday and appeared on Tuesday on charges of public violence.
Their appearance follows an incident at Santeng village outside Hoedspruit on Sunday when a group of angry villagers allegedly set alight seven houses belonging to people accused of practising witchcraft.
This followed allegations that a 13-year-old girl was caught naked casting a spell over a neighbour’s house just after midnight.
The girl was allegedly arrested and forced to appear before the village’s kangaroo court where she was grilled by the villagers. Read full story from sowetanlive.co.za
Grandmothers get support from safe
In most rural areas in Malawi, elderly people, who are not longer active and need the support of canes to walk, are always suspected of being witches.
One such victim of old age is Daitoni Wala of Nyanu Village, T/A Malemia in Zomba. He lost his wife and two children in 1954 due to a flood that hit Mulanje in the year. Since then, his life has been a misery. Wala says he used to live a good life until he lost his family. And as he grew older, he says, society became hostile towards him.
He says people in the community always suspect elderly people of witchcraft and blame them for any bad thing that happens in the community. Wala says he has no one to assist him and he lives alone in a house which is in a bad state.
However, his dream to live a better life may one day be realised even though he is old. The Sub-Saharan Family Enrichement (Safe), a non-governmental organisation working in Malawi, introduced a group called goo Grandmothers, to provide a support system for the elderly. Read full story from nationnw.net
Sweat lodge trial fuels Native American frustrations
Growing up on a reservation in lower Saskatchewan, Alvin Manitopyes learned early to respect the sweat lodge. He was 10 when he attended his first sweat ceremony, and for more than 15 years tribe elders instructed him in his people’s ways.
He understands the spiritual mandate he was given as a healer to serve as an intermediary between people and the spirit world. He carries with him the ancient ceremonial songs, passed on through generations.
He knows how the natural elements – earth, fire, water and air – work together to cleanse people, inside and out, and create balance. At 55, he has spent more than 20 years conducting ceremonies in sweat lodges, where water is poured over hot lava rocks as part of a purifying ritual.
“If you have the right to do it, then the environment you’re creating is a safe place,” says Manitopyes, a public health consultant in Calgary, Alberta, who is Plains Cree and Anishnawbe. “But today we have all kinds of people who observe what’s going on and think they can do it themselves. … And that’s not a safe place to be.” Read full story from cnn.com
Funeral protest ruling painful but right (CNN) — The Supreme Court ruled that a Kansas church whose members travel the country to protest at military funerals, holding signs that say “Thank God for dead soldiers” and “God blew up the troops,” has a right to continue such demonstrations.
The case was brought by Albert Snyder, whose 20-year-old son, Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, was killed in Iraq in 2006. The family-dominated Westboro Baptist Church, run by Fred Phelps, protested at Matthew Snyder’s funeral to spread their opinion that American deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq are God’s punishment for U.S. immorality and tolerance of homosexuality and abortion.
CNN.com talked to CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin about Snyder v. Phelps, which pitted the right of families to grieve in privacy against the First Amendment right to free expression. Read full story from cnn.com
Cracked Mayan Code May Pave Way to Lost Gold
Led by Joachim Rittsteig, an expert in Mayan writing, a group of scientists and journalists left Germany Tuesday, on a mission to Guatemala in search of a lost Maya treasure allegedly submerged under Lake Izabal.
According to the German newspaper Bild, which sponsored the expedition, the expedition includes two reporters from the publication, a photographer, a television camera, and a professional diver who will submerge into Lake Izabal in an attempt to find eight tons of gold said to have been lost there. Read full story from foxnews.com
Charlie Sheen, you are sooo hexed!
A trio of Salem witches, offended by Hollywood hell-raiser Charlie Sheen’s proclamation that he is a “warlock,” are planning a spiritual housecleaning for the “Two and a Half Men” train wreck in the Witch City on Sunday.
“If he doesn’t get some spiritual help, he could end up dead,” said a witch who goes by the name of Lorelei. Just Lorelei. She’s hosting the Sheen-orcism at her witchcraft emporium Crow Haven Corner.
So what will you do Sunday, Loreliei?
“Sacrifice him,” deadpanned the witch, who was immediately chastised by her conjuring colleague Christian Day.
“We’re going to use high ritual and high magic to give him all the help he needs,” declared Christian.
Salem’s sorcerers have their cloaks in a twist ever since Sheen, in an interview with “Today,” said CBS had “picked a fight with a warlock.” Day, a self-proclaimed warlock and the owner of Hex, an “Olde World Witchery” shop, said Charlie seems to be confusing warlocks with warlords. Read full story from bostonherald.com
Toronto’s one-stop Occult Shop The next time you’re satisfying a serious ice-cream craving at Dutch Dreams on Vaughan Road, wander a little bit north and you’ll find a large, white building containing an inconspicuous store framed by clouded windows. The red, weather-beaten, wooden sign hanging above the entrance reads, “The Occult Shop,” and despite its humble facade, the store serves as a gathering place for a range of spiritual subcultures in Toronto.
Tamarra and husband Richard James (pictured at right) opened The Occult Shop in 1979 at a location on Queen Street West (where Doc’s Leathers & Motorcycle Gear now resides). After a few years of moving around, they finally settled into their current home at 109 Vaughan, where they dole out spiritual advice with their herbs, incense and candles.
“We make sure that we know our product really, really well,” says Richard, who, with Tamarra, also also founded the Wiccan Church of Canada (WCC) around the same time that they opened the store. The church’s headquarters and main temple—which holds open rituals every Sunday at 7pm—is housed in the same building as The Occult Shop. The James started the group partly because of customer demand, but also to educate people on this often misunderstood faith. The church currently has a satellite temple in Hamilton and around 100 members, although Richard points out that that number fluctuates. Read full story from eyeweekly.com
It’s a witch…It’s a boat…It’s Salem
These three words, together with a logo that can be seen as either a sailboat or witch hat, were unveiled yesterday as a new brand Salem will use to sell itself.
“We want this to be a tool for communication and for sharing what we are here in Salem,” said Kate Fox, executive director of Destination Salem.
A nonprofit funded by a combination of city money and advertising dollars, Destination Salem is charged with promoting the city and attracting visitors. The group paid Rattle, a Beverly advertising, design and marketing firm, $25,000 to create the logo and tag line.
When it was first shown at the end of a video about the city, the Salem business owners and managers who gathered in a Peabody Essex Museum auditorium broke into applause.
“I’m super excited about it,” Mayor Kim Driscoll said. “What it says to me is that the more we change and grow, in many respects, the more we stay the same.”
The dual-purpose logo acknowledges Salem’s popular “Witch City” identity but also celebrates its maritime roots. Read full story from salemnews.com
Norse code as Vikings return to York
WE’RE used to seeing the occasional blood-spattered Viking wandering the streets of York. But for nine days you won’t be able to move for axe-wielding Norsemen, even when you are doing the weekly shop in Monks Cross.
Next weekend they will even be rampaging across the racecourse.
The annual Jorvik Viking Festival starts today and this year hundreds of warriors will descend on the city to commemorate King Ethelred’s battle to capture York. Read full story from yorkpress.co.uk
Thomas Reed Interview: Part 2 (Conclusion) (Video)
Well everyone, here it is! The long awaited conclusion of the Thomas Reed Interview. It’s been a long time coming and it took quite a lot of editing to get it to a manageable length but I did it.The Reed Saga is quite extraordinary and I hope I was able to do it justice. In the conclusion we talk to Tom about his mid to late abductions as well as those of his brother Matt. We also were able to speak with Debbie Kauble and get her input as well as a video clip she took during a MUFON investigation of Matt’s SUV after his latest experience. Read full story from ghosttheory.com
Renowned atheist draws crowd at Nova Southeastern t was more than an hour before the biology professor walked onto stage at Nova Southeastern University, but dozens of fans had already lined up Thursday night in hopes of getting in to hear his much-anticipated speech.
Universities are naturally magnets for academics to talk about their study, but this was no average scientist.
A sold-out crowd was already inside.
If it’s possible to conceive a God of the world of atheism and evolutionary biology, Richard Dawkins would be hard to beat for the title.
One of the most prolific atheists and secular humanists living today, he spoke on “The Fact of Evolution” and his stance against creationism in an hour-long chat that spanned topics from philosophy and theology to biology and gene mutation. Read full story from miamiheral.com
Rob Zombie Talks ‘The Lords of Salem’
Rob Zombie is touching on some of his inspirations for his next film “The Lords of Salem.”A co-production between Haunted Movies (“Insidious”) and Alliance Films, “The Lords of Salem” is written and directed by Zombie (“The Devil’s Rejects,” “Halloween”).
The film will center on contemporary Salem, where the residents encounter a 300-year-old coven of demonic witches.
“I’m going to probably start pre-production in March,” Zombie said in an interview with List.co.uk. “Hopefully I’ll shoot it around June. … ‘Lords of Salem’ is an original idea, it’s a new thing. Read full story from rabiddoll.com
Why Are Some Paranormal Beliefs More Attractive to Males While Others Are More Appealing to Females?
There are interesting differences between men and women on so-called “paranormal beliefs,” such as the belief in astrology, ESP, UFOs, Bigfoot, and ghosts. An abundance of research in the sociology of religion has found that women are more spiritual than men in a variety of ways. Women are more likely to belong to conventional religious organizations and hold traditional religious beliefs. They are also much more likely than men to believe in psychic powers, astrology, the power of mediums, and ghosts.
Men are more likely than women to believe that some UFOs are extraterrestrial craft and about equally likely to believe in creatures such as Bigfoot. Concerning an escalation of participation to the level of active research, men are also more likely than women to pursue these beliefs by becoming Bigfoot or UFO “hunters.”
These discrepancies indicate that men have a tendency to approach the paranormal differently from women. Men are more likely to see the paranormal as a means of discovery—i.e., they hope to capture Bigfoot to prove to others that it is (empirically) real. Females are more likely to see the paranormal as a source of personal discovery and enlightenment, a route to achieving a more thorough understanding of themselves and their relations to other people. Such lines of interest may also be pursued in the effort to “become a better person.” scienceandreligiontoday.com